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Chapter Four

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.

(Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative - November 1933

Dora went to Salt Lake City just after the first of October and stayed with her sister Leona until after the birth of our sixth child, Opal Jean. I went in after them in a Model A Ford. It was early in November, about the middle, when we left Salt Lake, Opal Jean was just three weeks old. Just before we reached Wendover, Utah, a hind wheel came off and rolled down the road in front of our startled eyes. There was about two inches of packed snow on the highway. I walked about two miles to a service station and the attendant came back and helped me put the wheel on and sent us merrily on our way. We arrived at Elko alright, but we got stuck in a snow drift on the way to the ranch. I left my wife and baby and walked about four miles to town and had a wrecker pull us out. We finally arrived home safely and found everyone well and getting along fine.

Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

A young teacher by the name of Avis Valencour came and lived at our home and taught school that winter.

Jan. 1, 1931, New Years Day, 3 PM We had Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair over to celebrate New Year's Eve. We heard the coast to coast program by the Gen. General Motors Co. Old Trinity Bell, & all the ship's sirens, whistling, shouting in New York and the same thing in Chicago, Denver & Los Angeles. I am tired and sleepy now even if we didn't get up before 8 o'clock. We have had intensely cold weather for weeks but it is thawing now. It is so cold all winter, but may thaw soon. The Jan. Thaw comes early this year. The holidays (nearly gone) soon over. Was two weeks vacation. Jolly Christmas and Happy New Year. All are well. I went to Salt Lake on the 25th of Sept. And stayed with Leona and Vic. Baby Opal Jean was born the 24th Oct. 1930. Such a big beautiful girl. Weighed 7 ˝ lbs. 8-1/2 lbs. So fat and dimpled. We all love her to pieces. John is 4 years old so we enjoy a tiny one. We had her named on Dec. 7 by Bishop Harold Brown of Elko. She is gooing now. New Year's Dinner is cooking. The children have gone over to Reinkins for the mail. Wilf and John are over painting the schoolhouse. Nice people across the way. Must hurry dinner. All are hungry. We had a lovely visit with all the (Leona and) folks while in Salt Lake but caused lots of trouble. Hope all are as well fed as we are. I'm afraid they are running pretty short there this winter. Laron and Joel's family aren't faring too well--out of work--also Ben's (Ben isn't doing very well) work is slow. I only hope I get this school next winter must get some money for more extension work.. Ellen, Jack and Jim (were here while I was in S. Lake) stayed on the ranch and helped Wilf while I was in Salt Lake City. Just transients on their way to California or Arizona. Hope they have a job and live straight. Must write more later. Bye -.

Feb. 22, 1931, Father Boyce's birthday 1:00 p.m. Sunday. It has been seven years since Father died. I wonder if he is busy teaching others - something he loved to do while here. He loved to hear good music. This year has brought about much grief and (actual - possible) suffering--from unemployment. Joel has been hit the hardest, I'm afraid. They haven't had enough to eat, I know, and we are all too selfish to help them much. I am surely studying--(trying to prepare) preparing for my exams (examinations) in June. Wish I weren't so absolutely dumb. So dumb, dumb. I surely hope I can get a certificate for next winter or we will be short rationed. We are all ok. Baby (Opal) Jean is growing like a weed. She nearly sits alone. If I go to Summer School I must wean her soon in another month or two. Baby will be teething soon The weather has been warm and delightful but cold again. We got a lovely letter from Thora & Florence. I will write to her soon - also must write to Leona & Minnie soon. Wilf may go into S. Lake next week to celebrate Mose's birthday & and also parent's 55th Wedding anniversary. Can get rates on R. Road. Return trip for $5 - His badgers can help pay for it. Imagine - a return trip to Los Angeles for $25. I hope it prevails for a year or two - I think we all will travel some if it does. There has been delightful Spring weather until a day or two ago - now it is awfully cold again. But the sun is hot while it does shine. I believe Baby will be teething soon. Her gums look swollen & she bites everything. Sucks her finger mostly. Have to keep mitts on her hands all the time.


O Heavenly Father,
Make me fit to be the parent of my child. Give me poise, I pray, and self control.

Help me keep my voice soft, sweet and low.

Make me sympathetic with my baby and wise enough to understand him.
Help me to realize how hard it is for a tiny one to lift his head, to sit, to creep, to talk and walk.
Allow me not, O Lord, to laugh or even smile at (the mistakes my baby) his mistakes.

May I listen patiently to all he (has to say) says and always answer his questions kindly.

Teach me to let my child express himself, create and play.
Lead me with him into the land of "Make believe."
Help me to meet his fairies and to entertain them in my home.

