MARY REBECCA MOSS HALE
I was born the 9th of August, 1875, in South Bountiful, Utah, in a one room adobe house to Joseph and Sarah Phebe Sessions Moss. They were good honest Latter-day Saints. I grew up as most children did in those days. At the age of seven I started to school. Rebecca Brown was my teacher. I only went until bad weather started as we had one mile to walk. The next year I stayed home all year. The next year I went up and stayed with Grandfather Sessions in East Bountiful and went to school. Grandmother was the teacher. I went home week ends. My sister Phebe went the next year and I the next. We took turns helping mother at home and going to school. I went four years staying at Grandmother's. My great-grandmother Sessions built the school and furnished it and hired a teacher for the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a mid-wife, made good money and invested it wisely. She took no tuition students but if the school was not filled with her own posterity she allowed the poor immigrant children to come free of charge. One winter Viola Chase was the teacher and a Mr. Call taught another winter.
Before I started to school, when I was five or six years old, I was walking around the corral on the pole fence and I fell off and cut my head, making an awful gash. It was such very hot weather that they took me up to Silver Creek to Grandpa Moss's ranch where it was cooler. I got so very homesick before the week was over that I would not stay in the house. When Aunt Ellie went out to milk I would go out with her.
When I was nine years old I went up to Grandma's on Sunday afternoon to start to school the next day. When I woke up Grandmother was not there. They told me that my mother was very sick and she had gone down to take care of her. Aunt Annie and I went off to play. Over to the neighbors one of them said, "Well, Mary, why aren't you home? You have twin sisters down there." I told them "no" and they told me "yes". By the time they had me convinced, I was so mad to think that no one at Grandmother's house had told me that I ran all the way back to Grandmother's crying every step of the way. Then I scolded and told them that I was going home. I went in to put on my shoes and stockings so I could go home. We couldn't wear them all the time. We had to save them for winter and for special occasions. Aunt Lizzie tried to tell me that my mother was too sick, that I couldn't go home. But I was crying and angry and said I was going home anyway, that they should have told me about the twins. So she went after Grandfather. He came in and told me that my mother was very sick and that was why they hadn't told me, and said if I would be a good girl and help get dinner on the table, and take off my shoes and stockings, that he would hitch up the horses and take me home after we ate dinner. So I did. After dinner he hitched up the horses and I put on my shoes and stockings and he took me home, about three miles. There was mother in the bed, very sick, and twin sisters in the big rocking chair, so very tiny. Since there was only one room, I went back up to Grandmother's and stayed. We started school a week late that year because of the twins. I went to school that year, but after that Phebe took care of Carrie and I took care of Cora. They were very tiny, both had ruptures so we couldn't let them cry. They were our constant care. We had to walk the floor with them they were so cross. I think now that they were not getting enough to eat. We had no canned milk and special formulas.
When I was nine or ten years old I went to Primary with mother; she was counselor to Sister Howard. I took care of one of the twins and she the other. When she took charge, I held both of them when the other girls would let me. They would all coax to hold one. We had to pack the babies to Primary, about one-third of a mile. The twins only gained three or four pounds the first year so they were not heavy to carry. We carried them a mile the day they were blessed. Father was not home.
After the twins were born a concrete school house was built near our home so we could go to school most of the time. When I got older, fifteen or sixteen, I made fires and took care of the school house for two winters. There was only one room and all the grades were taught in the one room. We studied reading, spelling, arithmetic, writing and geography. I can remember getting no pay for the janitor work so it must have been to pay my tuition for that is the way they did it in those days.
Fred Ridges was my last teacher. He was very good looking and very young. Every time I wanted to tease him, all I had to do was wink at him and he would blush and get so frustrated. When he was scolding some of my friends, I would just wink and he couldn't go on with the scolding. I was eighteen years old and he was seventeen.
When I was thirteen or fourteen years old in the summer I got very sick. I had been in bed for a long time. One morning I asked if Grandfather Wood wouldn't come and administer to me. He spent all his time going from Farmington to Salt Lake City to visit and administer to the sick. They tried to catch him but they couldn't and mother went on out to do the chores. Then in walked Grandfather Wood. He stood and chatted with me. Mother came in. He asked her how long it had been since I had eaten. She said five weeks. He looked at me and said "Don't you know if you don't eat, you'll die," and he walked out of the house without giving me a blessing. I was so hungry that I forgot to ask for one. I wanted bread and butter, cheese and pickles. They didn't get me any pickles until the next day but I ate the bread and butter and cheese and the next two days I ate about two pickles and from then on I got well right straight. In those days they did not believe in feeding anyone with a fever. They called what I had intermittent fever, but it may have been typhoid. They rubbed me all over with olive oil twice a day and that is what had kept me alive all those weeks. Needless to say I grew so tall that I could not wear any of my clothes by the time I was well. My hair all came out and it came in curly, and the girls all made fun of my really short, kinky hair.
At another time when I was about seventeen, I had the tonsilitis very bad and had been sick for about a week when the disease went down and nearly choked me to death. The Elders were sent for. They came and administered to me. Immediately the disease left me and I was well when they took their hands off my head.
When I was seventeen years old, 1892, I was put in as Secretary in the Mutual Improvement Association. I held that position until I was married. At eighteen I was put in as teacher in the Sunday School. I think it was the nine and ten year age group. I remained as teacher until I was married.
We used to have the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association meeting right after school. The President sent word to school that she couldn't be there that afternoon. Later in the day the two counselors sent word that they could not be there. After school we girls sat on the back of the benches and they said I was next in charge and that I should go ahead and take charge. Each one said they would take their part but it would leave me to take charge and to pray. So I said OK, we will be dismissed and we all went home. The next week all three of the presidency were there and Sister Wood asked me to pray. We all knelt down as we usually did then in our Young Ladies' meetings. I couldn't speak. She put her arm around me and told me to wait. I did -- for a full minute before I could speak-- and then I said the prayer. I've never refused to pray since that time.
When I was seventeen the cap stone of the Salt Lake Temple was laid. I had the privilege of being there. My sister and I stood on the corner where the Bureau of Information now stands. The cap stone is the stone on which the Angle Moroni monument stands. We heard the speakers and the singing and saw them lay the stone. Forty thousand people were in attendance.
A year later on the 6th day of April, 1893, the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated. Services were held two sessions a day until the 24th day of April. Mother and father went the first week, I think, and Phebe and I went the next week. This was a great privilege.
