I was born in Woodruff, Utah on November 3, 1889 to John C. Dean and Elizabeth Howard Dean. The night I was born it was a raging blizzard. My father was in the mountains getting out wood for winter, my mother was alone with her small children, the oldest 10 years old. She was too young to send out in the storm to get help. We had no phones so she dressed Mary and sent her across the street to get her neighbor, an old bachelor by the name of Schret Vorse to go for grandmother, who always took care of her, because there were no doctors in that small town. He always called me his girl when I got bigger because he had to do mother that favor. Then I got big enough I went to his house every day, cleaned and washed his dishes after he went to work and each week took his clothes home and washed, ironed, and mended them. He never paid me but when he died he told father he was leaving his farm to me because I was the only one that had ever done anything for him. But father wouldn't let me have it so his sister from back east came and sold it.
When I was small, we had very little. Plenty to eat of the kind. Father used to go to Logan each fall and get a load of dried fruit and we had plenty of meat. He had a bunch of beef cattle and fattened them for the market but killed what we needed to eat. We didn't have any freezers so used to dry the beef for our use. When we got a new dress every fall he went to Evanston, Wyo., and bought a bolt of outing flannel nearly always green plaid and mother made all of us girls a dress of it. We thought they were lovely until one Sunday we were to church and a girl said, "Look at the Dean girls. They all have a new dress, but it is made out of petticoat cloth." I didn't like them any more and mother had to make them long so we wouldn't out grow them before they were worn out. It was very cold there in the winter. It would get 40 below, snow would cover the fences so you could sleigh ride over them but I never had a pair of over shoes until after I was married.
We milked cows in the winter and farmed in the summer. I had to learn to milk when I was eight years old so when the older girls were busy I could do it. It fell mostly to Julia and I to do it. Mary and Matilda were busy helping mother or father with other things.
When I was small I never had a doll until I was 12 years old, then one Christmas I got a doll about 6" tall and a 5 cent story A.B.C. book. I was so happy with my doll I cried. We used to have little kittens for dolls. We would sew dresses for them, put their front paws through the sleeves and really loved them. I had to walk about 1 1/2 miles to school. I would come home with my feet frozen then father would have two of my older sisters take me by the hands and make me run through the snow barefoot for half a mile to take the frost out of them. I always had to herd cows and wash dishes when I was too small to do other work, Mother would stand me on a stool so I could reach the dish pan. I told her one day my hands were all shrinking up for being in the dishwater so much.
When I was 8 years old I stole a baby. I just loved them, mother never had any little ones after I got big enough to play with them only Agnes and I took care of her. There were some people camping by our place on the bank of a big creek, eating their dinner. They had the cutest little girl just walking. She came down the walk by our house. I went out to the gate, put my hands out to her and she put her arms up for me to take her. I picked her up and it just came to me to run, hide her and when they got tired looking for her they would go on and I could have her. So I ran to the hay stack. The pigs had eaten a big hole back in the stack. I crawled in there and kept her so still so her mother wouldn't find us. They thought she had fallen in the creek. They came and got father to help hunt, they looked all over, up and down the creek, then father said,"If I can find Dorothy, I'll bet I'll find your baby." He started to call for me but I wouldn't answer. When they found me he said,"You come, young girl, those people are just crazy looking for their baby." I said, "Well some people are pretty stingy with their kids. I'll bet if I ever have any, I'll have all I want."
I never had a new baby without him saying have you had all you want yet? Would you give one of yours away. My brother-in- law, Fred Brown asked me for one of mine. They were married 18 years and never had any, I said, "If I had 12 all at once I wouldn't give you one." He told me I was stingy.
In the summer Janie and I had to take the cows to the meadow five miles from home, take our dinner, stay all day then bring them home at night. We would just get them there about two hours before we had to leave to bring them back. When the pasture got low then we would have to take them in the hills. It got so they went so far back to find feed that father bought us a horse to ride. We always went barefoot. We didn't have shoes. We would come home with our feet full of thorns from the prickly pare. One day Janie stepped in one. She sat down to let me pull the slivers out and sat in another then I had more slivers to pull out. We only had shoes to wear in the winter. We had to go to school, Primary and Sunday school bare foot until snow came. The big boys would step on our feet then take us by the hands and pull us up and it would pull the skin off our feet. In the fall we would have to shock grain with no shoes, our feet were raw sores all fall where the stubbles scratched the skin all off our feet and father would say "hurry and see if you can keep up with the binder,"then at night mother would put mutton tallow on them to try and heal them up.
