Dec. 28, 1924, Sunday Evening 9 PM, 673 6th Ave. SLC
Can it be possible that four long years have passed since writing about my first babe? Now there are two more just as sweet and lovable--Ballard and Yvonne and another expected in May. Four in five years.
I hope I don't keep up this pace for many years. Imagine - a family of four under five years of age. I hope I won't have to keep up this pace many more years - I'll be worse than an old race horse. Each one is so dear with different personalities. Ballard has such large eyes--he will be a handsome fellow.
We bought some new furniture and a Maytag washer, so we are enjoying life a little more. Aunt Betty Whitaker, wife of Grandpa's brother George has just been operated on and is convalescing, and staying with us. We had a very cold winter. No work until Wilford applied at the Magna Mills. He takes passengers every day. Aunt Effie Cowley Park's funeral is Wed. Father died a week before Yvonne was born, first part of Dec. She is a year old, 11th Dec. I left Kanosh a month early and stayed with Jean in Morgan where she was born--also Marné was born there. We moved to Kanosh and bought a house of Winfred Paxtons. We were there when Ballard was born. Mrs. Dourty was the mid-wife and Grandma Whitaker was the nurse. Then Melba helped us for a few days, but was getting married that Spring to Owen Staples, brother to Grant Staples that married Wilford's older sister Grace. They live in Kanosh. We will be moving back so he can take care of his bees. His father and mother will let us live there and will take our furniture for first month's rent, also Wilford will wire their house for electricity when we live there.
December 29, 1924 6:00 am I fully intended writing last night, but was prevented. Yvonne is a beauty - Ballard a dear but I can't brag about his looks, yet. Marné gets prettier every day. New year nearly here. I never go to my meetings. I feel like an apostate or worse. Marné is awake & wants to write. Must go back to bed before boy awakes. Aunt Betty is with us a few days convalescing. Very cold severe winter. A great deal of snow. Aunt Effie died. Funeral last Wednesday. Father died a year ago. Baby a year old on 11th Dec. Clara Rawlins very ill with pneumonia, getting better now. Sent no Xmas presents. Received some from Jean & Leona. Makes me so ashamed never to be the giver than always receiver.
Aug. 25, 1925, Kanosh, Ut. 9:00 pm
The desire to (write again has affected me strongly as I would like to keep up this Diary awhile) pen a few more (feeble attempts) words in my journal is upon me. July 9 was our 6th Anniversary. He never mentioned it as usual. Terrible to forget it or any holiday, birthdays - etc. He never remembers...birthdays. Little Thomas was born the 20thMay. July 9 saw us with four babies all our own (and darlings, too) --so dear each in its turn--sweeter than any nectar ever grown. Somehow July 9th takes form of angels watching over us. Too bad there is never improvement. Somehow each one has his own guardian angel watching over him. Good poem or book read, new songs, & thots elevate some what. "Poor little me!" Whoever thought (that) I would get so handsome a (hubby and wonderful to me and us) husband--black hair, and eyes and so good to us. When a mere child in Granite going to school, writing in my diary on the way dreaming, building castles in the air, that haven't all faded and gone - I have my handsome knight and four lovely cherubs with prospects of many more - I would dream of a handsome knight now I have him. Health and plenty of work to keep us out of mischief. I saw a lovely sunset tonight while shucking corn on the lawn. Artists couldn't do it justice. Such beauty -- a glimpse into heaven. They come and go, adding a bit of beauty to a busy day. A little inspiration so badly needed when the spirits low. Forever and ever Kanosh will be our home?? Marné is five, Ballard 3, Yvonne 20 months and Tom 3 months--all abed and asleep with (their daddy, Wilf) their Dad. Verna and Ben and family stopped a day or two on their way to Mexico. Mother came with them. Enjoyed their visit so much. Tom on lawn, must go to bed. Mother is such a dear. Works all the time for me.