Help me to overlook the things which are unimportant.

Blind me to my baby's wrongs and (and turn my eyes upon the good things he does) let me see the good he does. Teach me the power of praise and show me how to celebrate successes in my child..
Help me to teach my baby early self control.
Give me courage to say no and be honest when I say it.

Employ NO as rarely as possible.

May my baby learn from me to be considerate of others, and to grow up to be loveable and useful.
Make us parents humble in thy sight, O Lord, and give us mutual love.
Before our baby, make us both as one.

With all Thy gifts, O Great Jehovah,

Make us worthy to be loved and imitated by our child.
--Gary Cleveland Myers

Sept. 2, 1931, Wednesday 10:30

Time will pass regardless whether I ever take time to write in here or not.. I spent five delightful weeks in Reno at Summer School and met some fine people. I waited on tables so didn't get to participate in the fun the teachers were always planning. I left my 8 mo. old daughter for Marné and her Dad to tend. Marné is just ten so she had too much to do. Also they had to cook for a hay crew. When I came home one Sunday, Marné was washing diapers on the board. I came out to the ranch with Laws. I had on a pretty hat I borrowed from my sister and a summery dress to go with it. She said I looked pretty!

Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

The following summer I attended summer school at Reno. Marné reminds me that I came home on a Sunday with the Laws and was dressed in a lovely yellow suit with matching hat. She was so embarrassed because we caught her scrubbing out dirty diapers, and Wilford was doing the washing. It was haying time and the only chance to get the housework caught up. Mother's birthday just passed. I hoped (thought) she would be here by now (by this time.) I am so homesick to see her again. Baby (is nearly a year old - next month) Jean will be a year old in October. School starts Tuesday. I am the teacher. O! Am I glad? - I'll say. My five weeks spent in Reno were wonderful. I surely hope I can go next year. I am so happy. I must get busy and work (I must work for my 1st grade certificate) for next year's certificate. If I study hard on 9 subjects, I may be able to pass them at Xmas time then get my 1st Certificate. Wilford has been in Elko the past week trying to get (a car) a truck. Where he is now nobody (here) knows - Not me any way. He may be in Idaho or Utah. I wrote for mother to come on the train but I don't know yet when to expect her. I wish mother could come out. I can hardly endure the loneliness here. If it weren't for the children, I wouldn't stand it - this isolation any longer. I hate to be here alone except for the children. However, they are (so) noisy enough most of the time one can't be lonely long.. Leona is ill and in bed but she expects to be confined in January I believe. Her rigid diet has been too severe on her. I've just got over (a terribly miserable spell) an illness myself--backache, headache and etc!! I was afraid for a day or two I would have to go (to) the hospital for an appendicitis operation. Children are all well. Marné is 11, Ballard 9-1/2, Yvonne nearly 8 and Tom is past 6, John is half past four. Opal (Baby) Jean nearly 1. Wilf's birthday Friday on the 4th Sept. Must get busy--(want to) make ice cream and cake. Always so much to do. A little glimpse into Heaven--in a baby's smile, a pair of tiny arms encircle one's neck in a quick hug and kiss--"Mama I love you," makes it so worthwhile. In the spring of 1932 we moved from the ranch to Elko, Nevada, and found an old house to rent. Wilford worked at whatever he could find. It was most discouraging. We were not able to find an extra 50 cents for Marné's violin lessons.

(Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative

In the spring of 1933 (sic) we moved into Elko, our lease having run out and lacking water rights on the place, I didn't care to farm it any longer. After a couple of moves we bought a home in Elko, near the railroad tracks on Silver Street. We lost a baby girl, Dora Melissa, a few hours after birth, born March, 1932. (sic)

(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

(4 March 1933)

On the 4 March 1933, we had another baby girl who lived just about 12 hours. We named her Dora Melissa and buried her in the cemetery in Reno. Dad poured some concrete and wrote her name on it. She was a lovely baby and smiled up at us. Dad told the nurse he thought she was cold but evidently nothing was done and she caught a cold and passed away soon.