When we got bigger we had to take over the job of milking. We would milk the cows then when we went to school we had to carry a ten gallon can to the cheese factory with us. And at night, carry the whey home for the pigs. We had no mittens. There we had a well with a bucket on a rope. We had to pull water up from the well for the cows, horses and house use. The rope was always stiff with ice. When we went out to milk, we fed the cows, harnessed Father's team, he kept in the barn, for him to go to work with, then cleaned the stable, then went in cooked breakfast and called him and mother up to eat. I never remember my mother cooking breakfast before I was old enough to do it. The older girls did it but she always had a hot supper ready when we came home. When father threshed his grain, he had a thresher they put about 16 horses on and they went around in a circle. We had to get under the straw carrier and keep the straw pitched back. Our hair was full of it and down our backs. It nearly itched us to death. Then when the threshing was done, he let us have what grain we could glean off the fields. We would pick up all the loose heads then rub the grain out with our hands. Sometimes we would get a sack of grain. Then we had to push it to the store in a wheelbarrow but we had to take the money to buy our clothes for school. The only money I ever remember my father giving me was five cents on the 4th of July and that only if we would stay home and herd the cows. One fourth, he let us go to the celebrating but told us if we wanted any ice cream we would have to run in the races to earn it. I ran, won the race, and got an ice cream cone and a candy bar.
When I was eleven years old father sent me to Randolph to live with a man and his wife. Their names were Larson, they didn't have any children and were always teasing for one of us so I was the one to go. I cried and didn't want to go but father said "go she will buy you a new dress." So my things were put in a flour sack and I went. He was the meanest man I ever knew. One night he made me go out to the barn to get a piece of meat. He had just killed a pig. I wanted to take a lantern but he wouldn't let me. Told me I could feel my way. He had it on a big shelf in the top of the bam. I had to go up a ladder and feel for the meat. I found a piece, took it to the house, I was scared of the dark anyway and when I opened the door I looked down and the pigs eyes were looking up at me. I screamed and threw it across the house. He was going to make me take it back but Mrs. Larson's brother was there he told him if he sent me back again in the dark he would kill him so I went to bed crying. The next morning he hitched his team on the wagon to feed his cattle. One horse wouldn't go. He stuck it with the pitch fork all afternoon. Just ran it around the feed ground jabbing it, every step until it was just picked to pieces, the next morning it was dead.
Mrs. Larson didn't have a stove she could bake her bread in because the ashes went down in the oven. She kept trying to get him to fix it because she had to take it to the neighbor every time she baked. This day both of their neighbors were baking, she asked him to fix the stove, he was chopping wood, he wouldn't so she took everything out of the stove, took them out and laid them on the ground by him and came in the house. She still had the dough on her hands from putting bread in the pans, he just let out a yell, come in with the ax. She gave me a push out the door and said "run," I was too scared. I went around the house and waited. She grabbed a chair pushed him back, run out grabbed me and we ran for the neighbors. She said he tried to kill her about 2 hours ago. He came for us. When we got back, he had taken the ax, broken the dresser all to pieced, tipped the table over and broken all her dishes. They got a divorce after that and I went back home.
When I was thirteen, mother was sick in bed. She had blood poisoning. The older girls were teaching school and Julia was going to school in Logan. Janie was in Blackfoot staying with Fred and Mary. I had to quit school and take care of mother. I did the house work, washing on the washboard, got the girls off to school and milked 13 cows, so I had a full time job.