Kanosh, 7 July 1927 Old Diary (1920) - Whitaker Homestead Today is Joel's birthday. (Nearly) Four years (again and have once more decided to pen a few lines to you.) have passed since writing in here. Tom was 2 years old in May and John was four months old the 28th of June (Feb.) Wilford has been away from his (little) family (nearly) two months. He borrowed $1300 and is in Omaha, Neb. Making his or our fortune. Hope he doesn't stay away too long. We get so homesick (for him) to see him. I surely hope we won't need to be separated much longer. I know, too, when we are away from each other too long, the man can get along better with out one, altogether. He - well here's hoping not. Been here a month or two before Tomas [sic] arrived. We have been in Kanosh since before Tom was born. He and John were born in the Fillmore hospital. I stay home pretty close-- so many youngsters. Baby John is a jewel. He sleeps from 8 pm to 5 am since 2 mo. old. Beginning to watch his fingers and put things into his mouth. He has two teeth already. Strongest baby I have ever seen. He puts everything in his mouth. I give him sunbaths often. He is so strong, also he eats heartily. (WhooWhee) It is so hot. Tries to rain (without success so far) -- just sultry. Yes, sure thing, you know? I got my hair bobbed--I look awful. It isn't much fun to be (man and woman both) a man, too. I milk a cow, feed a calf and 1 doz. Chickens, weed (garden), hoe and irrigate, tend babes, cook, wash dishes, clothes, sweep, dust, iron, scrub, (laundry and dozens of other chores) and other things. I thrive on it and getting fat. Don't eat much - it is surprising. Mother was in Arizona all winter--she is bothered with (rheumatism quite a bit) arthritis in her hands. Hope she takes radium in parallel one treatment and gets over it. Clara George did. Mildred (poor woman, is in an awful condition. So poorly she can't raise her head. Had it about five years.) is bad too. Marné has been to school one winter. Will be in 2nd g. next year. Hilda Bird was her teacher. She is a charming youngster but more when her teeth come in.. Ballard is all boy. Good to mind at times, tender hearted and very sympathetic. A big dreamy-eyed darling, bubbling with energy. Hope he will study music this winter. Won't be old enough to go to school, but so much life. Yvonne is 3-1/2. (Always) imagines the cleverest stories and composes her own songs as Marné used to do. I wish I could write them word for word. She can't talk plain so it sounds cute. Golden curly hair and big black eyes. Tom can't talk very much yet but is a sweet fat dumpling. Very smart but slow as Christmas. He gets spunky (and good too) but soon over it.
Ballard Whitaker - History - Commemorative As a child, I used to gather lots of frogs, water snakes or anything I could catch. One day I was carrying around a whole pocket full of water snakes. The smell of fresh bread baking drew me to the house and there I saw mother stooping over to take the loaves of bread from the oven. I noticed the back of her dress at the neckline was gaping open. What a temptation! I slipped up and dropped one of the smaller snakes down the back of her dress. I had never seen my mother so completely frightened. I received the first and probably the last really hard whipping my mother ever gave me. Boy! Was she ever upset! Now that I think it over, I can't say that I blamed her. Baby John I've already lauded to the skies. I love my (dear) little family and only hope and pray (I will live to raise them all to manhood & womanhood, pure and clean) we will raise them up to be honorable men and women. Ruby & Milton seemingly have separated for the time being, at least. He hasn't been home for nearly a year. Milton and Ruby have separated. Herman and Marian (still spat) fight like cats--(she surely is to be pitied, in fact, all of them considering every thing.) -- the children are to be pitied. I hope I can create more culture and refinement among my children. They are all smart enough - but no consideration for their mother.
(Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative
August 6, 1927, Kanosh Today is Marné's birthday. Just seven years old but it is too stormy to give her a party. It rained most all day and last night. It is clear and cold tonight. I hope we won't have an early fall. I would like to get (to see) our tomatoes ripe. They were nipped early last year. Never had any ripe ones. It feels like fall tonight. A few more weeks before school starts. My sister Leona married Victor Nelson. She is working at the factory (at present) and mother takes care of the children. Wilford sent the children a lot of noisy whistles, balloons, rings, beads and a lovely dress for me. The children enjoyed them. All are such husky young giants. We all miss father. I am almost grief stricken tonight but spilled milk can't be picked up. I hope any more won't spill, however. Oh, I am so lonely & blue. I need my darling husband to cheer me and console me. I don't see how I can endure it all winter. If a good music teacher lands in town, I may study music all winter. I wish Wilford could. Too sad to write more now.
