OBITUARY: Emory W. Ricketts

Emory W. Ricketts Emory W. Ricketts

HIAWATHA, Carbon county - Emory William (Bill) Ricketts, 76, died Monday at 3:15 p.m. at the Veterans Administration hospital in Sheridan, Wyo., after a lingering illness.

He had been hospitalized for the past two and a one half years.

Mr. Ricketts was born Oct. 28, 1876, in Mr. Union, Pa., a son of Wesley and Wilhelmina Jane Cornelius Ricketts. He left Pennsylvania while still a child and came to Livingston, Mont., where he lived for several years.

He was a volunteer in the First Montana Regiment, Spanish American War, and also served during Boxer Rebellion.

He came to Hiawatha in June, 1922, where he was employed by the U.S. Fuel Co., for 28 years. On April 2, 1925 he married Floria Warren in Evanston, Wyo.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived in the Hiawatha ward.

Mr. Ricketts was a blacksmith and tool sharpener by trade and was a member of the Hiawatha Twenty Year Club. He was also a former member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Price Post, and an ardent fishing and hunting enthusiast.

Flora W. Ricketts

Survivors include his widow, Clearfield; three sons, A/2C Milton W. Ricketts, with the U.S. Air Force in Las Vegas, Nev., and Galen W. and Norman Lee Ricketts, both of Clearfield; four sisters, Mrs. Mamie Davis and Mrs. Mine Clingerman, both of Livingtson, Mont., Mrs. Alice Patterson, Casper, Wyo., and Ann (last name unknow), Spokane, Wash.; two brothers, Roy Ricketts, Livingston, and Monte Ricketts, address unknown.

Funeral service will be announced by the Mitchell Mortuary, Price.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Teresa Peterson



CHARLES HOUGHTON & CATHERINE BURROWS

by Eugene H. Halvorson

"You would lose no more children if you will come to America with us" said the Mormon missionaries to Charles and Catherine Houghton. The promise brought the two converts here to Castle Gate, Utah in 1907. This is their story written more than ninety years later.

For three generations our records list the Houghtons as residents of Heather, Leicestershire, England. So, our story begins with a little of what we know about Heather and what life was like at this time. An Earl, Earl Howe, owned most of the land in the Heather Parish. There was a flourmill on the river dating back to the middle ages. There were several small businesses, a brick making plant and a small coal mine with a railroad passing near them. The Houghtons were all listed as colliers (miners). They lived in a rented house on Main Street. Every house was on Main Street and they all had gardens.

Charles Houghton

This was where Charles Houghton was born 3 March 1874 in Heather, Leicestershire, England to Ann Wragg and George Houghton. His two sisters were Sarah Jane 5 and Catherine 2. Four months after the birth of Charles on the 20th of July 1874 their father, George was killed in a mine accident. The death of a breadwinner must have caused a great hardship. How the family survived is unknown to us but life would have been hard. Little was done for the welfare of its people then. Ann later married a Smith and had one more child, Edith. Marie, daughter of Edith is 71 and is still alive. Yet, no one here in America knew of this.

We know nothing about the opportunities of these children but education was very limited. Rarely were there opportunities to learn more than to read and write. To them it was a waste of time to teach children whose only future lay in the coalmines, factory or farms. School was only possible if the parents could afford the required fees and ended at the age of 11. There was no secondary education in most towns and they were expensive. Charles must have received some schooling because he acted like it and he had the most beautiful handwriting found anywhere. He served the community in Castle Gate with his talents in various ways.

Charles & Catherine Houghton

I have in my possession the marriage certificate when Charles Houghton married Catherine Burrows in the Parish Church in Heather. On the 25th of May 1896 Charles was listed as a miner and she as a twenty-year-old spinster. Witnessed by John Thomas Burrows and Catherine Salisbury (Charles' sister). Catherine's' father and brothers were also miners and they were from Kimberly and Whitwick. The operators of these English mines paid their workers very little for their labor and cared little for their welfare. There were no child labor laws then, both the fathers and their children were lowered hundreds of feet into the earth to work long, hard shifts. Unfortunately the miners in America weren't treated much better.

On the 9th of February 1897 their first child Agnes was born in Heather. Then it seems as soon as the next child was born, they would pack up and move to the next town. Times were poor and work was scarce. The industrial revolution caused a need for more and more coal. Towns were growing and expanding with no thought of a clean healthy water supply or proper sanitation. There was no sewer system, no garbage collection all rubbish was burnt or buried in the garden. Large out breaks of scarlet fever and typhoid were common many children died from disease and malnutrition. Five children would die in the next five years, Agnes, Gladys, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth May and George Herbert. The places they lived during these trying times were Heather, Leicestershire County; Swadlincote, Derbyshire County; and Audenshaw, Lancashire County.

We have two stories of the oldest girl, Agnes. The first was when they once lived in a large two story home in Audenshaw where candles were used for lights. It tells of how little Agnes while walking down the stairs caught her nightgown on fire serious enough to have caused her death. The other story tells of a little Five year old girl who got up early one morning to make the fire to cook breakfast. Somehow she was severely burned by a kerosene explosion.

Sometime after their sixth child, Charles Arthur, was born 6 November 1903, the Mormon missionaries came to them and promised them that if they accepted the gospel and immigrated to Utah all the rest of their children would live, and they did. In the later months of 1907, the family sailed to America. Another story tells of an earlier date but the 1907 date is more believable since Charley who was five years old remembers the Niagara Falls in New York and the train ride to Utah. They came straight to the coal mining town of Castle Gate. Charles was an experienced miner by now and a job was waiting for him.

There is where my wife's father Bill was born a few months later on the 26 April 1908. His brother, John Thomas was born October 1909.

This was the site of the first coal found in Carbon County, 1888. Soon after discovery, the Pleasant Valley Coal Company opened the Number One Mine and later in 1890 the Wasatch Store was built. A company town with company houses soon followed. To live in a company house you had to have a company job and if you didn't buy from the company store, you were fired from your job and you were immediately evicted from the town.

I'm told that Catherine's sister Ruth and two of her brothers came with them. One of them was Arthur who married Metta Minerva Harley here in Utah. The Burrow brothers were both miners. Their home was a large three-room house that was later made into the Castle Gate Library. I'm told that they all lived together in this house - Charles' family and the Burrows.

Catherine missed her family and life in England. She hated Utah. Later the two brothers were supposed to have returned to England. We know that Arthur' wife, Minerva, lived a long life and eventually died in Magna. Did they all return and was she left her?

Catherine was very religious but did have a little milk and tea ever day, and her grandchildren could not remember her attending Church, but she was old then. She had a China closet full of glass shoes that she brought from England. She had a lot of commemorative plates from the World's Fair. She also had an old fashioned phonograph with a crank for power. "Grandma would never allow us to even touch these things". All of these heirlooms are in the possessions of Lois Houghton Dansey.

When visitors came she served them tea with milk and caraway seed cake. In later years she became more reclusive and depressed. He blinds were drawn and her mirrors covered. She was afraid of the old lady in the mirror. She died in her home 13 October 1953 and her viewing was at the home of her son, John T. Houghton.

Charles Houghton was a very dignified old Englishman. He was very civic minded. He was secretary of both the fraternal orders of the Knights of Pithius and the Odd Fellows. He had beautiful penmanship. After working in the mine for few years, he injured his hand. His thumb was nearly cut off, but was sewn back on. After this he started working outside the mine doing whatever was asked of him. He delivered coal to the homes, garbage collection and town maintenance. He also built sand dummies for blasting in the mine.

Charley used a horse drawn sleigh in the winter and a team and wagon in the summer. The town's children were often seen riding with him. I have no stories that would tell what kind of person he was and what he enjoyed doing.

Charley smoked a great deal and in his later years suffered from cancer of the larynx. He soon became unable to talk and died in 6 September 1937.

The Houghton's life in England came from the records and stories sent recently from England by the grandson's of Sarah Jane, Paul Winstanley and Trevor Jones. Most of the history of the Houghton's has been lost over the years. Trevor said in his letter, "As you will realize as you read on we now know more of the descendants of Charles Houghton than we do of our own grandmother (Sarah Jane). Life in America has come mostly from the writings of Charles' grandson, John Houghton. Through this cooperative exchange of knowledge we now have a story to tell.



HERBERT BURROWS

by CATHERINE BURROWS

My father, Herbert Burrows was born in 1850 in Whitwick, Leicestershire, England. He was a kind and loving father. He was a Mine Superintendent. He began his mining career at the age of nine years, he was so small his brothers carried him on their backs to work. He was a mine deputy at sixteen years. He was a stern man around his work because he expected things done properly. He had an accident when he was fifty-six years which caused his death. He took us to Sunday School, and when he joined the church he was a devout member.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Gene Halvorson


Herman Matson & Annie Koistinen

by Clark Hunt
Herman & Annie Matson

I was born in Price in 1944, with a Soumi mother and local Morman father. My grandfather Herman Matson (Finn name of Junka) emmigrated to Utah from Finland about 1900. Herman (Junka) Matson and Annie Koistinen were married at Clear Creek, UT in 1906.

Annie Koistinen was born on May 6, 1880, in Koumanniemi, Finland, and came to North America and Clear Creek with her two brothers, Matti and August Koistinen. Her brothers later moved to Canada, but Annie stayed in Clear Creek. Matti's son Ted was born in Clear Creek, but moved with the family to Canada when Ted was 2 years old."

My uncle Eliel John Matson was born May 30, 1910 in Clear Creek, UT. His brother Walford George Matson was also born Feb. 29, 1912, in Clear Creek. My aunt's Hilda (1914) and Edna (1916) were also born in Clear Creek. My mother Elma Edith (Matson) Hunt was born June 4, 1918 in Astoria, OR. Elma was the baby of the Matson family.

According to discussions I remember, the Matson family, with others, moved to the Astoria and Portland, OR area during World War I to work as welders in the shipyards. After WWI, they returned to Utah to work in the coal camps.

I left Carbon County in 1964 and currently live in San Jose, California.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Clark Hunt



HISTORY of CHRISTIAN ED NIELSEN

by Beverly Brasher Nielson, 1973

He was born 14 December 1886 in Richfield, Sevier County, Utah. One of fifteen children born to James Nielson and Christina Marie Smith, he was the fifth. Ida Marie born 3 October 1880; Niels, born 28 June 1882; May, born 20 October 1883 James, born 22 February 1885; Ed, born 14 December 1886; Joseph born 14 July 1888; Jennie, born 26 December 1889; Caroline, born 4 March 1891; Jim, born 2 April 1892; Ethel Ordena, born 2 June 1894; Martha, born 16 November 1895; Dicinio, born 7 January 1898; Manila Viola, born 10 February 1899; Minnie, born 10 January 1901; Ella, born 20 December 1904.

On a trip to Richfield, he had us drive by the log cabin where he was born. Later on a trip we tried to find the cabin so we could take a picture, but we were unable to locate it. Perhaps it had been removed to make room for a newer home.

When Ed was about nine years old, he went from the family home in Richfield to Blue Mountain to obtain a milk cow for the family. He traveled a distance of about fifty miles one way.

In approximately 1898, the family left Richfield and moved to Spring Glen, Carbon County, Utah. While living in Spring Glen, Ed worked for Matt Warner, who is noted in Utah History as "the last of the good bad guys".

James Nielson, father of Ed, at one time owned much of Spring Glen, also a good share of land in Richfield. After the death of a favored child, he started gambling and drinking. He lost most of his belongings by gambling, leaving the family near poverty. James had injured a hand sometime in his life -- and always wore a glove on the bad hand. by trade he was a rock mason and a good one too - he worked on several public buildings in both Richfield and Spring Glen. He also helped with the building of the Manti Temple.

Ed had a way with horses. He had chased wild horses on Utah's desert. This is where the original "Old Nettie was acquired. In his younger days Ed drove freight wagons through Castle Valley, often the would race the teams from Price to Huntington to Castle Dale. He was not much different from his sons and their racing in cars. Driving freight wagons even is close to driving trucks, as does his youngest son Vern Dee.

On 31 July 1907, he was married to Sarah Evelyn Gibson. By this time his occupation was that of a coal miner. He worked on many rescue crews after mine explosions, until his health no longer permitted.

Ed and Sarah Evelyn were blessed with 10 children.