We didn't have much amusement in those days, only what the crowd made. Once in awhile we would get together and have a party at some home and then we would have a fine time. Sometimes it would be a peach cutting (to prepare for drying) or a watermelon feed. Sometimes we would just get together. We had no shoes usually so we had only a few dances a year.
One summer Uncle Alma took us girls, Amanda Moss, my sister Phebe and I, down to Alpine to see Aunt Mary Maybe and family. On the road we had to cross a wide stream of water. The horses stopped to get a drink. They started up quick to go up the bank and the seat flew up and Amanda and I went out the back of the wagon. She lit running but I sat right there in the middle of the stream. The band box with our hats in it was floating down the stream. When they came to help me, I called "Save the band box, I can get out." Well, I did, like a wet duck. Phebe was scared I would have a cold so we went on to the first house. Phebe went in and told her our story. The lady was very nice. She sent the children out to play while I changed into some dry clothes, and then we went on our way, having a good time.
It must have been in June when I was seventeen years old that Phebe and I walked three miles to see Grandfather and Grandmother Sessions and their daughter Annie who was about my age. She was at Sunday School. While we were visiting with Grandfather and Indian Jim, a buggy drove up. Grandfather went out leaving Phebe and me with Indian Jim. The deliveryman, Mr. Woodruff, and a Mr. Hale and Grandfather went across the street. We three went out to the cherry tree. Then Grandfather brought the young men in and introduced them; he had invited Mr. Hale out to meet Annie and have dinner with them. While we were helping Grandmother get dinner she told us we should make a mash on the two young men. I told Phebe she could have the older one, Mr. Woodruff, and I'd work on the younger one. During the afternoon Mr. Hale said he was the youngest in the crowd. To find out we had to tell our ages and I found that I was one day older then he. They managed to be ready to leave the same time we did and they took Phebe and me home in their buggy. Annie never came home that afternoon. We found out later that Mr. Woodruff was married.
About a month later Grandfather Sessions brought Mr. Hale in the buggy to see me. I must not have been much impressed because I was in a hurry to go over and stay with my girl friend. But he must have been impressed because he came to see me again. He came out from Salt Lake City on the "dummy", a train, walked over to the house, and ate supper with us. I was home alone caring for the younger children. Then I walked to the station with him. That was the last time I saw Jonathan H. Hale until after his mission to the Southern States. We corresponded about once a month or less often until he was nearly through his mission and then the letters came about as fast as I could get an answer back.
Grandmother and Grandfather wouldn't let me forget him. They would ask about him every time they came to see us, and ask about how things were coming along. When Jonathan was released and got back to Salt Lake City, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, he came and stayed a week with us before he went on to his home at Smithfield, Utah. Grandfather Sessions died while Jonathan was on his mission. We went to see Grandmother while he was visiting with us and Aunt Annie was not home again. He did not meet her until April conference and then it was too late.
From Smithfield Jonathan kept writing and wanting me to come and spend Christmas with him, and so I did. I went on the train. I stayed for Christmas and New Years, enjoying all the dances and parties of the season. I met and learned to love his mother and father and all of his sisters who were home at that time. While returning home from a party in the bob-sleigh he asked me the fatal question and I promised to marry him. He came to Bountiful for April conference and we both went to conference. We set the date for April 28th, 1897.
Jonathan came to Bountiful from Smithfield in a light spring wagon with a team of horses, arriving on Saturday. Wednesday, we took my mother's horse and buggy and went into Salt Lake City to the temple, at seven-thirty a. m. We tied our horse in the tithing office yard where the Hotel Utah now stands. In those days no one went to the temple unless they had their own names to do and few people did. There were no temple names to be done then, so we had to go alone. We didn't get out until five-thirty PM and it was raining very hard. Jonathan ran over to Z. C. M. I. and bought an umbrella and we went to the buggy. The quilt was not very wet so we tucked it around us and started on our way. It rained until we were nearly home. When we arrived we were tired and hungry. We didn't have supper until about nine. Mother had a reception for us that night. It was a long day-- but we were married.
The next day we got my things loaded in the wagon and the next morning, Friday, we started for Smithfield, Cache Valley, where our future home was to be. It took us three big long days to make the trip.
We stayed at Grandma Hale's for five weeks and oh, how homesick I was. Johnnie had to get his crops in and then go to Gentile Valley to get the furniture he had made up there while helping his father's second wife, Aunt Nellie, and her family. The cupboard we are still using was the one he made. He made a table, too, but when our family got larger we had to buy the table we now use. We used the small one in the kitchen for a work table until the cabinets were built in the kitchen.
We then moved into a little three room house with a shanty on the north, where the Crow Mountain Dairy is, on the east side of the highway between Smithfield and Richmond, Utah. It was pretty lonesome for me, leaving my folks and living among strangers.
Of course they were Jonathan's folks, but they were strangers to me. I never saw any of my folks for seven months. We lived there for five years, then we sold out and went to Star Valley. We took all of our earthly belongings and a herd of cows. There we made a new home and new friends. It was a lovely place to live but so cold and so much snow; the ground was covered with snow when we got there and we never saw the ground, for four months. We had to shovel tunnels through the snow to feed and care for the animals. The men had to leave the valley on snow shoes to bring in food for us.
We lived in Star Valley for two years. 8 Feb 1903 my second girl, Mary, was born. The weather was awful cold, from 30 to 50' below zero. My bed clothes froze to the wall and the jars of fruit sitting under the bed were frozen solid. We only had wood to burn but the men kept the stove red hot, day and night. Even so, I took sick when Mary was only eight days old. They thought it was cramps. They couldn't get me warm. I was bad all day. At night Frank Hale, who lived in the same house with us, went for the Elders, Daniel and Ray Clark. I knew all they said but I couldn't speak. I felt just like a log laying there. I think I went to the other side. I knew all that went on for two and one-half hours. After the Elders administered to me I came to. There was no more pain. I got better and was soon around again so I know the Lord blessed me and spared my life so I might accomplish the mission I was assigned to do.
In the fall of 1904 we sold out and moved again. This time to Groveland in the Snake River Valley, near Blackfoot, Idaho, where we have lived ever since. We arrived here 1 November 1904 and bought our place of forty acres. Frank Hale bought an adjoining forty acres on which there was a house. It was out in the field and we moved it in nearer the road. We had to build one. Jonathan built two rooms, both fifteen by fifteen feet. We lived in that house for two years before it was plastered. It was finished in time for Joseph's birth 18 July 1905. Elnora Hammond (Genevieve Lindsay's mother) was the midwife who helped him come into the world. Later on we built two upstairs rooms and three small rooms on the north. Well, that was a good time in our lives. The four children were small and we both had to work to keep things going. It was my job to tend the children, keep them warm, fed and clothed and Jonathan had to haul wood from the lavas to keep us warm and to sell so he could buy us something to eat.
