Wilford G. Hale
Found Feb.13, 1994 in a briefcase that belonged to Wilford G. Hale: I have taken parts from the history that I felt told about his life at home with his parents Alvin and Julia Dean Hale.
The Hale strain has been strongly associated with the history of this church since its beginning. My great grandfather was Bishop of Nauvoo and as you remember Joseph Smith married one of the Hale girls. Father was born in Grantsville and spent his early life on a farm. Grandmother Hale walked every step of the way across the plains. Mother's parents and grandparents were sent by Brigham Young from Bountiful to settle Woodruff. She graduated from the old B.Y. College and taught school in Randolph and Blackfoot, where she met father.
I was born in Groveland, just a couple miles north and west of Blackfoot. Mother's oldest sister, a midwife, was the attending physician. My early life was spent on a farm. My memory is not as good as some people seem to think it is. I must therefore rely on the stories my parents and other elders tell of my early life.
When mother carried me it seems all she wanted to eat was tomatoes. Needless to say, I was born thin as a rail -- but as long as one also. I was toe-headed and sad to behold. Weight 10 1/2 lbs. When only a couple of days old, an uncle, who lived across the street came over to see me. Mother had me covered and refused to let him see me. He laughed, and lifted the cover off me. One look and he shook his head and covered me up again, with the classic remark "I don't blame you. I'd keep him covered up too!" Well, I have always been grateful that beauty was not the only prerequisite to a happy and successful life. Within 3 months I weighed 25 lbs. and I have the pictures to prove it -- on a slab no less. I still wasn't beautiful, but I was big and off to the races. By 9 months I was walking and was full speed ahead long before I was a year old.
Father was a successful farmer by then, and raised as many as 16,000 sacks of potatoes a year. This of course called for lots of hired labor -- chiefly Indian. He hired Indians froom the reservation at Fort Hall -- Shoshone- Bannocks. The women were good workers. The men, or Bucks, were not so good as a general rule. They seemed to excel as horsemen, gamblers, and consumers of spirits. Dad had to settle sensitive problems among them as the women did not always appreciate being lost in a card game. They may be put up as collateral if the wages were all gambled away.
My fair skin and white hair was in marked contrast to their coloring. They therefore wanted to adopt me. This failing, they wanted to keep me for a year and could not understand why mother would not let me go with them. While I was still quite small, one particular little Indian used to come to the house and wait until I had breakfast and was ready to go out. He then would take me down to the fields, or camp -- carrying me much of the way.
My early vocabulary was sprinkled liberally with Bannock words and phrases. I grew rapidly and learned farm life and responsibilities at a very early age. My first pony, Trixie, made her appearance long before I was old enough to climb on to her. She was a little trick pony Dad had purchased from the circus. She would sit, play dead, and most any other trick a horse could do. If I fell off, she stopped in her tracks. A pat on her front leg and she would lie down. I could then get on and she would get up. Until about age 10, I spent much of my time on a horse. We had cattle and at times worked over 30 head of horses. We finally left the irrigated farm and moved to a dry farm in the summer, and into Groveland in winter, so we could attend school.
In those days of wide open spaces and few people, we had many normal hazards for children. Not the least of these was rattle snakes. They were everywhere. If our horse was on one before realizing it needless to say, he jumped fast -- often leaving us in mid-air miles from home and no fence to climb on to mount our horse. We appreciated a horse who would lie down for us. We always rode bareback. Father very wisely refused to let us use a saddle as we would surely have been dragged to death had we been in a saddle.
It was often my chore about 4 or 5 in the morning to go out and wrangle in the horses for work. They would then have to be fed oats, curried and harnessed for the day's work. Horses seldom want to stay in a bunch and go toward the ranch house which meant work. It was therefore necessary to stay right with them and keep them moving. I would ride in their dust. Badgers, squirrels, snakes, and coyotes were the order of the day. My pony could not always see the badger holes and thus would often step in one. His head would go down and he would roll over forward. I would be flying and rolling far ahead of him. A saddle horn could have been fatal.
I have memories of all combinations of horsepower. We had lots of ground and horses, yet little man power. We had 4 head on a sulky or disk plow. We had as many as 20 horses abreast, with as many leaves of harrow behind them. I often wish we had taken a picture of it . When we finally got a combine, we had 12 horses on the hilly ground.