  • 1. Christina Marie, Born: 9 March 1908, married: Earl Christian Jensen
  • 2. Leo, Born: 15 April 1910, married: (1) Reo Cash, (2) Bernice Blackburn
  • 3. Rena, Born: 9 August 1912, died: 8 December 1922
  • 4. Edna, Born: 9 January 1915, married: George Hanson
  • 5. Evelyn, Born: 3 June 1917, married: Carl Empey, Jr.
  • 6. Georgia Nora, Born: 25 November 1919, married: Marvin Teeter
  • 7. Erma, Born: 22 January 1922, married: Harold Nelson
  • 8. Ted C., Born: 4 September 1915, married: Ellen Barney
  • 9. Glen B., Born: 27 November 1927, married: Alice Hanson
  • 10. Vern Dee, Born: 4 November 1930, married: Beverly Brasher

All of the children were born in mining towns. After the last child was born, it was decided that the family should have a farm to keep the three young boys from running around a mining town. Ed and Sarah cashed in a life insurance policy and purchased a farm near Price, Carbon County, Utah - where they lived out the rest of their lives.

Things I remember about my father in law. He was a choice man. He was a wonderful Grandfather. I remember watching him with his grandchildren, seeing how he enjoyed them and they enjoyed him. I regret that my children never knew him, except by the stories we have told them and the pictures we have. I remember he used to save a cigar for when he went for a ride with Dee and I (he usually smoked a pipe).

He rarely missed a news report on his radio, which was on a stand next to his favorite chair which was a platform rocker. After TV became popular in Carbon County, the family all got together and gave him a television one year for Christmas. He spent many hours watching it. He even got interested in some soap operas.

Pine nuts grow close to Price, so in the fall we would go gather some. He didn't have any teeth to crack them with as most people do, but he would sit and crack the tiny nuts with a special little pair of pliers, until he had enough in his hand to chew on for awhile.

On wash day it was a common sight to see him out wiping off the clothes lines so the clothes would not be soiled when clipped to the line. He did enjoy having his picture taken, especially with a movie camera. He had a special jig or dance he would perform.

He and the family farmed after moving to Price. They raised meat and vegetables that provided most of the families food. The boys usually had a hard time catching the horses, which were used to pull the farm equipment. But Ed could walk out to the corral and call or whistle and the horses would come to him. Even after he quit doing most of the farming, he still had a small garden spot, where he raised fresh vegetables.

In his last years, he was hospitalized several times because of his heart. He passed away 18 December 1957 in his favorite platform rocker in his home on the farm near Price, Utah.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Gene Halvorson


Life History of Edna Matson Burton

By Gina Myrberg (Granddaughter) - born July 7, 1916, died November 15, 1997

In 1896 Herman Junka and his family came to Ellis Island, N.Y., U.S.A. with other immigrating families. They had come from Kannus, Finland. Herman changed his last name to Matson and set out for Wyoming with other Finns to find work in the coal mines. Soon the coal miners heard about the boom in Carbon County, Utah and headed Southwest. Mr. Matson, who was in his twenties, ended up in Clear Creek, Utah, a common place for migrant Finns. That was where he met Annie Koistenine who had come to Clear Creek, Utah from Koumeniemi, Finland to be with her brothers when she was sixteen.

In their twenties, Herman and Annie were married in Clear Creek. They had three children there and then moved to Kenilworth, Utah where Edna was born on July 7, 1916. While she was still a baby her family moved to Astoria, Oregon where her youngest sister was born. When Edna was five years old her family moved back to Scofield, Utah. She moved several times while growing up because her father was a coal miner and was always being transfered. Throughout her childhood she lived in Astoria Oregon, Kenilworth, Scofield, Clear Creek, Mohrland, West Hiawatha, Helper, Spring Canyon, Standardville, and Price. (Grandma gave me this information. She told me she was born in Kenilworth, although her birth certificate says she was born in Clear Creek.)

The Finnish language was always being spoken around Edna when she was growing up. This was only natural with her parents both coming from Finland and many Finn immigrants living around her. The Finns were the first non-Mormon immigrants to enter the Carbon County coal mines, the Finns by 1903 accounted for more than 1/3 of the miners at Clear Creek and Winter Quarters.

There were many Finns around that helped the Matson's keep their culture alive and the Matson's contributed a great deal to keeping it alive for others. Finn socials were held often where everyone would get together to speak their language, eat their favorite foods, and of course dance.

Another tradition that the Matson's partook in was the sauna Grandma use to always tell me how she would get in the sauna with her family naked. It was tradition for families to do this together.

While Edna was in high school her family moved to Kenilworth, Utah for the second time. She would ride the school bus to Carbon High School in Price. When she was a senior in high school she met John Burton, who was a best friend to her older brother Eliel. John was six years older than Edna, but that made little difference to her.

When Edna was seventeen she graduated from high school. Her and her two best friends then decided to move to Salt Lake to look for work. They all found jobs doing housework for different families and caring for their children. Edna missed John but he visited her often. While visiting, they loved to go out dancing with their friends. Their favorite and the most popular place to go at the time was Saitair at the Great Salt Lake. The dance floor at Saltair was advertised as the largest in the world. On special occasions two bands would play, one at each end of the floor, one picking up when the other stopped playing so the dancing was continuous. Couples customarily dance the first and last dances with each other and changed partners in between. Those who forgot and danced cheek to cheek were asked to leave the dance floor. They danced everything from the maxixe, to the Charleston, to the polka.

They not only loved to dance at Saltair but in the daytime they enjoyed swimming, as did many others. The salt water allowed them to bob up and down in the water like corks. Perhaps that is why they enjoyed it so much - they could not drowned.

After a couple of years a job opened up in the Kenilworth store for a bookkeeper, so Edna went home and got the job. When she was 21 she married Mr. John Burton who was 27. For six years she worked at the Kenilworth store, but then quit to start a family. The first baby was a boy, born in 1942 and died when he was one month old. He had been sick since he was born. John and Edna moved to Salt Lake in 1943. Edna had been working for ZCMI for about a year when she had to quit her job because she became pregnant again. A baby boy was born in 1944. They named him Stephen. They moved back to Price and John got a job at Redd Motor Company and worked for them for many years while Edna stayed home with Stephen. In 1946 Frank was born. Five years later another was on the way, but turned it out to be "some more". Edna had twins, a boy and a girl that were named Scott and Sue.

Edna stayed home to raise her children, which she said, "is unheard of these days!" Edna had many adventurous times with her children. Living in the small town that Price was, it was not hard for young ones to get into trouble.

Edna helped her three sons earn some extra money by getting them up every morning for ten years to deliver newspapers. Her children were very involved in sports. Sue always took dance and gymnastics while the boys were involved mostly with baseball and scouts. Edna made sure they were always active.

John and Edna had many friends from different ethnic backgrounds. They spent numerous weekends dancing the polka (their favorite dance) and loved accordion music. The family spent many vacations in the desert of Moab and the mountains of Clear Creek.

When Edna was 50 she became employed. The youngest kids were 17 and she thought they were old enough to stay out of trouble. She got a job part time at the Price Court House where she worked nine years as Deputy Assessor. All the kids were out of the house and some married by this time so she began working full time as Deputy Treasurer.

One year after she started working full time John passed away at the age of 69, leaving Edna widowed at the age of 63. This brought her much sadness and it was decided at that time that she would never marry again or even consider dating. She would always tell me, "John was the only man for me".

As a widow, Edna enjoyed watching her children grow and make families of their own. She retired from the courthouse as Deputy Treasurer in 1990. She worked there for 24 1/2 years. She continued to live in Price, in a home that was built by John. She loved her weekly hair do's and sitting on her back porch. She would often visit her children and grandchildren in Salt Lake and San Jose, California.

Grandma visited Salt Lake for her 80th birthday. At this time, her children convinced her to stay in Salt Lake permanently. In October of 96' she moved into a cozy little home in Sugarhouse. One thing that always stood out in Edna that she had ever since she was young was her great sense of humor. Last spring grandma, my mom and I flew to San Jose to visit with Stephen and Sue. We were in the car driving to dinner and grandma didn't have her seat belt on. She was sitting in the front passenger seat and I was sitting in the back directly behind her. I was trying to put the seat belt on her from the back seat. It was taking me a while to get the seat belt into the buckle and grandma couldn't figure out what was taking so long. So I said "I can't get the seat belt buckled". Grandma looked at me out of the corner of her eye and surprisingly blurted out "well why don't you stick it up your buft!"

Another sunny day last spring my mother and I were driving in the car with grandma. She was sitting in the passenger seat once again. At the end of our street is the busy street of 21st south. Police always sit at the end of our street waiting for speeding cars. On this particular day, there were four very good looking motorcycle police officers parked and awaiting. They happened to be parked in front of a fire hydrant. We were sitting at the corner waiting to make a right hand turn when grandma rolled down the window, looked at the police officers and blurted out "you better move those motorcycles or you are going to get a ticket!" All of the officers looked at each other and cracked up laughing. My mom and I were laughing so hard we almost wet our pants. Grandma always said the darndest things!

In April of this year grandma's leg broke out with sores. The doctors did many tests trying to figure out the cause. By June, the sores on her leg caused her to lose circulation in her foot and she became somewhat disabled. This was extremely difficult for grandma. Especially considering the fact that she had never been in the hospital previous to this (except when she gave birth to her children.) Grandma didn't talk as much and became a lot less active after this experience. My mother Sue took care of grandma in our home from June until October. Steven, Frank, and Scott also took care of her in her home.

Grandma never really complained much, so no one ever really new how much pain she was in. About mid-October grandma moved to St. Jose Villa where she stayed for 3 weeks. The nurses were wonderful. Grandma had many tests and the doctor's diagnosed her with liver cancer. They said that with type of cancer the individual does not live longer than 3 to 6 months. Grandma was such a strong woman. She rarely ever complained and she had to have been in so much pain. She probably had the cancer for 5 to 6 months without us knowing. Throughout grandma's life she never was a complainer, especially about her health.

I believe that there is something after this life, although I don't have any clue what/where it is. I think that everything happens for a reason. Everything meshes together in an order that allows us to constantly grow. Whether we are happy, glad, sad, or mad, we are constantly learning. It is all a process. I know that we all learned something from grandma and her time spent here on earth. Although, what we learned is probably different for each one of us.

Grandma was the last of her siblings to be alive and grandpa died 18 years ago. She lived for her job at the courthouse, her children and her grandchildren. Everyone had their own lives and families. I know that she was lonely and constantly missed grandpa. I feel that she was ready to go and I strongly believe that wherever she is now, she is closer to grandpa than she has been in 18 years and happy as a clam!

The day that grandma passed away, I envisioned her and grandpa dancing the polka to those accordions. Grandma's smile was bigger than I've ever seen. The song they polkaed to was "in Heaven there is no beer that's why we drink it here." Grandma was drinking a Long Island iced tea..

Grandma didn't say I love you much, but she didn't have to. We all knew. Grandma and I had our own special way of saying I love you: "Mina Racastaan Sinuaa Iso ltii!" "I Love You Grandmal

This story was donated by Clark Hunt. If you are related to or have any other information about the family please contact him.



Bill Lines

Bill Lines served as a Deputy Sherriff in Columbia. The following is a few recollections of Carbon County citizens and what they remember about Bill Lines. Thank you for your donations.

When i think about him I remember Mom saying that he was born at one of the forts and there was speculation that his dark complexion was because he was the son of one of the "buffalo soldiers" stationed there. My earliest memory is of him helping us look for Laddie. I also remember his Irish setter "Cherry' carrying one of the guinea pigs out of the hot frame in our garden home with her. She didn't hurt it, just carried it down to Bill's house. I also remember our last visit with he and his wife. They moved to somewhere around Wellington after he retired. Anyway he told us about being pulled back from a cattle drive because he had a reputation as a pretty good bronc rider and they wanted him to participate in a rodeo in honor of a visit by a President of the U.S. My recollection is that it was Grover Cleveland , but I can't swear to that. Anyway the plan was for Bill to carry the flag out at the beginning of the rodeo while mounted on a bucking bronco. He said the horse caught him by surprise on the first jump and he ended up sitting on the ground on his butt still holding the flag. He swore there was a picture of him sitting there somewhere, but he couldn't find it."

Bill and my dad were great friends so we visited with them every once in a while. I will share one of my personal experiences with Bill. I remember the night that a group of us were sleeping out in the little park up by the post office. We decided to go get some peaches from Tally Evans' peach tree. I was up in the tree and all of a sudden a bright light came on shining right at me. I knew that Evans wasn't home. Bill said "Come on down from there. You better go on where you belong, your dad wouldn't like this much." He watched the kids in the town and believe me, he always knew where we were. Donated by Bruce & Melvin Sharp.



Member of Outlaw Posse Tells Story
of Walker-Cassidy Capture In 1898

by Pete Anderson, Price, Utah
The Sun Advocate - 9 Oct 1941 pg 12

From the court house records:

April 5, 1897: county commissioners offered a reward of $250 for the capture and conviction of Joe Walker.

July 20, 1897: Charles W. Allred appointed county sheriff to fill the vacancy of Gus Donant, resigned.

May 16, 1898: Bodies of Joe Walker and Butch Cassidy, alias Parker Giles, buried on east side of cemetery at Price, Utah. They were killed by a posse about 3 days before near the Book Cliffs north of Thompson.