Sunday, Oct. 2, 1927 Time will pass even if I don't take time to write. Another six months and (my husband will be gone a year) Wilford should be home. I find I'm not quite dead from loneliness and guess I'll be alive next spring even if he doesn't return all winter. I've an idea I can keep busy so the time won't seem too long. I am kept busy so the time passes more quickly. I would like (so badly) to go to Salt Lake to Conference (Leona will go down but guess I must wait until next spring - haven't weaned baby yet - hate to - word) but baby John isn't weaned yet. They are all growing so fast. Soon to be young men and women. Oh! If they will only walk in the path of rectitude & right. I must be more careful about prayers, stories and work - all so necessary for them. I must teach them to pray and will tell them Bible stories and teach them how to work for their own good. Tom hardly says a word yet. Ballard grows so fast. Big athletic youngster. Must encourage him in athletics as he grows older. Best sports in the world. No births to record recently. Surprises however! Mother, Leona, Ira and Bea Judd spent a weekend with me in August. Also Jean and daughter Mildred. Vida Thompson and her husband (Mr. Hunter) and two children stayed overnight with us, one babe 17 mo., other 2 months. Pretty as pictures, dark as papooses, Inez & Roleen. Husband quite clever. I'm coughing again so must go to bed.
Dec. 8, 1927, Thurs. 9:30 PM My dear old friend--for a good many years off and on, I have found comfort here. It does my soul good to shake off its fetters and stand clearly revealed once in awhile. Of course I don't say anything of importance but I love to write. My (Hubby) husband won't write to me (so I can't write letters to any-one that will never answer) so I will write in here. Tell my why! He knew I was homely enough when he married me, he knew I wasn't very clever or a good housekeeper, wife or mother or very (anything) interesting, however he was willing to take the risk--has it all been in vain? Will I ever get a chance to love and comfort him again? Surely he (he is human enough to) love(s) his babies even if I am their mother. Christmas is nearly here and not a word (line) from Wilford since 7th Nov. I sent him his overcoat and some candy for Thanksgiving, but he never acknowledged it. Is one foolish enough to sit at home and wait. (With five babies (one is helpless to do otherwise) what else?) (Just) A letter once a (week) month would keep (one's) my spirits up--keep one encouraged, just to (the children's father appreciated one's help in rearing his children) be appreciated. A little sympathy goes along way when one must kindle own fires these fearfully cold mornings. Worry over getting provisions with nothing to go on. I've honey to sell but everyone has honey in town, I guess, and I can't leave to peddle it this cold weather. I can sell a little in trade but the stores are overstocked, they say. (We are being deprived of even the barest necessities - at present). Even the barest necessities--but I hate charity. Nothing from Wilf & no honey returns. I wonder what I will do? What can I do? I am sacrificing everything (I can) to pay for the music lessons--I may be foolish for trying to study but I need to so badly. Marné is doing so well on the violin. I must keep Ballard at the piano. I think he could do well if he tries, altho but five. Ballard is only five but shows an aptitude for the piano.
Baby John crawls on his stomach or chest by pulling himself along as though swimming. He stands up--in (his buggy, high-chair, and everywhere) everything and by everything. He would soon walk if I could let him down more but it is too cold on these linoleum floors, and will be all winter, I guess. Oh! If I can only be a worthy example for my children to follow. I mustn't get so (I must be more careful and not get so awfully) cross (and mean) when I correct them. I am so ashamed (whenever I give way to my meanness in correcting the children. They treat each other the same way.) when I am mean. Yvonne and Tom mustn't be neglected. They are so sweet.
Yvonne's hair is so thick and curly and her big brown eyes draw the attention of everyone. Tom is so fat and cute. We surely love all of our family.
Must write to the folks. Will write more here when I hear from my darling lover. Oh! I love him so and am willing to do so much for him - why doesn't love me? I know he must be tired of me - or found some one to cheer him - (if I ever thot so -????)
Will we ever be the same when we are reunited? Wasn't it my greatest mistake in life when I gave my consent for him to get into this? I never dreamed we would be separated so long. I surely thot we would be together after his summer work ended - but no chance. He says he won't come home until he has made good - at least another year - Oh! How can he? - My whole being longs for him - I love him so - I need him every day - we should not be so far apart, I know - will he ever be satisfied to stay home - always so discontented before. Should we ever have married? Wouldn't single blessedness been better - but my darling children - I love them and only hope for the best for their sakes. Xmas nearly here - New Year - Spring & soon. Baby is restless. Has more cold - so neglected. When will woman ever have a chance to feel more free & independent? - must have all sorrows & suffering - men scot-free - always H E L L on earth.