May 25, 1933, Elko, Nevada - afternoon We have lived in here for over a year. The children have been in school all year. Hope they all get promoted. All are well. Ought to be smart. A year and a half and 8 mo. since writing in here. This past year has been terrible. The winter of 1932 - 33 was terrible., Lost a beautiful black haired baby girl on Mar. 4, 1933. She weighed 4 lbs. 12 oz. Premature. Almost as much as Marné. She lived from 7 AM until 4 PM. Pretty, plump, black hair. So useless to lose her. We named her Dora Melissa. We will meet and claim her someday if we keep the covenants we made in the temple. Depression helped to bring it on. Poor health, poor food and no work. Terribly nerve wracking winter. It takes its toll one way or another. A long cold winter. Long cold stormy Spring. No gardens in to speak of. I'm glad it is over and summer is coming. The Laws are lovely people (friends). They are from Salt Lake. She is so thin. He and Wilford like to sing together. I went for a ride with her this afternoon and she treated me to a root bear and ice cream. It was so good. Jean and Leona have new babies this spring. Leona's boy and Jean's girl will remind me of one we lost. All so near the same age. Will try to write in here oftener. Same age as my lovely daughter. We went to Salt Lake City for conference especially to see mother with Laws let us go with them in their lovely new car. So many out of work. Mother has been terribly ill but much better now. Mother is so tiny and frail and white. She has been (terribly) ill but much better. Grandpa Whitaker looks so white, shaky and thin but he eats and sleeps well. Mother Whitaker well and looks so young for her years looks fine--no gray hair and few wrinkles. I look older than she does. Wilford is working now. Hope he finds something steady. So many out of work in Utah. Hope he continues for a long time with steady work. By. Must get supper.

Elko, April 24, 1934, Tues. 11 AM Nearly a year since writing in here. Not much has happened. Had work pretty steady until last few months - only $40 on air mail work, per month. I've helped haul air mail while Wilford has had other work. I drive a Ford truck-- old model T. We get $40 a month. Keeps us off charity row but not enough to live on. It keeps the wolf away but not enough with six healthy appetites. Hope something turns up (must turn up) soon beside our toes. I expect to be confined in June or July. (Not a very bright outlook?) But if we can only have our baby this time to raise! We will all be happier, I know. I only hope and pray we can raise this one. Give me strength I pray to carry on to the end-- keeping my covenants and living the gospel. I wish I could teach my children more.

(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

Dad had obtained the mail contract and Marné helped me drive the old Model T. Truck early those winter mornings, with the mail to the airport until I got too big to get under the wheel and then I had Marné drive for me - or we walked if the old truck wouldn't start.

(Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative

I received a contract for delivering the air mail to the airport, which job my wife and Marné helped with while I was away on the road. They would rise up at 4:00 am, crank up the Old Model T Ford, and by using the back roads, Marné would drive out to the airport. Mother is so frail and in so much pain. She lingers on when she is so tired of pain and wants to join Dear ones above. Such a lovely early Spring. Apple blossoms out in April right after the 1st April. Cold and stormy now. Lilacs will soon be out. Has been warm as summer. We are trying to buy this house and extra corner lot. It will burden us to death to keep up payments until he finds steady work. I wish he could get on at the post office even as asst. janitor. That would carry us on nicely $30 or $40. What can we do without it. I wish I could write interesting short stories. Anything to help out. Must get dinner.

(29 June 1934 - Elko, Nevada (We have a lovely brown eyed boy with dark hair. Jean is 4 years older, nearly, so will enjoy this baby. He was born June 29. Sister Stoddard is my nurse and Marné and Yvonne the housekeepers. We will name him Wilford (Jr.) Woodruff Whitaker, after his Dad. I hope and pray he will be as honest and upright as his father. Feel wobbly, but fine.

July 9, 1934 Been married 15 yrs. today. We have a lovely brown eyed boy with dark hair. Jean is 4 years older nearly, so will enjoy this baby. He was born June 29. Sister Stoddard is my nurse and Marné and Yvonne the housekeepers. We will name him Wilford (Jr.) Woodruff W. after his Dad. I hope and pray he will be as honest and upright as his father. Feel wobbly, but fine. Wilford joined the CCCs in May. He comes home Sat. Eve. Returns to camp Sun. Eve. Ballard and Yvonne are at Reinkins. They are lovely people and so good to the children. I promised Marné a trip to Utah next year. Too tired to write more now.

(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

The following year, 29 June 1934, Wilford, Jr., was born. We enjoyed him so much because of losing the little one before. . . .