July 15, 1898: $20.80 allowed to C.W. Allred, J.M. Whitmore, Pete Anderson, John Gentry, James Inglefield, J.W. Warf, J.A. Watson, Joe Bush, Perry Coleman, William McGuire, George C. Whitmore and Bud Whitmore (12 persons) amounting to $249.60 for the capture of Joe Walker, dead.

Owing to the many queries that have come to me in regards to the capture and killing of Joe Walker and Butch Cassidy, I have been induced to write a short account of that experience. As far as I know, I am the only man living that witnessed the scene.

In May, 1898, Sheriff Allred called on me to go with him after Joe Walker, who had been rustling Whitmores' cattle. W.M. McGuire had followed Walker to the box canyon on Price river below Woodside, not knowing just who he was following. Walker ambushed him, and a young Whitmore lad who was with McGuire, sent the boy back, then took Bill's cartridge belt and beat him over the head with it, after which he took the horse and saddle and ordered Bill back up the canyon.

Blindly, McGuire started out for Wood side, reaching there exhaused at ten a.m. the next day. in the meantime, Walker and his pal left the stolen cattle, back-tracked a few miles and took another trail to Range valley. Sheriff Allred had completed his posse about two p.m. that day for Woodside, where we met McGuire.

We went on to Box canyon, picked up the outlaw's trail and followed it to the Range Valley cabin, where we met some of the ranch hands and inquired about Walker, but got no satisfaction from them. After scouting, we picked up the trail again, headed north to Green River, and met James McPherson, a rancher. The sheriff asked him where Walker was. He said, "Across Green River." The sheriff said, "We'll take you back with us."

We traveled up the river across from McPherson's ranch, where he had left his boat. He ferried our camp over and we swam the horses across. After eating lunch at his place, we waited until five p.m., then took the trail up Florence Creek in the night, arriving on the summit at day break, when McPherson told Sheriff Allred to get his fighting men in front, that he was not going further. "They are right down there," he pointed in a northeast direction.

We didn't go far until I saw a horse and saddle. The sheriff called to Joe and told him to surrender. "We have come to take you dead or alive. You had better surrender."

Our first and only answer was a gunshot. The bullet struck the ground between mine and the sheriff's feet. We did not see anyone shooting, but saw the gunsmoke and began firing at that spot, stepping up closer with each, until we were within twenty five yards of their bed.

Walker had apparently rolled from his bed. He now raised up and ran down the mountain about 300 yards and was shot there. Cassidy, so called, was shot as he jumped up and began to run. tompson and Schultz, who were with them, put up their hands in surrender. We were lucky that they had left their Winchesters by a big rock, and when they had emptied their six shooters at us they had no protection.

We found a sort of table for their frying pan, bacon and groceries. The campfire was by the rock also. While shooting, we noticed the frying pan, their dutch oven, canned beans and coffee pot leaping into the ari. Later we found them perforated with bullet holes.

When the excitement had calmed, we tied the dead men on horses and started for Thompson Springs on the D. & R. G. W. R. R. Sheriff Allred, Whitmore, Joe Bush and McGuire took the train and the dead men to Price. The remaining posse took care of the prisoners and the band of horses.

No living person claimed the animals, except two thich belongsed to Whitemore. (probably s/b Whitmore) The live men said they all belonged to the dead men. We took Thompson and Shultz to Castle Dale, where they were tried, but freed upon lack of accusing evidence.



Edna Averett

PRICE - Edna Casaday Averett, 94, passed away Oct. 16, 2001 at Castleview Hospital in Price. Edna was born June 26, 1907 in Price to William E. and Mary Babcock Casaday. Married Elijah "Lige" Averett April 24, 1933 in Price. He passed away July 23, 1986. Member of the Price Seventh Day Adventist Church. She was a true Christian who will be dearly missed by her family and many wonderful friends. Survived by son, granddaughters, a special niece, great granddaughter, and several other great-grand children; brother, sisters. Preceded in death by: brother, Bill Casaday; sisters, Fern Morgan, Enid Hardy, Verda Casaday and Mildred Casaday. Funeral service was Monday, Oct. 22; at Mitchell Funeral Home. Interment, Price City Cemetery.



George W. Berkeley

TWO WIVES CLAIMING MONEY IS PUZZLE TO COURT

With two alleged wives of George W. Berkeley claiming compensation for his death at Standardville, on October 27, 1922, and with refusal of the industrial commission to grant hearings and rehearings, an intricate puzzle in administration of the workmen's compensation law was presented to the supreme court a few days ago. A writ of mandate was issued out of the supreme court citing the industrial commission to appear April 14th and to bring before the court records and files in the case for its review. When Berkeley alias Baklacic was killed in the mine of the Standard Coal he left surviving him at Standardville a wife, Ada, and a son, George William, who petitioned for compensation in December, 1922. This claim was subsequently allowed by the commission and the Standard Coal ordered to pay fixed sums for the support of dependents.

The company asked for rehearing, but was denied. It failed to appeal to the supreme court within the thirty days allowed by the statute and was directed by the commission on February 28th to begin payments. Nothing further was heard of the case until last week when Mike Ruby appeared in the supreme court on behalf of Milka Baklacia and Anna Baklacia living in Greece and secured the alternative mandate writ against the commission, claiming to be the widow and mother of the decident.

The petition charges the commission with refusing to hold a hearing on an application which was made to it a month before that of the wife left by Berkeley living in Utah, and with refusing to allow rehearings of the case to permit presentation of facts to show Milka and Anna to the wife and mother of George.



Sheriff S. Marion Bliss

Shootings End Lives of Sheriff, Two Ranchers
Officer's Testimony Indicates Bliss May not Have Been Killed by Slug Fired From Robb's Gun
Thursday, April 26, 1945

A coroner's jury, sitting in the court of City Judge S. J. Sweetring, adjourned for an indefinite period Thursday noon after hearing testimony of numerous witnesses concerning the death of Sheriff S. Marion Bliss by a bullet fired into his body near the vicinity of where a posse had Angus Robb, slayer of Verdell Pace, surrounded near Price.

Startling testimoney was given by Walter Westbrook, special agent for the Denver and Rio Grande Western railway, who claims to be a gunsmith and expert on fire arms, who state that in his opionion, the bullet taken from Bliss' body and which killed him, was not fired from the rifle of Angus Robb. He further testified that the fatal bullet was a copper alloy jacketed bullet of smaller calibre than those used by Robb, and that Robb's bullets were all different.

Mr. Westbrook stated that the bullet, in his opinion, was fired from an automatic pistol, probably of German make. However, he admitted that it may have been possible to fire such a shell in a rifle, but the rifling on the bullet indicated to him that it came from a gun of the same calibre. He stated, too that he saw three quick puffs of dust kicked up by slugs about the same time that Bliss was shot.

District Attorney Duane A. Frandsen will leave for Salt Lake City today to have the bullets and the gun of Robb's examined by ballistic experts, before proceeding with the investigation.

Verdell Pace, Price rancher, was killed early last Sunday morning by Angus Robb, and S. Marion Bliss, Carbon county sheriff, lost his life during the manhunt for Robb by a bullet presumably from the latter's gun late Monday afternoon, before the rampaging Robb was finally killed by the posse's fire.

The shooting took place northwest of Price. According to findings of a coroner's jury Tuesday, Robb, a Price farmer and rancher, shot Verdell Pace feloniously as he was herding cattle to summer grazing land several miles north of the Robb farm on one of the hills which surround the valley.

Sheriff Bliss was shot as he, with four other members of a posse, approached a dry canal in which Robb was concealed at the north end of the latter's farm two miles northwest of Price near the main highway Monday afternoon shortly after 4:00 o'clock.

Robb was finally killed by members of the officers' force about an hour later as he fought desperately against twenty or more deputies and state patrolmen. The coroner's jury found that Robb was killed not feloniously by officers bullets. Statements circulating that he was shot in the head by a deputy after he was dead, were declared not true by the testimony, according to S. J. Sweetring, city judge, who acted as coroner. The jury was composed of George Wallace, Erin Leonard and J. Allen Browne.

Testimony of Dr. J.C. Hubbard before the coroner's jury indicated that Pace may have been shot while he had his hands in the air, so he was off his horse. He was shot twice through the heart, two shots through his forearms and both ears were nicked.

Reports Tuesday that Robb had committed suicide were declared wrong, as a result of the findings, as Robb was shot several times and wounds in his chest and head could have been fatal and another in his arm would have a paralyzing effect to make it impossible to shoot himself.

The first victim of the crazed killer was Verdell Pace, who left home early Sunday morning to drive cattle to summer grazing.

Funeral Services Held for Sheriff S. Marion Bliss
Sun Advocate, Thursday, April 26, 1945

Funeral services were conducted today for S. Marion Bliss, Carbon county's most popular sheriff, who was killed Monday by gunfire during the man hunt for Angus Robb, slayer of Verdell Pace on the previous day.

A republican he has served 18 years as sheriff, being elected right through the period when the democratic landslides were the thing all over the country and especially so in Carbon county. He didn't just "skin through" but had substantial majorities in every one of the five times he ran for office.

Foremost of the sheriff's adventures was his successful attempt to prevent a jail break in 1931. He did it, but it cost him his right arm below the elbow when a shotgun charge struck him.

This handicap didn't stop him, for he shortly returned to his duties. With diligent practice he became as adept left handed with pistol and rifle as he ever was. He also had a reputation as one of the county's best fishermen.

The sheriff was born in Toqerville, Utah, Nov. 12, 1884, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arlie Bliss. He moved to Moab early in his life but returned to Price and worked in the coal mines of Hiawatha and Standardville.

He first was elected sheriff on Jan. 1, 1927. He was elected president of the Utah Peace Officers' Association in 1932. He was elected exalted ruler of Price Elks Lodge no. 1550 in 1940.

Coroner's Jury Declares Bliss Death As Accidental
Case is Declared Officially Closed

Sun Advocate, Thursday, May 10, 1945

A coroner's jury, which reconvened Monday afternoon in the city court of Judge S. J. Sweetring to hear additional evidence connected with the death of S. Marion Bliss, sheriff of Carbon county during the hunt for Angus Robb, killer of Verdell Pace, brought in a verdict that Sheriff Bliss met his death by a bullet fired from the gun or guns of a person or persons unknown, not feloniously.

It was definitely established at the inquest that the bullet which killed the sheriff was not fired by Angus Robb, when a ballistics expert coroborated the opinion of Walter Westbrook, special agent of the Denver and Rio Grande Western railway, that the bullet did not come from Robb's gun.

The expert, Sergeant A. H. Rogers, chief of the Salt Lake antivice squad and head of the crime laboratory there for fifteen years, stated that he made tests which indicated the slug was fired from another weapon than that of Robb. He was brought here by the request of District Attorney Duane A. Frandsen.

Testimony was heard from Jack Sullivan, state patrolman; Mr. Rogers, and Warren Peacock, deputy sheriff. It was brought out at the inquest that Sheriff Bliss, Dr. J. C. Hubbard, Joe Arnold and Jack Sullivan, state patrolment, and Thomas Hackleberry, a transcient trapper, were going through the willows approaching the position of Angus Robb, when several shots were fired after some members of the party thought they saw Robb, one of the shots probably killing Sheriff Bliss.

Sgt. Rogers further testified at the inquest that after an examination of the shells which were found near where the body of Verdell Pace was discovered that they were similar to others which had come from Robb's gun and that the latter's gun was the one which was used in the killing of Mr. Pace.

Following the verdict of the jury, which was composed of George B. Wallace, Erin Leonard and J. Allen Browne, the case was declared closed by Judge Sweetring who acted as official coroner. No further investigation is necessary because the death of Sheriff Bliss was found to be accidental and not felonious.

The inquest was the culmination of the shooting Sunday of last week, April 22, of Verdell Pace, Price rancher, about two miles north of the farm of Angus Robb and situated two miles northwest of Price near the main highway.

Evidence gathered by police officers indicated that Robb was involved in the shooting, and early Monday morning, State Patrolman Jack Sullivan approached the Robb farmhouse and attempted to persuade Robb to be questioned. The latter fired several shots at the patrolman and retreated into the willows, north of his house.

About 4:00 o'clock that afternoon, a party which Mr. Bliss was among, approached the hiding place of Robb and shortly afterwards the accidental shooting of the sheriff occurred.

Shortly after 5:00 o'clock, about an hour later, officers bullets killed Robb. The coroner's jury declared that Robb met his death by gunshot wounds from the officers not feloniously.

Joe Dudler is Named Sheriff by Commission
Sun Advocate, Thursday, May 10, 1945

Joseph William Dudler was named as the new sheriff of Carbon county last Thursday evening at a special meeting of the commissioners to fill the vacancy created by the accidental death of Sheriff S. Marion Bliss April 23.

