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Manard-The Pioneer Town That Used To Be

VIEWS: 59 PAGES: 276


The Pioneer Town That Used To Be

And some life histories, biographies, and memories covering a few years
of the early 20th century.

Production Supervisor: Clifton R. Dixon
Acquisitions Editor: Clifton R. Dixon
Editors: Clifton R. Dixon, Janice Dixon, Wilma
Dixon, and Preston H. Dixon
Cover Design: Preston H. Dixon
Interior Design: Preston H. Dixon

Second Edition


How It Began     5
Camas Prairie    6
Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co. 9
Early Ditch Riders     14
Day Book   14
L.D.S. Church    17
Priesthood Roll 1918-1922 Manard 22
Relief Society   25
Cemetery   29
Manard Amusement Hall 34
Manard School    40
Manard Townsite 45
John L. Butler III     52
John Lowe Butler III   53
Kenion Taylor Butler - Autobiography    54
Local Pioneer Tells History 60
Memories of Manard     62
Harvey Dixon, Sr. 64
Harvey Dixon, Jr. 65
Bailey Allen Dixon     66
Eva Butler Dixon 72
The James H. Dixon Family    74
Riley Lyman Dixon and Alva Reta Robinson      77
The Migration Of The Finch Family 81
Fritz Frostenson Family      85
Madison Cecil Kent     86
Alice Evelyn Lee Kent 89
Eva Labrum's Life History    92
Hyrum Bracken Lee 98
Mother and Dad    101
Hyrum D. Lee      103
James B. and Edna V. McClure 104
Alma Harris Moon 105
Joseph Heber Moon 106
The Migration of the Nielson Family     107
Elmer Walter Nielson   108
Erastus Franklin Nielson     140
Hazel Johannah Nielson 142
Memories    144
My Dad      145
Oliver Charles Nielson - Autobiography 146
Oliver Nielson's Hay Derricks     150
Life On The Prairie    152
Memories    155
The Olson Family 158
Summer of 1936    164
William and Luella Packham   166
Memories Of Manard     167
John L. Robinson 168
Memories Of Albert Thurber   168
I. E. Thurber     175
Joshua A. Thurber 176
Elizabeth Robinson Thurber   180
Joseph H. And Annie C. Thurber    182
The James Vandiver Family    186
Farm Equipment    188
Harvesting In Midwinter      196
Hauling Wood      197
Horses vs Horsepower   197
Growing Up On A Homestead    199
In Snow, Uphill Both Ways    200
Camas County Country Schools 202
An Apple A Day    203
Days Gone By      205
Box Suppers 205
Just Thinking     206
Johnnie Sea Gull 207
The Old Home Comfort   208
Camas Aero Club 209
Manard School     210
Dam Town    211
Bob Hunts Deer in Idaho     212
Generation of work dries up 213
Odds & Ends 214

How It Began
Clifton Dixon

Several years ago I was approached by two of my senior cousins, Agnes
Thurber Sevier and Mildred Robinson. They proposed that we cooperate in
writing a history of Manard. It seemed like a good idea, so we formed a
committee of three, and began to accumulate information, pictures, and
When writing began, I learned the true meaning of cooperation. Many like
to coo, but they expected someone else to operate.
Information comes from many sources. Memory of residents (not too many
left), Public Records, minutes of church meetings, records of Twin Lakes
Reservoir and Irrigation Co., Camas Prairie Courier, later Camas County
Courier, a variety of histories, some conclusions, and speculations. As
the manuscript was being finished the writer realized that he should have
made footnotes of the sources of information. When an attempt was made to
correct this error it was found that he couldn't remember where some of
the information came from. For this there is much sorrow. However,
footnotes do not eliminate errors and sometimes historians carefully
footnote errors in time and fact. The writer was a "Johnny Come Lately"
in Manard. Only a part of this history occurred in his life time, only a
small part within his memory. However, nearly every available source of
information about this time and place has been studied. You would have to
be a dreamer to believe there are no errors but the writer has tried to
let fact dominate fancy.
The greatest source of encouragement in this project has been the spirit
of cooperation and interest displayed by the multitude of individuals
that have been contacted in the matter. I would like to list their names,
but would almost surely forget and offend some.
I am especially indebted to the following:
-Residents of Manard and their posterity who have furnished family
histories, pictures, documents, and encouragement.
-Family members who have encouraged me, endured my moods, and assisted
with typing, preparation of documents, and general support.
-Officials of church and state who have been patient with me as I studied
public and church records.
The life histories contained herein vary in length and detail. Some are
not full of historical facts but all project the spirit of the times and
although they may lack historical detail, they reflect the character of
the hardy pioneers who settled the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation
Co. project. This history is not complete. There are only a few of the
lives that have been chronicled. Many contributed a significant amount of
time, effort, and resources to the Manard Community of whom we know
little. There are several lists of names. I wish we knew more about these
people. Most of the attention has been given to the men. Beside each was
a lady of sterling character whose influence it is impossible to measure.
Camas Prairie
Clifton Dixon

At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Camas Prairie was a fertile,
well watered valley, covered with grass and a profusion of flowering
plants. There were few trees in the valley, but willows grew along the
streams, and virgin forests of pine and fir covered the mountains to the
north. It was named for the blue flowered Camas which covered large areas
of the land. When viewed from a distance these fields resembled a body of
water reflecting the color of the sky. Camas roots were a major source of
food for natives, who came in the spring and summer to dig its roots and
dry them for food in winter.
The first white visitors to come in numbers were miners and herdsmen of
cattle, sheep, and horses. For a time uncounted thousands of cattle
grazed the Prairie in the summer and returned to the Snake River plains
to winter. Herds of sheep crossed the Prairie in the spring to graze in
the mountains to the north, returning in the fall to winter range in the
lower country. Horses also grazed here in considerable numbers.
As homesteaders took up the land, horse and cattle grazing was greatly
restricted, but sheepmen continued to prosper. When the railroad came,
Hill City, for a time, was the most important shipping point in the world
for sheep and lambs. They were shipped in to go onto the range in the
spring, then shipped out to market and to winter in the fall.
Many herds were also trailed across the Prairie and through the south
hills. Statistics for early years are scant, but a 1906 crop report for
Camas Prairie shows:

150,000               bushels of wheat
30,000                      bushels of barley
24,000                      tons of timothy hay
10,000                      head of grazing cattle
16,000                      tons of alfalfa hay
40,000                      head of grazing sheep
100,000               bushels of oats
10,000                head of grazing horses

By this time much of the land would have been taken up by homesteads, so
cattle and horse numbers may have been reduced considerably from earlier
times. Settlers were mostly subsistence farmers. Horses furnished power
for cultivation, hauling and travel. They were mostly small, tough,
cayuse variety, some probably obtained from free roaming herds. Small
herds of milk cows were common. Most were dual purpose Durham or
Shorthorn cattle, but Jersey cows are sometimes mentioned. Milking
primarily furnished food for the family, but cream was churned and
surplus butter sold or traded on the local market. Skim milk was fed to
hogs and chickens, kept primarily to provide for the family, but again,
the surplus was used for trading.
Early on, small flocks of sheep were not common, probably because coyotes
were so abundant. Later, fenced pastures made it possible to keep farm
flocks. In 1919 a wool pool was formed expecting to receive at least a
railroad car of wool each year. It is assumed that this did not involve
range herds.
Scant rainfall during summers months encouraged irrigation along streams
where water was available. Full potential of the soil could best be
realized by irrigation.
The Prairie was isolated. It was 30 miles or more to the nearest town. At
first there were no graded roads, no bridges, only wagon tracks through
canyons, across streams and Prairie. Hauling was easiest during winter
when bobsleds could be used, but almost impossible during spring breakup
and periods of heavy rain. Loaded wagons sometimes mired and had to be
unloaded, the load hand carried through difficult places and reloaded.
Life on Camas Prairie was not easy, but there seemed to be a boundless
optimism among the settlers. It was a beautiful country; fertile fields,
abundant forest, hidden minerals. It was all there, and they rushed in to
take advantage of it. Changes were on the way that were calculated to
overcome all difficulties.
The Camas Prairie Courier, published from 1905 - 1917, reflected the
spirit of the time. Mar. 7, 1907, County Commissioners appropriated money
for road improvement and bridges. I. E. Thurber was awarded a contract
for $499 to build a bridge across the Malad River. October 24, 1907,
Camas Prairie Courier reported that the contractor was grading approaches
to the new bridge. This may have been the first bridge across the Malad
River. In 1907, a local telephone company was organized at Soldier with
lines running to Boise and Fir Grove, and to Gooding in 1908. And there
were lively rumors that a Railroad was coming.
Originally mail came from Hailey by stage. In December 1906, a stage line
was started by the Dixon Brothers traveling from Gooding to Soldier,
round trip, twice weekly. In January 1907, they began carrying mail
between the railroad at Gooding and Soldier. February 7, 1907, a mail
contract was let to TP. Darr for daily service both ways between Gooding
and Corrall by way of Fir Grove, Wynona and Soldier. There seems to have
been some difficulty with this mail contract involving bad roads through
Black Canyon. In October 1907, the Dixon Brothers bid $2,975 (term
unknown) for this contract. The government considered the bid too high
and offered $2,400, which they accepted. On November 28, 1907, the
Corrall to Gooding mail contract was issued to Harvey Dixon Jr. for three
months. The Post Office Department changed the name of the Post Office at
Wynona to Manard. Anthony Poulson was asked to be Postmaster. The Post
Office was located at his home south of the river. Supplies for the Post
Office were delivered to him July 25, 1907. The Gooding to Corral mail
contract with Dixon continued until Mar. 3, 1910, when it was awarded to
Hyrum B. Lee to commence May 12, 1910. This contract evidently continued
until the time the railroad came, but difficulty with the road through
Black Canyon to Gooding resulted in routing the Prairie mail though
Hailey for a time.
March 7, 1912, Camas Prairie Courier reported that Fairfield was the name
approved for the Post Office in New Soldier. May 2nd 1912, the Camas
Prairie Courier reported that the Manard Post Office had been moved from
the Poulson farm to the Harvey Dixon Store. With the coming of the
railroad, mail delivery changed. There was some confusion. For a time
Soldier and Corrall received mail by stage from Hailey and via railroad.
At first railroad delivery was tri-weekly, but soon became daily except
Sunday. Before the railroad came, some summer mail contracts were carried
by auto.
Since horses were key to most activities, there was much interest in
improving the quality. Percheron, Belgian, Shire, German Coach, and other
breeds of stallions were imported. Results were evidently favorable. With
the outbreak of the World War I, the Prairie was a source of many horses
sent to the battlefields of Europe by way of Canada.
The Prairie was perceived to be a favorable location for dairying. A
small cheese factory was built at Fir Grove in 1907 where as many as 60
cows were milked. Dixon's Whole Cream Cheese was advertised in local
markets for several years. In 1910, a creamery was built at Corral!. It
operated only in the summer when there was a good supply of cream and was
soon producing 1000 pounds of butter weekly. A significant development at
this time was the cream separator. Refrigeration was in the distant
future, but the cream separator made it possible to quickly separate and
cool the cream, resulting in improved quantity and quality. Corrall
Creamery reported that by 1911, 95% of their producers owned cream
Good milk cows were much sought after. Improved stock of both sexes was
imported. A Bull Association brought Holstein bulls from Wisconsin and
other areas to improve production. Skim milk encouraged hog and poultry
production. Buttermilk from the Creamery was returned to the farmers for
feed. There was a little discussion over division of the buttermilk.
Someone complained that it wasn't right for one hog to be hauling feed to
other hogs. Pickup routes were established throughout the Prairie to
bring cream to the Creamery promptly. All this resulted in better butter.
At the turn of the century, beef cattle by the thousands grazed on the
Prairie during the summer. But with settlement and fencing, this migrant
type cattle grazing diminished. A few small herds of beef survived,
wintering on hay produced locally. They ranged on the Forest Reserve and
the South Hills. As good roads developed, beef production became migrant
again, grazing on B.L.M., Forest Reserve, and Camas Prairie fields in
summer and moving to lower country to winter. Feed was typically hauled
from the Prairie to winter quarters.
Saw mills flourished to meet the demand for building material. March 24,
1910, the Courier reported that there were seven saw mills and a planing
mill harvesting timber north of the Prairie, and others were being
A few dams to store irrigation water were built. The first was built in
1905 - 1906, across Lake Creek about seven miles south of Soldier. Since
most of those involved were members of the L.D.S. Church, it is called
the Mormon Reservoir. It was estimated that it would store as much as
40,000 acre feet of water and irrigate 10,000 acres. Southside Canal was
finished in 1907 and the Northside system was finished in 1909. Irrigated
land lay on both sides of Camas Creek, or the Malad River for several
miles to the east. There were probably 300 - 400 persons living in this
community at this time.
Throughout this period there seemed to be great interest in entertainment
and diversion. Celebration of the 4th of July, Pioneer Day ( July 24th),
and Settlers day (Aug. 15th) were carefully planned and enthusiastically
executed. They featured parades, music, performing arts, orations,
athletic contests, public dances, and horse racing. They were attended
not only by local people, but many living outside the Prairie. Baseball
games between the communities were played regularly throughout the
summer. Musical groups were organized, performing at every opportunity.
Theatrical groups flourished before buildings for that purpose existed.
They toured the Prairie performing in stores, churches, schools, and out
of doors. The Camas Prairie Courier occasionally mentioned debates
between the communities.
1911 was a year of feverish activity. There was a bumper crop of grain. A
contract for construction of a railroad from Richfield to the west end of
the Prairie was signed by Utah Construction Company, and many sub-
contracts for grading, hay, grain and lumber were obtained by local
individuals and organizations. There was a flurry of home building and
new businesses. New towns were started along the railroad: Blaine,
Fairfield, Corrall and Hill City. Corrall was moved from a location a
mile to the north to the railroad. Fairfield would soon replaced Soldier
as the principle place of business.
The Settlers Celebration at Soldier in 1911 was the largest ever. An
estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people attended. The New Manard Recreation Hall
was built. It measured 40' x 80', had an elevated stage, hardwood floor,
and basketball backboards. The first activity was a Christmas Party in
the new building.
The basketball season started at once. January 4, 1912, the Camas Prairie
Courier reported two previous games. Friday night the score was Soldier
14, Manard 9. Tuesday night the game was Manard 10, Soldier 7. More games
were planned, and dinners, theatricals, and music productions kept the
new Manard Recreation Hall busy. Usually the games and other programs
were followed by a dance. The Manard Hall was a huge success.
Not to be outdone, the next year a recreation hall was built in Soldier
and the basketball rivalry continued. Music recitals and theatrical
performances increased in number and complexity. Usually a performance
would be staged at two or more locations. School houses and stores were
used in outlying communities.
One of the most significant developments of the period was the
automobile. Early cars were primitive by present standards, but they were
far ahead of the road improvements on Camas Prairie. Their speed was
impressive and created much pressure for highway improvement. April 24,
1913, the Camas Prairie Courier reported there were 17 automobiles and 1
Indian motorcycle owned by residents of the Prairie. August 3, 1916,5
carloads of L D S Church members attended Stake Conference in Boise. In
June 1917, an auto stage line was started between Hailey and Boise. The
auto was a 7 passenger, 8 cylinder Cadillac. A ticket from Boise to
Hailey was $6.50, from Fairfield to Hailey was $2.00. Service would be
daily each way except Sunday. Auto travel was limited to fair weather and
favorable road conditions, but with better auto design and road
improvements, they became very much a part of the lifestyle of the
residents of the Prairie.
The momentum continued for a time, but anticipation exceeded realization.
The railroad bridge across the Malad held up laying of the rails. Golden
Spike Ceremony at Hill City had to be delayed for a year.
The Corral Creamery was not centrally located, so in July 1913 it was
moved to Soldier. It received cream from all over the valley, but in
January 1914 it was reported that it was not a profitable venture. In
September 1914, it was moved to Fairfield and remodeled to be the most
complete small creamery in Idaho, but it was only receiving 50% of the
production of the Prairie. In 1915 it closed and most of the machinery
was moved away. It became a cream collection station for Jensen Creamery
in Richfield, receiving cream only on Monday. A cream station was
established at Corrall to receive on Wednesday by the same company. It is
presumed that farm butter makers were their principle competition. The
Courier advertised butter wrappers and cartons throughout this period and
for years afterward.
Closing the creamery was not the end of dairying. There was considerable
competition for cream. When it could be shipped by rail, a number of
creameries advertised their prices: Crystal Springs Creamery, Sterling
Dairy Products of Buhl, and Elkhorn Creamery. In January 1924, the
Gooding Cooperative Creamery was incorporated. Many Prairie dairyman
became patrons. Trucks were soon picking up cream twice weekly. There
were some attempts to start large dairies. Vance McHan developed a
milking herd of nearly 100 cows, but milking was by hand, so it did not
continue for long. Most herds were limited to 20 cows or less. These
seemed to gravitate to irrigated areas in the canyons and the irrigation
project along the Malad. Some of these dairies enjoyed a measure of
prosperity for a time, but cold weather caused many problems, and
gradually dairying declined until there are no commercial dairies on the
Prairie today.
February 8, 1917, Camas County was formed and March 22, Camas Prairie
Courier became the Camas County Courier.
Dry farms and open areas became interested in pure farming. Farm size
increased as population decreased. Hard times came. There were several
years of killing frosts. It was reported in April 1916, that 100
foreclosures were in process in Blaine County. Most of these were on the
Prairie. Population of the Prairie declined. World War I strengthened the
economy for a time, but power farming encouraged large farms. When a
farmer failed their land was taken by large operators. The Great
Depression took its toll and further accelerated the trend toward large
farms. Alfalfa hay has replaced wheat as the principle crop.

Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co.
Clifton Dixon

It is believed that Alex Cyphers was one of the first white men to see
Camas Prairie. In the mid 1800's he was one of those employed by the
United States Government to explore and make a general survey of the
Western American Wilderness. He was with a small party traveling down
Snake River. It was early summer and the contrast of snow covered
mountains to the north and the hills between indicated that a sizeable
valley lay there. So they left the river and climbed to the top of the
Today a view of the valley from the south hills is impressive. At that
time it must have been spectacular. There was little sage brush then. The
hills were covered with grass. Camas and other wild flowers bloomed
profusely at that time of year covering much of the valley floor. Wild
game was abundant. Encampments of natives who came there to dig Camas and
other roots could be seen, together with their herds of horses.
Some of the party wanted to continue into the valley, but others wanted
to return to the Snake River. After some discussion the party separated.
Those who continued into Camas Prairie were captured by the natives and
suffered much hardship, but eventually they escaped and returned to Fort
Hall in the fall, destitute, with only a pocket knife for tool and
Alex, with others, continued down the Snake River. But he did not forget
the Prairie. At a later date he helped survey the Base Line of Idaho
across the Prairie. After retiring from Government service, he returned
to Camas Prairie to become one of her solid citizens. He built a saw mill
in one of the canyons to the north. He had an interest in a number of
mines, and established a small cattle ranch about eight miles south of
Old Soldier.
In the lower drainage of McKinney Creek, which flows northwest through
Fir Grove Flat, there are two large springs. Their water flows north east
past the flat top butte toward Camas Creek, or Malad River, as early
settlers called it. About half a mile south of Malad River there were two
small lakes, actually they were large springs. Water from all these
sources combined to form Lake Creek, which flowed north through a narrow
gorge into Camas Creek. Large meadows lay around the lakes and along the
stream. Here Alex homesteaded, calling it the Twin Lakes Ranch. As an
experienced, engineer he no doubt recognized the potential here for water
storage. However, probably because of his age, he did not attempt to
develop it.
By the turn of the century a number of L.D.S. families had settled near
Soldier. These people were acquainted with the irrigation process and
became interested in the site.
Following the death of his father and failure of the family business,
John L. Butler III came to Idaho looking for a place to settle. Upon
learning about the possibilities he soon became an enthusiastic supporter
of the project Eventually at his urging a dozen or so families of his
relatives and other L.D.S. people joined the effort. July 2, 1903, Twin
Lakes Land and Canal Co. was organized:
Lester Stott                                  President
George Labrum                           Vice President
Lewis Adams                             Secretary
Henry L. Jenkins                        Treasurer

The Twin Lakes Ranch was purchased for $1,500 and Samuel G. Rhodes was
engaged to plan the project. Mr. Cyphers and Mr. Rhodes had previously
been acquainted. They had both been involved in the Base Line Survey and
other early engineering projects. Meeting again was a pleasant occasion
for them.
The perimeter of the reservoir was surveyed and plans for the dam and
canals were soon completed. K.T. Butler was one of the survey crew. He
worked continuously through out the construction of the dam and claims
the distinction of spending more time on the project than any other man.
It was also decided to change the name. October 17, 1903, Twin Lakes
Reservoir and Irrigation Company Limited was organized. The founders had
hoped to have another person join them, making ten charter members, but
no one came forward. Ten thousand shares of Capital Stock at $10 per
share was authorized. Nine persons subscribed to stock as follows:

Lester Stott                                  250 shares
Henry George Labrum               250 shares
Lewis Adams                             250 shares
Henry L. Jenkins                        500 shares
John L. Butler III                            250 shares
Harvey Dixon Jr.                       250 shares
R.C. Naser                                   250 shares
Edward Booth                                 250 shares
James Stewart                                250 shares

Of the founders, none had great financial resources. The next two years
were spent trying to sell stocks or raise money for construction. When
this was not successful, July 3, 1905, 10,000 shares of Capital Stock
were issued to the founders as follows:

Lester Stott                                  1,000 shares
Henry George Labrum               1,000 shares
Lewis Adams                             1,000 shares
Henry L. Jenkins                        2,000 shares
John L. Butler III                            1,000 shares
Harvey Dixon Jr.                        1,000 shares
R.C. Naser                                    1,000 shares
Edward Booth                                  1,000 shares
James Stewart                                 1,000 shares

this stock, to be held or disposed of at their pleasure. Construction
started in the fall of 1905. Joshua A. Thurber was the first on the job.
He grubbed the willows and brush to clear the dam sight. Resources for
the construction were generated by levying assessments of cash, single
hand labor, and team labor against the Capital Stock of the Company. If
assessments were not paid, the stock was declared delinquent and sold by
the Company to meet the obligation.
The Twin Lakes Ranch improvements were auctioned off for $70. John L.
Butler III was the successful bidder and he immediately removed buildings
and fences to prepare for the construction.
The dam was earth fill, 550 feet long and 30 feet high, 140 feet wide at
the base and 20 feet wide at the top. The key to the dam was a concrete
core 4 feet high, 18 inches thick, laid on bed rock the length of the
dam. The outlet to the reservoir was a concrete culvert passing through
the dam near the east end. Near the middle of this outlet a concrete
casement was built from the outlet to the top of the dam. It contained a
head gate to control the water flow from the reservoir.
Fresno scrapers, slip scrapers, wheel scrapers, and wagons were used to
move fill to the dam.
Most of the material was hauled by wagon. A pit was dug south of the dam
large enough to accommodate a team and wagon, and a bridge of spaced
timbers built across it. A team and wagon would enter the pit and Fresno
or Slip scrapers would bring earth fill on to the bridge where it would
fall through the spaced timbers in the wagon below. The wagons were
fitted with boxes of 2"x 6" and 2"x 12" lumber.
Just before loading, the 2" x 6" planks were laid across the wagon
bolsters to form the floor. Then 2"x 12" were placed for sides, with end
gates of similar material to complete the box. When filled, the earth
held everything in place. Plows were usually used to loosen the earth to
make loading the scrapers easier. To unload the wagons, end gates and
sides were removed - spilling part of the load. Then one by one 2"x 6"
bottom planks were turned on edge to dump the balance. The ends of the
2"x 6" floor planks were shaped to make it easier to grasp and turn them
on edge. A foreman directed the unloading.
Water was pumped from Lake Creek to the top of the dam. Teams and
equipment hauling material waded through the mud, puddling and compacting
it as the dam rose. It seems like a cumbersome and difficult process, but
you can't quarrel with success. Hand laid rip rap of lava rock protected
the face of the dam from water erosion. Joshua A. Thurber was the last
man on the job building a barbed wire fence to protect the lower face of
the dam from livestock. The dam was completed in 1906. Water was diverted
from Dairy Creek 5 miles to the west into Twin Lakes Reservoir drainage
to augment the supply of water. The head gate was closed to hold the
water on January 1, 1907.
Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors record repeated assessments
of cash, single hand labor, and team labor levied against the stock of
the company to meet the demands of the project. During construction, a
tent town was set up at the dam to provide for workers and their
families. A spirit of optimism and cooperation prevailed throughout the
dam construction. It was believed that as many as 10,000 acres could be
irrigated. While construction of the dam was the largest part of the
project, it presented comparatively few problems. Complications soon
Immediately below the dam, the canal was built of rubble and gravel. Much
of the water released from the reservoir seeped away in the first 100
yards of the canal. This part of the system plagued the Board of
Directors and water users for years. Repeated attempts to seal it with
clay and lumber were unsuccessful. Finally in 1924 both sides and bottom
of this part of the canal were lined with concrete.
Building the first canal was a learning experience. Failure to follow
markings on grade stakes resulted in errors that made it necessary to
turn water off twice and rebuild part of the south side canal before
water would pass through. Only one small flume was built on the south
side and some years later it was replaced by a rock cut. Several flood
gates and culverts to accommodate spring
runoff were built in draws crossing the right of way. The south side
canal was completed in 1907. However, two more years were required to
complete the north side canal, which watered the greater part of the
Several parts of the project were going on at the same time, so oversight
became a major problem. Continuing assessments of cash and labor were
burdensome to all, especially those who had farming interest on the south
side. To cross Camas Creek and Soldier Creek large earth fills had to be
constructed with flumes across the streams themselves. Flumes were built
of native lumber. Round timber piling were driven in the stream bank with
lumber braces and caps to support the vessels carrying the water. Vessels
themselves were made of 2" x 12" and 2" x 10" planks. Generous
applications of oakum and tar sealed the cracks, after a fashion. Three
other small flumes had to be built for the north side canal. Checks and
head gates were made of lumber. Design was often by trial and error. Some
of the north side canal construction was contracted. Minutes of the Board
Meeting mention four thousand feet of work at the head of the north side
canal which was contracted for $386.70 to D. J. Borup and Philip Borup.
Another 15,000 feet at the lower end of the canal was let for $980 to the
same parties. But the company seems to have built the flumes and other
parts of the canal.
Financing was always a problem. A number of bank loans of various
amounts, terms, and interest rates were negotiated. In Aug. 1909, a
$5,000 loan was obtained from James C. Robinson, a stockholder in
Parowan, Utah, at 10% interest for a three year term. All of the assets
of the company except tools and equipment were given as security. This
enabled completion of the project in 1910. The term of this loan was
extended repeatedly. Interest was kept current but the principle was not
paid until 1924. When water was turned into the north side canal, the
earth fills associated with the flumes across Malad and Soldier Creek
settled and had to be brought back up to grade. Removing silt from canals
was required from time to time. Canal banks were a perfect environment
for sandbar willows. As they flourished they became a major problem. For
many years they were removed from the water ways by hand with grubbing
hoes. Blades of various kinds powered by cat tractors were tried with
some success. But the problem continued until the development of 2-4-D.
Rat holes and squirrel holes through canal banks had to be located and
plugged up repeatedly.
Legal problems also developed. At a meeting of the Board of Directors,
Aug. 12, 1907, notice was served on the company by Thomas Marren
demanding 250 inches of water be released into Camas Creek to cover his
water rights below. Con Ryan also came to this meeting to talk about the
Ryan Brothers' water rights. The Ryan Brothers tentatively agreed to
accept 100 inches of water released into Camas Creek. Final negotiations
failed, however, and a lawsuit was filed in Hailey against the Company. A
conference in Hailey in 1909 finally produced an agreement between the
Company and Thomas Marren and the Ryan widows. (John Ryan had passed on.
Con Ryan had been killed and Thomas Marren was jailed for his murder.)
Thomas Marren was to receive 80 shares of Reservoir Company Stock, Mary
Ryan 38 shares, and Sarah Ryan 37 shares. To settle this claim John L.
Robinson sold the Company 155 shares of stock at $4 per share to be paid
in 2 - 5 years with 8% annual interest. April 10, 1911, principle place
of business was changed from Soldier to Manard.
May 10, 1912, the Company received notice from a legal firm, Cardiner &
Cardiner, demanding that they refrain from trespassing on property of W.
C. Jarrom who had obtained a tax deed to the Alex Cypher's homestead.
A request had been made to the county commissioner to remove the Lake
Creek Ranch from the tax roles, but this had evidently not been done.
The Company officials did not pay taxes, so the way was opened for this
mischief. It is hard to believe that there was not a little malice here.
Mr. Jarron must have known the property was covered with water. And
County officials must have neglected to properly notify Twin Lakes
Reservoir and Irrigation Company of the delinquency. Early in 1914 suit
was filed by Jarron to quiet title to the property. Attorneys Ensign,
Sullivan, McFadden and Broadhead in Hailey were consulted and evidently
employed to deal with the matter. In Jan. 1915, dissatisfaction with
progress in the case resulted in hiring a Boise attorney, Edwin Snow, to
handle the case. A note for $150 was given as a retainer. Finally in May,
1915, the Company paid W. C. Jarron $750 to clear up the matter.
There was dissatisfaction with distribution of the water, particularly at
the lower end of the canal. Head gates, checks, and measuring devices
were made of wood and of primitive design. The canals were generally
built with a grade of less than 5 feet to the mile. The laterals seldom
had enough fall to service an overshot weir, which was the best known
measuring device. So early on the water distribution was mainly by guess
and by gosh. But the development and knowledge of the submerged orifice
soon made it possible to measure streams with a low head. After a few
years the wooden structures of the system deteriorated and had to be
replaced. In the early 1920's, concrete checks were built. Concrete head
gates, having submerged orifices and pressure wells, were designed and
built to replace old structures, making it possible to measure water more
accurately. Flumes were also modernized. Concrete abutments replaced
piling. Sturdy wooden trusses supported a vessel of galvanized sheet iron
reinforced every 2 feet by U bolts. A little asphalt in the seams sealed
them. These structures were expected to be more or less permanent. In
1940, changes in the course of Camas Creek caused the channel at the
flume to fill with sand so that flood waters raised so high that it swept
away the flume. A four foot inverted siphon was placed under the stream
bed to replace it.
In 1940, the flume across Soldier Creek failed, dumping the water into
Soldier Creek. A pump was used to raise water from the creek to the canal
to finish the irrigation season. Then, steel girders from an old bridge
replaced the wooden trusses, but the sheet iron vessels were reclaimed
and with liberal applications of asphalt continue to serve after 70
Financial problems did not go away. Gradually a system of financing was
worked out where money for operation and maintenance was borrowed from
the bank in the spring to be paid off in the fall. A practice which
continues to this time.
2-4-D was developed and proved to be a solution to the willow problem.
July 28, 1927, officials with the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co.
were notified that their permit #3437, to appropriate water, was being
considered for cancellation because the Commissioner of Reclamation had
not received a report of completion of construction when it was due
February 15, 1913. There was flurry of correspondence, filing of
affidavits, etc. to satisfy the bureaucrats in Boise. Finally the permit
was reinstated. The only loss was that they wound up with later priority
than was held originally.
Periodic inspection of the water works by the State Department approved
everything until 1938 when the State Engineer became concerned about the
capacity of the spillway. Wind driven ice on the reservoir disrupted the
rip-rap on the face of the dam. When rubble rip-rap replaced the
original, hand laid rip-rap, the dam was raised about two feet. Some work
was done on the spillway, but the Department of Reclamation was not
satisfied by the size. Some consideration is being given to raise the dam
another two feet which would increase the capacity of the spillway
significantly. Otherwise, solid rock would have to be removed over quite
a large area to increase the size of the spillway.

But climate restricted crops mainly to alfalfa hay and small grains.
Sometimes these crops were damaged by late and early frosts. Attempts to
raise potatoes, lettuce, seed, and other crops failed or were only
marginally successful. There were occasional plagues from grasshoppers.
But water supply was the main problem. The dam did not overflow until
1940. Only about 3,000 acres were finally served by the system. Not one
of the families who pioneered the project remains today.

Early Ditch Riders
Ditch Riders were selected by bid, the low bidder usually being accepted.
The following information was taken from the minutes from the Board of

A man unspecified     $3.50 per day                      1909
C. C. Cotton                      $90 per month                        1910
W. J. Wray                  $85 per month                       1911
Riley L. Dixon              $75 per month                       1912
William L. Borup            $69 per month                       1913
Riley L. Dixon              $80 per month                       1914
Riley L. Dixon              $75 per month                       1915
Riley L. Dixon              $75 per month                       1916
Riley L. Dixon              $90 per month                       1917
H. R. Owens                       $100 per month                1918
W. J. Packham               not specified                       1919
Mr. Yates                         not specified                        1920
Hyrum D. Lee                      not specified                        1921
R. C. Naser                       $125 per month                1922
Jess K. Thurber             $115 per month               1923

Day Book
Dam Construction

Names taken from the day book which recorded time spent on construction
of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company Project. Names listed
are probably stockholder against whom assessments were made. Often men
were hired to fill labor assessments.

H. L. Jenkins                                W. C. Martin
George Labrum                          Charles Canfield
Lester Stott                                 J. W. Soules
B.J. Bean                                    P. Ballard
Lewis Adams                            Frank Housman
James J. Stewart                       Ed Lamb
John L. Butler                               M. W. Treadgold
R. C. Naser                            T. E. Avery
G. M. Richards                         Ed Cooper
I. E. Thurber                                John P. Stevens
John L. Robinson                       John Wardrop
Peter Olson                            D. L. Butler
Joshua A. Thurber                      C. C. Cotton
Taylor Butler                                D. J. Borup
Robert B. Ferguson                     Presley F. Horne
Albert Olson                                 Frank B. Cross
A. Adams                                     Homer C. Hobbs
E. Lightfoot                                 John Koets
W. J. Teasdale                               G. A. Dixon
Vernon H. Peak                         S. W. Worthington
Herman Ferguson                        Charles Adams
Jos. Richards                                A. F. Adams
James Jenkins                                A. G. Barker
Oscar R. Naser                         D. H. Gwinn
J. D. Bresubau                 B. D. Lightfoot
James C. Robinson, Jr.   Phil Borup
Sylvester C. Jones             Alf. Dixon
W. A. Richards                 W. F. Borup
H. L. Childs                   F. R. Brownell
Oliver C. Neilson
L.D.S. Church
Clifton Dixon
Among the pioneers of Camas Prairie were a few L.D.S. families.
Missionaries working in the North Western States Mission organized a
Branch at Soldier, May 12, 1901. Meeting in the home of Lester Stott,
George Labrum was sustained as Branch President. A Sunday School was
organized at this time with Lester Stott as Superintendent.
About this time a Branch was also organized at Fir Grove with Harvey
Dixon, Sr. sustained as Presiding Elder. There was considerable
cooperation between Soldier and Fir Grove. Conferences were attended by
both branches. When the Relief Society was organized in 1903, Kittie
Dixon, wife of Harvey Dixon Sr., was sustained as President. Most of the
information in this account was obtained from minutes of meetings
recorded throughout the years in Soldier Branch. No records of Fir Grove
Branch have been found.
In the beginning, meetings were usually held in the home of members or in
the back room of a restaurant. They were not held every week, but few
months passed without a meeting or two being recorded. From early records
we learn of some special meetings. Saturday, July 18, 1903, three
sessions of conference were held in Dougherty Hall at Soldier with Pres.
Jack and Pres. Smith of Cassia Stake as visitors. July 16 and 17, 1904, a
two day conference was held in the Methodist Chapel at Soldier with
George S. Harris and Joseph Ainsworth as visiting authorities. In 1905, a
conference was held in the same location with Pres. Jack and Pres. Harris
as visitors. These meetings were well attended by members of both
About this time, a number of L.D.S. families moved into the community who
were interested in the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation project. In
fact, the whole L.D.S. community seems to have been caught up in it. When
construction started, location of meetings gravitated to Wynona on the
Malad (later Manard) and the dam site where meetings were held in the
dining hall tent and tent homes of members. Both Fir Grove and Soldier
branches met together. Aug. 4, 1906, the Fir Grove and Soldier Branches
were combined. George Labrum was sustained Presiding Elder with John L.
Butler and I. E. Thurber counselors. Lester Stott was sustained Sunday
School Superintendent with B. J. Bean and S. W. Worthington counselors.
Sunday School with Sacrament Meeting began to be held on a weekly basis.
In the fall of 1906, a meeting place was built on the property of John L.
Butler. Small and unfinished, it served as meeting house, school, and
community center for several years. It was called the Manard Hall.
Near the river a bowery was built and used whenever weather permitted.
There was a substantial number of members living in the community by this
time (complete records are not available, but estimates were between 300
and 400 persons). Early on there was talk of organizing a ward, but there
was no building until 1906, and it was small and unfinished. Most of the
physical and financial effort of the community was devoted to
construction of the dam and canals of the irrigation project.
Finally, a conference was held Saturday, July 20, 1907, in the bowery.
Pres. W. M. Jack, Morris Pedigrew, and Bishop George S. Harris were
visiting authorities. Slips of papers were passed out to members so that
they could suggest their preference for a new bishop.
Sunday, July 21,1907, the Manard Ward of the Cassia Stake was organized:

I. E. Thurber                                Bishop
John L. Butler                               1st Counselor
Harvey Dixon Jr.                       2nd Counselor

Relief Society:
Agnes B. Thurber                        President
Emma Labrum                       1st Counselor
Emily E. Dixon                          2nd Counselor

Sunday School:
Lester Stott                                  Superintendent
B. J. Bean                                    1st Assistant
E. W. Worthington                 2nd Assistant
Eva Butler                              Secretary
Ethel Jenkins                                 Assistant Secretary

Young Mens MIA:
D.J. Borup                                   President
Lewis Adams                            1st Counselor
Alfred Dixon                           2nd Counselor
J. A. Thurber                          Secretary

Young Womens MIA:
Olive Butler                                 President
Amatt Jenkins                          1st Counselor
Evaline Lee                                  2nd Counselor
Ora Bean                               Secretary

Adelia M. Adams                        President
Ellen Stott                                  1st Counselor
Blanche Jenkins                              2nd Counselor
Essie Lee                                    Secretary

Religion Class:
J. F. Dixon                                  President
Jane Butler                                  Secretary and Teacher

Ward Teachers:
George Labrum                          J. A. Thurber
Cart Borup                                   S. W. Worthington
J. H. Dixon                                  James Butler

Relief Society Teachers:
Susie Dixon                                  Caroline Borup
Bertha Butler                          Ora Bean
Mabel Butler.

From this time on, meetings were held weekly, Sunday School followed by
Sacrament meeting. MIA and Priesthood meetings were held during the week
at various times. Sometimes meetings were canceled for Stake Conference,
bad weather, epidemics of communicable diseases and special occasions.
Later, with the development of radio, Sunday meetings were canceled to
give all an opportunity to listen to General Conference.
In 1907 a great controversy arose over location of the Townsite. A sandy
ridge lay north of the river. It was slightly elevated and the sandy soil
was desirable because wet weather didn't turn it to mud. Most of the
physical facilities of Manard were located south of the river and many
thought that the town should be built there. According to the minutes of
the meeting, there was much discussion of the matter. In the Bowery, July
20, 1907, a vote was taken on four propositions:

19         voted for   proposition   #1
8          voted for   proposition   #2
21         voted for   proposition   #3
1          voted for   proposition   #4
4          said they   didn't care   one way or the other.

No mention is made of what the propositions were. Aug. 4, 1907, another
vote was taken. Twenty-two voted for the north side townsite. Twenty-five
voted for the south side. But this did not put the matter to rest. March
5, 1908, the Bishop Council Meeting appointed a committee to see the
State land agent about the possibility of securing a town site. Finally
in a Bishop's Council Meeting, April 19, 1908, it was decided that the
town site should be located on the sandy ridge north of the river. The
Bishopric was united in the decision and urged all to cooperate in the
development. A committee was appointed to secure possession of Sandy
Ridge and survey it for a townsite.
October 5, 1908, Harvey Dixon Jr. purchased the NE 1/4 of NW 1/4 of
School Section 36 Township 1 So. Range 14E of the Boise Meridian for
$1,000. H. L. Childs was engaged to plot it for a townsite.
The schoolhouse was one of the first buildings raised on the new
townsite. Jan. 17, 1910, contractor Charles Borup said he would have the
schoolhouse finished in two weeks.
Meetings were held in the old Manard Hall until the winter of 1910, when
it was moved to the new townsite and evidently sold for $125 to Mr.
Eaglus, who intended to start a mercantile establishment. An offer for
this amount was recorded, but the consummation of the deal was not. In
any event, no record of meetings in the old Manard Hall at the new town
site have been found. From Feb. 13, 1910, until Oct. 8, 1911, meetings
were held in the new schoolhouse. But someone evidently decided that
there should be a separation of church and state, and the Ward had no
meeting place until Dec. 30, 1911.
A tithing granary was built of stacked 2"x4" on an elevated concrete
foundation to facilitate loading and unloading materials. No partitions
were installed and some plans are recorded to hold meetings there, but no
minutes of meetings held there have been found.
The Camas County Courier, published July 1, 1911, states that material
was on site to start the New Manard Hall. It would measure 40' x 80' with
a hardwood floor and backboards for basketball.
All resources for construction were obtained locally. At this time,
Church Headquarters did not assist with building. Although it was not
complete, construction had progressed to the point that the first meeting
was held Dec. 30, 1911. From this time on it became the Religious, Civic
and Recreational Center of the community. It was made available for
musical programs, stage plays, dances, basketball games, elections, Twin
Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co. stock holder meetings, and any other
events of community interest. In 1913-14 school was held here while the
school house was being remodeled. The building project evidently consumed
the energy of the community to the
Manard Ward picture. (before 1916 - the Hall was painted white in 1916)
point that all forgot to record financing or construction details. No
record of workers involved, time spent, cost, source of materials, etc.
has been found. Pres. Wm. Jack mentioned the new building in a July 16,
1911 conference in the bowery and requested the privilege of dedicating
it, but no record has been found of a dedication.
Manard Hall was used in an unfinished state for a few years. Financial
problems were slowly resolved. Bishop Council Meetings refer to bank
notes, necessary repairs and maintenance. Janitor services were
contracted for $50 per year plus $1 per night for special events.
March 21,1913, an allotment was made for members to pay indebtedness of
the new building. May 11, 1913, it was announced that $1,600 was still
owed on the Manard Hall. Bishop's Council Meetings discussed plans to pay
interest on the note at the bank.
The membership of the ward was diminishing. John L. Butler announced that
he was leaving. I.
E. Thurber announced that he was leaving temporarily. Jan. 11, 1914, a
supper and a dance were announced to raise money to pay the interest at
the bank. Oct. 12, 1914, Bishop Council Meeting discussed building
repairs and completion of the basement. Nov. 23, 1919, Bishop James H.
Dixon announced that the ward owed $257 on the piano and $100 for the
cemetery lot. If each family would contribute $15 it would pay the debt.
Dec. 7, 1919, it was announced that the piano was paid for and only $15
was owing on the cemetery lot. Dec. 25, 1919, Bishop Dixon announced that
the ward was free of debt. Tithing in the amount of $99.50 had been
contributed for the year. He said that this was more tithing than had
been paid in any previous year and expressed gratitude to the members for
their financial support.

July 4, 1920, the Fairfield Branch was organized:

David K. Henry                            Branch President
Zara W. Pond                                    1st Counselor
Henry Cox                                       2nd Counselor
Fenton B. Leatham                 Clerk
Rufus K. Pond                             Sunday School Superintendent

There was considerable cooperation between Fairfield and Manard. The
following are typical examples. Mar. 17, 1921, a Relief Society Social
and a Ward Reunion were held. May 18, 1924,
Fairfield Branch held their conference in the Manard Hall. Jan. 18, 1926,
Manard members were invited to attend Fairfield for a social. Those
attending filled the Fairfield building. Afterward, ice-cream and cake
were served. A good time was had by all.
Sunday, June 17, 1928, a service was held at Wardrop Hot Springs.
Children from the ward and branch were baptized. Oct. 2, 1928, it was
announced that M.I.A. would be held in Fairfield supported by both ward
and branch. Nov. 4, 1928, the members of the Manard Ward voted to support
a movement to build a County High School in Fairfield.
Both ward and branch were small. The Manard Ward had only 88 members.
Fairfield had become the business center of the community. At a September
17, 1933 Sacrament Meeting of the Manard Ward there was discussion of
moving the Manard Hall to Fairfield. September 24 there was further
discussion of the matter.
On Nov. 19, 1933, a special meeting of Ward and Branch was called by
Stake President W. L. Adamson to be held in Manard Hall. All members of
the Stake Presidency were present: W. L. Adamson, Joseph Cooper, M.A.
Condie, and D. Edwin Adamson - Clerk. President Adamson explained the
purpose of the meeting. A proposal had been made to disorganize the ward
and branch.
After a brief discussion it was proposed that Manard Ward be
disorganized. This was approved. It was proposed that Fairfield Branch be
disorganized. This was approved. It was proposed that a new Ward be
organized to be called the Fairfield Ward. This was also approved. It was
proposed that Z.W. Pond be sustained as Bishop with James H. Dixon as 1st
Counselor, William J. Packham as 2nd Counselor and Peter Neeley as Clerk.
This was approved. Following this business, the new Bishopric and Stake
Presidency spoke briefly, and Manard Ward was history.
Very shortly the Manard Hall was moved to Fairfield. It was re-finished,
remodeled and served for over 50 years as a Church and entertainment
center in Fairfield.

Priesthood Roll 1918-1922 Manard

           Thurber, Leroy
High Priest:
           Nielson, E. Ferman
Dixon, Harvey
      Larson, A.F.
Butler, John L.
      Thomas, Dewey A.
Thurber, Joseph H.
      Packham, George Dewey
Naser, Rudolph                             Ward Officers:
Metcalf, Levi Gregg                              Bishop:
Harvey Dixon
Borup, Carl                                                1st
Counselor: Kenyon T. Butler
Butler, Kenyon T.                                   2nd
Counselor: Joshua A. Thurber
Thurber, Joshua A.                                         Ward
Clerk: John F. Dixon
Packham, John                                       Ward
Chorister: B.J. Bean
Bean, Burton J.
      Statistical Record of Soldier
Packham, William J.
      Branch 1906
Borup, William J.                     Birth:
Butler, Horace C.
Thurber, Joshua A.                         Oct. 19, 1878
            Labrum, Henry George
Dixon, John F.                             Oct. 4, 1878
            Labrum, Sarah Emma
Dixon, James H.                       Jan. 1, 1896
      Labrum, Lesley Glen
Dixon, Riley L.                            Dec. 23, 1878
            Labrum, Eva
Dixon, Bailey A.                      Dec. 23, 1878
      Labrum, Elva
Lee, Hyrum B.                              Sept. 29, 1878
            Labrum, Mary Levon
Adams, Lewis A.
            Labrum, Zina Mabel
Ferguson, Robert B.
            (Blessed Nov. 3, 1901)
Robinson, John L.                     May 15, 187
      Labrum, John Chas.
Nielson, Oliver C.                         Nov. 4,1978
      Labrum, Mary Alvie Bennat
Butler, Kenion T.                     July, 2, 197
      Labrum, Venoy D.
Thurber, Mathew V.
            Naser, Rudolph C.
Lee, Hyrum D.                              Dec. 7, 1878
            Stott, Lester Wm.
Dixon, Riley G.                       April 17, 1878
      Stott, Ellen Stewart
Dixon, Phylemon A.                                  Oct. 30, 188
      Stott, Sarah Jeanie
Toone, Richard C.
            Stott, Phedonia
Goold, William
                  (Blessed Dec. 1899)
Borup, Philip P.                                    May 16, 1902
      Stott, Wm. Stewart
Kent, Madison C.                                    Feb. 1, 1904
      Stott, Alger Sarile
Borup, Bengeman F.
            (Blessed June 5, 1904)
Borup, Henry J.                                     June 27, 187
      Stott, Hyrum W.
McClure, James B.                                   Mar. 14, 1881
      Mary Ester Ross
Priests:                                                             Feb.
1, 189            Stott, Leland H.
Butler, Leland T.                                         July 28, 1892
            Stott, Roscoe W.
                              Booth, Emett
Nielson, Ivan                                             Jan. 30, 1884
            Jenkins, Jos. H.
Ferguson, James H.                                  Oct. 3, 1866
      Stott, George A.
Thurber, Jessie K.                                        June 15, 1872
            Stott, Alice Jane Labrum
Sant, William                                             Mar. 4, 1893
            Stott, George Arin
Aasa, Frithof                                             Oct. 18, 1895
            Stott, Bertren L.
Lee, Harvey I.                                            Dec. 5, 1897
            Stott, Leroy
Pachham, Alfred Walter                              April 6, 1875
      Elsworth, Matilda Ann
Deacons:                                                             Dec.
19, 1895          Elsworth, Mariel Alene
Nielson, Elmer                                            June 9, 1899
            Elsworth, Miston Dixie
Naser, Rudolph                                            Oct. 3, 1900
            Elsworth, Edna Elizabeth
Lee, Roy                                                  July 21, 1902
            Elsworth, Edria Alice
Dixon, Samuel W.                                    Aug. 6,1904
      Elsworth Florine
Price, John H.
Aug. 21, 1906     Elsworth, John Ephrim                   May 10, 1890
      Butler, Kenyon Taylor
Elsworth, W. Henry                       Sept. 17, 1866   Ferguson, Robert
Jan 6, 1877             Walker, Millie E. Marshall              Mar.
8,1856            Ferguson, Martha
Mar. 23, 1895     Walker, Ellen                        Aug. 20, 1885
      Ferguson, Malissa
Oct. 2, 1896            Walker, Parley                       May 8,1888
            Ferguson, Jos. A.
Aug. 10, 1898     Walker, Annie                        Mar. 4,1853
            Butler, Nancy F.
Sept. 18, 1900    Walker, Violet Lilly Marshall   Feb. 6, 1883
      Butler, Horace Calvin
Dec. 9, 1892            Butler, Eva
Sept. 18, 1900    Walker, Thini Jenard Marshall   Mar. 21, 1897
      Butler, Leland T.
Sept 18, 1900     Blanchard, Annie                     June 23, 1876
      Butler, Jas. A.
Oct. 10, 1899     Blanchard, Otis Glen                 Sept. 23, 1882
      Butler, Mable Allen
Nov. 3,1856             Stanfield, Heber Chas.
                        Butler, Gwen
Aug. 13, 1860     Stanfield, Elizabeth Leard
                  Butler, Verna
Nov. 20, 1880     Stanfield, Wm. Henry
                  Beckman, Albert
Feb. 21, 1880     Stanfield, Emily Elizabeth           Dec. 5, 1881
            Borup, Daniel J.
June 11, 1887     Stanfield, Myrtle                    Mar. 19, 1888
      Borup, Mionnie J.
Nov. 4, 1887            Stanfield, Winifred                  Mar.
5,1906            Borup, Anna
Jan 31, 1859            Taylor, Luman G.                     Dec. 2,
1871              Bean, Burton J.
Dec. 7, 1863            Taylor, Sarah Louisa                 Nov. 11,
1879        Bean, Ora B.
April 20, 1831    Taylor, Stella                       Aug. 30, 1884
      Dixon, Sarah E.
Feb 8, 1883             Taylor, Arta Missia                  May 18,
1886        Thurber, Joshua A.
Nov. 4, 1884            Taylor Mary Ann                      Oct. 21,
1874        Thurber, Isaac E.
May 3,1886              Taylor, Lehon                        Dec. 2,
1880              Thurber, Caroline
Sept. 17, 1887    Taylor, Lydia Amanda                 July 21, 1906
      Thurber, Waldo A.
July 12, 1889     Taylor, Dora                               Nov.
7,1904            Thurber, Helen
Mar. 22, 1891     Taylor, Luman Green             Oct. 20, 1876
      Robinson, John L.
Feb. 2, 1893            Taylor, Esra
                              Sant, Edgar
Mar. 29, 1898     Taylor, Maizette
                  (Bap. Aug. 5, 1806)
June 29, 1900     Taylor, Riley Howell                 Sept. 29, 1850
      Borup, Carl
June 7,1869       Broadhurst, James                    April 1, 1852
      Borup, Caralina
Feb. 5, 1868            Ashton, Alfred                          Dec. 17,
1883        Borup, Philip Peter
Feb. 26, 1875     Ashton, Margaretta                      Mar. 2,1888
            Borup, William Thomas
Mar. 23, 1893     Ashton, Pearl May                       Mar. 14, 1891
      Borup, Brigham F.
Jan. 16, 1896     Ashton, Mary Cleyo                      Oct. 31,1894
            Henry, Julius
Aug. 16, 1897     Ashton, Clyde
                        Worthington, Samel
Feb. 5, 1900            Ashton, Elizabeth Emily
                  Worthington, Margret
June 5, 1869            Ashton, Joseph
                              Worthington, Gladys
Dec. 15, 1827     Anderson, Olaf
                        (Bap. Aug. 4, 1907)
Mar. 2, 1878            Gibson, Andrew Jackson            Nov. 2,1882
            Dixon, Laurena
Sept. 19, 1873    Rich, Samuel J.
                  (Bap. June 4, 1883)
Dec. 1, 1878            Rich, Paulina                           Feb.
17,1900     Paulson, Alma Theador
Mar. 26, 1895     Rich, Iva Inez                          Nov. 29, 1883
      Nielson, Oliver Charles
July 21, 18898    Rich, Sarah Ethel                       June 10, 1880
      Thurber, Dora
Aug. 18, 1900     Rich, Vera                                    Feb. 25,
1859        Jenkins, Henry S.
Shaffer, Alice Florence                  Feb. 19, 1858    Jenkins, Emily
Oct. 24, 1895     Shaffer, William Alexander              Feb. 13, 1880
      Jenkins, E. Amatt
May 26, 1897      Shaffer, Slyde Erastus                  Feb. 5, 1882
            Jenkins, Virginia
Aug. 18, 1900     Shaffer, Maud Aneta               Jan 30,1884
      Jenkins, Lois
Apr. 30, 1827     Dix, Owan Chas.                         Mar. 13, 1886
      Jenkins, Janet
Dec. 29, 1827     Sissiam, Willard Joseph
            Kersey, Jas.
July 15, 1884     Sissiam, Alice Ellen
                  Kersey, Sarah J.
Jan. 26, 1885     Butler, Olive
                        Kersey, Ethel Thoda
Feb. 22, 1885     Butler, Jane                                  April 26,
1906        Kersey, Clor Eldred
Relief Society
Clifton R. Dixon

Research for Manard history has been a rich and rewarding experience. But
none has been as moving as the minutes of the Relief Society. The Relief
Society was organized in the Soldier Branch of Cassia Stake July 19,

Kittie E. Dixon                              President
Emma Labrum                            First Counselor
Emma Thompson                                Second Counselor
Alice E. Lee                                       Secretary/treasurer


Susan E. Dixon                                  Adelia M. Adams
Sis. H. L. Jenkins                                    Ellen Stott
Elizabeth Jenkins

New names appear in the minutes as they attended meetings. Sometimes they
were formally accepted as members, sometimes they were not.

Ada M. Sant                                     Jane Kerse
Martha Hoffman                                  Matilda Ellsworth
Eveline Lee                                     Sabra Dixon
Eva Dixon                                       Elsie Dixon

Also attending were:

Mrs. Holstrom
Mrs. Olsen
Mrs. Jefferies

They may not have been members of the Church.

Some members lived at Fir Grove, 14 miles south of Soldier. There were no
roads or bridges.

Travel was by team and buggy or sleigh. They followed wagon trails over
foot hills, through canyons, across streams and prairie to attend
meetings. A roll of members has not been found but according to minutes
of meetings, the following were present. April 7, 1904, two officers, two
members and four visitors. March 5, 1904, one officer, five members and
six visitors.
They met monthly at first. Their first instructions were given by Lovina
Bates, counselor in the Stake Relief Society. The subject was preparing
and dressing the dead for burial and the importance of having clothing on
hand for this purpose. (It is assumed that clothing meant white material
that could quickly be made into clothing of proper size and type). They
assessed each member 10 cents a month to provide funds for this purpose.
Attendance averaged about six or eight members. Meeting programs were
similar to those which are followed today; music, prayer, and
instructions with occasional testimony's. The following are lesson titles
mentioned in the minutes of meetings. Evidently an outline of lectures
was used. Minutes of meetings record title of lesson and sometimes the
number, but it was not possible to correlate completely:

Lecture #9                                            Home
Lecture #10                                     Moral Development
Lecture #11                                         Courtship and

Lessons or lectures without numbers included:
Child Culture                                                   Talks with
Plain Talk to Boys                                              Church
Kindness                                                        Word of
Child Culture (Intellectual)                        Home Making
What Women Should Know                        Wisdom
Educational problems                                      Virtue
      Educational Problems
Ancient Education                                         Discipline and
Obedience                                                 Reverence
Charity and Love                                          Temperance
Moral Development                                         Marriage
Courtship and Marriage                              Sin of Destroying
Responsibility of Motherhood                  Environment
Training and Rearing Children                       Bad Environment
Obedience to Call of Priesthood                     Mothers of Men
Evil Influence on Children                          As You Sow So Shall
Ye Reap

Formal lessons were usually followed by question and answer periods.
Singing the songs of Zion was always a part of the program. The records
clearly reflect the early members' concern for each other, the Church,
and the community at large. And their dedication to compassionate service
came across loud and clear.
Work meetings were held to make quilts for sale to raise money. They paid
for a subscription of the Exponant for the Branch.
For some time meetings were held in members homes in Soldier. But as the
interest of the Mormon Community turned to the Twin Lakes Irrigation
Project, they followed the flow and meetings were held at the damsite, in
members homes at Manard and in the original Manard Hall.
Relief Society records ended for a time with the August meeting in 1904.
September 4, 1904, Elsie Dixon, 14 year old daughter of Kittie, died from
complications of appendicitis. The writer believes that the stress and
turmoil of this event was responsible for the interruption.
Sept. 6, 1906 a meeting was held with Emma Labrum, 1st counselor,
presiding. Those attending were:
Ora Bean                                                       Mrs. W. F.
Bertha Butler                                                  Nancy F.
Mable Butler                                                   Carrie
Agnes B. Thurber                                         Emily S. Dixon
Ellen Stott                                                    Elizabeth
October 4, 1906, a meeting was held in the dining tent at the damsite.
Relief Society activities resumed. Meetings were held in the Manard area
from this point on, at the damsite, in members homes, or in the original
Manard Hall which was built in 1906.
July 21, 1907, Manard Ward was organized with I. E. Thurber as Bishop.
The Relief Society was also reorganized:

Agnes B. Thurber                                           President
Emma Labrum                                          1st Counselor
Emily S. Dixon                                             2nd Counselor
Caroline B. Thurber                                        Secretary
Emily S. Jenkins                                           Treasurer

Visiting Teachers:

Susan E. Dixon                                            Bertha M. Butler
Mable Butler                                                    Caroline
Ora B. Bean

By the end of 1907, other visiting teachers were appointed:

M. F. Butler                                      Adah M. Sant
Alice E. Lee                                      Ada G. Butler
Adelaid M. Adams                       Addie Robertson

Relief Society meetings were more or less routine, but the writer inserts
the following statistics (which are not complete) and other items which
have a flavor of their own. Visiting teachers were instructed to
encourage sisters to join the Relief Society to build up membership.

Annual Report 1907

Meetings Held                                8
Total Enrollment                             18
Average Attendance                           7-8
Cash Receipts                                        $12.95
Cash on hand                                         $18.10
Merchandise on hand                          $1.40

They reported that there were no poor in the Ward. (The writer thought
they were all poor).
April 2, 1908, to raise money for Relief Society, sisters decided to
donate their Sunday eggs. Emma Labrum was appointed to receive and care
for the eggs.
Stake Relief Society 2nd Counselor, Rachel Clark, encouraged members to
store grain. This was the beginning of the grain storage of the Relief
Society that continued for many years.

1908 Statistical Report
Members                                              20
Meetings                                               11
Average Attendance                               7 plus

Cash             On Hand                 Recvd              Disb.
      On Hand
$18.10                      $43.43                    $29.05
Merc.            $1.40                           $ 7.10             $
.25              $ 8.25

July 12, 1908, Pres. Agnes B. Thurber, delivered a talk against "killing
the unborn."

1909 Statistical Report
Members                                                22
Meetings                                               8
Average Attendance                               8 plus

Cash             On Hand                 Recvd              Disb.
      On Hand
$32.50                      $40.45                    $30.30
Merc.                                         $8.24            $ 7.25
                 $ 1.05
$22.50 was paid for a city lot. (They must have anticipated a building of
their own.)

Tax rolls show that Lot 6 in Block 5 was owned by the L.D.S. Church.
Since several members lived at Fir Grove, occasionally meetings were held
there in the home of Sis. Kittie Dixon.
Membership increased gradually, but Relief Society was not large nor well
attended at this time. Meetings were now to be held twice a month.
Average attendance was about 7.

Records show that at the end of 1912:

1907       Relief Society had on   hand          $19.50
1908       Relief Society had on   hand          $40.75
1908       Relief Society had on   hand          $42.65
The statistical report from 1912   showed:

Members:                                                       29
Meetings held:                                           11
Beginning Cash                                           $67.35
Received                                                       $63.70
Disbursed                                                      $85.25
On Hand end of year                                      $45.00
Material for temple aprons                         $2.88
Lace                                                           $ .25
8 lbs. of rags                                                 $ .80
End of 1913      Cash on hand                            $39.85
Above is all of the financial information recorded at that time.
The minutes of the meeting held December 7, 1911 expressed rejoicing for
the completion of the new Assembly Hall.
In 1914 the Relief Society began to hold weekly meetings as much as
possible when weather, epidemics of communicable diseases, and special
occasions did not interfere. The New Assembly Hall was available and the
Relief Society became increasingly important to the Church Program.
Bazaars, quiltings, and dinners were material assistance in fund raising
to lift the burden of debt that continued for several years.
An outing in Little Deer Creek Canyon with the Primary Children is
In October 1919, the sisters instigated a project for the brethren to
provide playground equipment at the school. Details are noted in the
section on schools.
During 1920, they sponsored meetings on nutrition and health for the
school children. October 27, 1920, $77.68 was collected from 134 members
for the Arizona Temple.
December 2, 1923, was Golden Rule Sunday for relief of children in the
Near East. $22.90 was contributed.
From now on the Relief Society assumed the role familiar today; a broad
spectrum of cultural development, homemaking instructions for members and
families, and always the sacred tradition of compassionate service.

Manard Amusement Hall
Clifton Dixon

A Bishops Council Meeting, held April 19, 1908, decided that the new
townsite should be north of the river. No meetings were held in the old
Manard Hall in December 1909 because it was too open and cold. The new
Schoolhouse had been built on the new townsite, and it was proposed that
they make arrangements to meet there. The Bishopric was not in favor of
this at first, so arrangements were made to move the Manard Hall to the
new townsite and make some improvements. Lewis Adams was to take charge
of the task.
It is not clear when the move took place. Offers were made to buy the
building, and Wm. Wray offered $125.00. A Mr. Eaglus also offered to buy
it for a commercial building. During the winter when the ground and river
were frozen, the old Manard Hall was moved to the new townsite. No record
has been found of its sale, but it was not used for meetings at the new
location. It finally became part of the Manard Mercantile building.
On February 13, 1910, Church Meetings began to be held in the new
Schoolhouse. A new meeting house was mentioned in Bishop Council Meetings
occasionally. At this time the central Church did not participate in the
planning or building of meeting houses. All resources would have to be
generated locally. Scattered accounts of progress on the building leave
many details untold. No doubt local materials were used, because several
saw mills were operating in the canyons north of the Prairie. But the
finished lumber was probably hauled from Gooding. There are only
scattered accounts of people involved. No blueprints or plans, no record
of hours spent in construction, no inventory or cost of materials.
Except as noted, the following news items are from the Camas Prairie
Courier as it followed the progress of the project. March 23, 1911, under
Manard Items; plans are underway for an amusement hall. March 30, 1911- A
$40.00 house saw the "Deacon", a comedy produced by the Manard Commedy
Company. Proceeds would go toward a New Recreation Hall. June 15, 1911- a
finance committee reported that enough finances were on hand to begin the
new building and construction would start as soon as materials could be
purchased. July 16, 1911 - R. L. Dixon, assisted by O. Osaa, is about to
start the new Manard Hall. Minutes of the Conference held in the Bowery
July 16, 1911, mentioned that President William T. Jack talked about the
new Hall and requested the privilege of dedicating it. It was also
announced that there would be no July 24th celebration at Manard.
July 20, 1911, five men are digging a 20' x 40' basement for the New
Hall. Vern Thurber was hauling wheat to Gooding and would bring cement
for the new building on return. August 17, 1911, Fred Dixon returned from
Gooding with a load of lumber for the New Hall. August 24, 1911, lumber
was pouring into Manard for the Hall and private buildings. August 31,
1911, R. L. Dixon went to Gooding to purchase supplies for the Manard
Mercantile and the New Hall. November 30, 1911, Mouser and Bahr have
taken a contract to shingle the Hall, and John L. Butler has been placed
in charge of the Hall to rush to completion.
December 7, 1911, the first floor of the New Hall is being laid. December
14, 1911, interior siding and maple floor is being installed. December
28.1911, the Christmas party was a huge success - more than 250 people
were served supper, $160.00 was raised from the dance and supper. March
29, 1912, the stage of the New Manard Hall has just been completed, and
the community is to be congratulated for this enterprise. "It would be a
credit to a community of 10,000 people." (quote from the Courier).
The year of 1911 was a time of feverish activity at Manard and on the
Prairie. There was a bumper crop of grain. The railroad from Richfield to
Hill City was under construction. Several L.D.S. Church members had
grading contracts with the railroad. Several homes were under
construction in Manard. The Manard Mercantile was being established.
There was great optimism.
The "Settlers Day Celebration" at Soldier in 1911 was the largest ever.
It was estimated that there were between 3000 and 4000 people in
attendance. The Manard Brass Band was the first on the Prairie and
appeared in the parade. It seems that a series of events may have
resulted in the New Amusement Hall in Manard being finished ahead of
Church Meetings were being held in the School House. In early fall R. L.
Dixon left to go to school at Oakley. The Church was building a tithing
granary. Members were involved in other building projects and railroad
contracts. It has not been possible to determine the progress of
construction of the New Hall but it would appear that at this time there
was no great hurry to finish.
It is hard to imagine that R.L. Dixon would leave, passing up the
excitement of finishing the new building, But someone decided that there
should be a separation of Church and State and the School House was no
longer available for meetings. October 8, 1911 was the last Church
meeting held in the school.
The tithing granary was soon finished, and no partitions were put in,
because they considered using it for meetings. But it was small and had
no windows. As the summer activities ended more labor became available,
so at some point and time they decided to go for it.
The population of the community was near an all time high. Accurate
figures are not available but estimates were 300 to 400 people living
there. There were about 90 pupils in the Manard School.
In late November John L. Butler III was put in charge to rush the Hall to
completion. They must have had a large crew. Flooring, interior siding
and shingling were going on at the same time. Finishing the Hall to a
point that it could be used for the Christmas party was the goal. The
achievement was a monument to their effort and ingenuity.

Advertised Outline of the Christmas Program.

December 25, 1911- 7:30 p.m. by the Manard Choir
Prayer by Joseph Thurber
Song by Primary - Mrs. Ora Bean Conducted
Welcome Address - Bishop Thurber 10 minutes
Music by the Manard Band - Grand March - 9:00 P.M.
The Amusement Committee will present the following program during the
intermission of the dance.
Song by Lewis Adams and Company
Recitation by Edna Thurber
Song by Professor J.R. Price
Song by Alice Smith
Supper will be served at 11 :30 P.M. in the basement
General Committee in Charge.
Mrs. A.M. Adams- Chairperson
Mrs. Emily Labrum
Mrs. Jennie Wray
Everyone is invited.

Church services were held in the New Manard Hall December 30, 1911.

The basketball season started at once. Several games between Manard and
Soldier are recorded by the Camas Prairie Courier.

Friday                                         the score 14 - 9 Soldier
Monday                                 the score 10 - 7 Manard won
Friday                                       the score 19 - 11 Soldier
Monday                                 the score 16 - 13 Manard won
Jan 25                                       the score 14 - 4 Soldier
Feb 8                                  the score 14 - 4 Soldier won -
Manard minus 3 players
Young Ladies                           the score 5 - 2 Soldier won

The new Manard Amusement Hall was a great success. In its time and place
it was impressive. It measured 80' x 40' with a stage overa 20' x 40'
basement. It had a vaulted ceiling and maple dance floor unequaled in the
county. Five windows opened on each side of the building, and two windows
were on each side of the stage. The exterior was covered by drop siding,
and the interior was lined with 3/4 " tongue and groove, or shiplap
lumber. Six or eight steps on the east led up to a covered entrance with
conventional double exterior doors and double interior swinging doors. An
outside door opened on each side of the hall near the stage. A staircase
went down into the basement on the north side, and steps lead up on to
the stage on both sides. The basement had a covered entrance on the
south. A coal burning stove on each side warmed the Hall in the cold

Originally it was lighted by pressurized gasoline lamps. In 1931 a
gasoline powered electric generator was installed for lighting. This was
a great improvement over the old lamps. The Presiding Bishops Office
furnished matching funds in the amount of 50% for this project and
evidently also issued an order for $90 to be deducted from the tithing
fund when the bank closure took funds intended to finish paying for the
A large two bay coal and wood shed was built to the north. A crude
outdoor bath was nearby. The basement was used in an unfinished state for
some time. Since the ward was small in 1921, it was decided to finish the
basement so it could be used for meetings in cold weather. Soon after
that, a net wire fence was built around it to keep the livestock away.
The Hall was painted white after a few years, and the shingles were
stained green. The New Manard Recreation Hall soon became the religious,
civic, and recreational center of the community. It was made available
for musical programs, stage plays, dances, basketball games, recreational
facility for school children, elections, Twin Lakes Reservoir and
Irrigation Co. Stockholders meetings, and any other events of community
interest. In 1913 - 1914 School was held here while the school house was
being remodeled. Janitorial Services were contracted for $ 50.00 per year
plus $1.00 per night for special events.
The vaulted ceiling was supported by bridge like trusses of native lumber
unlike any other structure in the community. Many wondered at the
ingenuity and craftsmanship of this part of the building.
At this point the writer can't refrain from a little speculation. My
father, R. L. Dixon is credited with being the chief builder of the
Manard Hall. I have no desire to diminish his talents or skills, but at
this point, his experience in building was somewhat limited. His
occupation had been mainly farming, livestock raising, and stage driving.
He had attended B.Y.U. Academy at Logan, Utah, and probably received some
training in woodworking. The family had built a home for his mother in
Manard to a point that it was livable, but it was not finished at this
His account of building the Manard Hall is noteworthy mainly for the
error in time. He remembered it was built in 1909, actually it was 1911.
He did not record anything about O. Osaa. From time to time, father
mentioned him in casual conversation. I remember the name as Ole Olson.
O. Osaa appeared in print in the Camas Prairie Courier a few times, in
connection with building the Manard Hall, so I assume that the printed
name and the name remembered are one and the same person.
Father had a great deal of respect for Ole Osaa. If I remember correctly,
he said that he was a master carpenter, trained in the old country.
Sometimes when we were doing carpenter work he would mention some trick
of the trade that he'd learned from the old master. He acknowledged that
working with him was a kind of apprenticeship. Occasionally he quoted
bits of wit and wisdom he learned from Ole Osaa as they worked together.
I assume that Ole Osaa was the designer and chief craftsman of the Manard
Recreation Hall. The people of Manard and vicinity may have been very
fortunate to have such talent come along at this time. Documentation is
not complete in this matter. I hope I have not wandered too far from the
Upon consolidation of the Manard Ward and Fairfield Branch of the Church,
Manard Recreation Hall was moved to Fairfield. Following extensive
remodeling and the retirement of the debt associated with this work, it
was finally dedicated in September 1963 by Elder Henry D. Taylor of the
Seventy. It became a center of Church and Community recreational
activities in Fairfield for over fifty years.

Manard Hall on the move.
Manard School
Clifton Dixon

Unfortunately the records of the Manard School District were lost.
Information here comes from interviews with those who were there,
personal knowledge, and community traditions with occasional
collaboration from newspaper articles from the Camas Prairie Courier,
personal histories, and minutes of Church and Twin Lakes Reservoir Co.
According to Caroline Butler Thurber personal history, the first school
in Manard (at that time Wynona) was held 1905-1906 in George Labrum's
granary. The teacher was Harry McAdams. In 1906, the first Manard Hall
was built. It was used for school, church, recreation, and other
community activities. Caroline remembers four more teachers who taught
here. May Griswold, Mamie Leek, Sybil Wood, and Roy Laird. This writer
has not been able to determine term or sequence of their service.
April 23, 1908, a school board was elected; S. W. Worthington for a three
year term, Emma Labrum, a two year term, John L. Butler for a one year
term. John L. Butler was also a hold over from some other school board.
September 23, 1908, Manard School District #34 advertised 10 year bonds
for sale in the amount of $1,375 to build a school house. Bonds were 10
year term, 6% interest. This would be one of the first buildings on the
new Manard townsite. Voters also approved a 2 mil. levee for the school.
Lots 1 through 5 block 6 became school property. January 13, 1909, Camas
Prairie Courier reported that contractor Charles Borup would have the new
school ready in two weeks. Mrs. Sybil Wood would teach.
At this time the population of the community was quite large. Pupils
remember that more than ninety children attended the one room school. In
an attempt to cope, a partition was built dividing the room in two.
Although it involved another teacher, you can't help but wonder if this
really helped.
Then on August 6, 1914, it was reported that Bailey A. and Riley L. Dixon
had contracted to remodel the school. Another classroom the size of the
original, was built to the east, and a library was added south of the new
addition. The partition was removed from the original part leaving two
class rooms of similar size. The new addition was called the "big room"
and the original part became the "little room" because the little room
was for the little people grades 1-4. The big room was for grades 5-8.
While remodeling, school was held for a time in the new Manard Assembly
Hall. Victor LaVelle was the teacher, Miss Elva Barrett was also engaged
to teach in the new two room school.
It is possible that remodeling was done in two stages. The big room
August-October in 1914, the library some time later. The Camas Prairie
Courier reported September 14, 1916, that Bailey and Lyman Dixon were
laying a new floor in the school. Students remember work on the library
going on about this time. Included in the school house were indoor
comfort stations. They were without running water and had problems that
caused them to be abandoned for the outdoor facilities, common in that
time. The finished School House was quite impressive. Exact dimensions
are unknown, but estimate was about 24 X 50 feet. It was 10 feet to the
square and framed with native lumber 2x6 studding in the walls. Windows
to the classrooms were on the north. Drop siding covered the exterior.
The interior was lath and plaster. Each room was heated by a large coal
stove. The floors were edge grain fir liberally oiled to settle the dust.
It had a nice belfry with a flagstaff on top.
In October 1919, minutes of a Relief Society meeting record a discussion
of playground equipment for the school. Very shortly material and labor
assignments were made to the brethren of the Church. Playground equipment
consisted of two basketball backboards, three swings, two horizontal
bars, two teeter-totters, and a giant-stride. The giant-stride was a
wagon hub and wheel mounted on top of a substantial post about twelve
feet high. About a half a dozen chains attached to the rim of the wheel,
dropped to a six or eight inch steel rings. The rings were about five
feet above the ground. Grasping the rings, the children would circle the
pole, running faster and faster until their feet left the ground. It was
great fun! All playground equipment was mounted on untreated posts set in
the ground. Eventually timbers began to decay, and they had to be taken
down before they became a hazard.
There was a coal and wood shed, a horse shed was also built to protect
student transportation. There were three or four double stalls for teams,
and a like number of single stalls for riding horses. This shed was open
to the south but provided shelter from storm and wind.
In 1928, a Teacherage was built by Riley L. Dixon. If the writer's memory
is correct, the contract price was $999.00. It was frame construction
with drop siding on the outside and Celotex on the interior. It had an
edge-grain fir floor and cedar shingle roof. It was about 20' by 20'
divided into a cloak room, living room, bedroom, and kitchen. The lumber
yard at Fairfield was troubled financially, but had on hand sufficient
clear lumber for the project. They offered it at a price that allowed the
contractor to use lumber free of knots throughout the building, which was
very unusual. This project provided off the farm labor for the family for
a long hot summer. This is the school
remembered by the writer. It served for about twenty-five years until
consolidation consumed the rural schools of Camas County.
Following its use as a school, the main building was purchased by Harold
Lee who used it for a farm shop for a time. It was then dismantled by Don
Cox to take it off the tax rolls. The Teacherage was moved to Fairfield
where it was used for a time as living quarters for teachers of the
Consolidated School. Then it was sold to a private party.