July 22, 1935 We have just been for a little stroll to the cemetery to place some roses on our baby's grave. New grave yesterday. McDermott, Nellie's father. Always death & birth. Number of new babies this spring. Briggs - proud parents. Baby Wilford (Jr.) is past a year. He has only two teeth, walks by (anything he can touch) everything but won't go alone yet. He wears a sunsuit most of the time and is (brown as a berry) brown and husky (Big & husky. Must weigh 25 lbs.) He says mama, Daddy, papa and other words (bunny, bottle & dog) plain enough to know what he means. Opal Jean sings so sweetly. She was in a singing and dancing program put on by her Primary teacher Mrs. Sargeant. They were so cute. It was so cute. She begins school in Sept. So just the baby Wilf will be home with me. Marné is in 2nd year high. Ballard is in 8th gr. Yvonne in 7th, Tom 6th, John 3rd grade. How grand it would be if we could only give them music lessons. They are talented (I know, if we could only develop them.) and sing so well. Just a chance to get out of this rut we are in. Why can't Daddy find steady work. If Wilford could find steady work? Oh! If we would only live our religion, pay our tithing, (everything would be so much easier) we wouldn't be in the "condition." Blessings (would be so great we could hardly contain them.) would be more than we could contain. Just 3 home. It gets lonely. (I am so alone with just three home this summer. Wilf runs in for a few hours every ten days or so. We miss Marné & others, too. Marné is in Morgan. Ballard and Yvonne at Reinkins and Tom out to Reardon's on a ranch. (We haven't seen him since the 4th July at Lamoille with Stoddards. Had a lovely day of relaxation.) We saw him on the 4th July. A fine family. John is studying the piano. Must get Opal Jean started soon (too). Grandpa Whitaker died Dec. 3, 1934. (Dad) Wilford went to his funeral. Others (all) well. Must get busy. The house is so dusty. Must go clear through it. It seems grand to be lazy. Read & study. Will write again soon — Tra la — .

July 24, 1935 (Dora applied for Membership in The Society of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Here are a few comments she made in the

Application: of Dora Edith Boyce Whitaker

Wife of Wilford Woodruff Whitaker in Right of Descent from

John Boyce (Father),

Ella Eugenia Despain (Mother),

Benjamin Boyce (Grand Father),

Suzanna Content Judd (Grand Mother),

Solomon James (sic: s/b Joseph) Despain (M.(y) Grandfather),

Ruth Amelia Newell (M.(y) Grand mother),

Robert Boyce (P. (arents ??) Great Grand father),

Phoebe Boyce (P.(arents??) Great Grand mother),

Solomon Despain (M.(y) Great Gr. father),

Nancy Bell (M.(y) Great Grand mother).

DIRECT LINE OF ANCESTRY OF DEPONENT Parents John Boyce, Ella E. Despain,

Grand-parents Benjamin Boyce - Suzanna C. Judd,

Grand-parents Solomon James (sic: s/b Joseph) Despain, Ruth A. Newell,

Great-grand-parents Robert Boyce, Phoebe (written in pencil, probably after she received the approved application is Fairchild.)


Husband Wilford Woodruff Whitaker,

His parents Orson Whitaker, Clarissa Melissa Hickerson.

(Left blank are "His grand-parents, His grand-parents.))

(Dora then wrote under the "Name of Children of Deponent"):


Marné Whitaker (girl) Morgan, Ut. Aug. 6, 1920

Ballard Whitaker Kanosh, Millard Co., Ut. Mar. 29, 1922

Yvonne Whitaker (girl) Morgan, Ut. Dec. 11, 1923

Thomas Whitaker Fillmore, Millard Co., Ut. May 20, 1924(x´d out, 5 written in)

John Orson Whitaker Fillmore, Millard Co., Ut.Feb. 28, 1927

Opal Jean Whitaker Salt Lake City Oct 24, 1930

Dora Melissa Whitaker (Deceased) Elko, Nev. Mar. 4, 1932 (x´d over, 3 written)

Wilford Woodruff Whitaker (Jr.) Elko, Nev. June 29, 1934

Written in a different ink and must have been after she received her Wapato, Wash. completed application back.

Richard Trent Whitaker Wapato, Wash. Oct. 20, 1938 (before midnight)

Robert Boyce Whitaker Wapato, Wash. Oct. 20, 1938 (s/b 21, aft. midn

(Dora then filled in the Formal Application, duplicating information as above, then answered this question:

In whose Company did your pioneer ancestors come to Utah? Wm Snow & David Cameron´s Co.

Give brief history of what they did to help establish the community in which they lived.

John Boyce, my father, assisted in building the Salt Lake Temple. He made many trips to Winter Quarters helping the Saints on their way! After marrying my mother, he settled in Granite, at the foot of little Cottonwood Canyon where he was bishop´s Counselor for forty years.