I wanted to take music lessons. Father said there is a book if you are interested in music, take that book and learn it yourself. I did. I played for the songs in school. The school went out to hunt a meteor that fell. I and Alzina Tingey got on a horse that had just been broke to ride. She was in the saddle and I was behind her on the horse when it ran away. She just let it go and clung to the horn of the saddle. I rode for a few miles, then jumped off. I never knew anything for three days, never had a doctor. When I came to, father was standing by my bed, mad at me for getting on the horse. I never remember to this day getting on the horse. I was out of school a lot that winter with headaches. The teacher told me, "anytime you don't feel good, just go home. You don't have to ask." He was sure good to me. A while after that we moved to Idaho. We left Woodruff the 2nd of May and got to Blackfoot the 11th of May and it snowed on us all that day. We made our beds down on the banks of snow in Lake town canyon the first night and nearly froze. When we started out, I was on a horse, driving the cows but they were so mean to drive that father took the horse and put me on a hay rack full of machinery. When we stopped for camp I was so tired and cold they had to lift me out of the wagon. I couldn't get out myself. I was so stiff from the cold. When we got to the Snake River bridge, father said we will soon be there. He had bought a piece of ground out in McDonaldville. When we pulled up to it, I could of cried. He said, "Well girls, get out. Here is your new home." Just a drab patch of sage brush. We had to pitch a tent to sleep in that night and lived in it until he got our house built. We went right to work, cleaning sage brush so we could plant a crop. It was getting time for it to be in. We raised some huge watermelons that year. The rabbits were so thick they would eat holes right through them. The people used to have rabbit drives about once a week. Drive them all in the corner of a field, fenced in with chicken wire. We would kill as many as 2000 at a time. Some of the people took them home to eat.
We went to church and the dances at the Groveland Ward. Emron was playing for the dances at that time. I didn't notice him. I was having too good a time on the dance floor and was meeting so many new boys. I didn't know whom I had met. There were more young boys than girls in the ward so no girl had to be a wall flower. About three or four months after we started going to the ward, Emron came and asked me if he could take me home. I was working for Mrs. Sorensen, Nephi's mother. I went home with him and after I had been going with him about five months, he told me he had never been introduced to me, but he was afraid some of the other boys were going to get me first.
In the fall, I started going to high school. I went for one year. Mother got sick again so I had to quit school again and take care of her. I took a correspondent course, studied at home, passed my high school exams, and took the exams for teaching. Father was so afraid I wouldn't pass because I was so young. He made me wear Julia's long skirt so they wouldn't think I was so young. But I passed and in some things higher than Julia did and she had four years college. She and I both got a job teaching in Groveland. She had 1-2-3 grades. I had 4-5-6. We were walking from McDonaldville to Groveland, three miles, all winter and home at night. Emron felt so sorry he used to take us home in his buggy part of the time.
The next summer we walked from McDonaldville to Riverside to Joe Wilson's and picked raspberries all day and back home at night for one fifth of what we picked and carried our berries home with us. We were nearly dead by night but we needed the fruit. We didn't have much to live on that year. Father took all my school checks but the last one. I kept it to buy me a table, cupboard, and few things for my home, because I was going to get married. He said no. Then he told me if I would teach school until I was twenty he would send me to college, if I would teach and give him my money. He had sent the other girls. I told him no. If I taught that long, I could send myself. So finally he told me O.K. but don't ever ask me to help you because I won't. When I got married he never even came to my dance. We were married on the 5th of June and went right to our own home, when we came home from being married in the temple at Salt Lake. We had a place in Rose- just one room house. We lived in it until Matilda was about 1 year old. She was born the 28th of March 1908, a darling baby, black hair.
We were farming in Rose now raising grain, hay, and a few potatoes and sugar beets. We decided to raise chickens, bought 2000 white leg horns raised about most of them but if we had saved them all, they would of scratched our farm away.
They organized a ward in Rose now and Relief Society. We were the only ones up there with a piano. Emron built us a new house. A five room one so, they put me in as organist of our ward and decided to hold Relief Society at my house, so they wouldn't have to clean and heat the church. They held it there for five years until I moved away. I would go out and thin beets. I would put Tillie on end of the row then thin down to her. I worked that way until I got them done.
On July 30,l9l0--Richard was born. Our first boy and I was sure proud of him. Wyora came on Dec 19, 1911 so I thought I had my hands full but soon found time to help in the field. Then on November 11, 1913 I had Elvera. Before she was born Emron sold our farm and bought one in Groveland. He stayed down to his mothers all winter building us a new house. Just came home on Saturday night. In the spring we moved down there, the place Horace Hale lives on now. We farmed there until after David, Delpha and Alzina were born. We raised beets, potatoes, hay and feed cattle and pigs on a spread. We had 8 or 10 hired men. I sure had my hands full tending so many babies and cooking for so many men. Emron would kill pigs and I fried the meat and put it in a crock jug, then covered it with the hot grease. That way we could keep it without spoiling until it was used up.