Teachers of the Manard School District:

1909                  Miss Hershey
1910                  Miss Woods
1911                  Miss Croner
1912                  Ben Higgs
1913   - 14           Elva Barrett and Victor La Velle
1915   - 16           Elva Barrett and Nelson Higgs
1917                  Elva Barrett Olson and Joseph E. Helm
1918                  Wanda Huntsberry and Joseph Wasson
1919                  Angie Durfee and Zelma Lamore
1920                  Fae Gaffney and Joseph E. Helm
1921                  Norma Wald and Angie Durfee
1922                  Pearl Jorgenson and Constance McAlister
1923   - 24           Elsie Dodge and Vergie Parker
1925                  Elsie Dodge and Elizabeth Moore
1926                  Gladys Butler and Ruth Butler
1927                  Ruth Butler and Lyman Calder
1928                  Lyman Calder and Betty Howard
1929                  Vada Horne and Franklin Bovey
1930   - 31           Gladys Hall and Lucia Paladin
1932   - 33           Wanda Bennett and Florence Winneford
1934   -   35   Loree Vandiver
1936   -   37   Combined with Fairfield
1939   -   40   Eunice Potter
1941   -   42   Francis Miller
1943            Betty Johanson and Clarice Frostenson
1944            Phyllis Hall
1945            Gladys Hall Frostenson and Elizabeth Fitch Day
1946            Helen Garrett and Gladys H. Frostenson
1947            Combined with Fairfield
1948            Consolidated with Fairfield
Manard Townsite
Clifton Dixon

It was the intent of the writer to identify buildings existing on the
townsite, and tell what became of them. This is his best effort. In 1908
Harvey Dixon, Jr. purchased NE 1/4 NW 1/4 School Sec. 36 T 1 So. R 14 E
of Boise Meridian. Although the original deed was to Harvey Dixon, this
was not a private development venture. He had been asked by the Bishopric
to secure the property. According to the Camas Prairie Courier, November
7, 1910, Manard Townsite Company had received a patent to forty acres of
School Section number 36. December 8,1910, the Courier announced that
deeds had been issued to 100 lots in the townsite. The townsite was part
of a sandy knoll which lay east of Soldier Creek along the Northside
Canal. Its elevation was such that it was not watered by Twin Lakes
Reservoir system, but land surrounding it on all sides was irrigated from
this source. It was platted by H. L. Childs in 1908. Joshua Thurber says
that he assisted in this work.
Wm. Wray leased forty acres of State Land west of Manard Townsite, and
built a home and farm buildings there. The home was frame construction, a
fairly comfortable house. It was not found on tax rolls, so we have no
estimate of value. It was moved from the original location, 100 yards
north, to the point near the end of Center Street, of Manard Townsite.
Bailey Dixon owned it for a time. It was then purchased by Henry Cox, and
was home to him and his family after his death until 1940, when it was
sold to Bud Prock, and moved to Soldier where it still stands. The
exterior was finished, but it was not occupied.
On March 4, 1915, the Camas Prairie Courier reported that John F. Dixon
(Fred) had moved his home from Fir Grove to lot G block 9 in Manard, last
week. An addition was built on to it, and it was the family home until
1918. It was assessed at $200.00. In 1918 the original house was moved to
Shoestring south of Gooding. The roof and floors were divided and loaded
on wagons. The walls were separated by sawing down the comers and hauled
to the new location, then reassembled on their farm at Shoestring, where
it stood for more than seventy years.
Hyrum D. Lee acquired the remaining building and built an addition to
replace the part taken to the lower country. This was home to his family
until it burned in 1924.
On February 1, 1912, the paper reported that Bill Tyke of Fir Grove was
building a blacksmith shop in Manard on lot 1 block 9. It was assessed at
$100.00. They also reported that he was very busy. In December 1914, it
was reported that he sold the business to Joseph Thurber and James
Butler. November 9, 1916, James Butler sold his interest to Uncle Joe
Thurber who operated it until the Manard Hall was moved in 1933. A year
or two later his son Albert Thurber dismantled the building and used the
materials to build a shop in Fairfield.
In 1911 a tithing building was built by the Church on lot 4 block 1 in
Manard. It was not taxable, so there was not assessed value recorded. It
was on an elevated foundation to accommodate loading from wagons,
constructed of stacked 2x4 about 16'x24'. No partitions were installed.
At this time the Church had no meeting place, and it was thought that it
might have been used for this purpose, but there is no evidence found
that a meeting was ever held there. When tithing in-kind went out of
fashion, it was seldom used. May 13, 1927, the Bishop Council meeting
decided to sell it to the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co. for
tool storage. In 1935 a wild fire from a field nearby destroyed it.
Agnes B. Thurber owned a house on Lot 9 Block 6 in Manard, assessed value
$150.00. It was a sturdy frame house with a small upstairs. Due to ill
health she did not live there very long after her son I. E. Thurber left
Manard. It was used as a rental until 1933 when Joshua A. Thurber, her
son, dismantled it and took it to Gooding where he used it in building
A home was built for Susan Dixon on Lot 4 Block 5 in Manard by her
family, assessed value being $500.00. After her death it was used by her
daughter Elva (Dot) for a time. It was also used as a rental until about
1920. It was then sold to Hugo Olson who moved it to his farm a mile to
the east. In 1944 a fire in a nearby shop spread to the house, and it was
Kittie Dixon owned a similar house at Fir Grove. It had been unoccupied
for several years, but it was purchased and moved to the location of
Susan's house on the Olson farm. After a few years it was struck by
lightning and burned. So the homes of both wives of Harvey Dixon, Sr.
burned at the same location.
In 1915, Harvey Dixon, Jr. built a nice home on Lot E, F, and G and Block
8 valued at $600.00. He lived here until the Manard Mercantile failed.
The house was purchased by Uncle Joe Thurber who lived there until 1933,
when the Manard Hall was moved to Fairfield. Moving this house was part
of the deal, and it is now located in the east part of Fairfield.
About this time Riley G. Dixon built what the Camas Prairie Courier call
a cute little bungalow on Lot 5 Block 7. Work was not abundant around
Manard, so before long, Riley G. Dixon went to Bliss where he studied
telegraphy preparatory to employment by the railroad. July 12, 1917 the
Courier reported that Riley G. Dixon sold his neat little bungalow to
John Robert Price who hired Ed Wheeler to move it to Fairfield. There are
no improvements recorded on the tax rolls.
In the fall of 1906, a small meeting house was built south of the Malad
River by John L. Butler and others. It was called the Manard Hall. It was
not finished, but was used for Church, school, parties, and community
meetings until 1910. When it was decided to develop the town north of the
river, some thought was given to moving it to the new town and finishing
it. A Mr. Englus expressed some interest in buying it and using it for a
commercial establishment. Mr. Wm. Wray offered $125.00 for it. No account
had been found of a sale, but when the river and ground were frozen it
was moved to the new townsite.
Mr. Englus and Harvey Dixon, Jr. purchased Lot A in Block 4 of the new
townsite, evidently to form some kind of a partnership. For some reason
this failed to materialize. Church meetings began to be held in the
school house, so the old hall must have been sold, and September 11, 1911
the Camas Prairie Courier reported that Borup Brothers had been hired by
Harvey Dixon to move the store building to the Main Street location Lot A
Block 9. Here it was enlarged by building a two story addition on the
east end of it. This addition was used as a store and Post Office. The
old Manard Hall became temporary living quarters, warehouse, and utility
room. October 19, 1911 a dance and party were held at the new store to
celebrate the opening of the New Manard Mercantile. Assessed value was
An ice house was built west of it, and later Harvey Dixon also built a
dairy barn in the south west part of Block 9. When the Manard Mercantile
failed in 1918, Hyrum D. Lee acquired this property. The old Hall was
used as livestock shelter for a time then dismantled. In 1930 the two
story part of the Manard Mercantile building was purchased by Harold Lee
who moved it to the farm east of Manard, across the road from the school
yard. Here he finished and remodeled it into a comfortable family
dwelling. It has been the family home since that time. Dora Lee still
lives there (1998).
The Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company tool yard was on Lot 3 in
Block 8, and was fenced to contain tools and equipment of the company.
According to the minutes of the board meeting, it was to be fenced with
peeled posts, minimum 4" in diameter. They were to be set 2 1/2 feet into
the ground, and extend 4 feet 4 inches above the ground and 7 feet apart.
1 inch by 6 inch lumber spaced 6 inches apart with a 1 inch by 6 inch cap
on top of the posts would complete the fence. As construction and repairs
of canals diminished, Fresno's wheel scrapers, slip scrapers, etc. wore
out and/or were discarded or sold. The need for a yard diminished so it
was abandoned, but hand tools, grubbing hoes, shovels, concrete tools,
etc. needed a storage place so the tithing granary, Lot 4 Block 1 was
purchased to take care of this need. It was accidentally burned in 1945
by wild fire from a neighboring field.
C. B. Borup built a home and farm buildings on Lots 6-9 Block 1. It was
assessed at $200.00. It has not been determined when this was done but in
1916, Hyram Bracken Lee purchased it and moved his family from Fir Grove.
When he died the family continued to live here until Alice, his widow,
married and moved to Star Valley, Wyoming. When the house was vacant her
sons, Hyram D. and Harold dismantled the old house, and used the
materials to build a small house. Dal Lee lived here for a short time.
Before long it burned after a lightning strike.
In the early 1930's Albert Thurber purchased Lots 1-3 Lot 5 in Block 1
and all of Block 2. He moved a house from his father's farm two miles
east of Manard to a spot along First Street. After only a year or two he
sold the house, and it was moved to Fairfield.
In 1918, R.N.B. Finch purchased the farm east of the Manard Townsite,
which had a larger house on it, but it was not completely finished. It
was home for his family until 1921 when it burned. This writer has not
been able to find the disposition of a few homes in Manard. Riley L. and
Bailey Dixon were reported to be building a home for Wm. Borup. Tax rolls
show that Wm. Borup owned Lot 6 in Block 8 with improvements valued at
$125.00. According to tax rolls, William Richards owned Lot 1-2 Block 4
with improvements of $75.00. Sybil Wood Kellogg owned Lot 5 Block 2, with
improvements of $50.00. H. Lee owned Lots 2-3 Block 9 with improvements
of $100.00. Chet McAlister owned Lot 3 Block (record illegible),
improvements of $350.00. These homes surely existed because they were on
the tax rolls, but no other information about them has been found.
Riley G. Dixon must have been a friend of the tax assessor. Although the
Courier reported a cute little bungalow, the lot he owned showed no
improvements. The story of public buildings, Manard School House, and
Teacherage, are dealt with in other parts of this history.
John L. Butler III
Ross Butler

John Lowe Butler III was born in Panguitch, Utah on June 5, 1874, to John
Lowe Butler II and Nancy Franzetta Smith, being their oldest child of ten
born to them. John's father was in a partnership with two brothers, James
and Thomas, and they had a rather diverse operation, sheep and horse
raising, shingle and sawmill, and freighting.
When John was seven the partnership of his father and brothers was ended,
and they all moved around the Richfield area, operating in separate
businesses. John's father continued in the sheep business and John III,
being the eldest, was given much responsibility in care of the sheep at
an early age. At age seven he would spend the summer on the range with
the sheep, and at age eleven was left alone on the range with the sheep
during the summer. John was tall for his age and seemed older. He grew to
be six feet, four inches tall, although he weighed only about 200-210
pounds. His black hair, brown eyes, and white skin marked him. In later
years he wore a mustache, and always wore glasses. Due to working he
received only a seventh grade education, something he always regretted.
The next three children in the family were girls, and this also put more
burden on John.
When John was sixteen, his father served six months in the penitentiary
for unlawful cohabitation (polygamy) due to his second marriage to Sarah
Sariah Johnson, a union that brought five children, of which three grew
to maturity. The sheep were leased out, and John III freighted in Nevada
to provide funds for the family.
When John was eighteen his father discovered gold southwest of Richfield
where he was grazing sheep. He named the mine the Carry Mine, and
established a partnership with John Beck, forming a corporation called
Butler Beck Mining Company. John II sold off all his sheep, and went
deeply into mining, with his son becoming a miner. The mine failed, and
in 1896 was sold off for debts. He went to work for other mining firms.
In 1897, John III received a mission call to the Northern States Mission
with headquarters in Chicago. At that time his father's health was
failing, and he was living at the Carry Mine as caretaker for $25.00 per
month. Before John III left on his mission he visited his father at the
mine in February 1898, and left for his mission in March. When he visited
his father he felt sure this would be the last time he would see him
alive. When he left he never looked back. His father instructed him to
get the families back onto the land as quickly as possible, back to
farming and ranching. His father died in December of 1898.
The families were destitute, so John's sixteen year old brother, Horace,
took over the $25.00 per month job at Carry Mine. Apostle Heber J. Grant
came to visit the mission, and the mission president told him of John's
father passing away. He was also aware that the family was destitute.
Elder Grant counseled with John and told him his place was with the
family, so he had him return home at April Conference time in 1899.
When John returned home his first act was to borrow $20.00 from a friend
to put food on his father's two families' tables. Then he visited Bertha
Thurber, the girl he had left behind. John and Bertha were married
November 15,1899 in the Manti Temple. John went to work in the mines,
because he had been trained for this, and was an accomplished timberman.
He was able to provide for the families.
In accordance with John's father's instructions, he began to look for
land on which to settle. In 1901 he went to Alberta, Canada, and made a
deal to buy land where a group of Saints were settling. However on his
return, the money was returned to him with the explanation that there had
been a mixup, and another party was ahead of John.
In 1903, John took a younger brother, Taylor (K.T.), with him and
traveled to Idaho. They looked at the Milner Dam project that would feed
the Twin Falls area, but it looked too big and too far away. They went on
to Bruneau where a friend lived, and there learned about Camas Prairie.
They then drove to Camas Prairie, and there met the Dixon family, who
encouraged them to move there. John took a one tenth interest in the Twin
Lakes Project, and arranged for a land purchase. As he could not get
possession of the property for a while he returned to Utah and mined for
a short time. He then moved to the Gilman Ranch four miles from Hailey,
Idaho to farm. Bertha followed him, by train, with her baby, Grant.
Grant, born September 7,1902, was their second child. Their first child,
Laselle Smith Butler, died soon after birth in January 1901.
At the Gilman Ranch, K.T. lived with John and Bertha. A third child, Elma
was born to them,
but she died when she was a few months old.
In the spring of 1905, John and Bertha were able to move to Camas
Prairie. They lived in a granary until they could get the buildings moved
off the Twin Lakes Reservoir site onto their property. John then took
charge of the Twin Lakes Dam building, and was superintendent of the
construction. K.T. and Josh Thurber also worked on the dam.
The town of Manard was laid out, and a ward of a the Church was founded,
with Isaac Erin Thurber, Bertha's brother, as Bishop and John as his
First Counselor. John, doing what his father had requested, moved many of
his family to Camas Prairie, including his mother, the second wife, her
three children, and several of his brothers and sisters. Bishop Thurber
was married to John's sister, Caroline, so their descendants were double
cousins. Joshua (Josh) Thurber, married John's first cousin, Elizabeth
Robinson, so all three of the Thurber families were married into the
Butler line. These three, Erin, Bertha, and Joshua were the only children
of Albert King Thurber and Agnes Brockbank, his second wife. From the
first family of Albert King Thurber and Thirza Malvina Berry, there were
eight children who left posterity. Uncle Joe and Aunt Annie Thurber were
from the first family, and settled on the Prairie. There were also
others, like Will Richards, who were not related directly, that moved to
the Prairie.
John and Bertha did well at Manard, building up a fine farm and ranch
operation. However, an accident in 1913 caused John some health problems
that took him to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. John was then having
problems with the hard farm work. Six more children came to Bertha at
Manard: Gladys, Donald, Etta, Edith, Glenn, and Ross.
Due to health problems, lack of advanced school facilities, and harsh
winters John and Bertha traded their operations on the Prairie for an
eighty acre farm at Acequia, Idaho, and moved in September 1917. In 1919,
they traded the farm for a home and mercantile business in Acequia.
Here John was called as Bishop. The crash of 1921 wiped out his business,
so in February 1922, they moved to Twin Falls, Idaho to a ten acre tract
they purchased. In 1924, they lost the property due to inability to make
payments. They moved into town, where they lived until 1926, then they
moved to Hollister, Idaho to the J. E. Hunt and Son farm. Things went
well with them at first. Two more children had been born to them in
Acequia, for a total of eleven children, with nine living. However, the
1929 economic crash, plus drought, again wiped them out. They then moved
to Eden, Idaho to an eighty acre place in November 1933. It was here John
and Bertha were living when John died of an infection caused by a cut on
the hand from a mower sickle on July 1, 1937.
On this date, November 14, 1995, are only five of the eleven children
living. There were fifty-six grand children. They have produced a large
posterity. John was an optimist and one of his favorite sayings was,
"Anticipation may be greater than realization!" John and Bertha were hard
working, and honest, with strong testimonies of the restored gospel of
Jesus Christ. They gave me a royal heritage. I honor them.

John Lowe Butler III

John's father, John Lowe Butler II, could not help but be aware of the
council L.D.S. President Brigham Young had given for the Saints to build
up the Kingdom by establishing homes, farms, etc., and not chasing for
gold. He called his son, John who was soon to leave on a mission, to his
bedside (he had been critically at the time), saying to him, "Go, my son,
but when you come back I'll be gone. I want you to lead out and take the
family to new country. John, you are my oldest son. You have been a good
and faithful servant to your Heavenly Father, and have done a wonderful
job of taking responsibility of supporting your mother and your younger
brothers and sisters. Son, there is nothing left here for this family. I
admonish you to go where there is new land opening up, with new
opportunities for bigger and better farms, where all the family can work
together. Go and seek out a place that will be fruitful. John, my life is
short, and I will be gone before you return from your mission. I do love
and appreciate you and know that you will carry out my wishes. I leave
you this blessing. "
John II died December 30, 1898, and his son, John III, did lead out in
the search for good land, and many of his family, along with other
families followed him to Camas Prairie.
In the spring of 1903, John and his younger brother, Kenion Taylor (K.T.)
set out for Idaho to begin his quest for land and opportunity. After
looking over several sites they got their first glimpse of Camas Prairie.
It was a wonderful sight. Grass was a foot high, flowers in bloom, cattle
by the thousands.
They went to Fir Grove to look up the Dixon family whom they had heard
about while on a stop in Hagerman. While visiting with the Dixons, they
found there were four other Mormon families living near Soldier, the only
town on Camas Prairie at that time. Their names were Jenkins, Adams,
Stotts, Labrum, and a bachelor named Jim Stewart.
They talked of forming a company for the purpose of building a reservoir.
This would fulfill the wishes of their father, and the dreams of all the
family. They could have their own community, town, church, and school.
There was plenty of land and water.
Part of the plan was to build a reservoir which would necessitate buying
the Alec Cypher ranch know as the Twin Lakes Ranch. John met with these
men from Soldier several times. They were all excited about building a
reservoir and developing the land that could be irrigated under it.
John's first commitment was to recruit people for this project. He filed
a Desert Claim, and went to Hailey to run a ranch for the summer. When
fall came they went back to Utah to recruit family and friends and to
return the next spring. Many came to the Prairie through his influence.
Here are a few of them:

Kenion Taylor Butler - brother
Caroline Butler Thurber - sister (Isaac Erin Thurber)
Calvin Butler - brother
Olive Butler Smith - sister (Jesse L. Smith)
Jane Butler Nielson - sister (Elmer W. Nielson)
Eva Butler Dixon - sister (Bailey A. Dixon)
Leland Thomas Butler - brother
Dennison Butler - brother
Ann Butler Richard - sister (William Richard)
John L. Robinson - cousin
James C. Robinson - cousin
Elizabeth Robinson Thurber - cousin (Joshua A. Thurber)
Alva R. Robinson Dixon - cousin (Riley Lyman Dixon)
Jennie Robinson Jones - cousin (Sylvester Jones)
Bill Gould - brother in law
Joseph Thurber - neighbor in Richfield, Utah
Joshua A. Thurber - neighbor in Richfield, Utah
Most were young and unmarried, and many married while in Manard.

Kenion Taylor Butler - Autobiography
I remember that John looked at the beautiful land there at Goose Creek
with sage brush almost as high as our covered wagon and saying if he
thought water could ever be obtained for that land that is where he would
stand and make his home.
The next day we went on down the river to attend the opening of the
Milner Dam Project. We arrived just at dusk in a terrible rain storm. The
only protection from the weather other than tents and covered wagons was
a temporary tar paper shack that turned out to be a bar. We spent a
miserable night there trying to keep warm. We worked there freighting
between Kimima and Milner for a short time. While there Jim Gilbert, who
had preceded John to Idaho, wrote him a letter from where he had settled
in Bruneau Valley. I can see John reading that letter and laughing at the
way the letter was worded. It said, "There are plenty of water and there
are plenty of land."
We went on down to what is now Twin Falls. The town was then being
surveyed. We saw the Twin Falls, and Shoshone Falls, also Blue Lakes, and
marveled at the immense amount of water. The new orchard was just in
bloom, it being a late spring. We saw lots of dead sheep on the desert
that had died because of the heavy winter and late spring.
We ferried across the river just above Shoshone Falls. My hat blew off
and went over the falls. It was a thrill to cross the river on a ferry,
especially just above the falls. We went on down the river to Hagerman,
spending our first night and a day at Sand Springs Ranch, and rested up
our horses. While at Hagerman I saw my first sturgeon in the Snake River.
We saw them building the syphon that takes the water across Snake River
to irrigate the King Hill Project. John and some other men looked over
the King Hill country. Here we parted with some fellow travelers. The
Fairbanks boys and the Nebekers had stayed at Milner. We went on down the
north side of the river to Glenns Ferry. At a bend in the river a short
distance from Glenns Ferry we saw some cowboys driving 1500 head of
cattle across the river on their way to Camas Prairie. The cows would get
their calves on the down side of the river, so they could break the
current for them. It was a marvelous sight to see them swim the river.
We crossed the Snake River on a ferry boat and went on to the little town
of Bruneau. Just before we got there we saw a tornado hit the town,
uprooting trees and blowing over houses. On our way to Bruneau we camped
on the desert and turned our horses out to graze with their hobbles. The
horses decided to leave. I took after them with a bridle and had an awful
time catching up with them. It was dark by the time I had a bridle on old
Prince. I got on Prince, but had no idea which way it was back to camp. I
rode for a long time, and then decided camp was lost. I got up on a high
hill so I could look around. From the top of the hill I could see a light
and rode in the direction of it. After a long tiresome ride I made it
back to camp. I don't know who was the most relieved, John or me. When he
had decided I was lost, he had built an immense brush fire to guide me
back to camp.
The next morning another home seeker who had seen our fire came into
camp. He told us the story of how this cougar had come into his camp and
attacked his dog. He had tried to beat it off with his shotgun, but had
not dared to shoot for fear of killing his dog. He was so excited he let
the cougar get away.
We found Jim Gilbert a few miles up the river from Bruneau, building his
homestead shack by a spring. We stayed there a few days looking over the
land and the prospect of diverting water to irrigate the land. John
decided he didn't have enough money to do the job. While there another
boy and I were sent to Molly Wilson's ranch to get a cow to break for
milking. Molly Wilson had inherited this ranch along with horses and
cattle by the thousands from her father. She ran the ranch herself, and
was a famous exhibition rider. She was called the Horse Queen of Idaho or
Buckskin Molly.
While riding after this cow, she dove into the river and was swimming
easy-like. I thought she was wading and spurred my horse in after, only
to find the cow was swimming. Not knowing enough to give my horse his
head I turned him over in the water a time or two and got an awful
ducking. This was my first experience of swimming a river with a horse.
Here again I lost my hat, and it was some time before I got another.
While we had been in Hagerman we heard of Camas Prairie, and what fine
cattle country it was. We also heard there were a few Mormons settling
there. The man mentioned the Dixon family. John decided we better take a
look at Camas Prairie before we decided where we would homestead. We went
to the Prairie by the way of Mountain Home. After we left Mountain Home
we camped on a little creek near a camp of cowboys who were trailing
several thousand head of cattle to Camas Prairie. The next morning a
mouthy, young cowboy was trying to mount a fractous horse. He hollered
out, "There is going to be a hot time in camp this morning." He had no
sooner gotten on his horse than it started bucking, and that mouthy
cowboy come rolling right through our camp fire upsetting frying pans and
pots. John remarked dryly, "Sure did have a hot time this morning
We got out first glimpse of Camas Prairie on May 13,1903. It was a
wonderful sight, grass a foot high, flowers in bloom, and cattle grazing
by the thousands. The next day we started for Fir Grove Flat to look up
the Dixon family we had heard about. However, a blizzard overtook us and
we turned back and headed for Old Soldier. We saw thousands of head of
cattle drifting with the storm. John's enthusiasm was gone for
homesteading there, so when we got to Old Soldier, John inquired the
shortest way out of the prairie. They told us Hailey was the shortest way
out so we headed for Hailey, leaving the Prairie covered with a foot of
fresh snow over the beautiful flowers. John asked a cowboy we met on the
way, Earl Pierson, how long winter lasted in this country and the young
fellow said, "I don't know-I've only been here thirteen months."
At Bellvue we went to work clearing land for a man named Campbell. While
working for Campbell we batched on a campfire and slept in the covered
wagon. John was homesick for wife and baby. I remember in the evenings he
would sit by the fire and watch the dying embers, whistling "The Last
Rose of Summer". It was a lark for me because the fishing and hunting was
very good, and my whistling had a different rhythm. Here we learned that
the storm had been quite general and neighboring states had lost a lot of
stock, too. So we decided to go back to Camas Prairie and look up the
Dixon family at Fir Grove. On this return to the Prairie we found it even
more beautiful than before. By this time it was June and the Indians had
moved back to the Prairie for their summer
hunting and fishing. This was their favorite summer hunting ground. Deer
and antelope were plentiful, sage hens by the thousands, willow grouse or
pintails were there, and the streams were full of trout. There was camas
roots, yampas roots, and wild berries that the Indians enjoyed. They
would gather the roots of the camas and yamas, dry them, and hammer them
into flour. Sometimes they would make a mixture of dried venison, sarvice
berries, mixed with flour and called it pumas. Their tepees dotted the
We found there were four other Mormon families who lived near Old
Soldier. Their names were Jenkins, Adams, Stotts, Labrums, and a bachelor
named Jim Stewart. They talked of forming a company for the purpose of
building a reservoir on Lake Creek. John was elated, this fulfilled all
their dreams that he, Bertha, his family, and friends would want. This
would fulfill his fathers wishes. They could have their own community,
town, church, and school. There was plenty of land for all with lots of
water. All one had to do was plow, no brush to clear, no rocks to pick.
There was plenty of lush pasture close by. He just knew they would
prosper in this land.
We got acquainted with these families and looked over the land under the
project. John entered into a partnership with these men, buying out Alec
Cyphers who owned a beautiful ranch between two lakes right where we
wanted to build the reservoir. Alec was an old government scout. He had
been with a surveying party that had been the first to survey the base
line which went through Camas at Soldier. We put up hay on this Twin
Lakes Ranch, and after the hay was up, Henry Jenkins was sent to Boise to
get a surveyor, so we could start the job on the Twin Lakes Reservoir.
The man he brought back with him had been with the first surveying party
in Idaho. He and Alec Cyphers were so happy to see each other again. I
used to stay up and listen to them talk far into the night about their
early experiences before Idaho was made a state.
I remember Alec Cyphers telling about his first trip to Camas Prairie.
Alec was a man well up in his seventies at this time. When he was a young
man scouting the northwest his party followed an Indian trail from where
the town of Bliss is now. This trail finally led them to the top of Fir
Grove Mountain. A more beautiful picture, he claimed, he had never seen.
The Indian villages dotted the Prairie and wild life abounded. It was the
perfect hunting ground. He vowed right then that sometime he would come
back to this place and make him a cattle ranch. Which he did, at Twin
Lakes. When Alec and his friends were first viewing Camas Prairie, two of
them wanted to cross the Prairie and see the mountains on the other side,
but Alec and one other wanted to turn back as the Indians were too
numerous there. They disagreed so they divided their supplies, and Alec
and his partner turned back. When they reached Snake River they followed
it west-I don't know how far. In the fall they returned and went to Camas
Prairie in hopes of finding some of their companions. They never found
them until they reached Fort Hall. These two scouts had some harrowing
experiences to tell of how they had been held captive by the Indians, and
had finally escaped and made their way to Fort Hall with nothing but a
pocket knife for hunting food.
The Alec Cyphers ranch or the Twin Lakes Ranch as it was called, was a
beautiful spot. Two lakes about one fourth mile apart were fed by a large
spring in each lake. These creeks ran together for form the Lake Creek
and are now buried in the reservoir. The ranch buildings were on the west
shore of the south lake. A plank walk was fixed on the boulders that ran
forty or fifty feet out into the lake where we could dip up water fresh
from the spring for house use. Sometimes when after the water it looked
like you might dip up a trout in the water pail. To the northeast and
south of these lakes spread beautiful meadows of wild hay. The company
bought this ranch for $1500.00.
The original six men who formed this company and filed on the reservoir
site were John Butler, Jim Stewart, Lester Stott, Lewis Adams, George
Labrum, and Henry Jenkins.
We put up hay all that summer. The hay on the Alec Sypher ranch and
several of these other ranches were stacked. The hay was pitched up onto
wagons with nets by hand and unloaded on the stacks with derricks and
sling nets. My job was to run a hay rake or drive the wagons.
Occasionally a younger boy from a near by camp would come and ride with
me on the wagon. His name was Boil, and I enjoyed having another boy with
me. One day John and Charley Jenkins stopped the wagon and told us one of
us boys would have to get down as both the men had a strange feeling of
impending danger to one of us. As we were about loaded and ready to start
in with our load, the Boil boy fell off the wagon onto the horses rumps,
then onto the ground in front of the wheel and startled the team. John
reached for the boys foot to pull him out, but the wagon loaded with hay
rolled over the boys back. Mr. Jenkins screamed in horror as the wheel
passed over the boy. To everyone's astonishment the boy was alright
except for a red mark across his back, and he was crying, because he had
bumped his elbow on the double trees.
It was about the time we had finished the haying that the engineer came,
and we started to survey the reservoir site. John and I worked on the
survey crew until it was completed. My job was to drive the stakes. John
held the staff. There were three other men on the crew. We had a white
topped hack that carried our supplies. It was quite an education to me,
the engineer was very good to explain things; the method of surveying and
the way the sections and townships were laid out. He took quite an
interest in me. One day after we had killed an exceptionally big
rattlesnake, Mr. Roach, the engineer, borrowed my prize pocket knife to
skin the snake. I was reluctant about taking the knife back. It took a
lot of scrubbing before I would use it again, and always after that when
I would cut an apple with that knife, I would think of the snake it had
While we were surveying on the west side of the lakes, we encountered an
angry bull. The men ran up on the rim rock for safety-all but myself. I
stood ground with a raised axe in my hand thinking to get him right
between the eyes if he should charge me. The men were calling me names
and shrieking for me to come while there was yet time. I had no intention
of budging, but when that bull started pawing and coming closer and
closer, and when he finally let out an earthly bellowing screach, and
dived for me, I found myself scrambling for the rocks. I looked back and
saw the bull standing where I had been, and looking to see where I was.
The surveying was finished about the first of October, and I went back to
Richfield, Utah with my brother-in-law, Gomer Richards. John stayed on
for a while before he returned to Richfield to work that winter at the
Anna Laura mine. John had been recruiting family and friends to go to
Idaho. I had gotten so very homesick before I got back home to my mother
and my little brother, Lee Tom, who had by this time started to school
being six years old. By this time I had only three unmarried sisters left
at home, Olive, Jane, and Eva. Olive and Horace were away to Kimberly
most of the time. Jane was going on sweet sixteen with a wonderful voice
to sing, and singing most of the time, "Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come
Home," "My Sweetheart is the Man in the Moon," and many others. Eva was a
child of eleven with two long braids and very beautiful, always dreaming
that someday she would be a piano player.
My family and friends were all happy to see me. Chester Christensen ran
to me calling out, "What did you see, what did you see?" I had to tell my
friends over and over about my experiences in Idaho, and when I told them
about the sturgeon in Snake River being six or eight feet long, they knew
I was telling fish stories, and I've been telling them ever since.
Always when I was in Richfield I liked to go to sister Zettie's. I think
she always had nick-nacks and rootbeer at her house, and I was always
hungry. Of course, Jane and I came in pretty handy to tend the children.
I attended school that winter until some time in February when John
bought a team of horses, a white top hack, and took Mother, Bertha, baby
J. Grant, and me and went on a trip to Parowan to see my aged
grandparents, the McGregors. They still lived in the same house that had
been my Grandfather Smith's house where my mother was born. It was a two
story adobe house with a big fireplace. My grandmother was a small woman
with a sweet face. She would have weighed perhaps one hundred twenty-five
pounds. I remember she always had dried apple pies, some good jam, and
pickled crab apples. Grandfather McGregor told me what a fine man my
father had been, and showed me the fences and things my father had built,
and trees he had set out. Uncle Don McGregor was there at that time. He
had just graduated from medical school, and was practicing medicine in
Parowan. Joseph graduated before this, and was practicing medicine in
Grandmother had been born in Quebec, Canada, May 5,1825, daughter of
Hannah Leavitt and Horace Fish. Grandmother had a little joke that she
was a mermaid as she was part Fish. She married Horace [John] Calvin
Lazelle Smith in the Nauvoo Temple, May 12, 1846.
We all know much of Horace Calvin Lazelle Smith's early history, and how
he was in the Church. He was sent by the Church as the leader of a group
to settle Parowan. He was the first Stake President. He died in his early
thirties, and grandmother married again, William Campbell McGregor, and
they had three sons.
It was a happy trip, on our way we passed by the Big Rock Candy Mountain,
and we stopped to look it over as it had been a camping place for
pioneers. The trip was in the early spring, and a great adventure for me.
I was glad to get out of school. We went in the early spring, I think the
last of February. We saw deer that were just shedding their horns. We saw
shabby Indians. We passed where an old man lived that had bought the old
saw mill and shingle mill, that was owned by John Lowe Butler. He told us
about our dad. He told us our dad was generous, and was a super man for
strength. This place was close to Panguitch Lake where Dad had
homesteaded. When we got to
Panguitch I think that was where Mother's sister, Sarah Miller lived. We
visited some Aunty that cooked a meal over a fireplace.
We stopped at Cove Fort, and finally on to Parowan, and found our way to
the McGregor home. We received a hearty welcome from both Grandma and
Grandpa McGregor. Then Grandpa proceeded to show me things of interest
about my father. He showed me an apple tree that my Dad had planted when
it was a very small sapling. Then we got a pan of apples from this tree
out of storage. He showed me a gable in the barn where Dad had butchered
a lamb. We saw some man that had known Dad in his prosperous days, and
knew of him buying groceries for a poor family that didn't have credit at
the store.
Somewhere along the way we saw Jeanette Leavitt. She had some good
looking boys. Jeanette was the Indian girl John Calvin had bought from
the Indians for a gun and his shirt. The girl was a orphan and the
Indians were going to drown her. Hannah had compassion for the Indian
child and talked John Calvin into saving her.
We went to see Dad's sister, Alvaretta Robinson. They had a house full of
shining, well dressed girls. We had a good time playing together. They
had a honey candy pull in the evening and played "Run Sheep Run". I was
so embarrassed when I caught one of the girls and pulled the buttons off
her blouse!
On returning to Richfield we soon were all excited to return to Idaho. We
left March 26, 1904. Some where in those years Mother gave me advice that
really stayed with me. She said always to treat my girl friends like I
would like to have my sisters treated. She said if I would keep myself
morally clean I would find a girl I would want to be my wife, to take to
the temple. I would know she was the one from the start. I was always
against a double standard of morals for boys and girls. Being by myself
so much gave much time to think about her advice, and I did think my
mother was beautiful, so clean, so perfect, and had much faith in
When we left for Idaho we were driving a loose bunch of horses. John,
Josh Thurber, (Bertha's brother), and I made the trip with a white topped
hack. I was the one to be horseback driving the loose horses. Can you
imagine driving that bunch of horses down State Street in Salt Lake? The
spring was cold and wet, and we cooked our meals over a camp fire. It was
a tedious trip, but we knew where we were going and made for Camas
Prairie as fast as we could.
Upon arriving there we found that the rest of the company had decided to
wait for a year before starting construction on the reservoir because of
finances. Then John decided to go to Hailey and rent a ranch. He did, a
big, old cattle ranch owned by old man Gilman. This Gilman ranch was a
big ranch with a creek running through it. Gilman had come out west with
a lot of money and a dream of making this ranch the townsite for the
Bullion Mine and Red Elephant Mine. His letterhead read, "Gilman, the Gem
of the Mountains." When the price of silver dropped, the Bullion Mine as
well as several others closed down. This shattered dreams of Gilman, and
his ranch had to then resume its rightful role. Its cattle are now gone,
and the big house stood vacant except for the grand piano and some other
fine furniture. That was all that remained of its former glory.
John leased this ranch, and Josh Thurber and I went there with him to put
in the crop. We planted mostly oats for there was a good market for horse
feed in those days. By the time Bertha came and sister Jane, John had
persuaded Gilman to let us move into the big house. Bertha's baby, J.
Grant was then two years old, and right off he was given to me as a bed
partner. I was to wean him from sleeping with his mother. The first night
I held him screaching and kicking in my arms. After that I had no
trouble-J. Grant took it for granted that I was his bed pal.
That spring after the crops were in, I went to Camas Prairie to plow on
John's desert claim. I didn't realize at the time what a big assignment
it was for a boy of fourteen years. I left with a team of horses and a
John Deere walking plow. I had a grub stake of flour, bacon, potatoes,
dried fruit, and rice. I had my 22 rifle and my fishing rod, so I managed
to have fish or game once or twice a day. 1'd have the fish in the pan
before they quit twitching. I camped out on the open prairie. My greatest
problem was to catch my horses after I had hobbled them and turned them
loose to graze. Wild cattle were grazing all around me and were not used
to seeing a person afoot, so they were very curious. They would circle
around me getting closer and closer, 1'd spook them with my hat or coat.
Then they would go gathering up more cattle as they circled, snorting and
tossing their heads and horns. I would never admit how frightened I was.
John sure didn't believe in making a sissy out of me.
Sometimes cowboys and Indians would pass my camp, shake their heads.
Sometimes the cowboys would say, "Sonny, don't you know you are spoiling
a lot of good grass?" I felt like that
myself in the years that followed. The Indians looked at me with dark,
scowling faces. They could see the whites spoiling their happy hunting
ground. Some Indians became familiar characters to me-Buckskin Joe. He
had two wives. He was a great hunter and fisherman. His wives could weave
beautiful tepees out of willows. When they would move camp, Buckskin Joe
would always ride away like he was the Big Chief and leave his wives to
do the packing. When they were finished they would mount their horses and
trail along leading the pack horses. These squaws could put as neat a
pack on a horse as any white man. If I had gotten a squaw that could have
done the camp chores as good as Indians Joe's, I wouldn't have been so
far behind on my hunting and fishing. Not to my knowledge do I have any
Indian blood in my veins, but when I see good grassy lands untouched by
the plow my heart cries out as did the Indians, "Don't fence it up!"
John and Bertha were still living at the Gilman ranch and didn't move to
Camas Prairie until the spring of 1905. They had had a baby girl born
while living there. When Bertha came time to deliver this baby she
awakened John in the middle of the night. He immediately came to the back
room where I was sleeping and gave me a lantern and told me to harness
the team, Maude and Dale. I think they were the fastest team in the state
of Idaho. I quickly hitched them to the white top hack. John was dressed
when I finished and he jumped in the hack and headed for Hailey to get
Mrs. Stanfield, the midwife. I busied myself building a fire and putting
lots of water on to boil. I had a prayer in my heart that John and the
midwife would get there before the baby did. It was just five minutes
from the time John wakened me until I had the team ready and waiting at
the gate. Bertha said that it was just one hour from the time she wakened
John until he was back with Mrs. Stanfield. I remember Bertha shaking her
finger at John and saying, "Don't you ever call Taylor slow again," and
he never did. At that time I was fourteen. This baby girl only lived a
short time and is buried in the Hailey cemetery.
It was the fall of 1905 that my mother and the rest of the family came to
Idaho. It was also in 1905 that the building of the Mormon Reservoir was
started. In the fall of 1906 a one room school was built on John's place
and was also used to hold our Church meetings.
The winter of 1905 and 1906 was a heavy winter. When the break up came,
the high waters came, and so did homesteaders. 1906 was the year of the
homestead rush on Camas Prairie. There was a family, a bachelor or an old
maid on everyone hundred sixty acres of good land. There was many a race
to the land office, some often ended in a quarrel or fight. One race was
between C. C. Cotton and Jim Butler. The race was very near a tie, and
they both tied up across the street from the land office at the same
time. Cotton was in a buggy, and Jim was on a saddle horse he had
borrowed from me. Cotton won the foot race to the land office, and
instead of quarreling, Jim tied the horse to the back of the buggy and
rode home with Cotton. They were always good friends. I know of one man
that killed another in a land fight. The story as Lloyd Bundy tells it
is, "He made an angel out of him."
We lived near the Malad River about a fourth mile from the bank, and thus
it fell to me to guide the many homesteaders across the high water. I had
a horse that was a good swimmer and knew the solid road under the
turbulent water. Their teams would follow when my horse led the way. I
don't remember all the people I guided, but maybe they remember that
"devil daring" kid who helped get them across. I do remember Bert Rands
and his wife who stayed at our place for a few days. He had eight head of
beautiful horses.
We didn't try to keep up with the Joneses. We didn't have much but the
bare necessities, but we had pleasant times anyway. We were all like one
big family sharing our troubles, and planning for better times in the
future. From the next spring on, the Prairie was settled very fast. On
October 15, 1908, H. L. Childs was called to survey and plot the town of
Manard, three miles east and five miles south of Soldier.
Antone Paulson had the first Post Office in Manard, and all the pay he
received was the cancellation of the postage.
The school house was on the John Butler place (about one hundred yards
west of the John Painter house.) They first planned to have the town
here. After the survey they planned to build it on Sand Ridge, across the
river on a school section. It was not long before they had a church and a
school in the same building, and a Post Office and a store in the same
building. Nelson Driggs and Mrs. Woods were among the first teachers in
Manard, and they were very good. From this time on we had very little to
go to Soldier for, but we did go for the dances and celebrations, and to
get drugs from the Barkley Pharmacy, or to get a doctor.
Aunt Annie Thurber took care of the new babies and their mothers at the
birth of the babies.
Aunt Annie was a great help, and was always ready to go whenever she was
needed, whether dead of winter, rain, or high water.
Spotted fever was quite common and very severe in those days. My own
mother had a bad case in 1907, and Eva Minier came and nursed her through
it. She was a trained nurse. It was during this illness that I was bitten
by a scorpion, and she also took care of me. Her main medicine was
whiskey on the inside and alcohol on the outside.
Camas Prairie was truly blessed with neighbors willing to help each
other. Mrs. Ora Bean and Mrs. Adelaid Adams were very willing. Mrs. Adams
was a noted gardner, and always contributed things from her garden. She
took flowers to church and to funerals. Our niece, Ruth Butler, asked
when she was a little girl, "Who will decorate the graves if anything
ever happens to Mrs. Adams?"
Everyone was glad to have the Higgs doctors move into the valley. Drs.
Dee and Air Higgs were fine men and wonderful doctors. It mattered not
how deep the snow and cold weather, they were always willing to go
anywhere if at all possible. They were marvelous surgeons. Dr. Air Higgs
performed emergency appendix surgery on sister Edna Nielson. It was done
on the kitchen table of her own house, and not with many conveniences, no
electricity or running water. He also operated on Mrs. Bill Martin for
breast cancer, which would have been a complicated operation today, but
she lived to be an old lady. The operation was at her home in Soldier
with Aunt Annie as the nurse.
The Nielson family and the Gould family came in 1908, and so did many
others. The Nielson family became very intermarried with my family. Three
of them became my brothers-in-law. They were all fine men. E. F. and Ivan
married Thelma's sisters, and my own sister Jane married Elmer. They were
all very industrious people and good neighbors. They were prominent in
the cattle business and dry farming. Elmer finally purchased Fir Grove
Ranch where his daughters grew up, and were a great help to their father.
Elmer was a director in the P. C. A. Association for many years, and was
honored to be chosen as a member of the Hall of Fame as a cattleman. The
other boys were equally fine men, good husbands, and loving fathers. To
know them was to love and respect them.
The coming of the bachelor homesteaders and the single women school
teachers produced many romantic stories. Our own sister Alberta Peterson
came here as a school teacher and married Ivan Nielson. Elva Barrett came
as a teacher and stayed as Mrs. Hugo Olsen. She charmed all with her
beautiful contralto voice. We always thought that she could have been
another Kate Smith. The first song I heard her sing was "When we Come to
the End of a Perfect Day".
Josh Thurber was a young bachelor with a homestead in those days. He got
Will Richards to help him build a cabin on his land. It was a tall one
and had just a one slope roof. One of the boards they had to use on the
roof was extra thick. By the time they got to this board the saw was
getting very dull, and Will was getting very tired. He said, "Let's let
this board stay longer than the others, and I will paint a sign on it."
So true to his word, when the house was finished, Will Richards painted
"Cook Wanted" on the extra long board. It always looked like it had been
left there for a purpose.
It wasn't long until Lizzie Robinson came on the stage to visit her
brothers, Jim and John. John was married to Ammett Jenkins, and Hi Lee,
Sr. was the stage driver. When Lizzie read the sign "Cook Wanted" she
remarked that she didn't know she would find work so soon. Hi Lee
laughed. When Josh finally got up enough nerve to go courting, Lizzie was
ready, and they soon became engaged. Her younger sister, Alva, came to
visit her brother and sister who had already found themselves suitable
mates on the Prairie, and sure enough it was wedding bells for her and
Lyman Dixon.
My homestead neighbor was Jimmie McClure. He was an Irishman. We had many
good jokes together. Jimmy wanted so much to learn to ride a horse, and
when he got on one for the first time he sat up very straight, and in
English style said, "Advance". I told him to give the horse his head and
he replied, "How in the hell will I ride when he 'umps his back and hides
his head. I can't remain!" Jimmy was a champion foot racer and always
picked prizes at the celebrations.

Local Pioneer Tells History

K.T. Butler of Gooding, Idaho when asked about the origin and early
history of the Mormon Reservoir on Camas Prairie, tells this story:
As a boy of 13, in May 1903, in company with his eldest brother, John L.
Butler, they came
through Hagerman. They were told about Camas Prairie being opened up for
homesteaders, and being curious, they went up to the Prairie and met the
Dixon family at Fir Grove. They also became acquainted with other early
settlers on the Prairie. There were the Henry Jenkins family on Soldier
Creek; Lester Stott, George Labrum, Lewis Adams, Sr.
Henry Jenkins talked of building a reservoir for irrigating the land, and
according to the minutes of the first meeting on July 2, 1903, the
company was first called the Twin Lakes Reservoir, Canal and Land Co. Its
purpose was to promote an irrigation project that would open new land for
cultivation. At this meeting the following officers were elected: Lester
Scott, president; George Labrum, vice president; Lewis Adams, secretary;
Henry Jenkins, treasurer; John L. Butler, board member.
At the second meeting of the company, 11 July, 1903, the name was changed
to "The Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company, LTD."
The above five officers and Jim Stewart, making six men, bought the Twin
Lakes Ranch from Alex Cyphers. This was a beautiful wild hay meadow. It
had never had the sod turned in it except for a small garden spot. This
ranch lay at the lower end of McKinney Creek, which headed about three
miles from where the Fir Grove buildings are now.
The creek ran north and west through Fir Grove Flat until it got to the
Twin Lakes. From Twin Lakes it flowed to the Malad River, and this part
was called Lake Creek. It emptied into the Malad just below where the
present dam is now.
West of the Twin Lakes, about five miles was Dairy Creek. It, too,
emptied into the Malad. After they surveyed it they found it, too, could
be diverted into the Twin Lakes.
Henry Jenkins was sent to Boise to hire an engineer to come survey the
reservoir site. He came back with a man by the name of Samuel G. Rhoades,
who was Idaho's first engineer. Mr. Rhodes was the man who surveyed the
Boise Meridian line.
It was a real surprise when Mr. Rhoades came, and found that he and Alex
Syphers had known each other long before, as Alex had been the Scout when
their surveying party had mapped out the Boise Meridian line. These two
gentlemen were so pleased to see each other again, and it was KT.
Butler's privilege to listen every evening to them retell their old
experiences of those early days together. They were both in their
seventies. Alex Syphers was 74 years old the year they bought him out.
They spent the rest of the summer of 1903 surveying, and KT. Butler
worked with them every day. He drove a stake every 100 feet around the
prospective reservoir, which was 34 miles. This was finished by October
They hoped to start work on the dam in 1904, but could not get started
until the spring of 1905. The company was incorporated for 10,000 shares,
and those who bought shares included the officers of the company, and
also Erin B. Thurber, Jim Robinson, John L. Robinson, B.J. Bean and later
Gomer Richards and Will Richards bought some stock. In 1906 other
families came: Oliver Nielson, Joe Thurber, Carl Borup, Jim Butler, c.c.
Cotton and Fergusons.
In 1905, there was a big crew working, and there was a regular tent city.
It was called "Dam Town", and this was considered the first storage dam
in Idaho. The stock was assessed so much money and stockholders had to
work out their assessment or hire some one to do it for them. All this
work was done with teams. BJ. Bean was time keeper.
By the first part of November 1906, the dam was completed and a canal
diverting Dairy Creek to the reservoir was also completed. The dam was
525 feet long, 30 feet high, 140 feet wide at the bottom and 20 feet wide
at the top with a cement culvert for the outlet with steel headgate.
There was a trench dug down to bed rock from one end of the dam to the
other, then a four foot core or wall was run on the bedrock. It was four
feet high and one and one-half feet thick. This was to prevent seeping.
They riprapped the front of the dam with rock. It holds 20,000 acre feet
of water.
Besides the flood waters they got from McKinney Creek and Dairy Creek,
the reservoir was fed by the two big springs - one spring in each lake of
the Twin Lakes, and since the fishermen have found out where these
springs are located, that is where they get the big ones.
Dolph Naser and his brother, Oscar Naser, worked on the dam, also Bailey
Dixon. Counting the surveying, KT. Butler did more work on the dam than
anyone else. Josh Thurber was next. There were still canals to build in
1907 and Josh did more work on them. Each camp at the dam site had their
own cooks. Jane Butler (now Mrs. Elmer Nielson of Wendell) was cook for

camp. A big part of their diet was fish and sage hens.
Today only two are living who worked on the Twin Lakes Reservoir, K.T.
Butler and Josh Thurber, both of Gooding. Because most of those who built
it were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it
gradually became known as "Mormon Reservoir" and now goes by that name.
Isaac Erin Thurber, father of Waldo A. Thurber, with his four horse
fresno scraper, hauled the last load of dirt to the top of the dam. As
soon as this was accomplished, Erin threw his hat in the air and they all
gave a mighty yell.

Memories of Manard
Gladys Butler Larsen

I was born November 15, 1908 at Manard, Blaine County, now Camas County,
Idaho. My parents are John Lowe Butler III and Bertha Malvina Thurber. We
lived in a three room house on the 160 acres that my parents homesteaded
here on Camas Prairie, about one mile south of the town of Manard.
The first school was held in George Labrum's granary, then in a building
on the northeast comer of John L. Butler property. Before I started
school in 1911, the well built schoolhouse with two rooms, on the Manard
townsite, was being occupied. I feel sure of this because Grant was in
school and I was not yet old enough to attend when this incident
occurred. Grant had taken me to school with him. No doubt I had become
bored with the day and was wandering around the building. Upon seeing a
rope hanging down from the belfry, I had the impulse to pull it. As the
clanging of the bell pealed out, all students rushed into the hall, and
there I was, unable to move. Grant was much embarrassed, and I felt very
My first teacher was Miss Nora Hershey. Later there was Mrs. Higgs and
Elva Barrett Olsen in the lower grades and Mr. Higgs in the Upper Grades.
He was my teacher in the fifth and sixth grades, after which we moved to
Acequia, Idaho. I remember attending Uncle Lee's 8th Grade graduation
exercises, I think in the schoolhouse. Lee gave the history or prophecy
of the class. He kept saying "And it came to pass," which greatly
impressed me.
Later in 1926-27 I taught the upper grades in this school building, and
our cousin Ruth Butler Roberts taught the lower grades. We had rooms in
Aunt Annie and Uncle Joe's home. This was across the road and a little
north of Hyrum Lee's home and farm. I think that was the location of the
original Manard Store and Post Office. We got milk from Lee's.
I have wonderful memories of the Manard Hall. This well built large
building was a credit to those early pioneers. Was there a basement?
Seems that I remember running around and playing in a basement. Church
meetings were held there, also all recreational, cultural and athletic
events. There was a fine stage for the home talent plays presented there,
and for special programs.
While teaching there, I attended church meetings here and especially
recall the funeral of Flossie Nielson, 16 year old daughter of Oliver and
Addie Nielson. This wonderful hall was moved to Fairfield and was so well
built that there were very few problems in moving it. Additions were made
and it became a very adequate chapel for the Latter Day Saints of the
The 24th of July was always a big celebration in Manard. There would be a
parade and pioneer program, followed at the time I remember, by a mock
battle between the Indians and the cowboys. The Indians came dashing up
from the river on their horses to battle with the cowboys and settlers.
All, of course, were residents of the community, in authentic attire. So
exciting for us children.
Speaking of Indians, this was once their summer range. Here was tall
grass for their horses and the blue camas for food. They ate the round
bulb which was the root, even drying some of it for later use. When I was
a child, the Indians traveled back and forth through the Prairie to and
from their summer range farther north. They would often camp by the Malad
River, just south of Manard, between our home and Manard. They would
spend their time making and beading moccasins and making various articles
from the willows growing here. Of course we traveled this road often, and
I always felt frightened when Indians were there. I shouldn't have been,
for they were always peaceful and friendly.
I recall a time when I was returning home from Manard, riding our
faithful pony, Old Lucy. I had gone over the two bridges and was on my
way to the corner to turn west, when I saw two Indians coming toward me,
an Indian man on his horse and behind him his squaw, also on a. horse.
She had various bundles tied on around her, until her legs stuck out
almost straight. I kept my eyes lowered as I passed them. The man turned
his horse, as though he might come after me. I whipped up Old Lucy and
galloped to the corner in my fright. Then I looked back. The man had
stopped his horse and was laughing loudly.
I recall vividly my Grandmother Butler lived in a home just across the
road from our home. She was a lovely gracious lady. Once she told me how
to get rid of the warts on the back of my left hand. My father's younger
brothers and sisters lived here and they were so thoughtful and loving to
us. Uncle Lee was like my big brother. Our walk to school was a happy
time, when the weather was good. We would play along the way. Our lunch
was usually carried in a syrup bucket.
In winter the snow was deep and the season long. Snow was piled high. We
would hollow out drifts and make caves and play house in them. We
traveled in big sleighs drawn by horses. Often there were hot irons or
rocks under the quilts to keep our feet warm. When our father would
travel to the hills in the sleigh to get wood for our stove, we would
wait anxiously into the night to hear his sleigh come down the lane, and
know he was safely home.
Between our house and the river was an area called "The Flat". Every
spring this was covered with beautiful wild flowers - pansies, Johnny-
jump-ups, and others. We loved this area and often played here or by the
river. What fun to play in the sand building sand castles, or wade or
swim in the river. My childhood was such a happy time, with a loving
family, dear cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandmothers near by.
Labrums lived just south of us. Zina Labrum was my dear friend. To the
east lived the Adams, who had a lovely yard with lovely flowers. On our
south boundary lived the Poulsens. They had the first Post Office, before
the town of Manard was started.
The road on the north boundary of our farm continued on west and in a
couple of miles came to "The Island". Here the river divided for a large
space, making an island. Here was lush grass where we herded cows. In the
spring it was a sea of blue from the camas plants growing there.
The Twin Lakes Reservoir was a big project built by these early pioneers.
This property was purchased from Alex Cyphers. The dam and reservoir were
built with scrapers drawn by horses. That with the canals to take the
water to the farms was a big undertaking. My father was an officer in the
Irrigation Company and was a delegate to conventions in Boise, Portland,
and Salt Lake City.
The 15th of August was celebrated in the Valley with a barbecue and get-
together. At first it was held in Soldier, and later in Fairfield. I
recall a celebration in Fairfield. Two things stand out in my mind, the
first airplane I had ever seen, and the big freezer of ice cream that my
mother had made and brought as part of our picnic lunch. By our home we
had an ice house, a frame building full of sawdust. During the summer we
enjoyed frequent delightful occasions of home made ice cream.
My Mother also made cheese. The cheese press stood outside of the house.
Extra milk was saved and I think rennet used with it. As it clabbered, it
was put in this press, with increasing weight added to the top, until it
was pressed down firmly into cheese. We especially liked the kind in
which mother added sage.
The Christmas I remember best was the one when the Aunts and Uncles and
cousins were at our home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The huge
tree reached the ceiling. Edith and I slept in a trundle bed at that
time, later in the well house. Anyway it seems to me that our cousins
Helen and Ruth slept with us. In the morning each of us received a small
doll with a china head, black hair painted on, dressed in a white flannel
I was made happy at Christmas time with several lovely gifts. Once it was
a little iron stove, like mother's, another time a darling little trunk,
and best of all, a large doll with a kid body and beautiful head of
golden hair. Such a thoughtful and loving Santa Claus!
I remember a Halloween Party at the home of Uncle Josh and Aunt Lizzie
Thurber, when we pared apples in a long peel, and then threw them over
our shoulders. As it dropped, the form of initial it made, was the first
initial of the name of our boy friend. Our folks had one of the first and
maybe only phonographs in the area. Perhaps that was reason that the
young people often gathered at our home for parties and fun. I still have
some of those early records, like "Uncle
Josh-I'm Old but I am Awfully Tough".
A thrilling part of our Christmas was the box from Aunt Sadie. How we
looked forward to it's arriving, and could hardly wait for it to be
opened. I don't know how she did it year after year, but there were
always exciting and lovely gifts for each of us. It seems that each
summer they would drive up in an automobile which was one of the greatest
wonders to us. How I treasure the memories of my childhood, and so
thankful for my heritage.

Harvey Dixon, Sr.
Clifton Dixon

Harvey Dixon was an early pioneer of Southeastern Idaho, Star Valley,
Wyoming and areas in or near Gooding County, Idaho. He was the son of
William Wilkinson Dixon and Sabra Lake. When six years of age he traveled
with his parents and grandparents, James Lake and Philomelia Smith, to a
spot near Council Bluffs, Iowa where they joined a company of Mormon
Pioneers for the journey to Utah. They arrived in Salt Lake City October
7, 1850 and immediately moved to Ogden where they spent the first winter
at the Ogden Fort. Later the family settled five miles to the north at a
location now known a Harrisville.
Harvey had few opportunities for formal education but learned the "three
R's" from his parents. He learned the use of pioneer tools and the skills
of building. He became an expert horseman, hunter, and swimmer. He
sometimes tailored his own clothing. He was immune to hardship. Summer or
winter he wore only cowhide boots without socks. In winter he worked
outside without gloves, in the timber, handling chains and tools in the
snow when it was forty degrees below zero.
On March 7, 1870 Harvey married Kittie Pritchett and they soon moved one
hundred miles north to a lonely spot in northern Cache Valley. Harvey
developed a sandstone quarry, built and operated a sawmill, opened a
mercantile store, and raised livestock. Other LDS settlers soon arrived
and the little towns of Clifton and Oxford began to grow. Harvey became a
prominent citizen of the area and was sustained Bishop of the Clifton
The practice of plural marriage was in favor with the church at that time
and on March 6, 1876 Harvey married Susan Harmon. He built a sandstone
home for her that remains standing today in the center of Clifton.
As laws against plural marriage became more stringent and rigidly
enforced, Harvey soon became a fugitive and was in constant danger of
arrest. In 1885 he moved Susan and her family to Star Valley, Wyoming to
escape the law and in that same year he constructed the first log cabin
on the townsight that is now Afton. Three years later Kittie and her
family joined him and they lived in the beautiful but inhospitable valley
for another twelve years.
Fish and wild game provided some food for the early settlers. One year
several families had moved to Afton in late summer and were poorly
provisioned for winter. They were beginning to kill cows and oxen for
food. A herd of elk was sighted coming down the valley through the
foothills. Some were making preparation to pursue them but Harvey was
wise to the ways of game and he suggested a better way. He and another
man went into the canyon ahead of the elk with repeating rifles and
waited until the game came into the canyon intending to cross it. They
were able to kill all of them, a total of seventeen or eighteen. They
sent word to the village for a few harnessed horses with a "single tree"
and a chain or rope. The elk were quartered or halved according to size
and dragged behind the horses into the village, with the skin on, where
they were skinned and frozen. This was a welcome supply of fresh meat
which lasted several months.
In 1899 Harvey was in search of a milder climate and the family was moved
to Hagerman Valley, Idaho where they spent that winter on Barrons Island.
Plans were soon made to move to Fir Grove on Camas Prairie where the
livestock would have better range. Harvey and Susan took up a homestead
at Fir Grove and other members of the family ran the Bliss Hotel and
livery stable. They rented the Mullins Ranch, north of Tuttle, where hay
was grown to winter livestock driven down from Fir Grove.
Tragedy befell the family in May of 1900 when sixteen year old Samuel W.
(Willie) was killed by a runaway team at Bliss. In September, 1904,
fifteen year old Elsie May died at Fir Grove of a ruptured appendix. Both
were buried at Hagerman. One winter the family contracted smallpox at
Hagerman. Kindly neighbors brought supplies for several months and they
finally all recovered.
He was interested in education for the family and encouraged school
attendance whenever possible. Harvey became ill with the dreaded Rocky
Mountain spotted fever at the Bliss Hotel after traveling down from Fir
Grove. His fever raged for many days and complications of the disease
took his life on July 2, 1906. He was buried at Hagerman.
A home was built for Kittie at Fir Grove and she moved there in 1904. She
was Relief Society President of the Soldier Branch until the organization
of the Manard Ward. She lived a Logan, Utah for two years during the
school term where she ran a boarding house to assist family members
attending the Brigham Young College. About 1921 her sons purchased a home
for her in Gooding where she lived until she suffered a stroke in 1923.
She then lived mostly with her daughters until her death at Afton,
Wyoming July 8, 1924. She was buried in Afton but later re-interred at
Hagerman beside her husband.
Six of Kittie's children lived to maturity:
Alice E. Lee
Harvey Jr.
Kittie C. Burton
John F.
Sarah L. Roberts
Asel H.
Susan lived at Fir Grove until 1909 when she moved to a new home at
Manard. She lived at Oakley, Idaho during the school year for two or
three years starting about 1910. She lived there to assist family members
attending the Cassia Stake Academy. She died at Bliss on June 14,1916 at
the home of her daughter Sabra Owens.
Eight of Susan's children lived to maturity:

James H.
Susan Ida Kennington
Sabra D. Owens
Riley L.
George Alfred
Bailey A.
Philemon A.
Dot (Elva L.) Andrus
Harvey Dixon, Jr.
Clifton Dixon
Harvey Dixon, Jr. , son of Harvey Dixon and Kitty Pritchett was born
August 16, 1874 in Clifton, Onieda County, Idaho. He lived in this
community until he was about thirteen years old. At this time he, with
his mother's family moved to Star Valley, Wyoming. For several years he
worked with his father in all pioneer labors, farming, cutting timber,
and hunting. He learned to butcher and sometimes found employment doing
this kind of work.
August 21, 1893 he married Emily Sarah Grow. They were eighteen and
seventeen years of age. In June 1894 they went to the Logan Temple.
He went into the canyon to cut timber which was sawed into lumber for a
small home. Early in spring, he worked on the Skeen Canal near Blackfoot
returning in time to put in crops. He obtained employment at the Kingston
and Hurd Mercantile the summer of 1898, and worked there for a time.
Early in 1901 he traveled with his father's family to Hagerman, Idaho.
His wife and part of the family traveled by train from Montpelier, Idaho
to Bliss, Idaho. Most traveled by wagon, but he and brother Jim took a
pack outfit down the Portneuf River.
He soon found employment with Owens Brothers' Mercantile in Hagerman as a
bookkeeper. Owens Brothers' treated him well. They built a little house
near the store for him and his family. In the spring of 1905 he left
Owens Brothers' and was a sheep foreman for O. P. Johnson Sheep Company
for one season. In the fall of 1905, he returned to work for Owens
Brothers' a short time. In addition to bookkeeping, he was a general
handy man, often measuring haystacks which became involved in mercantile
His mother was running the Bliss Hotel, and the family had the Livery
Stable. The family also rented the Mullins Ranch east of Hagerman to
raise hay for their livestock. They operated the Bliss
Hagerman Stage and rented teams to people coming on the train and wanting
to travel to points away from the railroad.
In the spring of 1907 he was stricken with Spotted Fever. He was very ill
but survived being more fortunate than his father who was stricken a year
On November 28,1907 he took a contract to build the Gooding road through
Black Canyon. When that was finished he obtained the Star Route mail
contract from Gooding to Corral by way of Fir Grove, Manard, and Soldier.
The route was divided, William Sant and Hyrum B. Lee subcontracted the
Corral end. A team and outfit, wagon or sled, would leave Corral and
travel to Fir Grove where they would exchange loads with a team coming
from Gooding, and each returned to the starting place. This arrangement
continued until May 12, 1910 when Hyram B. Lee took over for a year or so
before the mail began to be delivered by train.
Harvey Dixon, Jr. was a charter member of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and
Irrigation Company and supported the project throughout its building. He
was Counselor to the first Bishop of Manard and served until Bishop I. E.
Thurber left for Filer, Idaho in 1913. Then he became Bishop.
He purchased NE 1/4 NW 1/4 township 1 S Range 14 E BM part of a school
section, from the state of Idaho, for a thousand dollars in 1909, and
assisted in platting it for the Manard Townsite. He started Manard
Mercantile on lot A block 9 in 1911. It handled general merchandise and
was a cream collection station. An ice house was built nearby and in 1912
it became the Post Office in Manard. Soon Harvey and family were milking
eighteen head of Jersey cows nearby.
Harvey Dixon, Jr. prospered for a time. He built a nice home on block 8
lots E, F, and G in Manard, but the climate was not favorable for crops.
Grain crops repeatedly froze. Many people were leaving. On March 25,
1914, Manard Mercantile announced that they could extend no more credit.
About this time, Harvey obtained employment with H. Lang Merchandising in
Fairfield for $150 a month. He drove a team five miles to work every day.
The family was still milking eighteen cows. Family tradition says that
the Manard Mercantile had $75,000 accounts receivable when it closed.
March 1916 Manard Mercantile stock was moved to Rupert where Harvey
opened a grocery store. After two years he sold out and went to Echo,
Utah where he tried the hotel business. He soon moved to Ogden where he
worked in turn for Hanks C. Russell Company, Ogden City, and Sperry Flour

Bailey Allen Dixon
Zola Dixon

Bailey Allen Dixon was born March 23, 1889 at Afton (Star Valley),
Lincoln County, Wyoming to Harvey Dixon and Susan Elizabeth Harmon. He
was the seventh of nine children.
The family lived on a farm just out of the city limits. They raised their
own potatoes to eat and tried to raise wheat and hay, but the cold
climate usually froze the crops.
Bailey tells us the following stories.
I used to fight for my rights. I'll tell you that. That's about the first
thing I remember too, and if anyone wanted to fight, I'd fight them. Then
one day I met a fellow who was bigger than me, and I got all the fight
taken out of me.
Dad used to run a little bunch of sheep and my half brother, Asael and I
used to herd them out in the hills beginning early in the spring. The
snow drifts would melt and run down the hill and freeze again. We would
have to push the sheep across these slick frozen places.
One day I was above the sheep when I slipped on some of this ice. Down
through the whole band of sheep I slid and on down the hill. When I
finally got to the bottom my pants were all worn out.
We herded the sheep up the lane past the neighbors to go to the hills.
The neighbor kid wanted a little black face lamb we had in the herd. We
told him he could have it if he could catch it. We had an old buck in the
herd and when this kid tried to catch the lamb, the old buck took him in
the seat of the pants. He went home without the lamb.
Dad had two families and we lived about two miles apart. When I was about
eight years old, Asael and I used to go up a place called Little Canyon
where the chokecherries grew. We were eating cherries one day and Asael
hollered "bear"! I was scared to death and dropped the cherries
and ran down the canyon as hard as I could go. Of course there wasn't any
The school we went to in Afton was upstairs. It was used as a dance hall
also. One day our class got out early. I slipped up the stairs, opened
the door and yelled as loud as I could. Then I ran down the stairs as
fast as I could go. Everything went fine until I tripped on the bottom
step and went sailing out into the middle of a big puddle of water. When
the teacher come out I was standing on the sunny side of the building
trying to get dry.
We had a sheriff named Joe Call whose office was below the school. I was
scared of him. We kids weren't permitted to play in the school much, but
one day we got to throwing an overshoe around. I threw it and it broke a
gas light. The kids told the sheriff and he came to see me. He said he
was going to tell Dad and I was really scared. Dad never said anything
about it.
We used to go down by the river that we called Crow Creek. Wild
strawberries grew there, and up on the mountain there were wild grapes.
We used to eat them when they were ripe.
I can recall my Dad handling log chains when the temperature was forty
degrees below zero and he didn't wear any gloves.
We left Star Valley in October of 1900 in two wagons. It was snowing like
blazes. It took about thirty days to go to Hagerman Valley. Sometimes I
rode in the wagon and sometimes I rode a horse and drove the cattle. We
went by way of Stump Creek, through Soda Springs, Pocatello, and down the
south side of Snake River. We crossed the river at Starrhs Ferry and went
on down to a little island at Thousand Springs, about three miles south
of Hagerman.
We spent the winter of 1900-01 on this island. The weather certainly
contrasted a lot to what we were used to. We spent most of the winter in
our shirt sleeves.
That winter we went to school in Hagerman. We rode horseback. One time
Lyme and I were on one horse and Alf and Asael were on another. We had to
sidetrack just before we got to school for a place to feed the horses.
Lyme and I put our horse away and I hid behind a sagebrush. When Alf and
Asael came by I jumped out and hollered. It scared the horse and he threw
them both off. When we started home at night, I said, "Let's hurry and
I'll scare them again." Lyme gave the horse the spurs and I went off end
over end backwards and here came Alf and Asael on their horse and ran
right over the top of me. But it didn't hurt me anywhere.
We used to like to fish in a stream that came into Snake River at
Thousand Springs. Some of the fellows around there were talking about
swimming their horses across the stream. I had a horse called George. I
took him into the stream at the mouth where it went into the river and he
was just about ready to start swimming when a fellow named Gustin saw me
and yelled for me to go back. I found out later his purpose was to keep
me from swimming into Snake River. I never would have made it out.
We moved from Hagerman to Camas Prairie in the spring of 1901. We had an
awful time getting there, the mud was so bad. It would roll up on the
wheels until it blocked them against the wagon box.
Two men from Camas Prairie came to help us in. One was Tom Gustin, the
other Billy Sant. When we would get stuck, this Tom Gustin would lay on
his back, put his feet against the hub of the wagon wheel and lift on it.
He would always get us out. We landed on Fir Grove Flat about March or
April 1901.
Fir Grove was a small patch of timber on the side of the mountain. We got
our wood to burn there. Dad used to work up in there quite a bit. Once in
awhile I would go with him. It was a hard job because there were lots of
trees and big rocks.
My brother, Jim filed on a homestead that had an old house on it. We
fixed up the house the best we could and moved into it. There were four
rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs, and there was my father, his two
wives and all of us kids.
Shortly after we moved there, my half sister took appendicitis. The
closest doctor was fourteen miles away at Soldier. I can remember how she
suffered, and how hard it was to get the doctor, and how little they knew
about such things at that time.
We built another house and the two families could then live by
themselves. We lived at Fir Grove for about ten years. Eventually a one
room school house was built and I got three more years of school there.
We used to run cattle and horses on Fir Grove Flat.
Dad organized the Sunday School there. We belonged to the Fir Grove
Branch, Cassia Stake. The Stake Presidency was William T. Jack with
William T. Harper, and John L. Smith as counselors. They used to come
with a team and buggy to visit us. This was all the contact we had with
church for a number of years.
At the school in Fir Grove there was one unruly kid called Charley Sant.
The teacher had an awful time with him. One time she had to leave me in
charge of the class while she went to get his older brother to come and
get him. This kid and I had a fight. He reached in the wood box for a
stick of wood. I clamped down on his head with my knees and his sister
threw a book at me. We had a free for all until his brother finally came
to get him.
Fir Grove Branch was discontinued, so we went to church at the small town
of Manard. We finally sold the Fir Grove property and moved to Manard
where I finished my eighth grade schooling. There was a post office and a
general store at Manard. My half brother, Harvey ran the store. The
closest town was at Soldier about seven miles away.
Lyme and I used to break horses. We would fix a box on the front bob of a
pair of sleighs, hook a wild team on this and turn them loose. Lyme was
going to ride one of them one day and I was going to snub her to my
saddle. Somehow I lost the first turn on my saddle. The horse got loose,
ran to the end of the rope, and Lyme hit the ground hard.
When I was about nineteen my oldest half brother was carrying mail from
Soldier to Gooding. I would trade off with him sometimes. One day it was
really muddy and the mud would roll up and lock the wagon brakes, so we
took the brakes off. All that was holding the wagon was the team.
We were going down a long hill and the neck yoke broke and away we went.
We had five passengers and they hung on until they got thrown out. The
team went on until the wagon tipped over and caught on a rock, and then
they had to stop. One passenger, a Campbellite Minister, ran by us and
down to where the team was and said, "I got them stopped alright. They're
down there a ways." We finally found an old spring wagon someone had left
there, loaded everything on it and went on into Gooding.
We used to stack hay at Hagerman. Dad used to have mean horses around. We
had about three teams hauling hay from the field and one team on the
derrick. There was a saddle horse running loose in the field. He rolled
in some straw and chaff and got some caught in his tail. He ran by the
derrick team and spooked them. They ran away, broke the pull rope, took
off out into the field, and scared all three teams. They all ran away.
A fellow named John Coffin was driving one team. They ran across a
bridge, kicked the boards off, and fell in the water. Afterward he said,
"Well those horses will never run away again. When they hit the water, I
had both hands in the air and I baptized both of them. From now on
they'll be good horses."
The neighborhood was made up of these families, Dixons, Butlers, Stotts,
Adams, Olsons, Labrums, Robinsons, Jenkins, Poulsons, and Thurbers. We
had to furnish our own entertainment. We had dances and parties. We'd go
to each other's homes, mostly on Sunday afternoons. Our place and Brother
Butler's were the usual places. We'd have dinner together and play games.
We didn't have anything but horses, so we couldn't go a hundred miles in
two hours.
We used to dance until sun up. We'd start at eight or nine and dance
until mid-night, then quit and go to supper and come back and dance until
daylight. One 4th of July we danced all night, then went out and hauled
hay all day, danced all night again, and back to the hay field. At nine
o'clock 1'd had all I could take, so I went around on the shady side of
the stack and went to sleep. I slept the clock around.
One time I rode from Fir Grove to Soldier on our old cow pony, danced all
night, then started home the next morning. I went to sleep in the saddle,
and when I woke up, the horse was out in the middle of someone's herd of
cows wandering around.
It was while we were living in Manard that I met Eva Butler. I courted
her and later we were married in the Logan Temple on July 2, 1913. I was
twenty-four years old. Those years at Manard were the happiest years of
my life. After our marriage, we lived on a farm in a two room house. Our
oldest son Wallace was born May 30, 1914 in Manard. Due to difficulties
at birth he was totally dependant on us all of his life.
We spent the winter of 1917-18 in Salt Lake City in an effort to obtain
medical aid for Wallace. While we were there, I bucked freight for the
railroad to make a living. Our second son, LaMar was born there January
23, 1918. We returned to Camas Prairie and lived there until 1923 when we
moved to Rupert. I wanted to go ahead and take LaMar with me in the
wagon, but the relatives raised a fuss and said I couldn't take him, he
was five years old, so we got a railroad car and moved in that.
I tried farming for a year in the Jackson District about five miles east
of Rupert, then I went to
work sorting potatoes. We then moved into Rupert where we lived for a
time on Strawberry Lane. We then lived in a house on A Street where our
third son was born September 24, 1924. I still worked in potatoes, did a
little carpenter work, and started shearing sheep each spring. I had a
one man outfit for a number of years. I traveled in a wagon at first.
I spent two or three seasons in Pendelton, Oregon for Oscar Pearson. I
have worked with Lester Stott from Manard, and run a shearing plant for
Jim Farmer and Theo Painter. I also worked with a cousin, Marion
Once I started shearing sheep in Hammett, Idaho and ended up in Browning,
Montana close to the Canadian boarder. I could see the Glacier National
Park, but I never went there. I have also been in Lewiston, Montana. I
have been as far south as St. George, Utah and as far east as Fossil,
Sheep shearing was no place for kids so I never would take my boys with
me. It was fascinating work and once a sheep shearer, always a sheep
shearer. I didn't want my boys to shear sheep though. My daily average
was 140 -150 head per day. The most I ever did was 198.
I was shearing sheep for Pres. May one day and was complaining about it,
and he said, "Well, it's good honest work, nothing to be ashamed of."
Those fellows make good money, but they would usually turn themselves
loose when they got out like that.
One time when I was working with Ab Bybee the seats of the camp where we
ate were made of 2x8 lumber laid across a couple of saw horses. As I went
in to dinner I spread the 2x8's apart a couple of inches. Ab came in, sat
down, and we ate. I made sure I finished first. When I got up I grabbed
those boards and slammed them together. Ab almost went clear over the
table. I didn't get to see if I made any blisters. Ab liked to have
another cup of coffee after he ate his meals. I would try to stand up
after he got his elbow up good and give him a little help with it. Ab
always boasted that no one could get into his trailer house. He always
kept it locked. One day we picked the lock and took the skeleton of an
old sheep and hung it inside so that when the door opened it would swing
right out. We filled his bed with bones one time and he got even. He
filled my bed too. Willis Reed had a tool box built on the back of his
trailer house. One day when we broke camp, two or three of us filled the
box with dead sheep. He hauled it around for four or five days until it
got to stinking. Then he went looking to see what it was. Another time we
loaded it with rocks. Willis was writing a letter one time and I tried to
throw water on him. He grabbed my arm and tried to throw me over his
shoulder. It felt like he cracked my rib.
Breaking camp in Pendelton one day, one of the fellows hollered, "Dixon,
come here." I walked over, and he held out a bottle of whiskey. He said,
"Here's some of the best stuff made in Oregon."
I said, "Thanks for your kindness, but I don't use it." He said, "You
mean you've lived this long and you don't use this?" I said, "No I
don't." He said, "Well, I want to congratulate you."
Another fellow got the idea that he was going to get me to drink his
wine. He always had a gallon with him. He was going to show everyone he
was going to get me to drink it. One day I was sick and he came in and
offered me some wine. He told me how much good it would do me and how it
would make me feel better and all that. I refused it. He was very
disgusted when he left.
One day when we were in town, a fellow who was riding with me wanted me
to wait for him a minute. He went around the corner awhile and came back
with something in a sack. I didn't say anything, but I knew he had some
wine. I got about ten miles from town and asked him, "What would they say
if we had a wreck and that bottle got broke. They would say we were both
drunk. Now I've never been drunk in my life and I'm never going to be.
After this there won't be anymore bottles in my car." He soon went out
and bought his own car. We still bunked together after that, but when he
stayed out late playing cards and carrying on he wouldn't come in and
bother me. He'd make his bed out on the ground.
Eva had the care of the three boys while I was gone shearing the sheep.
Wallace became quite a chore for her. He had to lifted, carried, and fed.
We had him in the hospital for awhile too. We took him to the hospital in
Nampa, Idaho and had to leave him there for quite awhile. He passed away
at the age of sixteen November 22, 1930 and we buried him in the Rupert
When Keith was about eleven years old we ran a small Armour Creamery with
a few groceries for about a year. We lived in the back of the store for a
period. One time we tried to sell watermelons for five cents each. They
wouldn't sell so I put four of them in a basket and priced them for
twenty-five cents a basket. It wasn't long until they were all sold out.
There wasn't much profit there so I bought three lots on the north side
of Reed Avenue and all the ground on the south side. Eventually I sold
the south side ground. We built a house out of
railroad ties. While we were building we lived in a trailer house and a
tent. This was in 1935.
In 1936 LaMar graduated from high school. I was still shearing sheep for
a couple of years yet. I gradually got into some carpenter work and out
of the shearing business.
LaMar married Anna Seamons June 1,1938. I gave them one of the lots on
Reed Avenue for a wedding present, and helped them build a small house.
In 1940 Eva had to have an operation for a goiter, so I took her to the
hospital at Soda Springs. She went through the operation fine and was
doing well, but three or four days latter, she suddenly took a turn for
the worse and passed away June 24, 1940. She is buried in the Rupert
Cemetery beside Wallace.
On September 27, 1940, I married Bessie Roland in the Logan Temple. She
and her children moved into my house on Reed Avenue. She had one daughter
and four sons. Keith was the only one I had at home. I built a house next
to mine on my other lot and rented it out. I also remodeled the house I
lived in. It now had 3 bedrooms, a large front room, a large kitchen, and
a bath.
I took over management of Reeds Riteway Store in 1942. Keith enlisted in
the U.S. Army. He served until January 1946 and upon his return he
married Zola Jenson on February 28, 1946.
In 1950 I built a chicken coop on the back of my property and started
raising broiler chickens. I sold the house on the lot next to me and
LaMar had finished his house up. LaMar was offered a better job, so he
sold his house and took his family of four boys and one girl to Boise,
Idaho to live. This was in the fall of 1950.
In 1952 I quit the Riteway Store and raised chickens and did carpenter
work. I began to have trouble with stomach ulcers. In the following years
I expanded my chicken coops to about 4,500 capacity. Some of the
neighbors didn't like coops so close, so in November of 1959 I traded my
house in town for a 40 acre farm at 275 N. Meridian Road, about 3 miles
North of Rupert. I expanded my chicken coops to 9,000 capacity. The house
was old fashioned, so I remolded it.
Along with the 9,000 chickens (four times a year) I raised weiner pigs
and we have 3 pairs of Chinchillas, a dog, and a cat.
I've had a few good words said about me. Ted Simpson used to say, "I like
to be out with you because you're the same wherever you are." Von Wakely
used to say "If that Baily can do it, so can I. I'm never gonna get drunk
As for my parents, the last time I saw my Dad, we lived on Camas Prairie
and my half brother, Harvey had spotted fever. Dad got on a horse to go
and take care of him. He took the fever himself and died. He was 62 years
My mother died while I was shearing sheep at Gray's Lake. She had been
living at Manard. She was at Sabra's place in Bliss when she died, June
14, 1916. Both parents are buried in Hagerman Cemetery.
I was blessed about April 4, 1897; ordained a Deacon, date unknown;
ordained a Teacher September 13, 1908 by John L. Butler; ordained a
Priest, date unknown; ordained an Elder May 18, 1913 by Orland Funk;
ordained a Seventy May 15,1920 by G. Wallace Mecham; ordained a High
Priest March 7, 1943 by Thomas E. McKay. I have served as Scout Master,
Sunday School Teacher, Ward Clerk and have been a Counselor to Bishop J.
Dean Schofield and Bishop Lavon E. Darley during the early 1940's.
There has been a lot of smooth sailing and a lot of bumps in my life, but
I believe I've got as strong a testimony as anyone. I know that God lives
and that tomorrow, you have my story. Make it sound the best you can.
LaMar and Keith, sons of Bailey, recall the following incidences. Some
being told by their father or mother and others they remember themselves.
I recall Dad telling how the snow used to drift around the house at
Manard. When he came to the house after milking the cows he would have to
slide down the drift to the house with the bucket of milk. One time
Mother heard a thud against the door, and opening it , she found Dad all
covered with milk. He had slid too fast down the drift and landed against
the door and spilled milk all over him.
We used to have an Oakland touring car, about 1920 vintage, and the car
had to be cranked to start it. One day Dad was cranking it and it kicked
back, throwing the crank out, hitting Dad in the mouth, splitting his lip
open. This was the only time I can remember of ever hearing Dad cuss. We
took him to the doctor and had his lip sewed up. For some time
afterwards, when he ate his meals, he would have to place the spoon in
his mouth, then turn it over to draw it out.
I remember one time Dad was going to teach Mother to drive this same
Oakland car. They got
into it and Dad went through the gears, and the handling of the clutch.
Then Dad cranked it up. Mother started out, got all mixed up, and wound
up in the ditch. No damage was done except to her ego. I don't recall
Mother ever attempting to drive a car again.
When we lived on A Street, the folks belonged to a sort of a study group.
There were Doc Hyde, Jess Smith, Dave Borup, John Bowen, Joe Bailey, and
their wives. I suppose there were others that I have forgotten about. Joe
Bailey was a rather large man. They were having a watermelon bust one
time, and Joe Bailey decided to pick up a melon and run away with it.
About that time he tripped over something, probably Dad's foot, and
landed flat on the watermelon. Another time the group decided to have a
hobo party and dress up as such. By pre-arrangement food was distributed
around the neighborhood, and they were to go begging for their food. When
they got to the Freeman's place, Mr. Freeman made the men all go out and
cut up some old railroad ties that he had soaked with water, before he
would give them any food.
One time we were having a social at the church and Reed Catmull was to do
a hypnotism act. Reed got Dad up on the stage and hypnotized him
(supposedly). Then laid him down with his head resting on one chair and
his heels on another chair, with nothing under his body. Reed placed a
large concrete slab on Dad's chest, then broke it with a hammer. Dad
survived the act, but said he thought Reed cracked one of his ribs.
Another time I (LaMar) was helping Dad drive a well on the property on
Reed Avenue. The well casing was a one and a half pipe with a sand point
on the bottom end and a drive cap on the top end. We used a ten pound
sledge hammer to drive it with. I was standing on a scaffold driving with
the hammer, and Dad was down below holding the pipe straight. I was
probably about fifteen or sixteen at the time and able to handle the
hammer. I gave a good hard swing and the hammer head came off, hitting
Dad on the arm just below the shoulder. It knocked him down, and he just
lay there awhile holding his arm. We think to this day that it cracked
the bone in his arm, but he wouldn't go to a doctor to find out.
A friend of the family, Harold Peterson, has referred to Dad for years as
the "bad man" because of Dad's initials B.A.D. Dad has had a lot of fun
with Harold over this.
During the days of the depression in the early 1930's, there just wasn't
enough money to go around, so Dad used to go into the desert north of
Rupert and cut sage brush to use for firewood. I (LaMar) used to go with
him. I don't remember Keith going much. I suppose he was too young at the
time. Dad would hook the trailer on back of the Model T Ford we had, and
away we would go. One time when we got out into the desert the axle on
the car broke. Dad had to walk to a small railroad station called Kimama
and call into Rupert to have someone come out and tow us back to town.
If there was ever any commotion going on in a group and Dad was around,
you could be sure he was usually in the center of it. I remember him
telling about a Halloween prank he and some other young fellows pulled on
a neighbor. The neighbor had left the place. While he was gone they took
his buggy apart, then put it back together again, straddle the roof of
his house. Another time when he was sorting potatoes one of the fellows,
I think it was Vaud Peart, came to work with a mustache. Dad warned him
that he had better have it shaved off when he came back to work the next
day. Vaud didn't heed Dad's warning, so Dad and some of the others took
Vaud down and painted his mustache with Mercurochrome.
Keith says he recalls him and I taking Dad through the canal checks in an
auto innertube one time.
Dad always enjoyed his grandchildren, and they used to enjoy watching
Grandpa stand on his head for them. He was still doing it for them at the
age of 70.
At the time of this typing (July 1965) Dad had had quite an upset with
his ulcers. He spent several days in the hospital last spring with them
hemorrhaging, but the doctors succeeded in getting the bleeding stopped
and Dad went home after a few days rest. As I recall, this was his second
or third time in the hospital in the past three or four years.
Dad and Bessie still have their forty acres north of Rupert. Although Dad
doesn't farm the ground, he still raises chickens, fattens a few calves
and pigs, and still does carpenter work.
Dad and Mother never had any daughters, but between Keith and I, they
have four granddaughters and ten grandsons. One of the granddaughters,
Darlene, daughter of LaMar, was born on Dad's birthday March 23, 1956.
Keith and I pay tribute to a most wonderful father. His life has not been
an easy one, but he has left his sons a great heritage.

