I, Ada Beulah, was born "Over Sanpitch" in Ephraim, Sept 13, 1894. My parents were James T. and Martha Thomander Anderson. I was really a big girl before I realized what "Over Sanpitch" meant. To me it was our farm clear down by west mountain of Ephraim. Then one day it dawned on me, you had to cross the river San Pitch to get to our ranch-so "Over San Pitch".
Our home was on large room and a lean-to. I don't remember living in it, but we went back there a few years ago. As we went into it the lean-to was tumbled down but the front room was still sturdy. As we walked in Mother said, "Does it feel homey to you? It does to me? And it really did. The plaster was still smooth except where it had been broken, and there we could see how my Father had plastered it. He had taken cattail leaves and stems and put on the wall. I don't know what kept them in place, but they were there, and then clay was put on them and smoothed down. It was a wonderful job. I remember a few things that happened over there and they were of great emotions on Mother's part. I was just 2 years old. Part of this I was told, part I remember. Hugh wasn't even born so I couldn't have been over two. Mother picked me up and threw me above her head. My head come in contact with a square five gallon can that was hanging from the ceiling. The corner of the can cut my head open. It was a bad cut and it bled so badly. She said, "Darling, if I take you out and swing you in the hammock will you stop crying?" Then another time, I must have been three, Hugh and I were sitting on the ground by the side of the house, we heard an awful noise. Both of the Father's big horses thundered past, less than 6 inches from where we sat. Mother came running (she was crying) and grabbed Hugh up in her arms and said, "Oh, what if they had been six inches closer, they would have killed my baby". I was only three, but I still remember still sitting by the holes they made in the earth 7 inches deep. I wondered if they wouldn't have killed me too. The folks really measured where we were and how deep the holes were.
Then, I remember, standing on the porch watching Mother kill a great big snake. I thought it big anyway. She kept cutting it in pieces about 4 inches long. She was crying again. She was so afraid of snakes. I asked her why she kept hitting it when it was dead and she said, "Ada, don't ever let a snake go with just it's head off, because they get a new head and they come alive at sundown." (I wondered)
Then, I was 4 or so. Father had the wagon ready. Three spring seats. We all came out and he had one seat filled with quilts and shawls. As each one came he wrapped up in a shawl and put us in one of the seats. Oh, I thought it was fun to be wrapped up like that. His whiskers tickled me and I laughed. He really hugged me then. Lea has the brown shawl I was wrapped in. She loves it too.
I was second seat and we started our long (?) journey (about 5 miles) to Ephraim to see Grandma Thomander. I suppose the folks had cheese (they made many of them), eggs, pork or something to sell or trade. I don't know. I remember being in the wagon again, but this time it was warm and Mother gave us each a cob of corn just dripping with butter to eat on the way. I was so afraid that day. The river had overflowed it's banks and was clear across the road. To me, I could just as well have been in a lake. I don't know how father knew where the road was. Then, I was six, we moved to Ephraim
We lived in a two roomed rock house, two blocks north of the Tabernacle on Main Street. The house has been replaced by a dark yellow brick. Grandmother Thomander lived in one just like it and it is still standing, (1963) on block East from ours.
I remember so many things that happened in Ephraim. They still stand out so plain. I was a very alert person, learning very quickly and still have a wonderful memory and I was only eight when we left there. My first Sunday School teacher taught my best life's lesson. A little girl had been given an expensive silver spoon. She was told not to take it outdoors, but she did and lost it. Now, she had heard this lesson too. It was, if you ever lose anything or want anything, the thing to do was to pray about it. So, she prayed so hard that she might find her spoon. She got up from her knees and walked out to the woodpile and there lay her spoon in the wood chips. A few days later I was sitting on the floor playing with my rag dolls, when Mother said, "Ada, see if you can find my scissors." Now, I didn't want to be bothered to be hunting her scissors so I turned my back and offered a little prayer. (I was five or six years old.) I got right up and walked to the wood box behind the stove, reached clear down to the bottom and came up with her scissors. She was sure I knew where they were, but I didn't and I didn't explain. I didn't play for a long time; I sat thinking how it had worked. Oh, how many times I have used this idea-"Try it, it works".
Another thing my teacher said was that going to Sunday School was stepping on the first round on a ladder leading into heaven. When I got home I covered every inch of ground in our lot looking for a ladder into heaven.
I guess I have always loved flowers. So, one day, I went over to our neighbors and filled my little tie apron with yellow roses. I brought them home and made a row on each side of the walk. Oh, it was beautiful-but here comes the neighbor-Mom saw the flowers and asked who did it. I said, "Dru did". Then into the barn I went. Dru got a licking. "Goody". (That rose bush still stands sixty years or more).
I started school when I was six in Ephraim. My first teacher was Callie Thorpe. She must have been wonderful. I remember so many things she taught me. We used to wear heavy hose made of outing flannel underwear. Two pretty gray outing flannel petticoats, our dresses came clear down to our buttoned shoe tops. I can't remember our coats but we wore fashionators (scarves) on our heads. School houses weren't warm like they are now. I had two or three real sick spells in Ephraim. The worst, I guess, was yellow jaundice. I nearly died from poison. I went to play with a little girl friend, Carrie Bailey. Mother told me not to eat black currants, but of course I did. I went home about noon. Mom had rhubarb for dinner, she had cooked it is a tin pan and I became deathly sick-"Oh! Black Currants." So, I ran out to the barn and hid in a pile of hay. I lay there vomiting until I passed out. I came to lying in the baby buggy with a worried looking family and the Doctor there. All that ate the rhubarb were ill. Moral "Don't eat black Currants".
Ephraim had a drought. Everything was burning up. The church had a fast and prayer day. That afternoon we were up to Grandma Thomander's playing and it started to rain. It must have been a good one. Grandma took us into her bedroom and had us kneel down and pray that the terrible storm would stop. When I went home and told my folks, my Father laughed until he cried. He was such a reserved man and I don't remember him ever laughing like that again.
