Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opal (Louise) Eborn Shepherd (1910-2009) Obituary - Bear Lake - Family History & Genealogy Message Board -

Opal (Louise) Eborn Shepherd (1910-2009) Obituary - Bear Lake - Family History & Genealogy Message Board - "PARIS - Opal (Louise) Eborn Shepherd, 98, passed away December 21, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was born the fourth of 12 children to Arthur P. Eborn and Nina Passey Eborn on December 31, 1910 in Lanark, Idaho.  Opal graduated from Fielding High School in Paris, Idaho. She attended Ricks College for two years and got her B.S. degree from UtahState University in Logan, Utah.  Opal married L. Hugh Shepherd on August 19, 1931 in the Salt Lake Temple. She was a life time resident of Paris, Idaho.  Opal taught fourth and fifth grade for 31 years at Emerson Elementary School in Paris. During the 30's and 40's she played the piano for herhusband's orchestra that played for dances throughout Bear Lake and surrounding valleys.  Opal served in many ward and stake callings in the Paris Bear Lake Stake. Through the years she participated in many organizations such as The Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Paris Literary Club and served as a guide at the Paris Tabernacle.  Opal was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and nine of her brothers and sisters. She is survived by her daughter Maxine Beck (Victor) deceased, of Salt Lake City, her son Wendell Shepherd (Joan) of Logan, Utah, three grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister Helen Rae Ridge (Harry) of Soda Springs, Idaho and Weldon Eborn (Phyllis) of Paris, Idaho.
Funeral services will be on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at noon in the Paris Ward Chapel. Friends may pay their respects on Monday,December 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Matthews Mortuary and again 10 to 11:45 A.M. prior to the service in the Paris Ward Chapel. Interment will be at the Paris Cemetery.
Published in Idaho State Journal on December 23, 2009"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Aunt Opal's Funeral

Today we drove over to Paris for Aunt Opal's funeral.  She died last week and would have been ninty-nine on December 31.  She was Dad's oldest sister.  It was good to see many of the Eborn family in attendance as well as many of the people we know from the Bear Lake area.  It was especially good to see Nina and Steve, Ellis and Jeannine, Reed and also Mark.  Iris and I were  thankful to be there as well.  It was a wonderful tribute to a great lady.  Our cousins, Opal's children, Maxine and Wendell, were the speakers and Aunt Helen Rae gave a short history of Aunt Opal's life.  She will be missed, but she lived a long and full life and I'm sure is rejoicing in the presence of Uncle Hugh, Grandma and Grandpa Eborn, her already departed siblings and many friends, pupils, and associates.  I am convinced that there is good blood flowing through the Eborn family veins.

by Bart

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mission "Farewell" for Elder Jason Taylor Eborn

Three Generations of Missionaries
Germany, Hong Kong, Russia

Today, December 27, 2009 we attended the mission "farewell"for our oldest grandson.  He has been called to serve in the Russia Novosibirsk Mission (Siberia) and will enter the MTC on Wednesday.  He turns ninteen onTuesday.  JT has never been one to delay doing what he needs to do. We will miss him a lot, but we are very proud of him and his family. We know he will be a great missionary and servant to the Russian people.  Rene has set up a blog for him so we can keep track of all his activities.  the blog is

by Bart

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aunt Opal Passes Dec 21, 2009

Grandpa Arthur Eborn making a call on the occasion of the first Darrell and Edna Family Reunion.  The children are Justin, and Alison and I'm not sure of the towhead, I think oneof Nina's boys,  perhaps Adam.

Our cousin, Wendell Shepherd, called me yearterday, December 22, and told me that his dear mother, our Aunt Opal had passed a way the day before.  She was Dad's older sister.  She was just ten days shy of her 99th birthday.  She was my Fourth Grade teacher at the Emerson Elementary School in Paris.  If I'm not mistaken she was the fourth grade teacher of all of us, the children of Darrell and Edna Eborn.  She was a good teacher and had a great impact on many lives.  Some of the  most important lessons I learned in school, I learned in her classes.  She was a wonderful pianist and played the piano and organ in many church functions.  She also taught Brenda and Mark piano lessons and maybe some of the others in the family.  I know, she didn't teach me piano.  I'm sure she dreaded every note that came out of the "Tonette" which all of her students were subjected to.  I was so backward musically, that I even remember faking sick on Wednesdays occasionally so as to avoid the embarrassment of always being the only one off key.  I kept rather close contact with her throughout the years and I know, she was always concerned about each us and the rest of her nephews and nieces.  I am attaching the only picture I have of her in my collection outside of family photos.  It was taken on the day she and  Grandpa Arthur paid our family a call on the event of the first Darrell and Edna Eborn Family Reunion.  It doesn't show her clearly, but is a reminder that she cared about us and loved us for what we were doing.