July 1968

Since Dad's history was completed and recorded his health continued to
Due to ulcers and Parkinson's disease he had to give up raising broiler
chickens, but he continued for awhile to do a little carpenter work. He
was loosing the use of his hands, though, and finally had to give this
up. After this he didn't move out of the house very much, except to
attend his priesthood meetings and other church meetings when he could.
In May 1967, he fell in the house and was unable to get himself to the
couch. Bessie was working at the store at the time. Shortly after Dennis
happened along and found him. He was taken to the Twin Falls Clinic for a
check up. He had not hurt himself in the fall, but his health continued
to decline while at the clinic. About May 17, 1967 he went into a coma
and died at 10:30 p.m. May 20, 1967.
So the curtain lowered on the life of a man loved by his family and many

Eva Butler Dixon
Zola Dixon

Eva Butler was born December 9, 1892 at Richfield, Sevier County, Utah.
She was the daughter of John Lowe Butler II. and Nancy Franzetta Smith.
She was the ninth of ten children.

-John Lowe Butler III. born June 5, 1874, Panguitch, Garfield, Utah; died
July 1, 1937; married November 15, 1899 to Bertha Melvina Thurber
-Franzetta Butler, born April 7, 1876, at Panguitch, Garfield, Utah; died
September 27, 1959; married July 21, 1898 to John Christensen
-Sarah (Sadie) Butler, born February 2, 1878, at Panguitch, Garfield,
Utah; died July 4, 1942; married January 12,1898 to Gomer Morgan Richards
-Caroline (Carrie) Butler, born December 2,1880, at Panguitch, Garfield,
Utah; died Mayll,1969; married April 7, 1903 to Isaac Erin Thurber
-Horace Calvin Butler, born February 6, 1883, at Joseph, Severe, Utah;
died October 6, 1958; married May 16,1906 to Ida Gould
-Olive Butler, born January 26, 1885, at Richfield, Severe, Utah; died
December 31, 1971; married January 17,1908 to Jesse Loren Smith
-Jane Butler, born February 22,1887, at Richfield, Severe, Utah; died
January 6, 1979; married March 6,1918 to Elmer W. Nielson
-Kenyon Taylor Butler, born May 10, 1889, at Richfield, Severe, Utah;
died April 26, 1982; married June 5, 1918 to Thelma Peterson
-Eva Butler, born December 9, 1892, at Richfield, Severe, Utah; died June
24, 1940; married July 2, 1913 to Bailey Allen Dixon
-Leland Thomas Butler, born March 21,1897 at Richfield, Severe, Utah;
married March 21, 1943 to Helen Camille Phelps Carter

John Lowe Butler II., Eva's father, was one of the original pioneers who
came across the plains before the time of the railroad. His parents
joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Simpson County,
Kentucky on March 9,1835 and shortly after migrated with members in the
area to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. It was there that John Lowe
Butler II. was born February 22,1844. He was eight years old when his
family crossed the plains in1852. He helped to drive two hundred head of
heifers to Utah where they settled at Spanish Fork. Here his father was
called to be the first Bishop. He was fifteen years old when his father

John Lowe, and his brothers, James and Thomas, working together, owned
and operated a farm by Panguitch Lake, running a sheep business, raising
horses, a big farm on the Severe River, and saw and shingle mill. They
were prosperous for a time, but in 1881 they sold their land and some of
the horses, dividing up the partnership. All three moved to Joseph,
Severe County, Utah where they bought farms. John ran sheep here until
1892 when he discovered the Carry Mine, which later became the Butler-
Beck Mining Company, located on Deer Creek about thirty miles southwest
of Richfield, Utah. This mine seemed to be his undoing financially. It
did not prosper.
It was here that Eva was born in 1892. When Eva was just a little girl
her father's health began to fail. He developed Brights Disease and died
December 30, 1898.

Eva's oldest brother and family had moved to Camas Prairie and
homesteaded a farm in 1904. Erin Thurber and family followed in 1905 and
Horace Butler, his wife Ida and infant daughter also followed in 1907.
Eva, her little brother, Tom Lee, K.T., and her mother moved to the
Prairie where they stayed with John and Bertha until a home could be
secured for them close by. This was where Eva lived until she married at
age 21.
The first school attended by Eva and K.T. on the Prairie, in 1905-1906
was held in a granary on the Labrum's place. It had been cleaned out and
benches with desks had been put across the room in the little one room
"school". The teacher was Mr. McAdams. Later they built a one room
schoolhouse on John's farm, and Eva and K.T. attended there.
Ethel Jenkins was Eva's best girl friend. She was also friends with Essie
Lee, but Eva and Ethel were together alot. Gradually more families moved
in, and they built a school at Manard. They also built the Manard Hall
where they held church, all church functions, and dances for the
community. Right in Manard there was a little store run by the Harvey
Dixon, Jr. Family. Joseph H. Thurber ran a blacksmith shop, and his wife,
Annie served as the midwife for the community.
The young people at this time surely had a lot of fun. Carrie remembers
the time the young people had a "chickeree". They gathered up a chicken
at two or three of the homes, went to one place, killed, dressed, and
cooked them. What a feast! Among the young people near Eva's age were
K.T., Jane Butler, Lee Tom Butler, Bailey, Alf, and Lyme Dixon, Elmer
Nielson, Hyrum Lee, Florance Adams, Carrie Worthington, Eva and Elva
Labrum, Edna Thurber, and Jimmie McClure.
One year K.T. Butler, Florence Adams, Eva, Elva, and others went
taboganning. Coming down the hill they slipped and fell off the tabogan.
All were injured, but Eva was the most serious. The following summer her
injured knee required surgery in Salt Lake City. She favored this leg for
the rest of her life.
In 1913, when Eva was 21, her mother spent most of the winter in Utah
visiting two of her daughters. She return with a bad cold that turned to
pneumonia. On April 21,1913 Nancy F. Butler died.
On July 2, 1913, Eva and Bailey were married in the Logan Temple. They
returned to Manard and lived for a time with Bailey's mother, Susan
Dixon. Aunt Susie Dixon's (as everyone called her) house was a little
like a duplex, and during the winter of 1913, Erin Thurber and his family
lived in one half of her house. The crops had frozen for several years in
a row and times were very difficult. He had tried employment in Oregon
and upon his return this arrangement was made.
November 3 of this same year, the Boise Stake was formed. Francis M.
Lyman and Rudger Clawson, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,
William T. Jack, President of the Cassia Stake, F. S. Bramwell, President
of the Union Stake, and Melvin J. Ballard, President of the Northwestern
States Mission, participated in the deliberations. Heber Q. Hale was
sustained as President, with William F. Rawson, First Counselor, C. Oscar
Winkler, Second Councilor, and Wilford M. McKendrick, Stake Clerk. The
High Council consisted of Richard N. Hill, Arthur B. Case, George Wilford
Sparks, Herbert E. Hansen, Roland H. Smith, Alonzo Read, George E.
Hellewell, Jr., Herman P. Fails, William Gough, and William Grant. Later
the Blaine Stake was organized in Carey, Idaho, August 3,1919.
Eva and Bailey were living at Aunt Susie's place when their first baby,
Wallace Bailey Dixon, was born May 30, 1914. Because of a long, difficult
birth, he was left totally dependent all of his life.
The winter of 1917 and 1918 they moved to Salt Lake City, where Bailey
worked for the railroad. Here their second son was born. In 1923 they
moved to Rupert, Idaho, where they managed a store and Bailey followed
the sheep shearing in the spring.
As Wallace grew older, the physical care he required began to affect
Eva's health, so in the summer ofl930 it became necessary for him to be
hospitalized in Nampa. Eva was very reluctant, so
Bailey's brothers, Lyme and Jim helped her take him there while Bailey
was away shearing. November 30, 1930, at the age of sixteen, Wallace
passed away.
Eva's health continued to decline. She developed a goiter that required
surgery. Even though the operation seemed to be a success, she did not
regain her health and died June 28, 1940. She is buried in Rupert beside
her son, Wallace.

The James H. Dixon Family
Dick Dixon

The James H. Dixon family moved to a farm located 2-1/4 miles southwest
of Manard in the spring of 1916. They had previously lived at Fir Grove,
Idaho, which is approximately 7 miles south of Manard.
James Henry Dixon was born in southeastern Idaho in the town of Clifton
on December 3, 1878. During the summer of 1885 when he was 7 years old,
he moved with his family to Star Valley, Wyoming, where he lived until
the year 1900. Then, as a young man, he moved again with his family to
Hagerman, Idaho. The family soon moved to Fir Grove.
While living in Star Valley, James had known a young lady by the name of
Sarah Elizabeth Hurd. They corresponded with each other after James moved
to Hagerman. Sarah then traveled by train from Montpelier, Idaho, where
they met and were married at Shoshone, Idaho on November 14, 1904. They
made their first home at Fir Grove, but the family often spent the
winters in Hagerman because of the severe winters at Fir Grove and the
shortage of winter feed for their livestock.
Born to this union were:

Lynn                        12/21/05                          Fir Grove
Ressa                       6/25/07                           Fir Grove
Ray                         3/22/10                           Fir Grove
Louise                            9/7/11
      Fir Grove
Verl                        11/9/12                           Fir Grove
Ralph                       9/18/14                           Fir Grove
Leah                        4/4/16
Gwen                        1/16/20                           Manard
Dick                        1/28/22                           Manard
Ken                         3/22/24                           Manard

At Manard, the family became part of a community that consisted of about
12 to 15 families located near the Malad River on the southern edge of
Camas Prairie.
When the family moved to Manard, a two story home was on the property
that consisted of a living room, kitchen, and one upstairs bedroom. An
addition was made to this house that included one bedroom downstairs and
one upstairs. A large fruit cellar was attached to the kitchen and Sarah
regularly stocked this cellar with bottled fruits and vegetables. The
home was heated with wood stoves and cooking was done on a large wood
burning cook stove in the kitchen.
Ground water was available on the property at about 15 feet below the
surface. Water was supplied to the house from a well and pitcher pump
located in one comer of the kitchen. This well had been constructed by
attaching a special drill point to the end of a long, galvanized pipe
that was approximately 1-1/4" in diameter. The drill point contained
openings just behind the sharp point which allowed water to flow into the
pipe after it was driven into the ground. These openings were filled with
soap to prevent dirt from entering the pipe as it was driven into the
ground. When the drill point was below the water level, a hand operated
pitcher pump was affixed to the top end of the pipe. When the soap was
dissolved from the openings in the drill point by the ground water,
clear, cold, soft water could easily be pumped into the kitchen.
A porcelain sink was installed and water flowed from the pump into the
sink. Waste water from the sink was drained through a pipe to the outside
of the house. This was the only plumbing in the house.
Outbuildings were constructed near the house consisting of a barn that
could accommodate a
large number of cows and horses. In the top of the barn was a hayloft
that was used to store hay and feed for the animals. Chicken coops,
pigpens, fences and corrals were added as needed. A well with about a 10"
metal casing was dug near the barn. A pitcher pump with a pipe extending
down into the water was installed. Water was pumped by hand from this
well into a large metal trough to water all of the farm animals.
A large granary was built that contained bins for grain storage and a
hand turned cream separator was located in that building. A lean-to
extension was added at the west of the granary and a lean-to garage was
added at the south side of the granary. This garage later housed the
first Model T Fords and a 1928 Chevrolet that were owned by the family. A
small building was constructed in an inconspicuous place near the west
end of the granary. The building contained the usual two hole outdoor
toilet that was present on every home site during that era.
Manard was approximately 5,000 feet above sea level and winter
temperatures were always cold and the snow very deep. Quilting frames
were often present in the living room as Sarah made quilts for the cold
winter nights.
The summer growing season was short. Life for the family was difficult
and much the same as it had been for rural America before the turn of the
century. There was no electricity and no modem appliances. Lighting of
the home and farm buildings was accomplished by kerosene or gasoline
lamps or lanterns. Clothes were washed with homemade soap in a tub with a
scrubbing board. They were dried on a clothesline and ironed with flat
irons that were heated on top of the wood burning cook stove. The first
family radio was operated with large dry cell batteries.
The economy relied almost exclusively on crops produced by horse drawn
farm machinery and meat and dairy products obtained from farm animals.
Transportation was usually by horse drawn wagon, buggy, sleigh, horseback
or walking.
While at Manard, the Dixon family owned a large herd of Holstein milk
cows. Often 20 cows or more were being milked by hand night and morning.
It was one of the largest dairy herds in Camas County. The milk was
usually put through the cream separator and the cream was placed in 10
gallon cans and sold to a creamery to make butter. The skim milk was
normally fed to the pigs and to the small calves.
For a time, the family was involved in the production of cheese. Large
tubs of milk were heated on top of the wood burning cook stove. Rennet
was then added to curdle the milk and coloring added to achieve the
proper color. The whey was removed and the curds wrapped in cheesecloth
and placed in metal cylinders. These metal cylinders were open at both
ends and had a diameter and length of about 10". The cylinders, with the
curds, were placed vertically into a cheese press where a large threaded
screw device was tightened down on a flat plate that entered the top of
the cylinder. As this press was screwed down tighter and tighter, it
applied hundreds of pounds of pressure to the curds in the cylinder. The
cylinders were left in the press for a time, and then removed. Each
cylinder would then contain a beautiful and delicious round cheese. The
cheese press contained four pressing stations and four cheeses could be
made at one time. The cheese was sold or traded for commodities and was
an importance source of income for the family.
A large garden was usually grown just south of the house. Peas, string
beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, rhubarb, gooseberries, and
other produce were grown in this garden.
When Ray was about 19 or 20 years of age, he decided that he wanted to
establish a well and water system for this garden. A location for the
well was selected at the top of the garden and, in one day, Ray, using
only a hand shovel, dug the 12 to 15 feet down to the water level. The
sides of the well were lined with boards to prevent the dirt from caving
in and a length of pipe and a rotary water pump were installed. A one
cylinder gasoline engine drove the pump by a belt and water was pumped
into the garden.
The family always owned a large herd of horses, sometimes exceeding 20 in
number. Two or three of these horses were used for riding, but the
remainder were draft animals used to pull farm machinery in the fields,
or wagons and sleighs that were usually equipped with hay racks to haul
feed to the livestock. Range conditions permitting, the horse herd was
often turned loose to pasture in the hills just south of the farm.
The principal crops grown in the fields were wheat, barley, oats and
alfalfa hay. The ground was plowed using a twin plow with eight horses
attached. Sometimes two of these plows would be operating in the field at
the same time. James occasionally would hook three more horses to a hand
plow, sometimes known as a "foot burner," and go into the field and plow
just to speed up the operation. After plowing, the ground was prepared
with harrows, discs, or levelers as needed, and
then planted by a grain drill pulled by four horses. The hay and some of
the grain crops were irrigated by water from a canal that brought water
from the Twin Lakes Reservoir.
Grain crops were harvested by a "binder" machine that cut the grain and
bound it into bundles. These bundles were later thrown into a threshing
machine that traveled from farm to farm throughout the community. Grain
harvesting was later done by one of the early horse propelled traveling
combines that cut and threshed the grain in one operation.
Harvested grains were usually stored in the bins of the granary near the
home. Much of the wheat was sold as a cash crop, but some was used as
feed for chickens, turkeys, pigs and other animals. All of the barley and
oats were normally fed to the horses, pigs and other livestock.
The family owned a unique grain grinder that was sometimes used to grind
grain before it was fed to the animals. This grinder consisted of two
round grinding plates and a hopper at the top that fed grain to the
plates. A pole about twelve feet in length provided power to the grinder
as it was rotated through a 360 degree arc. One horse was attached to the
outer end of this pole by single tree and tethered to walk in a circle
around the grinder. As the horse walked in a circle, the grain was ground
and it would fall from a spout at the bottom of the grinder into a
waiting container.
The alfalfa hay was cut using the usual two horse mowing machine. The hay
was raked into wind rows and later into shocks or individual, small
piles. A two horse buck rake was used to push approximately six or eight
of these small piles into a much larger pile. These larger piles were
then pushed by the buck rake to a stacking location where they were
deposited and secured on a chain net. The net and hay were then lifted
with a team of horses using a pole derrick that was equipped with cables
and pulleys. The hay was deposited at the top of what would eventually
become a very large and well shaped stack of hay. The hay stacking crew
consisted of a buck rake driver, a net tender, a derrick team driver and
a hay stacker who worked on top of the stack forming and shaping it with
a pitchfork. In the winter, hay was taken from these large stacks to fill
the barn loft and to feed the cattle and horses.
The family recreation in the winter often included a small hand sleigh,
snow skis, and sometimes ice skates for the children. Skating on a frozen
pond or sliding down a nearby hill was great fun and 20 feet of rope
attached to a saddle horse or a horse drawn sleigh always provided a
great ride for a skier or a hand sleigh rider.
Swimming in the canal or river was a favorite pastime in the summer.
Indoor activities often involved such games as Checkers or Rook and a
large windup cabinet phonograph was in the home to play favorite records.
Many records were available and family members recall the Tampa and
William Tell overtures that were played hundreds of times on that
Community activities were centered in the very small town of Manard. When
goods and services were not available in Manard, the family traveled to
the town of Fairfield that was five miles north of the Dixon farm.
A two room school house was located in Manard and the Dixon children
attended that school from the first through eighth grades. The children
traveled to this school by horseback, wagon, sleigh, or any means of
transportation available, but often walked the 2-1/4 miles each way. Some
of the older children attended high school in Fairfield.
An LDS church building had been constructed in Manard in 1911 and this
building was used not only for church activities, but for social
activities including dancing and basketball. James Dixon served as Bishop
of the Manard congregation for over 14 years.
The effects of the great national economic depression that started in
1929 were soon felt by the Dixon family at Manard. Prices for dairy
products and all other items that the family normally produced and sold,
fell to an unbelievably low level.
By the year 1933, the situation was desperate and the family moved to a
farm 4-1/2 miles west, northwest of Gooding, Idaho. Weather conditions
were less severe at Gooding and it was hoped that a better life could be
found at the location. They lived on the Gooding farm until 1953 when
James retired and moved to a small home in the town of Gooding.
James died May 3, 1963 and Sarah died January 19, 1974. They are buried
beside each other at the Elmwood Cemetery at Gooding.

Riley Lyman Dixon and Alva Reta Robinson
Clifton Dixon

Riley Lyman Dixon was born in Clifton, Idaho January 10, 1884. He was the
fourth child and second son of Harvey Dixon and Susan Harmon. While very
young he went with his mother and father to Star Valley in Wyoming where
Harvey built the first log cabin in Afton, Wyoming.
Pioneering in Star Valley was not easy. Few crops thrived there. Wheat
would usually freeze but oats would usually mature and alfalfa hay would
provide a cutting or two. Summer range was excellent and large meadows in
the center of the valley were harvested for hay. Lyme, as he was called
remembers his father taking an ox team and wagon to these meadows daily
and cutting the tall grass with a scythe. After drying a day or so the
grass was gathered into bunches to cure. It was then loaded onto the
wagon by hand and hauled home where it was pitched onto a stack. This
procedure continued throughout the summer providing a load of hay a day
for the livestock winter feed.
Because of the harsh climate the Dixons began to look for a new location.
When the irrigation project was being developed at Blackfoot, Idaho,
several members of the family went there to help build the canals during
the summer. Lyme remembered he was the only one who stayed on the job the
whole summer without traveling back to Afton for a visit. Harvey traveled
to Hagerman Valley to investigate the possibility of buying land there.
Conditions seemed favorable so in 1900 the family moved to Hagerman
Valley. Several homesteaded at Fir Grove where there was abundant range.
They leased the Mullin's Ranch along the Malad River to raise hay for the
livestock. For a time they leased the hotel and livery stables at Bliss.
There was much to do and Lyme did his share as farmhand, cowboy, and
stage driver. Outfits were leased to those coming to Bliss by railroad,
and desiring to travel a distance from there by team and buggy.
For a time he drove a team for the government surveyors who were
surveying land south and west of Bliss across Snake River. Direction was
determined by instrument, but distance was usually determined by tying a
handkerchief to the spoke of a buggy wheel and counting the revolutions.
Section and Quarter Comers were located by this means.
Harvey Dixon died in the summer of 1906. That fall the cattle were
rounded up and divided between the families of Kitty and Susan.
The range cattle were divided by the oldest son riding into the herd and
alternately cutting out a cow and a calf for his mother's herd. When all
the pairs were taken, the single cattle were cut out in the same way.
Division of the horses and other property was by negotiation.
At this time several members of the family were interested in a cheese
factory at Fir Grove. This seemed to have continued for a time. Manard
Mercantile advertised local cheese for sale. Origin is not positively
identified, but probably it was from the Fir Grove Cheese Factory. Family
members gradually withdrew from the family organization, and about 1916 a
Mr. Faulkner bought or traded for all the homesteads at Fir Grove.
August 3, 1916 James H. Dixon traded his homestead at Fir Grove for the
Jim Stewart place two miles southwest of Manard. He acquired most of the
cheese making equipment and operated it on a limited scale as a family
Riley L. worked with the family livestock organization for a time. A home
was built for Kitty Dixon at Fir Grove, and a home was built for his
mother, Susan, at Manard. He probably helped build both of these. He
spent a year at the B.YD. Academy in Logan, and a couple of years at
Oakley Academy where part of his studies were in wood working. He and his
brother, Bailey seemed to have a partnership of sorts building in Manard.
Lyme Dixon probably did more building in Manard than any other person.
1912 he was the ditchrider for the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation
Company. This was a summer job. Evidently building occupied most of his
time. From 1914 -1917 he was ditchrider again. From this time on he
seemed to be increasingly interested in the Twin Lakes Reservoir and
Irrigation Company. He was either board member or secretary until he
moved to Gooding in 1935. During this time he helped with replacement of
the old wooden structures i.e., flumes, checks, and headgates, with
permanent concrete structures.
He and Bailey purchased an eighty acre farm two miles west of Manard, and
built a nice house and modem barn on it. Bailey married and lived here
for a time. They intended for Bailey to farm, and Lyme to continue the
building business. Bailey's first son was handicapped and being isolated
with this problem was not to his wife, Eva's liking, so Bailey sold his
interest in the farm, and Lyme became a farmer in about 1916.
In 1915, Lyme's daily trips as ditchrider took him past the farm of John
L. Robinson where he frequently stopped for a drink of water. Here, he
met John's sister Alva Reta Robinson. This was the beginning of an
association which took them to the Salt Lake Temple where they were
married October 10,1916. The farm west of Manard became the family home
where two sons and four daughters were born and raised.

Clifton Robinson Dixon                 October 16,1917
Dwight Robinson Dixon                  June 16, 1919
Beth Dixon                                   July 3, 1921
Lois Dixon                                   June 10, 1924
Dot Dixon                                    April 6, 1926
Del Ora Dixon                                July 21,1930

Alva was the youngest daughter of James Coup Robinson and Farozine
Butler, born August 27, 1893 in Paragonah, Utah. As the youngest daughter
she was encouraged to go the school. She graduated from the Branch
Agricultural College in Cedar City and spent two summers at The
University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She taught school in Buckhorn, ten
miles north of Paragonah, for a year.
The Robinson Family members were faithful Latter-day Saints. Before Alva
was born, her father, James Coup, had served a mission in the Southern
States for two years. He left the care of farm and family to his wife and
teenage sons Jim and John. During his absence, a three year old daughter
died and a daughter was born. A total of ten children were raised in this
Early on Bailey and Lyme had purchased ten head of Holstein cows. This
made it necessary to keep a gentleman of the species. They joined a bull
association which imported a number of animals from Wisconsin, Cache
Valley, Utah, and other parts. These animals were not famous for their
gentle dispositions. The members of the association did not usually take
the trouble to build safety facilities to handle these beasts. As the
number of dairy herds diminished, members were left to their own devices
to replace the stock. His brother, Jim, lived a mile to the southeast,
and in the early 30's the Dixon Brothers purchased a bull from Fred
Eggers, a prominent and successful dairyman in Meridian, Idaho. This
animal had a pedigree that was most impressive. His dam was named Martha
Washington. His name was George Washington. At eighteen months of age,
when purchased, he weighed eighteen hundred pounds. Before long he
weighed over a ton and had developed a vile and hateful disposition.
In keeping with the local tradition, the Dixon's chose to rely on a fast
horse, a handy pitch fork, and an alert guardian angel to protect them
and their families from this real and present danger. There were many
close calls, some real thrills, but no serious injuries or fatalities in
their families. But newspaper accounts of the day indicate that other
dairymen were not always so fortunate. Because George's daughters were
beautiful and very productive, there was great reluctance to send him
away. So the normal two year term in the herds was extended a couple of
years. His disposition did not improve with time.
This writer had an experience that has been related a few times but so
far not recorded. It was a rule that no one should go near him without a
pitch fork in hand. In obedience to this rule, I was driving the cows to
pasture one day. I went ahead to open the gate, and as the cows filed
past me, George came along. As he passed I prodded him in the hind
quarters with the fork. I suddenly had reason to regret it. He turned so
quickly, I barely had time to get both hands on the fork. But as he came
around I caught him in the side of the head with all four tines. I can
still remember the steel grinding on teeth or bones. He attacked so
violently that he almost tore the fork from my hands. As we struggled the
pain, no doubt, intensified so that he turned his head, and the fork
penetrated upward, all the time grinding on bone. He finally gave up and
followed the cows into pasture.
I hate to continue this tale because it demonstrates that I'm a slow
learner, but a week or so later the cows were filing out of the corral
gate. This six foot wide gate was in the comer of the corral, and here
came George. Thoughtlessly, I prodded him again. He was about half way
through the gate, but the response was the same as previously. This time
he encountered a heavy, double-gate post. Since the gate was in the comer
of the corral he couldn't easily back up and turn. He hit the gate post
so hard that the gate never did swing properly again. I didn't want him
to back up through
the gate so I stepped up and drove the fork into his flank and belly. I
did it repeatedly, penetrating four or five inches every time. He
struggled for a time, but finally ran off. About this time I became
fearful of these close encounters and turned to a twelve gauge shotgun
for a cure. He soon became gun shy. One day when I was horseback he
challenged me, and drove me off. I returned to the scene with a gun. At
first shot he broke and ran. I pursued him full speed shooting him
several times. I noticed that shot would penetrate the hair on his back
and slide along his hide raising little columns of dust along his back.
This settled the matter. If a rider approached riding horseback, he would
immediately go to the other side of the herd keeping the cows between him
and the rider at all times.
Lyme kept between ten and twenty head of horses. Most were small draft
horses with two or three saddle horses. He had had quite a bit of
experience breaking horses and often said he would rather use a mean
horse than a tired one. This attitude allowed a number of horses to stay
around that had developed a bad habit of running away. This was
contagious, and nearly every horse on the farm became a potential
problem. One summer there were seventeen major events resulting in broken
harness, wrecked wagons and machinery, a horse with a broken leg that had
to be destroyed, and one horse that was killed by impact with machinery.
In 1934 we purchased an F30 International Farmall tractor. This quickly
replaced most of the horses, but a team or two, and a couple of saddle
horses were kept for some time.
Summer travel was improved by the purchase of a Model T Ford in 1919.
These early cars were a great improvement. Under favorable conditions
they would travel almost as far in an hour as a team of horses would in a
day. But they were not suitable for winter travel on Camas Prairie. Snow
plows and heated cars were still in the future and the air was too fresh
for comfort in the fall and winter.
In 1928 a Chevrolet, two door sedan was purchased. It was enclosed and
had a heater of sorts, but it was several years before it was used year
round. By this time roads had been improved by grading and gravel.
Extended trips became practical and the family embarked on a trip that
was memorable. We traveled Highway 30 to Burley the first day. Here we
camped over night. Next day took us to Ogden where we visited Harvey
Dixon, Lyme's older brother. After a day of rest we proceeded to
Paragonah, Utah where Grandmother Robinson lived. Quite a contingent of
the Robinson Family lived in Parowan, Cedar City, Enterprise, and other
locations in southern Utah. A family expedition was generated and we
visited Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, and Zion's National Park. Four or
five car loads - twenty or thirty people were traveling together. First
night out found us far from civilization. As they were preparing the
evening meal it was discovered there was only one loaf of bread in our
possession. There was some consternation, especially on the part of Uncle
Sam Jones who seemed to be the chief engineer of the project. Finally his
teenage daughter, Lillis suggested that if Dad would bless the bread
there should be enough to feed the multitude. Some thought this was funny
- Uncle Sam did not!
The crisis was contained by having hotcakes for a couple of meals until
we found a store. This was okay by most of the kids. I remember that
hotcake and bologna sandwiches were not too bad.
It's hard to forget the spectacular beauty in this part of Utah. We had
never seen rock formations in such bewildering shapes and colors. In the
eyes of kids, it was wonderful. We traveled for a couple of weeks in
Utah, then returned to Idaho, visiting family in Star Valley, Wyoming and
Idaho Falls, Idaho. Between Star Valley and Idaho Falls we crossed the
Southfork of the Snake River on a ferry, which was something new to all
of us. From there the return home was uneventful. We had taken most of a
month. Uncle Philemon had taken care of the chores while we were away.
For a long time cows were milked by hand and the milk separated. The
cream was sold and the skim milk was used to feed other live stock -
calves, hogs, chickens, etc. For a time hogs were raised with some
success. But a mix up in vaccinations resulted in introducing hog
cholera, by way of some high priced breeding stock. This complicated hog
production, and it was soon given up. -Lyme had a small flock of sheep
for a short time but soon abandoned them because of the attention they
generated among the coyotes. They usually kept a few chickens for eggs
and meat. Some were sold but most were used for family consumption. They
had a few turkeys, hatching them with turkey hens and chickens. Prices
for turkeys became quite attractive and they soon expanded, buying a
thousand baby turkeys each year to be raised for the Thanksgiving and
Christmas market. From about 1927-1933 turkeys were a major project.
Lyme still kept twelve to fourteen dairy cows. When they quit raising
turkeys the cows were gradually increased to twenty or so. About 1933 a
milking machine was purchased. It was a double
unit. A ten gallon pail was placed between two cows and a milking unit
placed on the cow on each side. This was quite an improvement, but they
began to winter in the lower country, and the milking machine was not
portable. In 1936 the herd of cows were sold. They were good ones. Most
of them were daughters of George Washington. He received $70.00 a head
for twenty-two cows.
A herd of three or four hundred head of sheep was purchased. They were
well suited to the migrant operation. Lambing was in sheds in the lower
country. Then they ranged between Gooding and the Prairie for a month or
two and spent the rest of the summer on pasture along the Camas Creek.
Hay was hauled from the Prairie to the winter quarters at Gooding. This
worked quite well while one of the boys was home, but when school and
missions left Lyme alone he sold the sheep, and bought a herd of forty
Herford cows. Cattle required less attention than sheep and were also
suited to the migrant operation.
In 1935 a log house was built in Gooding. Peeled pine logs were sawed on
three sides and erected for exterior walls. Partitions were framed and
the walls were covered with celotex wallboard. The house had a full
basement and two upstairs bedrooms. In 1943 a forty acre farm northeast
of Gooding was purchased, and the log house was sold. The farm had a good
unfinished house on it. By finishing this house they had a good home and
room to handle their livestock in winter.
In December 1941, Riley L. Dixon was sustained as Bishop of the Gooding
Ward and charged with building a chapel. A lot had been purchased, and
five hundred yards of gravel had been hauled to that site. Building
materials were not available because of the war, but the members of the
Ward cut timber from the National Forest north of Fairfield and had it
sawed into lumber. It was decided that the lots they owned were not large
enough. A full city block was found on the east side of South Main. It
was soon purchased and the gravel and lumber hauled to the new location.
Church headquarters participated in building at this time, furnishing
plans and specifications, and a substantial amount of cash. By the end of
the war there was considerable material on hand, and preliminary plans
had been made. Lyme still farmed forty acres in Gooding and over two
hundred acres on the Prairie. When construction of the new building
started he began one of the most challenging periods of his life.
Negotiations with Salt Lake, securing scarce building materials, fund
raising, and supervision of construction, along with making a living was
a full time job. He was approaching sixty years of age.
Although it kept him very busy he was able to handle the building project
without too much hardship. He was well supported by members of the church
as well as some non-members. Neighbors were also of material assistance
in his farming and livestock business. The meeting house was finished and
dedicated in 1952. The red brick building was a source of pride for him
as long as it stood.
In the mean time, he sold the forty acre farm and bought a house in
Gooding. He was still farming on the Prairie and running a small herd of
beef cattle, but needed a location to winter. In 1951 he purchased a
hundred and sixty acre farm east of Gooding, and formed a partnership
with his son, Clifton, to operate it. It was marginally successful for
about fifteen years. But Clifton began to develop other interests, and
Lyme wasn't getting any younger, so it was sold in 1967. He retired to
his home in Gooding until more doctors' care was required, and he moved
to Utah. He died at the . home of his daughter, Lois Bird, November 23,
1976, in Murray, Utah. His wife, Alva R. Dixon died April 26, 1980.
Riley Lyman Dixon was a builder at heart. When construction was going on
in Manard, he probably did more than any other person. He supervised the
building of the New Manard Recreation Hall, assisted in building the
Manard Mercantile, he remodeled the Manard School, and built the school's
teacherage, he built a home for Harvey Dixon, Jr., his mother's home, a
home for Riley G. Dixon, Bill Borup, and a number of farm structures
including his own home and farm buildings west of Manard. He was also
deeply involved in changing the original wooden structures of the Twin
Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company to modern concrete and metal
structures. This included headgates, checks, and flumes.
Later in life he built himself a log home in Gooding, supervised the
building of the Gooding L.D.S. Church, and remodeled another home for his

The Migration Of The Finch Family
Erma Shockley

October 9, 1899 Richard Napolean Bonipart Finch, son of Richard and
Angelina Finch, married Christina May Bair, daughter of Michael and
Jennie M. Bair, at Turkville, Kansas.
After eight years they had added four boys and a girl to the family.
"Come west," pleaded Richard's father, mother, and brothers who had moved
to Boise Valley in 1898.
In 1909 Richard Napoleon Finch (thus shortened to RNB Finch) sold his
farm in Kansas and ventured west.
With his wife, "May", sons Mike, Ben, Bert, Grant and his daughter,
Louise, he loaded all their belongings and livestock on to a train to
Meridian, Idaho where he had purchased an eighty acre ranch. The house
still stands northeast of Meridian as it was eighty years ago.
Charley was born in 1909 and Erma in 1914 at Meridian.
With the family rapidly growing, RNB felt he needed more land and a
larger house if he and the boys were to work together. So he traded the
Meridian property for one in Manard, Idaho, near Fairfield.
In early spring, 1917, RNB and Mike trailed the horses to Manard. Leaving
Mike there, RNB returned by train to organize the rest of the moving. The
furniture and machinery were shipped by train. A wagon was loaded with
bedding, cooking utensils, groceries, harnesses, hay, oats, and
everything needed for the long trek to Manard by way of Castle Rock. RNB
drove the wagon. Bert, twelve, on horseback, looked after the cattle.
Ben, fourteen, and Grant, nine, followed on foot with the sheep.
Traveling was very slow as the sheep and cattle had to forage for grass.
The hay and oats they packed were for the wagon team and saddle horses. A
big band of sheep had gone through ahead of them leaving little on which
to graze. The boys found numerous abandoned lambs tangled in heavy sage
brush and thickets. The lambs and three calves born on the way were
loaded into a pen on the back of the wagon.
Even with the help of their dogs, the boys were having a hard time
keeping the sheep from straying, but they moved on daily. If they made
five miles a day they felt lucky.
Grant's shoes wore out and he chased sheep barefooted.
Every night RNB rubbed Grant's feet with bag balm to keep down the
cracking and infection, and checked the boys over for wood ticks. Grant
and Ben usually had several ticks that had to be removed with a dab of
After thirty-one days they reached Hill City. The next morning Grant
awoke with a very high fever. Leaving Ben and Bert with the stock, RNB
loaded Grant into the wagon and took him to Fairfield, hoping to find a
doctor. The doctor was away delivering a baby, so RNB took Grant on out
to the ranch.
Mrs. Alice Lee and "Aunt Annie" Thurber came to help cook and to help
care for Grant. Neighboring men and boys came to help with chores and
with everyone's efforts, Grant got over the crisis. He was very weak and
couldn't walk without help and it seemed hard for him to talk for awhile.
The furniture and machinery arrived and neighbors got together again to
help Mike bring it from Fairfield in wagons. Mike sent a second telegram
to his mother. There had been no word from her.
The ladies of the community arrived to clean and organize the house and
furniture, putting it in order for the arrival of the rest of the family.
Ben came down with spotted fever, but it didn't affect him as much as it
had Grant.
May, Louise, Erma, and Charley had been spending several days with each
friend and relative, saying good-bye as if they were never to see each
other again. When they connected with the telegrams, May and the children
boarded the train at Boise. May and Louise were sad to be leaving.
Charley and Erma were excited about taking a train trip and about getting
to see their father and brothers again.
It was a cold, windy day as they stepped from the train in Fairfield. It
seemed like winter after leaving the warm, sunny Boise Valley.
Mike was there to pick them up in the wagon and drive them to the Manard
Ranch. It seemed strange to Erma that there weren't many trees, just
willows along the river and canals.
RNB and boys rebuilt fences, plowed, planted, tended stock, and hauled
logs from the mountains
for stove wood, corrals, and fences.
Louise, Grant, and Charley attended school at Manard.
RNB was often called on to help with sick livestock throughout the
community. He had acquired some good veterinary skills. He also purchased
two Percheron stallions and sold shares to other farmers who were
interested in breeding a better strain of work horses.
RNB also bred a large herd of mules and shipped them to Kansas City. He
and some of his boys also trapped along the river, canals and the south
hills in winter for muskrats, skunks, bobcats, lynx cats, mink, ermine,
badger, and coyotes.
Although the Finch family was not Mormon, they joined in the L.D.S Church
socials and dances. Often the young men and women came to the Finch farm
to play the piano, sing and dance. Taffy pulls were great fun as the
teens gathered together.
Louise, Edna Lee, Ruth Thurber, and Thelma Packham were about the same
age and same class in school. They were always planning a get- together,
usually at the Finch farm because there were three older boys there.
Aunt Annie Thurber, who was also a midwife, delivered Bud in November
1918, Illa Ethel in February 1919, and June in June 1921, all at the
Manard ranch. Illa Ethel died about two weeks after she was born and was
buried in the Manard Cemetery.
The Finch's house burned to the ground in December 1921, while RNB
attended a community board meeting at the L.D.S. Church. Nothing was
saved. The boys were away at the time and May had taken Louise, Erma,
Bud, and June and had gone to Meridian for the winter. May remained in
Meridian for two years because after the house and all her possessions
had burned she had no will to ever return to Manard. Grant and Charley
later joined her there. Mike got married and moved to Stanley, Idaho.
After being told that lettuce wouldn't grow on Camas Prairie, RNB plowed
up his alfalfa field and planted head lettuce. He put many of the young
people of the community to work cultivating, harvesting, and packing
lettuce in crates. He shipped car loads of lettuce to Boise, Salt Lake
City, and Denver. Since they had no hay that year, RNB and Bert took the
cattle and horses to Stanley to winter out.
In March 1923, RNB picked up Charley, Erma, and Bud and returned to
Manard. May, Grant, and June came back to the ranch in May when Bert went
to get them. Louise stayed in Boise to work. Charley returned to the
seventh grade and Erma to the third grade at Manard school.
The family planted gardens and RNB bought rabbits, baby chicks, and baby
turkeys. Everyone was happy and busy. After the turkeys were raised and
sold, RNB managed to buy a better Ford car. The following year they
raised more turkeys and steers for sale.
RNB and Don Young from Soldier, which is on the other side of Fairfield,
wanted to spend the winter in John Day, Oregon, where is was legal to
trap beaver. They had raised skunks for pelts up by Soldier in 1922 and
1923. Ben and Bert stayed at the Manard ranch to tend stock.
May, Charley, Erma, Bud, and June went to visit Louise, who was married
and living in Eagle, Idaho.
In March 1926, they drove to Raft River to see Mike and his wife,
Lillian, who had moved there from Stanley. Grant had been working for
Mike but returned with the others in April.
Bud and Erma returned to the Manard School again after attending two
other school the four months they were away.
Audrey was born at the Manard ranch in May 1926.
Due to Louise's poor health, May took the two little girls and went to
Boise in November 1926. She returned in March, but was called back in
May, but this time she left the two little girls in Erma and RNB's care.
May moved Louise to Gooding in late August, and the rest of the family
moved to Gooding in September 1927. Louise passed away December 16, 1927.
RNB maintained the Manard ranch for two more years. Then he sold it to
Harold Lee after leasing it to him for a year.
In 1930 the depression hit and RNB bought a run-down ranch twenty miles
northeast of Gooding. He raised cattle and acres of fruit, berries, and
vegetables that he took to Gooding with cream and eggs to sell.
The ranch was too far out for the kids to attend school, so the family
also had to keep the house in Gooding. All the older boys were married or
away working, so Erma, being the oldest child still at home, managed the
house in Gooding. Her mother traveled back and forth to the ranch as long
as roads were not snowed in.
After thirty-five years of being married, May and RNB divorced. May never
remarried. RNB married Dora Burgess and stayed on the ranch for two
years. Then they moved to Mountain Home, Idaho, and May got the ranch
which she sold.
May spent some time in Oregon, stayed in California during the war, and
then moved back to Boise Valley. She passed away in Springfield, Oregon
December 16, 1955 after taking a bus trip to see all her children and
their families, and attending Erma's son's wedding. She was buried in
Eugene, Oregon.
RNB, at the age of 85 called Erma to come and get him. Dora had died. He
lived with Erma in California until he died in March, 1966. His ashes
were buried in Gooding beside his daughter, Louise Givert.
Ben, who never had children, passed away in February, 1973 and was buried
in Arkansas. Mike moved to Nampa, Idaho, after he retired as head packer
and trail guide for Sun Valley, Idaho, where he had worked since 1937. He
had one step-daughter, Penny Crispino. He died in May, 1978, and was
buried in Caldwell, Idaho. His wife, Lillian, died shortly after and was
also buried in Caldwell.
Grant married Marie Cox from Manard and they had two sons, Donald and
Larry. They also raised their grandson, Ronald, for most of his school
years. Marie died in 1986 and is buried in Middleton,Idaho. Grant lives
at 12230 Finch Lane, Middleton, Idaho, 83644.
Charley married Myrtle Streeper from Hill City and they had four
daughters. They were divorced, and he married Mamie Smith. They raised
the four girls and Mamie's three daughters and one son. Mamie died in
1994. Charley is retired and lives at 45460 Goodpasture Road, Vida,
Oregon, 97438.
The rest married outsiders.
Erma married Raymond Shockley who died in 1956. They had one son and one
daughter. Erma Shockley lives at 443 West First South, St. Anthony,
Idaho, 83445.
Bert raised five children. He died in 1992 and his wife, Helen died in
January 1996, in Oklahoma.
June married Al Decia and raised one son and one daughter. Al died in
1982. June Decia lives at 2120 Big Ranch Road, Napa, California, 94558.
Bud and Merrie Finch raised three daughters and one son. Bud retired from
construction work and has a small ranch. They live at 2869 Cottonwood
Creek Road, Chewelah, Washington, 99109.
Audrey married Jack Miller and raised one son and one daughter. They also
raised two granddaughters most of their school years. Jack died December
24, 1995 and Audrey lives at 542 East Second North, St. Anthony, Idaho,
In July 1995, the six surviving Finches of Manard Ranch and thirteen
other family members attended the Old Timers Picnic at Fairfield. Erma,
June, Audrey, Grant, Bud, and Charley had a great time and got to visit
with school mates and acquaintances, many of whom they hadn't seen or
heard from since leaving Manard. Erma, Audrey, Bud, June, and other
family members drove to the City of Rocks to see it for the first time
because they had lived so close to it all those years in Manard and had
never been there!
Fritz Frostenson Family
R. A. Frostenson

Martin Frithiof Frostenson came to America in 1899 from Southern Sweden,
a place called "Skane". He landed in May of 1898 in Boston when he was
twenty one years old. Fritz came to Buhl, Idaho and worked for an uncle,
Andy Anderson and soon started herding sheep in Nevada and Idaho. He
spent a year at Homestead, Oregon working in the gold mines. Fritz's
childhood sweetheart, Johanna Oredson, traveled from Sweden and they were
married in Shoshone, Idaho in 1905. They moved to a farm about ten miles
up the Snake River from Hagerman. Shortly after, Fritz and Johanna took
up a one hundred sixty acre homestead on the Camas Prairie. He proved up
on another one hundred sixty acres. In 1906, the couple moved to the
Olson place close to the now vanished Mormon community of Manard on Camas
Prairie, and started to build a house. The rough lumber for the two story
home was taken from the Deer Creek area. He built without studding in the
walls but with rough overlapping double boards with heavy felt paper
between them. This difficult-seeming construction saved lumber. Fritz
immediately acquired three horses and a one bottom plow and started
farming. One requirement for the homestead act was to fence the property,
so posts had to be gotten from the hills and all new wire purchased. A
homesteader's finances were really stretched. Since it required at least
five horses to pull a one-bottom plow through the prairie sod, Fritz
shared horses with a neighbor, Ed Reagan, who had homesteaded earlier.
Neighbors were few but everyone of them helped each other.
By the following year the Frostensons had purchased a milk cow, a couple
of brood sows and some chickens. Barns were built to house the livestock.
In 1907, their first child, a daughter, Swanhild (Swanny) was born,
followed in 1909 by Arthur Robert (Bob), two years later another son,
Sten. Daughter Anna was born in 1915, but two other children, Alice and
Pete, died at an early age. Wife, Johanna was always right behind Fritz
and encouraging him all the way. The English language was very difficult
for her to completely master, coming as she did directly from Sweden,
marrying and moving to an isolated homestead. She always let Fritz do
most of the shopping, even buying most of the family's clothes. She was
content to stay home and did not enjoy long distance travel in a buggy or
Fritz slowly expanded his farm. Of course, all produce raised had to be
hauled to Hailey or Gooding to market because there was yet no railroad
on Camas Prairie. It was built in 1912. The local means of travel was by
horse back, wagon, or buggy. By 1915, a few cars were in evidence, but
Fritz didn't own a car until 1925, when he bought a Ford open touring car
for $625.00.
Fritz took yearly trips to the hills to get the family's wood supply. He
split up blocks of wood in the spring into slabs and built huge round
castle-like piles of wood in his yard, a tradition from the old country
of Sweden. He worked so much in a particular area of Little Deer Creek,
that it became known as Fritz's Gulch. Another area became know as the
Dixon Gulch because the Dixon family returned to that area often. Fritz
loved to work in the woods and mountains. In 1915, he took his family to
the Deer Creek area and camped for several weeks during the summer sawing
down enough trees, hauling them to Sam Worthington's saw mill to build a
fine barn. This two-story structure had sixteen stalls and a hay mow in
the middle. He also built a milking shed and a chicken house.
In 1927, Fritz bought an Aermotor windmill, so that he could have the
water to grow trees. His row of Golden Willows were the first ones grown
from plantings. He also was able to raise a large garden. He found he had
luck growing many plants that no one had thought could be cultivated at
the high prairie elevation. Each year Fritz was able to buy another horse
or two. By 1928, when he had about sixteen horses and was farming eight
hundred acres, he began trading some horses for tractor power. His first
tractor was a Heider. Next he bought a Fordson and by 1932 he had a
caterpillar track type tractor. By 1936, he was farming with primarily
tractor power. Also his two sons were actively farming. As the years went
by he also added many more acres to his holdings. Horse teams were still
used for winter transportation and the hauling of feed and wood. It would
be the mid 1950's before snow plows would come into use.
Fritz and Johanna lived a full and happy life on Camas Prairie. Johanna
died in 1962 at the age of eighty-six and Fritz died in 1968 at ninety-
two. They were both laid to rest in the Manard Cemetery.
Fritz always praised his community and his neighbors like the Dixons,
saying he could never have asked for better ones. They were always ready
to help with any problem or in any emergency and enriched his family's

Madison Cecil Kent
Lee Kent

It was about two 0'clock in the morning that Frank Macumber, brother of
Margaret Leal Macumber Kent rode his pony to Minden, Nebraska for the
doctor when Madison Cecil Kent was born. It was also in the Sand Hills,
"perhaps eight or ten miles south and east of the Platte River" that the
ranch home was located. It was probably a cold winter morning, Joseph
staying with "Maggie" and on the eighth day of January, 1890, Madison was
Madison's father, Joseph Kent, was born 8 February, 1847 at Olney,
Richland County, Illinois. He went to Kerney County, Nebraska when he was
about twenty years old. He met his young bride, Margaret Leal Macumber at
Minden, Nebraska. Joseph's father and mother were Joshua Kent and
Elizabeth Emmiger who were early pioneers, possibly among the first
settlers of Richland County, Illinois. They had migrated there from
Richland County, Ohio. " ... there were several people who
Lived in Richland County, Ohio and moved to this territory at about the
same time, and this was named Richland after the county in Ohio, so it is
possible that your ancestors were among the first to move to this
Margaret Leal Macumber, Madison's mother was born 8 October, 1868 at
South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana. Her father and mother, Cassous
Macumber and Francis Ann Cloud had migrated to the prairie of what is now
Kearny County, Nebraska. They came form South Bend, Indiana with their
three children, Ida, Margaret, and Frank in 1872. Their home on the
prairie was a sod house where three more children were born to them,
Percy, Lloyd, and Edna. Frank said, "I was only seven months old when we
came west in 1872. Buffalo, antelope, and elk were thick all over the
prairie then. Indians were too. My grandfather and uncle lived just three
miles from them. They were our nearest neighbors."
Maggie's mother, Francis Ann Cloud Macumber, died 10 September, 1883 when
Maggie was fifteen years old. After her death the family moved back to
South Bend, Indiana except for Maggie and Ida who stayed at Minden,
A year after Madison was born, his father, Joseph Kent went to Salt Lake
City, Utah in pursuit of better work. Shortly after his departure his
wife Margaret Leal and his son Madison Cecil joined him there. Then when
Madison was three years old his mother, Margaret left home and was never
found by Joseph or Madison who each did some searching. After leaving,
Margaret kept house in Salt Lake City a short time for her living and
then went to Denver, Colorado and lived with her sister and brother-in-
law, Ida and Wilbur Chappell. Then after some moving to various
localities in Nebraska, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and California she
obtained a divorce from Joseph Kent about 1913 in Seattle, Washington and
married John Webster on 19 November, 1913 at San Diego, California. A
poem written by Margaret and published on 13 December, 1908 when she
lived in Seattle, Washington expresses her philosophy of life:

For there are no two just alike
No two can travel the same pike,
And while to   me my path is clear
Another path   will lead you there.
However good   your example might be,
It might not   be the best for me ...

In a card which was post marked October 7, 1953 she wrote, "I will be
eighty-four years old tomorrow. A long hard life has been mine and I am
very sorry for many mistakes."
When Madison was five years old he came near to loosing his life by
running beneath an ax as his father, Joseph was chopping wood. He was
attracted by the rhythm of the swinging ax and thought that he would run
beneath the ax as Joseph brought it back for a heavy swing. Before Joseph
realized what was happening he had struck Madison "squarely on the head."
He was rushed to St. Marks Hospital in Salt Lake City, and the doctors at
first held no hope of his recovery. But he was home again in five days
after the accident and his recovery was complete in just a short time. He
carried the scar from the blow for the rest of his life.
When Madison was ten years old his father suffered an accident when
making one of their frequent moves, which obliged Madison thereafter to
help earn their living. They had loaded the
sides of a portable house onto a flat hayrack, and as they were riding, a
portion of the siding worked forward and bumped one of the horses on the
rump. The frightened horse ran away scattering riders and all, along the
road. Joseph was injured in one of his thigh bones and never fully
recovered. There was always danger that his leg would give way under him.
When Madison was eighteen years old, in the spring of 1908, he was
graduated from grade school at the Edison School, Granite District, Salt
Lake City, Utah and accepted an offer of employment on the Burton J. Bean
farm at Camas Prairie, Idaho. Madison prided himself in accepting the
responsibility of the farm and in doing a good job, keeping all details
in order. At one time Mr. Bean was away and Madison was entrusted with
the care of the farm. When Mr. Bean returned it was discovered that
during Madison's careful work a cow had tried to jump a fence on the farm
and had got hung up, and had died there before being discovered.
During his first two years of work on the Bean farm Madison attended
school at the Oakley Stake Academy during the winters. One of his
required courses of study was the Book of Mormon. He studied the book and
gained a testimony that it was true, and through this testimony he was
converted to the church. This was in all probability the time that he
gave up the use of tabacco, which he said he had used for many years. On
8 September, 1912 at Manard, Idaho, he was baptized by Harvey Dixon and
confirmed a member of the church by Isaac E. Thurber at Manard, Idaho on
the same day. Madison was then ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood the
following year on 7 December, 1913 by William F. Rawson. A year later on
15 November, 1914 he was ordained to the office of Elder in the
Melchizedec Priesthood.
During the summer of 1914 Madison kept company with Alice Evelyn Lee and
they were married on 30 December, 1914 at Manard, Idaho by Burton J.
In the spring of 1914 Madison received a letter from T. C. McArthur of
Siloam Springs, Arkansas dated March 26, 1914 which notified him that his
father Joseph Kent had passed away on 15 March, 1914 at Siloam Spring,
Arkansas and had been buried on 20 March, 1914 in the Oak Hill Cemetery.
Joseph had not returned to Salt Lake City with Madison after visiting
their relatives in North Dakota, but he had gone on east probably
visiting his folks in Olney, Illinois and then he had continued on to
Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Madison worked in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as on the farm in Idaho
after his marriage. His wife Evelyn went to Fir Grove, Idaho in the fall
of 1915 and Cecil Earl Kent was born to them on 7 October, 1915 at
Manard, Blaine County, Idaho. Madison and Evelyn were not always together
and dissatisfaction grew until it led to a divorce which Evelyn obtained
about 1916.
On 23 April, 1918 Madison enlisted in a Utah company of the United States
Army. His enlistment made it possible to be with his close friend Earl
Heusser in the military service. They had met while in grade school when
Madison was fifteen years old and Earl was twelve years old. From that
time their friendship grew with the years. When they lived apart there
was always a live correspondence between them. They went to France
together during the First World War, and for some time during combat they
were separated. As Earl Heusser stated it, "it was after they went over
the top." This was the one time they lost all contact with each other.
While in France, Madison engaged in combat at St. Mihiel for three days
from the 11th of September to the 13th of September, 1918 Meuse, at
Argonne for sixteen days from the 26th of September to the 12th of
October, and at Lye ScheIdt for ten days from 31st of October to the 11th
of November, 1918.
During his military service, Madison corresponded with his former wife,
Evelyn and after his honorable discharge on 3 May, 1919 he went to work
on the Dewey Brothers Ranch which was seventeen miles north of Burley,
Idaho. Then Madison and Evelyn were married again on 22 June, 1919 at
Burley, Idaho. Evelyn then went to work as cook for the Dewey Brothers
Ranch and together she and Madison saved about $2, 000.00 of their wages
in two years. Gwendolyn Juanita was born to them on 20 April, 1920 at
Burley, Cassia County, Idaho.
One of the Dewey Brothers decided to cut Madison's and Evelyn's wages
about in half. Evelyn then persuaded Madison to take the family east and
study Rail Road Telegraphy by means of their savings. They went to
Valparazo, Indiana on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of September, 1921 where
Madison completed the study and went to work as telegrapher on the
Pennsylvania Rail Road.
Madison's Rail Road work took him from place to place. He became
competent and skilled at telegraphy and its associated responsibilities.
After a short time at work in the east he took his family west again and
worked at stations in northern Utah, western Wyoming, and southern Idaho.
accommodations were not always good and sometimes unavailable in the
localities of his work. At
Sage, Wyoming and Dayton, Idaho (for a time) they lived in railroad
boxcars. They lived in the rail road station at Smith's Ferry, Idaho, and
in homes at Dayton, Lava Hot Springs, Minnidoka, and Dietrich, Idaho.
When conditions required the family to live in a neighboring town where a
house or room was available, Madison traveled from his work to his family
to pay them as frequent visits as possible.
When Madison returned from the east he started work on Cecil Earl's
seventh birthday, 7 October, 1922 at Warm Springs, Utah near Ogden. Then
after transfers to Pegram, Idaho, Sage, Wyoming, Coleville, Fossil,
Wyoming, and Frontier, Wyoming, he went to Diamondville, Wyoming, a
mining town. Evelyn said, "There was a good L.D.S. ward here and we went
to church every Sunday. Madison and I got very interested. I had always
believed in temple marriages so we began preparing to go to the temple."
Then Madison took the family to the Salt Lake Temple and on June 6, 1924
Madison and Evelyn were married for eternity and Cecil Earl and Gwendolyn
Juanita were sealed to them.
Work conditions soon required further moves and from here Madison went to
towns entirely in Idaho. After a short time in Utida he went to Dayton,
Idaho. While Madison was here in the summer of 1925 Evelyn went to Camas
Prairie to be with her mother for the birth of their third child. On 17
July, 1925 Lee Kent was born in a farm home on Camas Prairie near
Fairfield, Camas County, Idaho. In the spring of 1926 the family moved to
Preston, Idaho while Madison worked in Dayton. Then Harvey Dale Kent was
born to them on 16 March, 1927 at Preston, Franklin County, Idaho.
In the spring of 1929 Madison moved the family to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
where they bought their first home from Mr. Hooper. It was small but
comfortable with a nice basement and attractive, light oak woodwork. The
house was heated with coal stoves. There were three lots to the property
and Madison raised a large garden each year on the ground. Madison would
give his visitors large arms full of vegetables and greens from the
garden. On 29 November, 1929 Jean Deloris Kent was born in this home at
Lava Hot Springs, Bannock County, Idaho. She was delivered by Doctor
Rich. That morning Madison went to the basement room where Lee and Harvey
slept and said to them, "come and see what mama has." When they went into
her room there was a little dark haired bundle beside her in bed.
At this Lava Hot Springs home Madison built a nice garage and dug a good
cellar on his property, or nearly so. One day the neighbor surveyed the
property and found that Madison had built the garage too close to (or
slightly over) the property line. So Madison proceeded to relocate the
garage on the other side of his house, filling in the cellar and moving
the structure. He dug a nice recession, level with the front road, as the
property was on a hill and made a nice foundation of sandstone.
Madison only worked two years in Lava Hot Springs and then he was sent to
Bancroft, Idaho for two years. This was eighteen miles east of Lava.
After this he "got on the extra board and worked in many different
places" among which was McCammon, Jerome, Bliss, and Shoshone, all in
One summer Madison got the agency at Smith's Ferry, Idaho where there was
good living quarters in the depot for his family, so he boarded up the
windows of his home in Lava Hot Springs and took the family and part of
the furniture to Smith's Ferry where they enjoyed a very lovely summer.
One day while here he embarked on a trip to Horseshoe Bend in the car
with mother. After the day was spent he returned and in the car he had
cans of huckleberries that he and mother had picked. For many days
thereafter, while not working at the station he took the family into the
nearby timber covered hills picking huckleberries. They found a patch of
large ones on the summit of a hill called Kangaroo Mountain across the
Payette River from the railroad station.
With a spirit of cooperation and friendliness while at Smith's Ferry,
Idaho Madison loaned his car to some of our close relatives to make a
trip into the mountains north. All the family went except him, as he
stayed behind tending the station at his job. They traveled to the
Payette Lakes and farther into the mountains.
In the spring of 1936, Madison took the family to Minnidoka, Idaho for a
summer and rented out the home at Lava Hot Springs. Then in the early
fall he moved the family into a home at Dietrich, Idaho where he began
working as railroad station agent. The children went to school here the
winter of 1936-371 except Cecil Earl who was in college at Moscow, Idaho.
The home where he and his family lived in Dietrich had no plumbing or
sewage disposal. After spending the winter and spring there the home had
a good cistern, a large wood shed full of wood and coal, a good outdoor
toilet, a repaired garage, plumbing to the kitchen sink and a nice
garden, all which he had personally built and improved upon. He lent his
hands to the improvement of the surrounding property also, clearing

rocks and planting trees and shrubs.
At times his sons Harvey and Lee saw the star vaulted sky with their
father as they walked home late at night after his work. Lee's inquiries
to him about how far the stars were away were answered with patient
Not many days prior to his death, while in the railroad telegraphers
office, where Lee was alone with him, he made a jovial approach to the
subject of smoking tobacco. His approach was jovial but his intent was
serious wherein he asked of Lee a promise that he would never smoke
tobacco. With appreciation Lee promised him he would never do it. Madison
later told him of the filthiness of the habit and that he had for many
years in his youth smoked and had given it up. Lee remembered the promise
and passed by its use.
Madison knew at this time that he did not have long to live, having
serious heart trouble for which he had been receiving regular treatments
since the summer of 1934. He took time to write an account of what he
knew of his own folks and of some incidents of his own youth. On the
afternoon of May 12, 1937 he was assisting to beautify the dry and barren
grounds of the L.D.S. church yard by planting trees. As he stooped down
placing the soil around the roots of a young tree, he was taken by a
heart attack which was fatal. The Lord had called him home from his
mortal probation.
He had lived industriously and honestly. His life and good example viewed
in perspective stand out and above any faults he may have had. His
funeral was held in Shoshone, Idaho and he was laid to rest in the
cemetery at Gooding, Idaho on 14 May, 1937. Bishop Gene Nelson of
Dietrich presided at the funeral.
With the assistance of the account Madison made prior to his death,
further records were found of his forefathers about eleven years later.
Sixteen years later, his mother, whom he had never known from his third
year was found and acquaintances made of his mother's folks.

Alice Evelyn Lee Kent
Lee Kent

The life of Alice Evelyn Lee Kent, a worthy daughter and mother in
Israel, shows qualities of faith, industry, work, and love that
characterized the lives of her forefathers. Her noble progenitors gave
honest toil for their living and sacrificed for their faith. They left a
good heritage for Evelyn and her descendants.
Alice Evelyn's father was Hyrum Bracken Lee, a man of neatness and
cleanliness, who was born at Tooele, Utah on 18 May, 1865. Hyrum was the
sixth child of a family of ten children born to Isaac Lee and Mary Ann
Bracken. Isaac and Mary Ann had each migrated to the Great Salt Lake
Basin with the early Mormon Pioneers. At the time Isaac came west he was
with his first wife, Julia Ann Chapman, and their three young children,
Marietta, Elizabeth and Eliza Ann. But while they were in the plains
Julia Ann was taken ill with cholera and died 10 July,1852. She was
buried on the plains.
Evelyn's grandfather, Isaac Lee was one of the industrious early Mormon
Pioneers who helped build the Nauvoo temple.
He told of how the workers on that temple, at the time of its erection,
would stop their hammers and take off their hats when the Prophet Joseph
Smith passed by. Isaac was also a skilled builder. His first home, built
in Tooele, Utah was used as the county court house for many years after
he moved.
Isaac Lee's father and mother were Alfred Lee and Elizabeth La Flesh who
were early converts to the church. Alfred Lee was among a group of more
than three hundred eighty subscribers to a covenant drawn up by Brigham
Young on January 29,1838 whereby they covenanted to give all their means,
exclusive of that needed for themselves, for the purpose of removing the
poor and destitute saints, who were worthy, from the state of Missouri
due to persecutions and mob violence. A record of this is on page 253 of
volume 3 of the Documentary History of the Church. He also migrated with
his family to the Great Salt Lake Basin.
Alice Evelyn's mother is Alice Evelyn Dixon who was born 11 May, 1872 at
Harrisville, Weber County, Utah. She was the second child of a family of
nine children born to Harvey Dixon and Kittie Evelyn Pritchett. Alice
Evelyn's grandfather, Harvey Dixon was born 12 September, 1844 at
Augusta, Hancock County, Illinois, the second child of a family of
fifteen children born to William
Wilkinson Dixon and Sabra Almeda Lake. William and Sabra brought their
family to the Great Salt Lake Basin with the early Mormon Pioneers,
crossing the plains in 1850 and arriving in Salt Lake City on 7 October,
1850 when Harvey was six years old.
Alice Evelyn's grandmother, Kittie Evelyn Pritchett was born 12 December,
1851 at Smith County Virginia. Kittie's mother, Elizabeth McIntyre, had
died when Kittie was four years old and it was eventually Kittie's lot to
do all outdoor chores. In her tenth year she milked five cows, fed hogs
and chickens, and carried all the water up a hill for nearly a quarter of
a mile. She came across the plains with her father, Samuel N. B.
Pritchett, starting from Florence, "five miles up the river from Omaha on
1 April, 1864 and traveling all that summer across the plains with ox
team. She was then thirteen years old. In the fall of 1868 she visited
relatives in Ogden and met Harvey Dixon. They were married in the
Endowment house on 7 March, 1870. Together they moved northward and were
among the first settlers of Clifton, Idaho. In the fall of 1875 Harvey
was working to finish building their house in Clifton, Idaho and the two
children, Alice Evelyn and Harvey were playing by a stone wall of the
home where he was working. Kittie was impressed that she should take the
children away from the wall, so she took one in her arms and lead the
other by the hand, as they both cried, wanting to stay. Before she had
gotten half way across the floor the whole wall fell where the children
had been standing.
Harvey Dixon's father was William Wilkinson Dixon who was born 14
November, 1818 at Cumberlandshire, England. At a young age he went to sea
as a cabin boy and eventually crossed the Atlantic to New York State
where he was converted to the church at about the age of twenty-one or
twenty-two. At the age of twenty-three he joined a colony of the Mormons
at Geneva, Scott County, Illinois where he became closely associated with
James Lake, father of Sabra Almeda Lake. He married Sabra Almeda Lake at
Geneva, Illinois on 16 August, 1842 and it was here that Harvey Dixon was
born to them. In the fall of 1845, William Wilkinson moved his family to
Nauvoo, Illinois, where he assisted in the erection of the Nauvoo temple.
In February of 1846, William Wilkinson was among the Saints who crossed
the Mississippi River on the ice, leaving Nauvoo during the persecutions.
He arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa in the fall of 1846. From here he
moved to Holt County, Missouri where he lived for three years, and in
1850 was well equipped for the final march across the plains which they
then made to the Great Salt Lake Basin.
Harvey Dixon's mother, Sabra Almeda Lake, was born 17 July, 1824 at
Ernestown, Ontario, Canada, eighteen miles from Kingston, Ontario.
Through the missionary work of Brigham Young she and her mother and
father, James Lake and Philomelia Smith and their family, were converted
to the church in 1832. They moved to Kirtland, Ohio in 1833 where they
assisted the erection of the Kirtland temple. They were present at its
dedication. From here James Lake took his family to Scott County,
Illinois, being driven from Kirtland, Ohio by persecutions and mob
violence. He then lived in Scott County, Illinois for six years after
which he moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and then to Holt County, Missouri for
three years, where William Wilkinson Dixon accompanied him.
Sabra Almeda Lake's mother, Philomelia Smith was a descendant of Joseph
Loomis and Mary White who were both born in Essex, England about 1590 and
who migrated to America. These two early immigrants now have a very
numerous posterity in America. Among their descendants is the Prophet
Joseph Smith who was a fifth great-grandchild to them, and Alice Evelyn
Lee is an eighth great-grandchild to them. Through these relationships we
see that Alice Evelyn Lee Kent is related to Prophet Joseph Smith as a
sixth cousin three times removed.
Harvey Dixon provided homes for his families in Star Valley, Wyoming. His
first wife, Kittie, left their home in Clifton, Idaho where they had
lived for about seventeen years and took her family to Star Valley about
1888 where they were united with Harvey. Here their oldest child, Alice
Evelyn, met Hyrum Bracken Lee and they were married in the Logan Temple
on November 8, 1889. They made their home in Star Valley. Alice Evelyn
Lee was then born to them on 2 December, 1890 at Afton, Wyoming, the
first child of a family of eleven children. During the next nine years
while the family resided in Star Valley, four more children were born to
Hyrum and Alice: Essie Idella, Hyrum Dixon, Isaac Harvey, and Mary
On January 15, 1891, Alice Evelyn was given a name and a blessing by her
grandfather, Isaac Lee.
Evelyn did not enter school when she was six years old. Her mother, who
had become a teacher at the age of sixteen, continued to teach after she
was married to Hyrum, and had taught Evelyn to read, so that at the age
of six she could read a newspaper. When she entered school in Afton
District School, she started out in the third grade.
When Evelyn was eight years old she was baptized in a branch of Swift
Creek which was just a short distance from their house in Afton, Wyoming.
She was baptized by her grandfather Harvey Dixon Sr. on 2 July, 1899 and
was there confirmed a member of the church on this same day by William
Burton. Her folks then told her that she was cleansed from all sin and
she "went around feeling like an angel" with a desire to keep herself
"free from sin."
In the fall of 1899 Alice Evelyn's folks moved from Star Valley to
Hagerman Valley in Idaho. This was an exciting adventure for Evelyn. The
route they took was through Soda Springs, Bancroft, Lava Hot Springs,
Pocatello, and then across the barren deserts of central Idaho along the
Snake River until they arrived at the Hagerman Valley which is about ten
miles south of Bliss, Idaho. Evelyn's grandmother Kittie Evelyn, drove
the team for the "white topped hack" in which the children rode. Evelyn's
father Hyrum drove the wagon in which all the Lee's belongings were
loaded. Harvey Dixon and his two families were also with the group, he
having previously gone into Idaho and having selected the Hagerman Valley
as a suitable place in which to live. They left in a snow storm. When
they arrived at Lava Hot Springs they stayed a night with Theodore
Monroe, and as they came to Pocatello, Evelyn saw her first train. When
they arrived at Hagerman they went to a place called Barnams Island in
the Snake River. Alice here saw her first fruit trees. Then Evelyn's
father, Hyrum, took the family to Marion, Idaho where Isaac Lee was then
living and they stayed the winter with them. In the spring Hyrum took his
family to Fir Grove, Idaho (about forty miles north of Hagerman Valley)
where they took up homestead land.
When Evelyn was at her grandfather's home in Marion, Idaho, the winter of
1900 she received her patriarchal blessing from Patriarch Cyrus Toleman
at Isaac Lee's residence.
The first winter at Fir Grove was severe. The family, for a time was
completely isolated.
Evelyn's folks had a few cows which they put with a larger number of cows
which the Dixon's had, and together they went into the cheese making
business. The equipment they had was the best that could be obtained.
Evelyn had the task of assisting to gather in the cows each morning and
evening. As Evelyn went out on the prairie to bring in the cows each day,
she was brought into touch with potential dangers such as the rattle
snake and the range bull. She must have many times encountered rattle
snakes but they held no fear for her. She told of the time that a large
rattler went down a gopher hole, and as a youth might do in curiosity,
she took a stick and started poking it in the hole. Suddenly the
rattler's head popped out of the hole and right by her hand, but did not
strike her. Evelyn was given a black pony and eventually a saddle which
she used to help gather the cows. These were among the very happy days of
her youth as she became acquainted with the mountains, valleys, streams,
flowers, and all the natural beauties of the earth. She commented that
the sage brush in this area grew as large as trees.
More families moved to this area to take up homestead lands and to raise
cattle and sheep. The Bean family came from around Salt Lake City and the
Borup's from around Boise, Idaho. These people were L. D. S. and the
church organization began to function. The home of Hyrum and his wife,
Alice Evelyn was eventually blessed with six more children, all born in
Fir Grove: Roy, Edna Mae, Mettie Fern, Harold, Clyde, and Cecil.
Evelyn was called to serve in the church. She taught in the Sunday School
and was secretary in the presidency of the Mutual at Manard. When she was
about twenty years old she served on the Y. W. M. I. A. Stake Board of
the Boise Stake. When she was set apart to this calling by Pres. Heber Q.
Hale, it was said that she possessed a "rare ability to guide the youth."
Evelyn accepted opportunities to service whenever she lived in localities
of the church organization. When she lived in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho she
taught the Gleaners class in Mutual for five years and she took part in
Genealogical work during this same time.
When Evelyn was twenty-two years old a young man named Madison Cecil Kent
came to this country from Salt Lake City to work for Burton J. Bean on
his farm. Madison worked on the farm during the summers and went to
school at the Oakley Stake Academy during the winters. He soon became a
convert to the church and was baptized by Harvey Dixon on 8 September,
1912 at Manard, Idaho. Evelyn took little notice of him for two years,
but during the summer and fall of 1914, Evelyn became attracted by his
"pleasing personality" and associated a lot with him. They were married
on 30 December, 1914 by Burton J. Bean at Manard, Idaho.
Through this union Evelyn became the mother of five children, Cecil Earl,
Gwendolyn Juanita, Lee Harvey Dale, and Jean Delores. Although Madison
had no money or profession at the time they were married, he was an
industrious man and eventually through the years he accumulated the

material necessities for the family. The story of their travels, moves,
works, and trials is written in the "Life Story of Madison Cecil Kent" by
his son Lee Kent. Evelyn's sacrifices to bring the children into the
world and to teach them the ways of truth are worthy of the good praises
of motherhood.
After the death of Madison, Evelyn moved her family from Dietrich, Idaho
back to their home in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho and that fall of 1937 to
Pocatello, Idaho where she assumed the responsibility of earning an
income for the family as well as raising the children. The home that she
selected was favorably located (at 545 South 5th) for renting rooms as an
income and for sending the children to school and to church. It was here
that Lee, Harvey, and Jean went through their adolescent years to the
times that they graduated from high school, the times that Lee and Harvey
went to the service of their country (each in the United Naval Reserves),
the time that Lee departed into the mission field to preach the gospel in
Canada, and the times that Gwen, Lee, Harvey, and Jean were married.
Evelyn is due credit for having made her contributions and sacrifices
towards all of these things being made possible.
Evelyn possessed a gift with which she was very often aware of the
conditions of her children and loved ones. This gift was that of dreams
and visions. Often when the children were away from home she would
thereby know of distressing conditions with which they were confronted.
Many times she was appraised by dreams of dangers which confronted her
children after which she was able to counsel them. The Lord, in His
providence, blessed her with his rare gift for the benefit and blessing
of her family and loved ones.
At the time that Lee was called to go into the mission field, Evelyn
hesitated, feeling that there was not sufficient finances, and that she
needed him at home. But as Lee desired to go, she gave her approval. When
the time came for his missionary farewell at the 6th Ward in the
Pocatello Stake, Bishop Arnold Reddish invited her to the pulpit to say a
few words to the friends who had gathered. As she spoke she said, "I know
that everything will turn out all right." Then Bishop Reddish stood at
the pulpit and said, "greater faith I have never seen." And truly her
faith was great not only at that moment, but as evidenced in the fine
things she had provided and accomplished in times of trial as well as
times of blessing for her family.
Eva Labrum's Life History