Dec. 26, 1927 Christmas has come and gone. No hubby or letter until a letter came tonight. No word from Wilford until tonight I got a letter. He has been out of work and he is (mighty despondent) very discouraged. No money. Not enough to buy a sick rabbit a pair of moccasins, he says. If it hadn't been for the folks, we would have had a pretty scanty Christmas. However we got along nicely but they missed their Daddy and keep asking (when he is coming home - I'm sure I don't know) for him. I only hope he finds work soon. If he gets too cold and hungry he might jump in the river, as he suggests. Mustn't think of it. There is a big Christmas dance on tonight--can't go however, nothing to wear. We rented part of this house to Meachams. Oh! I (only hope) wish they would pay me a little money soon, Rent & all.) They owe me over $25. Everything is due--washer, lights, water, rent and music lessons and everything. Everything looks pretty black at present. O my darling babies! If I could only keep them as beautiful and unspoiled, as unselfish and kind and trustworthy forever as they are now!! Very seldom hear a swear word or slang phrase, (except from their mother, I'm sorry to say.) Of course they bicker and quarrel quite a lot - more then they should but I hope I can correct them of that. Marné is doing well with her music lessons, if I can only get the money to pay for them. I must some way and pretty soon, too. Marné must practice more. She is doing so well on her violin. Holidays are now on. Hope I can get her to practice every day. Must write letters to mother, Leona and Dan. Will add a few more lines here in a few days.
Jan. 30, 1928 Today is Bert W. (50th) birthday. Once a month I seem to get the notion to write a few lines. Just 2 letters this month from my husband. Got two letters this month from Wilford. He is working for his board (only) and room for a farmer. I guess I needn't (never) expect (any) money from him, (until he gets something permanent, at least.. Heavens! It is no disgrace to fail once in awhile but to stay down is the tragedy. Bert Whitaker called here this morning on his way to California. He has been in Salt Lake all winter. So (Seemed) good to see him again. He feels (bad or) hurt because Wilford won't write (either to them, his father & mother or) him or his folks, also Milton Milt has also written Wilf, but Wilf continues to ignore them. Of course it hurts and I am sorry things are so unsettled.
Feb. 28, 1928 Oh! Where was I one year ago tonight? I wonder. Baby John is (one) a year old today. The time will pass altho it seems forever since my darling went away, and it looks like I must fight it out alone for another 8 or 10 months. Can I endure it? No, not unless I remain unusually busy. The time is passing so fast and Wilford has been gone nearly a year--three more months. Idle tears and all but he means so much to me. I can hardly live thru this separation. I know he loves me, too, so it makes it that much harder. I must stay busy so the time will pass faster. Any idle time and I give way to the blues and tears. He needs us as we need him, I know. I hope and pray nothing will prevent us being reunited some day. I hope he will be home soon. We got letters (Got a letter from my lover) from mother and Leona. Now I owe one to each. She (Leona) is separating from Victor. Leona is leaving her husband. Poor kind. Mother's treatments make her so ill, depressed and blue, and feels so dependent. Dan has (had to undergo an operation) been operated on for hernia. That worries mother. My being ill also worried her but hope all will be ok (better) soon. I am except the mumps. Marné does well on her violin, must get up early so she can practice more. So much snow & cold - Sering (searing?) hurry!?
Mar. 25, 1928, Sunday night. Just got a letter from Wilford. He might be home soon, also a card from Leona saying our oldest own sister Mildred had died Sat. or Friday. She has suffered (so long and also been hard on her family) so it is a relief (for her) to cast one's old worn out body aside. How free!! Dan is on a mission in the Northern states so he may be able to go to the funeral, I guess. Her son Vern is in Arizona for his health. I feel so sad & blue yet I am thinking of going to con. I hope I can go to conference in April--that excites me and changes the look of every thing. I only hope I can go - if so I will leave all the children (they can go later when their father comes home) with some dependable person. Write more when I find out ----
Jan. 12, 1929 Christmas and New Years have passed (come and gone) --also a "flu" epidemic. All had it and I lost a beautiful tiny black haired baby girl. I wasn't expecting her before Feb. I felt so heavy when she died in the womb--no movement of course. She (Eugenia) was born Nov. 24, 1928, premature birth. I made such a fuss at first . . . I resented having another baby at first, so God changed his mind and called her home. I've grieved (terribly for some reason but hope to put it aside before many more months) so long but hope to overcome it soon. I will list her with the other children in my genealogical record- -hoping I can claim her someday.