Before the days of the combine, we cut our wheat with a header. This machine cut grain and transported it by a belt to a header box. This was a box on a wagon with one side lower than the other, and it kept a man (or in my case a boy) busy to pitch the wheat back in the box. We then pitched it off into stacks which we pitched into a thrashing machine.
For some reason dad liked turkey red wheat. This choice hard wheat has beards as sharp and itch provoking as anything I have ever encountered. Wading knee to waist deep in stuff really tested the (?) of your hide and the limit of your endurance. I was so glad when the combine was invented. I never (?) the hazards of rattlers. We killed hundreds of them. We always saved the blow snakes as they were excellent mousers and were harmless to humans. I believe 13 is the highest number of rattlers I have killed in one day. I have had near strikes, yet have never been bitten by one. We once had a batch of baby rattlers under our farm house. We were happy to get rid of them. I remember one day I was out shooting squirrels with a 22 and when I came to the house I leaned the gun up against the house just around the corner from the front of the house. When I came out of the house I was talking with my brother and stood next to the corner. I reached around the corner for the gun -- and I had my back next to the house. I kept reaching yet did not touch the gun, so turned around to see why I had not touched the gun, thinking it was next to the corner. To my surprise it was not over 2 feet at the most from where my hand reached -- and to make matters worse, it had a huge rattler wrapped around it and his head could not possibly have been more than a foot from my hand. I often wonder why the Lord has preserved me when I think of the hundreds and hundreds of times I have flirted with death or serious injury.
We had a well and pump for water, both for the house and for the animals. When we had both failure of the windmill because of no wind and failure of the motor which occurred occasionally, we had to haul water in barrels for about 5 miles. This long trip had to be made after a hard day's work. I remember one time the motor went out. Dad was not the best mechanic and would not tackle motors. He went to the field and said he would go for water at the end of the day. After he was safely gone, my younger brother, age 6 or 7 proceeded to take the engine apart. Mother came out in time to see the whole engine laid neatly on the ground. You can imagine her grief and dismay. She took Dean to the house to await dad's return from the field. Dad surveyed the problem and announced it was too late now. Being Dean, no punishment ensued. Had I tried it, I would have stood up for my meals for days. Dad said he would put everything in a box and take it to town, -- hoping nothing was lost and that they could fix it. When dad left for the field Dean sneaked out to the well and when Dad pulled into the yard he could hear the put, put, put, of the engine, and water was flowing. Upon inquiry, Dean said "Dad, all you have to do is take it apart and figure what each part has to do. When you see something which doesn't do what it is supposed to, you just fix that and it will run again." Well, he has been fixing things, and inventing things ever since."
After school we didn't always take the shortest route home. Skating and sleigh riding was our chief recreation. If I took too long, I always managed to bring a willow home with me -- one that would break before it was worn out.
In the spring, the ice would break up and flow down toward the snake river. We would ride the ice flows and push ourselves with poles. As they got thin or broke we jumped to other pieces of ice. Eventually we wound up in the ice water. We would swim to shore and someone with a match would start a fire and we would dry our clothes before going home. It was so much healthier that way.
I remember skating across the snake river one day. As I shot across, the ice was cracking under me. In coming back, I raced along the side to full speed and then shot across. Again the cracking and popping. I only tried that once.
My early school days were spent in a room of 2 to 4 grades. The school was ruled with an iron hand and a piece of harden hose -- it didn't leave such bad marks as a rod. I never permitted myself to be illegible for this type of education in school. Home was something else.
Being large for my age, I found myself throwing around 10 gallon cans of cream or milk by the age of nine. By ten and eleven, I was pitching hay in the field and helping stack it. We used a Jackson Fork and a derrick in those days. By age nine, I was handling 100 lb. sacks of wheat. I have often remarked that I was born in labor and have been at it ever since. When I was 12 years of age, we left the farm and moved to Logan. Father had been away to school a couple years to renew his earlier training. Farming had been more profitable than being a physician. A bout with flu, violent headaches from sunstroke, etc. forced the family to give up farming. When we moved to Logan a whole new life began.