I remember going to East Hills of Ephraim with all of the people of the city, each having a sack of cloth of some kind driving the grasshoppers ahead of us into a deep ditch. They were burned in the ditch. I was baptized when I was eight, in Manti Temple. Oh, what a wonderful day. Another girl and I wandered all over the place. Up between the towers and we even slid down the winding stairs. All they said to us was, you may do it if you don't make a noise. I had another sweet friend in Ephraim, Adella Willardsen. She gave me a cup and saucer when we left. I still have it. Both Carrie and Adella died in their 20's, (wish they hadn't). I was always deathly afraid of worms, (I still am). Dru didn't want me to tag along one day when she went to play, she said, "Ada, there is a worm on their currant bush as big as your arm and all green". (I hate green worms).
I stayed home. Not long ago (1961) I was riding past that place, those old currant bushes were still by the back fence . . . (and-no worms). I was a small girl with long yellow curls. Mother tried so hard to keep them combed pretty but I liked to play and run too well. Dru and Ira both had Rheumatic Fever in Ephraim and it gave them bad hearts. Dru was curtailed in her playing a lot, but the Dr. said she could wash dishes and things like that, so that's all I cared about-then.
We were very poor; there was no work to be had in Ephraim. Father tried so hard to find work and couldn't. When Uncle Dan (Mother's youngest brother) lived in castle Dale, he wrote and said there was a farm we could get for almost nothing. So we loaded everything we owned in a wagon. We led two cows and went through the mountains to Castle Dale. We stayed over night at a ranch in the mountains. That was over 60 years ago and those people had a piano. They also had a dog. He was at least 5 feet tall. I know, 'cause his head came over the side of the wagon. I crawled under the quilts and lay there crying until they came out for me. Well, how did I know that the dog was standing on his hind legs? I'm scart of dogs.
We were in Castle Dale for 6 weeks or so. The most fun I ever had, playing with cousin Lucia and Weston Thomander. Then one day we all got in a wagon and went out to see the farm. I was 8 years old. But I'll never forget what saw. It was a big white alkali field. I thought it was snow. I couldn't know, could I, why Father laid his head on the wheel and cried and cried. That night he made up his mind he would make a living for his family some way. So in the night he left for Ephraim and then on to Oregon to work in the lumber camps. He got sick, couldn't work. He stayed there several months trying to earn something.
After 6 weeks, Uncle Dan loaded us all in the wagon and took us back to Ephraim. There we found little rocking chair for each of us. Onedia was the baby. I still have my little chair. It has been well cared for and loved by all the children.
Onedia was born in 1899, she was always crying and I think I walked her for miles in her buggy. She was tall even as a baby).
We were poor before. Now we lived on what the church could give us. When Father could see he was getting nowhere, he came home. We children saw him a block away. He had a slight limp from a broken leg. Boy, did we run to meet him. I didn't know how he dared go into the bedroom where Mother had a headache, but he did. When they came out, her head was better, but their eyes were red. We wondered why.
I didn't know Grandma Anderson very well and I only remember her in our house once. We went up there to see her, but we sat stiffly on chairs until we went home. I think Mother was a little awed by her. She was the cutest little aristocrat (about 4'10" tall) you ever saw. Well, anyway, I coaxed a picture of Martha Washington away from her. I got talked to when I got home. I still have the picture and don't know why yet that I wanted it. Grandpa Anderson wasn't a very tall man. He was quite heavy with the prettiest long white beard. I only remember seeing him twice. Grandma Thomander wasn't very tall. She was built like I am. Oh, she loved flowers. She had a whole house full. Grandma Anderson lived for 10 years in a room of her own at Uncle Andrew's (Father's brother). Grandpa lived with one of his wives "Marier". We knew Grandma Thomander the best. A day never went by that we didn't go up to see her. She had peppermint candy in her cupboard. I wonder if we ran up to show her every new thing we got like our children did to ours?
Luella was born Nov. 26, 1902. She was a doll. We sure made a big fuss over her. We moved to Castle Gate when she was about six months old. I was about nine when we moved to Castle Gate in 1903. Father worked in the coal mines. When Ira was 17, he also worked in the mine. He put his money with Father's, all we could spare in a savings account so they could make a down payment on a farm. Castle Gate was interesting. I played with an Italian girl. Her name was Jennie Alberto Swenson. She died while she was real young. While in castle Gate a real serious strike happened----
This strike was all the Italians in castle Gate. As they lived in Company houses, the owners of the mine called in the National Guard and drove the Italians out of their homes. They threw their furniture out of the doors. Hugh and I watched from our hiding places whish we hunted out. These poor people went half-way to Helper and dug holes in the mountains and lived in these dug-outs all winter. The place is still called Half-way. The guards stayed at the edge of town all winter so the men couldn't come back. Hugh and I got real well acquainted with the guards. We went there every day that we could. They had pets to keep them busy-one was a big Bobcat. We walked to school on the tracks of the coke ovens. The ovens were open on top and white with heat and we little children walked within six feet of these ovens. The little train come up on these tracks and filled the ovens with slack and then it would burn into coke. There were a dozen or so ovens.
I learned very rapidly in school and got a double promotion. I sure loved school. My Sunday School teacher said, "If any one of you can learn a whole book in the New Testament I'll buy you a book." Well, I did. I can't remember it now, but he had to buy me a book and put my name on it. I still have the book, a new testament.
Dru, Onedia and I made play house out of caves in rocks on the mountain behind our house. They were really cute play, play houses big enough for two or three to play in. I wanted mine named "Montreal" but Dru liked that best so mine was "Cape Hope". Don't remember what we both let Onedia have.