Mother´s father, Solomon Despain, started a sawmill in little Cottonwood Canyon. He was Bishop of Granite for many years. Her grandfather and mother were practising physicians. Grandmother Despain going out all hours of the night in all kinds of weather to aid the sick and help bring babies into the world. Grandfather Boyce died near Winter Quarters enroute to Utah from the effects of a severe mob beating in Ill. leaving father, a mere boy to help grandmother and children cross the plains in safety. (See Hugh Day history)

(The Application was then signed by Dora Boyce Whitaker, 746 Silver St., Elko, Elko, Nevada, in the presence of Pres. Lizzie Phillips and approved and recommend by(evidently her friends in Elko) Emma Louise Jones and Edith Calton Stenovich. Signature of County Registrar Sadie Miner Block, 844 ˝ Court St., Elko, Elko, Nevada.)

(The Application was then submitted to the State Central Officers: signed Cornelia S. Lund, President. Application dated July 24, 1935. The within facts have been verified Aug. 19, 1935, Clara Hedges Anderson, Registrar. The within named applicant admitted August 19, 1935. (Seal) Leah M. Cheever Secretary.

(The above Application was quoted at some length because it was in Dora´s handwriting, gives some pertinent family facts, and shows her state of mind in Summer 1935. Also included with this folder (filed by Marné, were some poems that may have been put into Dora´s scrapbook about this time or they could have been added later.)


Take a spattering of freckles Across a little nose;

Add a pair of well-scuffed shoes,
Some patched and muddy clothes.

Mix in a sandy crew cut, Eyes of laughing blue,

Sunburned cheeks, a toothless smile, Grinning up at you.

Then stir in cuts and bruises, A pocketful of stones;

And add a large capacity For lollipops and cones!

Measure shouts and laughter,

Add feet that can´t be still;
Tend the mixture well, and watch
With loving care until

At last the precious mixture

Is finished, and you can
Be sure that restless little boy
Will be a fine young man!
Jean Conder Soule


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you´re trudging seem all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - - but never quit.

Life is queer, with its twists and turns,

As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he´d stuck it out.
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint & faltering man.

Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver tints of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you´re hardest hit,
It´s when things seem worst that you musn´t quit.

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor´s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.


What fools we are To clutter up our lives

With worthless things And leave without
The Lord of life And life itself.

No Time for God?

Better to say no time to eat,
to sleep, to live, to die;

Take time for God

Or a poor misshapen thing you´ll be
To step into Eternity
And say to Him "I had no time for thee."

"I want to tell you this. You know no more concerning the result of this work and what lies ahead before you as Elders of Israel and before this people than a Group of children. This work will fill the whole earth and all nations will have to (hear?) the proclamation of the Gospel."

Joseph Smith (1834)


A little more deed and a little less creed,

A little more giving and a little less greed;

A little more bearing other people´s load,

A little more God-speeds on the dusty road,

A little more rose and a little less thorn,

To sweeten the air for the sick and forlorn.

A little less kicking the man who is down,

A little more smile and a little less frown;

A little more Golden Rule in marts of trade,

A little more sunshine and a little less shade;

A little more respect for fathers & mothers;

A little less stepping on the toes of others.

A little less knocking & a little more cheer,

For the struggling hero that´s left in the rear;

A little more love and a little less of hate,

A little more of neighborly chat at the gate;

A little more of the helping by you and me,

A little less of this graveyard sentimentality;

A little more of the flowers in the pathway of life,

A little less on coffins at the end of the strife.

Sept. 1935 Ben, Maud and family brought mother to us in Elko. It was so good to see them and mother stayed with us all winter. I had such a strange feeling when I glanced out the window and saw them as they drove up. Quick as a flash I thought "Mother has come out here to die." Why didn't I take better care of her? It was a cold winter but she got along nicely until she caught cold. A slight cough just after New Years. She said she wasn't bad enough to need a doctor but I called one the next day. When he examined her she had double pneumonia and was asleep and had me give her a teaspoon of liquid called Twilight Sleep every time she stirred. I sat there all night knowing she was dying, me helping her, but nothing could save her so she passed away about 8 o'clock that morning. Wilford had just gone to work when I knew she was gone. We sent a telegram to Ira. He came out with a hearse and I went back to Salt Lake with him. Wilford couldn't go with us so helped care for the children at home. Ira had mother at his home after the undertaker got her ready. So many visitors, relative, friends came to honor her and she had a lovely funeral in the 14th ward. Erma sang "Crossing the Bar." It was so sad. I wept and grieved so long. I felt so responsible for her death.

(Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

That summer I moved to Salt Lake City with the children and stayed there during the school year, the younger children going to the Webster school and Marné a junior at East High. As soon as school was out, we returned to Elko. Dad bought a truck and was working with it and earned some extra money. I left Yvonne and John in Morgan that summer and Marné went to work on the Gardner Ranch in Ruby Valley to cook with Alice Gardner for the haying crew.