I learned to drive our old Maxwell in 1917, but in Logan there were lots of cars. The first car I ever saw was in 1916. Kerosene lamps, kitchen ranges with warming ovens and water heaters on the side, baths in a round wash tub (or the horse trough) and hard work was about all I had seen until now. Street lights bewildered me. Electricity was a new experience to me.
We had been in Logan almost two weeks when I got my first job. I was flunky in the Logan Candy Kitchen. I helped make candy, washed up the kettles, scrubbed the floors, waited on customers buying candy. Also worked the soda fountain. Later I had opportunity to do a bit of fry cooking. It was at this age 12 when I began studying violin, which later helped put me thru high school and college. The violin also helped me in the mission field. In those early teens I milked cows in the morning and night, worked in stores in the afternoon and played for dances by the time I was 16. Aside of when I was in the mission field, I was able to go through 8 years of college without asking dad for one dollar from the age of 10. I seldom spent more than 6 hrs. in bed and 4 was the usual amount. I have gone months at a time with no more than 4 hrs. a night in bed. I have been so very blessed with a strong body and with endurance far beyond the average. This has enabled me to do many of the things most boys were unable to do.
From age 12 my life began to really expand and it would take hours to cover but a part of it. I am most grateful for the privilege of life, for the hope and vision and tenacity I have been born with. That I have been able to fulfill many of my dreams and aspirations.
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR JULIA DEAN HALE
August 31, 1972
Wilford, Dean, Otella, Zelda, and sisters--other members of the family and friends of Julia Dean Hale. It is an honor to participate in this beautiful service and feel the spirit of love and friendship that has been expressed in words and music. This has been a sacred hour permeated by the peace and tranquility that is experienced only on very important occasions when we feel that our Father in Heaven is very near.
When I think of your Mother, I see the picture of the "Pioneer Mother" because she possessed the great traits of character which were found in those who walked across the plains and made their homes in a new land. She had faith, strength, dignity, courage and the will to do whatever was necessary in order to protect and provide for her family and for all those who needed help. As we review her record, we find that Julia Dean Hale was a pioneer in her own right. Her parents (John and Elizabeth Dean) and her grandparents were called by Brigham Young to leave their comfortable homes in Bountiful to colonize Woodruff, Utah. They stayed on this mission (until released) for more than 25 years.
Her only brother died when he was only two years of age so Julia knew how to assist her father in the field and with the cattle. She could hitch up and drive a team. and ride a horse. As a young woman, she accepted responsibility and saw a project through to its completion.
Julia attended the Brigham Young College and taught school in Woodruff and Blackfoot. After her marriage to Dr. Alvin... they operated a large farm in Idaho. She cooked for a large number of workers, helped in the fields (did what needed to be done).
When Dr. Alvin went to Chicago to study ... Julia and the four children remained at home to support him in this great undertaking. In making the decision to become a doctor, Alvin and his wonderful companion made it possible for thousands of persons to become the recipients of their love and devotion. The Hales set up a practice in 1920 .... It was the beginning of 40 years of significant achievement.
The next picture that I see is that of Mother and Father working side by side... day after day in a mighty team effort to relieve suffering, restore health and bring happiness and hope to thousands of God's children. Money did not have a high priority in their lives. They considered it a privilege and a blessing to serve others. "Inasmuch as you do it to the least one of these, you have done it unto Me." They worked from daylight to dark and often well into the night ... never refusing a call of distresses.. never worrying whether or not their patients would be able (or willing) to pay. I am sure that some people took advantage of their generous spirit but they never complained ... life was good and they asked only for the strength and the opportunity to help others along the pathway of life.
The Hale team did not charge widows, parents of missionaries or students working their way through school and never for babies (he treated them on his knee). Isn't it encouraging and refreshing to know that there are people who follow God's way of life... Alvin and Julia were destined to be the servants of all.
Now a glimpse (and time permits only that) into her role as a Mother. Alvin and Julia had a great love and concern for their children (and all of their loved ones). It has been my privilege to know this wonderful couple and the members of their family for many years and I have great admiration and respect for them. When I talked on the phone, visited the Clinic or entered their home... I was always impressed with their genteel manner and I appreciated the kind and considerate way in which father and mother spoke to each other. I sensed that this family was held together by strong bonds of love and mutual respect. It is in a home like this that love, consideration for others, morality, honesy, integrity, loyalty and the love of truth are first nurtured, and often it is here that they are brought to ultimate fruition... Julia Hale stood at the side of her husband, Alvin, supporting and sustaining him. We can say today that the dreams and aspirations of their eternal partnership have (for this life) been fully realized.