In 1905 1 decided I would go to Relief Society. Emma, Elizabeth and Cora hale wanted to go so I told them I would take them up as it was too far to walk to the church., Well, Jonathan hooked up the horse and while I did the dinner dishes he went after the girls. He came back alone; they all had something else to do. Well, I did, too, but I went with my baby. That was the first time I ever went to Relief Society. I joined that day and have been a member ever since.
30 March 1917, my last child was born, Pearl, making five boys and six girls. I had no doctor to assist me with any of the eleven, only midwives. I miscarried and lost a pair of twins between "May" and Joseph. Mary Dean Brown (later Black) helped me at the birth of Sarah. Sister Gummersall helped with Nathan, Ezra, Olive and Clara. Aunt Nellie helped me with Pearl. I got along fine until after Pearl was born, and then we had to call a doctor to help me so I could get well.
During the flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918 Jonathan was in the bishopric and I was a counselor in the Relief Society. Any time of the day or night the telephone would ring and in about five minutes Old Swiss and the little buggy would be taking us to where we were needed to help with the sick or to bury the dead. We are grateful that none of our family were called to go. Many of the ward members buried a father or mother and several children. I served as counselor in the Relief Society for four years. Later I was the magazine representative for two years. The last year, 1942, we filled 100% of our quota for the ward.
When my youngest baby was one and one-half years old I left her with the older girls and went to Logan and stayed with Grandma Hale. She was very sick; this was the first time I ever tried to take care of a sick person. She only lived a few Weeks and passed away. In Groveland and in Star Valley and in Smithfield I was with Jonathan's people but never-with-my own. I was able to take a few of the children and go visit with my mother and father a very few times after we moved to Groveland. They were able to come and see us occasionally. After we had automobiles these visits were at least once a year. Since Johnnie's birthday was the same day as my father's and the day after mine, my parents usually came to celebrate our birthdays together. Always I have been like Ruth in the Bible--"His people were my people".
After we moved to Groveland, Jonathan was in Stake work and I visited nearly every ward in the Stake with him. We worked on the Genealogical Committee of the Stake for nearly seventeen years. I was the secretary much of that time. With our board we visited every ward in the Stake every three months. We went to all the temple excursions to the Logan Temple at that time, and every time we could get away for a few days. I made several suits of temple clothes for the Relief Society and kept them washed and ironed and ready to go. For many years people in the ward and throughout the Stake came to borrow these clothes and to receive instruction and help before going to the temple. I also accompanied and helped provide clothes for young people for many baptismal excursions to the temple. Clothes were not provided at the temple at that time.
During the years while the children were home we-raised lots of sugar beets besides milking cows. We would tell the children to hurry and get the beets thinned and we would take them to Lava or Indian Springs for an outing. Sometimes we stayed over night. We all had good times together. We had our "annual bath" as long as we raised sugar beets.
Many family gatherings were held at our home. The children enjoyed the lawn, swings, orchard, swimming in the canal, etc. Many times the long table was filled several times over for one occasion. When we were just our family we had enough for a baseball game. Winter evenings we spent with Jonathan reading aloud and me with my never-empty mending basket, the children listening, and eating apples and popcorn. Jonathan still reads aloud to me during our leisure time while I crochet or knit lace or embroidery temple aprons.
In the summer of 1935, Olive, Pearl, Johnnnie and I had a wonderful trip through the Southern Utah Parks -- Bryce, Zions, Grand Canyon, Cedar Breaks and Hoover Dam. We slept out most the way. We have had many trips to Yellowstone. We spent the Christmas of 1935 with Clara and Herbert in Tonopah, Nevada. This was the time when Clara almost lost her life from burns.
On the 9th and 10th of August we celebrated our 60th birthday with dinner, program and a trip to Lava Hot Springs.
"This has been the Greatest Day of our lives to have you all together and to enjoy our 60th birthdays with every one of our eleven children, four sons-in-law, five daughters-in-law, sixteen grandsons, and nine granddaughters; and to know that all have been worthy to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity; that all those grandchildren have been born heirs to all the blessings of the Priesthood."
"It has given us great pleasure to send four of our sons on missions: Horace to the Northern States, Owen to the Western States, Joseph to New Zealand, and Nathan to the Canadian Mission. All of our children are working in the Wards and enjoying the spirit of their work. We do hope and pray that all of you here-to-night will try to honor the name you bear and honor the Priesthood you hold. You who do hold the Priesthood; and live worthy that we may all meet and enjoy ourselves, together many times here and again in eternity; and that you will all live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be willing to give service to the Church."
"Our lives have been spent in service in the Church and in labor that we could send you to school and on missions that your lives might be of more worth and you better able to give service to the work of the Lord. We had little chance of schooling ourselves and feel the lack of it in our life work.
"We hope that we may meet together often and have the great pleasure of having all of you present. Praying the Lord to bless and prosper all of you, again we say this has been the greatest event in our lives and brought the greatest joy and happiness that we have ever experienced; and we hope that all of you will ever remember it as one of the greatest times in your lives." August 9 and 10, 1935
In 1955 on our 80th birthday we had a big time at the Groveland Prk. All of the children and all of the in-laws except one were present and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to bring the total present to seventy-five.
Since being called to serve as officiators in the temple we have spent most of our time up there, four to five days a week. We go up in the early morning and back at night, thirty-one miles, except the three months of the winter that we spend in Mesa. Joseph is renting the farm and we are able to run the car and live comfortably on what he pays us. The one or two days a week that we are home we have to do a week's housework -- washing, ironing, cleaning, baking, caring for the garden and canning. On Sunday we attend our meetings as we have done all our married lives, only sickness keeps us away. This is our schedule now. We are eighty-one years old this summer, August 9 and 10, 1956. Our eleven children are still alive, healthy and strong They have all been married in the temple, and most of them are active in the church. We are both in good health although we do get tired now and again. We have eleven children, fifty-nine grandchildren and thirty-nine great-grandchildren, all living.
End of mother's own history.