Each summer we used to take the family up in the hills for a vacation fishing but after my first twins came I couldn't go any more. Too many babies to take. Alzina was born on Oct. 25, 1922. When she was about a year old, Wyora was going for the horses on the railroad track. She couldn't get them so Richard got on the horse and went for them. One of the big horses kicked at the pony he was riding. It turned and got it's feet caught in the ties and fell right on him. The section men were working on the track. They got the horse off him and brought him to the house. He didn't know anything and was black and blue all over. His head was swelled up so big he didn't look like himself. I put hot packs on him and called the doctor. He had to lance his head. Told him to stay in the shade, not to get in the sun. He had his arm in a sling, his head all bandaged up and house slippers on. His leg was so swollen, he couldn't put his shoes on. I put him on a cot under the trees where it was cool and told him to lay there while I went down and finished hoeing the beets.
I was hoeing and heard some one behind me. There he was a hoe in one hand trying to help me. I tried to make him go back but he said,"No, if you hoe so will I." I had to quit to make him quit. He never let me work alone if he was where he could help.
That year, we moved to the Sugar Farm in Riverside. Emron planted 100 acres of beets and 100 acres of potatoes. He asked me if I would cut the potatoes. I told him yes. When I looked at the pile my heart sank. There were 800 sacks. It looked like a mountain, but I cut them and kept the planter going.
That fall, I pulled the beets. We used 4 head of horses for the men to top beets and when night came, I would take the horses to the barn, drive the cows in and milk 23 head of cows. We were milking 28 but the other 5 were too mean. I couldn't milk them. Emron and Richard were running two threshing machines besides the crop gathering. I would do my washing either after the day's work was done or about three o'clock in the morning before the family was up.
They put me in as organist in church. Emron and I played for church for 3 years in Riverside and I played for Relief Society.
Adam was born, while on the sugar farm, August 29, 1924, on grandmother's birthday and we named him after his grandfather two of the most wonderful people that ever lived. I just loved them.
When Alzina was born, Delta Hale came to work for us. I was so bad, I couldn't do much. I had a nervous break down. The doctor told Emron not to let me as much as comb my hair, but I did. I did all I could to help. Delta stayed with me about a year then she got married.
Tillie was big enough to help enough but there was plenty of work to keep us all busy. Tillie was just taking over in the house when I had to go out on the farm to help. She is a wonderful girl. She got married to Melvin Ockerman while we were living on the sugar farm on June 15, 1926. I sure missed her but she came in and helped me when she could.
When John was a baby, my sister Emma was sick and had a new baby and was so bad. They had to put her in the hospital all summer. I was nursing my baby and her baby got sick. The doctor said mother's milk was the only thing that would save its life so they brought the baby to me. I weaned my baby and nursed her baby all summer. May Bergensen had a sick baby so they brought it to me once a day to nurse so I had two of them all summer. Then when Emma took her baby, I went to the hospital for an operation. Linda took John while I was there. I came home on the 3rd of July and on the 4th of July, Emron took the children to the celebration. After he left, I went out and climbed in the cherry tree and picked all the cherries. The birds were starting to take them and we needed them. He just took a fit when he came home and saw what I had done and so did the doctor. Just 9 months from the day I was operated on I had a baby girl born dead. We named her Elizabeth. She looked just like Wyora and was born on the 24th of March 1918.
Then we left the sugar farm. We moved to the farm by J. F. Jensens. Emron bought that farm but we didn't do very good on it. It was too small and I got sick just before we left the sugar farm. I lost a pair of twins. A bull chased me. I was sick for a long time, came near dying. I went to Logan, Utah and stayed a month and did temple work and my name was in the temple to be prayed for while I was there. So we moved off the big farm. My family all had the flu but me that year. It was so bad. Emron came nearly dying. We had his sister, a trained nurse for 6 weeks before he could be up. Then he couldn't do much, but it was a good warm winter. He plowed both Christmas and New Years Day.