He was sworn in Saturday morning by B. H. Young, county clerk, and will serve the balance of the unexpired term of the former sheriff, about a year and a half.

Sheriff Dudler states that he will retain Warren Peacock as his chief deputy, and declared that law enforcement would suffer in Carbon county without Mr. Peacock, who has had long experience over the past eighteen years, and has gained the confidence and respect of the people of this section.

Mr. Dudler has been a resident of Carbon county for the past twenty years, coming here to play baseball. He worked also at Kenilworth, later being named as a state highway patrolman for four years and has recently been employed as manager of a local auto court in Price.

Sheriff Dudler is well and favorably known in this county and meets with approval of the great majority of the citizens. He has a wife and two children.

He is the first democrat to take the office of sheriff in carbon for the past eighteen years, S. Marion Bliss having first been elected in 1926 and for four other elections. Considerable pressure was brought on the commissioners to name Warren Peacock or W. W. Hill, the former being a republican and the latter a democrat, by groups supporting them.



ELLA NIELSON BOOTHE
ELLA'S MEMORIES of WINTER QUARTERS

I was born December 20, 1904 in Winter Quarters, Utah to James Nielson who was born 18, October, 1860 in Laasby, Skanderborg, Denmark. My mother was Christine Smith born 22 March, 1863 at Fountain Green, Utah. My brothers and sisters were: Ida Marie Nielson, Niels Nielson, May Nielson, James Nielson, Christian Nielson, Joseph Nielson, Jennie Nielson, Caroline Nielson, James Nielson, Ethel Nielson, Martha Nielson, Decinious Nielson, Manila Nielson, and Minnie Nielson. I was blessed and baptized in Winter Quarters and attended school in Scofield, Utah.

I was the 15th child of the family. My mother died with the 16th child, and I was 18 months old at the time. I was raised by my father and my sisters helped. When I was a little girl, my father would put me in a sleigh and put a harness on the dog and I would ride all over town. In the summer he got a little red wagon for me and we went all over. There was a beautiful picture of me with light hair when I was young and I looked like Jalynn. When I was little, I had mumps, measles, and diphtheria. They always had a sign on the house, when anyone in the house had the measles. When I lived in the house in Winter Quarters, I sold the newspaper and became a news girl and sold the San Francisco Examiner. In mothers words, they charged me five cents and only gave me two cents. Then I sold the Grit and it was ten cents and they gave me four cents. I'd go on one side where the rocks were and the other side where the trees were. I'd sell all over town. I thought I was rich making all that money. I got tired of that and started tending children for a butcher and his wife. I got tired of that too.

In MIA, when I was young, we had dances in a big amusement hall. They had dances but the boys wouldn't dance. We had to dance with girls all the time. They had shows on Charley Chaplin, the silent movies. We would go there once a week and have to pay for it. When I was young, I played basketball and you should have seen my bloomers. They were black with elastic on the middle and elastic on the legs. We would go up where there were cattle and get mushrooms. My brother fished and gave us some. I went horse back riding up the hill with Winifred on Joe's horse. Oh, it was so much fun. My father went with us on picnics. He watched me skate. He would say, "Ella quit letting those girls fall on top of you." The first car I rode in was the old Model T Ford with Stanley Harvey. It made me sick as a dog. I have a picture of the school with Millicent when she was visiting us. I was dressed up with a crown on my head and a thing in my hand. I was the Statue of Liberty. Our outdoor toilet had a catalogue in it. We had dreams every time we went to the toilet probably about some of the things you couldn't get at the store. On the 24th of July we went up a big hill to Lee Marsden's. They had a bunch of lambs. The men built a great big platform and put brush on every side of it and they would give popcorn, ice cream and hamburgers free anytime we wanted. The Bishop was sponsoring it and he was the head of the mines. The Bishop's son married Lavern Parmley of Salt Lake. We had the best time. We ran races and made a lot of money, just like we did in Rupert. They played ball, and I like to play ball then. We had fun. When we got hungry again, we went back and had all the food we could eat. I would love to play horseshoe's. My brother, Niels said to me one day, "Ella you take off those overalls or I'll be mad at you and give you a licking". I went home and never liked him so much. I have a picture of me with his daughter, Julia and the big dog.

At Christmas time when I was 12 years old, it was snowing like the dickens in Winter Quarters, Utah. Tomorrow was Christmas and I wanted my Christmas tree. My dad had been to busy to get one. I put on my rubber boots, coat, and hat. I went down the hills, over the road, over the railroad tracks and walked in the water. I went way high in the hills. When I found my Christmas tree, I took my ax and cut it down. I let it roll down the hill. When I got to the water, I pulled it across the water, across the railroad track across the road and up the hill I went. When my father came home, he said, "Ella, your brothers and I could have got the tree". I said, "I don't care: tomorrow is Christmas". He said, "OK". He made a wooden stand and put it up in the room. I made popcorn, colored it pink and put cranberries around it. We put a bundle of tinsel on the tree. Its not like Darlene's. She has the most beautiful tinsel I have ever seen. On the tree, my father put handles all over the tree to put candles in. The candles were red, white, blue, green and orange. That tree was so pretty. He lit the candles and that tree was so gorgeous, much prettier than the trees are today. Lights all over the tree were blazing, blazing, blazing. They were so pretty. My father was so pleased with what I had done. I had made chains of different colors. I made little lanterns and put them all over the tree. I showed Marcie and Gayla how to make them. Underneath the tree were beautiful packages from my brothers. My father sent to Sears for a big bucket of caramels. On top of the bucket was a lid so we could use it. He sent for all kinds of candy: peanut-brittle, orange sticks and old fashioned chocolates. My, how we loved that candy. The next morning it was Christmas and I opened my packages. I got so many beautiful packages from my sisters and brothers. The most beautiful was the Elgin watch my father gave me. I loved it. I really did. I said to my father, I love books better than jewelry. Isn't that silly? I liked to read the Alger books. It was a wonderful Christmas. My brother Ed brought four boxes of caramels and one box of assorted candy. I loved my brothers, Ed and Joe so much better than the others. I was 15 when I started to date. My dad was a good sheepherder cook.

I went to the eighth grade and at the end of the eighth grade I graduated. They gave me something real nice for graduation because I was the head of the class and got all A's. I was valedictorian of the eighth grade. I sang at my graduation but I don't remember what it was I sang. I went to Scofield to school and I walked on the railroad and thought that was really fun. It was about a mile and we went past the hospital. I guess I'll have to tell you about the hospital. It was real tall and had a lot of patients in there and it divided Winter Quarters from Scofield. When I got a little better, the teacher said, "Ella, I'd like you to teach when the teacher can't teach". Another girl and I took turns. I forget her name but I remember she was quite fat but rather pretty. Once the schoolteacher I loved so well died and she was so sweet. The other girl and I had to teach more after this. One time I brought home $12.00 to my dad and he was so proud of me. My dad had the sheriff check on me as I was alone while he was at work as night watchman at the mine.

I had a sled my father gave me and it would go down the hill by the store and before I knew it, I had all the kids on top of me. We laughed all over and had so much fun in the winter. My brother, Joe, would take a sleigh to deliver groceries and I would sit on the running board of his sleigh. He had boys deliver for him and would stop at the store after and give them a big box of candy and me some also. We had a butcher shop run by Joe the Greek. If I wanted anything, he would give it to me for nothing. One day I took my friends up there and he gave us wieners and all kinds of lunch meat that we wanted. He also gave us tripe and I just loved it. You should try it sometime. Oh, he was a good old Greek. One day I went to a Greek wedding way up high above where the mines were and it took about three hours for them to get married and boy it almost makes you sick. They just yim, yum, yum all the time. Finally they took us off to eat and they had all kinds of food you could think of. Now, these Greeks were good eaters and they had so much food there that we ate and were filled to the top. It was fun and I sort of liked the darn old Greeks in Winter Quarters.

When I was still in grade school about the eighth, there were some teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Lisonby. He taught arithmetic and she taught social science. They had one room partitioned off and she taught on one side and he on the other. We had one class with him and then with her. One day he said, "Ella, will you come over to our house and bake a cake?" I made bread, cakes, pudding and everything to last a week. Then I'd go back to school on Monday. He would say again, "Ella, will you go down and make a pie?" It was that way all the time and I cooked and cooked. They moved to Salt Lake and I missed them so much. Mr. Lisonby died and also his little son. I read it in the paper, so, I wrote to her and told her how sorry I was. She wrote back and said there was nothing she could do, and said, "We love you, Ella. You did so much for us", and that is the last time I heard of her.

I wish I could go back to Winter Quarters of yesterdays. After the Harvey Girls went, I started going with two girls, Melva and Elva Hayman. Mr. Hayman was the head of the store and my brother, Joe worked for him. One day he invited me down for dinner and he sat at the head of the table and he had all the food there by him, and his wife sat at the other end. The girls and I sat at the sides. They had napkins and everything: knives, forks and spoons. He said, "Ella, what will you have"? And I said, "Anything you have". He sliced off some meat and served some potatoes and we ate that. He served us some vegetables and we ate that. He said we have the best dessert of ice cream and cake. It was nice to eat at their home because they were so sophisticated. I really liked him and Melva and Elva. One day Melva took me in the top of their house where they had toys for Christmas, and we would look and enjoy their toys where the mother had them all fixed. We were enjoying their Christmas toys when the other sister came home. She opened the door and came up to the attic and saw all the toys. She went and told her mother who was at the store as a secretary to her husband. The mother came there and scolded her but never scolded me. We had a lot of fun going up into the hills where the raspberries were and the lilies. We ate the raspberries.

When I was very young I loved to sing. When I was at church, there was a Mrs. Anderson that discovered that I had a good voice. She asked me to come to her house and she would play the piano and help me learn to sing better. My father was a good singer and he sang for us each night. I wanted to learn to be a good singer, so, I did go to Mrs. Anderson's once a week once a week to learn how to sing. When I went there she would play the piano and help me. I kept on doing this every week of the year until she had me singing pretty good. She would go different places and get places for me to sing. I would sing in public schools, in high school, in different programs the would have in churches and the church. She was very good to me. She taught me many songs. As I grew older, and the years slipped by, she kept teaching me until I could sing pretty good. All my life I have been a soprano solo singer and always loved music. My father was a baritone singer.

Winter Quarters was like Yellowstone Park. In the canyon, where the mines were, on one side of the hill, there were beautiful shrubs, pines, lilies Indian flowers, violets and strawberries. The strawberries were small but they were good. There was a stream of water and a railroad track. We lived on the back side of the mountain. Our home had only three rooms and behind there was a cave. My father owned this home. In one room there was an organ. I think my mother played it. Caroline, my sister, took care of the house. She was bright and taught me how to cook. She could make the best apple pie, bread, cakes, meat and vegetables. She swept the floor so shining white with lye water. We had no carpet. She married John Robertson, a real nice man. He came to work in the mines. They moved away to Spanish Fork, Utah. She braided my hair so tight that it made me cry. She was good otherwise. She wouldn't let my friends come into the house to play. We had to play outside the door. Aunt Martha was a little jealous over me. Father said Martha saved more money for her father than any of the other girls. Caroline would go and charge all kinds of clothing, but Martha wouldn't ask for things. We both wanted cream one day, so, Martha chased me around the heater and I fell on the stove and burned my arm. I cried under the table until my father came home because she wouldn't help me. One day she chased me up the hill with a butcher knife in her hand, but I flew so fast she couldn't get me. I beat it far away and when I got home she had calmed down a bit. I had done something she didn't like. My father made Martha quit school to take care of me. She cried and cried as she didn't want to stop.

After the 10th grade, school stopped at Scofield, so we went to price. We got on a train, Kate Gipson (Gibson), another girl that lived by the store and I. She was my age and so sweet. So, we went one the railroad train. We had lots of fun talking and jabbering. When we got to Price, there was Millicent and she was smiling. She had moved to Price and I had missed her so. She met all of us and she seemed to be the head of the group. She was teaching there and she took us to the dormitories where we would be staying and we got everything free. There was my Winifred and it was so good and I was so happy to see her. Kate Gipson was so jealous because she wanted me by myself. I went up to Winifred and I talked to her and I saw her a lot while I was there. I got some of the best pine nuts that you ever tasted and ate them a lot. In the dorms, we could eat in the kitchen; breakfast, dinner and supper free and nothing to pay for. I met a boy waiting tables. I forgot his name, but I thought he might be the boy for me and I wasn't very old either. He would write me letters and he wrote me about three letters and it faded away. I hated to leave Millicent and Winifred but they lived there now. On the way back we had the most fun eating pine nuts that you'd ever imagine. We jabbered away and jabbered away. When the train came to that big store, we had to get off. We had lots of pine nuts left to take with us. Oh! I do love pine nuts and I wish I had some now. We got off at the bottom of the hill and we had to walk up steps to the big Wasatch Store. Oh! I loved that store. On one side they had the groceries and on the other they had the linens and material to buy. The secretaries were up above and one of them was Mary Parmley, the bishop's daughter. She was the best girl I ever saw, and one day her mother died. She was rather tall but lovely and I went over to the house to see her. It about broke my heart as I sat looking at her. She had been so good to me. The Bishop was quite short and fat with a mustache and almost bald, but he was a good Bishop and missed his wife. They moved away to Salt Lake and I think the Parmley in the Relief Society is a relative of his.