In 1904, Mother and Father had gone to Idaho to Aunt Jane's funeral (Weston Thomander's mother.) Ira was in the mine. A great cloud burst hit Castle Dale. We heard the sounding horn that meant trouble in the mine. The water was coming in our house. Our well was full of much water, and just us kids there. Lucretia was only 15. It was hours before Ira walked in. Oh! What a relief!
No miners were killed, but the mine was full of water. The family decided mines were too dangerous.
In 1905, we made the down payment on the farm in Spring Glen. We were all piled in the wagon on quilts on the floor. The guards were still watching the roads at Castle Gate. They stopped my Father and asked him lots of questions. I stuck my head out of the quilts and said "Hello" to the guard. I knew him real well. He laughed and said, "Well, Mr. Anderson, if you are as nice as your two kids are, you're O.K. We will miss your kids." Pa said, "I'll just bet you will." I didn't like the sound of his voice.
I made friends very quickly in Spring Glen and really had a good time. Hugh and I had to herd the cows. I was cart to death of a cow but I loved to be up by the canal by the trees just making whistles and spending time. While in Spring Glen, Father was put in councilor to Bishop Rowley (Silas' father). Mother was put in as Primary President and I was put in as Secretary of the primary. 1907 and my first job in the church. My friend's name was Violet Thompson. Lea was born in Spring Glen and maybe it was because I was just the age to tend her, but she was almost turned over to me and I loved her so much. She was so good and sweet. She was dressed in everything I could find from an angel to a flower-covered all over with lilacs. Can't that be that's why I like lilacs so well?
We sold our farm in Spring Glen in 1908 and bought a farm in Lake View. It was called the old Bunnell Place. We hired a whole freight car on the train and all we owned, cows, horses, even chickens, besides our furniture and implements were crowded in the car. They loaded horses, wagon and all. When we arrived we unloaded the horses and wagons first and then started on the rest.
I started school the next day. We walked to school with Mable and Mamie Jacobsen and Zatella Goodridge. Zatella became my best friend and after 55 years we still think we are best friends. As I came into the room I saw a young boy, he was no taller than I was. He had very light colored hair. It was combed just so. He had on the cleanest shirt. He looked just like he had just been scrubbed. Of course I asked who he was and was told he was Spen Madsen. He made quite a change in my life. We really didn't go together in terms of "Going Steady", but somehow we found ways to be together. He would walk me home and the like. I didn't know why he didn't want me to go "out" with other boys. Of course I did tho.
I worked in Hy Madsen's store for two or three years that we lived in Lake View. Mother wasn't well for quite a few years. Zoy had the prettiest curls. I wasn't home when she was little. I stayed nights at Madsen's so I didn't tend her like I did Lea. I wasn't very big but I could outrun anyone on the school ground. My father was a fast runner I was told. Well, one day a Dempsey family moved in and they (my) legs off trying to beat me. Could that be why I am so short? Well, once or twice I beat her but she really was faster than I was.
I was a member of the very first Beehive class. I received a necklace, ring, and pin. But where are they?
I was set apart as a Sunday School teacher in 1910. It really wasn't fair. I wasn't much older than the ones I taught. I graduated from the 8th grad in 1910. I had the highest record in Alpine District. Father couldn't make a living on our small farm, so one day in 1911, he sold out and we moved to Richfield. Our farm was a mile from town. Our house was on the edge of town. We loved it in Richfield for a year. I worked for several families and was busy most of the time. I met some real nice friends and we had lots of fun. A group of four boys and four girls were together a great deal of the time.
I was in the tabernacle choir and I sure learned a lot. I just loved it. I was in the ward choir too. I started telling retold stories in Richfield and I did a lot of that in the next few years. While we were living in Richfield, we had an errand to Lake View, so Mother, Dru, Hugh, Onedia and I left in a wagon. I don't know why pa or Ira didn't go. Boy, what a trip. Horse got sick. We went 20 miles out of our way on a wrong road. There was a real cloud burst in Salt Creek Canyon. Mom was so upset it wasn't very much fun. Hugh was such a small boy to be the "Man" of the bunch like that. But, we finally go back in one piece.
When we came back to Lake View, I was really surprised to meet Spen and Frank Taylor. When we left a year ago, Spen was just as tall as I was. In one year he had grown 7 inches. He was a boy when I saw him last, now he was a young man. He had a new pale blue suit. His old one would have looked funny, wouldn't it? We were still just friends-to me, that is.
Again, we couldn't make a go of it on the farm, so in 1913, Father got a job on the railroads in Ogden and stayed there about a year. Then we bought a home on 1873 Park Avenue. It wasn't a choice location, but we made a happy home of it. We had so many wonderful times there. For a time we were all home. Dru and I worked at Shupe William's Candy factory. I worked for all four years I lived in Ogden. Dru worked about 3 years. We walked to work. It was 9 blocks. We both worked in the room where the chocolate candy had to be left to cool. We worked where it was 50 degrees. Then, when work was over we'd come out in the hot sun and we could hardly make it home. I had so much fun there though that we over looked a lot of things. I worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and received $135.00 a month. I had to give $95.00 a month to help with expenses of home. Still, when I quit to get married I had new clothes. Three or four dresses made by Mother and $100.00 in the bank to buy wedding things with. I had 6 quilts, table cloths and other household things. $100.00 then would mean so much more than now. I had one dress, it cost $5.00 a yard but it was so wide it took only 1 1/2 yards to make it. I wasn't as heavy then either.
Note from Ruth: (Mother told me she was planning on attending school in Ogden to get more education but as walking down the street saw her little brother Hugh shinning shoes corner. made up mind not going be a 'shoe shine boy streets of Ogden, so that when and why got job at Shupe Williams. insistence went back school. He became very successful man.)