When Jesse was born on March 15, 1928, I took the flu. The nurse put hot vinegar cloths on my face to keep me breathing until they got him. I was so sick they moved me up to Grandma Yancey's. I was in bed six months. I got pneumonia in one of my lungs. It rotted out and I coughed it up in pieces. We sure had a bad summer that year. Emron took the DeKay farm in Tyhee to farm. Richard stayed down there alone until we could move down. I was still in bed. The doctor came out every day and sometimes twice a day. We had to have someone there night and day with me. My sisters took turns tending Jesse. I never held him in my arms until he was 6 months old, then just for a few minutes. One night after grandmother went to bed, someone came and stood by my bed. I could feel her at my back looking down at me. I said, "Grandma don't worry about me, go to bed." She said, "I am in bed." I said,"Why did you get up and tuck the covers on my back. I am all right." She said,"I didn't." But I knew someone was there. The next day, I was worse. Grandma called the elders to come in and Sister Hickenlooper had my family all come. They knelt around my bed. She read my Patriarchal Blessing then, they all prayed for me. I felt better for a while then got worse again. Brother Buchannan and P. G. Johnston came and gave me a blessing. As they left they told grandma I couldn't live. They were having conference in Blackfoot so P. P. Black brought one of the authorities out to administer to me. He told them I could not live. The doctor came out and he told them I would go before midnight and not to call him back. He didn't want to be there when I died. Emron asked me what I wanted him to do with the baby. I told him to keep it. I would tend it after a while. He said,"Mama you can't suffer like this any longer and I would like to know what you want me to do." Richard came and sat on my bed and took my hand in his. I said,"Richard, I love you too much to leave you." Delpha came and said,"Mama it was our birthday and we didn't have anyone to make us a cake." So I knew I had to get well.
When Brother Buchannan and Johnston got home, they phoned grandma and told her "Tell Sister Yancey it has just been made known to us she will get well, then when the brother from Salt Lake got on the train, he put his head out the window and said, "Tell Sister Yancey not to give up, it has been made known to me she will get well."
I was so near gone I couldn't talk but I could hear Emron and Sister Packham talking by my bed. She said,"It won't be long now," but I couldn't answer her. Then the last I knew I was praying to live. I could see people from the other side come in to the room. They just went through the table and things to my bed instead of around them. My brother-in-law said, "Come, we have come for you," I was still praying. I said, "I can't go. "He said, "It's so easy if you will just give up." I still kept praying to stay with my family. Then someone spoke. I couldn't see him and said, "You will be permitted to stay a while longer."
The next morning I was a little better, but so weak I couldn't move. My folks said they could feel the presence of the dead so strong in the room, they had to go out. The doctor came the next morning and when he found me still alive he sat on the side of my bed and took my hand in his and cried like a baby. He said,"What did it, it wasn't me. I had done all I could. It was something stronger than me."
I started to get better then, but I was so thin the bones were through the skin on my hips. They had to keep them padded and my hair all came off from the fever in my head. I was spitting blood all the time and when the abscesses in my lung broke, the puss came up in cups full. I was in a wheel chair about a month before I could walk. All while I was in bed, they brought the sacrament to me every Sunday. Emron and Daniel carried me in the wheel chair over to mother's and I stayed there for a few weeks before I went home. While I was still in bed, Matilda got typhoid fever and had to go to the hospital and have her appendix out. The doctor wouldn't let me go to the Tyhee Farm. He was afraid I would get it.
We had so much sickness and trouble that year, we lost everything we had and had to start over. So Emron decided to truck and give up farming. He bought us a place in town and moved us in there just before Velda and Verda were born (May 7, 1929.) Emron started trucking cement from Inkom for the lumber yards. He had 5 or 6 trucks so I had to cook meals at all hours. Sometimes the last truck would get in at midnight and the first would leave at 2 o'clock in the morning. I had hot meals for every one as they came and went. I would have to wash every day. I had three babies in diapers and it took a lot of clean clothes. When we started trucking, Thomas Jorgensen came to drive on the trucks. He lived with us until he was married, about 10 years. My little ones thought he was their brother.