We could pay tribute to Mother Hale' s artistry as a cook (her bread and flying saucer cookies). She was creative in so many ways... she had unmatched faith in God. She was consistent ... how much the world seeks and needs people who possess this quality. A person of superior character and integrity, she possessed all of the great virtues in rich abundance but let me mention one more... She did not believe in having anything that she could not pay for ... even the monthly bills for telephone, lights, water, etc., had to be paid promptly... she looked ahead and carefully put aside the money for her own funeral... Independent and consistent to the very end. Remembering this wonderful mother who exhibited the qualities of faith, patience, courage and love.
Wilford, Dean, Otella and Zelda, I think you can take great satisfaction from the knowledge that you always showed love and concern for your mother while she was with you. I know Dorothy spent many afternoons with her and all of you have taken turns watching over her. It has been a sad and, at the same time, an inspirational experience for you to stand and sit at her bedside during the closing days and hours of her life.
She said... "I am ready to go!" In the face of this courageous example, I have asked myself the question: "Could I say, I am ready ?" Could I take this difficult step (from life to death) with patience, courage, without complaint or tears ? Often people say, "When the chips are down, I can and I will do better." There are exceptions but In most cases we perform in a crisis the way we have practiced. Julia Dean Hale was an active participant in the Principle of Eternal Progression (reach up past your present limitations and grow and develop each day). She had prepared for this day and was equal to the occasion. MAY WE ALWAYS CHERISH THE MEMORY OF MOTHER HALE AND REMEMBER WITH GRATITUDE THE GREAT IMPACT FOR GOOD THAT SHE HAD ON SO MANY LIVES.
We believe as Latter-day Saints that beyond the grave we will continue in the family organization...the father, the mother, and the children recognizing each other in the relation which they owe to each other and in which they stand to each other. This family organization being a unit in the great and perfect organization of God is work and all destined to continue throughout time and eternity. We must, of course, earn and qualify for this great blessing and opportunity by our words and by our deeds (by following God' s way of life).
Our belief fits so well with the words of the song- by Eliza R. Snow, "O, My Father."
When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed, All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation, Let me come and dwell with you.
It is on occasions like this that I remember the story of the Resurrection...They crucified Him--and sitting down they watched Him there--wagging their heads and saying, "Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it up in three days,. save thyself .. if thou be the Son of God come down from the cross... (These were the High Priests mocking.)
In a world of unbelief, surrounded by scoffers--forsaken by some who had been his closest companions--Christ died. The earth shook, the darkness fell over the land. His enemies extolled themselves... The handful of faithful ones went to their homes in sorrow, to watch and wait--it was the darkest hour.
DAWN OF THE THIRD DAY...WAS USHERED IN BY AN EARTHQUAKE--It was a dawn which was to shake the world throughout her remaining centuries. The resurrected Jesus appeared before His disciples and before the Nephites in America.
Today, we live in a time of peril ... on the threshold of a Heaven on earth or on the brink of destruction ... hate and fear abound In many places--but through it all comes the HOPE, FAITH AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE WILL LIVE AGAIN.
Brothers and Sisters, Mother Hale believed in the Resurrection. She had a testimony regarding the truthfulness and the divinity of this Church. We can honor her memory, bring joy into the lives of our children and friends by proving ourselves worthy-by following God' s way of life, -by remaining active in the Church and by having an abiding faith in our Father in Heaven. I pray that we will all be blessed with increased faith, strength and courage so that we may remain true and faithful to the end. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
The tradition of helping others along the pathway of life, which was
so firmly established by Father and Mother Hale, is being carried on by
their children... Wilford, . a dedicated, generous and outstanding physician
and counselor... Dean, Otella and Zelda-talented and competent--always
ready to assist those who need encouragement.
--L. Mark Neuberger--
Julia Dean Hale & Alvin Hale
Julia Dean Hale & Alvin Hale
Julia Dean Hale
Julia Dean Hale
Julia Hale & Daughters
Julia Dean Hale