The latter part of August, 1937, we rounded up our children, meeting John and Yvonne at the bus station in Reno, Nevada, where they landed, coming alone from Morgan, and we migrated with a truck loaded with all our possessions and a car full of children, to Oregon.

Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative - Summer, 1937

The following summer of 1937 I worked again in the Crickets. In a bold move, my wife took the children to Salt Lake. I then prepared to sell the home here and make what I had hoped would be our final big move to either Oregon or Washington. Yvonne and John had stayed in Morgan when my wife and Tom, Opal Jean, and Wilford, Jr. came back to work on a farm near where my "cricket job" was. Ballard was in Morgan and Marné was working as a cook with her girl friend Alice Gardner in Ruby Valley, on the Gardner Ranch. I traded one hundred railroad ties for an old Buick car, which was in fairly good shape after having had the block welded. We had a Model A Ford truck and the Buick.

We sold our place and were now ready to make our move. After going to pick up Marné and loading our belongings, including a Maytag washer, a piano, beds, bedding, chests of clothing, utensils, etc. into the truck, we left Nevada in August 1937, migrating via Reno. We sent a telegram to Yvonne and John in Morgan telling them to meet us in Reno. They were two sad little children waiting forlornly at the train station, until they saw their Mom and Dad. They had come all that distance alone, not knowing what their next move was to be. We camped out in the open, cooking our meals over a camp fire and eating like the pioneers did. We awoke one morning and found we had spread our mattress on scorpions. We were all in good spirits and went happily on our way to find a new home, we knew not where as yet.

The most harrowing experience, and the only one, occurred as we were coming down the mountains over Grant's Pass before arriving at Eugene, Oregon. My oldest son Ballard and I were taking turns driving the two vehicles. He was about 15, but trustworthy. Neither of us knew the terrain and it happened that he was driving the truck with all our belongings on it and started down the mountains over Grant's Pass. He brakes became useless or he had taken it out of gear and was unable to get it into gear or to control the speed. So there he was traveling down this steep, winding mountain pass with a loaded truck and two little boys sitting up on top of the load, Tom and John. We were following in the Buick and when I discovered what a steep mountain road we were on, I sped up to try and catch them. We expected to catch a glimpse of them as we rounded each turn, but we didn't catch up to them until we found them safe at the bottom of the mountain, to our great relief. It was surely more than luck that he never met another car, as Ballard said he was using the whole road to keep the truck upright. We thought every minute we would find them piled up somewhere on the side of the road or crashed over some steep dug way. We were all mighty thankful that there was no accident.

Ballard Whitaker - History -Commemorative

As I remember the road was quite narrow and it started down hill very gently. I didn't realize that we were starting down Grant's Pass until we hit a very steep grade. By this time the truck had picked up speed. . . . Finally, it was all I could do to keep it on the road. The brakes burned out shortly after starting down the pass. John was riding with me in the cab and Tom was on the back on top of the load. John was crying and frightened as he knew the trouble I was having. Tom was really having the time of his life on the back end. I could hear yelling and hollering and singing and telling me to go faster. I was swinging way out on the corners and cutting way in on others in order to navigate them.

Finally, close to the bottom, there was a small incline leading up to a service station. I managed to go up this incline and slow the truck enough to shift gears and bring it to a stop. When I stepped out of the truck I was so weak and shaking so bad I could hardly stand up. When he (Dad) eventually pulled up behind us the brakes on the truck were still billowing smoke, completely burned out.

Memories of Dora Edith Boyce in 50th Wedding Commemorative)

Before finally getting settled, we had moved on to Washington in the lovely Yakima Valley, where we all worked in the apple harvest to get enough money to outfit the children for school. We paid down on a small two-story white frame house, which we filled to overflowing, using the two porches for bedrooms, as well as the two rooms upstairs.

Wilford Whitaker's Memories in 50th Wedding Commemorative - Summer, 1937

We arrived at Eugene, Oregon, all intact, but couldn't find a house that day, so we camped out among the big pine trees. All who were able to, went to work picking hops. In a few days I found a place that was for sale, being occupied at that time by a family. I located the owner and rented the place with an option to buy it. The deal was agreed upon, but the family living there were unable to find another place. When he finally located another place, I helped him move out. As the last load was ready to go, he showed me where the water mark on the wall came to (when) the big flood came through. I thought then that this was no place for me and my desire to buy the place perished. We were still working at picking hops and the children were beginning to rebel.