I loved to ice skate and ski. I had a friend named Tarza. I loved her so. She was beautiful. We made hats. Tarza lived across from Aunt May. Between their houses was a well and in the well was buckets. They hung down the buckets and they put milk, buttermilk and things they wanted to keep nice and cool. If you wanted a drink of water, you would did it from the well. Aunt Jen taught me to cook, but Aunt Caroline was a good cook too, and so was Aunt Martha. Aunt Jen taught me how to make cakes from scratch. We made pies out of lard and they made the best pies. Darlene once had a pig and she had a lot of lard. I wonder if she still has it, probably not. Its been a long time. I went to the 11th grade of school.

My father run a farm for his younger brother, Chris (Nelson). Then his wife decided to let her family run it. It made them sad to leave the farm. I had an Uncle Chris (Christian Nelson, Roadmaster for the D&RG Railroad). You should hear about him. He is a famous guy in my life. He was head of the trains. His office was up high in the store. When he would come over he would put me in his arms and love me and give me a book or something. I remember standing on the hill when I had the mumps, waving at the men on the track. When Uncle Chris came they would throw out lumps of coal for us and we would go get it. We had a coal shed full of coal and my father paid $5.00 a ton. There was once a big lump of coal that our Grandfather Nielson and others had brought out of the mine. His name was on it with other names and it was in the Utah State Capitol. Wayne took me there and we asked where it was. They said it disappeared. Maybe someone needed some coal. Well time went on and we decided to move again. I guess I didn't tell you about that. We lived up in a gulch in another house and that was when I was living in a boarding house working. I met a man at this time and he was so good to me. Then I met a man that taught me first aid and I took it from him. One day we went down by the water, where they had frogs in the water. We went on a raft. I was on the raft and Beatrice wanted to get on the raft where I was . She fell on to the raft where I was and we all fell into the frog pond. We were soaked to death and Beatrice was the cause of it.

The night before I told my father that Leslie Boothe was coming to visit me from Burley, Idaho. My Dad said, "If he comes here, I'll kick him out. He doesn't need to come around my daughter." My Father was home and I wondered what he would say when he saw Leslie Boothe. Leslie stood waiting to be introduced to my father. I said, "Papa here is Leslie Boothe. The man I said was coming to visit me." He was very nice to him and didn't try to kick him out. Leslie wanted to get married then, but I wasn't wanting to get married so he went back to the mines. Later, I decided I really did love Leslie Boothe and we got married. My father didn't know about it until I wrote and told him. My sisters stood and witnessed the marriage. We lived right across the street from the Judge, the man who married us. Les paid ten dollars for a wedding ring, and it wasn't the one I wanted. I didn't dare tell him. If I had any sense I would of married him when he had lots of money, and I would have had the diamond, ruby ring. The next morning we were able to go ahead to Winter Quarters. When we saw my father, he cried and cried because I had gotten married.

My father died 11 October, 1925: his name was James Nielson. I called the mine and had Les come home and I cried and cried. I could hardly stand it. Leslie and I took my father back on the train with Melba. We went to Richfield, an ambulance was waiting to take my father to the mortuary. We stayed at Aunt Hanna's house (Anna Johanna Nielsen Brown). Our hospital was operated like this. My father only paid a dollar a month and we got all the medicine and doctor free.

This is a part of a longer story told in Idaho where six children were born to them. The children's names were: Melba Ella, Darlene, Leslie James, Wayne Ronald, Beverly Carole and Maxine Olive.

Leslie Boothe died 20 May, 1968 of a heart attack on the Twin Falls street while taking a walk. Ella Nielson Booth passed away 7 February, 1981 in a Convalescent Center in Ogden, Utah, They had a service for her in Ogden and in Twin Falls. Buried in Twin Falls.

This story was donated byGene Halvorson if you are interested in more information about this family please contact him.



Ena Gudmundson Carrick

By Shirley Ann Marchbanks Harris

Written in 1957 by Ena Gudmundson Carrick as she told it to Shirley Ann Marchbanks Harris, a granddaughter. My age at writing his story is 82 ½ years and I am enjoying good health and a sound mind.

I was born on the 29th day of December 1874 on a little island just off the coast of Iceland called Vestmannaeyja, Iceland. My father was a ship’s pilot. He worked on the coast going out to the ships and checking whether they had any disease aboard before he would permit the ships to come into the dock. In order to do this work, he learned seven different languages in order that he could converse with the ships from the different countries. Sometimes when the weather was too bad to bring the ships in he would stay out for two or three days.

I was born in a two-story house which had two large rooms downstairs and a pantry and three bedrooms on the second floor. My mother always had good things in the pantry and I well remember this particular room.

My sister Becky and I used to bring fish from the docks on a flat board which we carried. We used to do this to help out the family. Mother and Father would salt them down and keep them over the winter to cure. They would take them out and scrub them and lay them out to dry. When this process was finished they would take them to the market and sell them. My father took care of these fish along with his job on the ship docks.

At this time, my sister, Lula, Hannah, and Tilda, who were older than I, worked away from doing housework in other people’s homes. My brother, Simund, who was the oldest in the family, lived at home as well as Becky, myself and two smaller sisters Nona and Mary. While my brother was in Iceland, he used to go out on boats and bring in fish. My mother at this time kept house for this large family.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my folks send me to a private school where I learned to read and write in the Iceland language. The man who taught me was cripple and when I used to write with my left hand he would beat me to make me use my right hand. I studied under this man for about a year.

The Latter-Day Saints Missionaries came to our house when I was about 10 or 11 years old. About a year after the missionaries came my Mother and Father were baptized members of the church. It was soon after this that they decided to come to America.

The trip to America took a lot of thought and effort on the part of the family to get enough money together to come. In order to raise part of this money, they sold their home which also had a nice garden spot and was one of the of the nicest places around. My father and mother, my only brother, and my three youngest sister were the first to make the trip. They came in approximately the year 1886 in the Spring.

At this time, myself and my three older sisters were left behind to do the housework in various peoples homes to earn our board and keep. The people who I lived with had a big store to take care of. They had a family of five boys and one girl. They employed three older women to help with their work. My particular job was to run errands. They were very good to me while I lived with them. At this time I was able to visit with my older sisters.

About a year after my father came to America, he send money for me to come to America. At that time there was a family by the name of Johnson who were going to this country and I was allowed to come along with them, they would look after me some, but I was more or less on my own. (This family later had a boy who was born in Spanish Fork by the name of Mark Johnson, and another son Will Johnson who worked in the Courthouse in Provo.)

The first day out on the Ocean, I was overcome by a dreadful case of seasickness. I had to look out for myself pretty much. It took our ship a week to come to Liverpool, England. We stayed at Liverpool for about a day and one half and then were able to get another ship which took 15 ½ days to get to New York, America. We then took a train which brought us to Salt Lake City, Utah. Then we took a train on to Spanish Fork where the Johnson’s took me to see my folks. A year later my three older sisters came. When we all were here we were baptized members of the Church in the Spanish Fork River.

At this time I stayed with my family for a week, but due to the expense I went to work for my board and keep with a family who promised to send me to school. I got very little school however, as this family was always finding reasons for keeping me home to do various tasks and take care of their home. I stayed with these people about a year and then went to work for a family by the name of Jones who had 14 in the family including me. While I was working there, Mr. Jones was a farmer and owned one of the largest farms in the town. Mrs. Jones was a very particular women in regards to her housekeeping and during the year and a half that I worked there I worked very hard. The floors were just wood and we had to keep them scrubbed snowwhite. We used to wash in the mornings from about 9 in the morning until about 10 o’clock at night, scrubbing the clothes on the board and cleaning them so they would look white on the line. With this big family we used to have to scour the tableware with brick every morning to be able to set a good table. Her husband, however, did all the mixing of the bread. For this hard work, I used to get $1.50 a week and out of this I had to buy clothing. The money I was paid with was called script and I could only spend it at certain stores.

One day while I was working here, I was sweeping the yard which had no grass but I raised a little dust and she got after me. At this time I was so fed up with her constantly being after me to do everything just so that I threw the broom down and said I was quitting.

After quitting my job at Mrs. Jones, I went to work in the shoe shop where I worked with anther girl, putting buttons on the shoes and making eyelet’s and sewed the whole top part of the shoe. We did both mens and womens shoes, but the men working there put the soles on the shoes. At this place I got Saturdays off and was paid $2 per week. At this time Mrs. Jones sent for me to come and bathe the children on Saturdays and black her stove, for this she used to pay me a dollar for the day, she was so glad to have me come back to do her stove for her.

I worked in the shoe shop for about two years and at this time I was able to attend Mutual and go out for an evening and stayed at my mother’s home. I then went to Scofield where I worked in a Boarding house, but did not stay there very long as the work was very hard. So I went back to Springville and went to work for a lady by the name of Mrs. Deal, worked for her about six months. I then went to Price, Utah on the train and from Price we went by Stagecoach to Nine-Mile, where I worked for a man by the name of Ed Lee who was an Uncle to J. Bracken Lee. He would tease me and give me a bad time. We worked very hard cooking for the officers who came in from Fort Duschene. There were also Negros who we had to cook for and many people from all over who traveled though Nine-Mile until I was about 20 years old and then I went back to Scofield, Utah and worked again in a boarding house. It was at this time I met Jack Carrick, the man I was to marry.

He had decided he was going to marry me before he had even met me. My sister Becky was working at Winter Quarters and had showed my picture to Jack and he told her he was going to marry me. It was just after I met him that we started to go together and about six months later we got married. We were married at Winter Quarters, Utah by Bishop Thomas J. Parmley (Jack’s sister’s husband). He also blessed all of our children except Hannah. At this time Jack was working in the mine and making $1.75 for a ten-hour day. We rented a place for about six months after we were married and paid $5.00 a month rent.

Then one of the miners, who had a nice home, he stole some explosives and was fired from the mine. He was pressed to sell the house where he lived which I had wanted to buy, so I went to a boarder of one of my sister’s who was also a good friend and asked to borrow money to buy the house. They wanted $130.00 for the house and he let me have the money and after two months we were able to pay him back what we had borrowed and the house was ours. The ground was not ours, however, as it was owned by the mining company. This house was a three room home, with enough lumber to build an other room. It was in this home that my children Isabell, Little Johnny and Helen were born. When Helen was two years old the mining company wanted the ground back so they gave us enough lumber to build on more of their ground. We had enough lumber to build a 4 room house with a pantry. Little Johnny was born in the second home, he died when he was four months old.

In the year 1900, There was a terrible explosion at the mine in Winter Quarters. There were 200 men killed in this explosion. At this time Jack was working night shift at the mine and the explosion occurred at 10 o’clock in the morning, which was fortunate for us. There both fathers and sons killed in this explosion. Some of the boys were as young as 15 years of age.

In about the year 1903, we sold our home and all our furnishings and went to Canada. At this time my sister None and her husband Leo Harmer were already in Canada homesteading. We left Winter Quarters and traveled to Salt Lake City, where we stayed with or the home of Williams. Helen, at this time was very sick and the doctor had given her no hope to live. At this time Mr. Robert Williams administered to Helen and blessed her with health and strength that she would get well and someday go through the Salt Lake Temple. At this time she is my only child to be married in the Salt Lake Temple.

When the quarantine was lifted in July, we continued on our way and went to Raymond, Alberta, Canada and stayed at this place for a year where we farmed with Leo and None. The following year we went to Taber, Alberta where we took up a homestead. At this time we had a cow and a team of horses and took care of 150 acres. It was while we were in Taber that Hannah was born. About three weeks before she was to be born in March, I went by wagon to stay at my sister Lula’s in Raymond where Hannah was born. When she was about two weeks old I went back again by wagon to Taber. I took my three other children with me at this time.

When they were plowing and clearing the land to plow, they had burned some brush to clear the field but the fire jumped the furrows and started a prairie fire, which took about a day and a half to put this fire out with many men working all night to stop it. It soon burned itself out after it reached the river.

Jack was a good surveyor and at this time he surveyed a coal mine for a mining company which turned out to be one of the biggest coal mines in Taber. They struck a vein of coal four feet wide. We worked hard on the farm at this time getting very little money for our efforts.