This picture of the Darrell and Edna Eborn family was taken by Aunt Opal during a Sunday visit with her and Uncle Hugh  in their home in Paris.  You can probably figure out the timing on this picture.  Mark was a babe in arms.

by Bart

The Girls-Brenda and Nina

This is a picture of Brenda and Nina - daughters of Darrell and Edna.
I think we were about five and three. Don't you suppose that they were just so happy to have such cute little girls? I remember wearing ringlets for many years, and the red dress was crocheted and I remember feeling very pretty in it! Mom has told us girls that she enjoyed dressing us up and Mom and Dad always wanted us to remember that we were girls, or young ladies. Dad used to sing a little song to me that went like this -"B-R-E-N-D-A, I sure love you today." and Mom had embroidered my name on a little outfit I wore. And Nina was always Nina-belle. I remember that as Nina and I got older Dad was very insistent that we wore dresses instead of pants, and that we did not have curlers in our hair when boy friends or other guests would come to call. Mother also kept Nina and I from doing the milking chores as she wanted to spare us that job. Mother milked many, many cows in her youth, and she was determined that it was not going to be our job. She would go and do it herself, and have us do the dishes, etc. before she would let us do it! Dad would not let Nina or myself do hard farm work either. They protected us well but we were taught to sew and put up peaches, pick raspberries, and even pluck the chickens! We did learn to work. I remember taking lemonade to the hay crew, or on occasion herding cows, or pulling dandelions for pigs. Mom and Dad were hard workers and we learned to help out. Life was not easy on a farm. And we all learned to work and do our share.

Memories of Brenda
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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Budge Ranch Days

Beginning with the 3rd grade I attended Emerson elementary in Paris Idaho.  We were transported by bus each day.   This was a big change for me as I went from 4 kids in my 2nd grade to about 25 in my third grade class.  It was fun in a lot of ways but also a big change. It became much more difficult for me because shortly after school started Dad and Mom took a job with the Budge ranch.  This ranch was located about half way between Georgetown and Soda Springs and about 2 miles West of Highway 30 and nestled against the foot hills.   It was about 3000 acres and dad was acting as the foreman and mother cooked for the ranch hands.   I went to live with my grandparents Arthur and Nina Eborn for the Winter so that I could attend school.   It was the first time that  I had  lived away from my parents and was very difficult for me.  I was able to visit them on major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas during the winter and on several other occasions  when an automobile could be driven to the ranch.  During the Winter all the roads to the ranch were closed and the only way to get there was by horse or team drawn sled.   There was a bus that ran from Paris to Pocatello several times each week.  The bus driver knew where to let me off and I would start out through the fields.  Usually Dad would meet me but sometimes I would have to walk for a half mile or so until he got there.   It was an emotional time for me and I hated to leave to return to my Grandparents.  I had to travel back over to the highway and wait for the bus.   I remember dad saddling a horse for me  and took me with him as he rounded up the cattle from the foothills and into the fenced fields on the ranch.  I also remember a hill on the south side of the ranch house which was a neat place to go sleigh riding.  I also remember coyotes coming right down to the house,  In the spring I received notice from one of my cousins that I was to take the bus home that night and that my parents had come home.  That was a great day.   When I lived with my Grandparents I had a bedroom upstairs.  It was completely without heat as none of the upstairs in their two story house had heat.  I about froze to death during the Winter.   I would get out of bed and quickly slip my clothes on and run down stairs where it was warm.  One other thing I remember when I lived there was I got home from school one day and Dad was there.  He was on his way to the Budge Medical Clinic in Logan.   It turned out that he had a defect in his heart and they told him not to work anymore or he could easily drop dead.   He decided just to go about his business as he had always done and accept what ever happened.  Doing nothing was about the same as dropping dead in his mind.  He lived until he was 86 and never slowed down until the last five years or so.  Even though our little old log home on Lanark lane was modest by most standards, it was still home and I was glad to get back to cutting wood, milking cows, hauling feed for the animals etc.  The result of Dad and Mom taking the job on the Budge ranch for about 7 months was that he was able to save enough money along with the proceeds from selling several animals at a very good price to pay off the mortgage on the farm.

By Ellis

Thanks, Ellis for this post. Instead of just commenting to the post I'm going to take the liberty to add some of my personal memories of that time in our lives.  Some of my very earliest vivid memories are associated with our time at the Budge Ranch.  I remember  going with Dad sometimes to pick Ellis up from the bus.  It was about two miles through the snow with a team and a sleigh.  I remember the horses plowing through the deep snow and blowing steam out of their nostrils into the cold winter air.  We were all so very glad when Ellis could come to the ranch for a weekend or a holiday.  We hated to see him go back to Paris and to school.  I remember one time, when he was about ready to leave, I had a feeling I didn't understand, I think it was the first time I ever felt like that, but not the last.  I told Mom that I just couldn't swallow,  I had a big lump in my throat.  I think it was about then that I realized that I really loved and missed my big brother.  Another of my most distinct memories while we were there was my fear of going to the outhouse.  It was located about thirty yards from the back of the house.  It was a typical outhouse equipped with all the latest conveniances, an ice cold seat and an old catlog for toilet paper, but that was not the worst part of it.  The worst thing was, that at night during the winter months the coyotes came out and got up on our wood pile, which was between the house and the outhouse. We could hear them howling and yapping almost every night it seamed.  In the morning we could see their tracks in the snow between the house and the outhouse.  Somehow, that just scared the living daylights out of me as a little six year old who needed to go to the outhouse.