We moved to Soldier, Idaho, from Meadow, Utah, in the year 1900. I often
heard my mother say how sad it was to leave this little town where she
and my Father were born and reared. Father's mother (Jane Criddle
Labrum), Father (Henry George Labrum, Sr.), his brothers, sisters and
other relatives, along with mother's Aunt Hannah Fisher Steward and her
brothers and sisters and relatives, felt that they were moving so far
away that they would never see them again. However, Aunt Hannah and her
husband, Uncle Neil, encouraged them to go, knowing very well that there
were no opportunities to get ahead in Meadow. So with sad goodbyes, my
Father left to seek a new home in an unknown land. Later, Father sent for
my mother, our brother Glenn, Elva, my twin sister, and me (we were too
young to remember).
My first recollection was of living in a very poor, three room house. The
winters were very sever, sometimes 40 degrees below zero, with snow so
deep that no fences nor even fence posts, could be seen. The snow after a
rain would freeze so hard that even the horses and cattle could walk on
top without breaking through. Spring would come the latter part of May,
or first of June; but what glorious spring days! Camas Prairie (of which
Soldier was a part) was indeed a Garden of Eden. The wild flowers, such
as pansies, violets, buttercups, hens and roosters, and many varieties
were so beautiful and sent their sweet fragrance over the air. Heaven
itself could not be more glorious - in the eyes of a child.
Our first ranch was a rented one. As I remember, it was a very pretty
ranch, with the river running through, trees adorning its banks and
spreading their branches over the clear, silvery water. It was on this
river among these trees that many lovely hours were spent as a child.
Mother would say, "Children, today we will take our lunch and go to the
river for an outing". She would pick up her patching, knitting,
crocheting, or anything to keep her hands busy, and with the nice lunch
had prepared we would be off. We children would play among the trees,
climbing the tall branches, then ride them down, make chains out of the
tall wire grass, etc.
These outings are some of the most cherished memories of my childhood.
The house on the ranch was in very bad condition. The walls were of
rough, crude lumber, with many cracks. Father and Mother pasted strips of
cloth over these cracks, then lined the entire rooms with cloth. Over
this they papered the rooms with news papers and the colorful pages from
magazines given us by neighbors. The ceiling was high with bare rafters.
The sky could be seen through these rafters, so Mother sewed unbleached
muslin in strips and made a ceiling, not only for the warmth and
protection, but to create a cozier atmosphere. In the winter the snow
would drift through the shingles and onto the ceiling of muslin, making
it sag with its weight. Then when the fires were made the snow would
melt. Mother gave us children hat pins and darning needles and we would
stand on chairs to punch holes in the muslin ceiling. This was done in
order to centralize the drip or stream, making it possible to catch some
of the water in buckets and pans placed on the beds, chairs and floors.
It was great fun for us children. Our parents would laugh with us, but I
am sure their hearts must have been heavy, sad and worried at times.
Father milked a few cows. Mother would set the milk in pans, then skim
the cream off, put it in a nice, clean bucket and with a rope on its
handle, would lower it down the open well near the water. This would keep
the cream fresh and cool. When there was enough cream to churn, it was
put in a large barrel churn and we children would turn and turn until the
butter came. One day Mother opened the lid of the churn and turned to
another chore before taking the butter out. I came by and not noticing
the lid was off, turned the butter on to the floor. I shall never forget,
even though I was very young, the grief of my mother, for that butter was
sold for 15 cents a pound to provide us with flour, sugar and shoes.
It was while we were in this home that Glenn, Elva and I started to
school. We had to walk about two miles to school. One day Glenn came home
with a deck of playing cards. Just as he came into the yard, he threw
them into the air. The wind scattered them far and wide. Mother was very
concerned and told us to hurry and gather them up, for they were the
devil's cards and must be burned.
Father worked hard to till the soil and plant the crops. One summer just
as he felt that he was to be rewarded at last (in good crops) for his
work, he found as he reached his fields that morning that a great horde
of grasshoppers had invaded his field and had stripped the shocks of
grain of their golden heads. In desperation, he called for Mother and us
children to bring willows and our aprons to try to drive them out. He
then salvaged what was left, but most of his crops were destroyed. My
parents were sick and disheartened, but there was nothing left to do but
struggle on. This same destruction came each year for three years before
the pests were controlled.
As a little girl I can well remember going into the fields with my sister
Elva. We had our little blue bonnets, tied securely under our chins as we
walked through the field. The grasshoppers would fly into our faces and
into our bonnets. We were frightened to death of bugs, so you can well
imagine the scenes that took place, but who could question the
seriousness of it when even horses at times refused to face the flying
hordes. Father and Mother boxed up the turkeys and hauled them to the
field to feed on the destroying pests. When they refused to eat any more,
they were boxed up again and returned to their coups.
Mother was always very sweet and patient. She took time to teach us
children how to help in the home. Elva and I were taught how to make
bread, even though we had to stand on a box or chair to reach the table.
One day we were asked to scrub the floor. Not being in the mood and
perhaps feeling that we were overworked, ran away from home. We crossed
the fields on our little skies, both of us riding on the same pair, one
behind the other. We went to a dear neighbor's home about two miles away.
Mother saw us go, so I was not worried. We stayed several hours, but as
it began to grow dark, we got homesick and began to cry. Not a word was
said when we returned home cold and frightened. Mother took us in her
arms and rubbed our cold hands and feet. Needless to say, the floor was
still there and so was the scrubbing.
Every evening just before we finished our supper, we would get very
sleepy and lay our heads on the table (making out we were asleep,
thinking by this way we would get out of washing the dishes.) One night
mother was not feeling very well. She left us at the table fast asleep
(pretending) and said, "Girls, I'm going into the front room. You do the
dishes tonight alone. (She always helped us). We were about six years
old. No sooner had she left than we quickly undressed and went to bed,
but it did not take us long to get out of that bed and into the dish pan,
Mother had noticed how quiet the
kitchen was and came in and found the dishes still on the table.
One summer while on this ranch, Mother, Glenn, Elva and I went to Meadow
for a few months. Father took us by horse and buggy to Gooding, some
thirty miles away, to catch the train. It took us all day to make the
trip. We had a lark. When we returned the forepart of October, we had a
new baby sister, Levon. It was while in Soldier, at our rented home, that
another sister, Zina, was born.
At Soldier there was only one dry goods store and a drug store;
therefore, it was necessary to order from the Sears Roebuck catalogue
when we couldn't find what we wanted in Soldier. My Father made it a
point to be in Hailey, thirty miles away, the day before Christmas in
order to pick up the articles they had ordered from the catalogue for
Christmas; but no package came. In desperation they decided to postpone
Christmas. (We were all small and would not know the difference). When a
dear neighbor, Mrs. Jefferies, came in the next morning to wish us a
Merry Christmas, mother met her at the door and told her of the plight
they were in. All friends and neighbors played the game well. Our
Christmas came two weeks later after the package arrived, and we children
were none the wiser.
The Mormon Elders, (the Prairie was then in the mission field) used to
visit us. Elders Cullimore and Spencer worked in our vicinity. What joy
they brought into our home! There was a branch of the Church in Soldier.
We and another family (Lester Stott) were the only members there. Mother
said that one day the Elders came to see us. I saw them coming and ran to
meet them. I said, "Oh, goody, you can sleep with Mama tonight because
Papa isn't home." Well, Elder Spencer laughingly said, "Your mother will
no doubt have something to say about that."
The people on the Prairie had such a strange conception of Mormons. When
it was noised about who my parents were, they (the people) began to
scrutinize to find their horns. They also knew that somewhere my Father
had several wives. Many ridiculous stories were told. Levon had heard
these stories and being too young to enjoy them as a joke, took them very
seriously. One day as she was looking through a book, she found a picture
of a very ugly Indian dressed up in his war paint and dress. She called
Mother and said, "Come here quick. This must be a picture of a Mormon."
While in this home a family by the name of Walker came to live in our
granary. They had several children, three of whom were deaf and dumb. We
children learned to talk with them with our hands. Too young to realize
the tragedy of this family, it seemed really fun to us.
In the year 1905 we, with a few other families moved eight miles south of
Soldier to form a little Mormon settlement, which was named "Wynona",
later changed to "Manard". There my parents took up a homestead of 160
acres. Our first home thereon was an old granary, which was used for the
kitchen, and a large, round army tent was purchased and put up close by
for our bedrooms. Our Father put in a rough lumber floor, then our beds
were placed around close to the outer edge, and in the center a wood
heating stove was placed. The winter was really severe. Just before we
retired for the night, Father would build a fire to take the real sting
of the cold off. Mother would fill our beds with hot rocks which had been
in the oven of the cook stove all day. It was a long winter, but never
being used to many comforts, we did not mind, nor do I ever remember a
complaint coming from my Mother's lips.
A man and his wife by the name of Burton J. and Ora Bean came to live in
this little settlement. They too were homesteaders, but at the time of
their coming they did not have a place to live, so as poor and as cramped
for room as my parents were, they took them in, and they, too slept with
us in the big tent. They were a great help and comfort to our parents,
and having no children of their own, we children were taken into their
hearts. They were our life long friends.
In the spring Father built us a three room, two story house, later adding
two more rooms. Then some few years later a lean-to was added, providing
another bed room. Ora Bean and Mother helped to shingle the first
structure, and believe me, it was up in the air, but they were young and
unafraid. Burt gave Father a helping hand whenever he could. This home
was a palace to us. It was adorned with Mother's handiwork. Mother cut
and sewed rags for a carpet. We children cut the threads and made balls
of the rags. They were then taken to a weaver several miles away. When
the rug was finished, nice, fresh, sweet smelling straw was put on the
floor for padding, then the carpet was stretched to the mop boards and
tacked. This was a lot of fun for us children, for as Mother would
stretch the carpet, we would sit on it to keep it from slipping back.
After the threshing of the grain, another use was made of the straw. The
bed ticks were filled for each bed and placed on our springs. How
delightful it was to climb on these new "mattresses and lie down. I say
"climb" for sometimes it made our beds so high we almost had to get on a
chair to reach the top. Now, again speaking of our new carpet, how proud
and happy we all were to have our home so pretty and comfortable. Each
spring this carpet was taken up and saved for the cold winters. The bare
floors were scrubbed all summer, and I mean scrubbed. Mother was a very
meticulous housekeeper.
In this home two other children came to join our family - Neil and Emma.
They were lovely children and our home was made happier by their coming.
Our childhood spent in Manard was a very happy one. We were taught to
take our responsibilities in the home and on the farm. Father and Mother
worked hard to provide for us children. Father in the fields and Mother
raising turkeys, making butter and cheese to help support the family. Our
winters on the Prairie were very cold and long. Mother was never idle and
had a way of getting all the family involved in some project. One of
these projects was the making of quilts. We older children and dad were
put to picking the hay chaff and seeds out of the freshly washed wool,
sheared by Father from our pet lambs during the summer months. Then we
were taught how to "card" the wool into bats for putting inside of her
pieced quilts. She taught us to dam and to patch. When we got tired she
would read us stories from good books as we sat around the stove. Every
other winter Mother knitted each of us - including dad - a pair of woolen
Glen loved the hills and the beautiful wild flowers that grew so
profusely in the spring. As the snow began to melt, he would ride his
horse to the hills, many times returning with a little "bum" lamb in his
arms, which we children would teach to drink milk by putting our fingers
into its mouth, then pushing its head into the pan of milk. It was from
these lambs we got the wool for the lovely, warm quilts Mother made.
Our winters were long and cold, but it provided time for a lot of
interesting activities. We were blessed with a fine recreation hall. The
building of this hall, which was used for the holding of our church
meetings also, was built by the community. We were a small community so
it took a lot of toil and money. In the hall we learned to dance, play
basket ball, and on the spacious stage we learned dramatics. Many three
act plays were enjoyed. I had the honor of being leading lady in several
of them. One "Silas, the Chore Boy", was an outstanding production. We
had a real live horse and chickens on the stage. It would be fun to be
able to see that production. Perhaps our faces would be red, but we
thought it was great. Mother and Father also took parts in plays. Many
times these dramas were taken to other towns around.
We children spent a lot of time skating on the Malad River which ran
through our farm. (We also fished in this river during the summer time).
We did a lot of snow shoeing and coasting on the south hills. We had a
lot of sleighing. One sport we enjoyed was to get the sleigh box full of
kids then play "Pop the Whip" throw the box off the runners and scatter
the kids over the snow. Rather dangerous as I think of it now. I had a
boy friend, Frank Borup, who bought a little cutter. I was the envy of
the girls as we sailed through the snow with "the greatest of ease", the
beautiful red lap robe over our knees, my blue silk scarf flying as the
wind caught the ends, and the horses galloping away with the touch of the
The winters, however, were not without their hardships for our parents.
Many, many times my Father would be so late reaching home from his trips
to the mountains for wood. The snow was so deep it would be almost
impossible for the horses to get back on the road should they slip off
the beaten path. This did happen more than once. My Mother and we
children would worry so much. We would often go outside to listen for him
and offer a prayer in our hearts that he would return safely to us. On a
cold, clear night, we could hear the creaking of the sleigh, the hoofs of
the horses and the steps of my Father as he walked beside the sleigh,
beating his hands and arms against his body to keep war. His voice would
ring out in the stillness of the cold night as he hurried the hoses
along. We could hear all this when he was several miles away from home.
It was always with a prayer of thanksgiving when we knew he was close to
The climate was not conducive to the growing of fruit. Therefore, in the
fall, Father would go to Hagerman, a little valley some 30 mile distant,
to get a wagon load of fruit to get our fruit that Mother might can for
the winter months. What a treat when he arrived home, especially if he
brought a watermelon, something that wasn't a necessity. Sometimes Mother
would drive to Mrs. Keithler's, a ranch near the north hills, for
gooseberries and currants. Levon, Glenn, Elva, and I would help pick this
fruit. In the orchard, also, were some raspberries. Oh, how good they
smelled and how much we would liked to have had just a few in our hands
to eat. But Mother said they were too expensive to buy.
Each spring as soon as the snow began to melt away, Glen would ride his
horse to the hills, and bring back with him a handful of violets which
had peeked their heads out from under the snow. (Glen always loved
flowers). These always went to Mother, and how she appreciated them, for
too loved flowers. Glen always was very fond of fishing, but was never
happy making his "catch" unless Elva and I were with him. (He was always,
to the day of his death, a wonderful, loving brother.) As the snow began
to melt, the river would overflow its banks and surround our home. It was
great fun for us children, for Father would put planks around where it
was necessary for us to walk. We also walked on our stilts, many times
getting stuck, or overbalanced, causing us to fall into the mud and
water. (Mother was never very happy over this.) There was no bridge over
this river at this time, and in the real early spring when it was
necessary to go to Soldier, we would have to ford the river. The horses
would swim, hauling the big wagon after them. Sometimes Father would ride
one of the horses across, while Mother and us children would climb up
into the seat to keep our feet from getting wet as the water would come
up into the box of the wagon.
Our first school at Manard was held in our granary. The benches were very
crude, and as I think of it now, the place must have been very
unattractive, but to us children, it was one of the best. Our teacher was
Harry McAdams. Attending this school was Lewis, George and Florence"
Adams; Eva, Taylor, and Leland Butler, Albert and Hugo Olson. Later a
school house was built on a piece of the Butler property. Other students
were added. Mrs. Woods and Miss Griswold were our teachers. A few amusing
incidents happened in this little school house.
Jeannie Stott was but a first grader. The teacher found that she had told
a little lie; so one day she brought her up before the whole school and
washed her mouth out with home made soap. It made me so angry that out of
the clear blue sky I stood up and said to the teacher, "I demand you to
quit." Then, turning to the boys in the room, many of them much older
than I, said, "What is the matter with you big boys, sitting there,
letting a teacher do this to a little girl. I'm ashamed of you." It was
at this school that Florence Adams and I had a fight over a little blue
bottle. I remember, too, that Elva and I took our lunch, one day putting
it in the south window to keep it warm. When we went to eat it, we found
that we had carried a bucket of lard.
A new school house was then built on the location chosen for the town,
about a mile south, just across the river. I continued school at this
place, graduating from the 8th grade, then the next year completed the
9th grade. It was in the school that many good times and lasting
friendships were made. For a small community there was a lot of activity.
A man by the name of Ernest Winnestrom organized a band, and how thrilled
we were when we finally mastered a tune. I shall never forget how proud
we were one night after practice, we (Glen playing the clarinet, Elva an
alto horn, and I the cornet) went to our parents bed room and played them
our first tune. When I think of it now, our parents must have covered
their heads and laughed, but they complimented and praised us as only
good parents would. We played for celebrations and parades in the small
towns nearby. What fun! The young people of the community also took trips
in wagons and buggies to the mountains of several days' duration. Our
chaperon on two occasions was Emily Payne, Burton Bean's sister, who had
come to spend a few summer weeks with her brother and his wife. She was a
lovely person. The fun we had on those trips shall never be forgotten.
I shall never forget the first automobile that came through the Prairie.
Such excitement! Glen went out on the highway to watch them pass. One of
the cars picked him up. How thrilled he was! He said they went so fast it
took his breath away. It must have been traveling at least ten or fifteen
miles an hour.
Then there was the coming of the telephone in our little community. What
excitement when we could ring our friends by using the little handle and
ringing one long and two short, etc. our ring was one long and three
short rings. Many times our good friends, Henry Jenkins and family, would
call and ask Elva and me to sing to them over the telephone. I am sure it
was not that they enjoyed our voices, but the novelty of the telephone.
Then there was the airplane flight over Soldier during a celebration. The
committee wanted to charge everyone for a look into the sky. Of course,
there was no controlling this. Everyone saw it without paying. I shall
never forget my Father laughing as he said, "Children, look all you want
to, they cannot charge us." It was an unforgettable thrill. I hesitate
now to leave Manard, for my childhood was so full of joy and happiness
there. However, my parents felt that we must sell our home and move to a
place where we could better ourselves. So on October of 1915, Mother, my
sisters, Zina and Emma and brother, Neil, left in a white top buggy with
the Peter Borup's family for Boise. My Father and Elva rode in one wagon
full of household goods, and Frank Borup and I in another wagon left the
next day. Levon was left to come a little later with Glenn and Estella,
his wife. It took us three days to make the trip. The first night we
camped at Dixie, and the next night near the New York Canal, just outside
of Boise. Being young, the trip was fun. Our first home in Boise was on a
forty acre ranch; fifteen acres of which were in
fruit. It was a real treat for us to pick the fruit from the trees. The
people we traded our place for at Manard, were not ready to move out of
the house. Mrs. Leonard turned over the upstairs to us so that we could
put up our beds.
Mother did a little cooking in her kitchen. To say we got into a dirty
house does not begin to tell the story. As we swept, the bed bugs would
crawl out of the cracks in the floor. We scrubbed with lye, dusted with
powder, etc. In a few weeks we had the house to ourselves and then the
real struggle of cleaning started. The paper was pulled off the walls,
woodwork was washed, varnished and painted. The bugs got into our beds,
and it took a year by taking our beds down every Saturday to scrub and
dust to get rid of them. But finally our home was clean and lovely. The
house had a porch all the way around it, except the north side, which
provided plenty of room for all of our beds. The porch floor was painted,
and homemade rugs (made by our Mother) were placed in front of each bed.
In the summer time it was a lovely place to sleep. The fragrance from the
cherry, apple and prune blossoms filled the air; the croaking of the
frogs and the chirping of the birds was music to our ears as we fell
asleep; but sometimes we found that sleeping out on the porch in the
winter time was very cold. There were no down quilts, no electric
blankets; however, we did have plenty of homemade wool quilts. I very
often wonder at the strength and patience of our dear Mother, as she
would fill hot water bottles to put into our beds that we might be more
comfortable climbing into our beds after being out on our dates -
possibly out to a dance or party. Many times our hair would be fringed
with frost and our beds would be covered with snow as the wind blew it
through the screen; but we were all free from colds and illness of any
Our home was never too crowded or Mother was never too tired to have our
friends in for dinner, and many times our boy and girl friends stayed all
night - three in a bed and on the couch. Dad would then bring us all in
to school or work the next morning in the white top buggy. We lived five
miles from town. My Father raised a lot of watermelons. Boys used to come
into the patch and steal them. One day Dad and Neil waited for the boys
in the patch. Sure enough several of them came. They gave chase and
finally caught and brought them to the house. Dad frightened them by
threatening to call their parents and the police (which he did not intend
doing). The boys pleaded with him not to do that, saying that they would
never do it again. Dad then gave them a lecture about honesty, then he
and Neil cut melon after melon and filled them so full that they wobbled
out of the yard.
Dad told them that the next time they wanted melons to come in and ask
and he would give them all they could eat, but to never steal them again.
While on the ranch, I was President of the M.I.A. Stake Board, serving
fourteen years. I was young for this responsibility, but was blessed with
a find Board to help me. During these years my counselors were Rhea
Arthur (Smith), Lillian Stewart, Veda Green, and Rachel Rich. The
presidents of the Young Men were Ezra T. Benson, Delbert White, and Leo
Manwaring. Our Stake reached as far east as Glens Ferry and to Weiser on
the west. These years were most enjoyable. It was our great privilege to
entertain in our home such people of the General Board as Elsie Talmage
Brandley, Rachel Grant Taylor, Clarissa Beasley, Oscar :Kirkham and many
It was while we lived on the ranch, October, 1923, that I was called to
the Southern States Mission. No experience was ever so enjoyable and more
gratifying. Many lovely farewell parties were given to Carrie
Worthington, LaVon Robinson and myself, as they were also called to serve
at the same time, La Yon to Australia and Carrie to the Southern States.
The ward party was outstanding. Julia Handy was in charge of
entertainment. They presented a play, depicting an Elder called on a
mission. He is leaving home and entering the mission field. It gave us a
picture of his experience as a missionary. There was only one ward at
this time. We met in the little church on the corner of 4th and Jefferson
Streets. Heber Q. Hale was President of the Stake; Alfred Hogensen was
the Bishop, with Samuel Worthington and Glenn Labrum (my brother) as
The years went by. Many fine experiences and many good times were enjoyed
while we were all growing up. In time we were all employed after the
schooling was over. Elva went to Business College. After finishing, she
got a secretarial job in Heber Q. Hale's office and later worked at the
State House as Secretary to the Commissioner of Agriculture. Levon, Emma
Zina and I were employed at the Telephone office, Emma and Zina in the
business office. Levon worked as an operator while finishing high school.
I was employed as an operator, and later as a Supervisor, Instructor,
Evening Chief Operator and Central Office instructor. At present I am
Employment Supervisor.
In the year 1928 Elva was called to the Central States Mission. I was
then Evening Chief
Operator at the Telephone Company. I asked for a transfer to California
and received my assignment at this time to Santa Anna. I stayed in Salt
Lake until Elva was finished at the Mission Home, then Nellie Plant
(Hansen) met me and we traveled to San Francisco, then took the boat from
there to Los Angeles. Other than a little sea sickness, we had a glorious
trip. Nellie stayed two weeks and we visited with our friends - the
Handys, Bertha Youngs, Mary Stewart and many others. Nellie then returned
home, and I went to work in the Santa Anna Office. I lived with a very
good friend and her family from Boise - Jewell and Virgil Sudbrock - in
Orange, California. No one could have been any kinder to me than the
were. I lived and worked there for one year, then returned home and again
worked for the Telephone Company.

Hyrum Bracken Lee
Essie Idella Lee Borup

My father, Hyrum Bracken Lee, was born at Tooele, Tooele County, Utah, 18
May1865. He was born of a long line of Lee's, the first of whom came
early to America. It was William Lee, born at Carrick Ferfus, Ireland, 17
August 1745, who immigrated to America and settled in Connecticut, and
whose descendants spread to Orange County, North Carolina, and to Indiana
where Isaac Lee was born. Hyrum Bracken Lee was the son of Isaac Lee and
Mary Ann Bracken. Both of his parents were converts to the Church Of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in early days. Mary Ann Bracken
accepted the Gospel in Northumberland, England and immigrated to Utah in
1852. Isaac was with the Saints in Nauvoo and was also a pioneer into
Utah and did much to help in the building up of Tooele and the
surrounding country. My father was the sixth child in a family of ten
children born to Isaac and Mary Ann. He grew to Manhood at Tooele,
gaining a common school education, learning to play the violin, working
with his father who owned a sawmill.
When he was about twenty-two years of age, he went to Afton, Wyoming in
the Star Valley country. He had relatives living there. Two older sisters
had married and gone there to live. In the winter of 1887, he was staying
with his sister, Eliza Hale and had been getting aquatinted with the
young people in the Afton Ward through attending the Church meetings,
parties, and dances. This was where he first met Alice Evaline Dixon,
daughter of Harvey Dixon, Sr., a pioneer into Afton, Wyoming. Alice was a
young school teacher not yet sixteen years of age.
The friendship of Hyrum and Alice grew into romance, and by the summer of
1889 they were planning their wedding day. They planned to be married in
the Logan Temple. So, early in November, in the company of another couple
who were also going to be married, they made the trip to Logan, Utah.
They went by team and wagon or buggy and it took a long time as compared
with today when the trip is made in a few hours. When they arrived at the
Temple they found that the law in Utah was that a girl under eighteen
years of age who came to be married must be accompanied by her parents,
and Alice was a few months younger. There was just one thing they could
do - go into Idaho and be married by the laws of the land and then go to
the Temple for the ceremony there. So that was the plan they followed,
and everything turned out well for them. They were married in the temple
8 November 1889, by Apostle M. F. Merrill. The trip was long and cold,
but they arrived home at Afton safely.
They lived that winter with Hyrum's parents, who had moved from Tooele to
Afton. Alice taught a term of school. Later my father rented a place to
Nine children in this family grew to maturity.

Alice Evaline                     December 3, 1890
      Freedom, Wyoming
Essie Idella                      September 27, 1892
      Freedom, Wyoming
Hyram Dixon                  June 15, 1894
      Freedom, Wyoming
Isaac Harvey                       August 4, 1896
      Freedom, Wyoming
Edna May                           July 20, 1904
      Fir Grove, Idaho
Metta Fern                         September 19, 1906                Fir
Grove, Idaho
Harold Dixon                       December 9, 1908                  Fir
Grove, Idaho
Clyde Dixon                  January 11, 1911                  Fir Grove,
Cecil Dixon                        October 17, 1913                  Fir
Grove, Idaho
My father was now getting restless at renting and wanted to get a place
of his own, some cows and horses and such things as would help to make a
living for a family. He thought the Lower Valley of Star Valley suited
him better. He loved hunting and fishing. Surely this was his place. Wild
game was plentiful and lots of fish in the streams. He moved his family
to the Lower Valley, and they lived there for eight or nine years.
Papa, as we children called him, farmed and took part in the activities
of the community. He loved competitive sports, boxing, wrestling,
shooting matches, and ball games. He was a strong man and was quick at
work or play. I think he was usually found where the most activity was
going on. He went to church, but was not much to hold a position. He
seemed too timid when it came to that. However, I'm sure he helped in the
Mutual in Star Valley. He loved to play for dances. He knew the music for
all the dances of his day. Also he loved to dance and was especially fond
of the waltz.
In our home, Papa exacted quick obedience of his children. I'm sure the
old adage, "spare the rod and spoil the child", had come down to him
through his ancestry, for they were strict disciplinarians according to
some life stories. However, Papa was very tender toward his children in
their times of illnesses or accident, but in the everyday affairs of life
he was quick to lose his patience and control.
The years spent in the Lower Valley were lean years financially. There
were many drawbacks, especially the long hard winters and the short
growing season. Also, they were hearing of land opening up in Idaho where
it was warmer. Mama's people, the Dixon's were desirous of making a
change of location, and the families could go together.
The decision was made to make the move and it was a tremendous
undertaking to make preparation. Papa's family now numbered six with four
In the fall of 1899, the two families, the Lee's and Dixon's, gathered
together at Afton with their loaded wagons of furniture, machinery, and
what not to make homes in a new country. Papa had bought a new white-
topped hack for the family to ride in. We went by way of Bancroft, Soda
Springs, Pocatello. Some of Grandpa's boys herded cattle along the way on
horseback. It took a long time to make the trip because we had to travel
slowly and keep together. But all arrived safely in the Hagerman Valley
and camped on an island at the foot of Thousand Springs, the Snake River
on one side. The Dixon's decided to stay there for the winter and look
for land in the spring. Papa left his loaded wagon there and took his
family on to spend the winter with his parents who now lived at Marion,
Idaho. Grandpa Lee was very ill with cancer of the stomach. Papa thought
he could help his mother in caring for him, which he did. But Grandpa
didn't live long. He passed away in January 1900 and was buried at
Marion. Papa and the family stayed at Marion and Oakley for a while. He
had a sister, Julia, a brother, Joseph Lee, and a scad of nieces, and
nephews living in one or the other of these two places, so he had a lot
of visiting to do.
But soon as spring came and the roads were passable, he wanted to be on
his way and find where we were going to locate. He drove us back to
Hagerman Valley where he picked up his loaded wagon. Some of the men of
our group had looked over the Camas Prairie and thought it would be a
good place to file on homesteads where there would be good grazing for
raising cattle.
So, Papa was anxious to see the country where we would most likely build
our home. We were all anxious. Our road lay toward the north, through the
unique City of Rocks and on a little further until we began descending
the dugway, and a terrible sideling one it was, I well remember. But, the
little valley of Fir Grove, so named by the earlier settlers, was a
veritable flower garden with its variety of wild flowers and the meadows
that were blue with a flower called Camas. Also, there was a variety of
birds, snakes, even rattlesnakes. Papa warned us about its poisonous
bite; we were always on the lookout for them. Not one of us ever got
Papa soon filed on a homestead and moved his family into a log cabin that
was on the land. It had only a dirt floor and Papa put canvas over it,
which worked out pretty well. We didn't live there long but while we were
living that pioneer way, Papa contracted the dreaded disease called
spotted fever. Baby Juanita had the disease, too. They both were very
sick, but battled through it with Mama's care. Grandmother Kitty Dixon
was very helpful with her knowledge of pioneer remedies and caring for
the sick.
Before long Papa moved his family into a three-room house not far from
where we had been living, only it was more in the meadow land. This house
was owned by a settler named Tom Gustin. Our family was more comfortable
there. Papa had several good cows, horses, and some farm machinery, and
farmed, gardening and putting up hay which grew in the meadows. Mama
raised chickens and all that were old enough in the family helped in some
way. So we had plenty to eat of
things we could raise. At this time there was not a ready market for our
farm produce, so Papa worked away from home when he could to supply extra
money that was needed. He liked to go sheep shearing in the springtime.
He was quick at that work and could make good wages.
The first winter at Fir Grove (1900-1901) was a long cold one. We were
almost stranded because it was so hard to keep roads open between the
settlers and impossible to keep them open to the nearest town of Soldier,
which was fifteen miles away. When we left our Wyoming home, Papa and
Mama had hoped for a milder climate, but the new location was not too
different. On the 15th of March, 1901 the third son of Hyrum and Alice
was born, Roy Dixon Lee. No doctor was available, but all went well with
the help of Grandmother Dixon. We were all happy with the new baby.
Sometimes, in the next few years Papa took us out to the lower climate
for the winter. As my memory serves me it was the winter of (1901-1902)
that we spent at a place called Mullin's Ranch. This ranch was alongside
of the rocky gorge of the Malad River, close to where it empties into the
Snake River in Hagerman Valley. While living at this ranch we all had the
small pox and were quarantined most of the winter. There were twenty-one
of us who lived on the ranch, and so the yellow flag hung on our gate-
post a long time.
Well, my father built three log houses at Fir Grove and his family lived
in each of them. One was right near the Dixon home. It was at a time when
Papa and they ran their cows together and milked them together and
principally, the milk was used to make cheese. Grandpa Dixon had
purchased a large cheese-making outfit and Mama was the one to make the
cheese. We all milked cows and rode ponies to help bring the cows in off
the range at milking time. At times there were sixty to milk and there
were no modem convenience.
The last log house that Papa built for his family at Fir Grove, was built
in the mouth of the canyon where there was a good garden spot and a nice
stream of water, also there was a good spring of cold water close to the
house. This was a two-story house and a little later my father added a
lean-to the full length of the house, so we had more room than we had
ever had before. This house was by the side of the main road where the
travelers came through the valley. Also it was where we had our first
mail service, and Papa was so happy that we would get out mail regularly.
He prized his newspapers; was very upset when it got misplaced before he
had read it all. Mama always said she was sure he read everything even
the advertisements. But he was deeply interested in politics and tried
always to keep up in the affairs of government. He thrilled at every new
invention or advance in science. So he loved to read. Also as I have said
he loved music. While living at the last log house he bought us a piano
and thought we would all learn to play it without a teacher. We were not
so musical as he was on the violin. However, later on several of his
children learned to play very well. When we were slow in learning to play
the piano, Papa bought us a Victrola and some cute records. So we had
We lived in the two-story log house for some time. Changes were beginning
to come. Just over the hill from where we lived, an irrigation project
was under way. Settlers were coming in to obtain land. Some came early
enough to take part in building the dam and canals that would take the
water out on the land. My father was excited as he always was over new
things. At this time he was building a new frame house on our homestead
not far from the place where we lived when we first came to the Valley.
He did a nice job on the new house and we all enjoyed it. By now quite a
large colony of L.D.S. people from Utah and some from Boise, Idaho had
settled on the land under the new project and had named their community
Manard. Soon a ward was organized and we started attending church
meetings there. First in the homes and then in the new schoolhouse they
Papa showed new interest in his religious life. He also enjoyed the
socials that were held and was willing to drive the seven miles to take
us children. After a while he bought a Model-T Ford, and was very happy
with that.
In the fall of 1916 Papa bought a place at Manard. Three of his children
had married now. The fall of his move and the spring and summer of 1917
he spent getting the new place fixed up. In the fall of that year some
people wanted him to take them to Boise to attend an L.D.S. Conference.
He consented to take them, and was getting ready to go when he met with
an accident in cranking the car. He ran a piece of wire into his thumb,
but he thought it was not bad enough that he should not give up the trip,
so he went to Boise. He suffered badly and could not enjoy the
conference. He went to a doctor who tried to help him but he continued to
suffer. His home doctor diagnosed his trouble as tetanus. He had violent
spasms of pain and his muscles became rigid. The doctor told Mama that
she should let the married children who were away know that they should
come home if they wanted to see him alive.
He passed away 13 November 1917. His service was held in the ward in
Manard Hall. It was a cold November day which added to our gloom when
Papa was laid to rest in the Manard Cemetery on a hillside only a mile or
so from the place where he lived. It seemed like his life had been cut
short. He was just fifty-two years of age. His hair was still dark at his
I have recently visited his grave. It was just following Decoration Day
and the little cemetery was beautifully decorated. Three other graves of
family members are near his - a son and two grandchildren. As I stood
there I felt a wonderful peace and thrilled at the beautiful view of big
Camas Prairie and Old Soldier Mountain in the background, scenes that
were familiar to me when I was a member of the family of Hyrum Bracken
Lee and for six years of my married life.

Mother and Dad
Florence Adams Lee

After thinking things over a long time, the first I actually remember was
when I was very young.
I remember the house in Teasdale. The old rock fireplace.
One day while playing in the yard I saw my father coming home. He had a
bulky package on his shoulder. Putting the package on the floor in front
of the fireplace, he said, "Now Florence, it's for you, open it." My
birthday gift was a little rocking chair. The seat and back were woven of
willows. I had it several years.
Dad was away from home quite a lot because he worked with cattle and
sheep. The feeding range was far enough away men couldn't come home every
I remember Saturdays. We cleaned the house, polished the knives, forks,
and spoons with sand or wood ashes. After mother got the wood floors all
scrubbed we'd sit around the kitchen and have hot gingerbread and milk. I
remember too, we used to always have a wood tub in the cellar with
candied honey in it. The outside of the tub was painted blue.
The folks had bees and it was terrifying to me when they took the honey.
I'm afraid of bees yet! About the next thing I remember was getting ready
to move to Idaho. Of course Dad had been on a short term mission to Bear
Lake, but all I remember was when he came home. He gave me a little
trunk. I used it for my playthings, then for my baby's clothes.
When Donna needed it for baby clothes I gave it to her. Now (1956) her
children are still using it for playthings.
We brought part of a carload of cattle and our household goods here.
Uncle Dan and two other families came with us. They drove the cattle to a
We stopped over a little while in Salt Lake City. I remember the high
wall around the Temple Block and saw a bicycle for the first time.
I think Payette was our destination. We unloaded the cattle at Shoshone
and started through the hills. Near Gwinn Ranch we came to a shearing
corral. Lester Stott was there with sheep everywhere. Guess his crew had
gone on a strike. Dad and the other men had all worked with sheep so they
stayed until all the sheep were sheared.
We went with Stott on to Camas Prairie. When we got up the next morning
Lewis was sick. He had spotted fever. We almost lost him. When he was
well enough to travel we other children had mumps and money was getting
low, so Dad went to work for Jack Wardrop. We moved to Soldier Creek and
helped put up hay. (Carl Vanskike owns the place now.)
We got acquainted with Labrums, Stotts, and Jenkins who were L.D.S., and
decided to stay. Missionaries came in from the Northwestern States
Mission and organized a Branch. (It must have been of Carey Ward, Cassia
Stake.) It must have been about 1905 or 1906.
Later the folks (all L.D.S. families) got acquainted with the Dixon
families from Fir Grove and Hagerman and decided to build the Twin Lakes
The men came south of the Malad River (Camas Creek now) and took up
homesteads and desert claims.
We built a log house on our place, and after working some each spring we
went to Dam Town and worked on the reservoir. Everyone went. We lived in
tents and willow sheds. We had Sunday School parties and generally a Dam
good time.
When work progressed enough so there was a pond, the older boys and girls
got romantic and

went boating or rafting. We little stinkers spied on them and threw rocks
over the dam, and we girls stole the boys clothes and hid them when the
boys went in swimming.
It was there I first saw Hyrum. He used to pull my braids in Sunday
Stott and our father got logs, and each built a log house. Labrums house
was boards of native lumber. Some boards must have been eighteen inches
They filed on land - men, homesteads and women on desert claims. After
all was done that could be or had to be done to prove up on the land, we
moved to Dam Town. It was quite an undertaking, the Twin Lakes Reservoir
is now known a Mormon Reservoir.
At Dam Town we had Sunday School. We lived in tents and also set long
posts in the ground, made a frame work and covered it with willows,
leaves, and all. We called them boweries.
We had so little space we sat three deep, well almost. It was there I met
a wiry little guy who pulled my braids. Yes, it was Hyrum.
Manard was chosen for the name of our community. Our first school was in
a shack on the Labrum place. (It was Lee's ranch house later.) Father
built some long desks and benches. We had a little sheet iron stove and
when it got nice and warm, snow melted on the roof and the water found a
hole and came down on anyone in the way, hardly ever in the same place
Our teacher was Harry McAdams. When he couldn't control the students, he
would kick the stove or throw books at someone. They always came back,
sometimes from more than one direction.
The second year a school house was built in the Butler field a quarter of
a mile west of the Painter place, which was our homestead.
It was a nice big building used for Church and entertainment. Our second
teacher was May Griswold (later Thornton). She got rough on a little girl
and the term was finished by Mary Leek.
Then there was Roy Laird. He was a brother of one of the teachers we had
up at Soldier Creek. The Lairds came from Nebraska. Paul taught at Fir
Grove. Hugh was a teacher too.
Roy's wife was Lela Woods. Her mother taught school also. Started two
You could see the country was growing. The Grove folks, Dixons, Lees and,
Sants came to Manard for church and dances.
During all this time Hyrum and my brother, George, were pals. I was just
the little stink behind.
They built a new school north of the river. It was even painted. The
original bell is in a showplace at Frostensons.
When the Recreational Hall was built at Manard, everyone helped, sawed,
hammered, and painted. They even went into the hills and felled logs to
be sawed at Borups sawmill.
The school house that was on the Butler place was moved north of the
river and made into a store, Manard Mercantile, and was run by Harvey
Manard was such a thriving place. Hyrum came over and passed eighth
grade. Then two Dixon boys, Glen Labrum, Verne Thurber, George Adams, and
Hyrum went to the Academy at Oakley for two years.
Meanwhile, I went to school at Manard to the ninth grade. Victor LaValle
was the teacher.
There was lots of activity. Dances, basketball games, home talent shows,
traveling shows, etc.
December 14, Hyrum went to California with Jimmy McClure. He worked for
Jimmy's uncle in a vineyard in Burbank, now Hollywood.
We had dated some, so when Hyrum came home in the spring, we started
making plans and were married April 5, 1916.

Hyrum D. Lee
The Gooding Leader

Hyrum D. Lee is 80. He can tell you tales of the Far North that would
make Jack London or Robert W. Service cringe. But most of this north
country of Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska would be good.
It would deal with the days of fresh water. Untouched wildlife, and
fishing and hunting to a man's heart's content among virgin timber.
"I been packing into the north all my life," Lee, who could pass for 50
anywhere, told The Enterprise.
"I used horses to pack and guide for hunters throughout the Soldier
Mountain areas of Idaho in my early years. Later I packed into British
Columbia for many years. Then I went to Alaska where I guided and packed
until a year or two ago. It's a fascinating life.
Lee was born just over the border from Idaho in Wyoming. He married
Florence 58 years ago, and admits an understanding wife has allowed a lot
of his freedom to seek the wilds.
"She's been to Alaska with me several times," he explains. "I've been
married to her 58 years.
A long time to stay with one woman, but I'll tell you she's a good one.
She knew I loved to hunt and she respected that wish."
Lee is now retired with a cabin behind his home in Gooding where he
stores all his outstanding hunting trophies. Everything is there from the
proud sheep of the Far North to the grizzly bear which he says is the
"meanest" animal of them all.
He has trophies of caribou, sheep, Alaskan wolves, brown bear, and
"Most of my trips have been as guide for hunters," Lee explains," and you
have to look after those guys. They get out maybe once or twice a year
and they are not used to the wild country.
"When we take trophies for the hunter we have to skin the head and get
them ready for the taxidermist.
"Yes, I've had my experiences with Alaskan wolves," he admitted. "During
the old dog days when the only way to travel the snow trails was with
dogs, we had wolves come right into the camp and jump onto our dogs while
they were staked out. But I never knew of them attacking a man. They have
a special fear of man.
"Of course, now we travel by snowmobile wherever we go," he explained.
The grizzly bear has always had a special place in Lee's mind.
"They are the meanest of all ," he emphasized. "Grizzley and polar bear
are the hardest to hunt and the most dangerous. The grizzley is
dangerous. Much more so than the Alaskan brown. They'll whip a Brown."
Lee explains that when he guided in Alaska he would take hunters through
areas where there were 15 or 20 species of trophy game.
"If the hunter wanted," he said, "we would help him take all of them. I
knew where most of the game was because the Game Department used to pick
me up by plane. I had quite a lot of experiences in a plane.
Lee can tell you of many experience where he was lucky against grizzley
bear and other game of the Far North, but he admits his most frightening
experience was with nature.
"I went to Hitchin Brook Island," he explains, "and didn't expect to get
back. We had boat trouble. We were lost for 10 days when a plane came
into get us.
"I stacked up all the drift wood on the beach I could find, and when the
plane came into view, I could tell he was looking for us because he
followed the different bays along," he added, "and I lit the fire, but
the plane took off the other way. I later learned he could not land
because the water was too rough. But he came back and picked us up when
the water was right."
Lee's cabin, now constructed behind his Gooding home, is a duplicate of
what he lived in the Far North. A cot is there and it is made of log.
"I've been over nearly all of Alaska," he admits, "and they sure have a
lot of game there. I've had close calls. Several times I have nearly been
taken by a grizzly, but I was always lucky. It has been a great life.

James B. and Edna V. McClure

James (Jimmy) Belford McClure was born April 5, 1883 in Crumlin County,
Antrim, Ireland, the second child of Edmund Harris and Alice Faloon
McClure. He lived at home with his parents, who were farmers until he
followed his brother Charles to the United States in 1906. He originally
planned on going to Dawson Creek, Ukon Territory where he had cousins,
then on to New Zealand. He came to Manard to visit his brother Charlie.
When Jimmy arrived here he discovered that the prevailing wages of
approximately one dollar a day for farmhands was so enticing, he decided
to remain on Camas Prairie.
Jimmy and K. Taylor Butler homesteaded across the road from each other
near the Manard Cemetery. Jimmy, K.T. and families stayed good friends
over the years.
Jimmy met Edna Valentine Thurber, courted her, and was married on August
31, 1917 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Edna was born Edna Valentine Thurber in Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah on
Valentine's Day, February 14, 1896, hence her middle name of Valentine.
Her father was a blacksmith and her mother was a midwife. They moved
numerous places before settling at Manard, Fairfield, Idaho.
Edna and Jimmy lived about a year in Salt Lake where Jimmy was a
streetcar conductor. They moved to Wendell in 1918. He went to work for
the Northside Canal Company. They lived out at the ditch camp for about
six years. They bought a house and moved to town. He later bought forty
acres north of town and raised cattle.
Their four children are:

Norma                                  August 1,1919
Nola May                               May 14, 1922
Edmund Joseph                     August 16, 1927             Wendell
Robert Thurber                    April 9, 1930

Norma lives in Gooding and is still actively self-employed as a
beautician. She has been widowed twice by Orville J. Singer and William
I. Jenkins. She raised three children.
Nola married Garold Wheeler who passed away in 1995. They lived in
Cheyenne, Wyoming and Pharr, Texas. She is now living in Tenina,
Edmund (Ed) married DeEtte Woodland. They lived in California,
Washington, D. C. and now live in Glenwood, Arizona. They have two
Robert (Bob) married Lois Johnson. They now live in Tenino, Washington
and have three children.
Jimmy died April 7, 1963 at the age of seventy-nine. Edna died December
7, 1985 at the age of eighty-nine. They are buried together at the
Wendell Cemetery. They had eight grandchildren and eleven great-
grandchildren. Since their deaths another generation of great, great-
grandchildren have come along as descendants of this couple.

Alma Harris Moon

Alma Hams Moon and Clysta Cloe Cox, of Egin, Idaho, were married on March
4, 1920 at St. Anthony, Idaho.
They then moved, with extended family, including Alma's parents, Reuben
and Lucy Moon, to Manard, Camas, Idaho. Reuben Moon had quite a bit of
land around Manard hoping to set each of his children up in farming. That
was quite an expensive undertaking as there were 13 children in his
Reuben made down payments on this land and they set into farming. The
depression hit and times began to get hard and, after the harvest, Reuben
was unable to pay all the bills so he lost the property. This made him
very heartsick and he never recovered from it. He died, back in Egin, on
October 16, 1928.
Al and Clysta continued to live in Manard. Clysta had gone back to Egin
for the births of their first two children. Marjorie was born on December
24, 1920 and Alma Boyd on June 27, 1923.
Al farmed property up near the Olson place. He helped other farmers put
up hay during the Summer and worked at the grain elevator in Fairfield in
the Fall. Clysta helped Aunt Annie Thurber as a Midwife.
Their third and fourth children were born in Manard at the home of Aunt
Annie. Melba was born on October 16,1925 and Rulon Loen on September 14,
For a while, Al and Clysta lived on a farm near the Olson place just
beyond Harold and Dora Lee's. Later they lived in a home at the foot of
some hills near Springdale. This home belonged to Joe Moon, Al's brother.
In the Spring, the hills were covered with wild flowers and were very
Still later, they moved to a place owned by Ralph and Marion Cox. They
didn't have electricity so they used gas lanterns or kerosene lamps for
light. They had a battery operated radio and hauled water from the
neighbors. Clysta washed clothes on a washboard. Their children went to
school in a two room schoolhouse-four grades in each room.
Al enjoyed sports and contributed time and talent to the basketball and
baseball teams sponsored by the Manard Community.
Al loved horses and took very good care of them. He kept them brushed and
their tails braided and in a knot. In the winter time they always had
bells on their harnesses. He made a covered sleigh for winter travel. It
had a little heat stove in it and a bench down each side. A winter trip
into town was a fun time.
In the fall, they would go to Gooding to lay in some supplies for the
long winter months. It was a 30 mile trip and would take all day.
Al and Clysta both loved to fish, so the family spent a lot of time on a
river bank or at the Mormon Reservoir.
When Marjorie graduated from the eighth grade the family moved into
They had many good friends at Manard, including the Harold Lees, Hyrum
Lees, Milo Bakers, and Ivan Nielsons. They shared a lot of good time
together playing cards and visiting. These were friendships that lasted
through the years. Their years at Manard left them with a lot of good

Joseph Heber Moon
Clifton Dixon

Joseph Heber Moon was born May 14, 1890 at Egin, Idaho in a hewed-log
home. His parents, Reuben and Lucy Emma Harris Moon purchased this home
lot and acreage from Marion and Lou Stoddard in 1887. By the time Joseph
was born, the big, log house had been built, and there were four older
brothers and sisters. The family increased until there were thirteen
children in all.
Lucy Matilda
Charlotte Adelia
Estella Maria
Reuben Ezra
Joseph Heber
Jennie Lovisa
Mary Idella                        (died at age 15)
Silva Maud
Wilford Harris               (died at age 6 months)
Alma Harris
Leslie Lee
William Henry                (died at age 3 days)
Vilda Elvira

Joseph worked with his father and helped manage the farm as more land was
In 1916, at the age of twenty-five Joseph was called on a mission to the
Eastern States. When he returned to Egin in 1918, he enlisted in the
army, and became a member of the army of occupation in France and
Germany. He returned home in 1920.
When he returned, he met Margaret McMillan George, who was a teacher in
the Egin School System. She was born December 3,1897 in Rexburg, Idaho.
She was the sixth of eight children born to Thomas Phillip and Margaret
McKay McMillian George. The George Family was very musical with an almost
natural sense of tone and harmonics, allowing them to play by ear or
harmonize easily while singing.
Margaret studied the piano at Ricks Academy and also violin, voice, and
guitar. She graduated from Ricks and attended Albion Normal School. When
she graduated from there, she was hired to teach at Marysville. When a
friend, Nellie Cox told her of an opening in Egin, Margaret applied and
was hired for the 1919-1920 school year.
In the spring of 1920, she met Joseph Moon and they were married June 15,
1921 at Burton, where she now taught.
By this time Reuben and Lucy Moon had moved to the Camas County area,
having mortgaged everything they had to buy up large quantities of land
in and near Fairfield.
In the spring of 1922, Joseph and Margaret moved to Fairfield as all of
Joseph's brothers, sisters, and families had done. Margaret taught school
here, and their first child was born. They moved to Manard where Margaret
continued to teach for several years and Joseph ranched. Margaret and
Joseph had five children.
Harris George                            June 25, 1923
Jean L.                                  May 9,1925
Carol G.                                 August 1, 1928
Joseph Howard                      June 11, 1930
Margaret Kay                             November 21,1934

In 1930 she began teaching in Fairfield schools, so the family lived in
Fairfield during the school year and at the ranch in the summers.
She joined the L.D.S. Church in 1931 at Manard, and devoted much time to
varied church positions in Fairfield and Manard in the Blaine Stake, and
later in Egin, Ashton, and St. Anthony Wards in the Yellowstone Stake.
They ran two places at Manard for a few years. Farming was poor. It was
impossible to run large operations without large machinery and water. It
was a horse-run ranch-farm, with doubtful rainfall for dry farming. The
ease of Egin Bench farming, sub-irrigation, and good crops on smaller
acreages soon became apparent. Margaret taught school to keep the ranch
Reuben and Lucy not only lost the large farms in Camas County, they also
lost the mortgaged land in Fremont County.
Joseph continued ranching, but gave it up about 1933 and operated a
blacksmith and repair shop in Fairfield until 1937 when they decided to
return to Egin. Here he worked in the potato cellars and did repair work
and welding for farmers. Margaret continued to teach music and art in the
Ashton area schools and privately.
Joseph died following a lingering illness July 4,1952 at the Veterans'
Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Margaret continued to teach at Parker
through 1957. By that time her children were grown and on their own. She
continued another eight years in education via World Book and Childcraft
management, retiring in 1965, but remaining part of that organization the
rest of her life. She started painting again as therapy, following
illness and surgery in 1965. Art improved her health and helped her over
come serious depression. She felt that this same therapy could help
others too, so she had a small studio built at Egin and began to teach
classes of retirees and senior citizens, liberally mixed with children,
teenagers, and young adults. The classes were great for her and those she
taught. She moved to Twin Falls in 1959. She had serious illnesses which
hampered her activities. Following a fall in 1985, she never regained her
strength. February 2, 1986, she suffered a massive coronary and lived
through several less severe ones for two weeks. Margaret died at Twin
Falls following a massive coronary February 16, 1986, in full possession
of her mental faculties.

The Migration of the Nielson Family

At the age of eight years, in the year 1868 Rasmus Marrius Nielson, with
his parents Ole and Johannah Nielson, one sister, Ane Nielson, and two
brothers, Niels and Sorn Nielson, left Denmark for America with a Mormon
They left Copenhagen, Denmark in April. It took three days to go from
there to Liverpool, England.
From Liverpool they expected to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a steamship,
which they had arranged for and also paid their transportation charges,
but were disappointed and had to cross the ocean in the sailing vessel
"Emerald Isle."
A company of nine hundred people who left Liverpool. This company being
composed of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Welsh, Scots, and English people.
Elder Vedaborah from Ogden, Utah chartered the vessel and Hans Jensen, an
emigration leader was leader of the company.
Due to not obtaining the steamer at Liverpool and having to go in a
sailing vessel, their journey was prolonged and they were on the Atlantic
Ocean for eight weeks before landing in New York. Their not being
prepared for so long a journey, the food became scarce and the water
rationed, which cause a great amount of sickness and about one hundred of
the company died on the way.
Most of those who lost their lives at this time were children. As many as
eight bodies were slid into the water at one time for burial.
The company went from New York to Laramie, Wyoming. This trip was made on
the train and they reach Laramie about one month after reaching New York.
From Laramie the company was divided into two parties. The English went
with mules and the Scandinavians went with oxen. They reached Salt Lake
City, Utah in October, 1868. This trip was made with very little food.
The distance between Laramie, Wyoming and Salt Lake City, Utah was made
on foot for all those able, there being some sick who had to ride.
Some of the men stopped to work on the railroad being built from Laramie,
Wyoming to Utah. Rasmus grew up in Utah, in Sevier County. Caroline
Fredricka Johnson also migrated to Utah as a child. They were married
August 12, 1881 at Elsinore, Utah. To this couple were born:

1. Erastus Franklin Nielson                  May 12, 1882
            Elsinore, Utah
2. Oliver Charles Nielson                          November 29 1883
      Envinory, Utah
3. Charles Franklin Nielson                  March 9, 1884
            Envinory, Utah
4. Hazel Johannah Nielson Adams        November 17, 1888        Elsinore,
5. Elmer Walter Nielson                            March 31,1891
            Elsinore, Utah
6. Alta Rosena Nielson Cooper                April 5, 1895
            Elsinore, Utah
7. Ivan Ferman Nielson                             May 8,1897
            Elsinore, Utah
8. Valma Ilene Nielson Clower                June 20, 1901
            Elsinore, Utah
9. Zian Henrietta Nielson Prince             March 27, 1907
      Elsinore, Utah

Elmer Walter Nielson

This history of Elmer Walter Nielson was written or copied by Helen T.
Dalton from extensive notes recorded by his wife Jane and from other
sources as noted. Elmer's father was Rasmus Marius Nielson who was born
Dec. 3, 1861 at Testrup, Viborg, Denmark.
Before Elmer was born his parents farmed first at Elsinore where the
first two children were born, Erastus and Oliver. The next two, Charles
and Hazel were born at Inverura, which was close by. The general practice
was to have the farm out of the village and to live in the small town and
go out to the farm each day to work. Elmer was born right in the village
of Elsinore.

Early Childhood Memories
Told to his wife Jane and recorded by her. When Elmer was a very small
child his family lived at his invalid Grandma Nielson's home for about
six months. His cousin Ida sat him on a chest of drawers, she thought to
keep him out of mischief. He kept kicking the chest with his heels and
annoying Grandma, so Ida took him in the kitchen and gave him some

When about five years old he saw an uncle cut a piece of chewing tobacco
and put it in his mouth. It looked so rich, moist and nice Elmer wanted a
piece of it, but his Father said, "No, it will make you sick." Elmer
pouted and refused to eat supper or be happy. His father told him again
that it would make him very sick, but Elmer insisted, so they finally
gave him a small piece of the tobacco. He still remembers how very ill he
was. He had no supper and that was the first and last time he chewed
He recalled seeing a little ant on a piece of bark floating in the ditch.
He reached out in the small stream, retrieved the bark and let the ant
off in the grass. He then imagined how happy the little ant was and how
happy its parents were when it got home and told them that a nice little
boy saved its life. In all of Elmer's life he never liked to kill.
As was the custom of the time, Elmer wore dresses until he was five years
old. When his mother made his first pants he was very proud. Strutting
out in the yard he saw his cousin, Oral playing in the yard and still
wearing a dress, so he proceeded to give him a good whipping just to show
Oral how big he was. He was severely chastised by his mother for this
unkind act.
He remembers what fun it was to have his Aunt Tina (Johnson) race down
the street with him in the express wagon.
When Alta was born, Elmer remembers being very happy because he was no
longer the baby. Aunt Zina Johnson teased him and said, "Oh, you are
still the baby boy!" When Ivan was born his joy was dampened again when
they told him he was next to the baby boy.

After Elmer was six years old, Hazel took him to visit school, but when
the teacher accepted him as a visitor he was highly insulted and left for
home on the run. Hazel followed him and had to coax real hard to get him
to come back.
When a small boy with his father at the farm, a man with a long brown
beard stopped his horse and visited for a while. After the man left his
father said. "That was John Butler. it is too bad that he lost his mine."
Elmer told his father he didn't act like he had lost his mind!
When about six years old his father took him to Frisco, Nevada to sell a
load of salt fish, herring or smelt that were about five inches long.
Elmer wanted to help so his father told him to go up to a door, knock and
when a lady answered the knock to ask her if she would like to buy some
fish. The lady asked Elmer what kind of fish he was selling and he
answered, "Little bitsie suckers!" He was disappointed when she didn't
buy any fish. His older brother wouldn't ever let him forget his first
peddling experience.
He told of another peddling experience with his father. They went to Blue
Creek and spent the night with some friends. There was a great deal of
excitement as the people had just dug into a sunken place on their land
and had found a human skeleton. The skull had been placed between the
legs of the body. He loved listening to the conversations, but that night
he had some very spooky dreams.
Elmer's best friends were his cousins, Kellen Johnson and Oral Nielson.
Other friends were La Valle Hansen, Ervine Larson, Joseph Jensen, Elmer
Knutson and Auto Jensen. Auto Jensen died when only fourteen years old.
The friends all went to the funeral and rode their horses to the cemetery
with Elmer leading Auto's pony with the empty saddle. It was a very sad
day for all of the boys.
His uncle John Johnson thought a great deal of Elmer and gave him some
very good advice as he was growing up. Elmer and Jane visited him in 1950
or 1952 at his home in Elsinore. John hand chiseled all of the stone in
the house, and it is quite a work of art. Even though John had a
shriveled arm he built several stone homes, a school house, the arched
stone bridges in Little Zion's Park, and he made hundreds of head stones
for the local cemetery. He was very hard of hearing but still enjoyed the
visit with Jane and Elmer. His daughter Tina said that he seemed to
understand Elmer that day and had enjoyed the visit more than any he had
in many years. Uncle John told Jane that all of Elmer's life he had been
quick and ambitious, always a very good and willing worker.
Elmer Nielson was baptized a member of the L.D.S. Church on July 15, 1900
by Thomas P. Jensen. He was ordained a deacon August 26, 1903 by August
When Elmer was about seven years old he herded the neighbor's milk cows
along the irrigation ditch banks for 15 cents a week. Having decided to
be a sheepman he saved his money and bought an old ewe and a yearling and
herded them along with the cows. He was overjoyed when the yearling had a
lamb and the old ewe had twins. One was an Merino and the other a curly
Cots wool. Tragedy struck when he found the ewe struggling with bloat.
Despite help from his mother in sticking the ewe it was too late and she
died, leaving Elmer with the twin lambs to raise. Elmer was heartbroken
and there were many sad hours spent as his mother's tears mingled with
his. It was a major setback to his dream of building a sheep herd. He was
a very determined child and again started saving until he had $2.50. He
took his own horse, Fillie, borrowed another horse and wagon and drove
alone over to Central and bought two beautiful ewes from Mr. Christensen.
One ewe was black and the other white, the most beautiful sheep he had
ever seen. That spring the ewes had lambs so he now had seven sheep.
His father and older brothers thought the sheep were a nuisance and
wanted to get rid of them, but Elmer was determined to keep them and his
mother encouraged him to do so. That summer he took the family milk cows
and his sheep to a pasture on the opposite side of town. At first it was
a problem to get them through town, but they soon learned that lush green
grass awaited them on the other side. Elmer thought it was a beautiful
sight to see his sheep on a dead run, going down main street with their
long tails flying and the sheep dodging barking dogs along the way. Many
townspeople were amused and were complimentary to Elmer on his sheep. He
was especially proud to receive compliments from the guests at the Jensen
Hotel where many Drummers [traveling salesmen] enjoyed staying. His
father and brothers continued complaining about the sheep, so Elmer
finally sold them to his father and brothers for $7.00, despite
encouragement from his mother to keep them. As soon as he sold them, his
beautiful flock was sold to the butcher and were carted away to be
slaughtered. That was a dark day in Elmer's life. His mother said no one
was able to comfort him no matter how hard they tried.
When about nine years old, he went to Uncle John Johnson's farm to help
Kellen shock wheat. While doing this job he heard a rattle and saw a
snake slide down his arm. Of course he moved quickly and seeing a scratch
on his hand was sure he had been bitten. He headed for home running as
fast as he could. Glancing at his hand he was certain that it was
swelling. When he passed the cemetery he wondered if he would be the next
to be buried there. Coming to his Aunt Anna Sylvester's home he stopped
to tell her what had happened, and she had quite a time convincing him
that he had not been bitten, and that his hand was not swollen.

Oliver bought Elmer a black pony named Fillie for $2.50. One day while
galloping down the road Fillie stumbled by the railroad, threw Elmer off
on his head on a rail. He recalled putting his hand up on his head and
feeling a lump as large as his fist rise up. Elmer was troubled
with what they thought was croup, for many years. Not being able to get
his breath, he would jump on Fillie and go as fast as possible to try to
get his breath. This was a great worry to his mother as she was unable to
follow him.
Kellen Johnson, Joseph Jensen and Elmer took a one horse cart and a big
double barreled muzzle loader shotgun and went to hunt ducks at Jerico, a
few miles from Elsinore. They went to the Sevier River where there were
many beautiful duck ponds. The trip was a happy one as they dreamed of
the surprise they would take home. The ponds were a beautiful sight and
were covered with ducks. The boys nestled down in the lush green meadow
and proceeded to tamp both barrels full of powder. They crawled for about
1/4 mile on hands and knees across the meadow before reaching the ideal
They decided that Joseph was the oldest, so he should get to take the
first shot. Kneeling on one knee Joseph took good aim and pulled both
triggers at the same time. The gun flew back quite a distance, catching
Joseph's nose as it flew by. Blood was streaming down Joseph's face and
dead ducks were falling in every direction. The boys had no time to
gather the ducks but got Joseph into the cart and started for home as
fast as they could go. The injured boy complained that, "I might not live
until we get home," which encouraged Elmer to drive faster in
desperation. It was three miles home and with Elmer at the reins and at
the end of a lashing whip they sped down the dusty road. Joseph groaned
again, ''I'll never make it if you don't go faster." Arriving home
Joseph's wounds were taken care of and the three boys were severely
chastised for their thoughtless and dangerous adventure. They all lost
their interest in duck hunting. The boys were about nine years old when
this happened.
Elmer had made a few freighting trips to Frisco, Nevada with his father.
This was an 80 mile trip over desert country with no homes or towns
between. Frisco was a thriving mining town and his father and Charles
were in Frisco working in the mines. Rasmus sent a letter home with a
freighter, asking Elmer to bring the team and wagon to bring them home.
At this time Elmer was 11 years old. His mother fixed a bed roll, a grub
box and hay and grain for the horses and sent Elmer on his lonely trip.
The first night out he cared for the team, ate his supper and rolled his
bed out on the ground and was soon fast asleep. He was awakened by a
terrible roar. The ground was shaking and the horses were snorting and
jerking at their halters where they were tied to the wagon wheels. He was
sure it was an earthquake and that his horses would get loose and run
back home. Presently things quieted down and the roar was at a distance.
He discovered that he had made camp just a few feet from the Western
Pacific Railroad tracks, and that a long freight train had rolled by. He
didn't sleep well the rest of the night so got up early and continued his
journey wondering why the road was so much longer than when he went with
his father.
Making camp the next night he was very lonesome and sort of uneasy. The
third day seemed very long and he welcomed the sight of Frisco and soon
found his father at the designated place. He was so happy to see his
father that he could hardly hold the tears back. For him the trip home
was much more pleasant and seemed much shorter. Elmer loved to drive and
handle horses.

On Halloween when Elmer was twelve years old, he and his gang took Peter
Four's cart and tipped it into the canal. Next morning Elmer was going
with his father to the farm to work. Coming to the bridge they saw men
getting the cart out of the water. Elmer was suddenly in a great hurry to
get to work, but his father insisted that they stop and help. As they
assisted Peter, Elmer tried hard not to look too guilty.
When a youngster Elmer was one of a gang called "The Hoodlums." His first
teacher was Libby Sylvester, then Miss Scorup, Mr. Cowley and Mr. Nelson.
This gang was in constant conflict with the teachers. Elmer wanted to
quit school, but his mother objected. Finally his father let him quit
school, something he regretted the rest of his life. Aunt Jane does not
know how far he went in school, but he did not get through grade school.

Once Oliver was fixing the picket fence and spoke sharply to Elmer, "Hand
me the hammer!" His answer was, "Get it yourself' and the chase was on,
but Oliver couldn't catch him. He circled around and saw some boys
playing ball and joined them. Just as he got up to bat one of the boys
yelled, "Elmer, look out!" There was Oliver. Elmer ran home and locked
himself in the toilet, but when Oliver vowed he would tear the toilet
down Elmer yelled for help, and his mother came and rescued him.

Early Camas Prairie Years

Elmer first came to Camas Prairie, arriving there March 8, 1908, when he
was seventeen years old. He came to Gooding, Idaho on the train with
Oliver and took the stage with Billy Sant as driver to Manard. The gumbo
roads were terrible so the stage passengers walked most of the way.
Oliver had come to Idaho the year before in 1907. The Spring of 1908
Elmer worked at Clover Creek shearing sheep for Lester Stott.
While living at Oliver's that summer he met Jane Butler for the first
time. She was visiting her sister Caroline Thurber who lived across the
lane from Oliver. Jane had ridden over on horseback and when ready to go
back home was unable to bridle her pony so called and asked Dora,
Oliver's first wife, if someone would come over and help her. Elmer came
over and performed the task. He told me later that he asked Dora who I
was she told him and then he said, "Those Butler girls are such pretty
girls, but they have such big feet!"--[How true].

In May, 1908 Rasmus Nielson sold his farm in Elsinore, Utah and moved to
Idaho. Elmer's pony Fillie was shipped along with the rest of his stock.
Elmer kept this pony for years, and when she died he had an overcoat made
from the hide. This was worn for years, was great to wear in blizzards
when feeding stock. Years later he wore it when he worked night shift on
the tractor at Fir Grove Ranch. Finally he lost it in the field and never
did find it.

Elmer went with his father to Twin Falls where he had a contract on the
Idaho Southern Railroad. They camped in tents north of where Hollister
now stands. In September of 1908 Elmer said, "I got sore about something,
a bad habit I had, pulled out and went to Ely, Nevada and worked at
construction leveling where they were building a building or mill for
smelting ore.
His father wrote that Hazel was very sick with typhoid fever down in
Elsinore so Elmer went down there and stayed until Hazel was better. He
then returned to the Prairie on the train with Edna Nielson and her baby
Eldon and Kate Kirtman and her baby. This trip was made in late October
of 1908. They had a long layover in Salt Lake City, waiting for the train
going to Pocatello.
While waiting he met a friendly man [MrX] who suggested that he walk
around with him, but Elmer, a little suspicious refused to go. A little
later Elmer strolled down the street and noticed Mr. X drinking coffee at
a lunch stand. Calling Elmer he insisted on buying him a glass of root
beer. While sitting there an old drunk staggered in and insisted on
paying for Elmer's drink. Mr.X refused to let him so had a short argument
then decided to shake dice to see who would pay. The two shook dice
several times, each time Mr. X would win. Finally Mr. X quietly showed
Elmer that he was playing a cinch game and couldn't lose.
Elmer was short of cash, having only $5.00. Mr. X talked him into putting
up his $5.00 as a bet on the roll of the dice, and of course Mr.X won the
money. The drunk hobo got pretty worked up and started for the telephone
to call the police to arrest Mr. X. Then Mr. X said, "Come on kid, let's
get out of here before the cops come," and suggested that they split up
so as to hide more easily, and they would meet on the train when it came
in. That was the last Elmer saw of MrX and his $5.00, but his heart
almost quit beating when a cop walked down the aisle.
There was a long wait in Minidoka, but he didn't let Edna know that he
was hungry and had no money. When Erastus met them at the train, Elmer
quietly told him that he was broke and hungry and E.F. gave him 50 cents
for which he got a good meal and some money left over.
Rasmus contracted for 30 miles of Idaho Southern Railroad but just
finished four miles before selling his contract, this was in 1908.
Elmer lived at the camp of tents that was situated where the town of
Hollister was later built.
Edna and Kate did the cooking. Their husbands, E.F. Nielson and Lawrence
Kirtman built a small shack for each of the women. Later the Idaho
Southern contract was sold to Union Pacific and ran on down to Wells,
Rasmus Nielson was very good interior decorator, specializing in wall
paper hanging. Before leaving Elsinore, Elmer would go with his father on
jobs and would put the paste on the paper for his father. Rasmus was also
very much interested in politics and loved to visit with people.
On December 10, 1908 Elmer left the Hollister camp and started for
Jerome. He slept in a wagon box in Twin Falls and nearly froze to death.
He said, "I had a four horse team father had
contracted to plow and rail brush on Jerome homestead and Carry Act
land." Rasmus went back to Utah, but Elmer stayed alone and dug basements
and plowed and railed brush for which he received $15.00 per acre. He
spent Christmas day by himself. He did go to a Christmas program at the
school house, but it was a lonely Christmas for him. After Christmas
Oliver came, and they batched together.
In June of 1909 Elmer's mother and father came to Jerome and bought a
small tent house along the coolie west of where the St. Benedicts
Hospital now stands. The family worked there all summer.
In August of 1909 the Nielsons moved to Camas Prairie. They filed on a
homestead and built a four room house up under the rimrock on the south
side of Malad River under the Twin lakes South side Canal which ran
through their place. Their closest neighbors were the Horace Butlers and
the Dolph Nasers. Elmer stayed and worked in Jerome until 1910.
He then returned to the Prairie and helped his father on the homestead.
He also worked for c.c. Cotton building roads and bridges etc. In the
fall of 1910 his father rented the Borup sawmill on Deer Creek. Elmer was
good at sawing lumber. The men logged and sawed lumber all winter selling
it for $20.00 per thousand. Rasmus Nielson, Lewis Adams and Elmer batched
with some other men, living in tents. They bought some logs from Charlie
Borup and Lewis Adams, Sr.
In those days some of the loggers had trouble with bears raiding their
camps so one night when Elmer went to the mountains for a load of logs,
after having worked all day on the farm, he pitched his tent and was soon
fast asleep in his warm bed. He was awakened by heavy footsteps coming
closer and could hear heavy breathing and sniffing close to his tent.
Elmer tried to think of some weapon he could use to defend himself
against this bear, when a loud bawl roared through his ears. The bawl
came from a lone bull that had wandered into the camp, possibly attracted
by the smell of the grain Elmer had brought for his horses.
In the spring of 1911 Elmer helped his parents and also helped Horace
Butler and other neighbors. That summer the entire community for miles
around laid off on Saturday afternoon and played baseball. Men, women,
and children came from miles around. The younger folks would scream and
urge their favorite team on. Mothers with babies and older ladies sitting
in buggies and wagons were busy with knitting, crocheting or mending but
took time to watch the game. Jane said she remembered when a wild ball
hit Bill Tyke in the head. He fell as a steer would when hit in the head
with an ax. As she remembered he didn't feel like finishing the game.
When the games were over the crowd dispersed with cheery, "So longs," to
their evening irrigation, milking and evening chores. Those were happy,
fun days with high hopes for our future on Camas Prairie.
The young people made frequent camping trips into the nearby mountains.
Jane related the following story: "I recall one trip when we went north
past the Smokeys and over to Bear Creek. Emily Payne was the chaperone.
We had quite a crowd of boys and girls. Elmer refused to take part in
cooking, but was willing to get wood, clean fish, chickens, etc. It was
easy to get all of the game we could use. One night we all made our beds
down before dark. The boys in the timber on one side of the camp and the
girls on the other. Elva Dixon wasn't feeling well so went to bed early
in the chaperone's bed. Elmer and another boy, thinking to pay a joke on
some of the boys, rolled up the bed and moved it farther into the timber.
When the boy discovered the prank he did the same thing to someone else
and finally the chaperone's bed was the only one to be found. The beds
were all scattered through the dark timber. That was a miserable night,
trying to keep comfortable around that campfire. We sang songs until
hoarse and worn out. The next morning there were quilts, blankets and
pillows scattered all through the timber. Elmer never did find his
pillow. Vern Thurber had a large, expensive felt hat. Someone threw it in
the air and someone else yelled, "Shoot it!" A shotgun was fired and of
course the hat was ruined what a ridiculous thing to do. No one would say
who did the shooting. The last day, before leaving for home, Vern
gathered every boy's hat in camp and stacked them in a pile and gave the
pile a blast with a shotgun at close range. When we got to Soldier we
stopped at Scottie's store and he made a record sale of men's hats for
the one day.
The winter of 1911 and 1912 Elmer stayed home. He milked cows, fed stock,
went to dances at Manard and Springdale, also went to traveling shows,
debates, candy pulls etc. He was always taking part in celebrations,
sports activities, parades, etc. He was willing to help in community
affairs such as helping with donation work on Manard hall, school, etc.

In 1912 he sold a fine team of horses to Erin Thurber for $150.00. One
was a big sorrel, blazed face, named Frank. He had been one of a
wonderful pulling team, winning many prizes in southern Utah. The team
developed a bad habit of running away so had to be split up. Elmer's
father brought Frank from Utah with him and Elmer bought him from his
father. Erin paid for the team in small payments. The first was a
Shorthorn steer calf, worth $5.00. This steer was the first of Elmer's
cattle herd.
About November 15,1912 Elmer went to McGill, Nevada to work in a foundry.
He learned to mold machinery parts in sand. He stayed with Charles and
Loretta who had moved there too, until Charles moved back to Monroe,
Utah. Elmer then lived with a family by the name of Craven.
Elmer returned to the Prairie in April, 1913. He brought a bowl of
goldfish to his sisters. His father met him at the train in Gooding. He
helped on the homestead that summer and also farmed Horace Butler's place
while Horace and John were in Montana trying to sell iceless
refrigerators. That year, on July 13, there was a heavy killing frost on
Camas Prairie. Jane's mother Nancy Franzetta Butler died that spring in
Manard. She passed away April 21, 1913.
In the fall of 1913, with the money Erin Thurber paid him for the team,
Elmer bought a cow and three calves from C. Robinson on Dry Creek, north
of Gooding. A little later he bought two fine heifers with white faced
calves at their sides. He bought these from Pat McMonigal on Deer Creek
north of Hailey. He said he drove them home in two days, staying
overnight at Abe Saunders', a bachelor up on the base line, south and
west of Willow Creek. One calf was so tired he carried it in the saddle.
He was a very proud boy bringing those beautiful heifers home. The money
received from the team he sold to Erin Thurber paid for the start of his
cattle herd.

Elmer heard of the possibility of a job at a placer mine on Pyria Creek
in Arizona so he went down there. That job did not materialize so he
found work at a sawmill in John's Valley, about 16 miles from Tropic,
Utah. He stayed with the Bybee's who were owners of the mill. They were
very nice to him.
One day Elmer's suitcase disappeared, another workman said his overcoat
had disappeared. Elmer told the boss about the problem and the boss told
him not to say anything more about it. When all of the men went to work
Mr. Bybee looked around and found the missing coat and suitcase in the
loft of an old building. In a day or so the man who lost the overcoat
decided to quit the job. Bybee offered to take him to town as he was
going for groceries. The man put his bed roll on the wagon and when all
was ready to leave Mr. Bybee told Elmer to open up the bed roll. He did
so and there was his suitcase and the overcoat. They took the man into
town and he received a stiff fine. A short time later Elmer transferred
to another mill where there were 100,000 feet of logs to saw. A Mr. Lee,
an expert at sharpening saws and axes, worked with Elmer. Elmer said they
got their board and made over $6.00 each per day. That was considered
very good wages. Mr. Zabrishie said these two men did more in one day
than the previous men did in a week. Elmer loved to work and never seemed
to tire.
In the spring of 1914 Elmer returned to Camas Prairie and helped his
father farm the homestead, also 160 acres on the Gwin place on the north
side of the Malad River. He also helped C. C. Cotton, Horace Butler and
other neighbors. He stayed at home that fall and winter helping his
father with the work. Ivan Nielson went to Monroe, Utah that year.
In April 1915 Rasmus Nielson contracted spotted fever and died on April
18, 1915. He was buried in the Manard cemetery. He was fifty four years
old. Elmer stayed at home to run the ranch, living with his mother and 3
sisters, Alta, Valma and Zina. Miss Carpenter, the Springdale school
teacher, boarded with them. Elmer farmed the Gwin place again that year.
After the death of his father Elmer took over the responsibility of the
family. He took over the homestead with 20 head of cattle, a few horses,
a little machinery, a wagon, shed, white top buggy, harnesses, and tools
etc. He sent a check to his mother every month.
His mother had moved to Gooding and at times it was a tight squeeze to
make the money take care of the family expenses. Grandma Nielson was a
very good manager and very thrifty and with the girls working they
managed to get by on what they had.
Jane sometimes feared that Elmer had not done as much as he should have
done for the family. E.F. assured Jane that Elmer had done far move than
he had received from the place. In later years E.F. helped support his
mother and both Hazel and Valma cared for her in their homes. Jane and
Elmer also took care of her in their home for a few months until it was
necessary for her
to have constant care. She was taken to the home of a nurse, Mrs. Ring,
where she was given good care until her death June 17, 1944 in Wendell,
In 1915 Chet and Clare McCallister were on the Lazy A Ranch and helped
make things pleasant. In the fall and winter the young people had many
dances and parties at Manard and Springdale, also debates, candy pulls,
etc. The Mutual Organization of the Church put on a play each year. The
play was always very will attended. A traveling show came through the
Prairie when the roads permitted, this was a real treat and was well
Elmer continued working the same land during the spring and summer of
When the Sawtooth forest was first organized in late 1915, Ed Minear was
the forest ranger. John, Horace and Taylor Butler, Elmer and E.F.
Nielson, Hugo Olson and John Robinson were issued the first grazing
rights for cattle on Paradise Creek, located on Little Smokey near the
Big Smokey ranger station. At that, Elmer served as an original director
of the Bureau of Land Management, District # 2, which had their
headquarters in Burley. The directors met there occasionally as
allotments were requested. In a few years the request multiplied until a
full time office was opened in Shoshone and one in Burley.
On one occasion Elmer was spending two or three days at a B.L.M. meeting
in Burley. The last day he was there, Bonnie McQuivey was going to Burley
for something, so I went with her and stopped at the hotel where the
directors were staying. I thought the desk clerk was a little nervous
when I asked for Elmer's room, he wasn't in, so I waited. Elmer came into
the hotel with a nice looking young woman, the clerk was uncomfortable as
he gave Elmer the room key. When the young lady saw me and came over and
put her arms around me, the clerk was quite relieved. She was my niece
and Elmer was going to have lunch with her for the second time.
The fall and winter of 1916 and 1917 were open and the snowfall had been
light. The normal snow depth on the Prairie was two to two and a half
feet. Many people heated their homes with coal which was brought to the
Prairie by train. Hy Lee told me that every day after feeding his cattle,
Elmer would go to the mountains, get a load of logs and would saw them
and stack them for his winter supply of fuel. Many people thought him so
foolish not to take advantage of the coal. The winter was quite normal
until after Christmas.
Vance McHan was one of the larger cattlemen on the Prairie, I believe he
had 400 head of stock. He bought some at Hill City and shipped them to
Fairfield by train, then hauled them to his ranch by sled. There was a
shortage of hay and feed for the cattle that winter, but the men felt
they could get by with the winter being so light. About Feb. 18, 1917,
Vance McHan, Hy Lee, Clare McCallister and Elmer packed their lunches and
went to the City of Rocks to check feed conditions, expecting to return
home that day. They ran into a dense fog and got lost, wandering around
for several hours. They finally recognized the main canyon in the City of
Rocks and knew that they could follow the canyon for about five miles and
reach a cabin belonging to Wildhorse Davis, dubbed this name because of
his wild horse stories. He lived in Gooding in the winter and camped at
the cabin in the summer when caring for his cattle. They found the cabin,
but there was no feed for the horses and none for the men except some
frozen potatoes. There was a stove and wood, a chair and some bed
springs. They kept warm, though not too comfortable. The next morning was
bright and clear. There was about a foot of snow, but the men decided
there was enough browse and brush for stock to survive. As they went home
they saw the tracks they had made, going in a circle, when lost in the
fog. They got home just as a posse was organized to search for them.
February 19, 1917 Elmer planned to take his stock out to the slopes south
of the City of Rocks. It looked a little stormy so he decided to wait and
see if a storm was coming. On February 20, a terrific storm and blizzard
started, snowing and blizzarding through the rest of February and through
most of March. The wind was terrible and the snow was heavy, reaching a
depth of five feet at Manard and seven feet to the north on the Base
Line. It was a great struggle to get feed through the blizzard to the
feeding grounds. Many people were not able to reach their cattle some
days. Elmer got some straw at the Gwin Ranch and said he never missed a
day getting a full feed to his stock. The train, with two or three
engines, was blocked, also a huge rotary plow. It was blocked for
nineteen days. Some cattle were starving with no possibility of getting
feed to them.
Before the big storm started, when they had discovered the shortage of
hay in the valley, some of the men broke a road to McKinney Creek, by Fir
Grove Ranch, where Vance wanted to set up a camp. K.T. Butler helped
break this trail through the snow. Vance made the camp and