We stayed in Taber for about four years and at this time decided to return to Winter Quarters and we bought us a nice home here on the company ground. While we were in Winter Quarters, my children Florence, little Joe and Bill were was born. Little Joe lived to be a year and a half and died of what was known as inflammati on of the bowels. It was while we lived here that I lived neighbors to Mrs. Tally Evans, who was a very good neighbor to me. And we had many good times together with our children. We lived in Winter Quarters for about five years and we then moved to Mapleton, Utah where we bought another home and ground and lived for many years, even after Jack passed away December 25, 1941. We moved to Mapleton mainly because Jack did not want to raise our children in a mining camp. So our children were mostly raised in Mapleton where they all married. Jack stayed in Winter Quarters and worked until the mines were closed down. He boarded at Winter Quarters and came home on weekends when he could.

At this time work was quite scarce as the depression was on so he did odd jobs when he could. At this time I started to go out into peoples’ homes and take care of women who were confined after childbirth. Isabel, Helen, Tom, Hannah, Florence and Bill were all married at this time. I went into a good many homes doing this work and there was plenty of work of this kind. I also went into the homes of all my children and cared for their children when they were born. I helped bring about 225 children into the world during these few years.

About this time my older boy Tom disappeared from home which made us all feel very bad. We never heard from him from that time nor were we able to find out what happened to him. It was on Christmas Day, December 1941, that my husband Jack passed away. It was very sudden as he had never been right down from any illness, but he had not felt too good for sometime. This was a great loss to me. Being in good health myself I continued to go out on nursing cases until I reached the age of 65. It was about this time I took out my citizenship papers and became a naturalized citizen of the United States having been a Canadian citizen. I continued to lived in my home and do my housework until the year 1952 or 53 when I took an apartment in Springville. My home at this time had no plumbing on the inside and was heated by coal heat which made it a job in the winter months to keep pipes from freezing and to keep the home comfortable. This was my main reason for taking an apartment. The past few years I have lived alone visiting my children at times. I enjoy very much T.V.

Grandma Carrick continued to live in Springville until she decided she needed to be with someone. She went to a Rest Valley View at 317 South 400 East. Here due to a fall she began and did not enjoy very good health from then until her death. Was preceded in death by her youngest son just the year before and had 27 grandchildren and 66 great grandchildren and at least 5 great great grandchildren. This was retype by Kip Peterson a great great grandson to be put on the web pages. If anyone as any facts and dates, I would be very happy to add the info and if anyone has account of Jack Carrick feel free to send it to me, so I can add his stories. I was very proud to retype this stories. We surely had one wonderful Grandmother. My Mother was Isabell Carrick Nielson daughter her name was Laverne Nielson Peterson.

This story was donated by Kip Peterson.



James Jimmy Nielson

Jim Nielson was born at Richfield, Utah on April 22, 1892. Another of Stena and James Nielson’s sons was named James when he was born on February 24, 1885, but he died when he was four years old. The James Nielson of this sketch had made it to age eight and maybe finished two years of school when the family left Richfield for their two-year residence in Spring Glen in the coal country. It seems likely that Jim was allowed to continue in school at Spring Glen, although some of the Nielson boy had to quit school early to help support the family. He was ten years old when, in 1902, the Nielsons left Richfield a second time and moved to Winter Quarters. Jim worked in the coalmines, but I have no information about how early he started. It is known that young boys were in the mines at Winter Quarters helping their fathers with the actual mining, or doing odd jobs. As Jim grew up, at some point he joined his brothers Ed and Joe in their recreational activity which is often mentioned in family stories, visiting the saloons of the mining town. These three brothers learned to like fighting and would look for chances to get in fights in the saloons. When Jim was 20 years old, he married 17-year-old Isabelle Carrick.

Isabelle Carrick was born on October 27, 1895, at Winter Quarters, Utah. Her paternal grandparents, Jacob Carrick and Mary Ann Scott, were born in England in 1818 and 1827, and they both died there. Three of the seven children, Mary Ann, Jacob, and James, immigrated to Utah separately. The first one to immigrate was Mary Ann Carrick who left Liverpool on the Guion Line’s steamship Arizona on November 1, 1884, and arrived in New York on November 11, 1884, with 163 Mormon converts and returning missionaries. Mary Ann Carrick was married at Logan, Utah on March 25, 1885, to Thomas Jennison Parmley, an English coal miner. Thomas J Parmley was born in Durham, England in 1855, and immigrated to the United States as a single man on the Guion Line’s steamship Wyoming leaving Liverpool on May 12, 1881, and arriving at New York on June 1, 1881. He became superintendent of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company mines at Winter Quarters in 1888, about ten years after the mines were opened up and taught English coal mining methods to the Utah miners. He also became Bishop of the L.D.S. Church ward at Winter Quarters, and was both bishop and mine superintendent for 32 years, until about 1920. Mary Ann Carrick Parmley died on July 13, 1919, and Ella Nielson remembered the day she died and that afterward she went to visit Mary Ann’s daughter, Mary Parmley.

The second one of the Carrick family to immigrate was Jacob, Isabelle Carrick uncle, who came on the Wisconsin in 1888, leaving Liverpool October 20, and arriving New York October 30, 1888, with 125 Mormon convert and missionaries. Isabelle Carrick’s father, John James Carrick, who was born March 4, 1869, and was a plumber, sailed from Liverpool on the Guion steamship Wisconsin on October 5, 1889, arrived in New York on October 17, 1889. John, who was 22 years old shared the voyage and the rail trip to Utah with 142 Mormon converts and missionaries. His destination, as noted on the passenger list of the Wisconsin, was Pleasant Valley where he was to be involved with coal mining at Winter Quarters, John James was married in Winter Quarters in 1895 to Isabelle’s mother, Ingveldur Gudmundson.

Isabelle Carrick’s maternal grandparents, Gudmund and Johanna Gudmuondson, were born in Iceland in 1842 and 1841. All of their eleven children were born in Iceland and several of them immigrated to Utah about 1889 and settled in the Spanish Fork area. Their sixth child, daughter Ingveldur, was born in Iceland in 1874, and was married to John James Carrick on April 26, 1895, at Winter Quarters. John James and Ingveldur had ten children at Winter Quarters during the period 1895, when Isabelle was born, to 1916. John James Carrick may have been a coal miner, but since his sister Mary Ann was married to the mine superintendent, he may have had a job that was better than working in the mines.

Jim Nielson and Isabelle Carrick had ample opportunity to get acquainted, through church and other activities, and they were married on September 28, 1912 at Price, the county seat of Carbon County. They no doubt went to Price on the train - otherwise they would have had a 40 - mile trip by buggy on a dirt road. There was still a lot of family interaction at Winter Quarters at that time. Both Ed and Joe Nielson were married and raising families, and for a number of years the three families would have periodic get-togethers at one of their houses in turn. It has been written that these visits often ended up with a fight among the three brothers, and damage was done to the house and fixtures. Niels and his family was still there, and their father James was still at Winter Quarters living with Ella and Martha. Caroline and her husband were also still there, but May and Jennie was gone. Niels left for good in 1916.

Jim and Isabelle’s first child was born in Winter Quarters on November 8, 1913. They were still in Carbon County, possibly at Winter Quarters, when two children died as infants in November 1914, and December 1918. They may been at Eureka for a few years, where Jim would have been a silver miner, before moving to West Hiawatha, another coal mining town a few miles southwest of Price. LaVerne was born in 1921 in West Hiawatha, and they were also there for the birth of Lee Earl in 1924 and Betty Lou in 1928. They were at nearby Mohrland when Arthur was born in 1930, Norma Jean was born in 1932, and Thomas Hugh was born in 1936. Jim no doubt went to West Hiawatha and Morhrland to mine coal.

In 1945 when his sister Jennie died, her obituary stated that Jim was living in Hiawatha, and he may have lived and worked there until he retired from mining or other work. Isabelle died in Salt Lake City on December 16, 1967, at the age of 72. Jim died in Salt Lake City on January 30, 1971, at the age of 79.

The Family of James Nielson and Isabelle Carrick

James Niels Nielson-Born Nov 8, 1913 at Winter Quarters; married Rena K. Brandel, Jun 18, 1938
Baby Girl Nielson-Born Nov 12, 1914 at Pleasant Valley; Died Dec 6, 1914
Baby Boy Nielson-Born Dec 31, 1918 at Pleasant Valley; Died Dec 31, 1918
LaVerne Nielson-Born May 1, 1921 at West Hiawatha; married Feno Peterson on Feb 8, 1941
Lee Earl Nielson-Born March 20, 1924 at West Hiawatha; married June Wallace on June 25, 1946
Betty Lou Nielson-Born June 28, 1928 at West Hiawatha; married Clyde R. Buckley Aug 10, 1943
Arthur Mack Nielson-Born Sep 30, 1930 at Mohrland; married Frances E. Egan, May 14, 1953
Norma Jean Nielson-Born Oct 8, 1932 at Mohrland; married Melvin J. Bacon Aug 2, 1957
Thomas Hugh Nielson-Born Nov 26, 1936 at Mohrland; married Clone E. Walters, Sept 3, 1961

This story was donated by Kip Peterson.



Sanderson Demar (Dock) Gentry &
Eliza Jane Haney & family

My families ties to the Carbon County area of Utah State centers around my Great Grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Dickens Gentry, born 29 August 1855 in Springville, Utah, and, her daughter Martha Eveline Sturgis (my Grandmother), born 10 October 1883 in Scofield, Utah.

Sarah Gentry's Father, Sanderson Demar (Dock) Gentry began life about 1827 in Adair County, Kentucky, and departed life in Castle Gate, Carbon County, Utah, in 1897. It is most probably the body of Sanderson Gentry that lies buried beneath a headstone marked "Dox", in the Price City Cemetery, Carbon County, Lot 72, Section A, a lot purchased by Wesley Gentry. Family/Relatives buried on this lot: Henry Christopher Gentry - born 27 Jan 1894 - died 17 Dec 1935; Joseph J. Gentry; Dox Sanderson Gentry; Gene & Jeani Bigelow, twins of Clifford E. & Melvina Lance Bigelow 24 Nov 1940; Robert Elijah Bigelow - born 23 May 1907 - died 10 Feb 1908; Louise Tuttlule Gentry - born 15 Oct 1864 - died 14 Jan 1898; Robert Wesley Gentry - born 10 Sep 1863 - died 17 Feb 1939; May Gentry 1887 - 1962 (shares headstone with A. Elijah Bigelow 1879 - 1947).

Sanderson Gentry's Father, Robert Gentry, was born 3 April 1784, in Fredericksville, Louisa, Virginia to a line of Gentry families going back to the arrival of Nicholas Gentry (my sixth Great Grandfather), a British soldier (Redcoat), arriving in America, 2/11/1677, aboard either the " Rose " or the " Dartmouth." Nicholas and his brother Samuel, being two of 1,130 men sent by the king to quell the " Bacon Rebellion." The Gentry families and their descendents prospered and spread out all across America, and were involved in all of America's history. Gentry' kin can be found on either side of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars – the so-called "Mormon War" in 1838 was no different.

Robert Gentry married Julia Simpson, a native of Washington Co., Georgia, 3 March 1806, in Adair Co., Kentucky. Robert Gentry and Julia Simpson moved their family to Carroll County, Missouri about 1830, just in time for the family to be involved with Joseph Smith and his followers as the Mormon Church was being formed. As far as I have been able to determine, at least three of Sanderson Gentry's sisters: Jane Gentry, Married Riley Stewart; Sara Dickens Gentry, Married William Jackson Stewart; and, Piney Gentry, Married Samuel Mears (or Marrs), were among early members of the Mormon Church. Sanderson's brother, Sampson Gentry, was badly wounded at Dewitt, Carroll County, while a group of citizens he was with were attempting to assist a Capt. Ewing and party, in capturing the Mormon post located there. Sampson Gentry and the other citizens arrived at the Mormon post before Capt. Ewing's party got there, and were mistaken for Mormons by the Capt. Ewing's men and fired on. The members of this Gentry family that joined the Mormon Church moved first to Illinois, then on to Utah as early Mormon Pioneers.

I have found no evidence that Sanderson Demar Gentry ever became a member of the Mormon Church; however, Sanderson, his wife, and their first child arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, in time to be included in the 1850 Census. Sanderson Gentry married a niece, Eliza Jane Haney, born 1831 in Carroll County Missouri, the daughter of William Haney and Permelia Gentry (Sanderson's sister). The first child of this marriage, Christopher Columbus Gentry, was born in Carroll County Missouri in 1849. A second child, William H. Gentry, was born 1852 in Springville, Utah; and, as mentioned above, my Great Grandmother, Sarah Gentry in 1855. The family moved during the late 1850s, accompanying Mormon Settlers to San Bernadino County, California.