The forepart of April 1957 father and mother and Aunt Retta had been to the temple in Idaho Falls. They walked over to Joseph and Marie's for a visit and supper. They had been there for an hour or so, got up to go home, walked into the kitchen and father started to fall backward. Joseph caught him in his arms and sat him down on a chair. After a few minutes father said he felt better and he got up and Joseph walked over home with them. Whether he had a slight stroke or a heart attack, we do not know but from this time on he just did not feel good.
On the 28th day of April the whole family gathered together to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Father was able to come to the church and bear his testimony but he did not participate in the dinner or any of the fun part of the family get-to-gether.
All summer long he said if only he could get well enough so they could return to their work in the temple, that was all that he wanted. he did get well enough to go to the temple for a testimony meeting during the summer.
The early part of August Uncle Alvin was seriously ill and father desired so much to see him so about the 8th, May brought father and mother to Logan to see Uncle Alvin and then they came on over to Brigham City to see us. They stayed with Bill and I that night and then went home the next day by way of Garland where they visited with Aunt Olive Moss. This was their way of celebrating their 82nd birthdays. He never left home again. His health went down hill pretty fast and in a few weeks he was bedridden. About this time Nolan Olsen (the husband of his niece, Katie Merrill) came to visit him and father asked him for a blessing. "Don't ask the Lord to make me well. Just bless me that I might endure to the end."
We children took turns helping mother care for him. When they received their release from the temple dated 30 August 1957, he said, "Now, I can go." He always said he was in no pain. My
doctor said this could well be. Every day he had less control of his body and was less aware of what was going on around him. Pearl, Ed, Horace, Grace and May were with him when he passed away. He was ready to go and mother was ready for him to go.
THE NEWSPAPER OBITUARY READS:-- Blackfoot, Idaho-Jonathan Harriman Hale, 82, died Friday, 4 p.m. 13 September 1957 at his Groveland home, near Blackfoot, after an illness.
Born 10 August 1875, Grantsville, Utah to Alma Helaman and Sarah Ann Clark Hale, Served mission to Southern States for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1894-96. Married Mary Rebecca Moss, 28 April 1897, Salt Lake Temple. Moved to Blackfoot area, 1904. Aided development of agriculture, dairying, cheese factory in Blackfoot. Was counselor, Groveland Ward bishopric; member, Stake High Council. Survivors: widow, 11 sons, daughters, Mrs. J. F. (Blanch) Chapman, Horace, Joseph, Nathan, Ezra F., and Mrs. J. D. (Mary) Mangum, ail Blackfoot area; Owen M., Pingree Mrs. C. W. (Sarah) Bird, Fort Bridger, Wyoming; Mrs. W. J. (Olive) Kotter, Brigham City, Utah; Mrs. J. h. (Clara) Parry, Murray, Utah; Mrs. E. J. (Pearl) Walker, Lyman, Wyoming; 57 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were conducted Monday noon in Groveland Ward chapel. Burial, Groveland Cemetery under direction of Sandberg Funeral home, Blackfoot. (16 Sep 1957)
After father's passing, mother lived by herself for some time, doing all the things that she had been used to doing -care of her home and garden, canning, attending church and Relief Society and going to the temple when someone could take her. Mother never learned to drive a car, although she really tried and father tried to teach her, so she had to depend upon others to take her places. Joseph and Horace lived close by and they and Marie and Delta were good to take her places and to drop in every day and see that everything was all right with her, and to give her all the help she needed.
After some period of time mother needed more care. Julia, Ezra's daughter, stayed with her one summer. Mother lived with May and Durward for a long time. They were so very good to her. Norma gave up her room so mother could have it. Grace and Ezra had her live with them for I don't know how long. She spent a lot of time in Wyoming. When she was with Pearl, Janeen was like a little old mother hen, helping her dress and undress and sharing her room with her. They used to lay there and chat after they went to bed until Ed would call "time fur sleep". Weekends she would stay with Sarah. She could never stay more than a month with them because she would start getting headaches, whether it was altitude or homesickness, who knows. They would take her to Groveland for awhile and then bring her back out to them. Everyone enjoyed her so much, and they all were so good to her.
Bill and I arrived home from our mission to England on Sunday, 9 December 1962. The following Wednesday Ezra and Grace brought mother to see us. They went on down to Clara and Herbert's where they had fixed a room with her own furniture and all, with the thought of keeping her there. But for some reason or other, mother would not stay so they brought her back and left her with us. She knew us. She asked once about going home, "I must go home", but I explained that this was her home now and that she didn't need to worry or be concerned about going any place else. She never asked about it again. When she came to us she was eating good-- meat, celery, raw carrots. She enjoyed her food and ate a good meal. Part of the time she was confused as to where she was and who we were but quite a bit of the time she was not. She enjoyed playing with Lee Ann, trying on necklaces and ear rings. She liked to have Marian read to her. She liked it when any little children were with her.
She seemed to feel good but had difficulty in walking. I became concerned about her bowels and took her to the doctor. he told us what to do for that but said something else was wrong. After an X-ray he said that she had broken her pelvis at sometime, that it had partially healed but that was why she was having trouble walking. he told us to immobilize her so it would completely heal. So we got a wheel chair and a hospital bed for her and put the bed in our bedroom. She didn't like the chair too much. She gradually lost all interest in what was going on around her and in her food as well. Little by little she stopped chewing and then later she wouldn't swallow.
It was a real blessing to us to return and be able to care for mother. When Elder Delbert R.,Stapley set us apart for our mission, mother, age eighty-five years, was in the room with us. he told us that all would be well at home until our return. This was surely answered for us. Mother was so sweet and so contented at our home. She never asked for anything. She never expressed any complaints. She never seemed to be in any pain. She was just sweet. What a wonderful schooling for us to see how the Lord prepared her for her passing to the other side. Each day she was a little less able to care for herself, a little less aware of the world around her. I think she spoke last on Saturday when May was at our home. After that she seemed to be in another world.
She didn't eat or drink after that, really. There was no action in her arms or legs; she just didn't move. Somehow, Wednesday morning I felt that I should stay near. I bathed her and tried to give her a drink. She just would not swallow. As I stood by her side, watching her, she stopped breathing, gave a few little sighs, her heart stopped and she was gone. So peaceful and so wonderful!
What a blessed privilege was ours in caring for her and how grateful I am that I was with her, at her side, when she left us in the mid-morning of 20 February 1963. Following are the funeral service programs for both father and mother and their pictures which were put in the newspapers and other pictures that we feel you will he interested in-- next will be some of the memories and tributes which we feel will help you to understand your heritage more completely.