moved some of his cattle over there. K.T. and Vance went to the City of
Rocks on skies (Vance's first experience) to check on feed. The snow was
too deep for the cattle to get browse.
Back on the Prairie the men struggled to feed their animals. Elmer's feed
ground was well protected in the willows and by feeding them every day he
kept his cattle strong and healthy. Some of the ranchers cut down on the
feed until their stock got very weak. Some days many of them were unable
to get to their feed grounds. Some people fed manure to their cattle.
On the day the big storm started, March 20th, they knew conditions were
desperate. Ten men with twenty or twenty-five horses went to Vance's
McKinney Creek camp to open up a trail to the City of Rocks. The men took
turns taking the lead on a horse, making the animal flounder through the
snow, the other men would then push the rest of the horses along until a
trail was made. It took ten days to make the trail for a distance of
eight miles.
When the trail was finished Will Goold and Elmer went home and got their
cattle and started at 2:00 a.m. to make the trip to the City of Rocks.
When they reached the McKinney Creek camp Vance had started working his
stronger cattle out to start for the Rocks. The snow was crusted so hard
they drove their cattle out around Vance's and didn't even break the
crust and were able to get their cattle to the City of Rocks where there
was buck brush above the foot of snow. They pushed the cattle out to
where the feed was best and returned to help Vance. Will Goold and Elmer
stayed at Vance's camp that night. During the night it snowed about eight
inches with a high wind blowing. The storm lasted all day and the trail
was completely drifted in.
There were five men, Vance McHan, Hyrum Lee, Will Goold, Dave Dias and
Elmer. Elmer said that a big bay horse of Goold's was the only one that
could find the trail. He would rear up and paw first on one side and then
on the other until he would locate the packed trail which had been built
up about two feet from the bottom. Elmer tied another horse to the bay's
tail and turned them loose. He would yell at the horses every few minutes
to keep them going, then shove about ten head of the strongest cattle
along to pack the trail. Each man would take a group of the cattle and
urge them along in the same way.
The blizzard was so bad they couldn't see each other so they would yell
to keep track of each other. If one bunch of cattle lagged the trail
drifted full again. Elmer said when he couldn't hear the next bunch he
would flounder back, crawling much of the way, until reaching the cattle,
then he would tramp a trail for them to follow. He could not see more
than eight or ten feet in any direction.
The blizzard packed ice on the eyes of the cattle and horses so they
could only see straight down. The men had to keep pulling the ice from
the animals eyes and from their own. They took turns on the difficult
lead job. Vance kept repeating, "We'll never make it." Later Vance told
Valma that Elmer saved his life on that trip. He became exhausted and lay
down, Elmer really cussed him out and forced him to get up.
They were a very sturdy group of men to survive that trip, as every foot
of the way was a great struggle. They left only one animal along the
trail, they had 400 animals strung out single file. They finally reached
their destination. They had traveled a distance of eight miles into the
City of Rocks. It was about five miles from the Davis Cabin.
The snow was too deep to go on the sides of the canyon. They had to stay
down in the creek bottoms where there was water flowing under the snow.
Elmer was walking along the edge and slipped and fell into the creek.
Elmer recalled that Vance felt so badly about him getting wet. In one
spot the water dropped about six feet, they all got safely down except
Vance, both he and his horse slipped and went entirely out of sight in
the deep hole. They managed to get out and continue on down to the cabin.
As they neared the cabin they were very much surprised to see a light
shining in the cabin. Davis had come up from Gooding to check on the feed
situation and had brought enough food for two meals for himself. He
divided what food he had among the five men. A good warm fire was burning
so the men spent the night thawing out and drying their soaked clothing.
Hyrum and Elmer, fearing the break up, had worn rubber boots which were
frozen on their feet. As the ice melted they would raise their feet and
let the water run out of their boots. They were very happy when they
finally were able to get their boots off. Hyrum's frozen foot had an open
sore on it into July of the next summer and his feet bothered him for
many years when cold weather came.
The next morning was clear and quiet. The men all went back up the canyon
to the cattle and
they scattered them out amongst the brush. They then returned to the camp
on McKinney Creek, finding one frozen steer by the trail. Will Borup had
stayed at the camp and had gotten a little hay from the Rock Haystack
several miles west of the camp. He had built a makeshift corral so they
were able to feed their horses. After taking care of the animals they
went inside and had the largest supper he every remembered. While eating,
the starving cattle broke into the corral and ate the horses hay.
Elmer and Goold took their horses and left for home, a distance of eleven
miles. Their horses had very little to eat since leaving home at 2:00
a.m. three days before. Vance lost about fifty head of stock after
getting them into the City of Rocks. Elmer and Will Goold reached home
very much worn out and were given a very warm welcome by their families.
Valma had done the milking and feeding of the cows in the barn. It was a
great struggle to get feed into them through the blizzard. Valma said her
mother came out occasionally to see how she was getting along.
The spring of 1917 came late and no wonder, with all of the snow they
had. There were huge snow drifts until late in May. A big drift in John
Butler's back yard had been converted into an igloo by the Butler
children. When Jane returned from Richfield, Utah in May it was still in
good shape.
That spring the children attending Springdale school spent Easter in the
City of Rocks. Clare McCallister composed a song for the occasion.
The Summer of 1917 Elmer bought a small home for his mother in Gooding.
He moved her and the girls down in time for school that fall. This home
was located one block north and four blocks west of the Lincoln Inn.
October 1, 1917, Elmer went to Richfield, Idaho to work on the canals, he
also hauled gravel for some roads. He had a beautiful six horse team, one
a bright sorrel he called Queen. Queen and a brown mare were the leaders.
Elmer said that Mr. Ogie, the boss, fell in love with that lead team.
Elmer took good care of his animals and they were outstanding in their
looks and performance. He received $1.00 a day for the use of his horses,
Mr. Ogie also furnished their feed.
A construction outfit from Lehi, Utah was there, working six horses plus
a spike team to load out of the gravel pit. They griped about getting the
load out of the pit. Mr. Ogie bet him $20.00 that Elmer could take any
four of his horses and pull the load out of the pit. The Lehi man was
glad to take the bet. Elmer knew he could do it but didn't want to offend
the man by doing it. Mr. Ogie said to Elmer, "It's an order!" Elmer went
ahead and pulled the load well out of the pit, using his wheelers and
leaders. Mr. Ogie collected the $20.00 and handed $5.00 to Elmer. He told
the other contestant that he could have done it too if he had cared for
his horses the way Elmer did. After this episode Elmer sold his leaders
to Mr. Ogie for $400.00.
That year was a terrible year for mud. The bad winter plus lots of spring
rain caused the muddy condition While at Richfield, Elmer happened to
look at the register and saw the name of Lewis Adams on it. He looked him
up and found that instead of Lewis Adams it was Les Robertson, a man who
had deserted his family and had taken the name of Lewis Adams. Les pulled
out and left the job.
In the spring of 1918 Elmer found a grayback (louse) crawling on him. He
took all of his clothes and bedding, put them in a pile and burned them.
He then went to the store and bought an entire new outfit, went to the
barber shop and rented a bathroom, took a good bath, haircut and shave,
then walked out leaving his clothes in the bathroom. When he got home his
mother was upset that he had burned all of those blankets as she said she
could have washed them. He told her she couldn't have washed them because
he wouldn't bring them home, he wanted nothing to do with them.
It was a new and revolutionary thing when the first automobile was
available at Fairfield. The Model T Ford touring car was first available
in 1915. Elmer bought one from Harry Giesler at Fairfield. The price was
around $500.00. This first automobile was really a great thing. To get it
started it was necessary to set the hand controlled gas feed just under
the steering wheel, then go around to the front and crank it until it
started. The car was black and was open at the sides, with detachable
curtains which snapped into place when needed. Jane remembers that Elmer
was mighty proud of that first car. It had a brass radiator and just one
door on the passenger side, opposite where the steering wheel was.
Elmer and Jane had been going together off and on for some time. Elmer
was born in Elsinore, Utah and Jane in Richfield, Utah some six miles
apart but didn't meet each other until
they were practically grown-and clear up on Camas Prairie, Idaho. Elmer
and Jane were married the evening of March 6, 1918 at the home of Horace
and Ida Butler at Acequia, Idaho. The ceremony was performed by Bishop
John Anderson of Acequia. John and Bertha Butler were also in attendance.
Jane wrote: "We went to Boise on the train and saw John Ryan and Hugh
Laird on the train. We spent the night at the Owyhee Hotel and had a cab
take us to Erin and Carrie Thurber's farm on Eight Mile out of Boise."
Elmer went back to Gooding in a day or so, and Jane stayed for several
days with Carrie doing some sewing.
"When I returned to Gooding Elmer met me at the train. We went to
Thompson's Furniture store and bought a Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet, a bed,
dresser, dining table (round), six chairs, a little sewing rocker and a
larger rocker for Elmer, also a folding leather covered couch and a
carpet, (blue wool) for the living room and a fiber cotton carpet for the
bedroom." Carol Nielson Sagers restored the old Hoosier cabinet and has
it in her home in Heyburn, Idaho.
Jane wrote: "We moved into his parents' four room homestead located by
the rimrock by the South side Twin Lakes Canal. The barn was located next
to the rimrock and the house across the canal from there. This was
situated on the south side of the Little Camas Prairie. Elmer also rented
the Gwin place located on the north side of the Malad River. I had an old
beat up coal or wood range with a high warming oven. I cleaned and
polished it and painted the chipped warming oven black, as was the rest
of the stove. It made the stove look very nice, but the oven was a
headache. I put curtains up to all of the windows and pictures on the
walls, it was very pretty and cozy. The outdoor toilet was across the
canal, we called it the privy. We had to cross the canal on a footbridge
to get to the privy or to the barn.
I helped with the milking and washing of the separator and milk cans. I
also went into the south hills with Elmer and got dry aspen to bum
instead of buying coal. We made very few trips from home that summer. We
had gooseberry bushes so I canned some and made pies for Thanksgiving
dinner. They were terrible.
Elmer had a blue saddle horse, Old Blue, and kept him in a small pasture
along the canal east of the house. He was a mean animal to catch, Elmer
was worn out trying to catch him. He finally resorted to the lariat. He
threw a beautiful loop that landed over Blue's head as he sped along the
canal bank. Elmer was determined to hang on to the rope, running faster
and faster and leaning more and more until over he went into the canal,
still holding onto that rope he went spinning down the canal leaving a
white streak of foam in his wake. I nearly laughed my head off-but he did
catch Old Blue. The air around there was blue for some time, but finally
Elmer cooled off and saw the funny side of the situation.
I raised a few hens. I set some and raised some chickens. Dolph and
Blanche Naser gave us some goose eggs and we raised three geese. They
were so interesting and caused the mother hen much concern when they
plunged into the canal and swam away. We also raised a small garden that
That summer we had another horse, brown and mean as strychnine, Elmer
said. We called him Kaiser Bill. He was a wonderful work horse after he
got him hooked up with a team on the plow. To hook the tugs to the
doubletrees, he made a hook on the end of a long stick and reached out at
a safe distance. Kaizer would kick, strike, bite and snarl. One time he
heard a terrible commotion in the barn where Elmer had fixed a narrow
stall to put Kaiser in so he could harness him. I ran out of the house
just as Kaiser came through the window above the manger. He turned a
somersault on the ground as he was still chained to the stall. He finally
got loose and left the ranch, Elmer did not try to follow him. Someone
told us he was trapped in a fence comer somewhere in the south hills.
Dugie Finch wanted him so Elmer said he did not object. We didn't learn
whether he was successful in catching him or not."
During the summer the community had a party for K. T. Butler and his
wife, Thelma, and for Elmer and Jane Nielson, the two newlywed couples.
The party was held in the Manard Hall where they danced and served
refreshments. In 1970 Jane still has the blue plate given to her that
night by Mother Erika Olson. Bert and Ora Bean gave them a white quilt
filled with hand carded wool.
The fall of 1918 Alvira Clifford of Hagerman taught at the Springdale
School and boarded with us. She was a very nice girl and I enjoyed her.
Clair McCallister came back to the Lazy A after the armistice was signed
and visited our home often to see Alvira. They were engaged to be married
but it fell through
We had no hired help that winter so I drove the team while Elmer fed the
cattle. For some reason he had to be away for three milkings and I milked
our 21 head of cows alone three times and nearly dried them up. My hands
and arms were so swollen that it made me ill. Elmer would get up as soon
as daylight came and go to the field to irrigate, then come back and help
milk, then eat breakfast and go into the field for his day's work.
One day in 1919, we were going in to Fairfield and met a small boy
walking across the Manard grade and carrying a suitcase. The grade is the
road going across the river to Manard. It was low right in that area so
the road had been built up into a grade. We stopped to talk, and the boy
asked us where Elmer Nielson lived. He said his mother was dead and his
father was in an insane asylum. He had been bumming around the sheep camp
doing odd jobs to pay for his room and board. Alvira Clifford had told
him she thought Elmer would give him a home. The boy's name was Hampton
Elmer was delighted to have a boy around, and to Hampton's delight,
bought him a black pony. Hampton was 13 but very small for his age. We
bought him some new clothing and he followed Elmer wherever he went. One
day they were together in Fairfield and a man came up who had recognized
Hampton. He told Elmer that the boy's mother was not dead. The parents
had divorced, the mother was remarried and was living in Gannett, Idaho.
The father had been given custody of the five children. He was employed
as a cook in an insane asylum in Washington. We found that Hampton had
run away from home and as a result was sent to Reform School in Oregon.
He was later returned to his father only to run away again.
We started Hampton to school in Manard and he did well. We had
Thanksgiving at the homestead ranch and Hampton was delighted when Elmer
promised that he could have all of the pumpkin pie he wanted for dessert.
Even though he was small, Hampton was a hearty eater and enjoyed the
turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc. When it came time
for dessert he nearly cried when he was unable to eat more than two
pieces of pumpkin pie.
Before Christmas in 1919, we rented the James Robinson ranch which was
about 1 1/2 miles north of the homestead, and moved to the ranch. After
moving, we had serious trouble with Hampton stealing money at different
homes around Manard and at school. Finally we had to send him back to his
father. I wrote to Hampton's mother thinking she might help us, she wrote
back saying that his father would not furnish her with money so she
thought this had "marked" Hampton [this was in reference to his
stealing]. We also wrote to his father and he wrote a nice letter, never
blaming the mother and he sent money for Hampton's ticket on the train.
He said to buy a full fare ticket, even though he was so small and could
have passed for under twelve years of age.
When Hampton was with them he did not work for us, just lived in our
home. He seemed to be quite helpless, not able to do many things. It was
too bad for had it worked out Elmer would have adopted him. The "too bad"
was that he was such a thief. He was very smart and could have learned to
do so much. He always tried hard to please Elmer. Years later a haggard
looking man came to our door at our home in Wendell. Jane did not
recognize the man and he said, "Don't you know me? I am Hampton!" He told
her that he had married and had a child and then was divorced. Jane said
they heard that he had been in the penitentiary. He told Jane he had been
foolish for not going straight like she and Elmer had taught him. He
remained in Wendell for a few days until one of the girls came down with
the smallpox. He went up to the Prairie and got work on a ranch over on
Willow Creek. One of the men working on the ranch later told Elmer that
Hampton got drunk and told someone he was wanted by the law in California
and that he had been in the penitentiary there. Jane said they have never
heard more of him.
When our cattle were ready to sell we would ship them to Omaha, Nebraska
by train. Elmer would accompany the cattle, riding in the caboose of the
train. Those trips were very hard on Elmer. Every time the train stopped
he would inspect the cars and make sure the cattle were not being
trampled and were otherwise okay. They stopped at least once to unload
the cattle so they could eat and drink. When Elmer got home from these
trips he looked like he was recovering from a serious illness, he always
lost several pounds of weight.
Elmer needed a ride to Fairfield to catch the train for Omaha. We had an
Overland car, which I had never driven. There was no one to take him to
town so I was elected to do the job. Elmer drove to the station, gave me
some instructions on how to drive, he stayed on the running board of the
car until I crossed the railroad tracks, then jumped off and waved good-
bye to me. I felt almost terrified but managed to get back to the ranch
We were expecting a baby in the spring of 1920. I went to Fairfield the
first of March and stayed with Sabra Owens until going to the Hospital on
March 2. Dr. Willencheck was the doctor and his wife was the nurse. The
hospital was in their home. Our Elma Jean was born the evening of March
3, 1920 -- a fat cheeked little baby girl with very thick, long brown
hair. She weighed 8 lbs. Mrs. Willencheck did not want me there so I
received poor nursing care. I think the Dr. needed the money. On the
tenth day I returned home.
The second day I was in the hospital my milk came in like a flash. I
bloated out under both arms and clear around to my shoulder blades. The
nurse told me to reach out and shake a chair on the bare floor and she
would come upstairs to my room. It was impossible for me to reach a chair
so she phoned Sabra Owens, she came and stayed all night with me. Grandma
Nielson also spent a couple of nights with me. The milk ran in streams
from both breasts, also under each breast and under my arms. After I went
home Hatie Krahn helped me and Max Krahn worked for Elmer.
Elma Jean loved the jumper. She would back up on tiptoe and swing up,
often grabbing things from the table. One day I heard a commotion and
went to her. She had pulled the sticky fly paper down and had both feet
stuck on it but was still jumping with all of her strength.
Elmer wasn't well in the spring of 1920. His field work was so hard for
him. Dr. Willencheck said it seemed to be some poison in the blood. He
worked in the field for ten days while having a fever and just refused to
quit. One day I noticed spots on his arms and had Max Krahn ride a horse
over to Olsens, about a mile away, and telephone the Dr. The Dr. had
never seen a case of spotted fever, but that is what Elmer had.
Olga Krahn was helping me at that time. Elmer broke down and shed tears,
he just couldn't forget his farming. He was down for a very long time
with an extremely high fever. His mother was so worried about him and
came to stay with us. Elmer's father had died of spotted fever just five
years before.
One night Jim Dixon and some other man came down and administered to
Elmer. Grandma Nielson went upstairs for some reason and fell clear from
the top and down to the bottom of the winding stairs, breaking her arm
and receiving some bad bruises. The accident upset Elmer very much. He
got so terribly thin with no fat left on him He had eaten very little so
the Dr. told me to give him a little baked potato, which proved to be a
great mistake. He was struck with terrible pain in his stomach and the
Dr. said he had an inflamed gall bladder. His diet then was a starvation
one. I remember when the Dr. said I could give him one teaspoon of
diluted pineapple juice. Elmer was so disappointed not to get more. I
don't think it was possible for him to get any thinner. When he left the
house for the first time he wouldn't let me help him and he fell to his
knees when stepping down one step.
Max Krahn stayed and worked for us all fall. Elmer was so proud of Elma
Jean. As soon as he could drive the car he propped Elma Jean up against
him on the pickup seat and drove to Joe Thurber's blacksmith shop in
That winter of 1920 and 1921 we moved our cattle to pasture we bought
south of Wendell. We lived in Morrell McCloud's homestead shack. The
walls were one board thick with a layer of building paper over them. We
wintered horses for other Camas Prairie ranchers to help pay our way for
the winter. Jimmy and Edna McClure lived not far from us, where he worked
as a ditch rider. They had one child, Norma. We wintered some horses for
Horace Butler. Gordon Smith came on the train and visited with us for a
The shack we were living in was very cold. It was a small square room
with a camp stove, a little table and two chairs. A door was cut into a
little lean-to room where there was a bed. This room was made of just one
layer of boards and not even lined with paper. I hung a quilt up where
there should have been a door. Elmer went in to Eaton's store in Wendell
and got a wooden box about one and one half feet by four feet. I lined
the box with a quilt, covering it clear over the outside. This served as
Elma Jean's play pen and bed, and kept her warm. She learned to walk in
this box. It was too cold to put her on the floor so she never learned to
crawl. She talked at a very early age. She still loved her jumper and
when it was warm enough I would put her in it.
One day when Elmer came in from feeding, she screamed, held her arms out
to him and jumped so hard she broke the jumper spring which flew back and
cut a deep cut across the top of her head. Elmer phoned Morrell McCloud
and he took us into Wendell to Dr. Simington. He cut

her hair off the tip of her head, cleaned it all out and put two stitches
in it. We were heartsick to have our little girl hurt so badly, but it
did heal up quite well.
In January of 1921 someone gave us two bum lambs. Elma Jean called them
After moving to the McCloud homestead shack and after buying pasture and
hay for the stock we had just $40.00 left to winter on. One night while
coming in from feeding Elmer lost his wallet containing his $40.00. As
soon as daylight came the next morning, he went to the feed grounds to
look for it. There were many dark spots on the snow but they weren't the
wallet. Finally he saw it, laying out on the snow packed ground. He said
afterwards that he was so thrilled that he had found it he caught himself
sneaking up on it, half afraid it would disappear before he could get his
hands on it. I had to cross the road to get water from a pump. One day
while trying to open a jar of peaches the jar broke, cutting deep gashes
in my right hand. I had a tough time trying to cook, wash dishes and tend
my baby.
In the spring of 1921 poor little Helen Thurber called on the telephone
to tell us her mother, Carrie, was in the hospital for surgery and that
the children were all sick with stomach upset. She didn't know what to
Elmer took me to Gooding and with his last money bought me a train ticket
to Boise. I was heartsick as Elma Jean was walking but had no shoes, only
some I had made from the tops of my old worn out shoes, I was no expert
and the shoes looked awful. I went to Roresson's store in Gooding, where
Alta worked, and bought her a pair of shoes. All they had were the worst,
clumsy black shoes I had ever seen-I was ashamed to have anyone see her
wearing them.
Carrie was very ill after her surgery and her little sick family were
such bricks to take responsibility. I felt so helpless, having no money
to help them and having morning sickness besides. I stayed for about a
week, but I am afraid I didn't help much. I feared that the food we ate
was worth more than the help I gave.
As soon as Elmer made a little money he sent me a train ticket back to
Gooding. Spring was opening up so Elmer got some pasture near Gooding. We
packed our few belongings and moved to his mother's home in Gooding. He
got some jobs plowing for farmers in the Gooding area. I was very
discouraged to be broke and sick and wondered how I would fare with two
babies. I stayed at Mother Nielson's until spring opened up. After these
bad financial experiences Elmer vowed that he would work into a good line
of credit and never again get caught in such circumstances.
Elmer went to the Prairie horseback to see if we could get through with
the wagon. Mother Nielson fixed matches and cotton in a little bottle and
put it in his pocket-in case he got caught in a storm and needed to start
a fire.
In the summer of 1921 we milked a few cows and had a few chickens. It was
a hard summer as Elmer wasn't too strong yet. Max Krahn helped us again
that summer. I had problems with varicose veins in my legs and my feet
were badly swollen most of the time.
Our wheat got quite high that summer. Elmer was out irrigating when he
noticed the wheat swaying and, thinking a small animal was in the field,
he walked over to investigate. He found Elma Jean hunting for Daddy. I
was frantically hunting for her around the barn. Later that summer I
hired Lula Packham to help me.
Fae was born September 8, 1921. Aunt Annie Thurber came to help and Dr.
Willencheck was still the doctor. Valma came to help Lula cook for the
My bed was in the front room, so the girls set the table in the kitchen.
They ran out of food and frantically ran into my room not knowing what to
do. The next morning they prepared a huge breakfast. Some of the men did
not come for breakfast. The girls were so amused when they offered Vance
McHan more breakfast and he said "No thanks, I don't care for much
breakfast, but I do like my supper."
Lula had to go to school so I had to help Elmer with some of the chores.
Elma Jean loved her baby sister, she called her "Tootsey Fae." She was
very curious about the baby's eyes so I couldn't leave them alone. I
tried tying Elma Jean up but she got upset, so we played a game. She was
my little pony, I did not want my pony to run away so I tied her to the
dresser leg and fed her hay [raisins]. I would play this game while I
cared for the chickens and did other chores. She was happy when I gave
her a special treat for being a good pony and always looked forward to
playing this game.
When Fae was a few months old we went to Gooding to Mother Nielson's on
our way to
Rupert to visit Eva, Oliver and Horace. I noticed that Fae didn't feel
just right but we went on to Eva's. While at Eva's she got a very high
fever, so I called a doctor and found my baby had a bad case of
pneumonia. A nurse friend of Eva's came and we put Fae in a wash boiler
of warm water clear up around her neck. A few of these treatments brought
her fever down. Elmer had to go back to the ranch so I stayed in Rupert
until Fae was well enough to go home.
We caught the train at Minidoka to return to Gooding. Elma Jean says she
remembers that trip on the train. The train seats were made of red
velvet, and she remembers seeing pop com on the red cushions. Elmer met
us at Blaine with a sleigh and took us back to the Prairie.
Uncle Sum Johnson lived with us for awhile that year. He was nice and
loved Fae but was not nice to Elma Jean. I resented that treatment very
During the summer of 1922 Laura Christensen helped me. She watched the
children so I could help with the milking and other chores. We separated
the milk and sold the cream to keep expenses down. Will and Ann Richards
lived in Joe Thurber's house about 1/2 mile away. Elmer offered to let
them take a milk cow, but Will liked to read so well that it did not work
out. We took the cow home and fed and milked her. Ann would walk up every
day and get milk for the family.
We spent the winter of 1922-1923 in an old house of Matt Schmitts' just
across the road from the sugar factory in Twin Falls. Schmitts had built
a nice brick home and had not tom the old one down. It was not much more
than a shelter. Mrs. Schmitt was Annie Christensen originally from
Richfield, Utah-we had known her in Utah. They were going to have a New
Year's party and invited us.
Elmer's suit was so completely faded that it was not presentable for a
party. I thought I might play sick, but we lived so close to Schmitts I
was afraid that it wouldn't work. I brush his suit real well, laid it out
on the table and with a bottle of black shinola I painted the entire
suit. It smelled terrible so I hung it out in a room that had all the
windows out and let it air for a week. The fresh air worked wonders. I
then pressed it, ruining my ironing board cover, put a bag of sachet in
the pocket and after giving Elmer strict orders not to sit on any
overstuffed furniture, we went to the party. Elmer just stood around and
enjoyed talking and playing old time games all evening. I was quite
relieved to get home.
Feeding sugar beet pulp to cattle was a new idea. The cattle filled out
and looked fine, but when they were weighed for sale it was a big
disappointment to Elmer. They just did not have the weight that they
would have had from eating hay. He drove the cattle into the sales yard
himself. Someone brought him home. He was very pale and his legs cramped
so badly that I rubbed and worked with them all night. We started home a
very disappointed couple. The girls each got a little broom, those were
our only Christmas presents.
John Butler was living out north and west of Twin Falls so we went to his
place the first night. It was getting late and a wheel came off the wagon
just before we turned into John's yard. Elmer was so tired and
discouraged that he refused to bring the wagon into the yard for the
night. I was worried about leaving my big roll of bedding on the wagon
for fear that it would be stolen, but Elmer thought I was wrong. As soon
as it got light I looked out and saw the rope that was holding the
bedding on the wagon was waving in the wind, of course the bedding was
gone. I had eleven wool filled quilts and blankets, having used some of
them for mattresses. I also had a lovely Navajo blanket that had belonged
to mother. The girls' little brooms were also rolled up in the bed roll.
We went on to Gooding the next day and Mother Nielson loaned me some
bedding and gave me one quilt. The summer of 1923 the girls wanted their
little brooms they had received for Christmas. I told them a mean man had
stolen their brooms. That summer George Abbott had a covered pickup and
delivered meat to the ranchers once a week. When hearing the honk I would
say, "There is the meat man" and go out and get what meat I needed. I
noticed the girls were a little shy of him.
One day they were talking and saying they didn't like him because he
stole their brooms. I told George about it and he immediately called the
girls over and gave them some wieners. I had to explain to them that he
was not a mean man but he was a meat man.
My varicose veins were terrible again that summer. Laura Christensen
helped me again. I helped with all of the chores, milking, caring for
chickens and turkeys and fed calves.

October 21, 1923 Carol was born. We were late finishing our harvesting
that fall. We had threshers and hay hands at the same time. On Saturday
night October 20th there was half a day
of threshing left so the men wanted to finish on Sunday morning. We
prepared dinner for the men at noon. They sat around and visited after
dinner, I had to call Elmer and tell him to get the men out of the house
and go for Aunt Annie Thurber, the midwife, and the doctor. Laura took
Elma Jean and Fae down to the Richards place. Some of the men brought my
bed downstairs and set it up. Elmer went to the Olson's to phone for the
doctor. He was in Gooding for the day and so was Aunt Annie, so he
brought Mother Olson home with him. She hated to be alone with me so
Elmer got Amet Robinson to come over. Elmer went to the forks of the road
to catch the doctor before he went on to Fairfield.
The afternoon was a long one for me. That evening about 6:00 o'clock
Carol was born. Dr. Ayer Higgs got there about 1 1/2 hours later and had
to take the placenta. This had worried me because of the danger of
hemorrhage. When Aunt Annie came the Dr. chastised her for not telling me
she was leaving for the day.
That fall we bought our wonderful new header which was a great help in
the wheat harvest. We spent the winter of 1923- 1924 at the Robinson
place. Laura helped me with the three girls. We had a new milking machine
and thought it was wonderful. It was a big job to wash it along with the
DeLeval separator and all the big milk cans. We did enjoy our cream
checks even though they were small.
We let our horses and mule or two run in the straw stacks that winter.
One day one of the mules came up into the barn yard, looking very sick,
almost as we watched it fell and died. The rest of the animals soon came
in much the same condition. First their hind legs became paralyzed then
they would die. Elmer got the veterinarian out and he found they had
forage poison from eating the molded straw. We lost several of our best
horses which was a great setback and disappointment. Elmer said, "If we
have stock we can expect to lose some". Nevertheless he did feel pretty
discouraged at times.
We spent the winter of 1924-1925 on the Robinson ranch. I don't think we
had any hired help that winter. I helped with the milking etc. Elmer fed
the stock in a willow sheltered spot out in the field east of the house,
about 1/2 mile away. We had bad blizzards that winter.
I recall one day the wind was coming from the west and it piled great
drifts around the house. Looking from my west window it looked like sugar
pouring from a great container as it sifted over the drift. That day
seemed so long as I kept straining my eyes trying to glimpse the sleigh
through the storm. It was getting late and I had no phone and no way of
getting to a neighbor who was a mile away and was so happy when I could
barely see the outline of someone coming. The horses pulled the load of
hay into the yard. He always brought a load of hay at night so it would
be ready to take to the feed ground in the morning. The poor horses
facing the storm were completely packed with snow. I was terribly
frightened when I realized Elmer was not in sight. My relief was great to
find he had walked behind the load of hay with his face close to the load
in order to get his breath in the fierce storm.
His day still was not finished-there were cows to milk and horses to put
in the barn and feed. Those were most difficult days for us.
That winter we took the girls to the Christmas program at the Springdale
school house. We were all excited about going but there was a dense fog
outside. We cut through the field, expecting to hit the main road about
one mile from the house. We could hear the squeaking of sleighs and
people talking, but the sounds soon faded away. We finally saw the
outline of a haystack and barn, we thought it was John Robinson's place
and were disappointed to find it was our own yard. The horses had circled
our feed ground and brought us back to our own ranch. I thought we should
give up, but the girls were disappointed so Elmer got out and led the
team until we passed the fork in the road that led to the feed ground. We
arrived at the school in time for the program. It was still foggy when we
returned, but the team knew the way in spite of the fog.
While at the Robinson Ranch I sent to Minnesota for Black Minarka chicken
eggs and raised eight chickens. They were shiny black and had a big white
head of feathers. I also raised turkeys for two years. The hawks got most
of my black minarka chickens because their big feather hat prevented them
from seeing hawks flying over them. I made some money on the turkeys.
Hazel and Lewis Adams helped us on the Robinson Ranch that summer. I
remember one fall we were taking a band of horses out to winter pasture
south of the Snake River. We were going down the Clear Lakes Grade, which
was very narrow and rough. Elmer sent me down the grade in the pickup to
stop traffic until he could get the horses down. Stopping at the bottom
of the
grade I asked Ray Toone to wait for the horses but he became impatient
and plowed up through the band of horses nearly crowding them off the
grade. Elmer was pretty upset and I was more so.

Fir Grove Ranch

In the fall of 1925 we rented Fir Grove Ranch from a loan company in
Seattle. I think it was the National Public Insurance Company. We moved
our furniture over there and then went on a trip-which I will record
later. Fir Grove flat was homesteaded by quite a number of men, among
them Billy Sant, Harvey Dixon Sr. , Harvey Dixon Jr., Fred and Jim Dixon.
In 1916 Fir Grove was sold to the Rocking H. Cattle Company. Mr. Faulkner
was the manager and built a nice home on the east end of the valley and
on the lower side of Rattlesnake Hill [so named by the Nielson Girls].
The house had nine rooms and a bath. Water was piped from a spring. There
was a fireplace in a large living room, a dining room, two bedrooms, a
kitchen and bathroom downstairs. An open staircase ascended from the
living room to the second story which had four bedrooms and a sleeping
porch. There was a half basement with a coal burning furnace. It had a
screened porch to the south of the kitchen and porch on the north of the
living room which extended around to the dining room on the west. The
house built in about 1917.
Fir Grove Ranch contained 3,500 acres of land. Eleven hundred acres was
flat and farmable land, the balance was of rougher terrain on the
mountain and in the canyons to the south. The backwaters of the Twin Lake
Reservoir back up on the lower end of the ranch. It is seven miles from
the house to the west end of the ranch.
After a few years Rocking H. Cattle Company went broke. Mr. Faulkner left
and Lige Fletcher took over for a year or so. Elmer then rented it from
the Insurance Co. in Seattle. There was a school house on the ranch,
about 1/4 mile west of the big house. The school house was built of logs.
I remember a Miss Ricks who taught there, also a Bernice Knowlton.
At one time there was a post office which was cared for by Myrtle Peck.
There was a stage stop at the Harvey Dixon Jr. home. When Jane and Elmer
moved to Fir Grove there were some school books, maps and school records
stored in the big house-there were also many school books left there.
There was a large red barn with stalls for horses and stanchions for milk
cows, also two grain bins and deep hay lofts on two sides. There was the
house where Jim Dixon had lived and a four room square house just outside
of the east fence where Kitty Dixon had lived, also a few homestead
shacks. There was a homestead shack in the Grove pasture that had
belonged to Vanderveres and few more shacks scattered over the valley.
We had been at Fir Grove for several years when Elmer received a letter
from a Mr. Erinberg, who wanted to sell Elmer his eighty acres of land on
Fir Grove flat. Elmer was not aware that anyone else owned property in
the valley at the time he rented the place. Upon investigation, it was
found that his eighty acres were right in the middle of the valley. When
Elmer decided to buy the ranch he offered Mr. Erinberg what he thought
was a fair price for the 80 acres. He wrote back and said he thought the
price was far too low having been told that his land furnished the hay
for the entire valley. He later came out from the east and was very
surprised to find that his land was partly or mostly back in sagebrush.
Elmer did eventually buy the land from him.
When first going to Fir Grove all of the fences had to be replaced They
were completely torn down and mangled. We raised beautiful crops of
wheat, alfalfa and barley, all dry land farming. There was a lot of
pasture land also. Our "Little Pasture" was sixty acres, extending east
and west to the south of the house and barn. There was a nice stream
flowing through the pasture which contained lovely watercress in the
spring. There was another, much larger, pasture below the grove of firs
on the mountain.
Fir Grove Ranch got its name from the lovely grove of fir trees growing
on a rocky side hill at the south edge of the flat. This is the only
grove of firs to be found on that entire south range of mountains. The
grove is about 1/2 mile west of the house. There were no places to picnic
as the trees grew right down among huge rocks and boulders. Now back to
the trip we took in the fall of 1925. Elma Jean, Fae, Carol, Elmer and I
packed up and got into our little Star car and drove to Salt Lake City to
visit my sister Sadie, then on to Richfield and Monroe, Utah. Charles,
Loretta and Marius Nielson accompanied us from there down to see Alta and
Dick Cooper, who were living in Overton, Nevada. While there we visited
the Lost City and Salt Caves along the
Muddy River.
The Smithsonian Institute had people there excavating and they had
uncovered an Indian village which was called the Lost City. I took some
pictures of this interesting place. Now, in 1927, the back waters of the
Hoover Dam have covered that area. Before the dam was completed the
Smithsonian moved the huts to higher ground. Hoover Dam is sometimes
called Boulder Dam.
After the Utah and Nevada trip we returned to Fir Grove for a short time
and then moved to Buhl for the winter of 1925-1926. Elmer bought pasture
for the stock and we lived in a place close to Cunningham's, a few miles
west of Buhl. The house we lived in was plastered but not insulated. It
was so cold the frost came through in the thick layer on the walls and
the doors. We kept the beds away from the wall to prevent bedding from
freezing to the walls. That was a miserable winter.
We bought some pasture from Sidewalk Smith and had a great deal of
trouble with him. Mr. Heart helped Elmer out on that deal and said that
Mr. Smith was a skunk. We went to visit John's family at Hollister, also
visited Hazel and Lewis Adams at Vader's place in Hagerman.
We had quite a band of horses from Camas Prairie people. We wintered them
to help pay our expenses. In the spring of 1926 Elmer bought pasture at
Crystal Springs and moved the stock from Buhl. We lived in a shack in an
orchard near the Fred Tyler home. I had the flu and pneumonia and was
very ill. We had a nurse from Buhl stay with me while Elmer went to
Gooding to see about getting pasture there and also to find some plowing
jobs to do while waiting for spring to open on the Prairie.
I wanted to stay away from the children so I stayed in the screened
canning kitchen in the orchard and the nurse stayed with the children in
the shack. One night I got so hot I thought I would bum up. I tried to
call the nurse but could not awaken her. I really thought I would die for
want of water. Finally I heard Carol fussing and called again and the
nurse came. She took my temperature, then flew to the phone and called
the doctor. I don't know what happened for a while after that. When I got
well enough Elmer moved us over to his mothers. He plowed for a few days
then decided to go to Fir Grove horseback and see if we could get in. I
remember that Mother Nielson was very kind and generous to us at that
In a few days we moved to Fir Grove to a cold and untidy house. We had no
time the previous fall to do anything but pile our belongings in the
house. Elma Jean was six years old that March. We took three hired men to
the ranch with us. The first day there were many extra riders who stopped
by and I had to serve 21 extra meals. It was pretty discouraging, but we
managed to get by.
The ranch was in bad shape. The pastures had been completely pastured
down and had grown back to sagebrush, weeds and native grass. Partition
fences were down and there was tangled wire all over the flat. We rolled
up and hauled tons of tangled wire and trash off before any plowing could
be done. It was an immense job we had on our hands. The plowing was also
a huge job, but we gradually got the entire flat plowed and under
cultivation-alfalfa was planted as well as wheat and barley.
Life on the ranch was filled with great joy as well as some bitter
disappointments. When Herbert Hoover was president, we had the most
beautiful crop of wheat and got only 17 cents per bushel. Elmer never
forgave Hoover for letting this happen. Some years we had smut in the
wheat and grasshoppers to fight-and always there was the fear of frost
which struck quite often.
We had kerosene lamps in the early years. At Fir Grove they had butane
gas lamps. These lamps were very fancy and hung on the wall. We didn't
get much use from the butane lamps and reverted back to kerosene lamps.
Electricity didn't come to Fir Grove until much later when Carol and
Monroe were living on the ranch.
We used galvanized tubs to bathe in until moving to Fir Grove-there we
had a porcelain tub and running water. To wash our clothing, we used
galvanized wash tubs with a good scrubbing board. I still have a board
and have used it at the cow camps and at the cabin. I also had a wash
boiler, using it to boil the clothing in before scrubbing it on the
board. The clothes would come much cleaner using this method. While
living at the Robinson ranch I got a washer, it had a long stick which I
had to move back and forth to turn a dasher that helped clean the
clothes. After moving to Fir Grove, we bought another washer with a big
wheel on the side with a handle which I could turn around and this was
much easier.
We had no refrigeration in the early years at Fir Grove. We had a water
cooler in the
basement which consisted of several screened shelves covered with burlap
on the outside and with a water tank on the top. We kept the tank filled
with water and had the burlap siding extend into the tank so it would
absorb the water down the sides of the cooler and keep things quite cold
inside. Sometime in the late 1930's we bought a kerosene refrigerator
that was a wonderful thing for us-we could actually freeze a little ice
and make ice cream in it. We did our ironing with flat irons and when the
girls were old enough to help we used two ironing boards and by working
all day we could get our ironing completed. Everything had to be
starched, then sprinkled, rolled up and placed in a basket until it was
right for ironing. We didn't mind ironing day because we took turns and
the ones who weren't ironing would either read or tell stories to the
ones who were ironing.
In the summer of 1927 Carol was very ill and had to have her appendix
removed, she wasn't three until that fall. Dr. Shirts performed the
surgery in his home in Fairfield and I stayed there with her. Loretta
Yates stayed with the other girls and Elmer at the ranch until Elma Jean
got sick. Elmer took the girls over to Edna's until I was able to bring
Carol home. It broke my heart to have Carol coax for a drink of water
that first night, the doctor said I must not give it to her. I knelt by
the bed and cried all night. I would hold a damp cloth to her lips but it
didn't help much. Finally she called Aunt Annie and begged for water and
she gave her one teaspoon full and Carol dropped right off to sleep.
Loretta Yates helped me that summer of 1927. My legs were so painful and
I had so much to do with all of the hired help and others that would drop
by for meals. Loretta was only 14 years old but good help. She was
Catholic and next year went to the convent at Cottonwood, Idaho and
became a nun.
Elma Jean started to school in Manard in September of 1926. Ruth Butler
was her teacher. Elma Jean stayed with Edna and rode horseback to school.
June had a pony named Ginger and the two girls rode on the same horse.
Later in the fall we moved to Wendell and Elma Jean finished her first
grade there. Miss Andrus was her teacher. She had pneumonia and was very
sick in the hospital for quite some time. Dr. Simington took care of her
in the St. Valentine's Hospital -- Sister Rita was especially good to
Elma Jean. She was so very ill that I spent a great deal of time then
with her. At times her temperature was 105 degrees.
The girls loved to go to shows at the Odeon. Elmer would take them over
and then go back and get them. One night Carol cried because she wanted
to go to the show. Elmer gave her a nickel and said he would take her to
town the next day and she could buy something. Next day he had to go to
the hardware store and took Carol with him. Clutching the nickel in her
hand she looked around and spied a tricycle. She handed the nickel to Mr.
Smith and rode out of the store and told the other girls that she had
bought it with her nickel. Elmer came home with a look of chagrin on his
face. He didn't have the money to spare, but he had told her she could
buy something she wanted and that was what she wanted, so he let her keep
it. We kept the tricycle until she outgrew it and then gave it to Stanley
Elma Jean was seven years old March 3, 1927 and on March 10, 1927 Donna
Mae was born at our home, the West house in Wendell. Dr. Simington was
the doctor and Ellen Goold was my nurse. Elmer would have loved to have a
son but dearly loved his four daughters. Elma Jean stayed with Grandma
Nielson until school was out in the spring. The rest of the family moved
back to Fir Grove in April. Erin Thurber stayed with us that summer. What
a sweet, helpful boy he was-had such a good sense of humor.
In the fall of 1927 Elmer sold the cattle and bought a band of sheep.
Orvil Nielson helped Elmer for two days over the weekend to drive the
sheep from Buhl to Fir Grove. They had a bad time getting the sheep to
stay on the road. They wanted to go into the fields and farms along the
Elma Jean and Fae started to school in Manard that fall. They stayed with
Mrs. Lee. Ruth Butler was their teacher. Elma Jean was in the second
grade and Fae was in the first grade. Sometimes they rode horseback to
Later that fall I moved from Fir Grove into Joe Thurber's house, about 1
1/2 miles east of Manard. Donna Mae was sick a great deal of the time
that year. When the weather was bad and the girls couldn't ride horses to
school, Elmer or E.F. would take them to school.
Carol wanted so much to go to school. I made up stories to entertain her,
pretending that the elves were coming to get her to go in an airplane to
the North Pole to help Santa and his elves. I
would hurry and put her mittens, coat and cap on her and send her out
into the yard to get in the plane and zoom up in the sky and off to the
North Pole. To this day Carol says she can see the elves and that she did
go in a plane.
At Christmas time they had a program at the school. Elma Jean and Fae
were angels and Ruth Butler asked Carol to speak a piece. She gave "It's
a Great Responsibility to Raise up Dolly's Right," and really did it
wonderfully well.
The winter of 1927-1928 was very hard on Elmer. He wintered the sheep at
Fir Grove and lambed them there. The lamb loss was heavy. That spring,
Harold Bowen went out with the sheep. The range was up on Willow Creek.
His wife Agnes and children lived in the Kitty Dixon house at Fir Grove.
When the sheep came off the range in the fall, Elmer ordered railroad
cars, loaded the sheep at Maken and said farewell. He said, "No more
sheep for me."
That winter, during one of Donna's sick spells Aunt Annie put on her
rubber boots and walked the 1-1/2 miles from Manard to see what she could
do to help me. I was so thankful for her kindness.
Elmer and E.F. shared machinery for many years. After moving to Fir Grove
in 1926, Elmer and E.F. farmed together, using the same crews, etc. In
1927 or 1928 they bought a new Holt combine from Harry Giesler. It was a
most wonderful machine we thought. During the summer we harvested Fir
Grove, the Robinson Ranch, the Lazy A and also Squaw Flat for Ray Jones.
We used 20 head of horses to pull the combine, five sets of four horses
each, to pull the combine. One driver handled all of the horses, seated
on a seat high above the horses. There was a box at his feet which he
kept full of dirt clods to throw at the horses when they weren't
responding properly. When harvesting, they used the twelve head of
horses, but when moving from one ranch to another, they used only eight
animals. There was a great pile of harness down in the field. I often
wondered how they ever got the right harness where it belonged. Some of
the men got up just at daybreak and went down in the field to grain,
water and harness the teams-they would then come back to the house for
breakfast before starting their day of harvesting.
The people who worked the most of the combine were, Elmer, Mike Bryan,
Orvil Nielson, Ray Dixon, Alma Robertson. When harvesting far down in the
field and to save time I would cook dinner at the house and take it down
to the men, sometimes starting a little fire to keep
dinner warm in the Dutch Oven. My little girls loved to go to the field
with dinner but wondered how the men could eat when they were dirty.
In the spring of 1928 Orvil Nielson, E.F. Nielson's son, was staying in
Wendell with Grandma Nielson and going to school there. He remembered
going to Twin Falls with his dad and Elmer and buying a wonderful new
Case Model L tractor, from Ivan Davis. This was the first tractor we
owned. One weekend young Orvil was so proud that he was elected to drive
the tractor from Twin Falls to Fir Grove.
In those early years at Fir Grove I tried to raise chickens, but the
skunks and weasels got most of them. One year we raised pigs, the
barnyard and corrals smelled like pigs whenever it rained for two or
three years after. The girls took a truckload of pigs to the Jerome sale
one day. When getting to Main Street in Gooding, the pigs started to
squeal, drawing attention from everyone along the street. When they got
home, they informed dad that was the last time they would take pigs to
In the fall of 1928 Elmer bought more cattle. We bought pasture and
wintered in the lower valley. We lived in the Gray house which was about
three miles west of Wendell. Elma Jean rode the bus to school.
In the spring of 1929 we could not find a house to rent so bought a home
in Wendell. The house was located on 3rd Ave. West and we bought it from
Harold Burdett, paying him $2,000. It was furnished and also had five
lots with it. Elmer bought the girls a black and white, pinto pony from
Charles McNelly from Filer. He paid $75.00 for the pony. He led him home
with the car, thinking he was going plenty slow-but it injured the
horse's kidneys. We had the Vet come and he didn't give us much hope of
the pony surviving. The girls were brokenhearted, but to our great joy he
was better and standing up the next morning. He was pretty frisky so
Elmer let the Smith boys take him for a winter at Rupert where Eldon
admits years later that he won many races with that little pony.
The summer of 1929 we had some very bad electric storms. Elmer was
working night shift on the tractor and Orvil was asleep upstairs. The
lightening struck the vent pipe to the bathroom and up through an
upstairs bedroom. It knocked plaster off the wall and cut the telephone
wire in two. I could smell the burning, but fortunately a heavy rain came
which saved our house-I was so thankful. We were all so frightened, there
would be a huge flash of lightening and then a most horrible crash right
with it. Elmer soon came in, saying the tractor was just popping with
electricity. All four girls were in bed with me, Donna crying. Orvil was
still asleep upstairs, the storm didn't even wake him up.
The next day Norman Smith and a friend came to the ranch and they told us
how they had spent the night during that terrible storm in the entrance
of the school house at Willow Creek, to keep out of the storm.
In the early years at Fir Grove the work was hard, but we all liked it.
We made our own entertainment, put on shows and programs. I would make up
stories which the girls loved. One story they especially liked was about
a lonesome little Christmas Tree.
Ivan Nielson worked for Elmer during the summer of 1929. Caroline was one
year old. The family lived in the Kitty Dixon house. Their family,
consisting of four girls and one boy, had a lot of fun that summer. I
felt sorry for Earl amid all those girls, he was such a smiling happy
youngster, and I felt he was browbeaten by all those girls.
One day they were playing in the barn-Lila, Onieta, Earl, Elma Jean, Fae
and Carol- I heard horrible shrieks and screams and raced to the barn
thinking of rattlesnakes. I found all of the girls screaming at Earl and
Lila was pushing and hitting him. On seeing me Earl really looked
frightened, I guess he thought I would be after him next. I finally
settled them down to find what the trouble was. The barn swallows had
built nests in the rafters in the entrance to the barn and Earl had told
the girls he thought he could hit one of the nests with a rock. The girls
bet him he couldn't do it so he let go with a rock and much to his
surprise down came a nest with three or four naked little swallows in it.
After quieting things down I made the suggestion that we could put the
little homeless birds in a neighbor's nest and that they would be glad to
care for the little homeless birds in a nest. The tears were soon dried
and I am sure that poor little Earl was greatly relieved.
Ivan milked a cow or two for the family use. One of the cows was named
Satan because she was so mean to kick when being milked. Ivan always
hobbled the cow before sitting down to milk her. One night the men were
very late getting in from the field so we decided to help by
bringing up the cows, putting them in the stanchions and feeding them.
The men still were not in so Berta and I decided to go ahead and milk the
cows. Berta, not knowing about Satan's problem, sat leisurely down on the
milk stool and started to milk Satan. She was doing just fine until Ivan
and Elmer got home and came to the barn to see what we were doing. Ivan
gasped when he saw Berta milking Satan without hobbles, that is all it
took. Satan started kicking, rolling Berta into the gutter and spilling
the pail of milk. She received a badly bruised leg and an equally bruised
ego -- she never again offered to help with the milking.
We would separate the cream from the milk and when we had a five gallon
can full we would take it to Fairfield, sell it and buy something special
with it. One day the four girls and I started for Fairfield with our
precious can of cream standing in front of the back seat of the car. It
was a bit late and I was in a rush to get back in time to prepare supper
for the men. I was going too fast when turning the Floyd Clutter comer
and over went the cream, the lid flew off and there was a cream
everywhere. I ruined someone's new shoes and we had to stop at a canal
and clean up the mess as best we could. What a disappointment to all of
I remember when the girls herded cows down in the willows about three
miles from the house. They had to keep the cattle from getting into the
grain which was on the west side of the willows. It was a hot and tiring
job. They rode old Bally with their lunch and water in tin pails hanging
on the saddle horn. Bally would get hot and tired and would lay down,
roll over and smash their water and lunch pails -- this made the girls
pretty angry at that horse.
Elmer used a horse named Star to pack salt to the top of the grove for
the cattle. One day something frightened Star and he ran down in the
field scattering salt all the way. Chief White Cloud, the girls black and
white pony, got all excited and tore down in the field, passing Star like
he was standing still. That was the first time we realized Chief was such
a swift runner.
Years later, one of the grand-children rode Chief in the field and
couldn't handle him. He ran through the willows down on the creek. We
heard the youngster crying and someone rushed down and found, (I believe
it was David), had been dumped off, badly frightened but not injured. The
little saddle was gone and we never did find it. It probably washed away
in the high water that spring. This took place sometime in the 1950's.
In the spring of 1930 Mike Bryan came to work for us. He was surely a
good man. He worked for us for twelve years. Mike and Orvil Nielson were
good friends and have fond memories of those Fir Grove summers.
Orvil recalls having some dry summers and the Twin Lakes Reservoir got so
low that the Twin Lakes were uncovered. This project was originally known
as the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Co. But is now known as the
Mormon Reservoir.
Orvil remembered that he hauled wheat to Fairfield in our Model T truck,
driving from the bottom of the field, past the Twin Lakes springs and
around the west side of the reservoir. He crossed the Malad River by the
dam and went on into Fairfield.
In the summer of 1930 we held a little rodeo at Fir Grove. We had a small
but enthusiastic crowd. Some of the stock were real outlaws. We had 13
mules we had raised and they were very mean. One of them grabbed Cal
Stuart by the arm with its teeth causing a terrible wound and ruining his
Donna was very sickly until she was about three years old. She had a high
temperature much of the time. We finally had her tonsils removed and she
was much better after that.
In 1932, during the great depression, the Fairfield bank closed. This
left us in very tight circumstances. I remember we had $7.00 from a milk
check and were extremely careful how we spent it. The bank reopened for a
short time then closed again.
During the summer of 1932 Dr. Sheets or Shirts came to see Elmer at Fir
Grove Ranch. The wood ticks were very bad that year as it was a very wet
spring. Elmer would come in from the fields with his body literally
covered with tick bites. The Dr. thought Elmer had spotted fever but
thought he should have been immune having suffered from the disease
earlier. The doctor phoned back after looking through his books, and said
that very rarely a person could have spotted fever twice. This case of
spotted fever was much lighter than the first case, 12 years before, had
been. Mr. Miller, the telephone man, came to see Elmer and seeing Elmer's
reflection in the full length mirror on the bathroom door he said, "I see
you have another sick man in there."
In June of 1934 we took a trip to Montana. Elmer, myself and the four
girls went. Elma Jean was 14 and Donna was 7. We made the trip in a 1935
brown Chevrolet. We spent the first two
nights of the trip with Loren and May Oldroyd at the Reasore Dude Ranch
in Jackson Hole" Wyo. This ranch is very beautiful and is located at the
foot of the Teton peaks and the headwaters of the Snake River are on the
ranch. The ranch was owned by a wealthy New Yorker named Reasore. He used
the ranch to entertain his friends in the summertime. Loren Oldroyd,
manager of the ranch had a lovely rustic log house with a picture window
looking out toward the three Tetons. They raised all of their meat,
vegetables and grains. They raised cattle, sheep, hogs, turkeys,
chickens, ducks and geese, also antelope. They had their own electric
plant, cut and stored ice, did all their own butchering etc. They hired a
crew of 12 men to help on the ranch and 2 women to help in the kitchen.
There was a beautiful lodge which they had just opened for the summer
guests. When the guests came they were met at Victor, Idaho in a stage
coach. After getting to the ranch they did not use a car. They had a
small buggy or buckboard with a little seat in the back where a boy would
ride to open gates when Mr. Reasore was checking the ranch. I went to a
little church with them in a big old fashioned stage coach. We enjoyed
that visit so very much, May and Loren were wonderful hosts.
From Jackson Hole we toured Yellowstone Park. It was a wonderful first
experience for all of us. We saw many animals, mostly bears and spent one
night in a tent cabin in the park. We spent more money than we had
planned and so tried to cash a check but were unsuccessful. The girls
thought they were starving to death so we stopped at a little town called
Belfast, in southern Montana. The owner of the restaurant was very nice
and was willing to take our check. While we were eating it started to
rain, and I asked one of the girls to go out and roll the car windows up.
When she came back she said the car was locked with the keys still in the
ignition. The owner of the restaurant helped us and the men reached in
some way and got the key. As we were going back inside I told Elmer to be
sure he put the car key in his wallet so it wouldn't get lost again. He
obediently opened up his wallet to put the key inside and there was a
$5.00 bill, one he didn't know he had. Then he said to the owner of the
restaurant, "Here is a $5.00 bill I didn't know I had, now you won't have
to cash my check." The man insisted he go ahead and cash the check saying
we might need the money later. What a nice and trusting man he was!
We spent several days with K. T. and Thelma. One day we all went on a
trip into the Bears Paw Mountains and had a delightful time. The Bill
Simon family accompanied us on that trip.
Elmer and K. T. went up to the Canadian border to look at horses, Elmer
purchased quite a few on that trip.
On our way home we were waiting in the car at the stockyards for the car
load of horses to come in. Elma Jean wanted to get out and look around
and Elmer said, "Not in this wild town." Butte didn't have a very good
reputation in those days.
In the fall of 1934 Elmer returned to Montana and bought more horses, as
well as some cattle. That winter he made a perilous trip through a
Montana blizzard where some people froze to death. Elmer also bought some
fine horses in Baker, Oregon and made a quite a good profit on their
resale. Elmer bought and sold hundreds of horses. The ones from the
Canadian border area were very wild and mean, but those from Baker,
Oregon were beautiful, well bred draft horses and he sold fine teams all
around the country from Burley to Mountain Home.
He shipped in a bunch of cattle from Montana. When they unloaded the
cattle at Butte to feed them they were missing one cow, it had been left
by mistake back in the stockyards where the cattle were loaded. The
railroad company loaded her in a stock car all by herself and shipped her
to Gooding. She had long horns and was on the fight. Elmer went to
Gooding for her and found he needed some help so we went up town and got
Shady Haden to help him. As they were attempting to load the cow she made
a run at Shady and pinned him to the fence, however her horns were so
long she didn't hurt him at all. They finally got her loaded and took her
up to Fir Grove.
In this same year, 1934, Elmer bought 80 head of fine bred Hereford
cattle. He kept all of the heifers and really built up his herd. He
bought these Herefords in Montana. One day they unloaded two carloads of
horses at daybreak in Gooding. They were Montana horses, wild and
unbroken. Elmer took the lead and Ivan and Mike took up the rare and they
headed for Wendell on a dead run. These horses had come into the old
stockyards which were east of the Elevator. There was a vacant lot close
by with a bunch of clotheslines on it, some of the horses cut across that
lot and really made a mess of those clotheslines.
Elmer took Donald McCloud into Wendell to drive a team of horses back to
the feed grounds on the McCloud place. That team ran eight miles with
Donald and all he could do was guide
them down the road, he couldn't even start to hold them. That was the
longest runaway they had ever heard of, and, if the truth were known, it
was probably the longest runaway in history. When Mike started working
the team later he put curb bits on the work bridles in order to hold
them. He said they were broke-broke to run. Mike said the longest runaway
he had was three miles and that was with a Nielson team also. He said,
"that team were obliging enough to kick the front out of the hayrack
before they stopped, the others just run for the hell of it." Mike also
observed, "I didn't have much to do with the Oregon horses, they were all
gentle, I never even got to deliver any of them. The wild ones were my
cup of tea!
Of all the wild horses only one was a pinto. Mike broke many of the
horses but the pinto is the only one of those that Elmer kept. Pinto was
a mare and was bred to Elmer's Arabian stallion, Silver King. She had two
colts, one was Frostie and the other they named Patches. Mike bought
Patches and Morris Nielson bought Frostie. They were good saddle horses
but they were tricky to handle.
In the fall of 1937, Elmer had two train carloads of horses that he
couldn't sell in this area. Some of the horses were broke and some not.
Elmer decided to ship them to Grand Island, Nebraska, which was the place
that had the largest horse sale in the world at that time. Mike went to
Nebraska with the horses and had a good trip. "I had no trouble
whatsoever and the horses sold well," Mike said. The big horse sale was
really something to see and the way they handled the horses was an
education in itself.
"Out of our two carloads of horses all but five were not halter broke.
The handlers in Nebraska would halter break these wild horses for $2.00
per head. They started working with our horses at 7:00 p.m. and I watched
until about 11:00, then I went to the hotel and went to bed. When I got
back at 7:00 a.m. they had the entire bunch halter broke and they led
like dogs. This had all been accomplished in kindness. I learned things
there that have helped me all my life."
"Every work horse that was supposed to be broke they hitched, whether
snuffy or gentle, they were hitched. They had a man to do every little
job connected to the hitching. One put on the neck yoke, one snapped the
checks, one hooked the tugs, two lead the horses in place and then
unhitched them-the driver never got off the wagon. Every horse was
mouthed and sold according to its age by the mouth examination. The
saddle horses had to be dog gentle or they sold them for unbroken, none
of them could ride for sour apples. I stopped in Denver on the way home
and visited my Aunt Daisy and her family -- but got home and was still
I believe it was in 1934 that we bought the Lazy A Ranch from a loan
company. This was a nice ranch next to the rimrock on the south side of
Camas Prairie. It comprised 480 acres. It was originally homesteaded by
Henry Jenkins. There was a two story house on it and some barns and
corrals. Elmer farmed this place for several years but we did not live
In 1936 Ivan Nielson farmed this place. His son Leon was born there and
the other children went in to Fairfield to school. In 1937 Ivan bought a
milk route and moved to Wendell.
In 1938 Orvil married and moved to the Lazy A, renting it from Elmer for
two or three years, then bought it from Elmer for $12,000.00. He paid him
$1,000 in the fall and payments as he could later. Orvil was very
appreciative of the arrangement that Elmer had made with him, otherwise
he couldn't have purchased the place. In the spring of 1947 Orvil sold
the Lazy A to Bob Edmond and moved to the lower country.
Speaking of the winter of 1936, Mike said, "Elmer had part of the cattle
at Wendell and I was on the Lazy A with 600 head. It was a real bad
winter. Bill Finch started the winter with me. He went back to Montana
and Marion Hager finished the winter. In January we trailed the cattle
from Wendell to Camas prairie. The cows wanted to keep going back south,
and I didn't blame them. We had a terrible time, but we had to get them
to where the hay was. This is all I remember of 1936 and it's all I care
to remember."
1937 was the first year that Charles McNabb worked for Elmer. We called
him Old Mac. He was an old cowboy that
had worked with and knew personally some of the outlaws in the old west,
or rather in the midwest. He was a first rate cowboy. From the time he
was nine years old he had been on his own. He had never married. He knew
Jesse James personally. He worked for Elmer for several years and was
past 90 years of age when he quit working.
Elmer shipped 1100 cows from Montana that year. That was before they had
squeeze chutes and they had to head and heel all of those cows to brand
them. Old Mac and Mike headed and heeled everyone of them, and Elmer and
the rest of the crew branded and ear marked them It took three days.
loved to spend a few days there too. We had many happy summers until the
year 1946 when Carol and Mae moved on to the ranch and Elmer and I stayed
in Wendell the year round.
As I look back, I am sure that those years at Fir Grove were the happiest
years of our lives. Fir Grove is still very dear to me and to all of the
For many years we spent our summers at Fir Grove, moving to Wendell for
school. Elma Jean graduated from High School in 1938 and then went to
Albion State Normal School from 1938 till she graduated in 1940. Fae
graduated from High School in 1939, she too went to Albion and graduated
in 1941. Carol graduated from High School in 1941. She attended Idaho
State University at Pocatello for two years, from 1941 till 1943. Donna
Mae attended High School for three years in Wendell. She had her Senior
year, 1945, in Twin Falls, Idaho. She attended the University of
Washington in Seattle for four years plus one summer-the summer of 1949.
Elma Jean taught grade school in Bliss, Idaho for two years and Fae
taught school in Murtaugh and Wendell, Idaho for two years. All three of
the older girls were married in the same year-1943.
Elma Jean married Howard Otto Christiansen in July 21, 1943 in Pensacola,
Florida. Christy was serving in the navy there.
Fae was married May 9, 1943 to Robert Elvin Williams in the family home
at Wendell. Bob was on a few days leave from the Army Air Force.
Carol was married December 14, 1943 to Harold Monroe Sagers in Pensacola,
Florida. Moe was serving with the Marines.
Donna Mae was married June 21, 1950 to William Leroy Kydd at the Sand
Springs Ranch in Wendell. Bill was going to dental school and was also in
the military reserves.
After working together on their ranches for several years E.F. sold his
interest in the combine and tractor to Elmer. E.F. and Edna bought a farm
south and west of Wendell and moved away from the Prairie.

Sand Springs Ranch
It was late in 1938 or 1939 when Elmer rented Sand Springs ranch from a
Mr. Bicknell -- an elderly man from Boise. It was a wonderful place to
winter stock, with a lovely clear cold spring rushing from cracks in the
lava rock. The buildings on the place were terribly run down, with the
trees and shrubs gone wild, making plenty of shelter for animals. The
water from the spring ran to the west about three fourth's of a mile,
went under the road and in about 1/4 of a mile drops off the canyon wall
for about 100 feet and into the Snake River.
Mr. and Mrs. Bone were caretakers and lived in two or three rooms in the
main house. The floor in the front room was all broken in when horses got
into the house. There were old shacks and broken down buildings scattered
over the entire ranch. The Davis place still had an orchard. It is
located about nine miles southwest of Wendell. We wintered our cattle
there for several years. I remember that old Mack had his camp trailer
down there at one time.
Hy Berkowitz bought Sand Springs in 1943. Walter Lake, the father of Ann
Southern, the movie star, was a distributor for Old Mr. Boston
Distilleries of Boston Mass. Mr. Lake came to Sand Springs to fish and
straight away called Hy Berkowitz in Boston, telling him about the
wonderful stream. Hy and his nephew Paul came to Idaho to see the place.
We were at Fir Grove and Elmer invited Hy, Paul and Mr. Lake to dinner. I
was really worried about cooking for a millionaire. I fed them along with
the hired men and all went well.
Hy tried to get Elmer to go in with him on Sand Springs, but he refused
saying that Fir Grove was enough for him. It was a great relief for me to
hear Elmer say no. I think Sand Springs has about 5,400 acres on it. Hy
kept after Elmer and made things look very inviting.
I think it was about 1945 when Elmer went in with Hy as Nielson &
Berkowitz. Elmer had charge of all the farming and pasture land. The land
as a whole was not very good farm land. He worked so hard trying to make
good, I feel that helped to break his health.

The Seven U Ranch

It was the 27th of Feb. 1950 when Nielson and Berkowitz bought the Seven
U Ranch from Rollie Haws. The place is on Flat Creek, in the Three Creek
Country in Owyhee County, Idaho. They paid $75,000. for the ranch.
Roland Hawes went to the courthouse and then gave me the following
information: The approximate deeded land was 1,840 acres, the Forest
Permit at time of sale was for 1,000 head equals 797.20 acres; Taylor
Grazing, B.L.M., 1400 head, equals 9,150 acres. Land included in the loan
application but which is not described in the deed was:

Lot 2, E 1/2 of the NW 1/4, Section 19, Twp 16S, Range 11E. SE 1/4 of the
NE 1/4, W 1/2 NE 1/4 Section 24, Twp 16S, range l0E. 254.44 acres in all.

The deed was from Roland and wife to Elmer Nielson and Hi Berkowitz. The
deed was dated Feb.27, 1950 and it was recorded on Aug. 16, 1954. Roland
Hawes said he bought the Seven U Ranch from Bill and Eva Dunn. Included
with the description of the ranch Rollie enclosed the following letter to
"When I think of my good friend Elmer Nielson it brings to my mind the
many good things he did for people who were in financial trouble. To my
knowledge he spent many hours after he had worked hard all day, just
listening to hard luck stories, or to people who had "money reverses" and
it seemed like he invariably figured out some way he could help almost
everyone that was worthy of consideration. In my lifetime I had the
privilege of having many business
deals with Elmer and I found him a very honorable and upright man in all
of these transactions, it was a real pleasure to do business with him."
(Signed) Roland Hawes

The Seven U Ranch is the first ranch on Flat Creek, meaning it is the
highest ranch on the creek, below this point the Creek goes into deep
canyons. It is located in the east end of Owyhee County in the Three
Creek District. The Three Creek school house is three miles away. The
ranch is 60 miles from Rogerson, Idaho and it is a little over 100 miles
from Wendell.
The Seven U Ranch was filed on (homesteaded) on the early 1900's by
Crandall Dunn and his wife from Ogden, Utah. Roland Hawes bought it from
Bill and Eva Dunn. Our cabin was built at an elevation 8,500 feet. It was
18 miles from the cabin to the ranch. It was a one room cabin with two
full sized beds and a good cupboard with tight doors which we could let
down and use as a table. In this cupboard we kept our dishes, flour,
food, etc. When closed, mice and chipmunks could not get into the
cupboard. There was a stove which had a water jacket or tank which heated
the water.
In 1952 when Pat Williams was five I took the children up to the cabin.
When we got there I went in and reached up to the can containing matches
that we had high up on the wall, took a match and took the globe from the
kerosene lamp and lit the lamp. Pat was amazed and exclaimed, "Blow me
down, it's a light!" He thought that was really something and thought
that would be just great to have such a light
In the fall of 1955 Elmer's health was getting to be quite bad. He
decided to give up managing Sand Springs Ranch so Quincy Gates took over
the job. Elmer was supposed to be the consultant, but was never
consulted. Quincy worked for Hy's family to settle the estate. Sand
Springs Ranch was sold to Lee Hawkins, a corporation from Oklahoma city
in early 1958.
In 1957, Elmer and Hy decided to dissolve their partnership. Joe Casella
was going to help take care of this settlement. Joe wanted to spend
Thanksgiving with his mother and so wanted to wait until after that to
finish this agreement. Because of the postponement Elmer and I went to
Seattle and spent Thanksgiving with Donna. Elmer consulted with a Dr.
Edmark while in Seattle.
On returning to Wendell we found that Hy was very ill with internal
hemorrhage. He was flown to Salt Lake City the next day and the day
following he passed away. This was a great shock and disappointment to
all of us. Elmer suffered a great financial loss when Hy died before the
settlement was complete. In settling with the estate Elmer refused to ask
for anything near the amount he was entitled so for the years of hard
work he had given. He got the Seven U Ranch with indebtedness
Some of the people who worked for us at the Seven U: Lloyd Nelson and his
wife Hazel. They had two sons, Lyn and John. Next was a man named
Johnson. The shop burned while he was there and he took many of the
tools, sold them and kept the money. He also took-stole a lot of food
from the ranch. Chick Coperburger worked for us next. He married a young
girl and they kept a bunch of dogs in the house. Cliff and Pauline
Collyer and their two girls, Lyn and Margie came to work for us in late
march 1956. They finally decided they needed to put their children in a
larger school and moved.
After Collyers moved, Bill Dunn stayed on the ranch and Mike Larson, who
was a big Swede from a University in New York, helped him. Mike was on a
rowing team and wanted to work real hard stacking bales of hay, etc. to
help develop his muscles. He stayed on and helped feed the cattle that
In the summer of 1958 we had a real disaster. The summer was very hot and
dry and, when the men were moving the cattle off the desert and onto the
reserve, they attempted to pen them in a comer of the desert pasture for
the night. The cattle broke out and scattered for miles searching for
water that wasn't there. Elmer would never tell me how many cattle died.
Robby and Pat Williams, David Christiansen and Steve Sagers went out and
tried to help. Robby was 12.
Waldo Thurber came from Boise thinking it would be a great thrill to help
with the drive. I went out with the camper to furnish food and water for
the men and boys as they came in to the camp. They will never forget that
awful experience. Elmer refused to come in for food or water so I sent
some out to him with the men. They gathered all of the cattle they could
find and pushed them on to the reserve where the feed and water was
Pauline Collyer said that a few days after this disaster she and Cliff
were amazed to see
Elmer drive into the yard with ten head of yearlings loaded in his
pickup. Although they were on top of each other and the rear of the
pickup was fairly dragging on the ground he had managed to load and haul
the cattle from certain death to safety on the ranch. They could not
imagine how he ever loaded them out of the desert all alone, or how he
ever got the pickup started with the heavy load.
I spent the summer of 1959 with Elmer. I was afraid to leave him alone.
One Sunday we were at the cabin alone, the men all being down to the
ranch-I 8 miles away. Elmer decided to go out on the reserve which was
9,150 acres, divided into two or three fields or pastures by good wire
fences. I had a trailer house out by the cabin, leaving the cabin for the
The hilltops were rounded so we could drive for many miles across them
without being on a road. Canyons were very deep and rough, at times our
pickup would slide sideways when driving in them. Elmer wanted to take a
drive through one of the pastures so I went with him. We went down one
very steep hill and could not get back up even though he piled rock in
back of the pickup. We then drove to the Bull camp where an old trailer
house was standing by a huge water tank at the spring.
Bill Dunn, some of the men who had homesteaded the Seven U, had been
staying at this camp but had pulled out. I took a small meat saw from the
trailer because it was better than the one I had at the cabin. Elmer
wanted to do a little exploring so we followed a small creek down that
would take us to a mine where a Boise man had suckered some others to go
in with him and build a mill about three miles from the mine. We came to
a spot where two trees had been toppled by beavers, across the road,
making it impossible for us to go forward and we were unable to back up.
The only tools we had were a shovel, a dull ax and a little meat saw I
had take from the trailer. I thought we should walk to the mine, but
Elmer was sure that no one would be there.
We worked together, hacking and sawing at the two trees and finally
getting them into small enough pieces that we could twist them out of our
way. We passed the mill, and no one was there. We were seventeen miles
from our cabin, and worn out. I was so worried about Elmer, but he was
very determined to do what he wanted to do. It was a very unwise trip as
no one knew where we were, but as was the case many other times, we were
lucky and got back to the cabin okay.
In September of 1959 the men were out gathering cattle from the many
ravines and canyons. It was cold, with early snow in that high country. I
had a good warm fire burning in the cabin and food was partially prepared
for when they got in. When they rode up Elmer was very pale and rode his
horse close to the cabin before he dismounted. He slid off and limped
into the cabin. His horse, a big brown, had slipped on a flat rock in
part of a rimrock formation in a steep snow covered canyon and had fallen
on Elmer's ankle.
We put him in the pickup and I took him home, but the ankle was so
swollen Dr. Holsinger could do nothing with it. Elmer insisted on going
back to the reserve and I went with him. He rode for cattle for a week
with just one foot in a stirrup. The doctor put a cast on his ankle the
next week, but he didn't stop riding until all of the cattle were in.
Pauline said, "He wouldn't quit, I remember seeing him racing after a
couple of steers with a plastic bag on the cast and just his toes
sticking out. It was cold as the devil on that mountain and was
threatening more snow."

I remember one year when Elmer did not get home from the Seven U when I
thought he should have been. I asked Moe to go look for him. He got in
the pickup with Janie, who was just a baby, and went out to look for him.
Elmer had taken his pickup and gone out into the crested wheat field to
check on the cattle. This field was about 17 miles square and covered the
high brush and grass. He got the pickup stuck in the sand and had worked
trying to get it out but to no avail. He finally heard a noise and
looking up saw Moe and Janie coming in their pickup along the fence-it
was a welcome sight to Elmer.
When we were ready to take the cattle to the Seven U in the spring they
would drive the cattle from Sand Springs down and across the Snake River
on the bridge by Roy Vader's ranch. After passing Vader's place we took
the first road to the right, went to Yoho Canyon and out onto the Owyhee
Desert to Clover where the cattle were.
One spring Elmer and Lucky Martin went out on the desert to check the
cattle. it was cold and very muddy. Mr. Vader phoned me to go and get
them at the bridge. When I got there a cold wind was blowing and the two
men had built a fire on the bank of the Snake River to keep warm.
They were a sad looking pair-something had happened to the pickup.
Lucky was hesitant about walking into Vader's so Elmer walked with him
instead of waiting in the pickup. They walked 23 miles in deep mud.
Vaders wanted them to come into their house and get warm, but Elmer
refused because he was so muddy. Despite it all Elmer was ready to go
back to the desert the next day.
In November of 1959 Lorenzo Meecham and Orlando Jacobsen fenced the
B.L.M. land at the Seven U. This was called the desert fence and was
completed in 1960. Elmer worked along with the two men on this huge
project. They made two twelve mile fences from the B.L.M. fence to the
Bruneau River. Renny Meecham said that Elmer had so much drive and
determination, even though his health was not good. It was along this
fence, in a dry corner, where the cattle were dropped and died of thirst.
In February, 1961 we sold the Seven U Ranch to Paul Butler and Hadley
Stewart. Stewart was the son-in-law of the Butlers. Bill Dunn was feeding
cattle on the ranch. Elmer sent trucks over to the Seven U on Feb. 14,
1961 to move the cattle away as the new owners were taking over. The
weather had warmed up and the roads were very muddy.
While helping to move the cattle Elmer overworked. He had used up all his
nitroglycerin pills and when he tried to come home he couldn't get by the
stuck cattle trucks and became terribly ill. One of the men finally got
him home. He refused to stop in Twin Falls at the hospital and as soon as
Dr. Holsinger saw him he sent him to St. Benedict's Hospital in Jerome.
He was vomiting a froth and the doctors and nurses worked with him all
during the night pumping the froth from his nose and throat. The Dr. said
he had acute pulmonary edema, caused by heart failure to pump, thus
filling his lungs with fluid. He was in critical condition for twelve
days. They slowed his breathing down so that he would only take seven to
eleven breaths per minute. I remember timing it for a minute and it just
seemed so very long. I thought he would never take another breath. That
first night the Dr. thought he would never pull through.
In the spring of 1946 Elmer and I did not move back to Fir Grove. Our
daughter Carol and her husband Monroe Sagers moved into the ranch. They
lived there in the summer and moved to the lower country for the winter
months. Some of the years Moe rented the ranch and some of the time Moe
and Elmer were in partnership. All five of the Sagers children were born
while they were living at Fir Grove.
Elmer and I lived in our home in Wendell until February of 1951 when we
moved into our lovely new home that we built very close to our old house.
Bud and Theda Fink purchased the old home from us. Our close friends Nobe
and Elsie Leland lived in a home right between our old and new houses.
Moe was always interested in performing in rodeos and was an expert at
calf roping. He was associated for a time with Bill Linderman, at one
time a world champion cowboy.
During the years the Sagers were at Fir Grove they had some bad crop
years, as well as other drawbacks. We had to mortgage the ranch after it
was completely paid for, also had to mortgage our home in Wendell for
$15,000, to the National Public Service Insurance Co.
Elmer's health continued to fail so in 1961 he and I moved back to Fir
Grove to fix it up so we could sell it. The ranch had not made enough
that we could have it repaired and it was really run down. Carol was an
excellent housekeeper but things were just generally run down.
The men who helped us with the work were Charles Graves, Stan Anderson,
Loren Prince, David Christensen, Bert Healy and Whitey Kohlstrum. Robby
Williams came up and painted a fence for us. I can still see him with the
paint dripping off both elbows. We had the ceilings dropped in several
rooms, replastered and repainted inside and outside of the house. We
built a new fence and had it painted white. We attempted to drill a new
well, down in the field. We hoped for an artesian well but it did not
prove successful so we spent $2,000 for nothing.
On September 24, 1961 we l1ad a big farewell party at Fir Grove. The
guests included the Rex Bradshaws, Vern Cassinghams, Charles Gates.
On September 28, just four days after our lovely party Elmer took very
ill with stomach pain. He was at a Production Credit Assoc. meeting in
Gooding at the time. He was taken to the Gooding Hospital and remained
there for several days. He was bothered by this same problem through
November up into December. It was finally decided that he had an infected
gall bladder and on Dec. 12, 1961 he had surgery for removal of the gall
bladder and a large stone that was plugging the main bile duct where it
went into the bowel. He was in critical condition for four or five days.
He came home from the hospital on December 24th but remained in bed for
week. He had a tube in the main bile duct until it was removed January
26, 1962. It took him a long time to recover from that ordeal.
In November 1961 we sold our beautiful Fir Grove Ranch to Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Kast. The following is a news clipping from the Idaho Daily
Statesman, Boise, Idaho, dated Nov. 25, 1961:
Fairfield, Idaho November 25, 1961. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kast have
purchased the Fir Grove Ranch from Elmer Nielson of Wendell, Idaho. This
ranch is located south of Fairfield and has been owned by the Nielson
family for many years. It is an early day landmark in that area. At one
time it was a stage stop and village with a post office. Mr. and Mrs.
Kast moved to Idaho from Oroville, Calif. They purchased the Henderson
Ranch near King Hill from Cecil Brim and moved there this summer. Their
son and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kast, recently moved to King
Hill from Oroville and may live on the Fir Grove Ranch next summer.

Trips Taken

In the early spring of 1957 we went on a trip to northern Idaho to visit
Oliver and Addie Nielson. They had moved from their ranch, which was 20
miles out of Bonners Ferry, because Oliver needed to be close to a
hospital. He was suffering from heart trouble.
While there we visited Vanoy's family who lived about ten miles from
Oliver. This was beautiful, wooded country. Elmer's oldest brother
Erastus F. died May 30, 1957. Oliver and Addie came down for the funeral
at Wendell. At that time they decided to sell their ranch in northern
Idaho and bought a small home in Gooding at 1023 Idaho Street. On Oct.
11, 1962 we bought a 1962 Chevrolet pickup from Glen Jenkins in Wendell.
A little later we bought a Vista Liner Camper to fit on the pickup. It
was lovely and we enjoyed a few nice trips in it.
On May 1, 1962 we took Oliver and Addie Nielson on a trip with us. We
stopped first at Salt Lake City and visited for an hour with Erma and
Keith Brimhall. Oliver and Addie stayed with Ferman and May Nielson in
Sandy, Utah and Elmer and I stayed in the camper in Reed Richard's back
yard. We visited my niece Etta Mayberry before leaving the Salt Lake
area. We picked Oliver and Addie up and drove on down to Richfield, Utah.
My sister Zettie's children live in that area so we visited with Omar,
Dan and Laurel and their families. We parked our camper in Dan's back
yard. We also visited old friends-Stella Poulson, May Larson, LaValle
Hansen, and Delight Sorenson.
Elmer's brother Charles lived in Monroe, where Oliver and Addie had
stayed. We visited there for a few hours and then continued our journey.
We ate lunch that day at Cove Fort and got to Alta and Dick Cooper's home
in Overton, Nevada that evening. We stayed there for two days and then
took the Cooper's with us into Las Vegas. Their two daughters, Alzina and
Maryetta lived in Vegas. We had a lovely visit, lunch at Alzina'a and
dinner at Maryetta's. We spent the night there and next day Oliver and
Addie caught the bus for Los Angeles. Before we left Las Vegas, Lou
Casella and his wife took us to the Stardust Casino for dinner and a
show. It was very spectacular.
On our return trip we spent a night in Pioche, Utah and while there we
visited the copper pits which are close by. We stayed at the Thousand
Springs Trading Post Saturday night and arrived home Sunday about noon.
After we got home, Elmer felt well enough to paint the window and door
frames, also the cornice and ceilings of the porch. He also did some work
in the yard.
On May 30, Memorial Day we went to the Manard Cemetery and took care of
the family graves. We came home through Fir Grove Valley. It was so
beautiful, a profusion of wild flowers.
Janie and Lisa Sagers and Nancy Williams visited us that summer. We took
Janie and Lisa, Steve, Joe and Tom Christiansen in the camper with us to
Camas Prairie. We had a picnic at Soldier Creek and really enjoyed the
On July 9, 1962 we left in our camper for a trip to Canada. We spent the
first night in Missoula, Montana. We traveled through the beautiful
Glacier Park and on up to Cardston, Canada where we visited with Ethel
Smith, Jesse Smith's sister-in-law. We stayed at the St. George Island
camp for two days, paying $2.00 a night to camp there. We met a Cliff
Rosenbaum, who was camped next to us. He and his wife lived in Oroville,
Ca. and knew
Charles and Virginia Kast. He took Elmer down town for tickets and gave
us a ride to the Calgary Stampede. We stayed for the afternoon and
evening shows and really enjoyed them. It cost us $3.00 for cab fare back
to the campgrounds. When we got to Banff we went on a two hour bus tour
of the area. It was beautiful and very interesting. I went up on the
gondola lift. The sight overlooking Banff, the lakes, rivers, rugged
mountains and glaciers was too beautiful to describe. We visited a very
interesting museum and also visited the Cave Sulpher Springs where an
early day doctor had built a sanitarium.
Next day we visited the beautiful Lake Louise area. The grounds and lobby
of the old, 1,000 room hotel were lovely-it was all just breathtaking. We
lunched that day at Boe Lake Lodge, a very quiet and peaceful spot. We
bought gas for $2.70 and paid $2.50 for our lunch. We went on a
snowmobile to the Althabasea Glacier where we saw many interesting
sights. The Althabasea Falls is a most unusual sight as it whirls around
through caverns and under the bridge. We continued on our journey,
crossed the Continental Divide into British Columbia.
We traveled on to Golden and Cranbrook. At Castlegar we ferried the
Columbia River to Kenard. From Kenard we traveled on an unsurfaced road
over steep high roads for 61 miles. At Grand Forks the road was just
plain frightening. We spent the night in Grand Forks and next day we
crossed the border into Washington. Later that day we visited the Grand
Coulee Dam. That night we spent in Ellensburg with Norman Nielson and
drove on to Seattle the next day.
We spent the first night with Donna and her family at their home on
Chinnum Point. I tried to help Donna during that week and on Wednesday we
had lunch with Al Marcus at the Tennis Club. We left Seattle Friday
mooning, bringing John Kydd home with us. We stayed at a campground in La
Grande, Oregon and met some nice people from Vermont. Our car was acting
up so next day we stopped in Baker and had the manifold fixed. It was a
wonderful trip, but we were happy to be home again.
On Sept. 14, 1962 we left the Pendleton, Oregon to go the famous
Pendleton Roundup. We took Elsie Leland with us and camped the first
night at Huntington, Oregon. We arrived at Pendleton at 9:00 a.m. and saw
an Indian dance and a street show. Moe Sagers had given us passes to the
Roundup, which we enjoyed very much. We saw the Ivan Nielsons and Ed
Johnson at the Roundup.
We went on up to the tri-city area and visited with Arva, Lila and the
Johnson's and their families. Next day we drove on over to Seattle. We
went to Donna's and Elsie's went to visit the Harry Barrett family.
Friday evening we visited the wonderful World's Fair and later stopped to
visit the Barretts. Helen took us to dinner at the Edmond Meany Hotel --
a lovely dinner. We stayed with Donna that night and the next day picked
Elsie up at University Village and started for home. We stopped at a
fruit stand a few miles from Yakima and bought some fruit. We backed into
a car doing some damage to both vehicles.
We spent the night in North Powder, Oregon and next day drove to Ontario,
Oregon where we visited with Ross and Marjie Butler. We left Elsie in
Caldwell to visit with the George Barretts. We spent that night with my
sister Carrie. She looked better than when we last saw her. We picked
Elsie up at the State House in Boise the next morning and drove on home.
As always it is good to be home.
Saturday, October 6, 1962 Dr. Holsinger operated on my three middle toes
on the right foot. I had "hammer toes", he removed bone so they would
straighten out.

Hall Of Fame
There was a very great honor that came to Elmer in 1963. He was
especially honored to become member of the Hall of Fame of the Southern
Id. Agricultural Association. He was honored as a cattle producer.
This was done at a very lovely banquet on Saturday, March 16, 1963 at the
Francois Restaurant in Twin Falls, Idaho. This was the fourth annual Hall
of Fame Banquet of the Southern Id. Agri. Livestock Industry. An account
of this event was printed in the Twin Falls Times News on March 17, 1963.
Earl Stansell gave the introduction to the Hall of Fame at the banquet
and this is what he said:
"Mr. Chairman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Mr.
Brechenridge has done such a commendable job of introducing sheepman Bill
Newmann that this speaker will be hard put to hold up the cattlemen's end
of the bargain. You know how it is-about the only recourse the cattlemen
have against the sheepmen nowadays is to preserve the coyotes and the
They want the coyotes to kill the sheep and the rattlesnakes to bite the
The gentleman to be honored at this time is no stranger to many of you in
this banquet hall tonight. Words are inadequate and my capabilities are
insufficient to give fitting tribute to a man of the honoree's caliber;
but to say that he is well known and highly respected is at least an
attempt toward that tribute. He has been active in ranching, livestock
grazing and range development circles for over half a century, having
served several years as one of the original directors of grazing district
#2, with headquarters at Burley, and continuously since January 1942, as
director of the southern Id. Production Credit Assoc. in Twin Falls.
His introduction to Idaho came in the spring of 1908 when he and another
young man left Utah and make a trip to Camas Prairie, coming as far as
Gooding by train. Gooding was a settlement of just a few shacks at that
time and since travel by auto, air or bus wasn't too common in those
days. These enterprising young men and three other folks engaged in the
services of stage travel on to their destination on the Prairie. When
they reached the Black Canyon north of Gooding, the team couldn't pull
all the passengers through the gumbo mud, so these young men had to walk
the next 10 or 11 miles behind the stage.
This wasn't the last time Mr. Nielson was force to take a long walk. A
few months ago his pickup stalled out in the Owyhee Desert and he walked
twenty seven miles for help. I am assuming that his feet hurt for a
different reason than those of the colored man who was sitting with both
feet wrapped in heavy cotton bandages. A friend asked, "What happen to
you, boy?" the colored gentleman replied, "I was hit on de head wif a
ball bat and I was standin' on de pavement." Now whether this man was a
sheepherder or a cow puncher would depend on whether you asked a
cattleman or a sheepman.
After farming in the Manard area for 8 years and seeing his parents take
up a homestead in the area in 1910, this prospective member of the Hall
of Fame got into the range cattle business with the speculative zest of a
typical conservative western range man-he acquired a two year old heifer
and her calf. We've never heard the man called "slick-saddle" Nielson or
"long rope" Elmer, so we assume that the acquisition was strictly
Along about 1918 a specter loomed over the horizon in the form and in the
face of a very fine young lady by the name of Jane Butler, who seems to
have persuaded this young man that he had no business going further into
the livestock and ranching business without a capable manager, so they
were married that year. It seems rather ironical that a man who, as a
rancher and livestock operator, would hire foremen for many years, should
sire four daughters and no sons, but such is the record. Elma Jean
Christiansen, Gooding; Fae Williams, Jerome; Carol Sagers, Gooding and
Donna Kydd, Seattle.
Subsequent to 1923 the Nielsons owned and operated the Fir Grove Ranch in
Camas County, the Sand Springs Ranch southwest of Wendell and the Seven-U
Ranch in Owyhee County and northern Nevada, and were highly successful in
managing both cow-calf and yearling cattle operations on extensive range
Before bringing this introduction to a conclusion, there is something you
ladies and gentlemen and the Hall of Fame in particular, should know
about. We sincerely hope this will not prevent Mr. Nielson's admittance
to the Hall of Fame. While eating lunch in Gooding with Bob Stuart and me
just a few days ago, Mr. Nielson made a terrible confession. He said,
"You know, I've never really cared much for beef.
Mr. Nielson, you have for several decades demonstrated enthusiastic
support of the many phases of the livestock industry, you have shown a
sincere interest in the welfare of your many friends and neighbors, in
both the farming and the business community and you have manifested a
keen perception of human values. It is my personal pleasure to welcome
you to the Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame."
This was the forth annual Hall of Fame banquet. Jane remembers that Elmer
was invited to be a member at the first banquet but told them he was just
too busy. Had he accepted he would have been a charter member.
Waldo Thurber said that Jerry Gehrke and wife Helen had called and
especially invite Waldo and Evan to come and be their guest to the
banquet. They accepted and did go, saying what a lovely affair it was.