Ballard met a boy with a car who wanted to go up into Washington to pick apples, saying lots of money could be made in the apples. I made a deal to furnish gas and oil and go along with them. When we arrived in Yakima the apples were not ready to pick, so we had to find something to do. The boys were about out of money. I met a farmer on the street and asked him if he knew of anyone needing help. He was looking for hop pickers. The boys were disappointed but due to insufficient funds, decided to go out and pick hops. We finished the job there. Ballard and I borrowed the car a day before the job was through to look for other work and to see the country. It looked good to me. We left the Yakima district and went over on the Reservation around Wapato. It seemed like the season was a little ahead on the south of Union Gap. I found a house and two and a half acres of land for sale. We looked up the owner and I made a deal. I immediately wrote to the family in Oregon and instructed them to be ready to leave as soon as we returned, which was to be in a few days. When we arrived back in Oregon we found all were well and ready to move.

We arrived at our new home about 7:30 pm on 24 September, 1937. The house was a two story with two large rooms down and two upstairs. Also two screen porches (which we used as bedrooms). We just threw the mattresses on the floors and went to bed that first night - no water inside, and no electricity turned on as yet.

John Orson Whitaker - History - Commemorative

The time and place that impressed me the most was when we moved into the old 2 ˝ acre house in Wapato, Washington. We had been traveling and working the fruit orchards the past month and dirty, tired and hungry. When Dad and Ballard said we were going to move to our own home and have 2 ˝ acres for all our own, it seemed to be a miracle after all this time moving around the country. When we got into Wapato it was past 9:30 in the evening, we came upon this old beat-up two story house sitting out in the middle of the worst patch of weeds I had ever seen, piles of trash and debris were everywhere, it looked just like out of Hill-billy shanties. But as little kids there was also an excitement and thrill of exploring old haunted houses, trying to find the gold under the floors, etc. We were really dejected, thinking, was this going to be our new home? My father was a very forceful man and he knew what he wanted, we best shape up fast!

We went into the living room and we pushed the dirt and boxes aside. He asked us to kneel down as a family for family prayer. Both Mother and Dad offered up a prayer. Thanked our Heavenly Father for bringing us together as a family, safely to this area, they were both beautiful prayers. How Dad said that we would make this house our home, if we would just work together. If we would just work in love, peace, and tranquility. How this place would bloom like a rose if we would put forth a little effort, love and work into the place. We hauled in our blankets, what beds we could pull down and whatever else we needed. We slept there that night, and woke up in the morning feeling that a whole new world was out there waiting for us. The house took a lot of effort to clean, it had a lot of nooks and crannies that small boys loved to explore and out in the barns. We got busy and chopped down the weeds and mended fences and fixed the barns and outhouses. Mother and Marné planted flowers around the house, cleaned up the walks, we hauled gravel down the lane, incidentally going across this big irrigation ditch in front of the house over the rickety old wooden tie bridge was always a thrill. After about a month, we had the place looking like someone lived there, and it was really a joy to behold. I remember Dad wanted to build a big corral around the place, and so we went out hunting railroad ties. These ties were had for the asking up along the main line, and we would go out and pick up as many as the old truck would haul, as far as Ellensburg and Cle Elum, following the railroad track, hunting ties.

Sept. 11, 1938, Sunday, Wapato 1:30 p.m. All alone again. It has been three years since I've written a line here. We are (away) many miles from home in Wapato, Washington. Arrived here nearly a year ago. We left Elko 2 Aug 1937. Lived in Eugene, Oregon, a month but it was too damp there so moved to Wapato, Wn. More sun here. We picked hops in Oregon then in Washington. It is quite interesting to meet others as broke as we are. We raised (picked)melons, squash, tomatoes, cantaloupes and beets. Able to keep off WPA. Hard old road. (and picked hops.) Such hard work but it makes us a living. We bought a house and 2 ˝ acres on the Indian Reservation in Wapato, running 25 connected to it. This is beautiful country. The Yakima valley is 10 miles north of us and is covered with fruit orchards. Hope we can get good prices & tonnage of beets. Need money so badly. We can raise nearly everything. So happy because Wilford is doing so well in S. School. We are so happy because Wilford Sr. is active again in church. He has given up his bad habits. Hope and pray Ballard will come to his senses before it is too late.

I've been so miserable all summer but have kept up with the housework. My leg stays swollen. Swollen leg. Expect confinement soon, may be twins. I'm expecting my tenth baby in Oct. It may be twins. I'm so huge. Nearly drive my family crazy because I am so cranky. Be glad when it is over. So mean and miserable. Children & husband nearly driven crazy because I am so cranky. Went to Doctor Shearer in Toppenish with Ballard in a truck. The road was so rough I got pretty tired. I was over 6 mo. pregnant. Marné graduated from high school in June. All back in school but Marné and Ballard. Marné helps me so much. Need her at home so badly.