Father and mother loved and respected each other. They showed their love. It was demonstrated in many ways. Always, as father came in from the field, he greeted her with a hug and a kiss and a "How's my sweetheart?" I can just see her standing at the coal range in the corner of the kitchen stirring the gravy or mashing the potatoes and he would come in and put his arms around her. Sometimes she would say "Aw, go on". But she didn't mean it and he knew it.
I remember one time Ezra brought Grace and her friend, Zina Adams, to visit while he milked the cows, then we were to go to Sacrament meeting together. Zina saw father kiss mother. Afterward she asked Ezra arid Grace about it. "Do they do that often? Oh, how wonderful! I have never seen my father kiss my mother. I didn't know that parents did that sort of thing. I wish I had love in my home".
That wasn't the only way they showed love. They each seemed to live for the other and according to each other's desires. Whenever father needed to go to town, mother was always ready to go with him. She never learned to drive a car. Her work was never so important that it would come first. She would quickly change her shoes, slip her ever-present apron off, slick her hair and she was on her way with him. Father never really had to wait for her.
They seemed so united in everything. There never seemed to be any question about whether we should do this or whether we should do that. It seemed to have been decided previously. 0h, they had some differences, I'm sure, but we children were seldom aware of them. I remember that some times I would ask mother if I might have permission to do something and she would say "no", then I would go out to the barn where father was milking and talk it over with him (that was the best place to talk to him), and he would say "yes". His word was law, but I felt like a heel for pitting them against each other like that for they were usually so truly united.
Mother and father have told you of their church activity and especially of their last seventeen years devoted to the temple. Some times this irritated us a little. When they would stop to see us on the way to or from Arizona, we would say "Please stay a few days with us". "No, we have to get home to the temple" or "We want to get as far as St. George tomorrow to the temple. We will stay there a week and then be in Mesa and unpacked ready for the temple" the next day it was open. They did stay with us and help Bill care for the children when I was in the hospital. We felt sometimes that they were going too strong to which father would reply, "I'd rather wear out than rust out" or "I'm going to live to be one-hundred or die trying", and that is just what he did.
Along this line there was another saying he would always use when it was storming outside and we didn't want to do our chores or go some place, he'd say, "You are neither sugar nor salt. You won't melt." And we had to go and do what we should. I remember one stormy day at school there were only six of us in our first grade class. Another day when the weather was terrible, we were the only family that came to Sunday School, and we had to come a mile and a quarter. Many families lived right near by. The weather never stopped us from doing our duty, nor from having fun of any kind.
Religion and church were as much a part of our lives as breathing and eating. Church attendance was just as pre-determined as meal time. And mealtime was pretty prompt at our house. The only time any one ever stayed home was when we were really sick and we were always on time. Early in my life Sacrament Meeting was held at 2 p.m. and M. I. A. was held in the evening, on Sunday. We younger children did not always have to go to Sacrament meeting. Not many people did attend. It was two hours long. Later the Sacrament meeting was changed to the evening and the Mutual Improvement Association meeting was held on Tuesday evening. Sunday afternoons were used for Stake Union meetings, later called Leadership meetings, each auxiliary had a different Sunday.
All of our Saturday activity was getting ready for Sunday. Saturday was bath night for everyone (whether we needed it or not, as they used to say). Our shoes were polished with the soot from the stove. Our meals were very simple on Sunday, with all preparations made on Saturday. I can just see the chili or vegetable soup left to simmer on the back of the coal stove while we were at Sunday School. Maybe there was a good Custard rice pudding in the oven. Pie, cake or cookies were unusual but were always made on Saturday. Some times mother cooked a beef roast on Saturday. Then we had cold roast beef, potato salad or warmed over potatoes, a dish of tomatoes or sliced tomatoes (only when they were in the garden). If we didn't have beef, we had sliced cheese of mother's own making, and we loved it most when it was new and rubbery. She also made good Dutch Cheese, like what you call cottage cheese now, only very different and more substance to it. We always had bottled fruit. Our Sunday menus were simple to serve and few dishes to wash.
There was never any house work or needle work or any other work done on the Sabbath. "if you sew or crochet, etc. on Sunday you will have to pick it out with your nose when you get to heaven," mother would say. We had to milk and feed the cows and do some irrigating on the Sabbath but that was it. No one ever even thought of work of any other kind. It was the Lord's Day. There was never any decision to be made about whether we should or shouldn't keep the Sabbath Day Holy. The work was either done on Saturday or it would keep until Monday.
I can't remember any particular preaching about religion. In fact, as I think about it, father and mother led us in living the Gospel, taking it almost as too much a matter of course. It was just part of our lives. There was never anything sanctimonious about our church and religion. Life in the church and at home was fun. Always we had the blessing on the food. The picture in my mind of our table at home, set ready for breakfast and supper, always has the chairs with their back to the table. Father and mother took turns giving the morning prayers and father called on us children in our turn to give the evening prayer. After our chairs were turned, and we were in our places, the hot food was served from the stove in large bowls, then someone else was called on to say the blessing.
Going on missions and being married in the temple were also just two of the things we always looked forward to as the thing to do. In fact it was a real disappointment to my parents when I chose to go back to the University to get my Masters Degree. I should go on a mission or they said I should get married.
As a child, when mother and father slept in the front room, there was always a box of temple clothes under the bed. People from all over the Stake would call to see if they could borrow the clothes. They would come to get them and mother would always double check to see that everything was there and in place. Most of the time the people would bring them back just as they had removed them in the temple. The next wash day, the clothes were washed, starched, ironed and folded and put away so they would be ready for the next ones who called.
Mother and father's own temple clothes were always ready, too, because many times father would only give mother an hour's notice and that meant only time to bathe and they would be on their way to Logan.
They usually stayed about a week. We children always sort of looked forward to these times when the folks would be gone because then we would be our own boss. That was sort of a touchy situation to be in, too, because when we'd ask when they would return, father would say -- "Expect us when you see us" -- so we had to be good all the time they were gone because we never really knew when they would return.
It was fine for them to be gone, because it was to the temple, it was never for their own pleasure, or to get away from us. It was the work of the Lord. Besides that, they had such a sweet wonderful spirit with them when they returned that we just loved to have them go to that magical wonderful place -- The Temple of the Lord.