I also remember going out with Dad to feed the animals on a horse drawn sleigh with a hayrack.  As we went along, I looked back and noticed that eight or ten coyotes had come out of the willows and were following us.  Was I ever glad to have Dad there with me.  These things made big impressions on my little mind.  Another memory was of me and my little sister, Brenda, who was about two and a half years old at the time.  One time while Mom was cooking for the ranchhands, Brenda and I went for a little hike.  I guess hiking got into my blood early, but I liked to go exploring and I wasn't afraid to take a walk to see what I wanted to see.  The problem this time, however, was that what I wanted to see was on the other side of a slough or very marshy area.  I started off across the marshy area and my little sister followed, not far behind.  Soon she was stuck in the mud and water and couldn't get out.  I  turned to go back and help, but soon found , that I too was stuck in the mud.  Brenda cried and I yelled for help, but no one could hear us. Finally I freed myslef and I don't know how, but was able to help Brenda get free as well,  Covered in thick, gooy mud, we made our way back to the ranch house.  Mom was about to serve dinner to the ranchahnds and was very busy.  She cleaned us up the best she could by turning the garden hose on us until we were clean.  Mom told me afterwards, that she was proud of me and that I might very well have saved Brenda's life. I might add, and my own as well.

I've been back past the old Budge Ranch many times since and it always brings back fond memories of that short period in my early life. It has changed hands several times since then, but it still looks, in many ways, just the same.  We were glad to get back to Lanark and the old, cold cabin, where Ellis would be home with us every night.  It was a great feeling to be together as a family.

By Bart

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early Education in Lanark

This may be a good time in the blog to amplify the information on the Lanark school.  It consisted of two rooms plus a little room where the teachers kept the books and teaching materials plus a small rooms at the rear of each class room which had some small 18" cubbie holes where we could put our coats and lunch.   Each class room consisted of 4 rows of desks (one row for each grade) one room held grades 1 thru 4 and the other 5 thru 8.  We had 3 or 4 kids in each grade.  A large blackboard was at the front of the room.   The teacher would take turns instructing each grade, then she (Charlotte Matthews was my teacher) would give us some work to do and then she would go on to the next class.  No talking was allowed or anything that would disrupt the class. The school year began in early September and ended in April so we would be able to help our parents on the farm with preparing the land and planting the crops.  The subjects taught were very basic by today's standards and consisted of reading, writing and arithmetic.  We had some geography, spelling and things like telling time and other practical things.  In the corner of the class room was a big pot belly stove which had to heat the whole room.  The first grade class sat in a row closest to the big stove and some days it was so hot I could not stay awake.  The forth grade class sat on the other side of the room by some fairly large windows and those students were usually cold on the cold Bear Lake Winter days.

Students that attended school walked or in some cases rode horses to get to school.  It took a serious effort on those days when the temperature fell below zero or there was a "Bear Lake Blizzard"  to contend with.   The kids all came bundled up with coats and boots and warm mittens.   We had morning and afternoon recess plus a lunch period.   The first day I attended school (1st grade) we had a break after we had been in school for awhile and all the kids went to to the rear and started to get into their lunch sacks.  I thought it was lunch time and I ran home to get some lunch at home.  Mom quickly told me that it wasn't lunch time yet and I had to quickly run back.  There were no clocks in the school but the teachers had a pocket watch which they relied upon to keep us on schedule.

We played outside during recess and lunch period.  There was a merry-go-round and 2 ball diamonds layed out in the dirt and rocks.  Very little grass.  The out houses were located in the corner of the school lot.  It was a good 50 yards or more and in the winter it was cold never-to-be-forgotten experience.  In the spring there was usually a time when we could ice skate on the pond across the road.

I enjoyed school.  I was pretty good at baseball, even at the ages of 6 and 7 and was always chosen by the older boys to play on their team.  That made me feel good.   I attended this little school for  1st and 2nd grade after which the school was closed and we went to Paris at the beginning of the third grade and attended Emerson Elementary.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Learning: "Having Been Born of Goodly Parents"

The Book of Mormon starts our with these words:

"I Nephi having been born of goodly parents, there for I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father...."  We as their children and posterity were likewise taught, either directly or indirectly by Darrel and Edna Eborn.  Neither of them had  exceptional opportunities for extensive formal education, though they did attend elementary school and also high school, though neither had the opportunity to complete ther high school degrees.  The reasons were varied and somewhat hard for us in this modern age to understand, therefore suffice it to say that they both learnd to read and write and do their arithmatic and to do it well.  The most important academic skill that they learned was a love of reading.  Dad could often be found reading a book, often on some subject of religion.  He did it regularly and had became very knowledgable on many gospel topics and of the history of the early LDS Church. He was always prepared to participate in sunday school and priesthood lessons, and what he contributed was often the most memorable point of the lesson being given.   He also liked to read magazines on agriculture, especially the Idaho Farmer, and the Reader's Digest.  Dad attended school in the old two-room Lanark School.  The school, in part, still stands and has long since been transformed into a barn and hay shed used by the J.T. Eborn family in Lanark.  Ellis got his first wo years of formal schooling there as well.  Mother went to school at the Liberty Elemenatary School.  It too was a two-room school with two teachers, one for students from 1st through fourth grade and the other for students from fifth though eight grade.  By modern standards these schools were both very poorly equipped.  They were heated on the winter time by a large wood burning stove located in the corner of the classrooms.  Near the stove it was nice and warm, maybe to warm.  At the other corner of the room the temperature was cool, if not down right cold.  Of course, class was often disrupted by the teacher putting another log in the stove.  People of the community would get wood for the schools right along with getting winter fuel for their own homes.  It was a The  community project. The curriculum was centered around the three R's, "reading, writing, and arithamtic, with a little history, geography and sceince thrown in for good measure.  Mother was one of the best students in her class and the school and won several school spelling bees and other contests.  Dad often rode a horse to school in the morning, especially during the winter months.  The distance was about one mile from where the old Eborn home was located.  After arriving at schhool, he would put the reins over the hroses neck and it would return home on its own.  Dad then would usually walk home along the Lanark road through cold and mud and snow.  There was no lunch at school, so the students brough their own.  I remember Dad telling us that his was always  the same almost every day.  Even at a  young age he worked for Uncle Lee and Ida Passey in the morning before school and also after school helping with the farm chores.  His reward, Aunt Ida fixed his lunch for school each day.  In his words, it was always " a cold fried egg thrown between to slices of cold dry bread."  The rest rooms at the schools were outhouses located at the rear of the schools.  They were icy cold in winter and always had a distincive or maybe it was a just stinky , smell.  Old Sears and Roebuck catalogs served for toilet paper.  The teachers were often harsh task masters and never hesitated to show the entire class what happened to any student who got out of hand.  This was especially hard for Dad to take.  He would not stand to be physically abused for anything he might have done or not done.  The Eborn family, the family of Arthur and Nina Eborn, our grandparents had twelve children and lived on a very small farm.  In those early years they were very poor and could not equip their kids for school as they would have liked.  I remember Dad saying, and I'm sure it's true, that one major factors in him dropping out of school during the ninth grade at Fielding Acadamy was that, he often didn't have a pencil and the family couldn't afford one,  hard to imagine but true.  Mother on the other hand had what she needed, but Grandpa Hymas didn't when she was away at school.  He needed her at home to help out in the dairy and family owned cheese factory.  When it came time for here sophomore year in high school, Grandpa told her she couldn't go back to High School, she was needed at home.  This practically broke Mother's heart.  She loved school and loved learning and being with her friends, which she continued to do , as best she could, with or without formal schooling.  When she was living with us in Montpelier in her later years, after having catract surgery on her eyes, she would read a book or two every week and some of them were not easy books.  She would read for hours on end.  In short, I would say that both of them were educated in the proverbial "school of hard knocks" with a good deal of out-of school reading and some excellent facility  for common sense.  I am proud of them, for what they did, with what they had.  So many of our students now days have been to school and  know how to read and don't.  This is certainly even worse than not having sufficient opportunity to attend a lot of formal school, but to take advantage of their ability to read by doing it and increasing their ability along with their understanding of life and the world around them.This photograph shows Mom and Dad on their anniversary in 1980 (58 years old)  Their anniversay was April 16th.  They were married in April 16th, 1936.  As I think back about what they had learned and what they have taught us, it's partly about doing well in school and being able read and write and all of the other things associated with formal education, but it is much more about being willing love one another and our families, to work hard and sacrifice for the things that are really important, to be honest, and charitable with our time and our abilities.  It was about faith in the Lord and an appreciation for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was about being loyal to yourself and your family and standing tall for the things  we knew to be true.  It was about being clean and orderly in the way we live and look.  It was about helping our neighbors or anyone in need.  It was about being friendly and willing to stop by a neighbors place and spend an hour just "shooting the bull".  It was about being dependable and doing what we said we would do.  A man's word was his bond.  It was about treating others with respect and appreciation for what they were and what they did.  It was about being kind to one another.  It was about being obedient to the Lord's comamndments and also obedient to the laws of the land.  It was about being reverent, not only at church, but by show respect for God's creation and looking for the beauty in things, especially  for the beauty of the earth.  I remember Dad telling me on several occasions to look for ways that nature bore witness of Jesus Christ and the fact that their is a God, who created us in His image. This has influenced my life profoundly, especially as I grew older and the real meaning and wisdom of these teachings began to sink into my sometimes indifferent or rebellious soul. Sometimes these things were not taught perfectly and more often than not they were not learned as well as they were taught, but in retrospect, I don't think that any of us did not get a good chance for the parts of education that matter the most.  Classes and Degrees have their place, and we were always encouraged to make the most of our formal schooling opportunities, but it was character, which mattered the most in the teachings we recieved from our goodly parents,  Darrell and Edna Eborn. We were "taught somewhat in the learning of our parents."  And we are all better for it,

The picture above shows Mom and Dad during the 1970s, (I don't have the exact year) in their middle age.

This is a photo of Dad (Darrrell) at aproximately the time of his marraige to Mom m(1936).

The picture below is of Mom and Dad on a typical Sunday morning, ready for church, They seldom missed their meeting and held sveral responsible positions in the Lanark and Liberty Wards.  One thing the enjoyed doing together was singing in the wad choir  and they sometines sang duets together for church functions.

The picture below is of Mother about the time we moved back to the er Lake Valley form Twin Falls in 1969  Whe was very good to us and helped us get settled in the home on the Lyme Hmas place in Liberty, where we lived for three years.
We appreciated her assaisantance in so many ways,

This again is a picture of Dad ready for church at about the same tim as the foregoing picture of Mom.  I always thought they we a good looking couple and appreciate their example in so many ways.

Tis is a picture of mother at approximately the time of he marraige, maybe just a bit before.

A photocopy of the marraige certificate of 'Darrell and Edna Hymas Eborn.  They were married in the Salt Lake Temple and had none of their friends or family with them at the time of this sacred and special event in the lives.  We as children were born in the convenant (BIC).  Those simple letters mean way more than any of us fully understand and have influenced our lives far beyond what we usually consider.  They set a great example and were serious about keeping the covenants made in the temple those many years of their mairage which they new full well was eternal.  Mom spoke to me hundreds of times about that druing the final years of her life.