Father, (we always called him Pa) got out of work again and he went to Harms Ferre, Idaho to work. While he was there, mother (she was Ma) went to see him and while she was gone we had a terrible flood in Ogden River and we had to leave everything. The men came in a city 'dray' a wagon and got us out. We moved everything moveable upstairs. The water didn't come in the house, but we lived right on the bend of the river. If it had broken , our house would have gone. I was still going 'steady' with a boy from Richfield when one day I received a letter from Spen asking me to meet him in Salt lake to hear his male chorus sing. I liked Spen real well. I liked the other guy too, but I decided no one would know anything about it. He lived clear down in Richfield. So, I met Spen at the depot and who else? Three of the Richfield boy's closest buddies. Boy, did I ever get looked at. That did it. He became angry and I didn't care. It seemed so natural to be with Spen again. I never wrote to Richfield again. Spen and I wrote and visited every chance we got. It wasn't easy to get to Ogden then as it is now. Spen finally bought a motorcycle to ride up to Ogden on. When he came on the Orem and Bamberger cars it was so hard to make connections in Salt Lake. One night he had to stay in Salt Lake all night. He missed the last Orem. Another time he had to come back to our home in Ogden because he missed the last Bamberger. So two or three months would go by between visits. We wrote often. I was a Sunday school teacher in Ogden 3rd ward from 1914 to 1916-all cute boys 12-13 years old - loved it. Was librarian for the Y.L.M.I.A. Ogden 3rd ward from 1914-1916.
For Christmas 1915 I asked Spen to go with me to Spring Glen to spend Christmas with Silas and Lucretia. We went on the train. Christmas Eve he gave me a diamond ring. We decided to be still about it for a while and see if he wouldn't get a call for a mission. I was going to keep working and help keep him if he did. He didn't get a call. We went ahead with our wedding plans. It was 2 or 3 years later we learned he had been suggested for a mission and his father turned them-"The Bishopric" down. He has felt badly about not having a mission but he has worked so hard in every office he has been called to. The work he is doing at this writing I think is more rewarding than any other mission could have been. (More about that as we come to it).
Lucretia and Silas married in 1914 while we were in Ogden. I gave her enough white velvet to make her wedding dress. Now, we decided on Nov. 8, 1916 as our wedding day. Ira had worked so hard to help our folks get on their feet. He surely gave them his all. But now he met Winnie Allen in Logan where they were going to school and in Sep 1916, they were married. I had some nice parties before I was married and received lovely gifts. The M.I.A. gave me a silver tray. I still have it. Spen came to Ogden, Nov 7th and really early the next morning we left for the Salt Lake Temple. I had rented our clothes from 3rd ward relief Society. You didn't get them in the Temple then. Although we weren't little kids, we felt like it. We were all alone. We knew nothing about what to do. I guess I looked like the "lost sheep" 'cause a sweet young girl came up and asked if I was getting married. I said, "Yes" of course. She said, "Mother works here and she said for you to stay with me and she'll help us". Oh- Boy! Her name was Anderson, she was from Clearfield. She was married first, but she was waiting for me when I came back. She put her arms around me and kissed me. I wasn't alone-was I?
Spen's folks were all waiting for us as we came out. Why didn't "folks" go with couples then? I like the way we have all gone with our family to be married. We all went to Ogden and Dru and Onedia had a supper for us. Mother was out to Spring Glen with Lucretia, Edith was 2 or 3 days old. I had made the pies and cakes and bought the meat etc. They had fixed it real nice. We slept all over the house, even on the floors. Spen's Father, Mother, Clara, Pearl, Zatella and Frank Taylor were all there. They all left early in the morning but Spen and I had to box up all my things to bring them to Lake View. I still have one of the boxes. We walked to the Bamberger. Spen had bought LaMond Bunnell's furniture and the house by the Church became our home for the next four years. The cabinet was the very latest thing in being a deluxe cabinet. I had seen some and I had admired them-now I had one. Built in cabinets came later. We stayed at Spen's folks the first night. Nov. 10, the next (day) we went to town and bought a bed, dresser and rug. They were real nice. Grandpa went with us to get them and I didn't like that. I was and independent person, had made my own money for years, and although he was so sweet, I wanted us to spend our own money.
On Nov 10th the Madsen's gave us a nice wedding in the old dance hall and we really received some nice gifts. The school teachers, (two of them hadn't met me) were very curious. The crowd had all made so many remarks about Spen dying off when he got married so he was going to show them we wouldn't. The first week after we were married the crowd had a party. The girls giving it said, "We have to draw a line somewhere, now Spen's married I don't think he should come." Gee, that hurt. But we didn't die off; our little home was a bee-hive for the four years we lived there. We never knew when a crowd would come in and want pop-corn or play games.
I think I'll list my church activities all on one page, as I was working all the time I was raising a family. I was teacher in the Primary from 1916-1918. That first winter was wonderful. The first time in my life I didn't have to work for someone else. The beets froze on Nov 11th. Spen would get his chores done and hurry home and we would put our feet in the oven and read books to each other. We had to put our feet in the oven door to keep warm. The house was so cold a layer of ice froze on the wall. We had a lovely big black range. It had a reservoir that held many gallons of water. Of course, we had to carry the water to fill it. It was a real cold winter. Spen played basketball and it took a lot of practice-didn't it? So, he left me alone a lot at night. I got real homesick. There had been such a noisy bunch at home I sure missed them. Not that I wasn't happy, 'cause I was, and I am more so now. I was going to have a baby. When I was a young girl. a woman had said to me, "I'll bet you never have a family". I had thot of that so often, never had I told anyone tho. Then when I found out I was going to have a baby of my own I was in 7th Heaven. I didn't quit working in the church M.I.A. mostly. I went home on a trip and I was never homesick again. I loved to go home to visit but that was all.