Ours was a fun family. Life was pleasant and jovial. Every summer as soon as the beets were thinned we had our annual bath at Indian Springs (near American Falls) or at Lava Hot Springs. With our first car this was a two or three day trip and lots of fun. We really worked hard to get the beets thinned, and that was a hard job in itself. Our legs and back ached and our fingers were sore. But when we finally arrived for our "annual bath" father would let us go in the pool twice a day and stay in for two or three hours. He was a lot of fun in the water. Mother didn't swim but she went in with us and hung onto the sides of the pool and watched us. Father would take her out across the pool several times. Some times relatives and ward members went with us. It was wonderful to sleep out on the ground under the stars in wide family size beds. (No sleeping bags or air mattresses then). There was always somebody to tell us ghost stories or walk in their sleep, so it was plenty exciting. Some times there were young lovers to watch and listen to and tease and have fun with.
In the late summer we had a two or three day trip to the hills to pick choke cherries and service berries. Sometimes these turned into ward outings and surely stored lots of fun memories for us. The year that Uncle Albert and Aunt Sarah were married (they were in their early 60's) they came to spend their honeymoon with us. We took them to the hills with us. We were all enjoying Aunt Sarah, especially her proper English. We three girls were just at that giggly age. She would say, "My, this is such a funny family". And we were. This statement sent us into a rhapsody of giggles.
Father really used to help us to have fun no matter what we were doing. There were so many times that our road was filled with snow drifts that even after we had a car we still used the bob sleighs to go to church and to school. When we kids went by ourselves we rode our horses or went in the buggy. No matter how cold the day was, it was a great day. The bells on the horses, the straw and quilts in the sleigh box, just made everything wonderful. And when it was really cold, the snow had a special crunch under the horse's hooves and the sleigh runners which was a very special sound. We never went just by ourselves. We picked everyone up all along the way. There was "always room for one more" (in the car, too). Our team and sleigh was always available for any sleighing party, day or night. As long as the boys were going to grade school, we took the team and sleigh to school. There we had a stall in the barn for our horses. At noon the boys hooked the team up and took us all for a ride. There was a lot of room in the sleigh plus room for ropes to pull the hand sleds and skis behind. We didn't have hills for skiing but we had lovely drifts at the side of the roads that took a lot of skill to ride, especially when it came to missing mailboxes and utility poles with the rope which was pulled either from the back of a sleigh or by someone on a horse.
Another thing that was lots of fun was cutting shines with the bob sleigh. The driver would get the team to just turn in a little circle and the sleigh would go in a larger circle sliding all the way. When you were on ski's or sleds at the end of a rope back of the whirling sleigh, the speed was great. Spills were part of the fun.
We also used to go to the beet dumps for winter fun. These were high elevated platforms over the railroad tracks with a road up and down. The team pulled the wagon load of beets up to the top, let the side of the wagon down and lifted the bed up with a chain to empty the beets into the box car below. We used to ride or walk up to the top and slide down on our sleds or on our skis. It was fun-- when you didn't have hills. We used to haul snow and pile it against our machine shed and make a nice long slide for our sleds from the top of the sloped roof out into the orchard.
We had a marvelous swing. Father had placed a pole between two of our tall poplar trees and it was high, or it seemed so to us then. He always kept good ropes and a good board. In fact, finally he put up a chain because we would wear the ropes out so fast. When we went up really high we could see over the house, into the upstairs window and just everywhere. Someone was always in the swing, or two of us, standing up and pumping ourselves way up so high that the rope would drop back with a jerk. Sometimes we would get an extra rope and two of us, one on either side, would place the rope against file back of the swinger and with a running push would really get them going high. We would take turns and it was so much fun.
We used to play baseball in our big yard, all of us together. We didn't have balls and bats like today. We used a tightly wound string ball and sometimes mother made and sewed a cover for it. They lasted pretty good. Our bats were home-made, too, maybe just a board. When mother played with us she would catch the ball in her apron. She was a wonderfully good sport but not very athletic. If you will notice her picture on old Swiss she is on sideways, not straddle. She also has on a pair of knickers (pants tight below the knee). She really didn't wear them very often. See the curlers in her hair. Sometimes father put them in for her. We girls could wave her hair beautifully and it would stay in until she shampooed it again but she could never do it herself. She always wore it long. For a shampoo she used to rub a raw egg into her hair and work it until it was sticky and then rinse it out. She used sage brush tea to dip her comb into to keep it from going gray. The tea was also used when we had cramps. It was so bitter that it was better to suffer in silence.
This was only one of the medicines mama used to give us. If we needed a laxative, it was either castor oil or Epsom salts and I don't know which was the worst. The taste was awful and the action terrible. If we had a sore throat mama made a cone of paper and blew baking soda onto our tonsils That was enough to gag you but when she golden seal, well, we thought death was more to be desired. We kept our sore throat a secret as long as we could. For coughs she used a honey and onion syrup that she kept steeping on the back of the stove or a concoction of slimy flax seed, licorice, golden seal, etc. I wish we had known the word YUK!
Here is her recipe for Canker Medicine.
Dosage, 2 or 3 tsp. a day.
one cup honey, one each of the following, all powdered, alum, borax, salt peter, copras brown, golden seal, sage, nutmeg, potash. Put in a pan and boil good until all is dissolved.
We always called our parents mama and papa. Papa thought that daddy was not the right name for your father although most of our friends called their parents mama and daddy. Even though we think of them as father and mother, still in our hearts they are mama and papa with love.
Included in my childhood memories was a huge tin dish pan that hung above the low sink on the west wall of the kitchen. That doesn't sound unusual but it did sound unusual when mother sneezed into the bottom of that pan. No one could sneeze like she did. Those sound waves traveled all the way out into the berry patch, the orchard and the garden. We knew that mother was there.
You see, mother had hay fever and sneezes came easily. While we were fixing dinner one Sunday, I was filling the pepper shaker and accidentally spilled some on the stove. It really wasn't funny but I giggled when mother came into the kitchen and about sneezed her head off. Of course I got blamed for doing it on purpose, but it really was an accident.
Mother's hay fever was terrible as well as fun. I was so concerned as I saw her walking the floor, her body literally on fire. She could hardly bear the torture. I didn't fully understand but I knew she was in pain and it must have been terrible. She tried all kinds of treatment but we finally discovered that if we could keep her in the house and out of the orchard and garden, she didn't suffer so much. We gratefully took her place outside if she would stay in. So we picked the raspberries, red and English and bed bug currants, the gooseberries, apple, etc.