Then Le Roy was born Nov 20, 1930. Emron went to Burley with cement. Ted took a load too. Wyora was at my place in bed. She was so sick. My baby was born that night so when they came back there were three of us all in bed. Grandmother Yancey was there taking care of us.
Emron got me a job making carpenter aprons out of canvas for the cement plant. I made 1000 aprons that summer and took the money and bought me an electric sewing machine.
On December 29, 1932, Wallace and Wanda were born (my last babies). I was little disappointed because the doctor told me he thought there would be three and it was only two. When they were about one year old, I went to my neighbor's to help her houseclean because she couldn't find any help and I worked steady after that. Everybody wanted me. When the babies were 18 months old, they all got measles, all the small ones and Wallace got pneumonia. It turned to Impierna. We had to take him to the hospital in Salt Lake. He had his ribs taken out and drained his lung. I was down there with him all summer. It was the third case on record, them being that bad that they had saved. So my prayers were surely answered again. We brought him home in the fall and just got him home when Richard went on his mission to the South so I took a job - janitor of the church, and the Castel Ball room besides my other jobs to pay his way. Then Elvera started to help me so the two of us sent him the money to go on. By now I had all the work I could do. I was taking care of Dr. Mitchell's office. I worked off $700 Dr. bill for him. I had about twelve homes I went to once a week besides. I did that kind of work for a few years, while doing house jobs.
David got hit with a car. His leg badly broken and crushed. His head all swollen up. He was in the hospital seven weeks. They thought they would have to take his leg off but finally saved it. He was on crutches all summer and winter. When he would lie down at night, his pillow would be covered with blood where it ran from his ears. After he got well I started to work for Mr. T. A. Hayes in his home and store. I was with him thirteen years. Then we moved to the part of town where we are now. I worked for him until he sold his store. I stayed on with Mr. Hill about six months then went to the Boyle Hardware store where I worked for ten years. While there, I sent Jesse on a mission and helped get all my children through school while I was working. I quit Boyles in January 1955. I have been home since.
This summer, I have made and helped make 32 quilts. When my family were all home I canned 2000 qts. of fruit and vegetables every year, baked from 10 to 20 loaves of bread a day. We always had a bunch of hired men. I made doughnuts and cookies by the 6 gallon cans. We always had plenty to eat.
Marion came to our house to live for about two years before she and Judson were married. Ike Thornton came there and lived about six months before he was married. I always had a house full. I nursed my family through all kinds of diseases and think the Lord has sure blessed us with health to do these things. Now Delpha is very sick and we are praying for her to get well but if not we know it is the Lord's will. He has the power to give and to take and He has surely given to us freely. We have never had to want. I am helping out at this Christmas time to the store again and surely love to work.
My family is:
Emron Yancey: July 25, 1886
Dorothy Dean Yancey: November 3, 1889
Dorothy Matilda Yancey Ockerman: March 28, 1908
Richard E. Yancey: July 30, 1910
Wyora Yancey Bames: December 19, 1911
Elvera Yancey Silfvast: November 11, 1913
Judson Yancey: October 6, 1915
John Dean Yancey: October 8, 1916
Elizabeth Yancey: March 24, 1918 (stillbom)
Frank Augustus Yancey: May 8, 1919
Delpha Yancey Workman: April 30, 1921
David Yancey: April 30, 1921 (twins)
Alzina Yancey Poling: October 26, 1922
Adam Yancey: August 29, 1924
Jesse T. Yancey-. March 15, 1928
Verda Yancey Orchard: May 7, 1929
Velda Yancey Hansen (Plant): May 7, 1929 (twins)
Le Roy Dean Yancey: November 30, 1930
Wallace Yancey: December 29, 1932
Wanda Yancey (Moss): December 29, 1932 (twins)
Emron played the violin. He played for the dances for a long time. I played the piano with him for a few years. He got his finger cut off so that stopped his playing. I went to the Logan Temple when Richard and Ethella were married. I was enjoying it fine when the president of the temple got up and said we have a lady in the audience that is the mother of a large family. We will now hear from Sister Yancey. My heart just sunk. I was so surprised as I went down the isle I said, "Oh Lord help me. I guess he did because I don't know what I said but everybody was congratulating me on my nice talk.
My family helped me win an electric stove and clock on the Art Linkletter Program for having the most living children. We love them all.