Another picture of Mother, Edna Hymas Eborn, from about the time of her marraige at the age of 23.

by Bart

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old Home Christmas Memories

I could only find  these two pictures of Christmas time in the old days.  The first is of Mark playing with his new Christmas toys,  The second is of Dad all dressed up and ready to go to our Church meetings during the Christmas season..

We always had a fresh cut Christmas Tree.  It was work to get it from the hills but it was always fresh and smelled so good.  This tradition has continued in our family to the present day.  This year (2009) Ryan and I went together up Emigration Canyon to get our Christmas trees.  Ours stands in the lkiving room and is just beautiful.  I always enjoyed the tree but even more memorable were those special occasions when Dad took me with him to get the tree.  I remember one time after a heavy snowfall going up to the Pine Grove on the tractor for a tree.  We got stuck and had quite an ordeal.  Not just any tree would do; it had to be the best one we could find.  When we got the tree home it was beautifully decorated with lots of home made ornaments and a few store-bought ones as well as a few lights.  I, for one, loved the Christmas season and all the anticipation of Santa, and, of course, the Christ child and his story were never forgotten.  We didn't have a lot of money, but none of us ever went without and we were always made to feel special.  I know Mom and Dad sacrificed a great deal to make nice Christmases for us.  All that really mattered to them was to see a smile on the face of their children.  I remember several Christmas Eves when we had a preliminary visit from Santa before we went to bed.  I never did quite figure out how Mom and Dad  pulled that off.  And then, of couse, there was always the ward Christmas Party at the  Lanark Ward Church.  We always had a good time there with our friends and neighbors and usually a delicious Pot Luck Supper to go along with it.  No party was complete without a visit from Santa and a bag of goodies passed out to every child.  These were good times, anxioulsy awaited. Of course no Chritmas was complete without a beutifully fresh cut Christmas tree from the mountains near by.
Please add any memoies that come to your minds, and photos too if you might have some.

Mark at play with his Christmas toys.

Dad dressed for church where we learned the real reason for the season.

Another little interesting tidbit came from Mother's memory of Chritmas time at their home in Liberty.  Remember Grandpa Hymas had twenty kids, senventeen by our Grandmother, Elizabeth Price, including three sets of twins, and then three additional children by Mom's stepmother, Martha.  Of course, not all of them were living, but the family was still very large.  Mom told of how, on Christmas Eve a strong long rope was stretched across the living room form one door knob to another on the opposite side of the room.  Just before retiring for the night and along the rope, at intervals, a stocking was hung for every member of the family.  She said that during the night Santa Claus magicly appeared and filled all of the stockings with fruit and nuts and candy as well as samll gifts.  In the morning when they arose and went into the Living room, it was to the sight of a long rope sagging in the middle  under the weight of all the heavily laden stockings,  I think they had wonderful memories of the large family together at Christmas time and I can just imagine what it took on the part of the our Grandparents to make these happy Christmas time memories,  Another thing Mom always taked aobut was ward Christms Programs and especially the part played by the family with thier musical talents.  Grandpa Benjamin was the Ward Choir leader form any years and developed quite a reputation for putting on special presentations a Christmas time as well as for sacrament meetings and other special occasions.  I'm sure they was much more, but thesre are the things that have stuck in my mind over the years.

by Bart

The Process of Harvesting the Grain

The picture below is a picture of a threshing crew on Grandpa Hymas' Farm.  It is identical to the ones used on our farm in Lanark.  The thresher we used was owned by Irwin Parker who lived South of the old church.  When the grain (usually barley) was ready for harvest, we would notify Irwin Parker and he would put us on his schedule.  Scheduling was critical since when the grain heads were fully formed they would start to fall on the ground.  It was quite a sight to see the thresher  coming down the road.  It was pulled by an old iron wheeled tractor that was huge.  It was very noisy and traveled very slowly.  After the tractor had pulled the thresher into position a large belt, probably 8 inches wide and thirty feet long would be connected between the tractor and the thresher and that is what powered the thresher.  It was a noisy dusty job.  It took a large crew to handle this task because the grain had to be cut and immediately taken to the thresher where it was feed into the thresher.  It was common to have between 20-30 people on a thresher crew,  thus the old saying "that's enough food for the threshers" had a real meaning

The grain was cut by a "header grain harvester" powered by four horses.   A wagon was pulled along side of the header and the grain would be cut and fed into wagon which was covered on all four sides by a netting which kept the grain, which was cut about 4 inches from the ground,  from falling out of the wagon.  I was 11 years old when I started to drive one of these wagon.  It was very important that I kept up with the header or the grain would go on the ground.  Uncle Virgil usually drove the header and he got a kick out of trying to bury me with the grain as it came into the wagon.  I also got yelled at plenty of times for not keeping up.   There was usually 3 or 4 wagons necessary to keep everything moving.

On occasion we grew some oats.  When we did the oats were harvested by a machine called a binder.  It would cut the grain near the ground and bind it into bundles about a foot in diameter and 5 feet long.  We would then have to go out into the field and stand them up in a teepee type arrangement until the grain had dried at which time the grain would be harvested and stored for the Winter.  Oats were usually grown for feed as was the barley on our farm.  If we had an abundance some might be sold.  

Threshing time was a time when the community came together with man power and equipment to get this job done.   It was actually a kind-of fun time.  When one grain field was harvested they moved on to another farm and another field--all working together.