Elmer's Last Illness

Feb. 3, 1964, Elmer went to St. Benedict's Hospital with constant attacks
of angina. He was there for 24 hours and then came home to spend time in
bed and in a reclining chair, with constant use of oxygen. From Feb. 4th
to 10th he used one large and three medium tanks of oxygen. The doctor
suggested going to a specialist in Salt Lake City to find the cause of
the continued angina.
On Feb. 13th Elmer had a particularly bad day and night and was coughing
up a frothy liquid. Dr. Holsinger called the Romell Clinic in Salt Lake
and got an appointment to get Elmer into the L.D.S. Hospital on Friday
instead of Saturday. Orvil Nielson drove us to Utah in our car. Elmer
rode in the back seat with an oxygen tank and used it all the way. Before
we reached Burley he was coughing up more of the frothy liquid, I tried
to get him to stop at the Burley hospital but he refused. I urged Orvil
to drive as fast as he could and we arrived at the hospital at 4:45,
Friday afternoon.
Elmer was pretty disappointed when we didn't get to see a doctor until
Sat. afternoon. When Dr. Romell called and apologized and said there had
been some misunderstanding. Dr. Orem, a medical heart specialist called
on him, also Drs. Vzee and Anderson who were interns at the hospital.
They questioned him at great length.
On Feb. 17 Dr. Orem, Dr. Torres, an intern from Peru, Dr. Romell and Dr.
Mortenson all came to check him and ask more questions. Dr. Mortenson
said they had made tests and had observed Elmer's past record. They were
convinced that surgery would not help as hardening of the arteries was
centralized, there is partial blockage of the arteries in several places.
He said there are several medications that could help him so turned him
over to Dr. Orem who is one of the best heart medical Doctors.
Dr. Orem did not come that evening and Elmer was very disappointed. I had
a struggle to keep him from dressing and ordering a cab to leave the
hospital. The next morning the Dr. came in and said he understood from
the nurses that Elmer wanted to go home, so he wrote a note to Dr.
Holsinger and phoned Elma Jean to have someone come down to take us home
the next morning.
Fae came for us and we returned home to have Dr. Holsinger treat him as
he had before we left. Elmer still had angina pains about every hour,
especially during the night.
While we were in Salt Lake we had a lot of company. Among the callers
were Erma Osmond, May Christiansen, Frankie Degooyer, Elmer's cousins
Stanley and Kellen and their wives and Joe Anderson and his wife. Frances
and Howard took me to their home for dinner and Etta Mayberry took me
downtown while Frankie stayed with Elmer one day. After we got back to
Wendell we had a lot of company, people who loved and admired Elmer.
On March 13, 1964 I took Elmer to our beautiful new L.D.S Church in
Wendell to a Singing Mothers concert. He enjoyed the outing so much but
got very tired.
The next day he felt pretty good. He shaved and dressed himself. It was
common for him to have 19 to 20 angina seizures during a 24 hour period.
On Sunday, March 25 all of the children except Donna came to see us.
Bartons and McClouds dropped by, Haynies came but would not come in.
Everyone left around 5:00 p.m. Karl Richards was getting ready to go when
Elmer had a bad seizure. I called Dr. Scheel and he gave him a hypo and
oxygen. He gave him mouth to mouth breathing but about 6:30 or so he was
gone. I was so thankful to have Karl here with me. The following account
was in the Boise Statesman of March 17, 1964:
Wendell: Elmer Nielson, 72, prominent Idaho cattleman died late Sunday
night at his home of a heart condition. Mr. Nielson was born March 31,
1891 at Elsinore, Utah and moved to Camas Prairie in 1908. On March 6,
1918 he married Jane Butler at Rupert. Mr. Nielson was owner and operator
of Fir Grove Ranch near Fairfield until 1961. The family lived in Wendell
during the winter months since 1928.
Mr. and Mrs. Nielson have been permanent residents here since 1948. He
served as a director of the Prod. Credit Assoc. for more than 20 years.
He was a charter member of the Taylor Grazing Board and served on that
board for many years. In 1963 he was honored at the annual Southern Idaho
Livestock Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the L.D.S. Church.
Survivors include his wife of Wendell, four daughters, Elma Jean
Christiansen and Carol Sagers of Gooding, Fae Williams of Jerome and
Donna Kydd of Seattle, three brothers, Charles of Monroe, Utah, Oliver of
Gooding and Ivan of Wendell; three sisters, Alta Cooper of Overton,
Nev., Yalma Clower of Wendell, and Zina Prince of Susanville, Ca., four
sons-in-law and 14 grandchildren.
Services will be held in the new L.D.S. Chapel in Wendell at 2:00 p.m.
Wed. March 18, 1964 with Bishop Murlen Lancaster officiating. Friends may
call at the Weaver Chapel, Wendell from 1:00 p.m. until time for the
services. The family requests that memorials be made to the Church
building fund in Wendell.
Wendell: Funeral services were conducted at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at the
new LDS Chapel in Wendell for Elmer Nielson, 72, prominent Idaho
cattleman, who died at 10:00 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 1964 at his home in
Wendell of a heart condition. Bishop Murlen Lancaster officiated. Prayer
at the mortuary was offered by Waldo Thurber. Mrs. Maurine Byington
played the prelude and postlude and accompanied the soloist, Dale Adams
who sang "Peace in the Valley." She also accompanied the mixed quartet,
Mrs. Ella Mae Parker, Mrs. Leroy Gibbs, Everett Cox and Chancey Willard
who sang "Sometime We'll Understand."
Rob Williams, Parder Worthington, Rich Scholes and Dennis Smith, a male
quartet, accompanied by Julie Talbot sang "Abide with Me." Floral
arrangements were by the LDS Relief Society with Mrs. Lennie Mecham in
charge and Theda Fink assisting. Everett Cox gave the invocation and
Bishop Lancaster read the obituary. Emerson Pugmire and Karl Richards
were the speakers.
Active pallbearers were four grandsons, David Christiansen, Rob Williams,
Pat Williams and Steven Sagers; two great grandnephews, Jerry Nielson and
Dennis Nielson. Honorary pallbearers were Bill Bunn, Mike Bryan, Ralph
Fink, Tay Turner, Ray Ward, M.L.Gates Sr., Quincy Gates, Walter Kelly,
K.A.Barton, G.M.Gehrke, Dr. H.F.Holsinger, Everett Campbell, Earl
Stansel, Melvin Weinberg, C.C.Haynie, A.L.Hanks, T.H.Boyd and Hyrum Lee.
J.Glen Anderson gave the benediction. Concluding rites were conducted at
Wendell Cemetery under the direction of Weaver mortuary. The grave was
dedicated by K.T.Butler.

Mr. Nielson was born March 31,1891 in Elsinore, Utah and moved to Camas
Prairie in 1908. March 6,1918 he married Jane Butler at Rupert. He was
owner and operator of Fir Grove Ranch near Fairfield until 1961. The
family lived in Wendell during the winter months since 1926. Mr. and Mrs.
Nielson have been permanent residents of Wendell since 1946. Mr. Nielson
was a partner of the late H.C.Berkowitz of Sand Springs Ranch, southwest
of Wendell for many years. He also owned and operated the 7 U Ranch at
Three Creek, Idaho.
He was a director of Southern Idaho Prod. Credit Assoc. for over 20
years. He was an original member of the Taylor Grazing board and served
on the board for many years. He was honored at the 1963 Hall of Fame
dinner, in Twin Falls. Mr. Nielson was a member of the LDS church.
Survivors include his wife Jane of Wendell, four daughters, Elma Jean and
Carol of Gooding, Fae of Jerome and Donna of Seattle: three brothers
Charles of Monroe, Utah, Oliver of Gooding and Ivan of Wendell. Three
sisters, Alta Cooper of Overton, Nevada, Yalma Clower of Wendell and Zina
of Susanville, Calif.; four sons-in-law and fourteen grandchildren.
Internment was at Wendell Cemetery with Weaver Mortuary officiating.

Erastus Franklin Nielson

Erastus Franklin Nielson was born in Elsinore, Sevier County, Utah, 12
May, 1882. He was the oldest son of Rasmus Marius Nielson and Caroline
Fredericka Johnson. His parents were both born in Denmark in different
locations, coming to America and on to Utah in their childhood. Her
mother came to America because an aunt of hers had come after joining the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and liked this land so much
she encouraged all of her family to come. His father, along with his
father and mother and family, came to America after they had been
converted and had joined the same church, coming with Pioneers across the
plains to Utah and settling at Elsinore. His father, Rasmus Marius
Nielson walked a good deal of the way across the plains.
Erastus started elementary school in Elsinore. Later he worked with his
father freighting supplies and building materials from Salt Lake City to
Ely, Nevada. In the freighting business everything was done with wagons
and horses. During the summer, produce and supplies were
delivered, saving the meat until the winter months to haul because they
had no refrigeration. Usually three teams of horses consisting of two
horses in a team would pull two wagons, one wagon trailing behind the
other, for each man to drive. When they reached the delivery place,
everything was sold including produce, wagons, horses, and harness and
they would ride home horseback. The next trip they would start out with
new equipment again ready to sell all to the people in Nevada who needed
supplies and all kinds of teams and transportation equipment. It was very
dangerous to travel alone after these deliveries because they were paid
in cash or gold and were subject to hold-ups any time. One night after a
very successful trip and good profit, they were telling about their good
fortune in one of the towns, they had visitors during the night. It was a
good thing they had their money hidden in a breadbox. They heard the
horses making unusual noises and discovered a stranger in camp. About
that time a shot rang out and someone hollered "duck", and the shot went
right over their heads. The would be robbers were frightened away.
About 1909 he got aquatinted with Vance McHan in Salt Lake City. Vance
had a large dairy and Erastus hauled malt from a beer factory to the
cattle for feed. These two men were life long friends, later settling in
He married Edna Christine Peterson, a lovely young school teacher who
boarded with his aunt. They were married in Utah, 22 March, 1907. Four
children were born to this union:

Eldon Franklin        July 16, 1908                      Salt Lake City
Orville Linden              October 2, 1910              Salt Lake City
Marvin                      October, 1912                      Camas
Norma June            June 9, 1916                       Camas Prairie

Southern Idaho was still just sparsely settled and the Nielson family
pioneered and helped build up some of the first towns. He worked at
Hollister one year building a railroad. The project was started to build
up the country hoping to attract wealthy, eastern people to come in with
their money to settle and build up that country. Later they live in
Jerome, Idaho and worked with Laurence Kirkham, a man he had known in
Erastus was a hard worker, but a very jovial, happy person full of spirit
and adventure. He has told about racing down the streets of Jerome. When
accosted by the sheriff they said there was a sign in the front of a real
estate office down the street that said "Men and Teams Wanted In A
Hurry". He was tall and always slim, a very dear and loving person. He
was ever mindful of the wishes of his wife, mother, and their children.
He had such a beautiful smile and above that eternal smile was a head of
curly, black hair, which later turned to a beautiful silver.
About 1911 he moved his family to Camas Prairie where several of the
Nielsons were. A brother, Oliver was operating there, and his parents
decided to homestead up there also. Erastus and Edna lived at the base of
the Johnson Hill a little bit north and west of the rim rock. A stream
ran along here that originated from a spring in the mountain. His parents
lived about a quarter of a mile up the stream west from there.
On top of the rim rock there was about eighty acres of good farm land
that they irrigated from water that came form the Nielson Reservoir that
they built on the side of the hill. They later moved across to the Jim
Robinson place, and after several years decided to buy it.
They always built strong comfortable homes and good substantial barns,
sheds, and grainaries. One building of special interest was the ice house
which held huge blocks cut from frozen streams in the winter and stored
in saw dust for use in hot summer months. He was a good farmer and raised
Their last home was at Wendell, Idaho close to West Point, where he semi-
retired, but still worked hard to maintain a beautiful home and
surroundings. Their yards were a show place with their beautiful flowers
and shrubs.
He lived to be seventy-five years of age, always enjoying good health. He
died from heart failure 30 May, 1957 at St. Benedict's Hospital in
Jerome, Idaho and is buried at Wendell, Idaho.
Hazel Johannah Nielson
Maurine Adams Dixon

Hazel Johannah Nielson was born November 17,1889 at Ivenrora, Sevier
County, Utah. She was the oldest daughter in a family of nine. Her father
and mother were Rasmus Marius and Caroline Fredricka Johnson Nielson.
She started her schooling in Elsinore, Utah. She attended Snow Academy in
Ephraim for at least two years. She lived with her mother's cousin, Frank
About 1908 Rasmus Marius and son Erastus came to Idaho when the towns
were in their early stages. They did contract work. The family came
shortly after, settling in Jerome when Hazel was seventeen. She worked in
a cafe there with Edna and Lila Peterson for a Mrs. Zahn. She got to be a
very excellent cook. One day she made six lemon meringue pies. They
looked delicious. She served a portion to a customer, but he ate a little
and left the rest on his plate. She wondered what was wrong and tasted
the pie. She found out she had used salt instead of sugar in the filling.
The three girls were very dear friends. In fact, Edna became her sister-
in-law by marrying Erastus Nielson. At one time Hazel and Lila Peterson
had work at a rooming house and restaurant operated by a Mrs. Heideman.
They had worked long enough to have gotten wages, which was paid in cash.
While on duty and not having a better place to put it they hid their
money in the pillow slip on their bed. After work they went to get their
money, and it was gone. Of course they were panic stricken and took their
troubles to their employer. She became very angry and accused Hazel of
having taken it. This Lila would not accept as the two girls had perfect
trust in each other. But talking did no good, so they went home heart-
broken and told their story to their brothers E. F. Neilson and Leon
Peterson. The men decided to pose as men of the law and go to Mrs.
Heideman with a little threat. So with their make-up story and threat to
her, she weakened and confessed to have taken the money herself, pleading
hard times. But the girls got their money back, left her employment, and
found better work at the Zahn cafe where they did a great deal of cooking
and waiting on tables.
Oliver Nielson and family lived at Manard, Idaho. Rasmus Marius Nielson
and family went up there for the annual picnic on July 24 and liked Camas
Prairie so well that the family moved up there. Hazel worked for Mrs.
Lightfoot. Her sister, Valma was staying with her. One night when Hall's
Comet appeared, in 1910, they stood on a stairway and looked at it.
Hazel and Lewis worked in the M.I.A. with a group who put on plays and
entertainments in the valley. They would go to Hill City, Manard, and
Soldier. Some of the members of the group were Ethel Jenkins, Asael
Dixon, Monroe Elmore, and Valma Nielson. The proceeds from these plays
helped in building the Manard meeting house.
The Nielson reservoir that can be seen west as you go down the Johnson
Grade entering Camas Prairie was built on the ground that Hazel had taken
out homesteading rights on. This was known as the Nielson reservoir. The
family lived about one and a half miles north of it. Another large
reservoir, the Mormon reservoir was built on Squaw Flat south of
Fairfield and north of Fir Grove Ranch. Jane Butler and Lydia Adams
cooked for the men who worked on the dam. They later married brothers,
Elmer and Oliver Nielson who were working on the dam.
Dale was born in a hospital in Fairfield, May 18,1920. Lewis took Erma to
Gooding to get Valma to come up and stay with Erma and Maurine until
Hazel could care for them again. On the way to Gooding, Lewis told Erma
to keep him awake, for he had been awake all night at the hospital. Lewis
and Erma both went to sleep and awoke off the road in a pile of rocks.
There was not much fruit raised on Camas Prairie, so in the fall of the
year Lewis would take a wagon and horses and go south to Hagerman Valley
and get a whole wagon load of luscious fruits. It was a glorious sight to
see and a lot of work for Mother, but she loved it. He would get melons
and peaches, pears, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, prunes, etc. Mother took
great pride in preserving and canning these delicious fruits. One time
Dad bought a whole bunch of dirty bottles at a sale. Hazel put them to
soak in a tub of hot, soapy water and soaked them for a day or two. Then
she scrubbed and cleaned them sparkly bright and used them to can and
preserve these precious fruits for her family.
Lewis was a sheep man, and when shearing time would come around, he would
select the choicest fleeces and keep the wool from these for our own use.
Mother would take this dirty, stinking wool and soak it in warm, soapy
water and wash it many times, then rinse it many times
until it would be clean and soft and have a clean beautiful odor. From
this wool she would make quilts for our beds.
Mother loved her family. We were very close. Maurine, Erma, and Hazel
would hurry to get their work done so they could enjoy each other while
sewing, quilting, and reading. We quilted many quilts with Grandma
Nielson, our aunts, and cousins. Mother had many friends. Our home was a
gathering place for relatives on both sides of the family. She had always
a good supply of food on hand, no matter how many or few came. She did so
many things well. She was truly a homemaker. She loved to sing, although
she didn't carry a tune very well. Many times she would sing when she was
alone, when anyone came near she would cease to sing. She loved to sit on
the floor and crochet. For many years we did not have a nice sofa in our
home, but even after we did, she would prefer to sit on the floor to
relax and sew. She did a beautiful job of embroidering, crocheting, and
quilting. She was an excellent seamstress. She would go to a store and
see a dress she liked, go home, cut a pattern out of newspaper and then
make the dress. She made everything we wore, and we were very proud to
wear what she made.
She was an excellent cook. Her recipes are still being used in the homes
of her daughters and granddaughters. Her home was neat and inviting. One
time we were going to move into a house that was very dirty. Someone told
my father that it had bed bugs in it, and we wouldn't be able to live in
it. Dad and Mother scrubbed it from top to bottom with lye water and put
new wallpaper on the walls. In the paste they put on the paper they put a
generous amount of cayenne pepper. We never saw a bed bug. Mother would
not live with bed bugs, mice, or flies.
When we lived in the south part of Wendell a baby girl was born to our
home. Mother developed milk leg. She was critically ill. The baby died
and mother developed blood poisoning in her leg. It had to be amputated
just above her ankle. She was in the hospital for a long time. After she
recovered from this she was fitted with an artificial limb, but still
suffered from this discomfort. But she still kept up her home and her
hobbies. Dale was such a good son to her. Dad was a kind, sympathetic
husband. When Dale was six years old he and Mother went to Salt Lake City
for a fitting for her first artificial limb. Her brother Charles met them
at the train and took time to accompany for this service.
Mother was president of the M.I.A. in Wendell for three or four years.
She was Secretary of State Grange. Mother remained faithful in the
church. We believe that because of her good life and faithfulness she
will have the privilege of raising her two babies that died in infancy.
At Mother's funeral, Jim Dixon, a life long friend, stated that Mother
had had much suffering and hardship in bringing lives into this world,
but she would be rewarded for this.
We knew Mother had a heart condition, but it was a very great shock to us
when she passed away. Maurine had given birth to her first baby, Roger.
Mother desired her and her baby to come to her home for a few days for
Maurine to regain her strength. This first night Mother had gotten
Maurine and her first grandchild ready for bed. Everything seemed fine.
At 2:00 a.m. Mother had a heart attack. Dad called Vilas, Maurine's
husband, who was experienced at mouth to mouth recessitation and he did
this for Mother, but she did not recover. She passed away even before the
doctor arrived. This was September 1, 1939 at Wendell, Idaho. Erma was on
a mission in Louisville, Kentucky at the time. Dale was working in King

Lila Nielson Simonds

Rasmus Marius Nielson, born in Denmark, and Caroline Fredericka Johnson,
born in Denmark migrated with their families to Utah at the time when the
Mormons were leaving the eastern states. They were married in Sevier
County, Utah.
My grandparents came to Camas County to homestead in 1908. Their home was
built by a brother of my mother, Leon Peterson. It is still standing, but
has been moved. Its original location was one mile west and a half mile
south of the Springdale school house. It was nestled near a rimrock area
that begins the foothills there. It was a square house and was moved to
the Vance McHan ranch which was later sold to Bill Simons. It is on the
east side of the highway and a bit south of the Springdale school.
Their daughter, Hazel N. Adams homesteaded what was the old Elmer Painter
farm. I don't know why she gave it up as it was one of the better farms
in the area. The last I knew about it, LeRoy Packham was farming it.
R.M. Nielson, born December 3, 1860, died in 1914 at Manard and is buried
there. He died of the dreaded Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Caroline
Fredricka Johnson was born May 23, 1861 and died June 17, 1944.
Ivan Ferman Nielson, born May 8,1897, died January 8, 1973. He was
married to Alberta Peterson, born November 13, 1894. She died November

Children born to Ivan and Alberta:

Lila N. Simonds born March 25, 1918 in Gooding, Idaho
Oneita N. Pepper, born September 10, 1919 also in Gooding
Earl T. Nielson, born June 2,1921 in Gooding - died April 19, 1989
Arva N. Ruhter born January 24,1925 in Monroe, Utah
Caroline N. Hansen, born May 23,1928 in Manard, Idaho
Leon Ivan Nielson born August 16, 1936 in Manard, Idaho

Alberta and Ivan were married January 5,1917 in Shoshone, Idaho. She had
come to Idaho to attend the Albion Normal School for training as a
teacher. In fact, she was teaching at Springdale at the time of the
marriage. She was a sister to the wife of Ivan's oldest brother, Erastus.
Her father Ova L. Peterson had come from Denmark with his parents and his
wife, Amelia Cordelia Warner, who was born in New York State. She was the
descendant of one of the first soldiers to fall in the Revolutionary War.
They both came to Utah at the time of the Mormon movement from the east
and were married in the L.D.S. Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ivan farmed most of the time he lived on Camas Prairie. He also worked at
Ray Jones Hardware, Co. in Fairfield from 1928 to 1929. He leased the
farm known as "The Lazy A". He helped build many of the roads in the area
as well as the road from the Smokey Mountains to Ketchum.
His father and older brothers built the "Nielson Reservoir" which was
located in a drainage area in the hills west of the highway at the top of
Johnson Hill.
Blanche Naser, a former neighbor of my father's family told me that the
Nielsons were known as hardworking, "do-it-yourself' people.
My grandfather, Rasmus, and his oldest sons used to do horse freighting
to Hailey and some adjacent mining settlements in the early 1900's.
Our school teachers in Manard at the time we attended were Ruth Butler,
Lucia Paladin, Gladys Hall Frostenson, and Wanda Bennett. School board
members were Elva Olson, Jim Dixon, and W.J. Packham.
The year I was in the eighth grade, our teachers, Lucia Paladin and
Gladys Hall, presented an all school play that was unique. It was 1931
and television was a very remote dream to most of us. The play had one
pupil sit in the front of the curtain and supposedly turn the dials of
the TV and different scenes and acts would appear. It was very innovative
and lots of work was done on it. The presentation was in the Manard Hall
as it was large enough for the whole community to attend, and it also had
a stage. These teachers did a super job on it.
The beauty of Camas Prairie, the wild flowers, particularly the Manard
and Springdale area
where the gorgeous lake of wild camas would appear when the water had
subsided enough, the breathtaking view from the top of Johnson Hill where
Old Soldier Mountain sat in its glory with a snow cap, has remained with
me as a special spot, although it has been about fifty years since I have
lived there. I also remember many fine people from that area.

My Dad
Lila Nielson Simonds

Ivan Ferman Nielson, son of Rasmus Marrius and Caroline Fredricka Johnson
Nielson was born in Elsinore, Utah, May 8, 1897, the youngest of five
sons and seventh in a line of nine living children. He married Alberta
Peterson January 6, 1917. Six children were born to them.
Ivan died January 8,1973 from cancer of the prostate that had
metastasized into the liver and spine and was complicated by a heart
condition of several years standing.
From my earliest recollections of my father, I have always thought of him
as a very special person. I dearly loved to go with him whenever I could.
As a very small child, I remember riding with him on loads of hay when
the weather was nice enough for me to be out. I contrived to go with him
when he went to town or wherever he went as I loved to be with him.
My father was a man of good and even disposition, however, he was not to
be trifled with when "he got his dander up". He had an exceptionally good
philosophy for living, although he was not an educated man or a reader.
He tried to live by the Golden Rule of "doing to others as you would have
them do unto you". He tried to instill in all of us the principle of not
saying anything about someone if you could not say good. Dad could be
stubborn. However, that is also a strength and needed to help in the
business of making a life. I believe that he was a man of high moral
character and a very fine person. He was not active in any organized
religion, but had been brought up in a strong Mormon family and had been
indoctrinated in the very fine principles for family living in his home.
His family of brothers and sisters were all affectionate, loving, hard-
working, and fine people. As I write this impression of my father, I am
sixty years old and have seen a bit of other kinds of people too. I have
come to the conclusion that all of Grandma Nielson's boys and girls were
instilled with something special that made them possessed with qualities
of a high-type individual in a very personal sense. I had an intimate
acquaintance with most of them and admired as well as loved them. All had
a keen sense of humor and ready wit. Dad loved them all.
I look back on the hard work that Dad put forth as a labor of love to
acquire the necessities of life for his family and am amazed at his
stamina and energy. He milked a very large herd of cows without the aid
of a milking machine for many years at a time when the cream that he sold
in ten-gallon cans brought about $5.00. It took lots of milk from many
cows to make ten gallons of cream, and a pair of shoes did not sell for
too much less than that. He also farmed long hours when prices for the
produce often did not pay for expenses to raise it. He drove a truck for
the Jerome Co-operative Creamery later in life and hauled milk and cream
for other farmers. Often he farmed and milked cows himself at the same
time. Day would start for Dad about four a.m. and end with dark, if he
was through or couldn't see to do more. This was not a 5-day week, but
seven grueling days a week. I was only eleven at the time the Great
Depression started and we had many hard years with a very difficult
struggle for our parents to take care of a large family. There were five
of us at this time, and the sixth would come before the depression had
lifted. We must all pay a great tribute to our parents for the courage it
took to weather those terrible times; and the extra strengths it required
in many areas to make us feel secure and not worried about the future
that must have looked extremely dire to them.
Dad always had a sense of personal pride and kept his person well-
groomed. Even though he often did not have fine clothing, it must be
clean, and he was careful to be clean-shaven and barbered as best he
could be. In his later years he had a fine head of beautiful, silvery
white hair and I can see him in my memory, grooming himself to walk to
the Post Office for the mail. He would always wash, shave himself, put on
a clean shirt and a large brimmed, fancy, straw hat and then walk erect
with a certain spring to his walk.
Although Dad had a quiet and retiring nature he could say a lot in a very
few words. He had a way of being able to "put his shoulder to the wheel"
and give help here and there without great ado and fanfare or need of
recognition or praise.

Dad loved to have his family about him. During his last years I often
made the four hundred mile trip to see him and always felt so greatly
repaid for the efforts by the first look on at his face, and the special
light that would come into his dear, blue eyes. He loved each of us
dearly, and we all returned the same to him. No finer tribute can be paid
to any man than the love and respect of those who knew him best. He was
adored by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. He had a
fun-loving spirit and really enjoyed the little tykes, and they all
responded by thinking him the greatest.
By writing these impressions of my father down on paper, I realize more
than ever how fortunate we children were to have had him for our father.
I say this with a sense of pride as well as humility.
From remarks made by people other than the family, I know he had many
friends, and if any enemies, I don't know of them. He had self-respect as
well as an abiding respect for the rights of others to their own opinions
and philosophy. He was a strong advocate of minding his own business and
not meddling into that of others.
Although agriculturally related work was the line Dad followed most, he
also helped build roads, drove an oil and gasoline truck for the Wendell
Grange Supply, furnished fuel for farmers and also home heating fuel,
worked in hardware stores-once in Monroe, Utah for his brother, Charles
and once in Fairfield, Idaho for Ray Jones and Son. He also drove a
caterpillar tractor and did land leveling. He was a "handy" man and could
paint, hang wallpaper, carpenter, etc. Dad told me he loved horses in
much the same way that most people love their dogs. He did not have too
much time to fuss with them, and did not often have one to ride. He was
so good to see to it that his children could go to a circus or some such
type of entertainment if at all possible. He was a good citizen, good
husband, good father, and we all love him.

Oliver Charles Nielson - Autobiography

I, Oliver Charles Nielson was born 29 November, 1883 and was the second
child born to Rasmus Nielson and Caroline "Lena" Fredick Johnson, born at
Elsinore, Utah. My brother, Elmer and I were born at the same place. I
lived there most of my life until my son, Ferman, was ten days old.
I was the only one of Dad's kids that ever got a licking and was licked
with a current bush four feet long or more and he wore it down. Charles
and I had some hogs of fathers to herd. We took them out to pasture, then
decided to lock the hogs up and go swimming. The hogs got out and Father
thought that we had just let them go. I left home and came to Idaho.
I was eighteen years old and I stopped at Pocatello and hired out to
Woods Livestock Co. and herded sheep. I left there and went to Caribou, a
mining camp with all kinds of machinery. He thought he had several
thousand dollars in gold. Uncle Sern was working with us and he left.
Andrew Staples was another with us. We were paid three dollars a day with
our board. He says, "You ain't a quitting are you?"
Mother's sister, Aunt Tina, died at Elsinore, Utah and we were real good
friends. She had a baby, and it killed her.
I talked with a rancher and he wanted me to come back and work for him
the next year.
I became acquainted with Dora Thurber and married her 22 March, 1905 in
the Manti Temple. I had seen Idaho and knew how well she was blessed with
grass. We went to work for the Bishop at Elsinore for a year and ran it
for that same year.
Ferman was born 22 November, 1906.
Dora was a wonderful woman. She never knew anyone but what was a friend.
She always spoke well, and she used good language. She was real nice
looking and carried herself well. Everyone was her friend and liked her
so much.
One time after we were married we were west of Dad's, across the road and
were fixing it up. Dad, I could never please, and one day at the table I
had come home from the store where I'd brought some canned peaches we
were eating at Mother's. Dad had a strap or whip in his hand and said,
"It has been a long time since I've given you a lickin'. I think I'll
give you one now." But he didn't.
We gave two hundred dollars for the house, lot, and all the rocks that
were on it. We lived there one year and sold it to Erastus.
My father-in-law, Joe Thurber, a son, Orlando, and I were all going
together and live the United
Order, so we bought one hundred sixty acres of land for one thousand
dollars. We were to pay fifty dollars per month. Orlando and I were to do
the work on the farm, and Joe Thurber was a blacksmith. He was to pay the
money, one hundred dollars every two months, but later Dora and I decided
to take the poorer place and build it up.
We started out from Utah with a nice, little, clever team that weighed
1200 pounds each. Then I came to Idaho. First I traded all of my
belongings for a new wagon and a small team. Uncle Antone Johnson gave me
a harness for the horses and that's what I had when I came to Idaho. My
father-in-law, Joe Thurber wanted me to come with Joshua and Vern
Thurber. So we all came to Idaho together. Later my parents and brothers
came. On the 5 April, 1906 I came to Manard, Idaho and Dora came months
later with our baby, Ferman. So we homesteaded the land and built a house
and barn we needed. I cut posts, all that were needed to build a fence.
The snow was three to four feet deep and it would blow and drift. I
shoveled snow from the front of the barn and it piled up so high that the
cows came down from the drifted high snow into the barn. There was no
wind break anywhere and it blowed and blowed and froze. We had a better
place for our horses than for ourselves.
Dora took sick with heart trouble and had dropsey. She took sick in the
summer time and died May 1911 at Salt Lake City in the L.D.S. hospital.
We lived pretty darn good and there were lots of sage hens. Anytime we
would go out, we could get a sage hen or two. The people around were
curious about Mormons coming in. They claimed the valley they had settled
and thought no one else could take it up and settle it. It was a
beautiful valley. Everybody ran cattle on all the prairie. The valley was
fifty-two miles long and ten miles wide.
I fixed the place up with a house and a fence around the place. I fenced
the north and south fence lines. I put up a slab stable, with slabs up
and down for sides, with roof of the same, and it served its purpose for
many years.
When the Mormons came they said it was going to be settled and it was. My
place and everyone else's was settled.
We needed money to live on, so my father and I took our families to
Jerome and worked on the railroad.
I also worked on the railroad into Fairfield. This was before Addie and I
were married. I also did a lot off road work when we lived up on the
Prairie. I was almost always foreman on the works. I helped build the dam
at the Mormon Reservoir up on the Prairie.
After Dora died, I didn't go on the ranch. I logged at the saw mills one
summer. I had been working around Hailey with Lewis Adams and Billy
Gould. I went down to Utah and worked in the mines one winter. Some of
the time Ferman stayed with Mother, but I took him most of the time, and
he stayed with me.
Ferman wanted to go with me, but that kind of life was too big for him,
and Mother bawled me out. So Ferman stayed with her. Then after I got
through logging, he and I moved down on the lower ranch and batched down
there. I took Ferman to church and all.
I got tired of Orlando telling me what was coming. I had barn, granary
and two store houses. A lean-to kitchen was on the main part of the house
We raised barley, oats, and pasture, then rented more land from Eastwood.
I always felt Lewis was like the rest of us, straight and honest. They
were threshing until snow came after Thanksgiving. It was cold.
The house was good enough to prove up on the land, so we fixed it up and
lived there.
I had cattle of my own, and Lewis had some of his own. We went to the
bank and borrowed money and bought more cattle from Lewis Adams. He let
us have the cattle, and we wanted to borrow money from the bank. Harlo
said, "Yes, you can have what money you want."
Ryan, our neighbor got killed and his place was for lease. Lewis wanted
that place. We were there for a year, so we divided the cattle and
machinery (plow, harrow, mower, and rake). Lewis wanted to run the Ryan
place, so we dissolved the partnership, and I went back down to my place
to live. Then Lydia Adams Robertson and I married.
Lydia Robertson (we called her "Addie), came from Boise to stay with
Lewis's wife, Hazel while she had an operation. Addie had one girl and
three boys, Florence (Flossie), Alma, George, and Claude. I told Addie
that my son needed a mother and her children needed a father so we
married 18 February, 1916. We didn't give a wedding dance. Lewis had his
own forty acres. I married his sister, Addie and he married my sister,
Addie and I stayed there at our place where Norman, Verda, Morris, Venoy,
Darrel, and Carol were born. Darrel and Carol were born 4 November, 1922.
While Addie was carrying the twins, she would carry the separator and her
hip gave way many times and let her fall. The birth of Darral and Carol
was a record birth because of Darral being a full time baby (nine
months), and Carol, a premature (seven months) baby.
While Addie was in bed with milk-leg, that is when our little Carol
passed away.
Addie was sick and Jim Dixon came and administered to her. He said that
she would live to raise her family and that it was recorded in the
Heavens. I knew that our prayers had been answered. The doctor, Dr.
Higgs, had come from Boise. The train had been snow bound and couldn't
get through. He had come and asked if there was anyplace that needed
help. I had drove a wagon down to Gooding for a doctor to take care of
her. Dr. Higgs hired a sled and came right on a "God send".
The snow was way deep and hadn't started to break up. Addie had been in
bed for three months after the birth of Carol and Darral with milk-leg
and had nearly starved to death because another doctor had said for her
to only eat chicken broth.
Babe and Do were our team of houses. We had quite a band of horses and
cattle. It took a load of hay a day to feed them. We milked a lot of cows
and sold the cream and fed the milk to the hogs. We kept quite a bunch of
hogs all the time too.
We mortgaged the place to buy the land up on the bench. We paid for it
with cattle. I wanted to take up the rest of the hillside but didn't. All
of the hillside was good land with grass that grew a foot and a half
high. We had a plan worked out for a barn. The mortgage company ran us
Then we moved to Mother's place. All of our children but Flossie, Alma,
and George had scarlet fever. The country doctor brought it to us. He was
in the neighborhood and someone told him that Verda had been out of
school. She had been out just a half a day. He came in from where they
had scarlet fever. He never washed his hands. He wore a fur coat and
gloves. He took hold of the spoon handle, then put it in her mouth. In
just four days she came down with scarlet fever. She was "out of her
head" for four days with a very high fever. We nearly lost her then. All
the others got it. Carl was five months old and was a nursing baby. The
doctor said he would not get it. He vaccinated all the children, but they
still got it, including Carl. He slept for two weeks and was stiff as a
board. When Addie went to raise his legs to change his diapers or wash
him, he would go up all the way to his head. You could not straighten his
legs. We had him administered to and after two weeks of sleeping, he
cried for two weeks. We could hear him cry - even out in the barn. It was
terrible. He got well, but it was a hard pull for him.
After everyone was well again they told us to fumigate. We fixed
everything so the fumes could get to it. The Vandivers asked us to go to
their place for the day. Then we went home in the evening and put
everything back in place. Then Flossie took terribly sick. She had heart
trouble and passed away 26 January. That was a terrible winter!
After we moved up to Mother's place, Carl was born. We lived there until
Carl was a year and a half old. We moved to Wendell between Christmas and
New Years. We came in a sled.
I was working on the canal in Orchard Valley. Alma, Ferman, and I were
the main men. When the canal boss had a hard canal to work on, we did it.
I had ten teams of horses and hired men to drive them. It was hard work
to clean the canals, but we got the work done.
We rented a hundred and sixty acre place at McBerney's for two years,
then we moved to the Shoestring District.
Alma and Ferman had been up to Fairfield and were exposed to the red
measles. So they got the measles. They got over them and George, Claude,
Norman, Verda, Morris, Venoy, Darral, Carl, and my wife all go them. We
burned a tree a day to keep the house warm. When Addie had the measles
the house was so cold, that while she was lying in bed a glass of water
on the sewing machine beside the bed froze across the top with ice.
We had to build a fire hot enough that the pipes were red. I kept two
buckets of water handy to douse the fire in case one should need it.
I used to build derricks when we lived at the place where Verl Dixon tore
the house down. I was also foreman on the road from Tuttle to the highway
east of where we lived. That was during the depression. President
Roosevelt had the PWA organized for workers to earn money for their
families. (I don' know what PWA stood for, but it sure helped us with our
big family to get a little extra money.)
The panic came and we couldn't get anything. I had eight hundred dollars
paid on the place.
Schmitt Real Estate dealer came one day. We had meant to pay taxes and
have a little to live on. I had a big family and had to feed them so I
told him I'd move off. I rented the Jenkins' place. I finally bought it
and finished fixing it up.
We bought the eighty acres and farmed. We lived there until we bought the
Jenkins' place across the road from us. It had a foundation put up for a
house and a hole in the ground for a cellar. The boys and I dug it out,
squared it up, we built a basement, and lived in it. We later finished
I liked to build. I built the barn on the Jenkins' place we bought.
Then I bought the sawmill and built. We got so we were cutting 4000 to
5000 feet of lumber a day. Darral and Sue lived on the place one summer
and took care of things. The next year Helen and Addie stayed down and
took care of the cows. Lorin Prince ran the place.
We liked it at the sawmill and was so happy when our children and
grandchildren visited us. Dora May, Gary, and Carol Lee stayed several
days and we did enjoy having them.
I liked working in the timber best, especially when I used my horses.
Carl and Alma bought the mill when I was hurt by a tree when it fell on
me. It was in the agreement that they would mill lumber for our house.
But later I took the reel back and sold it to Ira Hall.
Gene and Jeanette Adams came to stay with us, and we say they had plenty
of clothes and shoes. We went up to Payette where they all lived, after
cherries. Gene said, "Uncle Oliver, can I come home with you?" So Della
and Gene came home with us. Jeanette stayed with her father until the
last of August when we took Della to stay at her father's place. The
lumber in the agreement was for the house on the Jenkins' place. We
started it during the winter and left it as a shell to work on during the
summer. We had quite a bunch of cattle, with pasture and hay for winter.
Then we moved in the fall to northern Idaho, after we finished the house
there. Addie and I wanted to be among the timber, so Addie had written
several letters to people up there and it sounded good. We made a trip up
through there. Venoy and Jane were with us.
We had a dandy place. The oats were as high as my nose and the grain was
so high that whenever the cattle got in the grain the only way we could
tell where they were was by the moving of the grain. Our place was one
and a fourth miles long and a half mile wide in places. It joined onto
the Indian reservation. We sold out there and came back to Shoestring and
built the house close to Jacobsens. We built a cinder-brick house. We
first lived in the basement part of the house until the upstairs was
ready (as soon as possible). Gene and Jeanette mixed the mortar and
carried the blocks while I laid the bricks. Addie irrigated and helped
with the finishing of the house. We lived there two years and then we
went back up to northern Idaho, Moyie Springs (close to Bonners Ferry).
We bought a place there with house already on it. We cut timber and
hauled it to Moyie.
One day two moose came down by the barn. Jeanette was down there milking.
I could see them and they were just feeding close to the barn. Then it
fed on down past the barn and came back. I yelled at Jeanette to stay
there in the barn. Then it went back up by the garden and I could see
there was another.
Gene and I were working up in the timber and something broke on the
caterpillar. I sent Gene to the house to get something to fix the "cat".
We always kept a gun in the car. Gene came back and parked the car close
to the "cat" and a shot rang out. 1 said, "Hey, what's going on?" Gene
said, "1 just shot a bear." 1 said, "Well, shoot it again." He did -
twice. The bear was really close but he had to beat it to death.
Jeanette, Gene, and one of Jeanette's friends dressed him out. We had a
nice new orchard of apples and pears, so the bears came down and climbed
up in the trees and broke the limbs. Venoy shot several bears there. The
bear would eat out in the fields with the cattle.
While working in the timber, 1 had a heart attack. Gene and Jeanette were
working with me. Gene brought me down to the house in the car and
Jeanette went to the neighbors to get them to phone Venoy. The neighbor
called Venoy, who was living in Montana. I didn't want to go, but Venoy
said, "Dad, if you don't come, I'll carry you out to the car to take you
to the doctor." While coming into town 1 had another attack.
1 went to the office and they took me to the hospital for one week. The
second time 1 went to the hospital, 1 was there for a two week stay. When
1 was to get out of the hospital the doctor said he didn't want me to go
back to the ranch. The first time 1 had an attack, Norman, Helen, and
Verda came in the night, and the sheriff showed them the way out. 1 had
just got out of the hospital, and they stayed for two or three days. I
was feeling better and was getting ready to go back out to work, had on
all my working clothes, and was putting on my gloves when it hit me
again. Brother Knight had gone to work in the St. George temple. He had
his wood shed chucked full of wood - stove
length. Brother Knight wanted someone in the house and I was close to the
doctor for the winter. We were there all winter, and we moved back to the
ranch in April. We were right in Bonners Ferry next to the Kootenai
Erastus passed away May 30 and they phoned up there for us to come down.
We came down for the funeral. When we got down here we decided to stay
because the doctor said I couldn't work anymore. We looked around and
found this place. Addie, Morris, and Vic Cheney's boy went up to get the
furniture. At Missoula the motor went out on the truck. We finally
located another truck motor at Boise. Alma and Phyllis brought the motor
up to Missoula after a lot of calling and chasing around. Jeanette
(fifteen years old) and I went to Boise after the motor. Jeanette was
driving. Then Alma and Phyllis took the motor up to Missoula to have it
In June, we moved back down. May, Lucille Bennett, Jeanette, and Verda
cleaned our home so that when the furniture got down here it was all
ready to move into.
I was school trustee everywhere we have lived except here at Gooding. I
was school trustee when we were at Shoestring.
I was working in the M.I.A. at Manard and was a counselor to Bro. Shupe
in Sunday School here at Gooding. I was a counselor to Charley
Christensen in the Elders Quorum. I was a counselor in the Sunday School
at Bonners Ferry, but was not in long when they put me is as a counselor
in the Elders Quorum in the Spokane Stake and was that until we moved
back here to Gooding. I have been a Ward Teacher everywhere we have lived
and while at northern Idaho my companion and I went forty miles to visit
our beat, then forty miles back home.
I always enjoyed fishing trips the family took together over on Smokey. I
liked to fish in the mountains better than anywhere. I especially enjoyed
the times when we all got together and went up to Carey-Leonard Creek.
The other children we have raised in our home have been welcome and we
are very proud of Jeanette. She is trying to do what is right. We are
also very proud of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
I wish they would all come to see us more often.

Oliver Nielson's Hay Derricks
Verda Gold and Carl Nielson

These are some memories regarding the A-frame hay derricks that Dad built
in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's.
Dad loved the mountains and was expert with ax and saw and was at home in
the woods. Usually after the first cutting of hay was up, he would set
out for Little Smokey or Deer Creek to get timbers for corrals, derricks,
and posts. I remember these early trips in iron tired wagons. Sometimes
there were neighbors who would go along to get their loads and learn from
I can remember one such outing when I was probably six years old. We were
coming back from Little Smokey with three wagons loaded with timber and
at least one potential hay derrick. At the turn near the Bundy Brothers'
place just above Oscar Naser's place north of Soldier, the pin bounced
out of the doubletree on the third wagon. One of the team was a colt
brought along to work with an older horse and learn to pull. When this
happened, the team bolted and led Hansen, the driver, couldn't hold them.
They ran up the hill and the colt ran directly into the boom pole on the
wagon ahead of them. It struck with such a blow that the colt was
instantly killed.
This memory was brought to mind when we saw the A-frame derrick on
Oscar's place this past summer.
Dad's derricks were landmarks around the area. There may have been other
builders, but I don't know of them. We put up derricks from King Hill to
Buhl to Fairfield to Hailey to Hagerman, and several around Manard.
Alma (Robertson) worked for Dan Olsen in his blacksmith shop and they did
the metal work for the derrick. Of most importance was the band which
went around the boom pole and would be supported by the heavy iron strap
and chain at the apex of the "A". There were also bolts of large sizes
necessary to bolt the base of the timbers together and to secure the
braces to the A-frame.
On site, the base timbers were selected first and cut to length. These
were shaped to smoothly fit by Dad's expert ax and then bolted together
with the bolts from the blacksmith shop.
After that, the two timbers of the A-frame were supported on a stand in
order to saw-cut the faces
at the apex so they would fit snugly. These were then bolted together
with the supporting iron and chain between them which would be used to
support the boom pole.
When this was done, the most difficult part of the task was ready. With
the base of the A-frame in position (laying) against the center timber of
the base, cable was attached to the chain at the apex of the A-frame and
brought over a smaller (temporary) A-frame of poles. These poles were
brought into position in an almost upright position and then on to the
team which would pull the real A-frame upright.
The purpose of this temporary pole frame was to give an immediate upward
lift on the real A-frame in order to get it started to an upright
position. A rope was attached to the underneath side of the frame, and
then everyone lifted to help get it started upright. When it was at about
a 20-30 degree angle from the horizontal, the temporary frame of poles
had done their job and simply fell away. Now the job was to raise the A-
frame to the vertical position and not have it topple either way until it
could be secured. The rope was used to keep the frame from going over-
center and falling to the other side.
At this time, it was important to make sure the base of the two A-frames
were still on the derrick base. They were extremely heavy and wanted to
slip off onto the ground. If they did, you could start all over again!
With a lot of care and careful positioning, the frame came upright and
was temporarily secured with spikes through the real braces to keep it in
position. This point was reached with a lot of exuberance and
thankfulness. It was also probably time for a sandwich and a little rest.
After this, work of another kind started. The timbers were usually newly
cut and green. It would have been easier to just plug in our electrically
powered drills and bore the holes for the bolts that would attach the
whole frameworks together. We didn't. Our power was "armstrong" which
powered the braces and bits to work through the green timbers. As you
know, green wood does not clean effectively and the fibrous material was
tough to bore through. Eventually, however, all the
work was done to mount the frame braces to the base and to the A-frame.
The next big job was to raise the boom pole into position and secure it
to the heavy chain at the apex. This was done with a combination of cable
and pulleys arranged so there would be enough mechanical advantage to
lift the heavy pole into position. Once in place and bolted, a cable
pulley was placed under the boom pole at the support band to be used to
string the cable through which would be used to lift the hayloads.
Final work was required by threading the cable through the pulleys, to
two blocks which are used to fasten the sling chains of the hayload and
thence up to the tip of the boom pole where it was deadended. This
completed the "circuit" for the cable. The chain could then be attached
to the butt of the boom pole and the pole lifted into position and
secured to the center timber on the base.
Ready for use.

Life On The Prairie
Norma June Nielson Dance

Since this is supposed to be a history, as I understand it, I'll limit my
remarks to the general feeling and events of my early years, when Camas
Prairie was still in the pioneer stage. During the horse and buggy, or
horse and sleigh period of this early years, the people lived more
isolated lives, as traveling was so much slower, and also because most of
the farmers had to spend so much of their time working long hours, just
to survive. In our farrtily's case, when there was time to visit, we
usually visited with someone in our extended family, thus, for many years
the social center of my life was "the family."
When Erastus Franklin Nielson and his wife, Edna Christine Nielson were
born, it was near the end of the nineteenth century, the years 1882 and
1884 receptively. It was still the pioneer period when they moved to
Idaho and settled in the Springdale section of the Prairie. While their
mail was addressed to Fairfield, Idaho, if they described where they
lived they would say, "Springdale". The nucleus of Springdale was on
country school, grades one through eight taught by one teacher. Later
when we lived in the Manard section, which consisted of three or four
homes close to a church meeting hall, and a two-room country school, plus
the surrounding farms. We lived on a ranch about two and one-half miles
from Manard, so I usually rode horseback to school, rather than walk as
the children who lived closer did.
This story will be told from the perspective of Norma June Nielson Dance,
Erastus's and Edna's only daughter, born June 9,1916 at Springdale, with
the local mid-wife, Aunt Annie Thurber officiating at my birth. Aunt
Annie was no relative, but a well liked and respected member of rural
Fairfield. She also officiated at the births of my three brothers, Eldon,
Orvil, and Marvin who were all older than I and have preceded me in
death. Marvin was drowned before I was born, Eldon died when I was still
in grade school, so it was Orvil who shared my life with our parents in
the "Little House on the Prairie." I call it thus because of many
similarities to life that were depicted in the popular TV program
entitled, "The Little House on the Prairie." Like the characters in that
program, the families we knew made most of the things they used in their
personal life and furnished their own entertainment.
Mrs. Blanch Naser once said, "The Nielsons are do-it-themselves people."
That is certainly the way I remember life in my home. Mother made all her
clothes and mine also, which gave me better clothes than I would have had
otherwise, for she was gifted in sewing and embroidering. Mother also
took care of all our hair and again she became so skillful cutting hair
that my father refused to go to a barber when it would have been easy to
do so in his later life. Together my parents did the wallpapering, laid
linoleum (though an uncle may have assisted with the linoleum), and did
whatever painting that was done.
In the area designated "women's work," mother did all the cooking, house
cleaning, mending, bread making, and usually did the lion's share of
taking care of the garden. Of course, being the only girl, I assisted
where I was told. I don't remember ever being given many choices as to
what I would like to do. I didn't even mind. That was just the way things
were supposed to be, I thought. Though I have to admit, I did interpret
what I was told to do in my own way, when I could get away with it.
When it was time to prepare food, if it were summer, we gathered the
vegetables from the garden
to make dinner with. It was more work than housewives usually have now,
but my, it did taste better! Mother and I also canned much of the garden
produce for winter time and we put the luscious fruit - peaches, pears,
plums, etc. into glass bottles to process them for winter eating. Camas
Prairie did not grow its own fruit, so the farmers bought it from the
peddlers who brought it to us during the later summer and early fall.
When the peddlers arrived, it was a red-letter day in my life. Different
peddlers brought salves, ointments, hairbrushes, etc., and sometimes
brought sweet chocolate bars which were rationed to last many days.
Looking back, I realize how much work my mother did and what wonderful
home-made bread, cakes, cookies, jellies, jams, relishes, and other
goodies she made. I don't remember her being praised much by her
immediate family for the good food, but praise was the company's role;
but if she looked at our faces when we gulped down the fresh-baked
cinnamon rolls, lathered with home-made butter, she must have felt
One of my regular chores was churning the home-made butter. The cream was
placed in a large, wooden chum and violently agitated by turning a handle
until the cream turned into butter and buttermilk-a delightful drink
filled with tiny pieces of butter. Perhaps, the taste for buttermilk is
best acquired in youth, for most of my friends dislike it, and I still
rate it a Number One. I also had other regular chores, when I was
available, for school lasted from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. , Monday through
Friday, (from the first grade through the eighth grades), and it took
time to get to school and back home again. One of my regular chores was
running the washing machine on wash day, which occurred every Monday. The
embroidered tea towels that were once popular, that started the chores of
each day of the week. For instance, Monday is for washing, Tuesday is for
ironing, etc., did not lie. That was the way life was lived in the
Erastus Nielson home. Not only was Monday washday, the same procedure was
followed week after week. After the clothes were sorted in to colored and
white groups, the spots were removed and the old-fashioned way, by
working on them. Sometimes, a spot could be removed by rubbing the home-
made soap on it scrubbing vigorously between the hands, but usually it
involved scrubbing the spots and very soiled areas on a scrubbing board.
Then the white clothes were placed in a large-metal boiler on top of the
kitchen range and boiled until mother said it was time to dip them out of
the steaming water with long, wooden sticks and placed them in the
washing machine. Nowadays, it is easy to run a washing machine, but in
the absence of electricity and the later gasoline machines, the energy
was then supplied by human hands. Back and forth, over and over again-I
would have shortened the never-ending rhythm, but my mother had firm
principles, and one of her favorite ones was "cleanliness is next to
Godliness." Our white clothes had to be sparkling white, regardless if
others saw them or not. Just in case, a spot was stubborn enough to be on
the white clothes still, they were hung in the sunshine to be on bleached
still more. Colored clothes, on the other hand, were hung in the shade so
they wouldn't fade.
Taking the clothes in from the line was never much of a job unless it was
winter time. Then the clothes were apt to be frozen into stiff, hard
blobs that froze our fingers as we picked them.
Like Monday, Tuesday had its own chores. Tuesday was ironing day. Mother
knew every right-thinking person did their ironing on Tuesday. The sad
irons were heated on top of that much used kitchen range and when they
were hot enough, one was removed with a special handle and used until it
cooled, at which time it was replaced on the heating surface and another
iron taken. I could never figure out why they were called "sad irons" by
the people I later knew. I know it was a sad time when I first struggled
with starched, dress clothes. Mother was perfectionist as she told me,
"If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right!" I could understand if
the term were "sad ironers", but I never saw an iron do anything to
sympathize with me. It never looked sad because I was sad!
My favorite working day occurred on Saturday. That was house cleaning
day, and I was scheduled to clean the four upstairs bedrooms. Then was
one of the times I interpreted the rules to fit my wants. It was frowned
upon, but I took many a reading break between the cleaning chores. I was
also reading literature that I knew wasn't meant for my eyes. Mother
deemed some of the novels and things she read too sophisticated for my
young eyes, and she carefully hid them. I found it delightful to find
them, sneak them upstairs, read them, and then carefully replace them in
the hiding places. If some of the stories were very good, I even shared
them with my cousins when it was story and movie sharing time at our
family get-togethers. While the adults were doing their things, the
younger generation would often gather together and take turns telling the
"latest". I can still remember some of us younger cousins weeping when
our cousin, Maurine Adams, now Mrs. Forest Dixon, dramatically told us
the movie, "Children of Divorce".
The events that tested my cousins and my theatrical skills the most,
however, was our all-out
stupendous, four-star funerals for the mice and birds that would have
been fated to end their lives unsung if we had not intervened. I well
remember the first funeral. The family was gathered at our house and
mother had trapped and killed a mouse. We children claimed its remains
and we vowed to give it a wonderful funeral, but first we had to have a
coffin. Finally a match box was found and excitedly decorated with odds
and ends of silks, satins, and pretty buttons that mother had saved from
her dress-making duties. It was a collage to marvel over and we did.
Tenderly putting the mouse in the coffin, we all traipsed to the field
for the funeral and burial. We were all mourners, we were all speakers,
and one eloquent speech followed another. When one speaker ran out of
words another took over and praised the mouse and promised to never
forget it. (And much to my surprise I never have.) Then came the songs. I
don't know what we sang, I could never carry a tune, but that didn't
matter to us as we wailed together. The important things were to sing
with feeling, to sing with pathos, to shed a tear now and then, and most
of all to sing loudly.
The event was not ended until the" the dearly beloved and departed" was
buried and its grave strewn with flowers and the handsomest weeds we
could find. Then was the time for mourners to file to the kitchen and ask
for milk and some sweets, as an after -the-funeral meal.
Since our extended family was usually the only people we regularly saw
socially, family get-togethers were marvelous, marvelous days for me. Our
nearest neighbor lived one mile away, and we seldom saw them, therefore,
I was usually shy with people outside the extended family. Later, of
course, this all changed. Outsiders became as dear as the family, but in
this early days of my life, I dearly loved "the family". I just didn't
know about the outsiders then. I believed relatives were duty bound to
love on another and to be loyal to each other's ego. If they were related
they must like me and I knew I liked them.
We cousins, aunts, and uncles, etc. did have fun together. Cards and
games were played, but the cousins made up things to do also. My girl
cousins and I used to play "paper dolls" for many hours. We cut men,
women, and children out of the mail-order catalogues, and then cut out
clothes, toys, and many other things for them. There were no ends of
adventures the dolls could have when we took them out of the shoe-box
houses they stayed in, and verbalized what they were doing as we moved
them about. Also in the summers, the girl cousins loved to make their
very own play house outside away from the adults. We scrounged all we
could from our mothers and made houses and play gardens that were simply
marvelous because we had all cooperated in making them. Aunts got into
our play when we coaxed them into letting is "style" their hair. We never
had to coax each other to style our own hair and parade in the dresses we
borrowed from our mothers. Parading was the most fun when we could corral
some adults into watching us.
Once a neighbor, Mr. Jim Dixon, made us very happy by admiring our mud
house. I don't remember how many cousins strayed into Mr. Dixon's field
and found the ideal spot to build a super, super large mud house with a
carefully laid out garden, planted with sticks next to it. When Mr. Dixon
found our masterpiece, he told my father, "I could see how much time they
had spent on it, so I worked around it for as many days as I could." I
have been complimented since then for doing various things in my life,
but never have I felt greater happiness because someone admired some
things I made (or had a share in making). I believe Lila, Oneita, Elma
Jean, and possible Earl and Arva Nielson helped with the mud sculpture,
and I think they were as happy as I was to be complimented on a mud
project. We usually didn't mention them to adults.
My father had a definite ideas about a girl's place in the work world.
They should stay in the house and help their mothers. But I longed to try
my hand in the work world outside. I wheedled, I begged, I coaxed, I used
every wile I could, and one day my father weakened and said I could try
driving the "slip" horses while we hayed. I was in seventh heaven. I
could do nearly anything just like my dad liked it done. It was so much
fun to be part of the bantering conversation that went on between my
brother, father and the other men in the haying crew.
I almost got banished into the house again for being a smart aleck. My
Uncle Elmer always loved to tease me. For instance, he playfully called
me "Grandmother" because I made such a fuss over my younger cousins. Now
he teased me about not knowing enough to know when to pull the trip rope
and release the hay for the adult on top of the haystack to spread. For
days this went on, and then one day he was waiting for the load and gave
me his teasing grin. I just couldn't help it. I spread the whole, large
load of had directly over his head. Then I panicked. Supposed he was
hurt, couldn't get out, and if he did get out, what would he say? I was
tremendously relieved to see him emerge shaking hay from himself but
still in a good mood. When I looked at my father, however I knew that my
father, who rarely said a cross word to his children, was going to let
his "Pet" have it.
I did some fast talking to stay outside, but as my father said, "You
should have been the boy. You like horses much more than your brother,
Orvil does!"
All should have ended well, but there came a day when I wanted to return
to the house and work with mother. Not that I didn't actually prefer the
outside work, but I grew to hate being so dirty, always being sunburned,
having my hair get messed up, and in general, looking and feeling most
unglamorous. I approached my father about returning to the role he had
once insisted I play, but it was too late. I had become too valuable
outside. I could now do work they would have to hire a man to do, and
cash was very scarce in our home.
Now it was his turn to appeal to me to make me satisfied with the work I
was doing. "You know you like the wages I pay you," he said. "Besides,
you do things like I like them done." I could never resist money,
especially with praise joined to it. Neither of us ever thought that I
was working for very cut-rate wages, compared to the men. We both felt he
was most generous. After all, if he wanted to he could tell me to do it
for nothing. That was the way life was for the children we knew.
Life has been kind to me since leaving the Prairie. But I've often wished
I could relive just one more Idaho twilight, (the hour I liked best),
surrounded by my family in the Little House On The Prairie.

Verda Nielson Gold

Mom's brother, Lewis Adams lived on the Prairie. He had married Dad's
sister Hazel Nielson. My parents met at their home. They lived in a
region close to Manard. They liked each other and saw each other's need.
Ferman, without a mother and Florence, Alma, George, and Claude without a
father. They loved each other and were married.
They lived in dad's home that was located about five miles east of
Manard. They had some very nice neighbors, Krahns and the Bahrs -
wonderful, industrious people.
We lived there until 1925. We had the usual prairie house with a high
pitched roof to shed the snow, about two rooms, a steep staircase that we
used to slide down on our stomachs, and a cellar. Dad made a lean-to
making more room.
Our family consisted of our parents, Ferman Nielson, Florence Robertson,
Alma, George, and Claude Robertson.
Then Norman was born in Blaine County. I, Verda, was born in the same
house, the same place. But I was born in Camas County because they had
changed the counties about 1917. Then Morris, Venoy, and Darral were
born. Darral had a twin named Carra!. Darral weighed seven pounds and
Carral weighed three pounds. The doctor said Darrel was full time, but
Carral was premature. She lived only twenty-three days.
Mom got blood clots in her leg and turned very sick. She couldn't take
care of her baby boy so Josh and Lizzie Thurber took Darral and cared for
him for about seven months. Can you imagine having to give him back after
loving and caring for him. (My sister Flossie had a leakage of the heart,
caused from an earlier illness of scarlet fever.)
Little Carral was buried in Manard Cemetery. Her funeral was held in our
home, so Mom could hear it. I was pleased that she was buried in the
cemetery. I was so worried that she would be buried at home and would be
dug up by coyotes.
Mom laid barely living. They told them to feed her lightly.
A doctor by the name of Higg heard that she was sick and came to see her.
He said, "Addie, what are you doing there?"
She looked very sick and malnourished. He asked her what her diet was and
Dad said, "Mostly chicken soup."
He told dad to butcher his best beef and feed her all she could tolerate.
Mom said that she knew that all that had kept her alive was the apples
she had had the kids sneak her from the cellar.
Dad was a good Dad, loving and kind, with all those kids, he never ever
spanked them. Dad and the boys worked hard farming and caring for the
cattle. We kids grew and went to school at Lincoln Avenue in one room.
When I started to school, Jesse Ferguson was the teacher.
School to me was not much different than home. I was the only girl with
nine boys! I sat on the teachers lap while they had "Spelling Bees".
Mom was lucky to have a plunger washer. Morris and I liked to drink out
of vanilla bottles. We
would get water from the well and drop the bottles in the well. Then the
well would send them back to us. It was an artesian well.
We attended church at Manard. Dad worked as Sunday School Superintendent.
Mom worked with the music.
When I was about seven we moved to Grandpa Nielson's lovely home. It was
small. My Grandpa Nielson, Rasmus Marius P. Nielson, was now dead and
buried in Manard Cemetery. He died of spotted fever. My Uncle Erastus now
owned it. The house is now part of the Kevin home at Springdale.
We attended Springdale school in the school house which is now barely
standing. It was nice, but still I was the only one in my class for at
least a year. Helen, LaVern Shearer, and Ruth Richards were in the
My dear Mom was really a hard worker and did all she could to keep her
family well fed and clothed. She sewed, patched, and remade clothes for
her family. She also knitted hats and mittens.
We loved our new home. We had a creek near by for summer time. In the
winter the boys would ski down the rim rock on barrel stays.
Mother was musically talented, so Dad bought a piano. She played the
piano, Jews harp, harmonica, and accordion. Claude and Alma played the
harp too. They bought a violin for George, and he learned to play well.
The second winter we were there, I had a slight sore throat. Dr.
Willencheck was tending a boy named Jack Shearer, who had scarlet fever.
He stopped to check me as I had stayed home from school. He took a spoon,
without washing his hands, turned the spoon, and depressed my tongue.
Seven days later, I had the most terrible sore throat - the beginning of
scarlet fever. (The Robertson children had all had scarlet fever which
left Flossie with leakage of the heart. She was always sick.) All the
Nielsons contracted the disease. Little Carl was about seven months old.
He and I were so sick they feared for our lives. The vaccine shots
partially paralyzed their bodies. Carl laid on his head and heels for
weeks. He was so sick he could not nurse and Mom did not have a breast
pump. A neighbor had a dog pup and it nursed until someone got her a
breast pump so she could keep her milk for Carl. He laid almost
motionless. When he started getting well, he cried day after day.
Florence played the piano beautifully so she would lay Carl close by, and
he would listen at length. Florence was an especially beautiful girl. She
had golden, blonde hair like my daughter, Julie.
Dad milked to supply us with milk. He would sell the cream to buy
groceries. He could not sell it at this time because it was called
contaminated. Our dear Uncle Erastus would ride a horse over in
temperatures around 30 below and milk our cows. He would separate the
cream, and sell it, so he could buy groceries for us. Such a wonderful
thing to do for us!
When our quarantine was over, we needed to fumigate. Our good neighbor,
James Vandiver, invited us to stay all night with them. He was a
generous, wonderful widower who lived a few miles away with his sons,
Clifford Merrill, Herschel, and Willis. His wife had died at the birth of
a baby daughter, Edna. The baby was entrusted to Mr. and Mrs. John Bahr
who adopted her. Her sisters, Mae and Loree lived with families at
As the winter wore on, Florence, age seventeen continued to get sicker
and died. I remember how hard my mom cried. We held her funeral at Uncle
Erastus and Aunt Edna's. Their home was beautiful. She was such a good
decorator and house keeper. She had a few beautiful potted geraniums.
Florance was buried at the Manard Cemetery. There was a lot of snow and
it was very cold. We went in a horse drawn sled with blankets and hot
rocks to keep us warm. A friend of hers, Bob Frostensen with his friends
dug her grave. It must have been a hard task because the ground was
frozen solid. I thanked him for that and he said he was glad to do it.
Grandpa Rasmus Marius Nielson, his brother Soren Nielson, Mom's Uncle
Alex Adams, Uncle Erastus and Edna's sons, Eldon and Marvin, and Uncle
Lewis and Aunt Hazel's baby boy, Beverly are also buried there. When he
was born Aunt Hazel had blood clots in her leg and had to have it
removed. Poor darling, she was so sweet and talented.
Mom, five feet, two inches, ninety-seven pounds, broke her arm cranking
the car. It kicked back. Lula Packham came to help out and to see that we
got bathed, our toe nails cut and any and all the things she could do to
help. Grandma Adams sent my mom's young brother Vernon to come and help.
He mixed bread, which was the main stay for a large family. Mom baked a
fifty pound bag of flour a week.
Dad, large - five feet, ten and a half inches, one hundred-eighty pounds,
worked constantly to find work with horses and slip scraper to gain a
livelihood for his large family, or to get logs from
the mountains to make derricks.
My mom, Lydia Adeline - "Addy Little Line" - my brothers used to tease
her, when she lived on the Prairie, weighed ninety-seven pounds and wore
a size four and a half shoe, was very ambitious. She worked constantly,
running from one task to another. We would say, "Mom slow down." and she
would say, "If I do I may not get started again."
Mom could do anything and there was never a task she wouldn't try to do.
She cut hair, half soled shoes, sewed all types of clothing for her
family, including making over suits. She could harness a horse and hitch
them to a buggy. We didn't always have an available car. In the fall,
fruit peddlers would come. Mom bought everything she could can, apples,
plums, I especially remember one had a watermelon. I saved the seeds,
hoping to plant them by the creek. Of course, it was an impossible
thought, they would not have grown. But they were put to good use. Mom
had this wonderful, old Dr. Book. We loved to look at all the bodies with
chicken pox, measles, mumps, etc. fully pictured. One of my little
brothers had a kidney infection and said, "Oh, if only I had some
watermelon seeds, I could help him." And of course, I thought of my
brewed watermelon seeds.
I, Verda was baptized in a drain ditch north of our place. Just Dad and I
attended. I don't know what apparel I wore, but Dad wore only his long-
legged, white underwear. I had been taught that when Christ was baptized
a white dove appeared. I "knew" that when I was baptized a white dove
appeared also. I never mentioned it to anyone, but about forty years
later I decided it must have been a sandhill crane not a dove.
When hard times come we were most humble. I loved the times when we
turned the backs of our chairs to the table and turned our plates upside
down until after prayer was said, with us kneeling to the chair. When we
were young Mom used to sit in a chair and have us little ones at her
knees every night for prayers. Prayer was my constant companion when I
was little. When Morris and I would have to go out at night and get wood,
we would always pray that the coyotes wouldn't get us. What a comfort is
Our church in Manard Hall was the center for entertainment and fun times.
Church, Primary, M.I.A., dances, 24th of July celebrations, basketball
all centered at Manard Hall. It was well built by the settlers and now
resides in Fairfield.
My parents liked the family to have fun, and Dad was always willing to
take us. A chatauqia came to Fairfield. Dad took us to see this
entertaining drama, with painted ladies and suave young men with black
mustaches. I remember seeing them in a stock car on the railroad track.
They also may have entertained at Manard Hall.
He took us to Gooding to see a circus. All the wild, caged animals and
performers paraded down Main Street. Ethel Merman, in her gaudy,
glamorous array, on an elephant belted out a song. There were aerial acts
and animals. It was high tension for us as there was a story that a lion
had escaped and killed a little girl. A daring clown kissed a woman, and
her jealous husband chased him as far as we could see.
The folks who lived at Manard were neighborly, good, kind, industrious
people, who cared about one another and were eager to assist when the
opportunity arose. A young, eight year old, I was when I lived there. I
am bonded to the area and other people who lived there.
Have you ever been in Camas Prairie in the spring?
Have you walked the "snow" break up in the spring?
Have you hopped from snow clod to snow clod home from school?
And how your heart will zing
As you sink in water in between.
What a joyful, happy place!
A smile will appear on your face,
As you realize that it is spring!
Fence posts can once more come in view
And you know that flowers will now come through.
There will be Buttercups, Pansies, Sego Lilies, Daisies, and Johnny
Jump Ups, too
And as far as you can view, a sea of Camas Blue,
God's great scene has been given you
As you view as royalty, on Johnson Hill.
It's spring time on Camas,
What a thrill!
The Olson Family
Vanita Helms

Peter Olson came to America from Sweden around 1881. Erida (Wallin) -
born on August 23, 1862, came across the United States to Colorado in
1883, knowing no English. They married a year later. Peter was working in
the Colorado mines. Their first son, Albert died at age five months. (He
was a blue baby.) April 1887, a second son, also named Albert was born.
Between 1888 and 1892 the family lived in Butte, Montana, where Peter
worked in the mines. My father, Victor Hugo, was born May 7,1892. In
1901, when my father, Hugo was nine years old, the family moved by
covered wagon - intending to go to Wallace, Idaho. They came by way of
Camas Prairie. They met a Swedish family by the name of Huldstrom who
lived on what we knew as the Ed Reagan place. My grandparents evidently
fell in love with Camas Prairie, and homesteaded about a mile south of
the Huldstroms. They moved a house about a mile south across the wild hay
meadow to about a 1/2 mile north of the Malad River. Mr. Olson worked in
the mines near Alturas and Hailey area and Grandma used to drive a spring
wagon and team up to the mines, many times with her two little boys to
bring Mr. Olson home irregularly. Peter was prone to periods of
depression and in October of 1912 he went out in the field south of the
home and committed suicide. The Mormon people helped Grandma lay him out
and bury him.
Mrs. Olson and her two sons carried on the work on the "Riverside Ranch".
She also took in school teachers as boarders. My father, Hugo was ten
then and Albert was five years older. Albert went to Barber College in
Weiser, Idaho. My father cowboyed and ran the ranch. Peter Olson and his
boys worked on the canal that ran through the Olson ranch about a block
north of the Olson house, coming from the Reservoir about three miles to
the west, to northeast where the many irrigation ditches took off to the
farms along the way.
I remember staying with Grandma Olson a lot when I was growing up and
looking out the north upstairs window across the canal and the wild hay
meadows, hearing the red-winged blackbirds chorus their "wh-eesh" in the
willows on the canal bank and seeing the seasonal changes of "Old Soldier
Mountain" which was about eight or nine miles north. The wild hay meadows
were flooded from Soldier Creek in the spring break-up and run-off as
snow frequently covered the fence posts.
Grandma's house was of rough-weathered, brown, upright boards. A two-
storied house with some kind of vine with tiny pink, blue, and lavender
flowers on it, climbing all around the east front and southside of the
house. Across the path on the south side a huge yellow rose bush, at
least twelve or more feet by eight feet spread out into the back yard. In
the front yard were several pink rose bushes, a large crabapple tree, and
many red currant and gooseberry bushes along the path to the front gate.
North and west of the house was a large garden spot and between the
garden and canal bank was a cement root, and canned fruit cellar dug in
the natural elevation of the ground.
Inside of the house was comfortable, homey, and well papered. I remember
the upstairs was lined on the walls with cheese cloth. There was some
kind of stuffing for insulation between the wall and the cheese cloth,
and wallpaper was put over this. When the wind blew, the wall rippled.
My mother, Elva Barrett, came to teach in the Springdale School in 1913.
She taught there two years, then taught in the Manard School and boarded
at Grandma Olsons. Christmas Day 1915, my parents Elva and Hugo eloped to
Shoshone, Idaho, were married by a Justice of the Peace and then
continued on to her parents in Wendell, Idaho. Elva continued to teach
until 1919. I was born January 13, 1920 in the northeast corner of
Grandma's house, 1/4 mile west of the Manard settlement.
Soon after the Olson "Riverside Ranch" was sold, and for two years my
parents, Grandma and I lived in a house two miles due east of Manard. My
father homesteaded land one mile east of Manard and moved a house sitting
in the center of Manard to a foundation made on this homestead. This
house, moved from the center of Manard, had been built by Lyman Dixon.
His father had also built a house on the same plan at Fir Grove which was
seven miles south through the hills from Manard. The Olson family moved
from the cramped quarters to their new home when I was about two years
old. Meanwhile, the Riverside Ranch was foreclosed and Grandma and Uncle
Albert had moved back to their original home. Uncle Albert was overseas
in France during World War I.
When this house burned down September 8, 1934, my father made
arrangements to move the long vacant house at Fir Grove across the
icebound Mormon Reservoir that November to the site of the burned down
house. It was discovered it was four feet larger on each side than the
other house,
so new foundations had to be cemented. Sam Lily started the carpenter
work in the spring of 1935 and finished four bedrooms upstairs, two
dormer windows, and the refinishing of the rooms downstairs during the
Since the fire had destroyed all of the large horse barn, the woodshed
full of winter wood, a large chicken coop, and the garage with our Nash
Sedan car, we lived through the winter in a two story house which had
been used for many years as a granary. My father had pneumonia many times
the following year and died there, August 30, 1935. Mother continued
living on the ranch with us five children and the help of hired men. At
the time I was fifteen, Victor eleven, Valene ten, Violet eight, and
Virgie five. We stayed for two years and then the farm was taken over by
the Federal Land Bank. She moved back to the Barrett Ranch in Wendell in
November 1937.
The original "Riverside Ranch" had been taken over by the State Land
Board after my father's death, and they had a big farm auction. Grandma
Olson returned to living in San Diego where she had spent her winters for
several years, only coming to Camas Prairie in the summer months to be
with family and friends. Albert, Nora, and two small children went to
northern Montana. He had married a former Manard school teacher in 1931,
by the name of Nora Wold. She had taught in 1922. They had two girls,
Mary Joann and Carol. Albert died May 1936, having worked on the Fort
Peck Dam in eastern Montana.
Around 1923-24 my father had built a large red milking barn with full
hayloft and corrugated metal roof which the sun hit and was a very
distinct landmark all over, especially looking down coming into the
valley from the Johnson Hill southeast of us.
I remember taking the cows in the mornings to Grandma's place one and
half miles to the west when I was four or five years old on an old horse
named Queen. She did more work herding them than I did. Queen in her
early days had been a trained cutting and bucking horse.
One day in the fall as I went home by the Manard School I stopped to hear
the children singing. One of the teaches came out and asked me if I
wanted something. In my frustration I kicked Old Queen and we bucked
gently down the road, causing much merriment to the children peeking out
the window (I'm sure). It was my job for many years to ride Old Queen and
take the cows to pasture before school and bring them home after school.
From age twelve to seventeen my summers were usually spent raking hay on
a hayrake behind a slow, stubborn, old, white horse named Chub. After
raking hay I ran one of the buckrakes to bring in the alfalfa and wild
hay from the fields to be stacked. Some early springs I ran a spring-
tooth harrow over the alfalfa fields to loosen the ground. I also learned
to milk cows (we had a milking machine) as did the other children.
Grandma Olson was a frequent sight in her old buggy with Old Belle (who
lived to be thirty-one years old - a great age for a horse). She went to
different fishing holes along the Malad River which ran south of our
house across the Prairie. She always came home with a string of fish,
usually trout though sometimes perch. She seemed to be able to catch fish
when no one else could. Sometimes we took a little lunch, and I would
spend the time playing in the sand as my brother, some of my sister, or I
went with her. She usually went two or three times a week in the
afternoon to catch her string.
In June 1929, Daddy, Mother, Victor (five years old), and I (nine years
old), took a camping trip to Yellowstone Park. They planned to sleep in a
tent which fastened onto the car, and my brother and I were to sleep in
the car. Just inside the Park the transmission went out on the Essex and
we were stranded for ten days waiting for repairs from Montana. Daddy
built a square bedroom, covering it with a tarpaulin and fastened the car
tent to it. We had many adventures with the bears while there, but
finally got home having only planned to stay five days.
September 13 of that year when I got home from school, Mother greeted me
from the bedroom with a new baby girl to be named Virgie Elva. It was
certainly a mystery to me then.
The next June, I stayed home. Grandma Olson came to stay with me and care
for baby Virgie while the folks, with Victor, Valene and Violet went to
the west coast to visit relatives, friends, and see the Rose Parade. It
was my job to feed and care for several hundred turkey poults which
Mother had raised every year for many years.
After the eighth grade I boarded in Fairfield for the first three years
of my high school years. In 1937 Manard School closed, and the children
were bussed into town. In the winter Mother moved us into town and all
six of us roomed in one section of the original Mormon church building
with our close Manard neighbors, the Packhams, who also lived there
during the winter months. The large Mormon church building from Manard
had been moved to Fairfield a couple of years before. In the
fall of 1937 Mother moved to Wendell, away from Manard forever. I went to
Gooding College in 1937-38, the last year the college existed.
Sometime in the 1970's Aunt Nora Olson came to visit, and we visited the
Manard School building. It was a very sad place as it was being used as a
machine shed with one side torn out. But the old coal shed was still
standing and yielding a metal mailbox, complete with a bird's nest, and
the large, written name of "Albert Olson" on the side in Aunt Nora's
handwriting. Nora and Albert had moved to Montana in 1935 where he worked
on the new Fort Peck Dam project. In 1936 he died of pneumonia just nine
months after my father. Nora and their girls moved back to North Dakota
near her family. She worked and raised her daughters there.
My mother raised her family in Wendell, finally selling the ranch around
1943. She moved to Twin Falls, Idaho where she worked as janitor of the
First Christian Church for many years. She was a gifted musician and many
will remember her contralto singing voice and piano playing.
She died in September 1978 and is buried by Hugo and her parents in the
Wendell Cemetery. Grandma Olson died October 23, 1950 at age eighty-eight
years and two months of age. My mother was eighty-four at death and my
father was forty-three.
I married and have three sons and a daughter, Valene. I still live in
Twin Falls.
Victor was killed in a tragic car accident near his home in Apple Valley,
California at the age of forty-three. His widow, Catherine still lives
there. They had two sons. Valene and James Couch have five children. Our
sister Violet died in childbirth in 1944. Virgie had four children and
lives in Billings, Montana.
I remember Uncle Joe Thurber, who ran a blacksmith shop in the center of
Manard across from the Mormon church building and dear old Aunt Annie,
his wife. He always had horehound candy for us. I could not see why he
liked to suck it.
The girls and boys closest to my age that I remember most vividly were
Emily and Don Packham, Donna and Ilene Lee, Melba Moon, Gwen and Leah
Dixon, Clifton and Dwight Dixon, Herbert and Ed Reagan, LaValle Robinson,
A.K. and Alveretta Thurber, and Anna Frostensen.
We had a neighbor 1/4 mile through the alfalfa field east of our home by
the name of Jens Jensen. He was a small man, a bachelor, but he loved
huge horses. He loved to cowboy in all the round-ups and brandings. We
had a perennial hired hand, also a bachelor, named Dan Patterson, who
joked about being in love with all the teachers who boarded at Grandma
Olson's. He was a

very jolly, joking person who always ate ice cream by large spoonsful and
then held his temples in pain. He said he could not taste it unless he
Our closest and dearest neighbors were the Packham Family, and I had a
dear friend in Mildred Robinson. All the above mentioned families were
good neighbors and I liked them all.