We were in a play together and had so much fun. We were so ignorant of what it meant to have a baby that we were foolish. About seven month I thot something was wrong, but I didn't go to the Doctor until about six weeks before he was due. Spend didn't have much confidence in the Doctor we chose, so when he called Spen up and told him to get up there, that things were in a serious state, Spen said, "Well, if you are going to have Dr. Pyne, he's just a fuddy duddy. So, I didn't take things serious. When D---- came we had trouble and we were both very sick. D---- took convulsions for four days and it took months for my health to come back. What a good baby D---- was after he got better. He weighed 9 1/2 pounds. He was so good. I didn't need to look at a clock. I knew when he would wake, when he would sleep. I was so scart of him tho. I had to watch every little thing he ate for three or four years. He outgrew that tho. I taught Sunday School in 1917-1918. We would take D---- in a basket and put it behind a bench and he would sleep while I taught my class.
I've often heard women say how busy they were because they had a baby. Well, I wasn't too busy. I couldn't find things enough to do. I have to write this, as things always change. Oh, I could write volumes about my first baby. The first one I had given a bath, the first one I had ever changed a diaper on. And when he was one year old, I found I was going to have a new baby to tend. I remember thinking, now, I bet I have plenty to do, but I didn't even then. I didn't make the same mistake this time about going to the Doctor and I got along as good as a woman can. During this time I was President of the Primary. On April 14th Milo was born. He weighed 10 1/2 pounds. He was just about the prettiest baby you ever saw, long black hair. I enjoyed him so very much as I felt better. Milo came during World War 1. Frank Taylor didn't have a child then. He had to go to Europe. We had D---- so Dad was on the next list to go. Then the war was over. Frank had to stay a year. Spen sure wanted to be with him. I was happy he didn't have to go. Willis Taylor was born while he was away. It was during this time the worlds worst flu epidemic came. No church, no schools, no get together of any kind. We didn't get it but several ward members died.
I was always ambitious and it was nothing for me to break into a run from our home, thru ball grounds to Grandma's and back. Now I had two little boys to care for and I loved every minute. Their Daddy was always so busy in the church. At this time it was MIA President and Scout Leader so I had the care of the babies. Milo was just about as good as D---- for sleeping but not quite. Both boys were in bed at night at 6:30 prompt but they like it. There are so many cute and interesting things that happen. I guess that is their history. I'd love to put it all in but I can't.
And now, I have found out we are going to have anew baby again. For the next several pages that will be the record. I weighed 117 pounds when I was married and after D---- and Milo I went back to that. After D---- I weighed 100 for a while. I didn't feel anything too bad, other than what every mother has to go thru until about six weeks before she was born. Spen always carried my wash water every week. This week he was busy and I had to have that water! It was Monday and all the world would have stopped if I didn't get my wash out early on Monday morning. So, I carried it. Something inside me gave a funny pull and I became very ill. I was so nauseated I couldn't raise my head for two or three days. I didn't wash and the world turned as usual. When she (Leone) was born she was turned the wrong way and poor little girl, we nearly lost her. Now, I have a little girl all my own. She was so sweet, she had light hair and was as dainty as a little girl could be. She weighed 9 1/2 pounds. Her Daddy was now in the Bishopric and I was senior class leader in MIA I often took all three with me. Leone in the buggy and the boys were so good. I still found time to do all of the things that I wanted to do in Church-parties etc. Their Daddy was still determined not to die out so he played ball-basketball and baseball every spare minute. The boys used to go over to the barn to march for their Dad. Milo was so little but could he ever do "about face" etc.
Spen was given 1/3 of the lumber in the old dance hall to help build us a house. Anytime one doesn't think he worked getting all the nails out of the old boards. Stacking them in different piles and sorting. Just think, we were going to have hard wood floors. But we hadn't given a thot to the floor being worn in the middle and not on the edges. It was a "Sander's headache". Spen had to buy boards for the front two rooms. We had a joke about the chimney. He said, "I'm hiring someone to put up the chimney. Now, that's one day you'd better not have the baby 'cause I can't help". Now, I didn't feel good anyway so I said "I don't care if the chimney gets up or not I've decided that's just the day I want her to come". I really didn't mean all I said but come chimney day Leone decided it was time for her to come and guess what? Spencer was home all day long and work went right on. When Leone was about 6 weeks old we moved into our new home. Oh, how wonderful to have so much room. New linoleum, waxed hard wood floors. We carried water from Tom Johnson's for a year or more for household use and washing. Then we had a well dug. Boy, all the water I wanted to use. Of course it had to be carried in and out. Our toilet was a path.
Now, it's coming to 1924 and I was going to have a new baby. Now, I'll tell you, why I've said so many times that I didn't have much to do, because it's a standing joke between B---- and me about what happened at that time. Again, I got along as good as I could, but I put on a lot of weight and I never lost it again. Could B---- help it because she weighed 12 lbs? It was a real job to get her here. She was very pretty and good as gold. Six weeks before she was born Spen nearly lost his life in a terrible snow slide. He has more of that in his history. He went into a shock condition and he wasn't easy to live with. I wondered if he would ever come out of it-but after they found Don Allred-the brother-in-law that was killed he got better. Now, I found it took more time to get my work done and I really wanted to stay home more. Spen wanted to be on the go all the time, but I had 4 little children now and I'd liked to have been home more. That's B----'s and my joke, it all happened because she was born. I was now Seagull Advisor and Senior Class Leader from 1923-30. I was called to become a counselor to Clara Taylor in the MIA in 1925. I still kept the job of Senior Class Leader. Again, I'd like to write pages on cute things that happened while you were all little but can't do it. Along about this time I decided if I couldn't get any help with flowers I'd have to do it myself. I was determined to have flowers for my little girls to pick. I had friends, loved one's and anyone that would, give me starts. I dug holes for every one. It became my "memory garden" and to this day I can tell you who gave me what. Dad was too busy being a farmer to see flowers. Now he had retired from other work, he's my right hand man. I made it so big I can't do it alone anymore. The girls loved to help when they were home.