When I was a young boy, my family lived in Ruth, Nevada. My parents often visited friends in a small town near Ely, Nevada called Lund – a stopping place for Mormon Settlers on the move. Discovering now, that my Great Grandfather and family may have been among those settlers, has amazed me. What hardy folks to have walked from Missouri to Salt Lake City; then, a few years later walk from Salt Lake City to San Bernadino.

Sanderson Gentry and family remained in San Bernadino until 1870. Four more children were born to this family in San Bernadino: Sanderson Green Gentry, born 1858 (died before age 8); Robert Wesley Gentry, born 8 September 1860, Permelia Jane Gentry, born 2 June 1863; and Mary S. Gentry, born 1 Sep 1867.

hen the family members returned to Utah, they first settled around Springville, Utah County. Sanderson and Eliza had two more children: Nancy Luella Gentry, born 1871; and, Francis Marion Gentry, born 1874. Son William Gentry married a Springville girl, Sarah D. Elizabeth Starr in 1870; and, their child John Wesley Gentry was born 7 February 1871 in Springville. Christopher Columbus Gentry Married Melina Evelyn Mecham about 1873; and, their child Christopher James Gentry was born 6 November 1874 in Payson, Utah County.

By 1880, the family had moved to Diamond, Juab County. Sanderson and son Christopher were farming, and Son William was raising Stock. Son Robert Wesley married Louise Jane Tuttle April 1881 in Tintic, Juab County. Daughter Sarah Elizabeth Dickens Gentry, also living in Diamond, married to a miner, Alfred Henry Sturgis, born 28 Jan 1845 in Morgan County, Illinois (son of James Sturgis and Louisa Jane Reed).

William Perry SturgisThe first child of Alfred Sturges and Sarah was Alfred, Jr., 6 years old in the 1880 Census, born 25 March 1874 Star Ranch, Mona, Juab County. Daughter Sarah Jane born 10 April 1876 and son William Perry Sturgis was born 25 Aug 1880 in Diamond, Juab County..

Sturgis familyThe Sturgis family had moved to Scofield, Carbon County by 1882. Daughter Martha Evelyn was born 10 October 1883 in Scofield. Daughter Mary Ellen was born 27 June 1887; and their last child, David Dean was born 6 January 1892 in Scofield. Alfred Harvey Sturgis died 30 September 1906 in Diamond, Juab County and is buried in Springville, Utah County. Sarah Elizabeth Dickens Gentry Sturgis died 24 March 1931 at the home of her daughter Martha Sturgis Ryan -- Sarah is buried in the City cemetery, Springville, Utah County.

Alfred H. Sturgis, Jr., married Carrie Virginia Lemmon 28 September 1898 in Diamond, Juab County. Three children were born to this marriage: Bernall, John, and Rita. Alfred Harvey Sturgis Jr. died 10 February 1930 in Provo, Utah.

Sarah Jane Sturgis married John Reese 2 July (1905) in Winter Quarters, Carbon County. Five children were born to this family: Vivian, born 30 Jan 1900 Clear Creek, Carbon, died 21 May 1980; Sadie R. born 2 July 1906 in Scofield (married Eligah C. Gentry), Carbon County, Sadie died 2 Jan 1961; John Hector Reese was born 16 May 1896 in Scofield, and died 5 Oct 1987 in Price, Carbon County; William Perry Reese was born 30 March 1908 in Scofield, died 12 Oct 1981 in Salt Lake City; and Mildred born 10 Aug 1912 in Scofield, married Massa. Mildred Reese Massa died 18 April 2001 in Carbon County. John Reese died 18 January 1916 in Scofield. Sarah Jane married twice more: Ben Grithers who died , and Richard (Dick) Jones who moved to Canada. Sarah Jane Sturgis died 19 September 1951 in Helper.

William Perry Sturgis was the most colorful member of this family. William was known as 'Wild Bill' - it was said that while riding a horse at full gallop, William could slide under the horses belly and shoot bottles off of a fence rail with his six shooter. William was a member of the Rough Riders (probably, Troop I of Torrey's Roughriders (a special troop of mounted riflemen-a Utah unit organized for the Spanish American War); and, a pony express rider - rode once, finishing the ride with an indian arrow in his back. When a young man living in Salt Lake City, a drinking buddy of Jack Dimpsey (before Dimpsey went to professional boxing). Jack Dimpsey and William would come home late after roughhousing in the bars in Salt Lake City, and Martha would have to patch them up. William Perry Sturgis died 6 May 1946. William Perry Sturgis married Ann Mae (Annie P.) RIECK, 23 Nov 1899 in Payson, Utah Co. Utah. Three children were born to this union, James, Louisa and Perry. When Anna Mae died, Perry was sent to Idaho to work on a ranch. Louisa became a nun. James was adopted by a navy man who took him back east--never heard from or about again.

Martha Eveline Sturgis, my Grandmother, met my Grandfather James Mathew Ryan at one of these mining areas and married 17 February 1902 in Salt Lake City. Seven children were born to this family while they were living in Silver City and Provo areas of Utah County. The family eventually moved to Ruth, Nevada. Martha Eveline Sturgis Ryan died 12 November 1965 in Ely, Nevada.

James Mathew Ryan was born 9 September 1875 in Schenectady, New York, a son of Irish immigrants from Doon, County Limerick, Ireland. James, his brother William, a sister Anna, and a second sister, Mary with her husband Michael Powers and children came west. William Ryan was killed in a mining accident in Bingham Canyon in 1902. Michael Powers died because of or during, an appendectomy in Salt Lake City August 1901. Mary Ryan Powers took her family back to New York. Anna Ryan never married. Anna eventually settled in Salt Lake City and cooked for miners at her apartment in the Eagle Gate Apartments.

Mary Ellen Sturgis married John William Woodward 5 January 1902 in Diamond, Juab County. Five children were born to this family: Mary Ellen, Darward, David Dean, Beulah, and Afton Eveline. Mary Ellen Sturgis died 29 May 1949 in Orem, Utah County.

David Dean Sturgis was married twice with no children to either marriage. David Dean Sturgis died 15 February 1967 in Ely, Nevada.

Gentry boysThe Gentry family also had moved to Carbon County by 1882. Eliza Jane Haney Gentry died in Scofield in 1882 and was buried in Springville Cemetery, Utah County. As mentioned earlier, Sanderson Demar Gentry died in Castle Gate, Carbon County January 1897 and is buried in the Price cemetery, Carbon County.

Sanderson's son Robert Wesley Gentry and wife Louise Tuttle had also moved to Scofield, Carbon County by 1882. The first child of this marriage was Francis Wesley Gentry, born 24 April 1882 in Scofield, Carbon County. Daughters Liza Luella born 1 June 1886, and Mary Jane born 10 October 1887 were also born in Scofield. The next child, daughter Maudie Desty was born 1891 in Tintic, Juab County. A son Christopher Henry was born 27 January 1894 in Price, Carbon County, and another daughter Alice Delia born 24 April 1896 in Scofield. The last child Rosie Evelyn Gentry born 14 January 1899 died at birth and the mother, Louise apparently died at the same time or shortly after. Robert Wesley Gentry married a second time to Sarah Hansen 17 June 1908 in Spring Glen, Carbon County. Robert Wesley Gentry died 17 February 1939, Spring Glen, Carbon County.

Sanderson's daughter Permelia Jane Gentry married John Lorenzo Brooks July 1880 in Provo, Utah County. This couples first two children were born in Diamond, Juab County: John Jr. born 10 Jan 1882, and Mary Jane (Mame) born 10 March 1883. The next two children: William Henry 8 September 1884, and Ella Evelin (Eve) 4 July 1886, were born in Scofield, Carbon County. Other children born to this marriage were Sadie, Sarah Ann; born 19 September 1894 in Scofield; Vivian Reece, born 30 January 1900; Mildred and Josephine. Permelia Jane Gentry Brooks died 7 June 1945 and is buried at Provo, Utah County.

Sanderson's son Francis Marion Gentry married Mary Elizabeth Jenkins 30 June 1895. Children born to this couple were Francis; William Charles; Violet Rose; Elizabeth (Rennie); Lucille; Rachel Ann, born 18 July 1901 in Sunnyside, Carbon County; Bernard; and Mary Jane. Francis Marion Gentry died 14 August 1936 in Price, Carbon County.

Sanderson's daughter Rose Evelyn Gentry married John William McGuire. This family lived on a ranch near Price Utah. My family best remembers Rose as a fantastic horsewoman. Rose Evelyn Gentry McGuire died 14 September 1937.

Sanderson's daughter Nancy Luella Gentry married Brigham Hamilton. Nancy Luella Gentry Hamilton died 9 August 1929.

Sanderson's son Christopher Columbus Gentry married a second time to Rhoda Mary Bishop 6 Jul 1897, in Gordon Creek, Carbon Co., Utah. Christopher's son Christopher James Gentry married Rhoda's sister, Agnes Frances Bishop 15 September 1898, also in Gordon Creek, Carbon Co., Utah. Christopher Columbus Gentry was involved in a court case immediately before his death, Columbus Gentry Etal. Vs. Rio Grande Western Ry Co. - still in progress at the time of the death of Columbus Gentry. Christopher Columbus Gentry committed suicide by hanging, 17 September 1899.

The principal parties in this story, as well as their children, seemed to move freely between Utah, Juab, and Carbon Counties. I only imagine the cause for this movement was the availability of work at the various mines.

The sources for the dates and names in this family history were from: notes of conversation, family records, and photographs maintained by my cousin Marjorie Willott; Family group records prepared by another cousin whom I haven't met, Leland Homer Gentry; and, probably most importantly, the wonderful assistance provided me as I searched through films by Kathy Hamaker at the Family History Center in Price. The next time you visit Price, take a stroll down Gentry Lane and say hello to my cousins living there.

This story was donated by Ryan Morris if you are interested in more information about this family please contact him.





Memories of my Father and my two Mothers

By John James Nielson

Joseph Henry Nielson 1888-1950
Florence May Hall 1893-1924
Jennie Gibson Johnson 1891-1981

Florence May Hall

I, James John Nielson was born 23 April 1924 in Winter Quarters to Florence May Hall and Joseph Henry Nielson. My mother died shortly after I was born (20 July, 1924). My sister, Veda was then taken out of school for year to take care of her younger brothers and sisters.

About a year later my dad remarried. It was one of his former sweethearts, she had come to Winter Quarter after her husband died. She now worked in the post office in Winter Quarters and this was where our family was living. I don’t know whether it was to pursue our dad or not because she really loved our dad. They had been dating and everything but it was a surprise when he brought her home with him without telling them they were married. Veda said that one night Dad just brought this strange woman into the house and went to bed with her. Boy, that just shocked all the kids. Her name was Jennie, Jennie Johnson by a former marriage so now she became Jennie Nielson, our dad’s wife.

I was taken to my grandma Hall’s home to live with her on Depot Street on what we called the Rows at Castle Gate Utah. This was close to the Beech home.

Joseph Henry Nielson

There were six of my dad's children and one of hers in my Dad’s home. We now had a stepsister, her name was Louise. So, now in our family there was Louise, Veda, Helen, Sonny (Joseph Henry Jr.)., Ethel, then Jack and myself, I being the youngest one. I didn’t have any contact with the rest of the family that I can remember of until I was five years old. I lived with my grandma at that time.

Grandma seemed kind of tall and stately to me. I remember how she would share with me a pint of milk we drank every day. She would share and then share some more until I would end up drinking most of it. She had this habit of scaring me with her false teeth. She would pop them out and I just knew they were going to bite me. I stayed there until my grandma couldn’t take care of me any more. She was quite sick and ready to die. So, they decided the best thing they could do for me was to take me home to live with my dad.

One Sunday my dad sent my sister Veda up to Grandma’s to get me but I did not want to leave my grandma. It was about a half a mile from grandma's house to where our house was next to the hotel in Castle Gate. I fought her all the way down the street. I tore her beads off and tore her dress. She was a good-looking girl and had nice clothes. I was not very nice but I was just a little boy who was losing his grandma who had been my life. Anyway she finally got me down to our house and now she had to take me up the steps and into the house. That's where my dad intercepted me at the top of the steps and took one of my tennis shoe off and gave me a good whipping. I learned never to cross him again. I remember I went in the kitchen where there was a kitchen sink there and turned on the water and washed my eyes out.

At that point I still didn’t know much about our mother. She died a few months after I was born (three months-Jim was born 23 April 1924 and she died 20 July 1924). So, now we had a new mother and we called her, “Ma”. Our dad was Dad and she was Ma. That's the relationship and we established. From here on out I will call Jennie, Ma because of what she did for us and what she was willing to for us.