Added Remembrances by Vanita Helms

I remember riding Dessie the seven miles to Fir Grove to visit Elma Jean,
Fae and Carol Nielson. They were daughters of Elmer and Jane Nielson who
were family friends. We would play between home and Fir Grove.
I remember across the river south of our home was Ivan and Alberta
Nielson's home. Lila, Onita, and Earl their younger brother went to
school in Manard. North and east of us lived the Erastus Nielson Family.
Their daughter, June was just older than me and she rode a horse to
school at Manard, past our house. Mrs. Nielson did beautiful handiwork,
embroidery and quilts, which I admired very much.
I remember being about the biggest and tallest one in school when in the
fifth and sixth grades. When we played "Pump-pump-pull-away" all the kids
would chase me to catch me, and because I was larger they called me
"Fatty". I really wasn't.
I remember playing with Emily Packham at her home when about nine or ten.
When I was climbing over a fence, I got my arm hung on a barbed wire.
Mrs. Packham helped me off the barb, treated and bandaged it. I still
have the scar. (No tetanus shot and it is a wonder -from the rusty wire.)
I remember when I was four years old, just before I turned five in
January, Mother told me Santa was coming to our house Christmas Eve. I
was to go to the door and let him in. I was afraid, having only known
about him from pictures. So as I protested and mother coaxed, I finally
went to the door, opened it cautiously, peeked out - slammed it and
dashed back yelling, "YEP, IT'S HIM!"
More coaxing finally go the door open and Santa (who was our little
Danish neighbor Jens Jensen) was let in. He was pulling a sled and on it
was a lovely doll. Jens was not exactly dressed like the pictures of
Santa, but he wasn't in his usual cowboy hat either. So he looked
different and a little more like Santa.
I remember playing basketball in the Manard Hall during school noon
hours, running across the approximately two blocks from the school house
when it was crisp and snowy and hating to quit playing to go back to
school at the end of the hour.
I remember the teacher heating our soup or stew in the winter on the
huge, pot-belly stove with a tall, round, steel casing around it, in the
room for the fifth through eighth grades. Sometimes, we put benches
around it to keep warm while we studied.
My father Hugo combined grain all around the area starting in August.
September 8, 1934 our house burned down. Mother and I looked out the
north window and saw Dwight Dixon jump off a horse, tie it to one post,
change his mind, go a few posts east, retie it, and change his mind
We thought his actions were strange so we went to the door to ask. He
pointed to the huge column of black smoke pouring out of the garage back
of the house. It had started from a gas engine oil fire. It burned so hot
that it spread to the house also. We rushed to get as much as possible
out of the house. I remember carrying out a cotton mattress which I
couldn't have possibly lifted any other time. It burned our Nash car and
many boxes containing quarts of freshly canned fruit, waiting to be
transported to the cellar on Grandma Olson's place. Most of the things in
the house were saved. The manure caught fire in the barnyard, but
sheepmen in the area brought water wagons in and dumped water in the
smoldering manure thus saving the granaries and cow barn. We children
were farmed out to neighbors like the Packhams and I stayed at
Frostensens. I'll never forget seeing the red embers in the middle of the
night from Frostensens bedroom window.
I remember a teacher, Mr. Lyman Calder, who taught the upper grades when
I was about eight years old. He boarded at Grandma Olson's and as my
brother and I visited there a lot he used to sing and play his banjo. One
particular song he sang was "Get Away Old Man, Get Away". Victor, my
brother who was only four would become very upset at his singing of this
particular song and would really start to cry. He thought he meant him!
I remember my mother, Elva Olson was clerk of the school board for many
years, and I remember Mr. Packham was too. Being clerk sometimes seemed
to be a difficult job, but she insisted on many things. One was always
hiring teachers who could play the piano and lead music
in the school curriculum.
I remember playing with Melba Moon, who lived just past or mailbox a
quarter of a mile west of us. She was younger than me, but after
delivering the cows to pasture in the summer months when I was nine or
ten, it was always fun to stop there on the way home and play awhile. One
time when I stopped there the sheriff was there. Someone had come to
their house when they were not home, cut up a lot of things, ruined some
furniture, and planted matches around the chimney so the ceiling would
catch fire. They discovered it before any serious fire damage occurred. I
was very excited about it all and was very curious. Mother sent Victor up
the road to tell me to come home immediately. I told him I wanted to stay
awhile and sent him home to tell Mother, but I knew I had to mind too,
about the time he made it home, I started home. Well, I got the only
spanking out behind the garage that I ever remember getting. They never
found out who did the damage at Moon's, but presumed it was some jealous
relatives who lived elsewhere, as far as I can remember.
I remember that my parents were friends of the Huldstroms, the first
people who inspired Grandma and Grandpa to settle in Camas Prairie at the
Manard site. Huldstroms had moved to Boise many years before, but Grandma
went over to visit them nearly every summer. Sometimes I went along with
her. She also visited Caroline Butler Thurber, sister of Jane Neilsen,
and her family. I remember watching my first fireworks on the 4th of July
in Boise from the front of the Thurber house. Other years after, my
father bought fireworks and we would have a miniature fireworks display
at home or at Grandma's ranch. My mother and father were also good
friends with Eva and Elva Labrum, twin sisters, and their family who had
also moved to Boise years before.
I remember my mother playing piano in the Manard Hall and Albert "Slim"
Larsen playing his violin at dances. In those days, when I was little,
children came along to the dances and we were bedded down in some comer
to watch the dance and fall asleep.
I remember in early spring that the lanes beside our roads east of Manard
were full of tiny, lavender and purple violas, and tiny, yellow
buttercups. They were wild and appeared every year after the snow left.
Later the white and purple sago lily and wild lupines appeared. Around
Memorial Day after the spring break-up and run off the meadows were
flooded by Soldier Creek and north of Grandma's house the meadows were
blue with Camas flowers. Later in June I remember seeing the Indians come
in their wagons and dig the Camas roots which they dried to eat.
My father and mother were active in Grange in my younger days. He was
also a member of the Cattle Association, running range cattle in the
south hills in the spring and to the north hills in the summer. He also
kept the Mormon Reservoir books for many years.
I remember Mr. and Mrs. John Painter farmed and ran cattle. They lived
south of Manard across the many bridges of the Malad River. They were
very good friends of my parents, so I sometimes spent quite a lot of time
at their house. Mrs. Painter colored her hair which was cut like a
"dutch-boy" bob. One never knew what color it would be when next you saw
her. They had no children, but a boy they wanted to adopt went to Manard
School for awhile.
Hugo Olson's Dairy Barn.
New milder, one of the first on the prairie

  Hugo Olson's first Model T Ford.
Summer of 1936
Vanita Olsen Helms

Camas Prairie! Oh my beautiful Camas Prairie!
When I was five years old my parents had taken me to Boise to have my
tonsils removed, and as we drove home days later over the Johnson Hill to
the south of the valley, I sat up in the back seat of the car, clapped my
hands, and croaked, "My beautiful Camas Prairie, my beautiful Camas
Camas Prairie is a myriad patchwork of bright green alfalfa fields and
pale green grain fields in the early spring which turn to gold as the
fall season comes on. Most of the grain was dry farming. Alfalfa fields
along Camas Creek were irrigated by water from the Mormon Reservoir by a
canal which ran from the west to the east above the river near the
central area of the valley. The rest of the checkerboard of color is
brown summer fallow. This checkerboard covers the valley of about thirty-
six miles long and from south to north about nine miles wide below the
One could look down onto the prairie and see the shiny, corrugated roof
of the large, red barn my father built for a milking barn with a high hay
loft above. It was like a beacon when the sun hit it. My family owned and
leased from fifteen hundred to two thousand acres, some in dry farming
wheat, some in irrigated alfalfa, some in wild hay or pasture, and some
still in sage brush. In the spring the snow run-off from the northern
mountains covered lots of fields, making the wild hay fields or meadows
which were cut when they dried off around August. This feed was very rich
and fattening for the cattle.
Our home was about seven miles southeast of the town of Fairfield, the
county seat, and was about one mile east of the Manard school house. In
the spring, the run-off came across the meadows and into the Malad River,
which ran west to east through the prairie, about a half mile south of my
grandmother's house, which was about a quarter mile west of the Manard
school house.
Her home consisted of two upstairs bedrooms, downstairs was one bedroom,
the living room, pantry, and kitchen which had a hand pump in the sink to
pump water. South of the house were the ice house in the log horse barn,
log shop, chicken coop, and machine sheds and granaries. There was also a
garage, pigpen, and barn with a large yard for the haystack behind it.
The farm had been homesteaded by my father's parents, Peter and Erika
Wallen Olsen, in 1901 with the house moved to that location later.
There was a large space for a garden on the north and west side of the
house, and above the garden on the north ran the canal. Between the
garden and canal was a cement cellar my father had built to store glass-
canned and winter fresh vegetables and fruit. The river was about a half
mile south of the house with an alfalfa field in between. The other side
of the canal to the north was a sagebrush pasture. Across a road were
wild hayfields which were under water in the spring run-off and became a
sea of blue camas flowers which the Indians came and harvested for the
bulbs they used for food. To the west of the house was alfalfa. Farther
west wild hayfields with sections separated by willows, where the creeks
ran full in the spring.
From the time Vanita was twelve years old she helped in the haying in the
summer. She drove an old, stiff, white horse named "Chub" on a hayrake
and later drove a team on the bullrake to pick up the hay and take it to
the stack to put on the slings to be hauled up by the derrick horse on to
the stack.
The valley is a mile high in altitude and a series of peaks to the north
was called Old Soldier Mountain, which is a mile higher. From October or
November until June or July the peaks were covered with snow. To the east
of the peaks are the Smokey Mountains, Couch Summit into Big Smokey
Creek, and Wells Summit into Little Smokey Creek where the cow camp was.
The CCC camp, a government program for men, was located up Big Smokey
during the 1930's. We made trips up into the Soldier Creek area in the
summer and fall to picnic. We got large loads of firewood for our home
heating and cook stoves up Deer Creek. It was a beautiful wooded country
with fir, pine, quaking aspen trees, willows, sagebrush, and buckbrush.
The roads were narrow, sandy, and winding which necessitated one driving
very carefully to the back side of Soldier down Big or Little Smokey.
Our father died August 30, 1935. After his death mother couldn't keep up
the ranch we lived on, so in the fall of 1937 she moved to her original
family farm one and a half miles southwest of Wendell, where the climate
was milder and the altitude much lower. Beans, sugar beets, and alfalfa
were the main crops.
Vanita was the oldest of five children and was going to college at this
time in Gooding. Mother had offered $600.00 to Federal Land Bank to clear
the debt on the Manard farm but they refused. At a sheriff's sale it sold
for $500.00.
Vanita was fifteen years old when our father died. Victor was twelve,
Valene almost eleven, Violet was nine, and Virgie almost six. We lived on
the Manard farm until the fall (November) of 1937.
To the west of the house was a wheat field and to the east were alfalfa
fields which bordered the ranch of a lone bachelor neighbor named Jens
Jenses. He lived in a little log house and owned six or eight large
Percheron horses. He was a small man about five foot four or five inches
tall. He loved his horses and farmed with them. He also loved cowboy
riding. To the south of our house and red barn about a half mile, was the
Malad River with the thick growth of willows. Across the river and willow
area were more pastures, with land stretching about one half mile to the
south foothills. The farm we lived on had been homesteaded by my parents
in 1920.
The population of the Camas county was around four hundred in 1936.
Fairfield had a post office, hardware-mortuary, two grocery stores, two
garage-gas stations, a blacksmith and farm repair shop, a pool hall,
grain elevator, and a newspaper called the Camas County Courier. There
was a grade school, a high school, the county building, a community
church, a drug store, and the Mormon church. This church was held in the
Old Manard Hall which had been moved from Manard a few years before.
There were several small businesses also. About ten miles west of town
was the Corral post office. It had a store, and gas station. Several
miles west of the this was Hill City which had a few residences, a grain
elevator, a store with the post office.
There were some other grain elevators at Selby, east of Fairfield, and
one at Rands Crossing. About two miles north of Fairfield was the town of
Soldier. It was the oldest, settled town on the Prairie. A few miles
north were the low foothills of Soldier Mountain. This was all named for
the historic, early battles between the U. S. Calvary Soldiers and the
Bannock-Shoshone Indians. There were also Deer Creek, Elk Creek, and a
hot springs area that someone had cemented in. That became the Saturday
"bath house". This provided much enjoyment during the summer months.
There were a few hot, artesian wells and springs across the west end of
the Prairie. The rest of the valley was covered by farms and ranches
stretching into the foothills.
Manard was a small town with a grade school, store, post office, the
Recreation Hall, and a half dozen homes. Our family went to school there
until it was consolidated with the Fairfield school system. Then it was
necessary for mother to move to town with the children to attend school
that winter.
In the winter when we usually had lots of snow, we rode horses, skied, or
walked on the crust for the mile or so to school. We milked cows, tended
traps catching muskrat and rabbits. Once we caught a mink which brought
five dollars for the skin. Muskrats were skinned and stretched over a "v"
shaped board. We got about sixty-five cents each for these. The rabbits
we skinned and fed to the chickens. We broke glass on rocks to make
roughage their gizzards. Sometimes we raised turkeys and had to keep
skunks and coyotes away from them at night.
Sometimes we had as many as twelve hired men working for us to take care
of the farming. Mother cooked for all of them. I remember one man, Dan
Patterson, who tended the horses. We milked twenty to thirty cows and ran
a small bunch of range cattle. In June, we rounded them up in the south
hills and took them to the north hills until fall. We also had a large
herd of horse, many were in matching pairs. Father used eight of them to
pull one of the first combines in the area. Father harvested grain in the
Manard area and in the east end, as well as the dry farm area we called
the Lindstedt place. All this came to an end soon after father's death.
William and Luella Packham

W.J. Packham and his wife Luella, came to Camas Prairie July 24,1917 from
Rupert, trading their forty acre farm there for one hundred and twenty
acres in the Manard area owned by Phil Borup. The family arrived late in
the afternoon of the Pioneer Day celebration, driving two horse-drawn
wagons loaded with household items, chickens, and farming paraphernalia
hanging from the sides. The wagons were driven by Luella and their twelve
year old daughter, Lula. W. J. and five year old son, Charles, followed
on horse back, driving cattle and horses. Seven year old Dora resented
the laughter of the happy crowd and felt it was aimed at their gypsy-like
entourage through the town of Manard. The parents and their six children
were glad to reach their destination after traveling six difficult, hot
days. The children were Lula twelve, Thelma ten, Dora seven, Charles
five, Earl three, and LeRoy one. This was the rugged, but happy years on
the Camas Prairie.
The family engaged in farming, raising some sheep, milking cows, raising
chickens, turkeys, and hogs for sale for the family livelihood. The farm
was irrigated from the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company. The
family was always active in the L.D.S. Church and community activities.
W. J. served as the Ward Clerk in the Manard Ward until the it was
disorganized in 1933 when the Ward Membership moved to the Fairfield
Ward. Luella served as Relief Society President and other positions.
The winter of 1918 was the winter of the flu epidemic. All of the family
were ill but W. J. who took care of them. In the spring of 1919, Luella
went to help the Dolph Naser family for ten days or more when they had
the flu.
Work was the main activity for all the families in the area. Quilting
bees were held and ice cutting bees where all the neighbors got together
and cut blocks of ice to be stored in their sawdust icehouse. The ice was
used in ice boxes and for making ice cream. Pot luck dinners on Pioneer
Day and Relief Society Birthday, March 17, were well attended by the
whole community. The Manard Hall was the scene of many programs, dances,
parties, and basketball games.
Six more children were born into the family during the period of 1918 to
1932, Emily, Don, Geneva, Mryl, Nolan, and Willis.
As the community became smaller, Luella drove an improvised school bus to
Fairfield for the Manard children to attend school for several months.
In 1943, W. J. and the older boys formed the partnership of W. J.
Packhams and Sons, and continued working the farm under this name until
1965. W. J. and Luella moved to their Fairfield home in the fall of 1946.
W. J. was president of the board of directors of the Prairie Power, Inc.
and pushed the switch that joined the newly built Anderson Ranch Dam. to
the Prairie Power system in 1951. He was also Justice of the Peace for
two terms.
W. J. died in May of 1966 at the age of 87. Luella lived to be 100, dying
October 1,1986. In 1988, at the reunion of the descendents of W. J. and
Luella Packham, all twelve children were in attendance with many of their
The children:
-Lula married Larry Marschat, three children. She's a teacher in Oregon,
living in Salem.
-Thelma married Elzear Madore, one child. She's a registered nurse in
Utah and New York, living in Tupper Lake, New York.
-Dora married Harold Lee, seven children. They farmed and she also worked
at Clara's Cafe, cooked at the school and is presently cooking at the
Senior Citizen's in Fairfield.
-Charles married Mary Lou Carpenter, three children. Rancher, dairyman,
stockman, and magistrate judge and bishop, living in Fairfield.
-Earl married Leona Draper, three children. Rancher, dairyman, custodian,
mission, bishop, living in Ogden, Utah.
-LeRoy married Glennis Pond, seven children. Mission, army, rancher,
stockman, bishop twice, manager of Camas Prairie Grain Growers, living in
-Emily married Gail Williams, seven children. Farmers, beautician, living
in Jerome.
-Don married Mary Lowrimore, four children. Air Force, dairyman, real
estate broker, living in Hemet, California.
-Geneva married Dean Eskridge, four children. They own and operate an
assay office in Twin Falls where they live.
-Mryl married Kay Pond, seven children. A registered nurse in Idaho and
Utah, living in Bountiful, Utah.
-Nolan married Barbara Kline, five children. Mission, dairyman, insurance
agent, living in Boise, Idaho.
-Willis married Jena Butler, five children. Mission, teacher, bishop,
living in Portland, Oregon

Memories Of Manard
Emily Packham Williams

I am the seventh child of William John Packham and Luella Hickenlooper
Packham. The first child born to the Packhams in Manard. I was born April
12,1918. Grandma Olsen was midwife who helped Mrs. Bean and my Mom bring
me into the world.
I have many fond memories of my school days. Two of my teachers that I
remember best were Miss Luciella Paladin and Miss Gladys Hall. I remember
playing "Follow the Geese" in the snow. In the fall when it was still hot
we would play on the north side of the building where there were lots of
stink bugs and we would tease them. It was great fun. Sometimes we would
go on our lunch hour to the Manard Hall where we would play basketball.
My best friends were Donna Lee, Alveretta Thurber, Lila Neilson, June
Nielson, and Vanita Olson.
We used to ride horses to school in the winter and so did the Thurber
children. I remember one winter day, when it had stormed during the
night, the roads had not been opened yet when we left for school. Lloyd,
Alveretta, and A.K. were on their horse ahead of us, LeRoy, my little
brother, Don, and me. The horses were plowing through the snow and having
a tough time of it. When our old horse got too close to Lloyd's horse and
got on it's tail, Thurber's horse could not go and neither could ours. We
all had to get off and separate the horses, then get back on and go to
school, wet and cold. I lost my lunch and did not find it until spring.
I remember going to church in the Manard Hall. In the winter we would
meet in the basement and Sarah Dixon would lead the singing. She made us
all want to sing. I loved it!
I left in 1936 to go to beauty school in Ogden, Utah. I returned to Idaho
after graduation and worked in the Artistic Beauty Shop in Buhl for three
I married Gail Williams in March 1942. He was over seas during the war
for three years. On his return we settled on a dairy farm in Jerome and
have been there ever since.
We have raised four boys and two girls and we now have thirty-one
grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.
When I was little, we did not have any relatives in Manard. Almost all
the children at school had uncles and aunts. So I adopted some of the
neighbors as mine. Uncle Josh and Aunt Lizzie Thurber, Uncle Joe and Aunt
Annie Thurber, Aunt Jane Nielson, the Robinsons, and Edna Nielson. They
all were such dear people to me. Uncle Joe's blacksmith shop always was a
gathering place for kids. I think it was the peppermint candy he always
had on hand.
The Hugo Olsen Family were neighbors on the south. Mrs. Olsen had such a
beautiful voice. I loved to hear her sing. They were good neighbors .

John L. Robinson
Clifton Dixon

John L. Robinson, son of James Coupe Robinson and Alvaretta Farozine
Butler, was born at Paragonah, Utah October 20, 1876. In his youth he and
his brother, James C. Robinson, Jr. became interested in the sheep
business. They prospered in this business until brother James married,
and the partnership was dissolved. John continued with the sheep until he
became interested in Camas Prairie. His cousin, John L. Butler
undoubtedly encouraged him. After visiting the proposed irrigation
project he returned to Utah, sold his livestock, and came to the Prairie
with substantial resources. He assisted in the construction of the
Reservoir and canal system, and was a major stockholder. He purchased 320
acres of land two and a half miles east, and one mile north of Manard,
and built a home there. He also filed on a desert claim of 160 acres half
a mile to the north.
He married Amatt Jenkins October 10, 1907 in the Salt Lake Temple. Four
children were born to them.
Daphney Viola                     August 19, 1908 (died in infancy)
Mildred                                 August 5, 1910
James Henry                       February 4, 1913
La Valle Jenkins                  June 8, 1920

Mildred, James and LaValle grew up in their home.
John served on the first Board of County Commissioners when Camas County
was established. He served as Councilor in the Manard Ward Bishopric for
many years. He also served as a school board member at Springdale.
He took an active interest in the affairs of the community and was
supportive in many ways. He was not immune to the difficulties of the
time and place. But he was the only one of the settlers to live on the
Twin Lake Reservoir and Irrigation Co. tract until the end of his life.

Memories Of Albert Thurber

I, Albert H. Thurber at the ripe old age of sixty nine years, one month,
seventeen days and five hours and being in control of my mental
facilities and also with the suggestion of a few friends have decided to
put down in print some of the interesting things that have happened in my
life thinking that my grandchildren and perhaps my great grand kids would
enjoy reading them. I have always lived an interesting, exciting and at
times a dangerous life.
I was born near the small town of Manard, Idaho on February 3, 1914. My
mother was forty eight years old when I was born and my father was fifty
seven. If I was a boy, my mother thought of naming me Onyx because I was
not expected and if I had been a girl, she would perhaps name me Lottery
because she took a chance on a davenport. Instead they named me Albert
Heber Thurber after my grandfather Albert King Thurber and my father
Joseph Heber Thurber.
Perhaps I will skip around some as the thoughts that enter my head
perhaps will not be in order of the things in my life. One of the first
thoughts that I remember was about the First World War and the first poem
that I learned was "Kiser Bill went up the hill to take a look at France.
Kiser Bill came down the hill with bullets in his pants." I was born in
the home of my Uncle Joshua Albert Thurber which was a short distance
from Manard.
My schooling started when I was five years old in the two room school at
Manard and my education has never stopped. Some of the games we played
were Farmer In The Dell and I usually chose my sister Ruth who was nine
years older than I for my wife. Other games were Pomp Pomp Pull Away,
Dare Base, Old Sow and other games. I had a very happy childhood. Since I
was only five years old when I started to school I think my mother
decided to send me to the first grade for another year. Having been a
school teacher herself, now I think her actions were right.
The only time I ever got paddled in school was when Ralph Dixon and I
were carving our names on the east side of the school house and the
teacher caught us and paddled us both. At a funeral of a dead bird,
Edward Reagan performed the ceremony and he was called Bishop Reagan
after that. I
think Cecil Lee was Robin Hood and I was Friar Tuck.
Before starting to school we lived on my father's farm two miles east of
Manard. One winter the snow bank was so high on the west side of the
house that we had to get on a chair to see over it. I moved this house to
Manard where I purchased ten lots for ten dollars or twenty five lots for
a paltry sum. This came quite a number of years later after Edyth
Chandler and I were married in 1931. After living in this house for a
year we moved it to Fairfield about the time the Manard Ward Meeting
House was moved there. Also my parents home was moved there.
I always had a horse and a dog. The first dog was named Radner. The next
dog was a Southern Fox Hound which I named Baldy. Rander was a very good
cattle dog but Baldy was just a friendly no good dog. The school at
Manard was only an eight months school and we would always have a picnic
on the last day of school and a bunch of us boys would slip off and up to
the river a ways and go swimming in the nude. One day our woman teacher
slipped up on us and took a picture of us. I never knew what a bathing
suit was until I got in High School. If this gets boring, quit reading it
as I am sure it will be a lengthy narration.
As I was the youngest of my family I never knew much of the rest of the
family as they had gone away from home and some of them were married
while I was still very young. My sister Ruth was nine years older than I
and my brother Lee Rae was twelve years older and my sister Edna was
eighteen years older than I. One time when my brother Lee Rae was home my
mother made some Hires Root beer and she was laying on our davenport
drinking a bottle of it and he said, "If heaven is like this, I surely
want to be there."
One of the first toys that I remember of was a pig's bladder that my
father had blown up after butchering a hog. One of the first accidents I
had was one time I was sliding back and forth on the sill of a window
that was opened in my parents home and a sliver about four inches long
went in the fleshy part of my thigh. It stayed there until it festered
and broke in two and part of it came out one side of the fleshy side of
my thigh and the other half came out of the other side. I think I still
have two scars that they came out of.
I spent part of my first grade and my third grade with my mother going to
school in Richfield, Utah. I remember how they made starch out of ground
up potatoes that they soaked in water and how they made home made soap
out of tallow and pork fat and lye and put it out in flat pans until it
gelled enough to cut up and then they dried it.
My mother was a real good cook having been of Danish ancestry. The Sweet
Soup she made with sego, tapioca, raisins, prunes, gooseberries, and
lemons was real good. She used to make rice pudding in a large shallow
pan. After skimming the brown crust off the milk and rice and raisin
mixture after it had cooked in the oven for a while she cooked it some
more until another brown skin came on it and then it was done. She could
make the best graham bread that I have ever eaten and the hard cookies
that she made surely were good also. At times in the evening we would
have Clabber with a little sugar on it for our evening meal along with
other things. Clabber is whole milk that has soured and became firm. The
next stage in the milk process was making Dutch Cheese which we now call
Cottage Cheese. She would cook the crabber until the whey would separate
from the rest of the milk and then she would put this in cloth bags and
squeeze all the whey out of it and then we would eat it.
One thing I remember of Richfield, Utah was the Green gage plums that
were surely good eating. While on one of these trips I had my tonsils
removed by a Doctor Gledhill in Salt Lake City. This being put under
ether was horrible. I had to have my tonsils removed twice. It took two
people to force some Pinex cough syrup down me when I had a cough once. I
always hated to take medicine.
I always had a horse. The first one I had was a brown mare by the name of
Dolly. Her tongue had been cut once and when ever I had a bridle on her
she would hang it out one side of her mouth. She had a bad habit of
rearing back when she was tied to a post and breaking the reins or rope
that she was tied to a post and run off. One day I decided to cure her of
that so I did what some one had told me to do. I tied a rope around her
flanks with a slip knot in it and ran the other end of it through her
halter and the end was tied to a post. Then I got a gunny sack and came
running at her with it and she reared back and broke the post off and
away she went.
The next horse I had was Betty. She was a real good mare and was rather
large. She had one colt and it died. I and Cecil Lee who I grew up with
would take our horses and ride around the stacks of bundles of wheat that
were in round stacks but finally his brother Hyrum came and put a stop to
that. Cecil and I went on a ten mile hike to Fir Grove one day to qualify
for our Second Class Scout badge. I was surely tired when I got back
He and I got locked in the school house one evening after his mother had
locked the door after she had done the janitor work there and we had to
break out a window in the boys toilet that had a chemical toilet in it to
get out. This is the only time I remember of ever doing any destruction
of school property. He and I were out digging salt and peppers in the
school yard once and a girl about our age by the name of Vivian Ferguson
came over and wanted to know what we were doing. These salt and pepper
plants had a root about the size of the little finger nail and were
brownish in color and I had a skin on them that we pealed before we ate
them. They were about the same size as sheep manure. This girl wanted to
eat one and Cecil gave her a piece of sheep manure instead of the salt
and pepper root which looked the same and she ate and surely did not like
it. Before she ate it she asked us if we pealed them. We said that we did
sometimes but they were better with the peeling on. I still chuckle when
I think of some of the things we did.
I played basketball from the time I was 'old enough to hold one until I
was about thirty five, when I played with the High School Faculty team. I
quit playing basketball when my kids started to make fun of me on the
floor. I played on the main team all four years in high School and played
on the football team the last two years in High School. In those days we
could play town teams. We could beat them most of the time. In one game
we were playing the Legion team and a real fat man by the name of Orville
Manwill came dashing down the floor at me and caught me between him and
the goal posts that held the backboards in the old Theater building
across from the High School and I thought I was a goner. He son Blair who
I met at last summer's class reunion in Fairfield was just as fat as his
father. This was my 50th Class Reunion. I had not gone to any of the
others as I thought I would feel out of place with those old people.
We used to fish a lot on the Malad River and swim there also. We went
swimming in the Little Swimming hole and also the Big Swimming hole. Once
Cecil and I took our horses and were swimming them around in the water in
the big swimming hole which was dangerous but we did not know the
difference. we would go hunting for coyotes in the winter in the south
hills. One time I had my half brother, Jess's, rifle. It was a 6.5
millimeter Manlicher Schmits or some kind of a gun that he brought back
from Germany with him from the first World War. It was a real neat gun.
Jess was hit with shrapnel in the battle in the Argonne forest and I
remember the big scar he had on his back. He was a machine gunner.
We used to have manure fights around Hyrum Lee's barn and corral. We
would get dried pieces of cow manure and throw them at each other. These
manure fights were not bad until one day one of us found a shingle and
got some fresh green cow manure on the end of it and threw it at some one
else. This action stopped the manure fights.
The first money I ever remember of making was trapping squirrels around
my folks garden east of the house in Manard. My father would give me two
cents for each squirrel tail that I brought in. Then when I got older I
would trap muskrats down along the river when the pelts got prime in the
early winter. We would usually set the trap in the water so the muskrat
would drown instead of breaking his leg and getting out of the trap. I
used to trap skunks under old abandoned farm buildings where they make
their nests out of grass before they hibernated for the winter. Once I
set my trap under the edge of our farm house two miles east of Manard. I
would tie a long wire to the trap chain and when I caught a skunk I would
drag it out from under the house and tie the wire to a fence post and
shoot the skunk. One day I caught a skunk and had it tied to a post when
the wire broke at the ring of the trap chain. In a second, since I did
not want to lose the skunk or the trap, I would grab the end of the chain
just as the skunk got under the edge of the house. I grabbed it a little
too soon and the skunk hit me in the face with his spray of scent. I
managed to hold on to the chain although the spray was stinging my eyes
very much. Anyway I got the skunk. Dogs just howl when they get hit with
skunk scent. We used to sell out hides to Old Man Finch who illegally
trapped beaver or to a buyer who came around to buy his beaver pelts
every now and then. His real name was Richard Napoleon Bonapart Finch. He
used to raise skunks after descenting them.
I worked for my father in his blacksmith shop until I was nineteen when I
could see no future in that after they moved to Fairfield and had a small
blacksmith shop. I could shoe horses before I quit the blacksmith game.
My father was a master at the blacksmith trade. I would help him sharpen
plow shares. he would hold the plow share and would hit with a small
hammer and I would hit in the same place with the ten pound hammer. he
used old horse shoe rasps as plow points. He was really good at setting
wagon tires. About the horse shoeing, he would measure across the front
foot of a horse with a stick and make a notch and then would know just
how big to make the hind shoe which is narrower than the front shoe and a
different shape. His saddle horse shoes were the best
and people would bring their saddle horses from all over the county to
have him shoe them. I could write pages about helping him in the
blacksmith shop but I will not bore you with that now.
As for my schooling I always got pretty good grades and was Salutatorian
of the eighth grade when all the county eighth graders graduated from
grade school at a very impressive ceremony in Fairfield. Ted Neeley was
Valedictorian and he never got past the Freshman class in High School and
I often wondered about that. When I graduated from High School in 1932 I
was still Salutatorian and Roland Pond was Valedictorian. He surely
worked hard in school which I never did. When my oldest son graduated
from High School, he was third from the top and when my youngest son,
Don, graduated he was Salutatorian like I was and his cousin", Max
Durall, was Valedictorian.
This morning, five days after I started writing this report of my life, I
have come to the conclusion that it will take me perhaps a month to bring
this up to date but what the heck, I enjoy pressing the buttons on this
forty five year old printing machine and it is amazing what comes out of
my efforts. The typing I took in High School has done me more good than
any other subject that I took. Then they did not have any sex education
so I did not have to be bothered with that crap.
Today I go in to the Physicians' Clinic to finish my Annual Physical that
I started a week ago. I shall ask the x-ray technician to take an x-ray
of my head after she takes the chest x-ray to find if I really have rocks
in my head like my good wife says I have. At my age I think these Annual
Physicals are important as it reminds me of working in School Maintenance
and is similar to preventative maintenance. I was always keeping an eye
out for small things that could develop into large things if left undone.
The doctor might find something minor with my body that could very easily
develop into some thing major. In my opinion, every person my age should
do what I am doing.
I perhaps will repeat things as I continue as sometimes I get forgetful.
There are two signs of old age that I have heard. One is being forgetful
and - - - - - - - I forgot what the other one is. One of the first
relatives I remember passing away was a niece of mine, Iva Stewart who
was six years old when her mother died in 1914 three months after giving
birth to twin girls. My mother took Iva into our home after her mother
died and raised her like she has done with a lot of her grand kids whose
mothers have passed away. Iva died when I perhaps was about six years
old. I remember her. She died of Tuberculosis and my mother kept a close
watch of me for a sign that I had contracted that disease which was quite
prevalent at times during those years.
Since my mother wanted me to be a girl she kept me in long curls until
she cut them off when I started to school. Anyway I presume that was the
reason. I still have one of those blond curls in my scrap book along with
a white curl of my hair that the barber cut off some years ago. I have
some cute pictures of myself with the long curls and knee pants.
The next relative of our family who passed away was Lee Rae who died of
Acute Appendicitis while working on the Moffet Tunnel. He passed away in
1924. My parents never knew he had married a Catholic woman. That is
perhaps the reason he never let them know. Next my sister Ruth who passed
away in June, 1944, in California of Uremic poisoning. My mother passed
away a month later in Wendell, Idaho, of cancer of the stomach. My family
lived to be real old unless cancer killed them earlier. My father passed
away in July, 1948, in Montpelier, Idaho, of things related to old age.
He was ninety when he passed away and my mother was seventy eight at her
passing. All these dates I have found in my parents' Family Record Book
that was the only thing I inherited from my parents except my good
looks(?). My mother had long blond hair which she braided and wore around
her head. She was very attractive and was on the skinny side. My sisters
were on the plumpish side but the male members of my family were all
rather slender except me as I have developed a bay window in later life
due to the excellent cooking of Thelma. I am now a cute little 223
It is 5:00 am this 24th day of March, 1983 and perhaps this is the
morning that I should write about my Church history. I was blessed and
given a name by my father on March 3, 1914. I was baptized by my father
on June 2, 1922 on the east side of the Mern Canal bridge which was about
a half mile south of my parents' home in Manard. My mother was a witness.
I was dressed in a pair of overalls which is quite different than the
present baptismal clothes.
I was ordained a Deacon on February 7th by my father. I was ordained a
Priest on March 3rd, 1933, by my uncle, Joshua A. Thurber. I was ordained
an Elder by William J. Packham on September 22, 1935. This is the
position in the Church that I now hold. Here is how I have the authority
to do the ordinances of the Church. I was ordained a Deacon by my father
who was
ordained a High Priest by Frances M. Lyman who was ordained an Apostle by
John Taylor who was ordained an Apostle by Brigham Young who was ordained
an Apostle by Joseph Smith who was ordained to the Priesthood by Peter,
James, and John who received the Priesthood from Jesus Christ.
I was always quite active in the Church until later in life. Then when I
moved to Port Angeles, Washington, and became a Church Custodian I became
more active in Church affairs I and Cecil Lee, who grew up with me, were
taught by our parents that it was not right to smoke or drink liquor.
This was brought quite forcibly to me when Cecil and his wife, Myrtle,
and other friends of his were fishing at Magic Reservoir and he was in a
boat with Huck Moon and I presume they had been drinking and Cecil fell
out of the boat and was drowned. He was an excellent swimmer. I have
never tasted coffee but once in my life and perhaps I never will. Now and
then at Thanksgiving and Christmas I will pour a tea cup about half full
of Egg-Nog and add a jigger of brandy and hot water and cinnamon and
nutmeg. Even my religious sister Edna, has drank that with me at times.
It is situations like Cecil Lee and my brother Jesse that makes a person
radical about drinking. I don't think there is anything wrong with social
drinking except a waste of money, but there are people who can't be
social drinkers and end up being alcoholics.
My first girl friend was Florence Eaton who lived with her parents across
the alley from my sister Edna in Wendell, Idaho. This was when I was
about eleven. I never remember kissing her. She gave me a string of her
beads and I think I gave her something but I don't remember what. When I
was a Freshman in High School I started going with Edyth Chandler. I
first kissed her while sitting on a table in the back of the Liberty
Theater during a dark show or performance of some kind. She and I were
married on May 28th, 1931, in Vale, Oregon, by a County Judge with a
couple of mountaineers as witnesses. My mother went with us. Cecil Lee
and Myrtle Miller were married at the same time. They lied about their
ages and Edyth did also but since my mother was there I did not have to
lie about my age which was seventeen. If! had my life to live over again,
I would not have done anything different.
The only time I nave ever been drunk in my life was when I was about
sixteen years old. Cecil and I went to a dance in Hill City and got to
drinking home made peach wine and bootleg whiskey.
I had parked my father's Model A about a hundred feet in front of the
dance hall and some time during the night I went over to the car and got
my 22 pistol out of the glove compartment and started shooting it. I was
real careful to hold it right straight up in the air. Ralph Cox came over
from the dance hall and took the pistol from me as some one had shot a
window out of the dance hall about three feet above a man's head. It
could not have been me as I was real careful to hold the pistol straight
up in the air, drunk as a skunk. I went home after the dance and if
anyone had told my mother that her son Albert, had ever been drunk she
would have denied it. I went to Church that Sunday after the Saturday
night dance. For a week after that every time I would think about peach
wine and bootleg whiskey I would want to throw up. We bought the whiskey
from Tug Turner for $3.00 for a very small bottle.
Jim Robinson and I decided to make some wine one day so we snitched a
bottle of my mother's Chokecherry juice and added some yeast to it and
hid it in an old post hole. After about two weeks we got it and evidently
we had left the lid part way off and there were ants in it so we strained
the ants out and drank the wine. The Finches were always making dandelion
wine. Old Man Finch had property just across the street from my parents'
home in Manard and one day we saw a sign, "Squirrel Poison, Keep Out" on
a post across from the house. He evidently did not want our chickens to
eat his alfalfa hay so he put up the sign but our chickens could not
Artie Davis, who I remember had a lot of gold teeth, used to come to my
father's blacksmith shop and sit around and B.S. My mother did not like
him. Cecil and I went to his house which was a half mile from Manard due
east and it was one of the filthiest houses I have ever seen with ashes
on the floor. his wife had died several years previous. Time is running
out this morning so I will continue this narration perhaps tomorrow
Due to circumstances beyond my control I have not written anything for
several mornings but must get with it so I can finish my writing in
perhaps a month. Looking back over my life I think perhaps I have a
sadistic streak in me and perhaps you will agree after I write a few
things that I have done. The first ones that I remember were when Cecil
and I would go down to the river and catch frogs and blow them up with
straws and turn them loose and watch them try to dive. We would catch
grasshoppers and would get a sharp object and poke it in their knee
joints and then they would spit tobacco juice and throw their hind legs
At our home on the highway two miles east of Fairfield sometimes I would
go up and down the
creek and when I would find a crow or magpie nest I would take some dry
grass or a little gasoline and put it on the bottom of the nest and set
fire to it. This was in the spring when there were just eggs in the
nests. I did this perhaps of because of the way the crows would catch
little ducks and fly away with them and eat them. Once a short distance
west of the Chandler home I saw a mother duck with her little brood
crossing the highway to some water on the south side of the road and she
was following real close and a crow was trying to steer her a little ways
away so he could snatch a little duck. The crows would also find duck
nests in the fields and eat the eggs in the nests.
Once when our yellow tom cat Tuffy was sleeping on the davenport on his
back with his mouth wide open and his tongue sticking out, I squeezed a
little lemon juice in a teaspoon and dropped a little in his mouth. That
sure brought him to life in a hurry and he took off like a turpentined
cat. After I moved to Port Angeles, my half brother Jesse was in a
Nursing Home in Wendell, Idaho, and was not feeling at all well, I got a
mushy Father's Day card and it said what a wonderful father you had been
to me and I signed it, your loving son John and sent it to my sister-in-
law, Gladys Youell in Roseburg, Oregon to put in the post office so it
would not be postmarked Port Angeles. When he got it, it really shook him
up according to my sister Edna who lived there and would go and see him
real often. She gave me hell for sending that card. After all, I know how
many children I have fathered but I doubt that he knew how many he had
fathered having not married until he was about sixty five and that
marriage only lasted about three months and then they got a divorce and
his wife went back to her former profession which is the oldest
profession. As I have said, Jess was always good to me.
My oldest brother, Orlando, died in Los Angeles the 31st of March, 1969.
After his wife, Ethel, died in October, 1932, my mother took care of his
kids until they grew up. I and Edyth drove mother and father down to
Richfield, Utah, where Ethel was buried and also where my brother, Lee
Rae, and my parents are buried.
My parents came to Camas Prairie in 1909 and they were going to make a
little money and go back to civilization in Utah. The only time they went
back permanently was when I took them back to bury them. Edyth and I and
my sister went back to Richfield to attend the funeral of Jimmy Hansen
who was an uncle of mine by marriage. Don was just a baby then and we
left he and Lee with their grandmother Chandler. Edyth was nursing Don
and she had to use a breast pump to get some relief of the large amount
of mother's milk that Don had been taking. Edyth's milk did not agree
with Lee so he was raised on the bottle and by the book. When Don came
along we threw away the book and he did not have to have a bottle warmed
for him in the middle of the night.
After we moved my parents home from east of Manard to Manard, Edyth's
parents helped us to fix it up in livable condition. Edyth's mother was
helping me paste wall paper and she saw a mouse run across the floor and
the next thing I knew she was standing on the table yelling for some one
to kill the mouse. I sold my share of the Manard town site to Harold Lee
for a small paltry sum when I moved the house to Fairfield. I bought five
lots at a tax sale very reasonable, perhaps a dollar a lot. We built on
to the house and made it very comfortable and then sold it to Bill Simons
when we built the house on the highway two miles east of Fairfield. The
money I received from the sale of this house helped to finance our new
home. I think I got about $1600 for it if I remember right.
The thought comes to me this morning that perhaps I should rewrite this
account of the happenings of my life and put them in chronological order
and perhaps in sections like the first section would be about the first
things I could remember and my childhood until I was about seventeen and
the next section would be about the period from then until about 1956
when I lost Edyth and the next section would be the time I have been
married to Thelma but what the heck. I'll possibly be writing more things
when I am ninety if the Good Lord decides to keep me on this beautiful
earth for that long. Perhaps it will be more interesting to the many
readers that I am sure are going to enjoy this material if I just
continue on writing like I have done for the past two weeks.
I was down in Boise, Idaho, for Thanksgiving dinner with Edyth's parents
who were living there at that time. As I usually did when I was in Boise,
I went out to Cloverdale Memorial Park and was shedding a few tears over
Edyth's grave and I noticed another woman about my age doing the same
thing over another grave not too far from me. Being of the friendly type
I went over and started to talking with this lady and found that she had
lost her husband by death about a month after Edyth's passing. Since we
had something in common I told her where I lived and she invited me to
come and see her the next time I was in Boise and she gave me her
address. The next time I was in Boise I ended up in a hospital there with
"retinal thrombosis" which is a blood clot in my right eye. I was a
walking patient so one day I went out of the hospital and called on Mrs.
Smith who lived a short way from there. I immediately saw that things
would not work out for us as she was smoking and
there had never been any smoking in our home by members of my family and
she had a canary and I had tom cats and my cats would eat her canary.
The next morning I got to wondering how I could get out of this situation
gracefully and a thought came to my mine that I should call Mrs. Smith,
which I did. I lowered my voice and said, "This is the F. B. I. We are
looking for a man by the name of Albert Thurber who is wanted in three
different cities for forgery. Do you know Albert Thurber?" There were a
few moments of absolute silence and then she denied knowing Albert
Thurber. Later that day I called her and told her about my call and
apologized for the crude way I had terminated our budding romance and
told her that perhaps we would never meet again and I wished her a Merry
Christmas. When I left the hospital in a few days I went to a drug store
close by to get some pills and who should I run into but Mrs. Smith. I
said "Hello" to her and beat a hasty retreat.
Cloverdale Memorial Park is a beautiful place with perpetual care. When
services are held there the chimes play. There is a small lake there with
tame ducks and swans swimming on the lake. It is a short distance from
Boise on the highway to Meridian. The new freeway does not go past there
any more. Edyth's parents and her sister are buried there as well as
other shirt tail relatives. I have two lots that are not occupied and she
knows, perhaps some day the far distant future I will be there or should
I say my remains will be. I tell Thelma that I want my body ground up and
fed to the fish in the harbor here and in that way I can say that I have
done something good in this world by providing food for some fish.
During the nineteen twenties George Abbott would come around to our place
in Manard and to a lot of other farms on Camas Prairie and sell fresh
meat. He had a screened in bed on the back of his Ford and my mother
would go out and tell him what she wanted in the line of beef and pork
and he would cut it off the carcass for her. Very handy in my opinion. If
I remember right in the summer time he would come around about once a
Also during the summer and fall a couple of men from around Hagerman,
which was on the Snake river about forty miles from Manard, would come up
and sell fruit such as peaches and apples and later potatoes since the
growing season was too short for us to raise them on Camas Prairie. Old
Man Durfee who later became a relative of mine came up around
Thanksgiving or Christmas time, I don't remember which, and my mother and
I started back with him to spend a few days with my sister Edna in
Wendell. He had an old Dodge van type and sometime in the afternoon
around Gwin Ranch he got stuck in the gumbo as the road to Gooding was
not even graveled then. My mother and I started to walk to the first
ranch house which was about ten miles down the road, all down hill. The
first ranch house was the house of Clyde Hawks where we arrived about
seven o'clock after dark and called my sister to come after us. Later
that evening the gumbo froze and Mr. Durfee was able to get his truck out
of the mud and he got to Gooding about the same time as we did. I was
about ten years old then.
Once down in Salt Lake City, my mother and I started to cross the busy
street and a lady said to me, "It is nice of you to help your grandmother
across the street. "After all, she was forty eight years older than I
was. We went up on the head of Little Smoky one summer and while my
father was doing assessment work on a mining claim one day my mother and
I walked up the road and when the road quit we took a trail to the higher
country and we skirted a steep cliff and I was a little concerned about
her making it around but she did. She was very active. Quite a number of
years later when I was an Air Scout Leader I took a group of boys up to
this same part of the country on a hike. More about that later or perhaps
I shall tell it now.
This group of young men between the ages of 14 and 18 and were about ten
in number. I blindfolded them and gave them a map and a compass and took
them to a spot where the road ended and let them out. On the map was a
cross where I was to meet them with the truck. One of the boys was not
blindfolded and knew the route but he was not to tell the others. Then I
went back down Little smoky and up the South Fork of Big Smoky to the top
of Dollarhide Summit. Much later that afternoon here came a group of very
tired Air Scouts with their leader the one who knew where the truck was
parked. Real good experience. I was their leader for about seven years
and I hope that through my efforts I helped to make better citizens out
of them as this is a critical age in a man's life. This was when my boys
were that age. As I have finished another page it is know time to go
upstairs and see how the Rhodes frozen bread is coming in the oven which
is turned down to 180 degrees. I made a mess out of the last batch of
bread that I baked so will try and not do the same with this one.
Monday morning, April 4, 1983, the few pages that I started to write
about some of my experiences is turning out to perhaps be a book. I will
only write a little amount this morning
because I have other things to do such as catch up on some of my fan mail
and do a little reading. Lately I have read some of the sayings of that
great Chinese writer, Confucius, and the one that impressed me most was
"He with hole in pockey feels cocky."
Since yesterday was Easter, Thelma and I got up real early and attended
Sunrise Services at Civic Field at 6:30. They were very impressive and
there was quite a crowd of early risers there. Then we came home and had
some breakfast and pooped around and took some Easter Baskets down to
Susan's kids. They ate the candy like they had not had any for some time.
Then we went up to Crestwood Convalescent Center to see Thelma's mother
who has been there for about seven years. Then we went to Sequim and had
dinner at Traylor's Restaurant. We had the special which was a slice of
baked ham, some peas and carrots that were about half done and a little
lettuce with some Roquefort dressing and a small roll. This was on
special and so I thought it would be quite reasonable. When the waitress
put the bill on the table I turned it over and it looked like $7.97 which
I thought was quite reasonable for two people. On looking closer the
amount was $17.97 which is horrible for a real poor dinner. That will be
the last time we go to Traylor's for some time I am sure.
It will be twenty six years since Thelma and I were married on Easter,
which came on April 21st that year. We went to the Mormon Church in
Fairfield, Idaho and that afternoon we were married by Verl Dixon in

I. E. Thurber
Clifton Dixon

Isaac Erin Thurber was born October 21, 1874, a son of Albert King
Thurber and Agnes Brockbank Thurber. A half brother, Robert Thurber was
born October 24,1874. They were sometimes called the Thurber Twins. His
father died when Erin was thirteen years of age. Family responsibilities
settled heavily on the older son. He soon learned to do a man's work. For
a time he worked with an older, half brother, Al doing team work.
He was physically strong and mentally active. After attending Sevier
State Academy for a time, he attended Brigham Young Academy in Provo. The
family moved to Provo during the school term where his mother took in
boarders to assist his education. He continued his interest in learning
throughout his life. Habitually rising before daylight to read and study
for an hour or two before he went to work. He liked law, history, and
astronomy, and made a comparative study of science and religion. He liked
to read Shakespeare. One of his favorite authors was Ralph Waldo Emerson.
His scholarly pursuits helped him to become an accomplished public
speaker. He was tolerant of others views and tactful in presenting his
own. His sense of humor made him a popular member of any group.
When he was about 21 he went to work in the Delamar Mine in Nevada.
Although he only worked there six weeks, he was afflicted by the "Delamar
Dust" which undoubtedly shortened his life. For a time he continued to
work at mining and prospecting.
In 1898 he answered a call to serve for two years in the Southern States
Mission of the L.D.S. Church with mission headquarters in Chattanooga,
Tennessee. He was ordained a Seventy, March 16,1898 by J. Golden Kimball.
When he was released he returned to mining as an occupation.
April 7,1903, he married Caroline Butler in the Salt Lake Temple. John R.
Winder preformed the ceremony. Five children were born to this union.

Helen Thurber               November 7,1904                   Richfield,
Waldo Arion           July 21,1906                            Soldier,
Rex Gordan            April 16, 1909                          Manard,
Erin Butler                 March 26, 1911                    Manard,
Milton J.                   February 23, 1916                 Manard,

He continued mining and prospecting for a time. The family lived at
Kimberly and Richfield, Utah. Mining took him away from home much of the
time and this was not to his liking, so he decided to homestead in Idaho.
No doubt, a boyhood friend, John L. Butler, influenced him in this
In the spring of 1905 he went to Idaho and purchased a relinquishment on
160 acre homestead claim about a mile east of Manard for $265.00. It was
fenced and there was a three room log home and a barn on the place, also
some furniture and clothing. But someone had stolen the piano from the
He purchased a nice team named Paul and Fan from Tom Murran for $100.00 a
piece, and helped start to build the dam of the Twin Lakes Reservoir and
Irrigation Company.
He returned to Richfield during the winter. Early in1906 he returned to
the Prairie. His brother Joshua A. Thurber drove his team and wagon
accompanied by Oliver Nielson, but Erin, wife, and mother traveled by
train to Gooding arriving April 22, 1906. He helped finish the dam of the
Twin Lakes Reservoir and Irrigation Company. In July a son, Waldo was
born at Soldier.
In August 1906, a Conference was held in the Bowery on the Malad. Waldo
was blessed by Stake President William T. Jack. Erin was appointed First
Councilor to Henry G. Labrum, President of the Soldier Branch of the
L.D.S. Church, and John L. Butler as Second Councilor.
Erin was a strong and tireless worker. He was very much involved in
community affairs. He helped finish the Twin Lakes Dam and worked on the
water distribution system. In 1909 he contracted building the first
bridge across Camas Creek, south of Manard townsite. In 1911 and 1912, he
contracted grading for the railroad between Corral and Hill City.
July 21,1907 the Soldier Branch was disorganized and Manard Ward was
organized. Isaac Erin Thurber was the first Bishop, John L. Butler and
Harvey Dixon, Jr. were his councilors.
Under his direction the Manard Townsite was selected and platted, and the
Manard Hall was constructed.
He often worked shearing sheep in the spring.
Life on the Prairie was very demanding. Grain raised in the summer had to
be hauled to Gooding to market. This was usually done in the winter when
there were snow roads and sleds could be used. This was much easier than
using wagons.
Things were difficult but they enjoyed a measure of prosperity for a
time. But four years in a row the grain froze. This created an economic
crisis and there were indications that the "Delamar Dust" was beginning
to affect his health. Seeking a milder climate he traded his 160 acre
farm in 1916 for forty acres at Filer, Idaho. Jens W. Jensen was the name
of the man with whom he traded.
Shortly after moving to Filer, he became ill with pneumonia. He thought
that the winds of southern Idaho were not good for him so they moved to
Eight Mile west of Boise, Idaho in October 1917. His health was
deteriorating, so in March 1919, he sold the farm and bought another at
Star, Idaho which they rented, and the family moved into Boise where he
went into the coal business with Sam Worthington, who had been a neighbor
when they lived at Manard.
But repeated attacks of pneumonia ended his life March 14, 1920.

Joshua A. Thurber

I attended the elementary school at Richfield, Utah. I also had a half
year in the high school there. I was baptized and confirmed a member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when I was eight years of
age. I also had a bad case of diphtheria when I was eight years of age
and was healed by the power of the Priesthood. I attended church quite
regularly and was active in what I was assigned to do. When I reached the
age of twelve years I was ordained a deacon in the Aaronic priesthood.
Among the assignments given to me while a deacon was chopping wood for
the widows. I remember one little, old lady that I chopped wood for in
particular by the name of Ozburger who was so appreciative of what was
done for her. Another assignment was gathering fast offerings. Two
deacons would take a little express wagon once each month and go around
our district contacting the families of the ward and receiving what they
contributed as fast offering. It was usually always food stuffs such as
flour, meat, eggs etc. Sometimes we would be pretty well loaded by the
time we were through contacting the families of the district. When this
was completed we would take the offerings we had received to the tithing
office where it was kept for redistribution to the needy and poor. I was
quite diligent in filling these assignments and as a reward I received
much joy and satisfaction and at the same time was laying the foundation
for an active spiritual life, accepting and discharging assignments and
responsibilities that were given to me as I grew older to help build up
the kingdom of God here on the earth.
In my youth I had great faith and believed that the gospel was true. As
time went on through study of the gospel and activity in the church my
faith and testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel increased to a
point where there is no doubt in my mind.
While in my teens in Richfield I learned to play the harmonica, through
much noise and diligent effort, dance tunes were my specialty. I played
for dances in Richfield before coming to Idaho in 1904. In 1903 my
brother-in-law, John L. Butler, and his brother Taylor spent the summer
in Idaho. John, in company with some other men, most if not all Mormons,
formed a company and gave it the name of Twin Lakes Reservoir and
Irrigation Company. The name originated from two lakes that were on a
ranch they purchased from one Alex Cyphers, which ranch was located in
the proposed reservoir site. Papers were filed with the state to secure
the site and enough work was done in 1903 to hold the site.
In 1905 work began on the construction of the reservoir dam. I worked one
week alone cutting willows, burning and clearing the dam site preparatory
to moving dirt. I helped dig the trench for the cement core that was
poured on bed rock and extending the entire length of the dam through the
center. If I remember correctly, the dimensions of this core were three
feet by three feet. I took a very prominent part in the construction and
completion of the dam and irrigation system. As our members increased in
our new community the proposition of church and school came up. We met
and held church in private homes for some time. On investigating the
possibility of a school for the children, we learned that there had to be
a certain number of children in the community before a school district
could be organized; that a petition with a certain number of parents'
signatures had to be presented to the county commissioners for their
action before a school district could be created.
I was one of a committee of two, Sister Adelaide Adams and myself took
the team and buggy, drove to Soldier Creek and around where the
prospective residents of our new community were, secured the proper
number of signatures on the petition which was presented to the county
commissioners and the district was organized.
The first winter school was held in a rather crude one room shack, Harry
M. Adams, teacher. The next summer we built a one room building large
enough for school and recreational purposes. We also held church in this
building for some time. Dancing took a very prominent part in our
entertainment. I furnished a good part of the dance music accompanied by
an organ or piano.
As our numbers increased a branch was organized, soon a ward was
organized. It was not long until the need for a community center was
felt. It was decided to locate a site and build a town. So a vote of the
people was taken on a number of different sites, and one was chosen.
A townsite committee was chosen to purchase the land, have it surveyed
and laid out, for the purpose of building a town, I helped with the
surveying. It was not long until city or town lots were available to
purchasers. The town was named Manard, an Indian name. I might say here
before the little town of Manard was built we had a tent town by the dam
site while constructing the dam. As our numbers increased, the little
town began to build and the necessity for a school house and a meeting
house on the town site both became very urgent.
We built a new three room school house on the townsite first and then
started a Recreation Hall 40' x 80' to take care of our church and
recreational needs. I do not remember just how long the recreational hall
was under construction, I think a couple of years, when completed it
served us very well. We had a thriving little ward for a number of years,
made up of a group of fine people. We controlled the major part of the
recreation on Camas Prairie for a number of years.
I was active in the ward and filled various position. On the 22 of July
1917, I was ordained a High Priest by Wm. T. Rawson of the Boise Stake
Presidency and set apart as a counselor to Bishop James H. Dixon, where I
served until 1933.
I served as trustee on the local School Board and part of the time as
chairman. As the population increased on Camas Prairie, which was then
part of Blaine County, the need was felt for the creation of a county on
Camas Prairie. So some of the leading citizens of the Prairie took up the
fight to have a county created on Camas Prairie.
J.W. Edgerton, one of the leading attorneys on the Prairie at that time,
took a most prominent part in the campaign, if my memory serves me right.
He went to Boise and presented the case to the State Legislature and was
successful in getting the legislature to create Camas county, with
Fairfield as county seat. This was a big step forward with our civic
affairs, as we had been going

over to Hailey, county seat of Blaine county to do any and all of our
county business.
Along with the increase in population, quite a number of school districts
were organized for the elementary school. It was not long until pupils
finished the eight grades and were ready for high school. These graduates
were sent out of the county to high schools round about, the local school
district having to pay their tuition, thus taking the money out of the
county. Another bad feature was that the young folks whom we so much
needed to help out in our social life were somewhere else, so we were
losing at least on two counts. Some of the residents felt that the
creation of a high school district and building facilities to care for
the needs of the pupils would keep them and the money home and be another
big step forward in the growth and development of Camas county. This
required a special election and I think two thirds majority vote for the
Plans were put to the county commissioners who were petitioned to call
the special election for the creation of a high school district. The
election was held, there was considerable campaigning both for and
against. Those who were for the high school failed to get the numbers of
votes that were required for the creation of the school district, so our
dreams of a county high school were shattered and I think it was two or
three years before the proposition of a high school in Camas county was
taken up. It was at a meeting of the trustees of the several elementary
school districts where the urgent need of the high school in Camas county
was again taken up. I was in attendance at this meeting. Mrs. May
Cunningham was County Superintendent of Schools and conducted the
meeting. I was one of the speakers for and in behalf of the necessity of
a high school, and suggested that we get plans underway and petition the
county commissioners to call another special election for the purpose of
creating a high school district in Camas county. I think this called for
a certain number of signatures of the taxpayers of the county on the
petitions before the county commissioners could or would pass on the
Plans were put on foot to canvas the county get the required number of
signatures on the petitions and present them to the county commissioners
for their approval and actions. This was done and a special election was
held. As in the first election there was much campaigning on both sides
for and against. I think those in favor of the high school in Camas
county were thinking of the education of the young people of the county.
How they would add to the social life of the county and county buildup in
general. Those opposed to the high school were thinking of the tax dollar
mainly, and fought just as hard as they could to keep from spending every
tax dollar possible.
The day of the election there was considerable electioneering and
transporting voters to and from the polls. When the day was over and the
votes counted, it was discovered that the Ayes, or those who were in
favor of the high school, had won out. Accordingly the high school
district was created and a board of trustees appointed by the County
Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. May Cunningham. There were five trustees
appointed namely, William Peck, John Vadermire, Elmer Streeper, Charles
Gaskill and myself, J. A. Thurber. We were called to Fairfield to a
meeting where we elected our officers. Wm. Peck was elected chairman and
Charles Gaskill was elected clerk of the board. Mrs. Cunningham gave us
some instructions as to what our duties were as members of the new high
school district. She also gave each of us a copy of the Idaho school laws
so we could inform ourselves, which we did.
We found it was our duty as a board of trustees of the newly created
district to house the pupils of the district. There were two alternatives
by which this could be done, one was by bond issue. If this failed we
could do it by tax levee up to 6 or 8 mils. The first big problem for the
board to work out was the kind, size and cost of a new building to house
the pupils, the second was where to put the building. In working out the
first problem members of the board made inspection tours of high schools
buildings in the nearby territories gathered data on structure facilities
and construction cost. We decided on the type of building best suited to
our requirements, the estimated cost of which was about $30,000 [thirty
thousand dollars].
We petitioned the board of county commissioners to call another special
election for the purpose of floating a bond of $30,000, which they did.
The date was set and the polling places designated for the election. What
a campaign! Seemingly we had caught the no's a little off guard in
putting over the high school election, but they seemed to be determined
to keep the bond issue from going through. The campaigning on the bond
election was hot and heavy. A six or eight mil levy on the assessed
valuation of the county which the board of trustees were
allowed to levy for the purpose of housing the pupils of the newly
created district., figured out to more than the $30,000 bond the board
were asking for. And would come out of the taxpayers pocket in one year.
When these facts were known that the board of trustees had the
responsibility of housing the pupils in the district and enough money to
pay the cost of construction of the proposed building could be raised
through taxes in one year. Some of those who were opposed to the bond
issue favored the issue and others took a neutral stand they were neither
for or against the bond issue.
I did what campaigning I could, contacting residents of the county and
especially in my locality, trying to persuade them to go out and vote for
the bond issue. On election day I hauled some voters to the polls. I went
to Fir Grove and took an absentee ballot to Mrs. Harold Bown who was sick
in bed at the time. I went and brought Mr. T. C. Scheer to the polls. He
had been very much opposed to the high school. Of course he may have
voted against the bond issue after getting there, but he talked more
favorable after the facts were explained to him.
One other man that had been very much opposed to the high school whom I
contacted and tried to get to go and vote was Tom Avrey. After spending
some time conversing and explaining the proposition to him, he said this.
"Josh, I will not go and vote, if I did I would vote against the bond
issue. So that I will not go against your wishes and the bond issue. I
will stay at home." which he did.
When the election was over and the votes counted, it was discovered that
the bond issue had received a majority of votes. So the board of county
commissioners immediately made arrangements for the thirty thousand
dollar bond, and the board of trustees of the new district went to work
on the task of choosing a site for the high school building and letting
bids for the construction of the same.
A Boise firm were low bidders on the construction of the building and
were awarded the contract. I do not remember the name. Choosing the site
was another battle. There were several proposed, and each site had its
proponents. The board of trustees decided on a central location on the
east side of Main Street in Fairfield. There was a lot of opposition to
this location, but I think now that it is one of, if not the best
location for the high school building.
The fall of 1933, I took my family and moved to Gooding. I served as
counselor to Brother Wm. O. Christensen in the Blaine Stake Sunday School
Superintendency until 1935, at which time Brother Christensen was
released as Sunday School Superintendent and put in as Bishop of the
Gooding, replacing Brother Clarence Aston. He chose me as one of his
counselors where I served until 1941, when Bishop Christensen was
replaced by Riley L. Dixon. I served as Chairman of the Genealogical
Bishop Aston had inaugurated a building program to build a larger
building, one that would take care of the needs of a growing ward, as our
chapel was a small one room building and very inadequate to care for the
needs of a growing ward. I served on the Finance Committee under Bishop
Aston and attended the meetings of the Building Committee. I assisted in
gathering funds and securing a new site for the new chapel. When Bishop
Christensen took over as bishop, the building program was carried on.
A committee went to Utah to look at some chapels to get some idea of the
size and kind of a chapel would best serve our needs here in the Gooding.
Brother Solomon Shupe was one of this committee, and the night they
arrived in Ogden he was stricken with a heart attack and died. His death
was felt very keenly as he was very active in the ward and was serving on
the building committee.
We decided on the type of building that would take care of our needs. The
type of building we decided to build called for a lot of gravel. In
taking the building program up with Presiding Bishop's Office we found
the gravel had to pass certain specifications before they would allow it
to be used in the building. So a committee was appointed to go to the
several gravel pits in the vicinity of Gooding, get a sample of gravel
from each pit, and send it to Presiding Bishop's Office in Salt lake City
to be analyzed to see which of the samples, if any, would pass the
specifications of Presiding Bishop's Office on building materials. The
sample that was sent in from the Joe Arkoosh pit passed the
specifications so, we the committee went and contacted Mr. Arkoosh at his
home to make arrangements to haul gravel from his pit. When he learned we
wanted it to build a new chapel, he said we could have it provided we
would deliver a little gravel in front of the Catholic Chapel and that we
let him have the Church bell that was in the chapel we were using. He
said he would like it for a dinner bell. We agreed to let him have the
bell and deliver some gravel in front of the Catholic Chapel.
Having made arrangements for the gravel, we began the task of getting
equipment together to haul the gravel, which consisted of men and teams,
plows and scrapers and trucks to haul the gravel. We built a wooden chute
wide enough for a slip scraper and high enough at one end for a truck to
pull under. Then the slip was loaded to take the gravel up the chute. We
also had a problem unloading since none of the trucks were dump trucks.
We used a tractor and I think a slip scraper for unloading.
As I remember we hauled an estimated 525 yards of gravel up to the site
that had been secured on which to build the new chapel. In order to get
started and keep things going, it required one man in the field making
arrangements for equipment and labor, extras and what not. At the request
of Bishop Christensen I did most of the field work as well as working on
the job with the crew. Securing the site and hauling the gravel is about
as far as we got while Wm. Christensen was Bishop.
When Riley L. Dixon was set apart as Bishop of the Gooding, if I am
rightly informed, President Wm. L. Adamson President of the Blaine Stake
gave him the special responsibility of building the new chapel.
About the time Bishop Dixon took office, war was declared on Japan. In
order to expedite preparation for war and carrying on, restrictions were
placed on a lot of materials that were needed for the war effort-among
them, restrictions on buildings and building materials, consequently the
building of the new chapel had to wait until the restrictions were
lifted. While Bishop Dixon and counselors were waiting for restrictions
to be lifted, they inaugurated a campaign to raise as much for the
building fund as possible. One method they used was getting the members
of the to buy war bonds, and turn them into the building fund. Another
method used was getting members to contribute livestock, machinery,
produce or what have you, then they would have an auction sale with the
proceeds going to the building fund. Another method used was having
banquets and serving in one way and another to raise money.
Another unique thing Bishop Dixon and his counselors did about the time
restrictions began to be lifted, they went into the mountains spotted a
nice lot of timber which they had the Forest Ranger mark for saw timber.
Then they established a logging camp and began the cutting of the trees,
logging them up, skidding the logs onto a skidway preparatory to having
them sawed into lumber.
A project I was given was the job of field man to help recruit labor and
supplies that were necessary to carryon the logging project. This project
was very successful, most of those contacted were willing to go and help
on the project. When the timber had been cut, the logs were put on the
skidway or near by so as to be easily accessible. Arrangements were made
with Brother Oliver Nielson, who had a saw mill in that vicinity, to move
the mill up and saw the logs into lumber. Which he did. The lumber was
trucked to Gooding used for forms and framework of the new church
building. Much of the inch lumber was taken to Ralph Vaughn's planing
mill in Gooding and surfaced, to make it more uniform and better to
handle. I did considerable work on the building while under construction
and to completion, for which I am grateful.
The New Gooding ward chapel dedicated December 7, 1952, by Oscar A.
Kirkham of the Council of Seventy.

Elizabeth Robinson Thurber

My name is Elizabeth. I was born to James Coupe Robinson and Alvretta
Farazine Butler Robinson, on the 25th day of December 1886. It was so
close to the 24th that mother decided I needed my own birthday so she had
December 24th put on the birth certificate. I was a very healthy baby,
and enjoyed a pleasant childhood, with brothers and sisters to play with.
I was very close to May and Alva. The boys worked hard with Dad, and
Mother and we girls spent some of the summer months on our small farm
just outside of town. One event I remember during the summer was when a
bear visited the ranch and scared our cow-scared me too. I had never seen
a bear before.
I didn't graduate from high school. The eight grade was pretty average at
that time. In my late teens I went to Manard to visit some relatives. I
was traveling by stage coach. Just outside of town a house was being
erected, and on a protruding board next to the eaves was a painted sigh,
"Maid Wanted, Enquire Within". At my earliest convenience I went back and
asked about the job, not
knowing it was only a practical joke. Josh Thurber and his half brother,
Joe, were building and Joe painted it for fun. That was my first
introduction to my future husband.
I returned to Paragonah, and on his next visit to his mother's in Spanish
Fork, he came to call. We were married October 15,1909 in the Salt Lake
Temple, and made our home in Manard.
Our family include:

Agnes                              November 3,1910
Loyd B.                            October 4, 1912
Alvretta Farozine            January 6, 1917
Albert King                  April 23, 1919
Delsa                                    August 4, 1926
Melva                                    November 4,1928

Annie Thurber, a sister-in-law was mid-wife to all but Lloyd. She was
very close to all of the family. Her husband Joe was always handy with
hard tack candy for my children. He and his wife had been to Hawaii on a
mission and of times spoke Hawaiian when others were present.
Uncle Joe was the blacksmith for Manard but eventually lost his hearing
because of the hammering. I count the number of babies Annie delivered-
there were hundreds.
I remember one trip I planned, I was going on a visit to Mother's. Lloyd
was just old enough to go out behind the house and cut off all his
beautiful long curls. I was so upset I left him home. Agnes was a good
baby. They all were really, but Alvretta was a little headstrong. Her
temper came to the top one day. She was swinging in our rope swing
(screaming). She kicked her foot so hard her shoe came off and went right
through the window.
Money was scarce. Josh had helped build the Mormon reservoir and was paid
$3.00 a week for him and the team. Our farm wasn't producing much and the
strain of washing on the board, milking, tending turkeys, chickens, and
pigs, etc. in my early married years didn't help my physical health.
Lloyd and Dad were content for me to wash on the board till I was sick,
just long enough for the wash to pile up where they had to do it. That's
when I got my May tag washer. It made wash day much easier. I usually put
the boiler on the stove, filled it with water, let it boil, put lye in it
for the hard water to come to the top, skim it off, and then cut the P&G
bar soap up in little pieces, then pour this into the washer. Wash day
was an all day project, usually bread was baked in the oven. It was hot
anyway because I was heating water to wash. I made eight big loaves in a
big dripper pan. It took a lot for six children.
We moved to Gooding when Delsa was seven, partly because of my health. We
rented for a year or so while the forty acre farm was established. During
that time we tried raising chickens. But the economy was too poor. Eggs
were one penny a piece - when you could sell them.
Soon after we moved into our basement home six miles north of Gooding,
the power company came around with the good news and we had electricity.
The men folk built a straw barn for a temporary building for the
livestock until the lava rock barn could be erected. This was very
durable and had a wooden roof with a room built overhead. Delsa and Melva
slept in this room during the summer. Dad and the boys also built a one
car garage, and of course we needed an outhouse, so this was done by my
On this ranch we supported eight cows, some purebred Poland China hogs, a
few chickens, and about fifty head of sheep. Disaster struck on Sunday.
We had put the cows in the corral just before going to Sunday School.
They had been feeding on first crop hay and raced to the corral. Dad said
if he had thought, he would have known they would bloat, but we ventured
to meeting and upon our return four of them had bloated and died. We had
another catastrophe when some drunk driver ran into our small sheep herd
while they were in route to pasture. Dad and AK caught the men about
twenty miles up the road, but they denied everything. Six of the sheep
were killed and others injured. Our last shock was while Delsa was away
at school in Weiser. Our registered hogs got cholera, and it wiped them
I had my first stroke while I was visiting Mother in Paragonah. I was
sleeping behind the stove, and it must have been too hot. I woke up on
the floor, my right side paralyzed. I'm sure I would have made it through
the night fine, but previous to my visit I had been in an accident while
I was driving the car against the sun at dusk and ran into a herd of six
horses I couldn't see. One raised up, put his front foot through the
window and the glass cut my leg. I was taken to the doctor's office and
was left in the waiting room until he finished another patient. A vein in
my leg had been cut,
and blood about the size of a match spurted out at every beat of my
heart. I was in shock and didn't have sense enough to put a compress over
it, and the office girl did nothing either. Thus my loss of blood and my
eventual stroke. They called Dad and he came to see me in the hospital.
They soon released me to go back to Gooding. I was glad to get home and
see my family. Agnes was married by then, so was Alvretta. Lloyd was away
in the service and AK and the girls, Delsa and Melva were the only ones
home. I had a series of five strokes after that. It was a hard struggle
getting my right arm, hand, and leg to move again. I would just be almost
back to normal when I knew another stroke was coming. I had much help
from my oldest daughter, Agnes. She left her husband for a year to help
out. My sister, Alva was out quite a bit to help, and during all of this,
I had a wonderful loving husband who never left my side. For the course
of almost seventeen years he was very devoted to me and my needs.
I always knew the Gospel was true. When possible I traveled to my
meetings on crutches, then a cane with Melva, Delsa, and Dad to hang
I know my Heavenly Father was right there beside me inspite of my trials.
I served as Relief Society President from the time we moved to Gooding
until my first stroke. In those days when people died, the Relief Society
made the burial clothing. It was quite a task, but so many willing hands
made the work lighter. I am thankful for my loving family and my
wonderful heritage.

Joseph H. And Annie C. Thurber
Clifton Dixon
Information gathered from family histories.

Joseph Heber Thurber was born on May 23, 1858 in Spanish Fork, Utah to
Albert King Thurber and Thirza Malvina Berry. Albert King was called by
Brigham Young to settle in Sevier County as an Indian Missionary. He was
also sustained as councilor to Stake President Joseph A. Young. When
Franklin Spencer became Stake President, Albert King was one of his
councilors. When President Spencer was released, Albert King became Stake
President, serving until his death. Through all this he was a Missionary
to the Indians. Albert King was a comb-maker by trade and made all of the
combs produced in Utah for some time.
Joseph Heber was a faithful member of the church. When the United order
was started in 1876, he worked as a logger at the sawmill. He was
proficient at this work and trained one of the best ox teams, and
accomplished this without swearing at them.
During the time of the Order, he married Laura A. Keller in the Endowment
House in Salt Lake City. To this union was born:

Laura                             August 7, 1877
Ora                               March 26, 1880
Joseph Sheldon              September 5, 1883
Nora                              June 10, 1886
Dora                              June 10, 1886
Vern                              June 29, 1890
Jesse K.                          February 27, 1896
Albert King                       October 28, 1898

During the time of the Order, Joseph was a policeman in the city of
Richfield. As a Peace Officer he was firm but low key.
A crowd in a white top buggy decided to chivoree a newly wed couple. They
drove by the house repeatedly with tin cans, bells, and other noise
makers and pelted the house with rotten eggs. Infuriated, the man finally
took a shot at them with a pistol. No one was hurt, but the rowdy crowd
was going to avenge the shooting. They wanted an officer of the law to
back them up, so they got Joe out of bed to help them. He got in the seat
of the buggy and took the lines and drove each of them to his home where
he told them to get out and go to bed. When all were delivered, he took
care of the team and went to bed himself.
He served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith. After two years, his
instructor became discouraged because he couldn't collect his money and
traded his business to Joe for a pony and small wagon. When he had his
own business, he decided that he would not charge widows or orphans for
services. Sometimes he also canceled the bill of poor people. In those
days, Stake Presidents had to travel extensively, so Joe would set their
tires and shoe their horses at no charge.
His father, Albert King, had property and livestock at Greenwich, Piute
Co. and he asked Joseph and Laura to care for them. For a couple of years
they spent their summers in Greenwich and returned to Richfield in the
While living in Greenwich, a school teacher, Annie Christensen, boarded
at their home. Laura and Annie became very good friends. Joseph and Laura
were converted to the plurality of wives so Joseph and Annie became good
friends, too.
On April 30, 1885, Joseph H. Thurber and Annie C. Christensen were
married in the St. George Temple. To this union were born eight children
(seven lived to maturity).·

Orlando                           August 20, 1886
Eugene L.                         February 17, 1892
Matthew V.                  March 2, 1893
Edna V.                           February 14, 1896
Lee Rae                           May 9,1902
Ruth C.                           February 11, 1905
Albert Heber                      February 3, 1914

Annie Christine Christensen was born October 7, 1866 in Milton, Morgan
Co., Utah. Daughter of Lars Peter Christensen and Ann Marie Nielson Lee
both migrated from Denmark. Her mother was not very well so, as the
oldest daughter, family responsibility settled heavily on her. But her
mother encouraged her to go to school and she received a good education.
Annie taught at Greenwich mixed grades 1-8 for two years, one year before
she was married and one year after. The two families lived harmoniously
but US Marshalls forced Annie to live to some extent as a fugitive. These
were hard times. Joe was finally arrested and served 26 months in prison.
While in prison he kept a journal, recording events that he experienced
at that time. He also learned bookkeeping from Rudger Clauson. Later he
taught bookkeeping to other inmates. Evidently he was a good prisoner,
earning the respect of officials and other inmates.
A short time after his release from prison, Joe and Annie with a five
year old son were called on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. He did
blacksmith work and operated the stationary engine at the sugar factory.
She was called to work in the branch relief society for six months.
Later, although in a "delicate condition," she traveled with the mission
president's wife to the big island and rode horse back to visit quite a
number of Branches there. She found pleasure in helping missionaries,
doing their laundry, mending their clothes etc. In 2 1/4 years two
children were born, one died soon after birth but they brought a few
month old son home with them.
They were still troubled by the law but he was not incarcerated again.
Annie became interested in obstetrics and went to Salt Lake City for
training. She left one child with her mother and the other with Laura,
the first wife. She was in a "delicate condition" again, but she finished
the course in seven months, graduated with good marks.
Because the US Marshalls were still around she went "underground" till a
few weeks after the baby was born. A few days after the birth of Annie's
daughter, Laura gave birth to a son.
Non-members were critical of the church and often published
uncomplimentary articles in the paper of the day. After reading an
editorial by Mr. Matern, Annie saw him on the street and wanted to talk
to him. He was ahead of her walking in the same direction. By the time
she caught up with him, she was out of breath and simply slapped his face
and told him he should know what that was for. There were several
witnesses and a good deal of discussion followed. Naturally it did little
to improve feeling in the community since the editor was the son of the
Presbyterian minister.
A little later, the Philippine war broke out and John Matern, the editor,
was the first man in Richfield to volunteer. Annie wanted to go to war as
a nurse but having a family, she could not. She did, however, see Mr.
Matern in a new light and wrote him a complimentary letter. He was
impressed by the letter and they became good friends.
When Reed Smoot was elected to the Senate, his credentials became the
subject of a congressional investigation because of Polygamy. Annie C.
Thurber was subpoenaed to go to Washington D.C. to testify. It was an
eventful trip for her. She was put up in a lavish hotel. All of her needs
were given instant attention. Her testimony went well and she had a good
feeling about it all but she never could understand why she was the only
person from Richfield to have been called.
Six weeks later a baby girl was born. Ruth felt that she was honored to
have accompanied her mother on the trip to Washington D.C.
In 1910, shortly after the death of Laura, the first wife, they moved to
Manard. Joseph and Jim Butler purchased the blacksmith shop from Bill
Tyke. The partnership lasted about a year. Joseph than bought Jim out and
continued the blacksmith business until 1933.
In 1918 they bought the home of Harvey Dixon Jr. He was custodian of
Manard Hall. He received $50 a year plus one dollar for each special
occasion, banquette, ball game, party, election, etc.
Few people impacted the Manard community as positively as they did. He
was a competent mechanic and kept the hall clean and in good repair at
all times. She was a practical nurse and midwife for the community to
some extent for the whole valley. Concerned and tireless Aunt Annie and
Uncle Joe were always there. It is believe that Aunt Annie welcomed more
than 1000 babies into the world. She was the Primary President of the
Manard Ward for fourteen years.
When Manard Hall was moved their home was also moved to Fairfield. Uncle
Joe retired but Aunt Annie continued, for a time, as practical nurse and
Uncle Joe and Aunt Annie lived in a difficult period of church history.
The rigors of pioneer life were compounded by interference of the law.
Financial stress was constant. Much time and effort was spent as
fugitives and answering demands of the law. In spite of all this, they
served their church and community well, and earned the respect and
devotion of all who knew them.
The James Vandiver Family
Willis Vandiver

James Pearl Vandiver was born November 14, 1876 in Knox County, Missouri.
April 1, 1906 he married Edna Woods, who was born October 26, 1883 in
Adar County, Missouri. In 1913 they moved to Spokane, Washington, then to
Mountain Home, Idaho. The James Vandiver Family came from Mountain Home
to Camas County in March 1915 by wagon and settled near Manard. There
were the parents, James P., Edna, and their five children, born in

Willard P.                  January 1, 1907
Clifford L.                 March 6, 1908
Merrill B.                  October 15, 1909
C. Herschel           January 15, 1911
V. Loree                    December 10, 1912

James had bought the Anderson Place of 160 acres about five miles east of
Manard. A year or two later he bought the Gridley place of about 200
acres which grew wild grass hay. It was a mile west of the Vandiver home
separated by a neighbor's land. They made a living mainly from milk cows.
They separated the milk through a # 15 DeLa Vall separator and sold cream
to the creamery in Fairfield. Other sources of income, although small,
came from selling pigs, eggs, and Holstein steers.
Their house from 1915 to 1924 was a two room clapboard shack with a
wooden shop about 50 feet from the house where the boys slept. In 1924
James built a one room house by the side of the shack from lava rock
picked up east of the house.
Three more children were born to the Vandivers in Manard by 1921:

O. Mae                            August 19, 1916
Willis C.                   June 2,1919
N. Edna                     June 17, 1921

Tragedy struck the family in June 1921. Baby Edna was born June 17. Three
days later the mother evidently had an aneurysm break in her head. She
lost consciousness and died on June 20th, 1921. Two days later she was
buried in the Manard Cemetery.
When the dear mother is gone, who cooks the meals, washes and mends the
clothes? Who comforts the children with their little bumps and cuts? Who
usually sets the example of good manners and kindly living? To whom could
the father turn for support, advice, and decision making when his eldest
child was only 14? Who could care for Baby Edna?
Edna Nielson stepped forward and temporarily took the baby. Loree, then 8
years old, took care of Mae (5) and Willis (2). John Bahr and his wife
who lived about 2 miles away adopted Baby Edna and raised her as their
The children went to school at Springdale two miles southeast of Manard.
They remember teachers Alice Butler, Mary Dayton, Albert Kelly, Margaret
Moon, and Idola Richline.
Two family members, Loree and Willis attended the L.D.S. Church at Manard
and later joined the Church.
The years passed to 1928. The older Vandiver boys were young men. The
oldest three found jobs on a ranch near Colotes, Washington. That same
year "Jim" sold the Anderson place to Albert VonKrosik and moved to the
Gould house across the creek one and one-half miles to the northwest.
That same year a horse bucked Jim off and he broke his left shoulder. At
that time Loree was living in Fairfield attending high school. Mae was
living with Mr. And Mrs. George Kitelinger. Only Willis and Herschel were
at home with their dad. They were left to care for the cows and other
chores when Jim sought medical treatment in Spokane a week after the
injury. The doctor had to re-break the shoulder. He put a cast on with
the arm held in an "L" shape over his head. One of the cast braces was
resting on the (funny bone) nerve. This ancient procedure in 1928 caused
his left arm to shrivel away after the main nerve died leaving him with
only one good arm to run a dairy herd and some beef cattle.
The summer of 1929 Jim moved what remained of his family into the old
Nielson house about 2
1/2 miles southeast of Manard. He bought the approximately 200 acres on
which the house was located. Mae now 13 came back from the Kitelingers
and became her father's house-keeper. Only Mae and Willis were still at
home. They milked the 16 cows that summer. That fall and winter Mae and
Willis attended the Old Springdale School together. Mae was in grade
eight and Willis was in the sixth grade.
Dad's arm loss convinced him to sell all his land and animals and move
the family to Greenacres, Washington in 1931. Here he bought 10 acres of
apple orchard and 5 acres for vegetable farming. In time Willard,
Hershel, Loree, Mae, and Willis all returned to the Prairie.
Willard became a farmer and stockman. Hershel moved to Jerome where he
farmed and as a hobby was a talented woodworker. Mae married Harold
Brooks, a farmer on the Prairie where they lived until they retired. Then
they moved to Gooding where she now lives. Loree became a teacher,
teaching for several years on the Prairie. Later she married Ron Lee and
taught in the Rigby and Lewisville area. Willis married Jean Smith and
distinguished himself as a teacher and later became a specialist in
elementary education at Montana State in Bozeman. Merrill became a
millwright in the sawmills in Washington and northern Idaho. Edna married
and lived on the Prairie.
After his death Jim was buried next to his wife in the Manard Cemetery.