Again, I'm going to have a new baby. I had such a funny feeling before S---- was born. I knew I was going to die. That's all there was about it. Spen wouldn't even listen to me, so I went ahead with my plans alone. I house-cleaned every nook and corner. I had a few clothes that each had, clean and pressed and patched and I kept a clean house at all times. I was still a counselor in MIA and class leader. Daddy stayed home on Tuesday night so I could go. Then I'd hurry home so he could play ball. I had a new Doctor this time, a Dr. Taylor. Dr. Pyne had died while I was still in bed with B----. Again, about six weeks before my baby was born someone came running from the ball grounds saying Spencer was seriously hurt. I jumped in the car and drove over there. He was trying to stand. He was gray all over, even his eyes. I got the men to put him in the car and we got him to bed. Jim Lee was batting, he missed the ball but hit Dad with the bat. For 4 days he was clear out. Then for 14 days he would come to for a few minutes, then off again. The children had whooping cough. I was so worried about Spen and I was up all hour with the children coughing. I had to keep myself in check, no going to pieces. I still knew I wouldn't live when my baby was born and with Spen like he wasn't good. Spen was quite hard to care for because he wouldn't do what the Dr. said. He was to be real quiet. So what does he (do)? Goes for a walk. I couldn't stop him. He came back real sick, his eyes clear out on the sides of his head.
He was real scared and real sick and then did what he was told. His head was broken all over. The first day we felt he could go for a walk, we went over to his folk's and sat on the porch. I left the children alone, when we came back Leone was standing in the middle of the room and she had cut all her hair off. It was all around her on the floor. I broke down then and I cried for hours. I couldn't quit. I guess that was the last straw-or maybe the last hair.
Dad was much better by the time my baby was to come and as they put the chloroform mask on my face, I thot, "Well, this is it". I went to sleep. I don't know how long it was, but I woke up, looked around, here I was in the bed room. My arm felt heavy I couldn't move it. I turned to see what the matter was, and there on my arm lay the brightest eyed little baby boy you ever saw. His eyes twinkled even then and I could almost see him say, "Well, Mom, we fooled you that time, you are still here and all is O.K." and it was. S---- was very alert and darling to tend. He was a real good-looking baby. He talked when he was so little. Dad still wasn't very strong. The bugs ate up all the beets. Spen got a job out to the Pipe Shop. It was hard on everyone. Milo was 7 1/2 years old and he got up every morning 3:30 AM along with D---- 9 and their Dad to milk cows. Milo milked 2 cows. D---- helped feed calves. Then they came home and crawled back in bed to wait for school time. Spen had to be to work at 5:00 AM. (Water and the bathroom were put in about this time but we are not sure of the date.)
We heard Spring Glen was getting a new school house. Dad got a job on it through Uncle Silas' help and in July 1927 we went to Spring Glen to live in a house belonging to Silas and Lucretia (my sister). We lived in Spring Glen until January of 1928. Lucretia and I had a good time every day and the 4 of us had many good times going to shows-ice cream, etc. The children enjoyed it too. The building was completed at last so we cam back to lake View. Dad was still a counselor in the bishopric. It was thru his efforts that Lake View got a dance hall. The MIA still kept me as counselor. Clara Taylor was the President.
Spender was called to be Bishop in 1928. This time we had been told that he had been chosen. LaMar Scott and Clarence Lloyd were counselors. Later LaMar moved away and Ernel Williamson was chosen. I was put in as counselor to Nora Taylor in 1929 MIA. Nora Taylor was called to the Stake board so I was released from counselor but I was still Gleaner Leader. Now Dad was Bishop, it was real depression time. Always took things so serious, work, responsibilities, and even his play. So it was hard on him. It was hard on me too, as I was again preparing for a new baby.
My father died in February before LaVor was born. I surely hated to see him go. He was such a quiet reserved scholar of a man.
I wasn't well during the time I waited for this baby and when LaVor was born I didn't have enough natural food for him. Mother didn't give babies bottles then, so he was very cross. He cried so much. He was such a darling baby when he wasn't hungry. He is the one person that remembers when he was born. He was 2 years old when our next baby was born. I had Dad lay him (LaVor) on my arm. Some women came to see my new baby and I showed them LaVor. They made a real fuss over my new baby. It made and impression on him and while a real small boy he really thot he was the new baby. LaVor became real healthy and strong as soon as he got proper food.
I was asked to be Primary President again so from 1930-31, I was Pres. Then I resigned. I also resigned from MIA and for a year or so I stayed at home. Then Bishop Williamson asked me to be Secretary of the Relief Society. I remember thinking, "Now I can do a lot of this at home", so I said yes. Well, I had to keep track of "Sunday Eggs" gathered by Primary girls. Oh, what a job. I was Sec for two years. Now, again, I'm preparing for a new baby. I had never felt real well since LaVor was born so I didn't do much in the church now. On February 8, 1932, D---- came. It was a very hard birth, as she came one foot first. It took 42 hours and the Doctor was there a great deal of it. Oh, I was glad to see her. She had gold curly hair the color of my ring. I didn't make the same mistake with her as I did with LaVor on feeding. She was on a bottle right from the start. She was ever so good a baby. She was our "baby D----" for 4 1/2 years.
My sister Onedia died about this time. She had a bad poison attack when Dean was born and was never really well again. She was a lovely beautiful girl.
Then again, I was waiting for our baby. I was 41 years old. Maybe that was why I was so ill. I lived on oranges almost. I was nauseated the entire time and when R---- came I came closer to going than I ever had. I was sinking down "somewhere" and Dr. Taylor kept calling me by name to ask me something. I really resented it. I didn't want to answer him, but he kept asking me. Finally I said, "Why don't you ask Spen and not ask me?" I heard him say, "Now, I believe you watch her close and she'll be OK." It took some days to do it. However, I was soon able to be around again. Now days in a hospital I would have been given a transfusion. It was not done then. Now we have another beautiful baby girl. Oh, she really was pretty and as good as gold. She lived in her play pen and learned to walk in it. I never let her on the floor. She walked at 8 1/2 months. Then, of course, she outgrew her crib.