I'm still looking for more photos of the equipment and will post if I can find some.
By Ellis

Harvesting Grain On Lanark Farm

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deer Hunting in the Hills Above Lanark

I'm hoping this picture will stir a few hunting memories.  Feel free to add by editing this post, if you don't, you might not get the whole story, or some of the stories my not be exactly what you remember or want to boast about.  Ellis and Reed especially have some stories to tell.  I was probably the least of a hunter in the family, but still remember some of the stories told by Dad, Ellis, Reed and Mark about the hunt.  Please add to this blog so I wont have to relay the stories from my memory alone.  I'm sure your stories will be a lot more authentic than mine, though I will give it may best effort relying on my faulty memory for the words, which I may have a tendancy to embelish them a little bit.  The picture below is of Dad and Ellis off on an overnight deer hunting adventure.  Please tell all the stories that are important to you and I will try to sort out the reality from the bragidocio.

Good, I coaxed at least a couple of deer hunting stories out of Ellis.  Thanks.

I'm going to add a couple  more of ny memories that were told to me by Dad.  In one case the Great Depression seemed to be dragging on in Bear Lake  a little longer than in some places, I suppose, or maybe it was just living on a small farm in the cold and often dry Bear Lake country, but I remember Dad telling of one October when our little family was especially hard up for winter meat.  Dad had on old single shot 30-30 and only one bullet to his name.  He went hunting in hopes he could connect with a deer in one shot and bring home some meat for the winter.  During the day hunting he passed up several shots that were not quite certain and waited until he had a better shot.  He made that one bullet count and when he came home that night he had a large buck, meat for the table for the winter and a change from milk gravy and potatoes.  Back then Mom could make a little meat go a long way and we enjoyed it for  most of the winter. 

Dad was a good shot, though he never, ever practiced shooting.  Bullets were to expensive to waste in practice.  I remember one time he brought home a deer he had shot and noone could find the bullet hole where the bullet had entered the deer's body.  Dad said that the deer was running directly away from him as he was shooting and was about to go out of sight over the Long Ridge when he let go with the final shot.  When he got up to the spot where he had las seen the deer, it was lying there in the sagebrush, still warm and yet dead, not a sign of blood anywhere.  Upon closer examination it was discovered that the deer must have had his tail up ( they usually do when they are alarmed and running away) and Dad's bullet had found its way into the deer's body for the fatal shot and had not even made a new hole.  That's right, dead center in the deer's rectum.  Think about it, a deer running full tilt directly away from you, probably two hundred yards away, a single shot 30-30 and split second to squeeze off the only round possible. A deadly enema, well not exactly but, you all get the picture.

I personally didn't do much deer hunting until I got home from my mission.  I didn't have access to a rifle and besides that I probably couldn't have hit a bull in the butt with a bucket of wheat.  I did enjoy hunting later in life, especially when all my six boys were growing up.  We had some good times and the boys can all (well nearly all of them) boast of getting their first buck when they were twelve or thirteen. We've got the pictures to prove it.   I kind of miss those days.

Reed was a great shot and I'm sure he has lots of stories to tell from his youth and also when he was married and lived in Laketown and had boys of his own.  He even shot an elk with his bow and arrow. Come on, Reed, tell us a story.

And I also know Mark had some pretty good days out it the hills with his rifle.  We'd all love to hear the stories .

These were times of fun and bonding with Dad and our brothers, and times of good exercise and excitement in the fresh fall days, when the air was crisp and clear and it seemed nearly every able bodied man in the valley was out in the hills doing the same thing.  School was always let out on the first day of the deer hunt.  It was like a holiday, Thanksgiving or Christmas or someting like unto it. Nearly  everyone had their stories of success and "near succcess" when we got back to school after the hunt.  It seemed like it was always the biggest buck on the mountain that someone just barely missed,  kind of like the fish that got away.  You have to take deer hunting stories with a grain of salt, unless you actually see the evidence.

by Bart

Monday, December 7, 2009

Making Hay the Old Way

The Bear Lake Valley is a high mountain valley with long winters and short summers.  As a result the number of cropw that could be grown successfully was somewhat limited.  Alfalfa and barely were the two main crops raised on our family farm in Lanark.  The farm consisted of mostly very fertile land and had no rocks on it at all.  The soil was rich and produced bumper crops on good years, if we could get it irrigated at the right time.  It seemed our lives pretty much revolved around preparing the soil for planting, planting the crops and then making sure they got water at the right time.  Of course, there were the cows to be milked morning and night, that was a given, sort of like inhaling and exhaling as we breath.  Our farm was located over a mile from the main irrigation canal and was serviced by a smaller lateral ditch which had to be cleaned and repaired each year.  This was a monumental task, espcially with a shovel.  Eventually we got a horse drawn ditcher and even later hooked it to Arnell Earley's Caterpillar tractor making the ditch cleaning job much easier.  Everyone who had property along the ditch turned out to help clean it.  We were just at the end of the ditch, so that gave us more work to do.  Squirrel holes in the ditch were a major problem and could easity drain out most of the water coming to our farm and fields.  We always attended our church meetings as a family, but the only thing that would sometimes alter our attendance was when it was our turn to take a stream of water from the canal.  Dad knew how important that water was to the success of his crops and would sometimes miss a meeting if the water could not be set to run effeciently  for at least a couple of hours until he could get back to it.  When the alfalfa began to come into bud, Dad recognized that as a signal that it was time to get ready to harvest the hay, which would be needed for our animals during the long Bear Lake winters.  The first step was to mow the hay.  In those early days it was done using an horse drawn mower such as the one pitured here.  It was drawn by a team of horses and had about a four and half foot cutter bar.  One of the big problems was keeping the hay knife sharp.  This was done by using a pedal driven grinding stone about two or three times a day while in the process of cutting the hay.  Around and around the field the team of horses would go pulling the mower with Dad on the metal seat until the large fields of alfalfa were all cut.  It was a long and somewhat tediuous process for both man and beast.