(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)
The following November a tiny daughter was born dead. We felt very badly about losing this tiny spirit. Although she was premature, she was a beautiful little tot with black hair and long fingernails. She fit snugly in a large shoe box. We buried her under a rose bush and hope to claim her in the hereafter. She had a perfect body. Why can't I claim it some day? Wilford came home May 10, so he was gone a year. We are as poor as church mice but hope better days are coming. I've tried so hard to keep Marné studying her violin (but it seems impossible to ever have an extra dollar) but we never have an extra dollar. I am going home soon and help Leona (awhile) also. Wish I could find another job while there and stay a few more weeks. I must (get) have my teeth pulled soon. They need so much work that they aren't worth filling. (I have rheumatism badly once in awhile.) I'm bothered with rheumatism. All the poison that went thru my system years ago from an infected tooth that kept me out of school a year and now doesn't help my health. Mildred died last Spring from it & Vern last Fall from T. B. I wonder how George is. Sun is shining. I am cross as a bear today. That winter Wilford went with his brother Moses into Nevada to sell Maytag washers, hoping to make some money.
Jan. 24, 1929 Ballard is nearly seven years old and weighs 54 lbs. Wilford has left us again and gone into Elko, Nevada with Mose to sell Maytags. Tomorrow is Leona's birthday. I hope I'll (can) see mother and all soon. Oh! I get so discouraged some times. Does any one else or am I just awfully foolish to worry over my husband. Old Satan is happy when he can get us discouraged. How can we prevent it when we have so much to worry us? My hubby worries me the most. One habit he has angers me so much that even when I think of it I shake as though I had the ague! He knows it but he doesn't love me enough to (to even try to) leave it alone. I wonder if he will continue it until he can't throw it off. Oh, I can't stand it - I feel I am simply going crazy if I don't find some way to control my self. As old as he is and begin tampering with it again - he said he used to use it some before he went on his mission. I'll bet his parents didn't know. It leads to other things even worse - Oh, I'm crazy, I guess, to shed so many tears over any man when the world is full of them - I hope he writes soon - Can I endure another summer alone. Heavens, - I doubt it. I hope he realized his priesthood is being violated also the covenants he made in the temple. No wonder we aren't getting ahead financially--no tithing paid, no nothing. How far away we fall from the Spirit of God. How can we expect answers to our prayers. Dan married a girl from Utah and they live in Chicago. I hate to face another summer alone. Dan is married, lives in Chicago, now. Will go up to Leona's next month. I hope all will be well so I can go. Will write more soon.
April 9, 1929 Just a few lines here again. It is so stormy--a perfect blizzard. No coal or wood scarcely. Everything is wet. Rabbits all a fizzle. I wish I could sell them all. I'm heartily sick of everything. Wilford is still in Elko - isn't making any thing I guess - at least I don't see much. No money. I can't hold up my head any more & look people in the eye - because I feel worse than a slacker - with nothing to go on & only a summer school's training to put me back to earning $100 or more a month - yet I can't even have the bare necessities. How can I leave the children? If something doesn't happen soon I'll get mother to care for children this summer while I go to Summer School, then I am sure of a job next winter. If I could just go to Summer School I could renew my certificate and teach again. Mother would care for the children. I've got to do something soon. We haven't anything but five lovely hungry children. Wilf mentioned going on a farm next week. Wilford said if he makes a bargain with the owner, we will move into Nevada on a farm near Elko - somewhere in the mts. of Nev., near Elko. I hope he writes & lets me know his definite plans soon. Hope I hear soon. So much snow and cold. Oh, for spring and warm weather. So much snow & cold, surely the farmers(?) will be satisfied. I wish spring would go so summer could come. I hope I can go to Summer School. I am thinking seriously of S. school. I hope I can put it thru and be able to teach next winter. I'm going to write the State Sup. now - here goes. No, haven't written so far.