In speaking of the routine of so many pages, a person said, "You couldn't write other wise. That was really your life". And now it changed so again.
When R---- was 6 months old, D---- was called on a mission to Denmark. While he was on his mission Milo and L---- F---- were married. Dad and I went with them to the temple in Sale Lake City. So our 8 children and us were only home together six months. Now in 1939 I was put in Jr. Class leader in MIA. I just loved it. Especially one girl, D---- T----, who later became our Daughter-in-law. I was released in 1944.
In 1941 D---- met E---- J---- from Arizona and they were married. We went to the Salt Lake Temple with them.
In 1942, April 3rd Leone and Wayne Blair were married. We went with them to the Salt Lake Temple. Also there were Milo and Lila and E---- and D----.
Grandpa Madsen died about 2 weeks later.
On February 2nd, 1944 B---- and Elman Jackson were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We were there with Milo and Lila, Elman's folks and the Clark Flakes.
On June 3, 1946 S---- and D---- T---- were married. More of the family could go now so we both went and Leone and Wayne and Milo and L----.
June 23rd, 1948, LaVor and F---- R---- were married in the Manti Temple. We all went with them, (those) that had been to Temples, S---- and D----, Elman and B----, Leone and Wayne.
September 12 1950 D---- and A---- P---- were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We were with them as were Elman and B----, Milo and L----, LaVor and F----, S---- and D----.
June 7, 1954, R---- A---- and Paul Reese were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We were there as well as D---- and E----, Milo and L----, Leone and Wayne, B---- and Elman, S---- and LaVor and D---- and A----. D---- and F---- couldn't come as they were waiting for their babies. (Lee and Richard).
I was asked by a member of the family to put down my impressions of each member. In thinking about it, I believe I'll use my Mother's ideas. She and a friend were discussing both of their families. The "Halos" were just thick. After the friend left I said, "Now, Mom, why do you brag us up like that?" She said, "Ada, why not forget ALL the bad things in life and just remember the good?" So may I do just that. (that is called having a "good" memory).
D----: How thankful I have always been that he became so well after such a bad start. He has a disposition like mine, more slow to get angry, but so hard to forget. He is very much a scholar, and the work that he is doing as Chaplain has made him a very religious person. He's been a very devoted son and husband. He's been a very good provider and a loving father. His experience could fill a book. He has been in the army for 22 years. So he has had to travel a great deal. But his love of life has been Baseball, Basketball and sports of every kind. Umpire and Referee even. Hasn't that rounded out a very wonderful man? He could easily have been too serious. (Where could he have acquired this love of ball games?) He was the only boy to go on a mission. His was Denmark.
Milo: Our boy of many impulses. Milo was the most tender hearted little fellow one could find. He's been called a "tease", but let's remember the play house he made as a "truce". I had to leave home the day Dad had to tear it down. He's been a wonderful Father even some times trying too hard. He wants his boys to be real men. He was a real farmer and I think that's saying a lot. He could raise anything, but his bad back stopped him in that line of work. When about 6 years old the family had forgotten a Mother's Day Present. So Milo went out to the lilac bush and found one bunch blooming. He brought it to me and every year since then I have received a lilac on Mother's Day (I look for them now), but when we were in Florida on a trip and here comes my lilac. I really wept. Milo has a temper like his Dad's a quick flash and soon over. He was a very religious boy and is as a man. He and Lila sure are a lovely pair. He is a very loving son and wonderful person.
Leone: A person said to me, "what's it that Leone has? Everyone wants to be with her all the time". I know what it is. It's her wonderful friendly disposition. She radiates friendliness. She was a wonderful person around home, very obedient and helpful. She's very touchy, she can take any amount of ribbing unless it's meant, then it breaks her heart. She has sure been a good companion to Wayne going different places and doing different things. She's a wonderful Mother as her family will tell you. She is a good church worker. Leone and I had so much fun with an apron that turned up in the craziest places. Then the whole family joined in and one could expect to find it most anywhere. It served us all so well. Let's just remember the fun we had.
B----: A very loving and obedient daughter. Her worst fault was wanting to be right by me all the time. I should have made her go out more, but if I had maybe she wouldn't be the grand person she is today. She's such a sweet wife and Mother. She has sure made them a happy home. Her health has held her down some but hope she has some of her things licked. She loves to talk - she loves to tell you stories. She is the best groomed person around home I ever knew. Away from home also. My how we all depend on "Bertie" as we now call her. Especially me. She is deeply religious and lovely.
S----: Dignified, reserved, dependable. That's the public's opinion of S----. Well-he is, I guess, but the family knows, if you want to have a good time at a get together, have S---- there. He has such a wonderful disposition and such a sense of humor. He's really lots of fun. He loves sports - baseball, basketball, boating skiing, but most of all he loves to go Deer Hunting. Of course LaVor must be there. Why weren't they real twins? He is a real family man and good provider. In case of necessity he can cook a meal - mix bread etc as good as any woman. He's the most abrupt person on a phone I ever knew. He's an Eagle Scout and the most steady person in every way I ever knew. His record at Geneva can verify that in 18 (?) years never missed a day of work. He's sure been a wonderful son.