After a few days drying in the sun the hay was raked, using a horse drawn dump or a little later a trip rake similary to the one shown below.  The hay was raked into long even windrows.  I remember sitting on that old iron rake seat until my rear was raw.  I was always a baseball fan as well, and I remeber Mom coming over in the field to tell me the scores of certain Major League baseball games that she had listened for on the radio at my request.  What a great mother we had.

Then the hay would be pushed up into large bunches with an implement we called a pushrake or sometimes a sweeprake.  It was pulled by two horses, one on either side of the pushrake and driven by a man, or in our case mostly by Ellis, who sat or stood on a platform at the middle and rear of it and controlled the team with the reins and sometimes a whip.  It was not an easy task.  The horses had to be trained to go jsut right or they would just go around in a circle.  Ellis got rather proficient at it and I remember how proud he was that he could take the place of a man at an early age.  I learned how to do it too, but not until much later.  I even did it as a hired hand for Cyril Budge in the Paris Bottoms after I returned home from my mission, while earning money for college, but it was that early training on our own farm that made even that possible.  Below you can see a pushrake in action.  This is just like the ones we used back in the 1940s and 1950s and on into the 1960s..

Then the large bunches of hay were pushed up onto the "ricker" which was postioned at the front to of the haystack and by using another horse or team of horses and a pulley and cable  assembly the large bunch of hay  would be deposited   on the top of the haystack where Dad was usually to stack the hay into an orderly, usually a square pile..  When we finished the stack was about thirty feet high.  Then we would move the "ricker" and start a new stack.  We would usually make four or five large stacks (about ten more stacks after I was eight years old, because Dad leased the Lyme Hymas farm, which we ran for many, many years) each year, the first crop being put up first was on the bottom and then, when it was time for the second crop, the original stack had settled some and there was room for the second crop to go on top.  It was hot, dusty and hard work, but our little crew, Dad, Ellis, and I and sometimes Mom got the job done.  Mom always had a hearty meal prepared for us at noon.  We looked forward to the break and especially Mom's good cooking.  We didn't have to be  told by the church authorities to eat a meal every day with the family.  That is just what we did, every day, three times a day, without fail.

Before we got the "ricker", the hay was often pitched onto a wagon with a pitchfork and then unloaded in the same fashion a little closer to the barn.  This also hard work, but somehow in those days we never even thought about it.  That was the way it was supposed to be, and it certainly never hurt us.  It just made as stronger and kept us out of mischief.  Most importantly we bonded while doing something of importance together.  I will forever be greatful for the opportunities  of my youth.  I remember one day when I was probably about  eight or nine years old, Ellis and Dad were over in the North Field loading hay onto a wagon hayrack.  I had stayed home with Mother and we had been picking peas,  We had about a bushel or more and Mom went over to a nearby tree and sat down in the shade to shell the peas.  It was a hot day and Mom got rather faintish after a while and passed out.  I thought whe had died,  I was scared to death.  I ran as fast as I could
 over to the North Field and told Dad.  I remember he grabbed me and threw me up onto the hay wagon and turned the team towards the house.  He was whipping them with the riens all the way.  We fairly flew across the field.  Moments later we arrived at the house where Mom had recovered from her fainting spell and was again at the task of shelling the peas.  Dad was so concerned about her, but fortuantely it was a one-time occurance.  Mom always had kind of a hard time dealing with heat on the hot summer days.  One memory just leads to another, it seams.

One of the best memories of the haying season was the home-made root beer,  Mom saw to it, that we had a never ending suppy of homemade root beer.  We almost looked forward to all the hard work of haying, knowing that whenever we came back to the house,  there would be a good bottle of cold root beer.  Sometimes it got rather powerful, but mostly we drank it before it had a chance to become too fizzy.

by Bart

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Horses, Good Times, and Important Lessons