Another childhood worry was mother's sick headaches. It all started when she put some apples up on the buggy shed roof to dry. She climbed on the ladder to check on them and it fell and so did she "putting her neck out of place" as diagnosed by our chiropractor Uncle Alvin. She would get so sick, vomiting and all, and we were all so sad and so worried about her. The only thing that helped was the trip to Logan and Uncle Alvin would put it back in place. It kept recurring and it was a long way from Groveland. Finally Uncle Alvin taught father how to make the adjustment so when Mother would get her neck out and have one of those sick headaches, he would make the adjustment and all would be fine soon. When she would get one of those sick headaches, we were all so afraid. We'd walk around on tip toes not to make any noise. Mothers are not supposed to ever get sick. The fear and worry is just more than young children can bear.
Mother and father were seldom separated. Once papa did go to Boise to buy some cows and while he was gone mama had one of her bad headaches. I don't think we spoke above a whisper or turned on a light for fear it would make it worse. We all missed papa so and it was so good to have him return. Families were so important to father and mother -- their parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, we children and our children. They were actively concerned about keeping close to everyone. As a child I can remember the big family gatherings at our home. Sometimes that meant sleeping on the floor or making beds on the porch or in the orchard or sleeping cross-ways of the bed or at the bottom of the bed. I can't remember the quality of the food particularly but the quantity, yes, and how many times the table was filled. By the way, in those days the adults always ate at the first table and we children took the left-overs. No matter who came to call or when or how many of them, there was always that cordial, warm hospitality. Everyone belonged and they knew it. "You are as welcome to our house as to home" and "There is always room for one more" were sayings often and sincerely expressed whether we were at home or stopping to ask them to ride with us in the buggy, sleigh or car. At no time did I ever hear the least hint of wishing anyone had not come. "Please come again" was always the farewell. No one was ever a bother.
Father and mother were just as anxious to call on others, to drop in at meal time or for an overnight visit with just that same feeling of "Of course you are as glad to see us as we are to see you". When we were little, father and mother were always home at night except when they went to the temple. Later in life their trips were planned especially to call on loved ones. We always went to the weddings and funerals of any of the family if it was at all possible. Family reunions were highlights and we always attended.
Although there were eleven of us, I never felt at any time that I was unloved or unwanted. When Pearl started taking seminary in High School, she became aware of the worldly teaching of Birth Control. She said to father and mother, "I'm surely glad you didn't practice birth control, or I wouldn't have been able to come to you and have you for my parents. I'm your tithing child". What a compliment to them! They repeated it over and over. What a joy it brought to them' I feel the same way, so proud to be a loved, wanted member of their big wonderful family.
It never entered my head as a child to begrudge any member of our family anything. I loved every one and I loved the whole bigness of it. I can remember wishing I had a new dress or new shoes, or wishing we could be a bit more extravagant about groceries, but never had the thought that if we were fewer in number there would be more money for me. I liked being a member of our big family. I was proud of everyone in the family and proud to be a part of it. I always had the feeling that everyone in the family felt the same way.
Talking of money: When I was in High School, I was like everyone else of that age, I guess, wanting to have things that the other kids had. Father had a special way of having me limit my wants. It was hard to take. He would say, "Olive, do you need it or do you just want it? If you need it, we'll see that you have it." - to make an honest decision took some soul-searching.
These were depression days. There just wasn't much money to be had. I had always wished that I could have a new dress for Easter, 4th of July and Christmas like all the other girls had but I realized the wisdom of our parent's use of money when the parents of many of these friends of mine lost their farms and were without income. Our farm was secure. It is such a difficult thing to learn to say "no" to immediate desires and to use the money for long term needs -- to pay for the farm, home, car, missions, etc. We learned early that "you can't have your cake and eat it too".
Father and mother never had much money at one time. Joseph says there was never more than one-thousand dollars in his checking account at any one time. They used what money they had for their needs and our needs. After Joseph got married father sold him the forty acres and home that originally belonged to Uncle Frank. In 1947 father made a contract to rent and eventually sell the remaining forty acres and the home to Joseph so they would be assured of an income and so they could spend their time in the temple. They were desirous of leaving each one of us something when they died. When they both had left us, Joseph finished the contract and so we each had a little from the estate as they had desired.
Father had a special way of getting us to do what we knew we should do. Horace writes "I remember I was leery of going on my mission. he cured me in a hurry by saying 'You stay home and look after things and I will go on the mission so of course I went."
Christmas was a special day at our house but not like today in many homes. There was never a display of gifts and decorations. Money was hard to come by - one present each was all that we ever received. We used to string pop corn and cranberries to decorate the tree.
We cut little green and red squares from construction paper and cut wheat straw and strung in between them. Or we made interlocking circles from construction paper. We used these oil the tree or strung them across the rooms.
Christmas eve was the only night time boys helped us with the supper dishes. We would hurry and finish and then open our presents. We all remember best the year before Horace left on his mission. The tree went to the ceiling and was in the corner of the front room nearest the outside door. It was covered with real candles. Father and the older boys lit them and when we ail went in, it was the most gorgeous sight in all the world. The tree was ablaze with lights! There was my doll, hanging on the tree. There were all kinds of little snappers and other gifts on the tree. What a fire hazard! But how exciting! Later years we woke up early Christmas morning to open our gifts.
One of the main features of Christmas was the Christmas pudding. It was a suet pudding cooked in a cloth in boiling water. The water had to be kept boiling and that meant watching the fire ever so closely to see that it was hot enough. When the pudding was turned out on a platter, it was round and steaming and showed the mark of the gathers of the cloth. Mama served it with dip (sauce) and it was truly sumptuous. We usually had chicken buried in dressing. No one could make dressing or pudding that tastes like mother used to make, or apple dumplings. Yet mother was really a plain cook.
It was in the days before television, before radio and even before we had a phonograph, but it wasn't too early for "family togetherness". Here is the family picture -- a typical evening. The cows were brought in at 6 p.m. sharp and milked. Father and the boys did not get into the house until after seven p.m. Then it was bread and milk in bowls for supper so that all the dishes we used was a bowl, saucer and spoon. To accompany the bread and milk, we had, depending upon the season, lettuce, celery, radishes, green or sliced onions, jelly, jam, honey or cheese. It was a cooperative effort to clear the table, and wash the few dishes and it took only a minute. When we three little girls were small, this was the time when we were privileged to sit on father's lap (or very near him) while he sang to us. Some of the songs he sang are here recorded. I wish we could produce the music for you.