LaVor: I think I could write a book on LaVor's doings. When he was real small he dressed up in everything he could find. He earned the name from neighbors "Tag-a-Long" (a comic strip person that couldn't keep his clothes on straight.) Then as he grew older he made things. He would spend days making a cut wagon. Then if it stood up under the "Porch test", he was thru with it and would start another. He has been a very very loving son. He's been such a good Dad and husband even if he does pester F---- by calling her "Little Bride". Who but LaVor and F---- could have done what LaVor did about school, working nights, school in daytime? I wonder when you slept. Boy, are we proud of you. I know you had lots of help, but you made it. He loves every kind of sport but his all is deer Hunting. He lives it, dreams it. Dad can just hear him call "Where's Dad, Where's Dad etc" the day he killed 3 deer in Min. He's very religious. He's real witty. He can keep a group laughing. If you really want to good time get LaVor and S---- and Leone in a group. He has a wonderful sense of Humor and also is very serious at times. A wonderful guy.
D----: My red head. A pet of the family for 4 1/2 years, our "Baby D----" she had the prettiest golden hair (not red really) one ever saw. It's still beautiful but more red now. She's a very religious person, works her head off when she has a church job. She's such a cute little mother, her family is her all. She's a very good house keeper, and has made a happy home for her family. She's a worry wart (claims she inherited it). She has been very loving to us. She loves to go places with art. How often did I say, "Let's ask D----", and she is always ready.
R---- A----: I never knew a young girl that loved children like R---- did. Even at her wedding she had the small children on the program. She has been a very loving and sweet daughter. She has a real job to do now, and I know she will try her best to keep being the wonderful mother she is. She will stop the most important job to fix a gun belt, or doll dress, etc, etc! She has a wonderful philosophy of life. She really gives me things to think of real often. She sure loves Paul and depends on him very much. She is very frank and very deeply religious. I love her laugh. It's surprising how much I depend on Ruth.
Some thoughts of my own about Mother Ada - By R----
Mom and Dad had a lot of fun just being alive and being together. They loved one another dearly and cared for each other's needs. They loved to tell funny stories about life together. I can't and don't want to tell them all but here goes with a couple of stories:
The chimney was stopped up. Dad had to clean it. So he gives Mom a bushel basket and stands her below the chimney. Then he goes up on the roof with a long handled brush of some kind to clear the chimney. Well, the obstruction came loose all right and filled the lower room. You can only guess just where Mother and her basket fit in this picture. Dad said there was nothing you could see on Mother but her eyes. What did she do about this? She laughed of course. They both laughed "till they cried." They were laughing about this even much later in their lives.
Dad decided he could make an easier way to shell peas. He had been to the cannery and they didn't shell peas by hand so he figured he could just use the washer wringer and run the pods through and the peas would just pop out sweet as you please. Well, it didn't work too well, as you can imagine. I'm not too sure how long it took Mom to laugh this time, but she did. She had a great sense of humor.
I had the notion that when I, the last of the kids, left home the parents were going to be lonely. They gave so much to and for each of us. About the lonely part I couldn't have been more wrong. Shortly after my marriage they bought their first truck camper. Now, at long last they could go fishing. . . Dad's second love. . .and Mother could enjoy it because she didn't have to sleep and eat in the dirt. They bought a boat and with friends and family enjoyed many fishing trips and excursions.
I guess the Safari's on Memorial Day were just about the ultimate fun. As their children were able to acquire their own RV's the fun was non-stop for three days of the Safari. We lived far away during many of these years but Dad and Mother came to Canada every year while we were there and just about any other place they could make for a better family.
They also enjoyed some fabulous trips together to Europe, to spend a month with D----'s family. To Hawaii with friends and family. They went to New Zealand when Vasco and La were on their mission there. And they just plain had fun wherever they were.
When dad retired it seemed to me that the garden got even more beautiful. They then worked together on it, but it was "her" garden and she knew where she got every "start". Each of her flowers were her friends and she truly loved them (in a love flower way).
Mother kept track of time by thinking from Christmas to Christmas. Maybe that is why she looked like Mrs. Santa Clause. Not Christmas really but Christmas Eve. We weren't allowed to sing Christmas songs or talk about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Then we sang all the Christmas songs we could think of, sometimes with the door open on the heat stove to expose the fire (our fireplace). Mother Ada made sure they gave a gift to each adult and child. Many times she made the gifts and they were the best.
There was magic in the air on Christmas Eve. The folks made it so great. It had to be just sooo! With oysters and crackers for the old timers, chili and crackers for the wimps, Lila's fruit cake, Bertie's place markers, Dad's pink popcorn, the contributions of each one of us was so important. Mother would set the table early in the day so that she could get it just right with all the plates, decorations and salt shakers in place and ready. I think she had the "Christmas Creeps". After dinner came the program-we sang all of the songs we could think of. Mother was in charge of the program-each person knew they were to perform some Christmas thing, from the youngest to the oldest. At last we sang "Silent Night" and the families departed to their own homes. It was awesome!
"Christmas Gift" was the official greeting of Christmas morning! This day was more relaxed but always great as the folks tried to visit the homes of each of the children who lived nearby. We were all very loved!!
In 1966 Poppy and Mother celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary. Mother had a beautiful gold dress. It was a great day. We, all us kids and our spouses, went to the Salt Lake Temple together. It was wonderful. Afterward there was an open-house at their home, I felt humbly proud to be part of their family.
When 60 years rolled around we did the Temple Thing again. This time it was the Provo Temple. Dad was working as a Temple worker there at that time. Now all of the kids, their spouses and even a few of the adult Grandchildren were there with their spouses. It was a beautiful time. Mother Ada wanted all of her girls to be bridesmaids, so we chose blue gingham and had dresses alike. It was fun. That night there was a big open house at the church. Hundreds of friends and family were there to pay them honor. Laurine made a wedding cake for them.
On January 10, 1980 the lights went out in Mother's life. Dad died. (What else can I say?) They were married 64 years on this earth and will be together forever in the eternities.
Mother was born September 13, 1894
She died May 23, 1980
She was wonderful!
By Ruth Ada Madsen Reese