June 6, 1929, Strange (Lake Ranch, Elko, Nev.) Ranch, Nevada Yes, here we are! "One million miles from nowhere." We came out here May 14. There is a good farmhouse, warm in winter if we have plenty of coal provided. It is a beautiful fertile valley ---- if only more water were available. La Moille Valley & town on the foothills 7 miles S. East is beautiful. Big creek passes thru. Supposed to be fish in this creek, haven't taken time to see yet much. Its the first warm day since arriving. Cold winds and cloudy for two weeks. Nipped the alfalfa and garden stuff. Oh dear! We will never get ahead. No spirit of (God) the gospel is ever permitted here. It is my fault my husband profanes with most every breath--that no one but Satan's imps would feel at home. Although holding the priesthood we can't enjoy its wonderful blessings to its fullness. Why, Oh, why can't we enjoy our religion, knowing that it means everything? He should have married someone he really loved. What a farce!!! On the 15th of May we planted our garden. Heavy frosts on the 26 - 1 of June. Saved the beans and corn by putting tin cans over them. Frost on 26 to 1st. Enough for tonight. Will write more on birthday night.
June 19, 1929 Instead of 14th as I promised. This afternoon has been almost unbearable. This witched loneliness is enough to simply drive anyone insane. I haven't conquered my fear of stillness - I'm not big or broad enough to see the beauty day in and day out, year in and year out, of God's handiwork in sky, clouds, mountains and nature in all its splendor. I can admire for a few hours every day, but it becomes so monotonous as a steady diet. I've always craved good things but a little noise and brilliance - change of scenery, dirt and thoughts are inspiring once in a while. My birthday was passed with only a few hard spanks & 6 lovely kisses - but I've never had a birthday present in my life - little tokens of friendship maybe as a child but always too poor to afford any unnecessary expense. Of course, yet so necessary to me - I'm not complaining - merely stating facts. O Well - better or worse must take or make it better. I am so thankful for my husband whom I can trust and my lovely babies, naughty and sweet as any in the world. Oh, if I can only get the school this winter. Otherwise - well - I don't know what way the wind blows. It is so lonely out here. The neighbors are miles away. I would love to hear some good music and see a good show. Birthday merely mentioned. No token of remembrance. Wif went into Elko this noon on his way to Winnemucca to appear in court because of turning the water into his ditch after being turned off by the Law. He may land in jail for six months. This is about the climax. I wonder - if he doesn't come home tomorrow right then --------. This Plaza family have been very sociable. Mr. Plaza also was summoned & has gone. I hope these next 24 hrs. Will pass quickly, sewing, sleeping or any thing - just got to be moving - walking - worrying. O, that pain in my heart again - worry, of course. I wish I didn't so much. Big storm Sat. & Sun. Warmer now, thank goodness. Write more later.
Aug. 1, 1929 Hot, Haying, Mosquitoes, Cooking, Sweating and uncomfortable generally. Hope they are soon through. I am thankful for my husband and family. I only hope I get the school this winter. The schoolhouse is on the farm--˝ mile from the house. Hope kids keep well. It is so hot and the mosquitoes are bad. Haying now so we have extra men to cook for--so much coffee to make. Perspiring and uncomfortable all over. I hope they get through soon. The children are growing fast and as brown as Indians. Must start supper. Catching up on letter writing. Write more later. 5:00 p.m. Trala.
Aug. 17, 1929, 4:30 PM More flies, less mosquitoes, more sun, less work. The men went (home) away last week. Now I must get serving and patching done. Here is a beautiful thought.
When you come to the Red Sea place in your life
We may go to Fort Halleck to an opening dance & supper tonight. Hope and pray Wilf won't drink one drop of whiskey. If he loved me enough, he wouldn't. I can only keep on praying it won't get a hold on him. Must hurry and get ready. Write more later.
January 7, 1930 Tuesday Evening 7:30. Not a line in here for six months. So many things have happened since August. I've been teaching (nearly five months) school all winter. Went to Institute in Oct. in Elko and (tried to pass some of the Teacher's exams) in December took the teacher's exams just before Christmas. It surely kept me busy but I don't believe I passed many of the subjects. They weren't very hard but I see I don't know anything. I hope I passed all the subjects. Not too hard but "catchy." A perfect Dumbbell. I guess I am a big dumbbell.