Winter evenings, after the supper dishes were done, it was time for reading. All of us gathered around and father read to us until it was time to go to bed. Mother said that she never sat down but what she had her mending basket in her lap, but she taught us all how to embroider, crochet and knit. She used to knit lace for pillowcases that was beautiful. It is almost a lost art. Every child and most of the grandchildren have a pair of pillowcases with her knit lace on them. When we children were young, she knit our stockings. While we kept our fingers busy, father read aloud to us. He read nearly all of Harold Bell Wright's and Zane Grey's books. I don't know how many others. I can remember being sent to bed early and feeling badly about missing a few chapters but what a wonderful time we had together sharing the experiences of the characters in the books. We all loved to read and to listen to him. He was an excellent reader. When we were older, sometimes Nathan and I took turns with him.
Father's hands were busy as well as mother's. In a letter written to mother 28 Sept. 1896 he wrote, "I remember getting my name in the Salt Lake paper over a bridle that I braided and took to the fair when only eight years old. It was valued at $3.50 when I got it finished." He continued to braid bridles and he used to make rope, as well. He had a gadget to help make the rope from twine. We used to help him.
Sometimes we ended the evening by popping corn on the old coal-wood burning heater. The popper was made of heavy screen and the lid was removed by sliding the lever up the handle. We could see and hear the corn pop. Nearly every evening all through the year we had apples to eat before we went to bed and any other time we wished.
We had a big orchard with two kinds of pears, pie cherries, sweet sugar plums, sugar prunes, green gage plums, German and Italian prunes, pottowatamie plums and at least seventeen varieties of apples. The Transparent apples and Whitney crabs were ready in the late summer. Then came the Wealthy, Dutchess, Macintosh Red and the Jelly Crabs. The Jonathans ripened next. The King Davids were a winter apple, small and tart. We liked to eat them raw but the best use we knew for them was for preserves. There is never an apple that makes as red and tangy a preserve as the King David and mama used to leave them in big yummy pieces. There were also Grime's Golden, Tallman Sweets and Maiden Blush
The Wolfriver and the Northwestern Greening were for baking, apple sauce and delicious dumplings and once in awhile for pies. Some times we ate them raw. The Gano and Ben Davis were quite tasteless and not much good for anything. The best ones for eating raw were the Delicious and they were delicious until way late in the spring. The Speckled Sweets were a little apple with little specks and I can remember only one tree up in the northeast part of the orchard, along the fence by the Whitney Crab tree. They were as hard as rocks until after the other apples were mealy and gone. These were good to eat until June. Apples were a real and wonderful part of our childhood. We always used to dry some and the best pie mother made was dried apples and either raisins or service berries.
The apples brought us income and kept us busy picking and selling them. The Indians used to come by in the fall and mother would let them come in and pick up the apples that had fallen on the ground, the "windfalls".
We used to have a little fun along with picking the apples after school and on Saturdays. We used to break sucker limbs from the middle of the tree, put a hard apple on the end, and see how far we could throw the apple by using the limb as a whip. They would really go a long way. Sometimes we had a pitched battle. One day Nathan and Ezra were throwing at me and I was having fun dodging the apples. I turned quickly and a twig on an apple tree went all the way through my cheek and broke off, part in and part out of my mouth. That spoiled the fun that day.
Sometimes the folks loaded a wagon full of apples and took them to Star Valley to sell and they would bring home cheese. We used to gather all the cull apples and those not so good, wash them and put them through the cider press. Oh, the delicious smell and taste as they squished through and the juices ran out. Even the sound was wonderful. The cider was so good! That you buy now must be watered down. We drank all that mother would let us have because she said too much would give us the "trots" whatever that meant. We usually filled from two to five fifty gallon barrels which were kept in the potato cellar. We weren't supposed to taste it after it started to turn "hard" but sometimes we sneaked a little. Mother put "mother of vinegar" (the slimy egg-white-like substance that forms in your vinegar jug when it stands too long) in it and after a time the cider would turn into vinegar. Mother sold this for twenty-five to fifty cents a gallon.
We always had horses to ride to school, to get the cows from the pasture, to irrigate and just for fun. Old Swiss is the one that was with us the longest. She would hold three or four of us at a time.
She was trained to be a good cow horse and more than once we three girls were thrown over her head when she stopped short when we were not expecting it. We rode her colt, Snip, as well but he was more frisky. Mame and Dime were one team of work horse, and there were many others.
Father carried this bit of philosophy in his pocket until it was too worn out to reproduce. It was in his own hand writing. Maybe we should make it a part of our own philosophy:
1st: To be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
2nd: To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
3rd: To make all your friends feel that there is something good in them.
4th: To look on the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
5th: To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to represent only the best.
6th: To be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are your own.
7th: To forget the mistakes of the past and to press on to greater achievements in the future.
8th: To wear a cheerful countenance at ail times and to have a smile ready for every one you meet.
9th: To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
10th: To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
llth: To think well of yourself and to proclaim the fact to the world not in loud words but in deeds.
12th: To live in the faith that the world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you.
The following is a note from his father to him. It could well be his message to everyone of us:
"I leave you that which is of more worth than gold or silver. I brought it across the plains for you. It is the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
To conclude this history of father and mother we give you his final testimony as recorded by his Grandson Elgie J. Hale. Mother's testimony was just as strong. We hope all who read this will have their testimonies strengthened and their desire to live the Gospel increased.
I have heard many testimonies of the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith, but perhaps the one which has been most impressive and meaningful to me was given by Grandpa Hale on the occasion of his 60th Wedding Anniversary. We had met as a family in the Groveland Ward Cultural Hall, 28 April 1957, for a dinner and a program. Grandpa was not well. At the conclusion of the program he was wheeled to the front of the hall in his wheel chair. A hush fell over the group and he began to talk. Though his body was weak and his voice was low, he spoke clearly and distinctly. This is how I recorded it at the time:
"I'm going to tell you something that I hope you will always remember. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God.
"I can remember the testimony that my father, Alma Helaman Hale, bore shortly before his death. he said, 'My father was the Bishop of the 9th Ward in Nauvoo, Illinois. I can remember as a young boy that the Prophet Joseph Smith used to come o our home to visit father. I distinctly remember one occasion when I sat on the Prophet's lap. What a thrill that was to sit on the Prophet's lap. I believed then, and I now know that he is indeed a Prophet of the Living God."'
Then Grandpa closed by saying, "I'm in the twilight of my life. I want my children and my grandchildren to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed the authorized Church of Christ here on the earth, and that salvation can come only through living the Gospel and partaking of the ordinances of the Gospel as administered by this True Church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
-- Olive H. Kotter, August 1975
The Jonathan Harriman & Mary R.
(Moss) Hale Family
(Nathan is the one on he back far left)