Note: We had left the dear, old Manard vicinity forever with fond
memories of the many friends who lived there. At this writing (1997) by
Willis, many have passed away as have most of the Vandiver family. Only
Merrill (88), Mae (81), and Willis (78) remain.
Farm Equipment
Clifton Dixon

The industrial revolution during the 19th century had made many changes
in agriculture by the time of this history. Grain harvesting was greatly
improved. The hand held scythe had been replaced by the reaper which cut
the grain and dropped it into small bunches for convenience of hand tying
a bundle, and the reaper had been replaced by the reaper-binder which
tied the crop in neat bundles with twine. Once bundled, grain could be
shocked to dry for threshing.

The reel sweeps the cut grain off the platform on to the ground in
bunches, for hand tying.
Reaper Binder pulled by three or four horses.   Ties neat bundles with

Shocking Grain

Some early threshing machines were horse powered. Several teams circled a
power unit which transmitted power to the threshing machine via a
tumbling rod which the horses stepped over each time around. These units
were not the best because it was hard to maintain a constant speed and
horses had to be rested several times a day.

Horse-powered thresher
Steam engines with belt drive were much better but they had to be
supplied with coal and water in substantial quantities. Internal
combustion engines soon appeared. They were more efficient and required
less attention. Headers were sometimes used instead of binders. Where
there was little rain fall in the west, the grain would ripen while
standing and the header would cut the grain just below the head, with a
short stalk, and elevated it into a wagon box to be hauled directly to
the thresher. With less straw to handle, more grain could be hauled and
separated, but large crews with good coordination were essential.

Belt-powered thresher.
Internal combustion engine.

Combine harvesters soon developed. Headers were attached to the threshing
machine to cut and thresh all at once. Some were ground powered and
pulled by horses, but were not very successful because it was hard to
maintain the constant speed required for threshing. More successful were
the self powered combines powered by internal combustion engines. Early
models were large and cumbersome, requiring twenty or more horses to pull
them. And at least three men were required to operate the machine. One
drove the team, another adjusted the header and another bagged the grain
and sewed the sacks so the bags of grain could be transported.

Ground powered combine.   Owned by Fritz Frostensen and Burton Bean.
Pulled by eight horses.   (four behind the header)

Twenty mule team on a combine.
Smaller more mobile combines soon developed and grain bins replaced
baggers. And finally threshing machines became self propelled. One man
operated these machines, needing only trucks to haul the grain away.

One of the most significant developments was the invention of the steel
moldboard plow by John Deer about 1830. This plow inverted the furrow
slice, killing native plants, covering trash and exposing clean soil,
easily worked into a seed bed. The first were walking plows. (Also called
foot burners.) They required the attention of an able bodied man. Wheels
and a seat were later added making it possible for a boy or partly
disabled person (civil war wounded) to operate the plow. Two, three or
more plows were put together to form a gang plow. Multiple hitches of
horses pulled them. This greatly enlarged the capacity of a farmer. Later
powerful tractors replaced the horses, additionally increasing the
farmers capability.

Foot Burner plow.
Two way plow in the
Gang plow with eight
horse team.

In the intermountain west, feed was required to winter livestock. By the
time of this history, mowing machines and dump rakes were common. Cutting
and bunching the hay was easily done. Hay was pitched onto wagons and
hauled to the barn or stack. As a practical matter, hay began to be
stacked in the field. This speeded up the operation. Hay could be hauled
from the field to the livestock in the winter when there was more time.

Horse-drawn mower.
Dump rake on the way to the field.

Harvesting hay with wagons.

Large stacks were more desirable, and the Mormon Derrick became popular.
They would lift a load of considerable size to a great height and the
load at the end of the cable could be placed nearly anywhere on the
stack. To secure the load, two lengths of chain or rope were laid on the
wagon, forming a sling. When loaded the pulley on the end of the derrick
cable was hooked to one end of the sling and the cable with the trip lock
was pulled over the load and sling ends were attached to the trip lock.
When the derrick cable tightened the load was compressed into a neat
package to be raised onto the stack. When in place, the trip was
released, the sling pulled away, leaving the load in place on the top of
the stack.

Mormon Derrick in operation.

When hay was only moved a short distance, slips were used. Slips were
basically a wagon without wheels. Low to ground, they were easy to load
and a team could pull them a short distance quite easily. Sweep rakes, or
buck rakes came into use. They had about a dozen teeth, with a
substantial backstop mounted on wheels. The teeth would slip under the
hay and gather a sizable load, which was then pushed to the stack. A
lever arrangement raised the teeth so that the load could be laid on a
net made up of three chains or ropes. The derrick pulley hooked to one
end of the net and the cable and trip lock were drawn across the load and
hooked to the other end of the net. Then the load could be raised onto
the stack.
Buck rake or sweep rake.

Over-shot stacker.

Some overshot stackers were used. A buck rake would lay a load on the
stacker, which would raise it in a 90 degree arc, throwing it onto the
stack. They were fast, but most of the hay had to be moved by hand to
shape the stack. Two men were usually required on the stack. The Jenkins
Stacker, that would deposit a load in several predetermined location on
the stack, were less labor intensive.
Hay balers finally came in to use. The first were hand tied wire balers.
Hay was picked up from the windrow and forced into a square chamber by a
powerful plunger. Wooden pallets lowered into the chambers at intervals
to separate the hay so that the ends of a wire could be passed through
from one side and hand tied on the other. It made a good bale and was
flexible but was very dirty work for those who tied the wires. Soon
automatic balers were developed using wire and twine. Bales weighed 100
lbs. or less and could be handled by hand. Bale loaders and stackers
reduced labor, but hauling baled hay was a mans job.
Modem farmers use a mammoth baler which make bales weighing 800 lbs. or
more. These are fast, and efficient, and require little hard work, but
the equipment is very expensive .

A word of appreciation for the privilege of publishing this series of
articles. Arthur Robert Frostenson is a lifelong resident of the Manard
community. His insight and talent help us understand the way it was.

Clifton Dixon

Harvesting In Midwinter
A. R. Frostenson

Midwinter might seem like an unusual time of year for harvesting, but is
was a most uncommon crop that my family gathered. A team of horses with a
sled, 3 or 4 strong men, a couple of long-bladed cross cut saws with the
handle removed from one end, pike poles, spud chutes, and tongs, all were
needed to handle our midwinter harvest.
If you haven't guessed by now, this winter "crop", taken in January and
February was-ice. My family had to go a few miles to the Malad River or
to the Mormon Reservoir. In advance we selected the best-looking water
holes in river or reservoir and kept the snow shoveled off so the ice
could develop. A blanket of snow would keep the ice from freezing deep,
and it needed to be at least twelve to sixteen inches deep to keep
through the summer.
The first assignment was to cut a two-foot hole in the prepared ice. Then
we began to saw a long cut across the pond, perhaps thirty feet long. We
next measured and scarred the ice into 30 inch squares. by this time a
couple of men could begin loading the blocks onto the flat-bed sled. To
load these 30x30 inch-square blocks of ice, the chute was placed with one
end on the pond and the other on the sled. Men would push the blocks over
to the chute with the pike poles and two men would use ice tongs to grab
the ice square and pull it up the chute where it was stacked on the sled.
When loaded, the sled would be driven to the ice house, several miles
away to be unloaded the same way.
Our ice house was probably 20x30 feet, 12 feet high, and was half full of
sawdust brought from our local saw mill in the Deer Creek area. Before
the ice was stored the sawdust was shoveled back so the ice blocks could
be stored as a solid block, and as the work progressed the sawdust would
be shoveled back and tamped firmly around the ice to remove air pockets.
The crew was always careful not to stack the blocks too close to the
outside walls of the house-perhaps a foot or more inside them and the
sawdust was packed into this space too, so the ice was well insulated. It
took about two days to complete our "harvest" and perhaps the only hazard
connected with this work was the danger of someone slipping into the
newly opened river water (although this never happened to anyone in our
crew). For the rest of the year, the ice was uncovered when needed and a
portion was chipped off a block and the hole immediately filled with
tamped sawdust.
This wasn't a cash crop so marketing was not a problem. In fact, we and
the neighboring families who had helped us harvest the ice, all used it
free during the next summer. For some reason, my family had the only ice
house in the neighborhood, and anyone who desired ice cream or a cool
drink would come to our ice house all year to chop off a chunk of ice to
fill their needs. The ice they took would be rushed home fast, thrown in
a tub of water to wash off the sawdust and was then ready for use.
When June, July, and August came around, it was always a pleasure to dig
out ice for ice cream or iced tea. To make ice cream, the block was
broken up and the pieces were thrown into burlap sacks and smashed finer
with the flat of the ax. These small pieces were poured around the ice
cream batter container, mixed with several handsful of coarse salt to
reduce the temperature of the ice and water solution. Thereafter it was
simply a hand-crank effort for thirty minutes until this delicacy was
ready to sample. No one ever thought that we might become sick from
drinking the ice tea we made. We called it Malad River iced tea, or
"Camas Tea" and we all went on living happily.
In Fairfield, the man who owned the dray business, W. L. Gilson, and
later, Walt Rupert, harvested and stored hundreds of tons of ice from the
river in their large ice house-located where the Camas County Shop is
now. People from all over the valley could buy ice from them all summer
for 1 cent a pound.
We cut and harvested ice every winter until the early 1940's, when the
REA brought electricity to the farms on Camas Prairie and we could make
ice in our own refrigerators.

Hauling Wood
A. R. Frostenson

All through my youth, and until the end of World War II, hauling wood
from the mountains north of Camas Prairie was a dedicated annual
obligation for most home owners. There was no electricity in rural Camas
County until after 1942 and not many efficient oil or gas burners either,
so wood was the answer for winter heat and summer cooking. October and
November saw us cutting and piling enough wood to keep the home fires
burning for another year.
My brother, Sten, and I would get up in darkness on these mornings and
get our teams of horses ready, and by daylight we would be heading for
the mountains. We worked in and area of Deer Creek, which was ten or
twelve miles from home. Some mornings it would be 0 to 20 degrees below
zero. If the temperature dipped below -20, we declared a stay-home day
since we had to travel sitting on open bunks on the sleigh sleds with no
protection from the weather. We had no heavy coats, but wore plain
coveralls and perhaps a Levi jacket. We depended on the exercise ahead to
keep warm. When we got too cold during the ride, and just before we froze
solid, we would hop off and walk a mile or two behind the sleds to warm
up. This alternate walking and riding would continue all the way to the
woodpile or "skidway" as it was called where the logs had been stacked
when they were brought off the cutting area a month earlier. We would cut
up smaller trees-not over 20 inches in diameter at most, into 14 foot
lengths and then load them into the sled. Later, at home in early spring,
when the frost would soften up a little, we would cut the logs into
seven-foot lengths and then, using splitting mauls and wedges, split the
logs into fence-post size. Three men could split out about 300 posts a
On our trips to the mountains, we always took along grain and a good
amount of oats for our horses. And we took a substantial meal for us,
which was really welcome at midday. Our lunch generally consisted of a
sandwich made with fried ham topped with a fried egg and a sliced pickle,
between slices of homemade bread. Another favorite was a peanut butter
and honey sandwich and a cookie or two. We were never without our thermos
of coffee either. No fresh fruit of any kind could be taken along because
it would be frozen solid by lunch time. After a couple of our sandwiches,
we were ready to tackle the world again.
We tried to get home most nights by sundown-riding, then walking all the
way home, to keep warm. There is nothing colder than a frozen, snow
covered log to sit on. by the time the loads were on the sleds each day,
our britches' legs would be wet up to our knee height or higher. The snow
melted on our pant legs and froze to solid ice on the way home. I would
feel as though we were wearing a pair of stove pipes on our legs,
swishing and rocking together as we walked. But that ice kept the cold
air completely out, and our legs stayed surprisingly warm.
After 1945, because of electricity, many neighbors stopped hauling wood
from the hills. It became too difficult in the winter weather to keep the
road open by ourselves so we stopped also. We began hauling our wood in
October on a one-ton Chevrolet truck we owned and it seemed like a better
solution than fighting the elements. Even now, I still like to have a
winter fire in our living room fireplace, so I haul out a truckload or
two of wood each fall.

Horses vs Horsepower
A. R. Frostenson

During the early years of farming on Camas Prairie, until the 1920's or
the early 1930's, most farming was powered by four-legged horse power.
There were no efficient farm tractors yet being made and fuel was hard to
come by. All the farmers had efficient, workable barns to house their 10-
30 horses and the feed for them.
My family had 28 head of horses. Handling that many animals was a lot of
work. My job in the mornings was to arise at daylight, take the pony (or
run on foot) to the pasture, and wrangle the
horses. While I was doing this, my Dad, my brother Sten, and my sister
Anna milked the cows we had. By the time the others were nearly done with
the milking, I would have the horses in the corral to begin a very big
job. The horses knew their places in the barn and each would go in to get
the hay and grain in their boxes. Every horse-of the 21 head we were
using-wore a halter with a ring on the chin strap so we could snap on a
halter chain, tying them to the manger. After they were all tied to their
mangers, they had to be harnessed. The collars were first placed around
their necks and the rest of the harness was sort of "thrown" on their
backs and fastened to the collars with straps. Later in the year, near
the end of plowing, the horses' shoulders would become sore from the dust
and heat. Then, in the morning, it would be necessary to scrape the scabs
caused by the collars and to clean and disinfect them and grease the
horses' shoulder sores with a special salve called Gall Salve Compound.
Everyone carried a pocket knife for jobs like these.
By the time these morning chores were completed, it was time for the
substantial breakfast that my mother and sisters had prepared. I was
always hungry after so much activity! After breakfast my Dad, brother and
I hurried back to the horses. I usually drove nine head on a three bottom
plow in spans of three. Sten used six head on a two bottom plow, and Dad
using six head on the harrows. To get started we first had to get the
horses out of the barn to put bridles on them all. Then we teamed them up
in the order they would be driven in the field. In my case, I arranged
three horses in the lead, three in the swing or middle team, and three in
the wheel team, closest to the plow. We always walked with the horses to
work. I would drive three horses and lead six .. .! was always in the
middle. After arriving at the field, the horses were hooked to three
"single trees". The team for harrowing the ground worked six abreast and
pulled 20 feet of harrow. Every horse's tugs were hooked to a single tree
and the single tree was hooked to a "double tree" (or a three-horse-
evener), so that the mechanical advantage was the same for each horse. By
the time this was done, it would be about 8:00 in the morning!
We would work until twelve noon, unhook the horses from the plow and head
with them to the barn and watering trough. Here we pumped water (by hand
since we had no electricity for pumping) or drew it from the well with a
bucket, for all twenty-one head, put them in their respective places, fed
them, and went to our own lunch. The afternoon was a repeat of the
morning's work. At 6:00 in the evening we would quit working in the
field, bring the horses into the corral, feed them and unharness them.
They would munch their hay and grain while we ate our supper and then we
would turn them out to pasture for the night. We could only work horses
for about eight hours a day and they needed to be watered and fed about
every four hours.
1930 was the beginning of the era of expansion and bigger farms. Farms
were increasing in size, but most expansion didn't gain momentum until
the mid 1930's with the arrival of tractors on the scene. The early
tractors were usually wheel tractors with broad steel wheels studded with
inverted v-shaped lugs 4-6 inches long. They certainly weren't very
practical, because in the soft springtime ground, they would easily mire
down and too, they packed the ground too hard for seeding. There were
many makes of tractors; Ford, McCormick, Case, John Deere, Oliver, Titan,
Steel Mule, Allis Chalmers, Heider, and others. We had the latest model
of Ford. The driver's position has down low, between the drive wheels-
almost on top of the transmission. The roar and grind of the gears made
ordinary thunder seem mild. Most early tractors were very noisy and
impractical here in Camas County because of our fields' variable hard and
soft spots in spring.
About 1930, Caterpillar Company came out with a track type tractor. This
machine laid its own track and rolled on it, making it much more
practical in soft ground. During this time, many farmers were
experimenting with tractor power. The largest farm in Camas County in the
1920's was the Selby Ranch, composed of 2200 acres, three miles east of
Fairfield, now the Bauscher Ranch. It operated with a huge (for that
time) 60 horse power Holt Caterpillar track-layer tractor. Its blast and
bark could be heard all over the east end of Camas Prairie.
Soon McCormick (now International) and Allis Chalmers started producing
their own track-layer tractors and now farmers had a really good working
machine with several definite advantages over horses. He could gain more
land for production by plowing up the native pasture land, which he had
needed for summer feed for his work horses. In addition to the
disadvantage of the enormous physical energy needed to farm with horses,
and the time limits on a horse's strength, tractors only used gas and
oil. The next ten years would see most all of the working horses
disappear from farms, in favor of tractor power. Even then, these were
not the huge tractors we use now; most were in the 30-50 horsepower
range. But a farmer could work day and night if they wished to get his
work done. No need to stop and feed horses or let them rest.
By the 1960's and 70's farming would again see a change. Tractor
companies began building a tractor with rubber tire wheels mounted with
wide balloon-type tires called flotation tires. They could roll across
very soft ground without sinking, and the rear wheels were mounted with
dual tires for even more flotation. Four-wheel-drive tractors were
produced. These new tractors moved much faster than track-layers and
quickly became popular. Since these new tractors were equipped with air-
conditioned cabs, heaters, and even radio, no longer would farmers be
expected to be exposed to the elements. These modem embellishments still
seem to be high luxury to me.
The future roll of the farmer is predicted to be sitting in his pickup or
in a self-contained tower close to his agricultural fields, pushing
buttons on his computer to direct the operation of his equipment. Doesn't
this seem far fetched in comparison to the horse and plow days? But it is
not beyond the realm of possibility with today's technology .

Growing Up On A Homestead
A. R. Frostenson

I often think of how my sisters, brother, and I grew up, and how
different it is from the life today's children live. In my most vivid
imaginings I could not have pictured what is taken for granted now. We
lived on what the land produced and what we could manufacture by hand. We
lived without electricity, and therefore without radios, telephones,
televisions, stereos, or computers.
My sisters, brother, and I had a pony called "Keno", and when the weather
was bad-instead of walking the mile and half-we rode him to the Manard
School, or hitched him to a little cart. There was a scene along the way
that always fascinated us. An old man and his wife, Mr. and Mrs.
Ferguson, lived in a weather-beaten house by the side of the road, south
of our home. They had come West from somewhere in the Southern states at
a time when many other Mormon people relocated here. Mr. Ferguson was a
short man and his wife was tall, but stooped over. They were always very
friendly to us. Most every morning, if the weather was fine, Mrs.
Ferguson would be sitting outside the house on an old log, smoking on a
com cob pipe. Its smoke would roll peacefully skyward and she would wave
to us. She seemed proud of the fact she was smoking tobacco and, of
course, it was a fascination to us to see a woman smoke--quite like a
fairy tale.
Many days my brother, Sten, and I walked across the fields to school. On
the way along the creeks and canal, we trapped muskrats and skunks. We
skinned the animals we caught on our trap-line and sold the pelts. This
gave us money to buy some really necessary boy things. Since we did not
always smell like violets when we got to school, the teacher sometimes
sent us back home.
All summer, Sten, Swanny, Anna, and I lived outdoors every possible
moment. Since we kicked off our shoes as soon as the weather warmed up in
the spring, and ran bare foot all summer, our feet became as tough as
leather. We loved the violent thunder and lightening storms and were
never afraid. We herded our cows, played up and down our creek chasing
wild birds and animals, hiding in the tall grasses and wading and
swimming almost every day in the creek's water hole. The hole was a deep
one where we taught ourselves to swim. There was no one to teach us, so
we mastered it in a swim-or-drown fashion, ignorant of conventional
swimming strokes. We managed to say on top. In the late summer, a swim
could leave a few blood suckers or leeches on our skin to be removed
before we put our clothes back on. We had our faithful dog, Touser, who
came along on all excursions. He was sort of a Collie, but mostly just
Shaggy Dog and would help us by digging vigorously-even tackling a badger
or rock chuck. I think all kids should have a dog to love.
We often caught wild animals-squirrels, baby rabbits, and ducklings. We
built pens for our wildlife, and generally, when the creatures grew up,
we turned them loose or the duck flew away. One summer-about 1919-we
captured five little coyote puppies. While the coyotes were in our pen,
we would yelp and howl around them, and then all five would begin to yowl
in serenade. They could be heard for miles around the countryside. For
several years after they were loosed, we heard them at nights howling
along the creek.
If we had toys to play with, they were ones we had built for ourselves-
tin can wagons, wheel barrows made from old wheels, stilts to walk on,
and beanie shooters (if we could find the rubber). Not one of our
acquaintance had money to buy toys, and I cannot remember ever seeing any
in the stores, anyway. Stores in our area stocked only necessities. Our
closest associates in those early days were our nearest neighbors-the
Reagans, the Baldwins, the Chandlers, and a Swedish family
named Moline. Lonzo Baldwin was the closest friend Sten and I had. The
most exciting thing that could happen our lives was to stay a weekend
with him or have him come to our place. We climbed hills and explored the
earth and especially loved to roll rock when the Baldwins lived in the
hills during the summer.
Sten and I had a lot of fun together, yet we also had some fierce
skirmishes. One summer when we were eight or nine, my Dad gave us the job
of sawing up a large pile of limbs. It was dry wood, amounting to a
couple of cords, and we were going to use a short 2-handed Buck saw to do
the job. As the day wore on, we began to get tired and soon we were
accusing each other of not doing his 'fair share' on the end of the saw.
Not long after our words began to fly, chunks of wood were flying. In
fact, anything we could lay a hand on flew, and we broke windows and
knocked boards loose on buildings. We survived the war, and by the next
day we were ready to try again. We finally worked out that wood pile.
The same summer, Dad bought us both one squirrel trap-all he could
afford. He told us we would be paid two cents for every squirrel we
caught with it. By summer's end we had caught one hundred squirrels, and
each got one dollar. We both used our earnings to buy $1.00 "Ingersol"
pocket watches. Two summers later bought us a single-shot 22 rifle. We
spent hours with that gun, stalking squirrels, birds, and rodents. We
would take turns shooting, and our agreement was, if we did not bag our
prey in one or two shots, it became the other fellow's turn. We never had
many arguments about this. Sten and I were happy to hunt, especially if
it provided food for the family. We learned at an early age to pick
feathers and skin and clean birds. We could cook them too, because we
were taught that if we hunted, we should know how to use the meat. I must
admit it never tasted as good as my mother's because she was a most
excellent Swedish cook.
As the years have gone by, changes and new inventions have gradually
entered Camas Prairie. Cars and planes, electricity, school
consolidations, wars, and the Depression changed our lives forever. Those
early days, though, when we had so little actually seem to have been very
full of love, learning, joy, friends and activities-life's best bequests.

In Snow, Uphill Both Ways
A. R. Frostenson

It was November 15th, 1930. There was a strong, cold east wind blowing,
threatening snow. I didn't mind this kind of weather-it would produce a
little excitement for a short excursion I was planning. I had an
invitation to the Prom at Wendell, with a girl from there. Gladys Hall, a
young school teacher at the Manard School here, was going to the same
dance with Frank Bovey a teacher from Wendell. We decided that, in spite
of the threatening storm and the warning advice from my Dad, we would go
down to Wendell together in my Model 'A' Ford. The roads were bare, and I
delivered Gladys to Frank's boarding house, then went over to my date's
home. During the dance a vicious snowstorm began. About 11 :00 p.m. it
was snowing very hard, and we decided to head home while we could still
travel the roads.
I put on my set of tire chains, and we drove back to Gooding where the
snow was already 6-8 inches deep. As we turned the first comer five miles
north of Gooding, we slid around in the snow and lost one tire chain. The
snow was nearly a foot deep and we simply could not go any farther
without both chains. It was nearly 1:00 in the morning, and there was
only one sensible thing to do. We got the car turned around somehow and
drove back to Gooding where I got two rooms for the night at the Lincoln
Inn (yes, the same place. And I paid $1.50 each for those rooms).
When we entered the lobby of the Inn the next morning, we found ten more
people who had been snowed away from Fairfield, milling around trying to
decide the best solution. Since it had stopped snowing, we started out in
five cars for the high country, staying together to help each other in
case of trouble. There were three Model 'A' Fords and two Chevrolets, all
sedans, (meaning glass-enclosed). We all put chains on our tires and some
had extra chains. We made sure we had snow shovels. The weather had
cleared somewhat, with the sun coming out and blue sky overhead. There
was wind blowing but not much drifting snow.
Gladys and I were in the lead car and we had taken up two fellows with
us, Ronald and Berwyn Burke, the local Camas Courier newspaper
publishers. Behind us were Mr. Fowler, superintendent of schools, Morris
Stokes and his wife, farmers, Del and Alice Turner, owners and operators
of the
telephone system, and Nile and Mary Daling, teachers.
We were about halfway to Fairfield (15 miles north of Gooding), the snow
became progressively deeper, there was considerable drifting, and the
road grew very narrow and crooked. We were shoveling more and more, and
advancing slowly so we decided to chain all five cars together, bumper to
bumper. In those days, although we hadn't heard of snow tires or front
wheel drive, cars had real bumpers to wrap things around. We used ropes,
wire, and chains to link ourselves. Four vehicles pushing can propel the
lead car through a lot of snow, but many times we each had to shovel out
just to reverse. We worked away and gradually the sun went down and we
found ourselves in a dark moonless night, with the temperature dropping.
Ronald Burke rode ()n my hood and signaled with a flashlight when to go
ahead and when to back up. We would all roar forward, shoving the lead
car into the snow drifts until we lost momentum, then Ronald's flashlight
blinked two times and we all backed up, perhaps 50 feet, and repeated the
process. The men all made overshoes out of old coats, blankets or
whatever we could find, tearing them into strips and tying these around
our feet to save them from freezing.
The last thing anyone in the group expected to see was a snowplow because
there were none. When the first snow of any significant amount fell,
everyone simply put their cars away for the winter and got out their
sleighs. If anyone wanted to travel to outside points, it was by Union
Pacific Rail or on horseback. The road between Gooding and Fairfield
would not be used again until spring.
By eleven o'clock that night we had managed to force our way to the top
of Johnson Hill. We continued on, shoveling through eighteen inches-and
more-of drifted snow. By this time, Morris Stokes, who hadn't been well
got quite sick, and we were worried that he might die. We put him in the
front seat of my car since it was the only car that had a semblance of a
heater. We prayed that he might live. As we started down the valley side
of the hill we were concerned that one of our cars might be shoved
irretrievably off the edge. We needn't have worried-the snow was heavily
drifted in places, and by three o'clock in the morning we had made it
down to Kevan's Flat. My car ran out of gas and Fowler's ran so low on
oil and water that its motor was ruined and it had to be abandoned. I
walked two miles west to the Painter Farm (where Mark Hansen lives now)
and bought two gallons of gasoline to carry back to my car.
By four o'clock in the morning we were still 9 miles (by the road through
Manard) from Fairfield. At seven o'clock we reached Manard, a thriving
community at the time. Gladys Hall lived there close to the school with
another teacher, and she arrived just in time to teach school on Monday
morning, after 23 hours of shoveling snow and struggling through drifts
without food or drink. Gladys and I were much better acquainted after our
adventure, and I had actually enjoyed every minute of it.
This snow storm had come as a total surprise-no one expected so much snow
so early in November. All 18 inches of it had fallen during the hours of
darkness. The stockmen from the lower valleys had not yet trailed their
cattle and sheep out of the prairie for the winter. At least eleven bands
of sheep (of 2,000 head each) became marooned on the Camas Prairie in the
heavy snow.
Alex Gardner, Jim Farmer, and Coiner Company, the Faulkner family, and
the Patterson family all were anxious to trail their bands out as soon as
trails could be broken.
The other three cars got into Fairfield about nine o'clock that morning.
I drove my Ford on home-another mile-thinking my Dad would really
appreciate having the car back safe. I also naively thought with longing
of getting to bed, since I was sure I didn't have anything pressing to do
after my long night. But when he saw me, the first thing my father said
was, "Hurry and get a bite to eat. We have to help Alex Gardner (who had
been pasturing on our place) move his sheep over the hill immediately.
Harness up the team to the sled with the hayrack and get a load of hay".
My brother Sten and I loaded up the hay and set out with it and a camp
wagon, a supply wagon, and extra horses, trailing 2000 head of sheep.
Since my little group of 5 cars had already shoveled off most of the snow
from Manard to Gooding during the night, we did have a trail to follow!
We trailed as far as Flat Top Butte, arriving about 7:00 that evening.
After scattering the hay for the sheep, we headed back home. I arrived at
last at 2:00 Tuesday morning.
A very long winter followed, and Camas Prairie was frequently isolated by
closed roads. Morris Stokes recovered from the adventure. Gladys' friend,
Frank Bovey, couldn't come up from Wendell very often, but Gladys and I
got to see each other frequently. Camas Prairie had a busy social life,
and there were long sleigh rides, all-night dances, potlucks, card
parties and other events. The early November snowstorm of 1930 turned out
to be a good opportunity. This year-1993-Gladys and I celebrated our 63rd
wedding anniversary.

Camas County Country Schools
A. R. Frostenson

The year was 1909 and Manard School had just been built. Up until now,
school had been held in a one room log cabin on the south side of the
river. This new building was the pride and joy of all who lived in the
community, and many had a hand in the building. It was a two room school,
a library, and indoor dispensable toilet facilities, and was meant to
serve many people.
When the school officially opened under the direction of two teachers,
Miss Elva Barrett and Miss Woods, there were approximately 80 pupils,
ages six to eighteen, with some of the older ones not caring whether they
came to school and learned to further their ability to read or not. In
fact, they were sort of a nuisance and a bother to the teachers. But in
those days, without interference from parents, school board, county
superintendent or courts, the teacher could wield a paddle if he or she
was big enough to manhandle the student.
The teacher not only taught four grades, and could have up to eight, she
did her own janitorial work and split wood for the school room. Sometimes
some of the older boys would show off their mighty strength by splitting
some wood and sort of polishing the apple a little. School basics,
reading, arithmetic, music and art were emphasized. Elaborate programs
for nearly every holiday took care of the drama. Parents insisted on all
of the above. The state required a passed, written exam before an eighth
grader could enter high school.
At this time, Manard was a community made up of almost one hundred
percent LDS people. There was a farmhouse on every 80 or 160 acres of
farmland. The Twin Lakes Reservoir (Mormon) had just been built and
lateral ditches were carving up the land, assuring the people of plenty
of water and added food supplies and prosperity. In addition there was a
post office, general store, blacksmith shop and a big new LDS building
later known as Manard Hall.
It was moved to Fairfield in 1934 by the Mormon people. By this time the
population in the Manard area had dwindled to the point where it was no
longer practical to hold services there, so the hall was moved to
Fairfield to become the center of the new LDS stronghold. Now, in 1992,
the only thing that remains of the school is a school site marker, and a
monument on the Bob Frostenson comer. The monument houses the school
bell, water pump, and a list of all the teachers from the beginning to
the end. This monument is visited by many people who just wish to
By 1950, there were 21 school districts in Camas county, Fairfield being
the last to form. The reason for this was because there had been no
Fairfield until the United Pacific Railroad was built through the valley.
Soldier was the county seat and when the railroad was built in 1911-12,
all of the business moved to Fairfield to be near the rails for supplies
and transportation. The building of the railroad was of extreme
importance in the final settlement of Camas and the school districts.
Hill City, which was the turnaround for the UPR, was, until the mid 30's,
the sheep shipping center for the United States. This simply meant that
more sheep were shipped from Hill City terminal than from any other
single shipping center.
A very interesting fact concerning these school districts was that each
one was a community in itself, with all school, business, social, and
even church in some cases, revolving around the school. Every school had
a big outdoor bell mounted in a belfry on top of the school. Every
morning these bells would ring at 8:30 and again at 9:00. It was standard
procedure, and at certain times one could hear the bell from another
school as well. The purpose of this was to remind the kids playing along
the lanes and fields that they had better hurry on to school. This helped
the home folks to get the right time also. There were very few (how about
no) telephones by which one could check the correct time.
By 1925, there were still about 40 students in the Manard school, and by
the mid 30's, the number had shrunk to about 30 students. By 1944, it
became a one teacher, one room school, continuing as such until 1947 when
Manard became the first school to consolidate with Fairfield, and
therefore also purchased the first school bus ever to run in Camas
Most of the remaining districts consolidated soon after this and each
district devised some method of transportation of their own to get the
pupils to the Fairfield school. But if consolidation was the answer, then
school buses must be the means of transportation for all county schools.
The county was then forced to upgrade the roads countywide, so school
could run. This then became the prime concern over the next few years. To
combat the wind driven snow of winter, the county raised the north and
south roads about two feet so the snow might blow away to some extent.
Always before, it was no problem for a child to climb the drifts on foot,
on a horse, or in a sled. This was a way of life, and they did not mind.
It was very much fun.
By 1952, all 21 school districts had consolidated into one in Fairfield
and five buses carried the children in from the far comers of the county.
Hill City was one of the last to consolidate. This was a transition that
came upon the people gradually because the economy forced the small farms
to merge into bigger units, leaving fewer children in the districts. The
people were very reluctant to abandon their schools because, in so doing,
they lost their identity and were no longer a specific part of the
county. They were confused and felt like a people without a country.
Gladys Frostenson still lives in the Manard area and taught school there
in 1930 and 1931, and remembers serving lunch of soups, etc. warmed in
bottles in a pan of hot water on top of the big coal stove. Her husband,
Bob, and sister, Swanny, being of parents from Sweden, could speak no
English, as only Swedish was spoken at home. They learned English in the
school. Sten and Anna, brother and sister, then learned English from
them. Gladys taught school again in 1945 through 1946. This was due to
the after effect of the war, when there was a tremendous shortage of

An Apple A Day
A. R. Frostenson

In the early part of this century, when I was growing up, taking care of
children's ailments was a far cry from today's medical care. We had all
the usual maladies-ear aches, tooth aches, terrible colds, influenza, as
well as many other diseases you do not even hear about today.
I can still remember the remedy for minor illnesses like stomach aches: a
tablespoon of castor oil. Golden Medical Discovery was an all-around herb
tonic my folks liked and we were raised on it. For toothaches we had our
gums rubbed with Raleigh's Red Liniment. Even if it did not stop the
ache, we could depend on it to take all the skin off around the sore
I spent nine years in grade school because our school was closed most of
the winder of 1919 with the influenza and whooping cough epidemics. No
one advanced to the upper grade during this lost year. All the families
in the community were affected by the world wide epidemic in some way. We
Frostenson children all survived, but three of our close neighborhood
died that winter, as did dozens locally. The influenza at that time was a
powerful strain, killing people all over America and Europe. Since World
War I was just over, people everywhere were rejoicing for that, but we
were dismayed and sorrowful over this dreadful disease. Doctors at that
time had no antibiotics or vaccinations to administer, and they were at a
loss to know how to stop the epidemic. It finally ran its course, taking
a years' time. The same winter, Sten and I both caught whooping cough,
and we though we would choke to death.
I have often though how lucky I was to have a brother at all. When Sten
was 4, he contracted spotted fever, a serious sickness caused by the bite
of a Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick. For many days, my mother and father
never left his bedside. He had an extremely high fever and Doctor Higgs
spent much of his time at our house watching over him. In desperation,
the doctor gave him strychnine pills which kept his heart pumping. Sten
slowly recovered, but it took him at least two more years to get his
strength back. It was a miracle he made it, the Doctor said. For a couple
of months after his recovery, he could not go outside or actively play,
so I had no one to roughhouse with. I remember how glad I was to have
Sten recovered.
One December, around my sister, Anna's 10th birthday, she became very
sick with an extremely high fever. The doctor was called and he told my
fearful parents that she did indeed have scarlet fever. This was dreadful
news to them because, during his youth back in Sweden, my father had lost
4 brothers and sisters in one week to scarlet fever. The doctor was
concerned enough to close the Manard school down for the 3-week
incubation period. A quarantine sign was slapped on our door and no one
could come into our house nor were we to visit others during this time.
Our neighbors were good to bring us groceries, but they didn't come in-
just set the food over the fence for us. Anna's temperature hovered
around 104 degrees and although vaccinations were in their early days,
the doctor sent for the horse serum shot to give us. It was strong and
painful, but we all took it.
After the incubation time was up, our house had to be fumigated.
Fumigation in those times was considered essential to kill the germs and
lift the quarantine on the house. We did this by lighting sulfur sticks-
much as we light candles. The acrid chemicals burned for 48 hours,
followed by a 244hour airing out period. All doors, windows, and cracks
in the walls had to be sealed with tape to keep the fumes inside the
house. This was a major task in some homestead houses! Clothes had to be
taken from closets, bedding separated, books removed from bookcases and
"fanned" open so the fumes could penetrate. In the meanwhile, my family
moved up the road into an unused house owned by the Reagan family for the
three-day fumigation period. Anna recovered from scarlet fever and only
one other child at school ever got the disease.
As the years went by, a little sister and brother were added to my
family. Alice was dark haired, and always happy and Pete, born a few
years later, was a beautiful child with blue eyes and white hair. I guess
I was at the right age to really appreciate Pete and will never forget
how much I liked to play with him.
When Alice was about two years old, she fell from a wagon, and the heavy
wheel ran over her leg. Thankfully, the leg was not broken, but she
limped for a long time. We didn't know what was injured in her leg and
there were no orthopedic doctors within 500 miles. I was about 8 years
old and in the second grade when my sister Alice died. She was three. It
was a beautiful October day and word was sent over to the school that our
little sister had passed away. She had been quite sick for a week with
something called "summer complaint". It is called dehydration (from
vomiting and diarrhea) now. We couldn't believe such a sad thing had
happened to us. Hospitalization and intravenous fluids were decades off,
as a treatment for this.
In September of 1920, my little Pete died of the same disorder at age
two. It was another beautiful autumn day when we buried him beside my
sister, Alice. Everyone said God took Pete because He needed a good
little angel helper, and he would be happy there in heaven. They told us
children that he would still be playing with us, but we just wouldn't be
able to see him. This was a terrible blow to me and I didn't think it was
right. I wanted Pete here to be my helper and playmate. I can remember
for years after they died, I would lie on the north sides of buildings in
the heat of the day and look up into the blue sky to see if I could spot
an angel perhaps. I could see all sorts of things float by in the sky;
bunches of cobwebs, insects, flocks of birds, but I could never see
anything I knew for certain was an angel. It is always very hard for
children to accept death, and it was many years before I could reconcile
myself to the fact that it must have been God's will, even if no one
could tell me why it was His will. Life went sadly on and I guess time
heals most all wounds.
All our neighbors came to the services held for Alice and later Pete held
in the Manard Hall, in the non-disbanded community of Manard. Funeral
services were conducted much like they are today although there were no
funeral chapels, at least not near us. When a person died, it was the
custom to "layout" the body on a table or bench. The body was bathed and
covered with white netting and after the first day was sprinkled with
balsam and other herbs. A couple of neighbors or close friends would come
to the home to sit up with the body for two nights. This was as a
sacramental farewell to the loved one, to comfort the family, and perhaps
to be certain in the days before embalming that the deceased was not in a
coma, imitating death. The room was kept lighted with a candle or
kerosene lamp. As soon as a person had died, the family would notify a
local carpenter who promptly came to take the deceased's measurements. He
returned to his shop to build a coffin-usually made of pine because of
its fine texture. Our community's coffin maker was Dolph Naser. It would
be difficult to estimate how many coffins he built over the years. His
wife, Blanch, would line his caskets with velvet, ribbons, and pillows.
These two fine and dedicated people performed a valuable service for
their neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood owned a nice rig - or
later a car - they would offer to carry the casket to the cemetery in it.
Everyone else would follow in buggies or wagons. Cemeteries on the
Prairie at that time were located where they are today; at Hill City,
Corral Creek, Soldier Creek, Manard. Nevertheless, there are some
isolated grave spots where a few folks were buried, one far up on soldier
Creek, and one east and south of Fairfield.
The population of Camas Prairie was much larger then, and the medical
measures to prevent illness were fewer. Death and dying were more a part
of every family's experience especially for the very young and elderly.

Days Gone By
A. R. Frostenson

In the days of the horse and buggy, even after the automobile came into
existence, one source of entertainment and social gatherings was the
Saturday night dance. They were held every weekend in at least one of the
fifteen school districts around Camas Prairie. Even if some of the
schools were not very spacious, there always seemed to be room for
everyone to dance, eat, and visit.
The first arrivals to the dance would use the hitching posts in front of
the school to tie up their horses. As more teams arrived, they just tied
their rigs to another wagon or sleigh. Babysitters were not needed
because everyone brought the kids along. When the little ones got sleepy,
they stretched out on the school desks and tables lining the walls of the
room and covered with coats and blankets. There they slept until time to
go home.
The music for these dances was always live and performed by local folks.
The band used the school's piano or organ. Added to that would be a
variety of instruments-fiddles, a banjo, and accordion or saxophone
sometimes. I well remember some of the musicians for these dances and
they were surprisingly professional. As you might expect, Mannie Shaw was
popular, as were the Miller brothers; Reuben, Glenn and George. Others
that entertained were Jake Kershnor, Slim Larsen, Elva Olsen, Henry
Rodamaker, Frank and Doris Cook and Myrtle Miller. They played the
popular songs of the day and tunes to dance to, like Turkey in the Straw,
Red Red Robin, Blue Danube. We danced the two-step, the foxtrot, waltz,
the Virginia Reel and other square dances. In this age of electronic
sound, perhaps this seems simple, but the music was unbelievably good and
lively for country dancing. And some of the local people who were able to
do some extraordinarily fancy dance steps (complete with head stands)
were sometimes given the floor for their performances. Two characters who
could put on quite a show were Dick and Harry Krahn who were simply so
full of music and rhythm they were uproarious.
The supper was usually served at midnight. Everyone always brought the
good food that country and small town women are so famous for. After an
hour of eating, visiting and getting updated on local news, the dancing
continued. People didn't expect to get home before 3:00 in the morning.
whether it was summer or winter. Some of the school houses I remember
dances in were those on Elk Creek, Soldier Creek, Hill City, Corral,
Punkin Center, Manard, Krahn, and Daniels.
One Saturday in January in the late 1920's, Orville Neilson and I
organized a sleighing expedition. There was to be a dance at Wardrop Hot
Springs (now known as Field's Hot Springs Ranch) just fourteen miles
away. There was a dance hall there and we could expect good old country
music. We invited about ten couples, as well as a few singles, and
Orville and I prepared a big hayrack, 7x16 feet, with a thick layer of
hay, straw bales, and blankets. We had four head of horses, complete with
sleigh bells, to pull it. We first picked up our local Manard people and
went on to Fairfield to pick up others. Everyone brought more blankets,
foot warmers, and hot rocks for heat. Orville didn't invite a date so he
did most of the driving. The temperature was zero, but the stars were
bright and no one seemed to notice the cold. The group had a good time
snuggling, hopping on and off the sled, singing, yodeling. We got to the
dance about ten o'clock. We danced and visited, and around midnight,
potluck supper was served. Hot coffee was brewed on the hall's stove and
the rocks and footwarmers were re-heated on the stove. About three
o'clock in the morning, we finally began the journey home, arriving back
at daylight. More than one budding romance got encouragement that night,
and the memories of these outings have lasted a lifetime.

Box Suppers
A. R. Frostenson

A lively social event called "Box Suppers" were very popular in our area
before and during the Depression years. They usually were sponsored by
the schools or churches in conjunction with a dance or a program to raise
funds-and raise money they could, even in those lean years. Essentially,
the supper was an auction of lavish individual meals in boxes, prepared
by the ladies of the community. Each box's cook was supposed to be
unknown to the men who did the bidding, and the winning bidders then ate
the meal with the cook whose box they had just purchased. It was a great
time of visiting, joshing, and wonderful food.
Naturally, many of those who attended were couples who were dating, or
singles who were looking for a date, and the bidding on those boxes could
become fiercely competitive. Many times a young man had been saving money
for this very purpose and would bid a lot of money for his girlfriend's
box to keep an outsider from buying it. Other young men, who had their
eye on that same girl, would have been saving to do the same.
There would be an average of twenty-five boxes about the size of shoe
boxes, prepared for sale at a box supper, decorated in all the colors of
the rainbow. Colored paper, bright ribbon and artificial flowers,
decorated to rival Christmas gifts, glistened on the tables. But the
boxes' covering were not what sparked the young men's bidding; it was the
thought of the delicacies inside the box, prepared by the girl of his
dreams, just for him, that caused some of the prices to soar to five or
six dollars-a tremendous sum for those times. The young ladies knew that
their cakes and pies, fruits, and sandwiches made with home cured ham and
homemade bread would bring a good price.
Although it wasn't supposed to be done, some girls decorated their boxes
with a subtle hint to the boy to insure his bidding on the right box- or
so she hoped. Even then there were mix ups from time to time. And the
fellow who succeeded in buying the wrong box would then have to eat with
the box's owner, an embarrassment if it was a girl he hardly knew. Or
worse yet, a girl he didn't especially like. Once a good friend of mine
named Bert, bid a very high price for the box he was sure was his
girlfriend's. He wasn't a happy fellow to learn that he had to eat with
his sister. Not the romantic picture he had anticipated.
There are always those who want to break the rules and I am embarrassed
to admit I was once one of them. One evening the Elk Creek School held a
box supper and dance. A group of us fellows were going to drive over to
the Stanley area to arrive early in the morning for some salmon fishing.
We left Fairfield about eleven o'clock at night, and swung by Elk Creek
about the time the bidding started on the Box Supper at midnight. My
friends and I pooled our resources and outbid everyone for two boxes.
Instead of looking up the girls who prepared them we took the boxes with
us and ate the goodies at Red Fish Lake. My conscience bothered me a bit,
but none of us boys wanted to admit to any wrong doing. A week later I
got a letter from Edna Peck, a good friend of mine. She told me she
didn't give a "hoot in the night" whether I hadn't wanted to eat with
her. And, as if this didn't make me feel bad enough, she said she would
certainly appreciate having her silverware back. I felt about three feet
tall, so I wrote her a letter of apology, sent her cutlery back, and we
became friends again. I always remember the enjoyment of these suppers
with nostalgia, and a feeling that they shouldn't have been lost. We
could use a little of that kind of fun today .

Just Thinking
A. R. Frostenson
The farmers in Idaho and especially those of us in Camas County have been
frustrated with the drought-one problem even politicians will not
guarantee to fix. There is plenty of lip service being paid to its
effects, but its solution lies with our Maker sending us more snowflakes
and rain drops. Then years of this weather has maximized headaches. Times
can only get better.
There are fewer farmers to be affected by this weather condition now-in
fact, in 1994 the United States has less farms that at anytime since the
Civil War. In 1935 there were 6-8 million farms, the peak number. Today
there are fewer than 2 million farms. And yet the total agricultural
output remains about the same because U.S. farmers are no longer able to
make a living from small acreages, and have been forced to expand to much
bigger farms. They have bought up the interests of the large numbers of
farmers and stockmen giving up the struggle. Another important reason for
increased production is the wide use of commercial fertilizers and
pesticides. Lately, there is a trend for the consumer to want organic
farm products, grown without pesticides or commercial fertilizers, just
fertilized with manure or other "natural" decomposed farm growth. Organic
product sometimes doesn't look as bright or appetizing as food from
factory farms, but is accepted as better for our health.
Agriculture is still Idaho's number one industry even though fewer
Idahoans are directly involved. We seem to be weathering this
agricultural consolidation better than the rest of the nation, overall.
Between 1987 and 1992, the new census found Idaho farms had declined to
just under 22,100 farms-an 8% loss. Most of the decline came from farms
in the 500-acre or less category.
Our own Camas County is continuing proof of this. In the 1920's there
were 4,700 people living on the Prairie, a self-contained farm on every
160 or 320 acres supporting milk cows, stock cattle, chickens, and pigs.
Now the county has 727 people as of the last census.
Wage earners, however, are in a better position now than ever before. In
the 1930-1940's a workman had to toil two days to buy a pair of Levis
pants for $1.50 since wages were 75 cents a day-for a 10 hour day. Today
a wage earner makes $150.00 in two shorter days, which will buy 6 pair of
Levis! For one day's work then, one could buy 20 dozen eggs but nowaday's
work would buy 75 dozen eggs. The same percentage relates to the price of
clothing, household necessities, China, cookware.
With so much negative dialogue about the American scene today it is time
for us to stop and reflect on the good things to be discovered in country
living. We who like to farm will probably keep doing it, win or lose. It
seems to be in our nature and embedded in our very souls. We enjoy it
even though we might not even recognize the fact. After all, farming is
really very simple. All you need is land, water, some seeds, the right
equipment, incredible patience, a decent computer, a good sense of humor,
and know ledge of the weather. 1'd better also add, expert mechanical
skills, a strong work ethic, an optimistic outlook, and a good lender.

Johnnie Sea Gull
A. R. Frostenson

We are all accustomed to seeing sea gulls following the tractors here on
Camas Prairie. Johnnie Sea Gull, as I think of him, is not really a
native of our prairie, but migrated here from the Great Salt Lake
Territory. When I first started farming this land, there were no gulls
here, and I can remember the day in the late 1930's when I saw my first
ones. On that afternoon, during a fierce thunder storm, I looked overhead
at the base of a dark cloud and saw a flock of white birds blowing and
tumbling along with the turbulent winds. I did not realize what they were
at the time, since they were very high and barely visible. But within a
year or two, sea gulls became common here, and I learned what powerful
flyers they are, and how much they love winds and weather.
The sea gull is truly a beautiful bird with a snowy white body, grey back
and wings tipped with jet black feathers. Their wing spread is nearly 30
inches. A gull, flying directly toward you against the sky will look like
two pieces of slightly curved cardboard with a white block (his body)
hanging between them-almost invisible. Sometimes in the middle of the
day, gulls will start circling, seeking updrafts and thermals. Hundreds
of them will circle together to gain very high altitudes. Soon they come
winging back to earth in long graceful glides, sweeping and curving on
silent fixed wings, to gracefully settle again behind my tractor. They
are at home on land or water but really love the reservoirs and lakes and
even little ponds of water in the fields. They nest and rear their young
by the water. On Camas Prairie this procedure occurs on the south side of
Twin Lakes Reservoir, in the vicinity of Magic Reservoir, and at Sea Gull
Rocks south of Hill City. At night they always seem to head toward Twin
Lakes Reservoir, dipping, crying and forever on the move to their
favorite roosting place.
I have a bad habit of spending time ignoring my work to watch these
carefree birds participating in their play and feeding. I may not see any
gulls in the morning when I first arrive at my tractor or swather, but 15
minutes after I begin to move, fifty or so will arrive. In two hours
there may be as many as a thousand birds, seemingly pulled along behind
me as if by some magnetic force.
Gulls are a farmer's best friend because they destroy more rodents than
all our hawks and cats together. They seem to have an endless appetite. I
believe they destroy 95% of all the mice we uncover while farming. A sea
gull will not eat dead or old meat preferring live worms, small rodents,
small birds, and grasshoppers, all of which they swallow alive. Unlike
hawks, they will not tear up a choice morsel. I watch fascinated as a
mouse is uncovered behind my implement and a number of gulls dive for the
prize. Usually a tug-of-war takes place on the ground until one emerges
victorious. He then flies away with four or five gulls in pursuit, trying
the whole time to flip the mouse around to consume him. He must swallow
his mouse head first because of the way the rodent's fur grows. Sometimes
the mouse will be dropped several times in this process, but another sea
gull will recover the prize before it even hits the ground. As soon as
the mouse disappears down some gull's throat, all is at peace again.
The last of July, for some reason the sea gulls migrate elsewhere,
perhaps because of the heat and arid conditions existing here during
those months. But from April until he leaves, Johnnie Sea gull is my
constant farming companion and source of entertainment.

The Old Home Comfort
A. R. Frostenson
Throughout history men have looked for ways to keep warm and comfortable
during the cold winter weather. To me the "Old Home Comfort" kitchen cook
stove was outstanding for chasing away winter blues. As I was growing up,
my mother's kitchen had one of these, my wife's mother had one, and the
first stove Gladys and I bought as a married couple in 1932 was a second
had "Home Comfort".
This famous old cooking stove was built in Hannibal, Missouri, and was a
legend in the Western United States. They had a two-fold purpose; first
to heat the house and then to cook all the meals. In the winter, a fire
was always kept burning in the fire box end of the stove. The fire box
was built so the flames would circle above and around the oven box before
drifting toward the chimney exit, by continuously heating the oven. After
an afternoon in the snow, one could go into the house with hands and toes
half frozen and open the oven door. Heat would come flooding out. There
was nothing more satisfying than kicking off shoes, placing a chair in
front of the oven and feeling the mellow heat penetrate wet socks and
frozen pant legs. This was luxury!
Quaking aspen and cottonwood were considered the best wood to bum in the
stove in winter, because they left a lot of ash which kept the stove at
an even heat for a long time. In summer, with hot weather, heat was
needed only for cooking, so it was wise to use pine or fir. It quickly
burned up, leaving no ashes, so the house would cool off rapidly. The
ashes had to be cleaned out of the ash box at the bottom about every
three days.
On the fire box end, jammed up against the stove, was a metal reservoir
which could hold about fifteen gallons of water. It rested on brackets
and was held tight against the stove to gain all the heat it could from
the fire box. It was filled with a bucket from the well, and then this
heated water was dipped back out for household use. The water would get
very hot, but not boiling. A tea kettle was always kept on the stove to
meet this need. This reservoir was covered with a bright shiny metal,
probably zinc. It had a lift-up enameled lid which came in many colors.
Most stoves were decorated with a great deal of chrome which everyone
As a kid, I carried thousands of three-gallon pails of water from the
well outside to keep that reservoir full. It sometimes seemed to me that
I had been put on earth for only one reason-to carry water to the
reservoir! But it served some important necessities. One was our weekly
bath, although not everyone had a bath on the same night, because there
was never enough hot water. A No. 3 galvanized tub was placed on the
kitchen floor, and water was dipped from the reservoir into the tub, with
cold water added to reach the right temperature. Then the bather
proceeded to hop in, but not swim around. He had to squash himself into
the small vessel of water, and he could be sure, if he succeeded, that he
was a complete contortionist. After the bath, the tub had to be dragged
out the door and emptied. It was not all roses, but we got clean. And
trouble brewed for the person who emptied the reservoir for their bath
and did not refill it.
The big flat Home Comfort was also ideal for heating water for clothes
washing day. One of two twelve-gallon copper boilers were placed on the
stove and filled with water from the outside well. When the water was
heated to a near boil, it was bucked-carried to the hand powered washing
Those mothers -- who are grandmothers now-were able to cook on this stove
without heat gauges or thermometers to guide them. As a rule, they didn't
need them. It they wanted to know the temperature to cook something they
had stirred up, they simply opened the oven door and put their hand
quickly inside to feel the air temperature. If it felt too hot, they left
the door open a bit and waited. If it felt too cool, they put more wood
in the fire box and waited. They were their own thermometers. When I
think of all the goodies that came from these old stoves, I almost
believe they tasted better than what our modem electric stove cooks. Of
course, long lost youth could be part of such a conclusion, but my mother
and my wife Gladys were excellent cooks, and attached to their Home
Comfort Stove.
When I was about six years old, my Dad traded his farm here on Camas
Prairie for a farm in the Rupert area where irrigation was coming in. The
farm sale was nearly complete except for the signing of the papers. The
Rupert farm wife asked my mother, "I expect you will be leaving your cook
stove here?" Mom told her that she would never do that-where she went,
her stove went. the woman said, "In that case, I will not sign the
papers." My mother said it was too bad, but she couldn't leave her Home
Comfort. End of sale. We stayed here on Camas Prairie-and are still here.
When electricity became available in 1943, my father bought my mother an
electric cooking stove. Mom said, "I don't want it! I can only cook on my
Home Comfort." He told her that he would set it up right next to the Home
Comfort stove and if she ever ran out of wood; she could use the
electric. In a year or two she became an expert cook on the electric
stove also.
Whenever the Home Comfort name is mentioned, it brings familiar stories
to mind to those of us who lived with one in the past. We can clearly
remember why it was so popular. Although there were other stoves with
similar qualities, none ever seemed quite so beloved.

Camas Aero Club
A. R. Frostensen

In 1943, World War II was raging and becoming more widespread. There
seemed to be no end in sight, and more casualties were inevitable.
Already more than fifty young men and women from Camas County were among
the numbers serving in some branch of the armed services. Many of those
of us remaining at home were unhappy and undecided about how we could be
of service. Farmers and ranchers working farm-related activities were
being asked to continue in the important work, to supply food for the
military. Many were also a year or two older than the stipulated age for
military service, but were eager to serve America in some capacity.
About this time the Gooding Airport initiated a flying school to teach
young men and women to fly planes and serve as "spotters" in the Pacific
Arena, flying short runs and directing firing from island batteries to
the intended targets. Many fellows from Camas Prairie - perhaps as many
as twenty - signed up, and when they had a few hours of free time,
traveled to Gooding to train. Renting a plane and instructor was $8.00 an
hour and a student had to have ten hours of dual flying time before he
could qualify for a solo certificate. A private license entailed many
more hours and cross-country flying time, as well as a favorable nod from
the instructor.
Within a short time, many of the Camas recruits had mastered the skill of
flying small airplanes to the point of being eligible for private
licenses. Even though we now had a number of air- minded (or perhaps I
should say air-headed) farmers, we did not have the basic necessities of
planes, or even a field to fly from!
This problem was taken care of in a matter-of-fact way with the
organization of a club called the Camas Aero Club consisting of nearly 20
flyers. Each member contributed $500.00 and many other people in the
community who were interested in an airport also donated funds in smaller
amounts. By September of that year, with $15,000 in our account, we were
ready to begin our project. We wanted the airport to be as close to town
as possible and D.O. Reynolds owned the land we had our eye upon. Being
fair and public-spirited man, he sold fifteen acres to the Club to be
used for the airport. Of course, in those days, no environmental impact
statement or other paperwork was necessary, so we proceeded. The land was
surveyed and plotted and Dee Harley was hired to move earth, level the
site, and build the runway with his equipment. Even though it was not an
all-weather surface it was plenty good enough for us, and we had plans to
improve it later. Lumber was purchased and during the winter of 1944, the
hanger on the east was built so we could house two airplanes and have
office space. When spring arrived, we searched around and bought two
planes; a Piper Cub with side-by-side controls, and an Aronica with front
and back controls. All we lacked was an instructor, and we found a very
good, very qualified one from Richfield, Idaho. Laura Conner, a young
woman who was the daughter in a mother-daughter team, who had flown in
competition races all over the United States, applied for the job and was
With great enthusiasm, the Aero Club started flying from our local field,
with our own planes and our own instructor, and we soon picked up more
interested members. Three of these new recruits were women: Josie
Humphries (Weatherly), Margaret Perkins, and Gladys Frostenson.
Margaret and Gladys accumulated enough hours to earn a solo certificate.
Josie went on to earn her private pilot's license. Other avid Aero Club
members were, C.W. Stewart, Lloyd and Lee Barron, Darrell Hallowell,
Floyd Tracy, George Perkins, Bob and Sten Frostenson, Chick Dickinson,
Harry Durall, Lawrence Davis, Mannie Shaw, Everett Coats, Doctor Keams,
and Jimmy Yamamato.
As a point of interest, in 1942 many Japanese on the West Coast were
being sent to regional detention centers. Jimmy Yamamato and his wife
Mary were the only Japanese family on the Prairie. The authorities came
here and suggested that the Yamamatos be sent to such a center, but the
people of Camas prairie said such a resounding, "No!", that Jimmy, Mary,
and their two teenage daughters, Ann and Margaret, stayed.
I don't think any of the flyers who started instruction at Gooding ever
had the opportunity to enlist and serve in the military, because the
summer of 1945 saw the end of the War, and none of us regretted that. The
next year, 1946 saw even more activity at our field. Seven private
airplanes, owned by C.W. Stewart, Walt Stewart, Darrell Hallowell, Lloyd
Barron, Floyd Tracey, Bob Frostenson, and Albert Thurber were staked at
the airport. Most of these fellows didn't use their planes commercially,
but just flew for the love of flying.
After the winters of 1948-49 and 1951-52, when Camas County was snow-
bound for sixty days each winter, the Camas County Commissioners and
Fairfield City Board decided that an airport was an essential link to the
outside world. They made an offer to the Aero Club to take over the
airport, maintain it, and make it an all weather field. Since the club
would still have the use privileges, it sounded like a good deal to us,
and the airport shortly became the property of Camas County. Much credit
must be given to the Aero Club because without its foresight,
expectations, and energy, the airport would not have become a reality
until many more years in the future.

Manard School
A. R. Frostenson

The year was 1909 and Manard School had just been built. It was the pride
of all who lived in the community, and many of the folks had a hand in
the building. It was a two room school and meant to serve many students.
At this time Manard was a community made up of almost one hundred percent
L.D.S. people. There was a farmhouse on every 80 or 160 acres. The Twin
Lakes Reservoir (Mormon) was being built at this time, insuring these
people of added food supply and prosperity. In addition, there was a post
office, general store, blacksmith shop, and a big, new L.D.S. building,
later known as Manard Hall. It was moved to Fairfield in 1934 by the
Mormon people. In 1978, the only thing that remains of the school is the
four walls, roof, and a monument on the Jack Frostenson comer. The
monument houses the school bell, water pump and a list of all the
teachers from the beginning to the end.
When the school officially opened under the direction of two teachers,
there were approximately eighty pupils, ages six to eighteen, not caring
whether they learned or not. But in those days, without interference from
parents, school board, county superintendents, or courts, the teacher
could wield a paddle if he or she were big enough to manhandle the
student. The teacher not only taught four grades and sometimes eight, did
her janitor work, and split wood for the schoolroom. School basics,
music, and art were emphasized. Elaborate programs nearly every holiday
took care of the drama. Parents insisted on all the above, and the State
required a passed written exam before the eighth grader could enter high
By 1915 there were sixteen school districts in Camas County - Fairfield
being the last of form. Soldier was the county seat and when the railroad
was built in 1911-1912 all the places of business moved to Fairfield to
be near the rails for supplies and transportation. The building of the
railroad was of extreme importance in the final settlement of Camas and
the school districts. Hill City, which is the turn around of the U.P.R.R.
was, until the mid-thirties, the sheep shipping center of the U.S. It is
hard to believe that business has dwindled to one train a week.
A very interesting fact concerning these school districts was that each
one was a community in itself with all school, business, social, even
church revolving around the school. Every school had a big outdoor bell
mounted on a belfry on the roof of the school. Every morning these bells
would ring at 8:30 and again at 9:00. This would remind the kids playing
along the lanes and fields that they'd better hurry on to school. This
helped the home folks to get the correct time also. So when in
1925, there were about forty students yet in Manard School, but the
number had shrunk to thirty in the thirties and by 1944 it became a one
room school. Continuing as such until 1947, Manard became the first
school district to consolidate with Fairfield, and therefore also
purchased the first school bus ever to run in Camas County. The county
was forced then to upgrade the roads to combat the wind driven snow in
the winter. Always before it was no problem for a child to climb the
drifts on foot, on horse, or in a sled. This was a way of life and they
didn't mind. It was fun.
So by 1952 all the sixteen districts had converged into the one in
Fairfield and five buses carried the children in from the far comers of
the county. This was a transition that came upon the people gradually
because the economy forced the small farms to merge into big units
leaving fewer children in the districts. The people were very adamant
about abandoning their schools, because in so doing they lost their
identity and were no longer a specific part of the county. They were
confused and felt like a people without a country.
Mrs. Bob Frostenson still lives in the Manard area and taught school
there in 1930-1931 and remembers serving hot lunch of soups, etc. warmed
in bottles in a pan of hot water on top of the big coal stove. Her
husband, Bob and his sister, Swanny, being of parents from Sweden learned
English in the school. Stan and Anna then learned from them. Manard
School had a basketball team, coached by men in the district. They played
other schools in the county.

Dam Town
A. R. Frostenson

The Mormon people who settled in the Manard area of Camas Prairie were
now ready to begin in earnest on their dam. To initiate this, the board
of directors for the Twin Lakes Reservoir Project authorized a man named
Henry Jenkins to negotiate for, and purchase the land above the dam.
This, Jenkins did, and the land was purchased for $1,500.00. The board
also hired a man by the name of Rhodes to survey and plot the dam and
canal system. The first stock certificate was issued to Henry Jenkins.
There were, at first, about twelve stockholders. Shares under the project
sold for $5.00 each and nearly 2500 shares were subscribed. An Assessment
of twenty-five cents a share (in labor) and five cents a share (in money)
was levied on stockholder. One must remember that this was a $1,500.00
project involving a lot of initiative on the part of the farmers and
stockholders who instigated the project. I doubt whether there are any
trained reclamation engineers anywhere-in our modern times-who would even
open their notebooks and jot down obvious calculations, for the sum of
In order to build the dam, the people who would be irrigating under the
project wanted to organize and establish a headquarters. Therefore, in
the spring of 1905, as soon as their crops were planted the townsfolk of
Manard moved as a body, taking all their belonging, livestock, and
families to the dam site just below the present dam. There they
established what became known as Dam Town. Tents and other types of
shelters were erected along Lake Creek below the dam. During the summers
of 1905 and 1906, there were as many as sixty people living in Dam Town.
Very few men were left to look after the home front at Manard, and even
these worked on the dam during slack times on the farms. Sunday School,
Church, and L.D.S. Primary were held. Romances blossomed, folks married,
babies were born, and although there must have been sharp differences of
opinion, as in any community, everyone was dedicated to complete this
project. Two cook tents were maintained for the extra workers-as many as
fifteen. The cooks received a high wage of $30.00 a month. Ammett Jenkins
worked as a cook in one camp and Velma Jenkins in the other. Most
families cooked in their own tents. The "convenience" of a box buried in
the sand in the creek kept butter and milk usable during the hot summer
days. Because fresh meat could only be kept for a week, different members
of Dam Town took turns providing meat. If they could not supply meat,
then cash was given instead.
There was not a doctor available at Dam Town. The closest doctor, in case
of emergency, was at Soldier, Idaho, six miles (or one hour on horseback)
away. Mormon women-like most pioneer women- -were schooled to handle
emergencies and sickness as part of their bringing up. Some of their home
remedies were very effective. When winter came, the community moved back
to Manard.
To construct the dam, a trench was dug three or four feet down to
bedrock, and a cement core was poured the length of the dam. The dirt and
rock for the dam was hauled from the west side of the present dam by six
to eight wagons and a number of two or four-horse fresnos. The fresno was
a scraper which was loaded up with dirt by dipping the front end down,
and urging the horses forward to fill it. A man always walked behind the
scraper holding a six-foot long lever which he lifted at the proper spot
on the dam so that the forward pull of the horses would dump the fresno.
The wagons were loaded by a four horse team pulling a loaded fresno over
a dirt dump. They had loose 2x6 boards in the bottom which were tipped up
on edge to unload the cargo. The wagons made the long hauls, and the
short hauls were done by fresno. My Dad, Fritz Frostenson, was twenty-six
years old at this time. He worked on the dam, driving fresnos and
supplying hand labor, too.
All the tamping and compaction of rock and soil material was done by men,
mules, horses, and steel-wheeled wagons. It would be difficult to compute
the number of steps taken by men and animals to insure a firm base on the
Taylor Butler had charge of clearing the ground of brush, with the help
of Josh Thurber. Josh also hauled all the cement from Hailey for putting
in the core of the dam. Hailey was a logical choice because that city was
a downhill pull all the way to Dam Town. More than a railway carload of
cement was used. In addition to cement, most of the other necessities of
life were freighted from Hailey which was a well-established old mining
town by then. There was as yet no town called Fairfield, and there was
not a railroad into Camas Prairie until 1912.
At the end of the season in 1906 the dam was mainly completed, and work
began on the Main Canal that leaves the dam. This Main Canal branches
into two canals-the South and the North-about a half mile below the dam.
The South Canal, about five miles long, was finished in 1907, and follows
the South Hills. It demanded a lot of dynamite and rock blasting to
build. The North Canal, about seven miles in length, was finished by 1908
and necessitated building four flumes within it. A flume is a structure
which conveys water across rivers, creeks, and other deep fissures in the
ground. Since flumes are usually made of heavy timbers and sheet metal,
they made the construction on the North Canal time consuming. The year
1909 was spent building the laterals - ditches from the canals across the
fields to be irrigated.
Dam Town ceased to exist after 1906 when the dam proper was finished. And
in 1910, at long last, water was turned into the canals and irrigation
was initiated .

Bob Hunts Deer in Idaho
A. R. Frostenson

It was the last day of deer hunting season, and I was feeling rather
pessimistic and down on my luck, as I had not shot my deer and would have
to settle for a lot of ribbing and kidding. As I came off the mountain,
on my way back to camp I had to cross a rather deep stream of water.
Contemplating on how to best proceed, I noticed a large pine tree on the
other side. On a lower limb sat four wild turkeys. The limb was very
straight and was pointing directly toward me. I really needed all four of
them to compensate for my bad luck hunting deer. How to complete this was
a very exciting question. I decided I would try a very real but dubious
experiment. I took careful aim with my rifle at the exact center of the
limb pointing toward me and fired the bullet which entered the limb and
as it passed the length of the limb, the limb quickly opened a crack and
immediately closed again. As the limb opened the turkey's toes slipped
into the crack and when it closed I had trapped all four birds. I was
delighted. As I walked, or waded, across the stream to claim them, I felt
fish swimming around and up my britches legs. Hundreds of them, it
seemed. I quickly took a pair of shoe laces out of my jacket and tied
them around the bottom of my trouser legs, which were already full of
squirming fish. As I walked out on the other bank the fish were squirming
around even more wildly. I was wearing trousers which had buttons from
the ankle to the knee. As the fish thrashed around, the trouser leg
became so tight that a button zinged off and killed a rabbit who was
sleeping under a nearby sagebrush. I gathered up my game and trudged
happily into camp.

Generation of work dries up
A. R. Frostenson

The year was 1900 when a group of Mormon settlers, having crossed the
plains of the Midwest and conquered the arid stretches of Utah, decided
to move northward toward the untamed and uncultivated land on Camas
Prairie. Some settled at Fir Grove in the South Hills. Many came on to
settle in the Manard area of the Prairie. It became a large Mormon
community. Parcels of land were filed on; homes, schools and a large
church (the Manard Hall, now moved to Fairfield) were completed. Many of
these settlers came from land that had to be irrigated, and although they
were able to farm here without irrigation, they envisioned much more
productive land if they could flood their fields with water. Being
adventurous and ambitious, they scouted around and found a natural site
to build a dam, southwest of Manard on Lake Creek. In 1903, a board of
directors began planning what they would call the Twin Lakes Reservoir
Dam. Without financial backing, other than their own initiative and the
meager income from their own farms, these men and their families began a
$15,000 project. The land behind the dam, where the water would be
stored, belonged to a man named Cyphers. He had pastured his cattle there
on the lush land along Lake Creek. Included in this parcel of land were
the two small connecting lakes - Twin Lakes - fed by two springs. These
lakes, each about the size of a football field, drained into the Malad
River through Lake Creek and may be seen today at the extreme west end of
the reservoir.
In early days they were inhabited by beautiful big trout and were a
favorite fishing spot for the settlers. It was a widely held belief that
this reservoir would never go dry. It held drainage of territory
extending 10 miles to the east, 10 miles west, and 10 miles south, land
that was covered with an unlimited amount of snow every winter. This
belief wasn't shaken for 84 years until the drought of the late1980s and
early 1990s.But with the arrival of 1991, there was no water in the
reservoir to turn down the canals and, for the first time in the history
of the Twin Lakes Reservoir Co., the board of directors were not able to
deliver any water to the share holders. I have irrigated land under this
project for 60 years and never has there been a year when we did not have
enough water for at least the irrigation of one crop of hay. During all
of my life of 80 plus years I have watched this water shed and monitored
the Prairie's snowfall. I have no memory of years as dry as this. No
moisture in the first six feet of soil, waterholes in creeks and rivers
completely dry, cattlemen hauling water from pumps to pasturing cattle
all over the Prairie, give the year a sense of unreality. I almost
believe that if (and when) it rains again, the water will be about half
as wet as it used to be! The year 1940 was very dry and so were '66, '77,
'88, yet each dry year was followed by a plentiful snowfall the following
winter to replenish the reservoir. The reservoir was to the rim and
flowing over the spillway during 1916, 1943, 1952, 1968, 1974, 1978,
1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984. As August progresses, the remaining
reservoir water is moss covered and has evaporated to the last foot of
the dam's outlet, although it is still a refuge of flocks of despondent
geese. Everyday now the water level in the lake gets lower, due to
evaporation and the sad fact that springs have ceased to produce any
water. They are dry. The ground is spongy and soft, making it almost
impossible for the bawling cattle wandering around the lake to get close
enough to the water's edge to drink. They flounder around and mire down
in the mud in attempting to do so.
Odds & Ends

Steers shipped to the east (weighing 1170 lbs.) brought $44 each

May 4, 1911 Census:
Soldier Town 266
Soldier Precinct 1136
Corral Precinct 63
Manard Precinct 295 (estimate)

Nov 23,1911,                 5 pile drivers busy on Railroad Bridge at
Aug 8,1912,            Aero plane visited Soldier
Sept 19, 1912,               Manard Merc advertised yellow transparent
apples raised at Fair Grove.
Aug 27, 1914,                175 Carloads of sheep left Hill City last
Oct 1, 1914,                 Lumber $17 per thousand

Parcel Postal Rates September 12, 1912

1st Pound        Each Additional   11 Pounds

RR & City Delivery                  $0.05                      $0.01
50 Miles                                    $0.05
      $0.03              $0.35
150 Miles                                   $0.06
      $0.04              $0.46
300 Miles                                   $0.07
      $0.05              $0.57
600 Miles                                   $0.08
      $0.06              $0.68
1000 Miles                          $0.09                      $0.07
1400 Miles                          $0.10                      $0.09
1800 Miles                          $0.11                      $0.10
Over 1800 Miles                     $0.12                      $0.12

5¢ for a loaf of bread abandoned by Master Baker in Chicago, 10¢ a loaf
will be standard.

April 17, 1919 Philemon Dixon reported killed in action. May 8, 1919,
Philemon Dixon shows up feeling fine. Only a few have the privilege of
reading their own obituary.
Someone reported to the newspaper that a fastidious newlywed lady kneaded
bread with her gloves on. The editor observed this might seem peculiar
but there are others and he is one of them. He needs bread with his shoes
on, he needs bread with his shirt on, he needs bread with his pants on,
but if some of his delinquent subscribers didn't pony up he is going to
need bread without anything on, and this country is no Garden of Eden in
the winter.

Mormon Tries to Run Water up Hill

Sometimes McKinney Creek sinks in the Fir Grove flat during summer months
so that it is of no benefit to TLR & I Co. but a sizeable stream still
flows on to the ranch. Elmer Nielson decided to take advantage of this
and run water to an alfalfa field and pasture near the ranch house, late
in the season.
He obtained the services of a graduate engineer to survey the ditch. He
and Mike Bryan spent a long, hot summer digging a half-mile or so of
ditch out of the canyon.
When time came to run the water, they discovered that the grade had been
designed in reverse Has if the water would flow up hill. Thus the project
was a disaster, all that work for nothing.
The name of the engineer was Frank Sapp. Elmer commented "Well, at least
they got that right."


Tobako is a demokratic vegetable kempozed uv smoak and cent, and iz yused
a good eel buy inmaits uv almshowses be4 tha get thare.
A good menny men hay maid forchunes oph tobako, and a good menny moar
wood hay bin forchunit if tha haven't.
Sum people meazures the prosperity uv thr kountry buy the inkreese in the
tobako krop.
If it wuzent fur the tacks on tobako, the Guverment wood hay tu find sum
other way uv urning muney, and the epople sum other way uv spenting it.
Wen a man sez he iz a modrate smoaker, it is abought az definite as tu
say anything iz the size uv a dog.
Wen a man sez the only vise he has iz the yuse uv tobako, he generally
praktises that sow mutch that he aint got tyme fur the others.
The yuse uv tobako iz lookt upon az a virchu buy awl hoo r in the grasp
uv the vise.
Wen a man sez he has chued ever since he wuz a boy, and it never dun him
kno harm, it makes me glad tu c him sow well satisfyde with himself.
Wen a boy begins tu smoke he thinx it maix them a General Jaxon.
Whenever I heer a doktor say the yuse uv tobako iz knot injurius tu the
health, I kno wun uv tu things - he yuses it hizzelf or he aint got much
Sum men smoax without harm buy swallowing the smoak without spitting;
others buy spitting without swallowing the smoak. It iz a poor rool wot
wont spit both waze.
Sum doktors orders thare pachence to smoak tu kuiet thare nerves; butt if
tha wood only find out wot kawses thare nerves tu bekum unkuiet, and
remoove it, it wood be moar censible.
Kannibals wont eet a man wot haz yoozed tobako - a hint for mishonaries.
It is a bad thing fur a man wot smoaks tu tell hiz boy it iz a bad habit
tu smoak, bekaws just az sune az he begins tu lurn that hiz father doz
wot is knot rite, he loozes kontrol over him.
I never smoakt butt wun segar, and dident finish that; it finisht me
The modern pedagog teeches yung ideas how tu charoot.
Tobako rezembles watermillins - it kan be plugged.
Pop sez if tobako wuz knot good tu choo God wood not permit it tu gro;
but wen Bill Joans throed a stone and hit him on tha hed, pop kawt Bill
and spankt him by another rool.
The Innjin tawt the wyte man tu yoose tobako, and the wyte man retlaiated
by showing the Innjin how to drink wiskey. Az yoosual, the wyte man is

Dan Cupid's Doings
A few who came to Manard to find their companion.

James McClure and Edna Thurber
Horace Butler and Ida Gould
Joshua Thurber and Elizabeth Robinson
John L. Robinson and Amett Jenkins
Dolph Naser and Blanche Jenkins
Riley L. Dixon and Alva R. Robinson
Will Richard and Ann Butler
K. T. Butler and Thelma Peterson
Hyrum D. Lee and Florence Adams
Lewis Adams and Hazel Nielson
Elmer Nielson and Jane Butler
Ivan Nielson and Alberta Peterson
Oliver Nielson and Addie Adams
Bill Borup and Essie Lee
Madison Kent and Evelyn Lee
Bailey Dixon and Eva Butler
Hugo Olson and Elva Barrett
Albert Olson and Nora Wold
Asael Dixon and Ethel Jenkins
Dennison Butler and Nancy Wardrop

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