(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)
July 27, 1930, Lamoille, Strange Ranch, Sunday Afternoon 2:30 p.m. Six months have passed away (without saying a word) again and no news in here. All went to Sun(day) School. I'm home to keep the pigs out of the garden and wheat. (Will) We will be glad when we sell the pesky things. Barley and wheat are getting ripe. We hatched nearly 200 chickens but have only about 50 saved from pigs, cats and maybe hawks. School starts in 6 wks. Mary Michea will be the teacher. One of the best in Nevada (in Elko Co.) so Franklin said. Mr. Strange holds a dance and sells whiskey every Sunday afternoon. He is or has been a boot-legger for years--he still makes it though not on this ranch. They are so in need of what they can make. He drinks so much he as almost lost his mind. They are broke and need money. He has drunk everything up. He was on a shooting spree (shooting up his family) when drunk last week. His wife had him sent to jail over night last week. They owe us money but no chance to collect it now.
(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)
With the sale of hay and my teaching, we were able to pay back Grandpa Whitaker the $1300. Because of the drought the last year, we hardly made anything. We raised some pigs. There was an old sow who would scoop up the baby chicks and eat them as fast as she could catch them. I think she was the one that got a bone caught crosswise in her throat and Dad had to butcher her. I am happy (so glad) Wilford is 2nd Asst. In Sunday School--also a teacher. The Bishop is Bro. Brown. (I can truly say) My prayers have been answered in more ways than one.. He doesn't smoke or drink anymore--I only hope we can sell our crops at a good price and be able to save some toward a home somewhere. We paid back $1300 to Grandpa Whitaker last year. I am so tired of moving and hope we can have a home of our own. I am so tired of having to move.
Sunday, Aug. 3, 1930 Next Wed. Marné will be ten. Where have the years gone? I only hope we have something permanent before ten more long years. Have I been making lovely memories? Yesterday is only a memory today--so I wish mine were happier! I hope in another ten years we will be settled in our own home. The children will be in High School and college. If we can only be blessed with health so we can provide a good education for them. I hope all will be well so I can teach again next year. I expect to teach again next winter. It was a grand experience to teach last winter though the winter was so cold. We expect our little(newcomer) one in October. I've never been to a doctor yet. I realize how risky it is to go so long--albumin--swollen ankles--are so dangerous. I only hope and pray all goes well and I can go to Salt Lake City for my confinement. We are planning on going to conference and Wilford wants to visit (expects to visit around with the children) his folks while I'm in the hospital. I hope our plans succeed. The family started to Sunday School this morning but got stuck in the mud hole between here and Reinkins. Wilf has gone out to Rabbit Creek this afternoon.. Tex and Lloyd have gone for the time being. It has been raining off and on since Friday afternoon. Oh, if I could be more (loving mother) patient and loving with my children how much happier (better 23 all would be) we could be. As soon as the work "lets up" a little we must hold Primary. We should hold Primary when this busy time work is over. Also I must get busy and must get the children ready for school, make over a few dresses and etc. and get a few new articles. I think I will dress the girls in overalls most of the time. (I want to take) I must take another course or two this winter so I will be more sure of getting a certificate next winter (year). Must get kiddies' supper. (They seem hungry most of the time) The children are always hungry in spite of three big cooked meals a day. All keep well and grow so fast. Give me courage, faith, patience and the power to endure (unto) to the end.
Aug. 31, 1930, Sunday noon We (The family) didn't get to Sunday School this morning. Wilford & Lloyd went in for supplies. We may go for a few choke cherries after they come home. We live 25 miles from Elko where our church is located. Ballard is over (went) with Reinkens. They are lovely people. The children surely like those people. They haven't any children and are very sociable and nice. We all like them. They lost two babies with diphtheria. The children love them. I'm still able to (crawl and that is about all) get around but it is hard. So much work to do next week. So much to do before it freezes. Pickling, bottling and drying. I hope frost stays off for ten days yet. School starts every where except here about Tues. Labor day tomorrow. No News now. Write more later.
THE GREAT RUNAWAY – FALL 1930 - by Marne' Whitaker Tuttle
There have been allusions and various accounts written of what could have been a tragic runaway accident while we lived on the Frank Strange Ranch in Lamoille Valley, Nevada. Since I was there, this is my true and unbiased version!