Speaking of horses, it seems there were severel  memorable horses, that we had as we were growing up. I beleive that was a natural part of growing up on a farm, espcially in the days when we didn't rely on tractors and  powered machinery to do much of the work.  It was mostly muscle and sweat, from both man and beast that got most of the work done in those early years as we were growing up on the farm.  This is a picture of one of those moments when the horse was used simply for fun.  It shows Ellis and me riding "Old Blue", at least, as I remember, that was her name.  I loved to be put up behind my big brother and go for rides down in the pasture to get the cows for milking or just around the field with no particular purpose in mind other than just to be outside and riding a horse.  We mostly road bareback.  Saddles were expensive and we could not often afford a good saddle.  I remember also some of the work horses we had on the farm. One team was named Pat and Strip,  They were a matched team, at least in looks, but one of them was a better worker and more responsive to it's driver than was the other.  I remember Dad  laying the whip on poor old Pat.  That seemed to help a little.  It was necessary to have at least one good team of draft horses.  As mentioned on another blog, one of our horses, Old Bird, if I remember correctly, was used to pull a scraper that had been filled with dirt out from under the house as the basement was being dug under the house after it had been placed on the two outside basement/foundation walls, which had been dug previously.  I remember at least one other saddle horse we had.  We called him "Old Smokey".  He was a very good riding horse with a wonderful three-step gait, that made riding on him really quite comfortable.  Dad always used to ride him around Lanark when he was taking care of his watermaster duties on the South Liberty Canal.  One of Dad's favorite things to do was to get on "Old Smokey" and take a long ride up into the mountains above Lanark.  He loved the mountains, especially during the summer and fall months.  It wasn't nearly as often as he would have liked that he found time to take these extended rides in the mountains.    One thing in particular that I remember about "Old Smokey" was how difficult he was to catch.  He was good to ride, but he never wanted to just come up to anyone and let them put a bit in his mouth and a saddle on his back.  It used to be a family project to catch him.  He would run up one side of the pasture, cross the slough and run up the other side of the pasture and around and around we went.  Eventually we would get him corraled and Dad would put a bridle on him and saddle him and then it was off for a pleasant day on horeseback. In the summer time horses were used to mow  and rake the hay, and on the pushrake. which was used to push the hay on to the "ricker" or stacker so it could be deposited on the top of the hay stack, where it was stacked.  Ellis became Dad's right hand man at a very young age.  I remember him driving the team on the pushrake when he was just eleven or twelve years old.  He did a man's work at a young age.  I was three years younger, so my task soon became leading the pullup horse on the ricker.  I remember how frightened I was to do this job at first.  It had to be done just right or the hay would all be dropped down into the "ricker" requiring a lot of work to get it out again and a huge delay in getting the hay in.  I think, I was about eight or nine years old when I assumed this task.  I had gone to the field over across the slough, I thought to watch Ellis and Dad do the work of putting up a haystack.  When I got there dad told me he needed me to lead up the pullup horse.  I didn't know what I was doing, but he patiently showed me what was to be done.  I was scared, but I tried.  Ellis was driving the pushrake team and Dad was up on the stack with his pitchfork staking the hay.  I worked for a couple of hours without any major problems.  Then I got tired of it and decided I would walk home and be with Mother.  I started out across the field and got about a hundred yards from the hay stack when Dad noticed me leaving.  He called to me and asked me to come back, but I pretended not to hear.  He climbed down off from the haystak and came after me.  When he got to me, he didn't scold me, as I thought he might, instead I remember him kneeling down beside me, a little eight-year-old , and telling me, that I was a big boy now and that they really needed me to help them in the process of putting up the haystack.  I have always remembered that incident.  I remember the kindness in my daddy's eyes,  I remember the firmness in his voice, I remember the sadness I felt at not being able to get away from that work and that haystack, but more importantly I remember, after I had had a little time to think about it, how important I felt.  It is so good to be neeeded and useful.  From that time on, I felt like I was a necessary and contributing part of the family.  Sometimes I wonder if the youth of today get that same experience and how they compensate for it, if they don't.  I am glad, that I grew up on a farm, where we learned to work at a young age and did so together with others of the family.  We bonded by working together.  I came to appreciate my Dad and my big brother, Ellis, and our dear mother as we worked together to make our living on that small farm under rather severe and trying conditions.  We did it, and all of us  became better people for it.

by Bart

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whitey - Dad's Favorite Horse

Before Dad and Mom were married Dad worked on a ranch near Pegram.  He became aware of a herd of wild mustangs that roamed the sage brush hills in that area.   Among the mustangs was a beautiful white stallion which Dad immediately took a fancy to.  After several attempts and with the help of his friends he was able to catch the stallion and then the battle began to see who was going to be the boss.  Everyone advised Dad to turn him loose before someone got killed.  He had a mean streak that would turn out to me a mighty challenge before he would become a horse that was enjoyable and safe to ride.   They saddled him up and a friend snubbed the halter rope to his saddle horn and they proceeded out toward the desert.   When they had traveled that way, with the two horses fastened together for a ways, his friend tossed him the halter rope and away they went, whitey, which become his name, took the bit in his teeth and he ran and ran until both horse and rider were too tired to go on.   Whitey didn't buck but he did about every thing else to discourage his rider.  It was all Dad could do to hang on, he couldn't guide him or stop him.  Finally he got him back to the corral where the saddle was removed and the horse fed.  Dad had won the first battle.  Many other fights remained.  One time when dad was coming home to Lanark from Paris he tried to turn up the Lanark road that is the main road that runs through Lanark.  Whitey would have no part of it ,however, and continued at  a full run down the road.  Finally, dad was able to turn him up the Lanark lane.  The snow was deep and Dad really the laid the reins to him as they plowed through the snow.  By the time they got to the house both horse and rider were worn out but Dad never had any more trouble with "Old Whitey" as he came to be called.

No one but Dad could get close to him.  He came to like dad and would come to him when he went down to the corral.  I think it was case of mutual respect.   If anyone else climed into the corral he would flatten his ears back and charge.   As I look back I think it was fortunate that no one got injured by him.  Old Whitey was a high spirited  animal and seemed to run every where he went.  Dad was fine with that.  I remember Dad riding bareback much of the time, kind of like you see the Indians do in the movies.   Old Whitey got old however and one day when dad came home from deer hunting his friend was lying out in the field in an un-natural way.  I remember Dad dropped his rifle and his lunch sack and ran out into the field.  I think it was the only horse Dad ever had those kind of feelings for.  In this case man and animal were best friends, Sort of like Bart and River.   I thank Bart for providing the image of the mustang above, as I'm sure there were never any pictures taken of Old Whitey.  This picture, however, is a "dead ringer" for Dads horse.
By Ellis