(When Ballard starts, if he will) Ballard will be a senior when he goes back to school. Yvonne is a junior. Tom is in the 9th grade. John's in 6th, Jean's in 3rd and Wilford Jr. is home yet for a year or two. All alone today. So peaceful and quiet. Surely am lazy. Hear from folks once in a while. Mother, Maud, (Ben's wife) and Pearl Cowley, our cousin, have been dead over three years. Ben Judd, Verna's husband, passed away in June 1938. (When Ballard starts, if he will) Ballard will be a senior when he goes back to school. Yvonne is a junior. Tom is in the 9th grade. John's in 6th, Jean's in 3rd and Wilford Jr. is home yet for a year or two. All alone today. So peaceful and quiet. Surely am lazy.

Hear from folks once in a while. Mother, Maud, (Ben's wife) and Pearl Cowley, our cousin, have been dead over three years. Ben Judd, Verna's husband, passed away in June 1938. Della &Mildred, Lurena, Lillian & Mrs. Hansen (Elko friend) (dead). One thing we can't prevent. Dan called on Verna (on trip home) on his way from Chicago. (Wish I could see him, also folks in Canada & Arizona. No loved ones here but family. All seem quite contented here (however) except "little grumble-heels" Yvonne. She wants a nice home, clothes & etc. She may get them some day. Get some sense some day I hope. Write more later.

Twin boys born on 20 (- 21) Oct. 1938. Dick weighed 7 lbs. And Bob 8 lbs. Got along very well, considering everything.

October 20 - 21 (1938), (from Dora's 1920 Diary) also following bold face print: Imagine having twins. Our luck last Oct. 20-21. Boys - Wt 7 ˝ & 8 lbs. Robert Boyce W. dark brown eyes. Richard Trent - hazel eyes light hair. So well and good natured. Nearly 7 mo. old now. Never taken a picture of them yet. They are so dear.

Our twin sons, Richard and Robert were born Oct. 20 - 21, 1938. They weighed 7 and 8 lbs. No wonder I was so big and so miserable. I had just made 6 pies when the doctor was called from Toppenish. I was confined at home. Marné and Dad and Von were my nurses. Mrs. Munson our neighbor, took Wilford (Jr.) and Jean for a day. She helped bathe the babies a few days. They are growing so fast and are so good. I've been nursing both of them but will wean them when 8 months old.

May 14, 1939, Mothers Day, 10 PM I've been home all day as usual. Grandmother Clarissa Melissa Whitaker is very ill. Wilford got a letter from Herman and a telegram from Milton. She was operated on Friday. She has one chance in ten of surviving. Surely hopes she recovers. The family are all there (but Wilf. Poor Dear!) from Kanosh and California. Wilford should go but we never can get (Just seems impossible to get) ahead of our grocery bill--less than $10 a week. He worked for a Japanese for 25 cents an hour. Ten hours $2.50. I wish he had an education. I hope he can go home.

Yvonne is so dear. We love her. Must take a picture of them. They are so sweet and dear. Our garden stuff is growing so fast, also the young trees--apricots and cherries. It is so beautiful when all these big orchards around us are in bloom before they begin spraying. I surely hate the spray smell. It takes away all the lovely smell of spring. - It covers up locust trees, clover, alfalfa, and apple blossoms that make spring so lovely. It's awful. We need rain so badly. . . awfully hot and dry. Our young apricot trees have a few blossoms on this first year. It is hot and dry at present.

Ballard was married on his 17th birthday, Mar. 29, 1939 to Lydia Berg. We will be grandparents next winter. I wonder why everything we do is such an utter failure. We expected so much more from him. Poor boy. To be tied down so early. It is such a responsibility to raise children now.

Some times it rains when (usually waits until cherries are ready to pick then rains come) the cherries are ripe and splits them, ruining half the crop. Hope not this year. Three apricots on our tree. First to bear.

Marné has been taking Post graduate work all winter. She works now for Dr. Unsell in Yakima. We miss her sweet presence around here. She is so dear. She is so good natured. She nursed me so nicely during confinement. Who ever she works for likes her. She is sweet. Yvonne is 15, nearly grown up. Tom, too, tall as his Dad, almost, so broad. I wish some of it would rub off on Yvonne. She is sweet too but so unhappy and dissatisfied. She says she is never going to have "squalling brats." I know she doesn't mean half of what she says. Yvonne is 15--I want her to go to Jean's next year. Maybe she will be happier. Tom is so broad shouldered and getting tall, we love them all.