I was ten years of age, the oldest of five children, in the late summer of 1930 when all of us piled on an old flatbed wagon to go out to gather sagebrush for our winter fuel. There was a pile of coal in a shed near the house, but now we must get wood to start it burning in the kitchen range, in the heater in the front room and in an old, huge, black pot-bellied stove in the one-room schoolhouse east of the house, across a cow pasture. Our Dad carried his 22 rifle and walked out across the alfalfa field to hunt Jack rabbits, letting me drive the team of horses, with the other four children bouncing around on the wagon. The wagon had box-like covers over all but one of the four wheels, which wheel protruded up through the opening.
The horses were named Tom and Prince and rather unevenly matched. Old Tom was tame and docile, while Prince was excitable. Dad planned to meet us out in the expanse of sagebrush after we had passed through the “Big Gate” leading out of the ranch and over a mile from the ranch house. We reached the Big Gate and stopped to let my sister, Yvonne, age 7, and brother, Ballard, age 8˝, off to open the swinging wooden gate. I reined the horses to the right side of the road when I heard the sound of a loud motor coming from over the hill and toward us from the left. Prince’s ears pricked forward when she heard it and then lay back on her head, and suddenly she reared and forced Tom to follow, as she strained at the reigns. Before I could gain my footing and control, they were trotting back down the road we had just traveled. I finally got the reigns tightened and the horses sensed the control, when this big noisy Hudson car raced up behind and frightened the horses again and they took off like a bolt of lightening. With no support to hang on to, I was bounced off the wagon, with one back wheel running over my left ankle. The two little boys were hollering and screaming and bouncing around, the last I saw of them.
The folks in the noisy car stopped and picked me up and then raced to try and catch the wagon, not realizing they were the cause of the runaway. Luckily, the horses followed the road back, across a narrow bridge, around a bend and then raced up to and entered the gates of the round corral at the top of the hill above our home. Because the bed of the wagon was too wide to enter, there the horses stood, panting and quivering. One little boy, Tom, aged 5, had found a finger-hold in a crack in the flooring and was on his knees. (Tom seems to recall holding on to John!) John, who was three, had been bounced down in front of the iron-rimmed front right hand wheel, the one with no protection box over it, and was clinging on to the edge of the wagon floor, hanging in front of the wheel, which was only inches from his back. At the moment the team passed on the hill above the house, Mother had stepped out to throw a pan of water on the lawn. She heard the commotion, the cries and the loud motor of the car. With panic in her heart she ran, as fast as she could, being almost eight months pregnant, to the round corral, up the steep hill.
In the meantime, Dad, hearing the honking, the motor and screams and seeing the car in pursuit of the wagon, had run all the way back, expecting the worse and imagining all the bad that could have happened. The boys were not injured seriously. Tom was shaken and pale. John had not lost his grip on the edge of the flooring, which saved him from being run over by the heavy wheel. His back was bruised and scrapped, but there were no broken bones. Dad took his worry, anxiety and anger out on the horses, beating them with a club and a leather strap, until he was exhausted.
When things calmed down and assessment was made of the damages, the only fear was that perhaps Marne’ had a broken ankle. I think we borrowed Reinken’s car to take me to Elko, 25 miles away. My ankle was not broken, but I was given crutches to help me get around until it healed. I remember the disappointment I felt when the next day was to be our big excursion to town to see the Circus. Of course, I went and tried to be alert and see everything, as I hobbled around painfully on the crutches, trying to keep up with the rest of the family. We were all thankful that nothing more serious had happened, and expressed our gratitude in prayer that night.
In loading sagebrush on the wagon, it was similar to loading wild, or timothy, hay. The sides were built up and the sagebrush and sticks were piled in the center, so that a very high load could be brought in to store for wintertime use. When we first arrived at the Strange Ranch, the job I recall assigned to me, was to herd the cows from going down to the Humbolt River. Dad had shown me how to tell when it was noon or lunchtime, by watching the shadow of a stick in the ground. I remember gleefully running home barefoot, along a dirt road, singing out loud “It’s dinner time and time to eat!” I don’t know why no one was concerned about the cattle going to the river while I took time out for lunch!
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