The thing that I appreciate about Ma was the rigidity she had and the ability she had to raise such a large family and how well she handled it, she did a beautiful job. Dad took up the habit of drinking after he lost our mother. Veda and Helen said he wasn’t much of a drinker until our mother died because he loved her so much. This was Florence May Hall my real mother. The loss made him a perpetual drinker for the rest of his life until just a few months before he died. But there was value in his life that he shared with other people.

Walt Donaldson who lived in Winter Quarters remembers Dad and tells the story of how my dad run the team for the Company Store (Wasatch Store). Dad was the store’s deliveryman and his job was to deliver the groceries to the homes and what ever else was needed. The horses were matched Bays with white foreheads and white feet. He loved them and cared for them at the barn. He remembered the color of the candy that Dad would give the kids for helping deliver the groceries.

He tells about walking on the tracks down to Scofield in the winter and if there was a train coming they had to hurry and cut a hole in the snow bank to stand in and standing up erect so that they didn’t get clobbered by the train. Bishop Donaldson went on to say; “Don’t you ever look down at your father because of his short comings. He was a man you should all be proud of. In the eyes of those families and those kids he was the greatest. He was a wonderful man.

Joe Nielson & kids

In 1900 before I was born or for that matter before any of us were born there was a coal mine explosion up in Winter Quarters that killed 200 at once. Leaving widows left to survive in any way they could. There was never a day that he didn’t take something from the company store to make sure that no family went without food or clothing. My dad’s bowels were literally filled with charity that was his virtue number one thing; his virtue two thing was kindness towards the little children. He was always so good to give and make sure that they had a piece of candy. He would give them a job to help him deliver groceries and then after that was done he would take them in the store and give them a lollipop or a piece of candy.

He would pick out the kids that he had been watching and make sure that they came and helped us unload this box car full of flour then he took them to the store after and put them in a new suit of clothes and shoes and whatever they needed. He remembered what they needed and saw to it that they had it. He was that good. 1924 was quite a year in our lives:
#1- It was the year I was born.
#2- It was the year of the Castle Gate Mine explosion. My mother’s sister’s husband, Jack Thorpe was killed.
#3- it was the year Grandpa Hall died.
#4- it was the year that Mother became so sick and died. She went to Castle Gate in the hope that the company doctor, Doctor McDermott who had moved from Winter Quarters to Castle Gate could help her but he couldn’t. Mother died in her sister’s home (Eva and Jack Thorpe’s home), the superintendent’s home. They called it the “Big Boss’s House”; it was a nice house. But now that Jack was dead Eva had to move out. Bishop Stapley later lived there.

In about 1926 or 1927 we moved from Winter Quarters to Castle Gate, where Dad went to work at the company’s store at Castle Gate, at the same capacity as a deliveryman. He used to have runners on wagon in the wintertime and pull it in the road in snow and ice with a team of horses. He loved horses.

They first lived in a house in Willow Creek for awhile. Then they moved to a big house in Castle Gate next to the hotel. This was the house that Veda brought me to when I started living with the family.

I remember we had a pot in each bedroom what we called a slop jar that we could use at night and the next morning we took it outside to a two-hole toilet to dump it and then we had to clean it. It was a little embarrassing but it was a way of life. The rest of the town didn’t have it any better than we did, they did the same thing.

One thing that always impressed me was the routine our mother, Jennie had. We would get up in the morning and have breakfast, breakfast was real important to her, every meal important to her. Ma was a master at cooking. She was also a master at cleanliness.

We would hear Ma get up in the mornings, make the fire and hear her sing and whistle while she worked. It seems like everybody in those days in Clear Creek, Scofield and Castle Gate would whistle and sing while they worked. Sing a little bit, whistle a little bit, Walt Donaldson does the same thing. So did Sister Biggs. I remember we had an old coal stove with a warming oven above the cooking area where Ma would put the eggs, bacon, hotcakes, whatever to keep warm. There were nine of us to feed around that table. I remember the table had an oilcloth and she kept that oilcloth just shining, I mean it was clean. We would all have breakfast together about 6:30 in the morning. She would always have a clean apron and house dress on every morning.

Ma would stand at the kitchen door to be kissed, as dad would go out the door, almost at attention to get her kiss. She did this because of the dangers in the coalmines, not every man would come home at night. Most of the women would do the same thing because they thought they might not see their husband again.

Saturday was bath day. I can remember it well. Our bathtub was a #3 washtub it really wasn’t that big and we had to take turns from the oldest to the youngest. I often wondered how Veda and Helen were able to get in it. The water was heated from a reservoir on the kitchen stove. This would give us about four inches of water in the tub to start with. After each bath a pot of hot water would be added. When my turn finally came the water wasn’t to clean anymore but I had a full tub. But that’s the way it was in those days nobody had it any better.

Dad was still drinking but Ma took that in stride and the punishment that went with it in order to make our home as comfortable as possible. She had a system where us boys would go out in the yard and work until noon. We raked the yard, cut wood, whatever until noon then we would eat and cleanup. We were always clean before we left. We could go swimming, ride a stick horse on the mountain or whatever we wanted to do after that. We would cut a willow for our horse and ride this stick horse all over the mountain tie it to a tree, sit on a rock and have a sandwich, untie him and off we would go again.

We loved to roll rocks down the mountain too. Another thing I remember, We never went with our bodies bare, we didn’t go without our shirts on Ma always made sure we had our shirts on. This is what we called a BVD undershirt. The girls were also free to go at noon too after the work was done.

Ma made it worth our while every night she had a treat. She baked cakes, baked pies, made cookies, and always made homemade bread. Every night about 5:30 we would listen to the radio and we would listen to it, Tom Mix and other serials. Then we would play card games, monopoly and other games like that. Ma loved to play games with us. Then she would have the treat. Every night she would give us a treat.

Ma was a stickler for punctuality and if we were going to Salt Lake or somewhere, she would say what time we were going and if we weren’t there at that time she would just go and leaveus. She believed in discipline but no physical discipline never in her whole life did she ever touch one of us. She had a system, if we had something we wanted to go to Ma would scratch her chin and say remember a few nights ago you had something to do, well you didn’t do it. She said I think you better pass by and not go tonight. This was her way, it was denial . When she said something she meant business. Sonny used to try to skirt around it but it didn’t work. Ma was never much for hugs and kisses but she was good.

A little later on Veda got married then Helen got married. Veda married Lafe Rollins and Helen to Bill Houghton. Veda moved to California, Lafe was a college graduate and a schoolteacher. Helen stayed in town where Bill worked in the coal tipple. During all this time Dad still pursued his little curse. So, Ma sent for these little pills to stop his drinking. She would put them in his coffee. She thought it would work on him but it didn’t. He would drink his coffee all right but the minute he drank his beer he would throw up and get sick but he would never let this slow him down and he never stopped.

Ma took over running the hotel. Sonny had gotten married to Lois Rollins from Price; so, there was just Ethel, Jack and I at home. So, they rented the house we lived in and we took an apartment in the hotel. It was very nice but lots of work. Jack and myself had the chores of getting the coal and wood in to keep the big furnace going and for cooking in the morning and in the evenings. We would wash the dishes in the mornings. There were a lot of dishes; there were 40 boarders there. At noon we would run home from school and wash the dishes and go back. Then we would wash them at night. There were also 40 lunch buckets to wash too. I remember when the mine owners would come down from Salt Lake City. She had a special place in the dining room where they were supposed to eat but they would always come into the kitchen to eat with us. They were the Hieners, nice people, Claud Heiners and his dad was Moroni Heiner they owned the mine. But anyway they were super nice, good to us kids and good to our mother. Mother always made homemade pies for the miner’s lunches. A nice lunch, homemade bread, roasts. They had Cadillac lunches and the miners really appreciated it. Guys would come from Sanpete County and Utah County. They were farmers that needed something to sustain their families during the wintertime. They would board at the hotel for five days, go home and come back Sunday night. It was a good deal for everyone it even gave us a rest. So, we ran that for quite a while.

When we lived at Winter Quarters or Scofield the company brought in some strikebreakers of Greek descent. None of the miners liked them they hated them. Dad would go down on Saturday night to the saloons looking for them. There were 27 saloons in those days and he would go in every one of them in Scofield searching them out of there. Bishop Donaldson said he was the best fist fighter in the Clear Creek, Winter Quarters, Scofield area. He was also the best fisherman. He would go catch 150 fish in the Upper Fish Creek. Not to long ago when we were fishing up in White River there was a name and a date on a Quaky tree. He must have stopped there on the mountain and cut his name on this tree on his way from Scofield to Duchesne.

There was a man of Greek descent who was staying at the hotel, we called him John the Law. Anyway this problem of him staying in the hotel created this problem in my dad’s mind and they would argue about it. We as a family knew that Ma never messed around with him or did anything wrong. We as a family all knew that it was just a monstrous problem in our dad’s mind. We tried to protect her and we all stood up for her but finally she taken all that she could and put him in jail for 30 days for abuse in the hopes that would straighten him out. But as soon as he got out he started drinking again so they separated. The Judge who handled the divorce case put Jack and me on the stand. We were just two young kids, 10 and 12 our bread and butter was with our mother, Sonny and Lois were living in the old house and dad went to live with them. Lois wasn’t that good of a cook so we were not going to take her for anything. I remember she would take the potatoes out of the oven and drop them on our plate and they would just shatter. Jack and me would just look at each other but eventually we had to live there because our mother had no money to feed us. We divided the house in two, Dad, Jack and myself in three rooms and Sonny and Lois had three rooms on the other side. We had the kitchen that didn’t work out to badly our dad didn’t demand much of a variety of food. For breakfast we ate boiled eggs and Polish sausage with toast. All three of us liked that. We would fix our dad’s lunch and take one to school. Jack and I would come home and boil potatoes and put bacon in it. We called it slum-goullion I don’t know if that was the right name but heloved it. We learned to like it too anyway we survived.

World War II came along and Jack joined the service and I graduated from high school and joined the service so Helen took over taking care of our dad. A thankless job, you’ll have to get Joyce to tell you about that. I got married while I was in the service Jack never did get married he died in the hospital in Salt Lake City of Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the glands. In the meantime Ethel married Elvin Gibson and he worked in the mine. I married Thelma Halmelright her real name was Morrison from Kenilworth and I worked in the mine too. We would always go up and visit our dad. He was very good to Thelma, very kind and he would always buy her a thing or two. He was going to move down to our place in Spring Glen when he got sick and died.

Incidentally, Sonny died of the same thing he died of at the same age. I remember when Sonny was working at the store. He made $45.00 a month and Ma would take $40.00 of it because we really needed it. Bishop Donaldson told me one day, “Don’t you ever say anything about your dad and the problem he had because the charity he did over shadowed everything else like the drinking habit he had. They had an accident in the mine in 1924 that killed 170 and he was on the rescue team that went in the mine. He helped bring the bodies out. I remember one body that was brought out and buried. His name was Hardy. It was buried headless two or three days later they found the head and put it in a box and give it to the family. Somehow they blamed the Mormons for this but it wasn’t the Church that did it, it was the company.

Dad made his home brew beer and we made homemade rootbeer. We had a cellar on the house and it was cool in there so we would store it there. But none of us would ever wait until it was ready to drink. Sometimes we would have it drank before it was cool.

I want to leave a testament that I forgive my dad. I want to say that I have put everything behind me for all the inconvenience he caused the family. It was a little rough at times but then I have to weigh that against the kindness he extended to the people who were widows in Castle Gate, Winter Quarters and Scofield and what he did for them. As the old chicken said, “When I take it out of my craw”. I have nothing but praise for mother I know our original mother Florence Hall owes her a debt of gratitude for taking care of her children. . She always cleaned. During the Depression she cleaned houses in Castle Gate so we could eat. We had a good woman as an alternate mother. Later on she went down to Price to get a job. There she met this old sheepherder, Menal Taylor. He was a nice man and a gentleman. Well they got married and moved down to Salina, Utah. They had the nicest romance to which they were both entitled. They made a good life they would go hunting rocks and they would crochet together and this and that. She still cooked an excellent dinner. I remember all us kids would still go over there and having one of her dinners. Somehow she always had money to put good food on the table and her house was always clean. We appreciated her, all of us.

When she was in the hospital Ethel would wash her clothes and bring her a newspaper. Helen would come to see her most every day and see if she was all right. At 91 she began to have some problems so we took her to the hospital in Intensive Care one night. She had the nurse send for me so we went down. She said, “Jim, I’m not going to lay here like this. You tell them to take me back to the Rest home. I want to die there. I’ve had my life and I am contented now.” The next day she died. I had the honor of conducting her funeral and giving her the praise she deserved I hope someday to see and praise her in Heaven standing with Florence May Hall my birth mother receiving me and thanking her for her service to our family.

This is a story that I felt compelled to do because of the spring conference of 1999. The conference was all on the family and I hadn’t told my story of my family.

This story was recorded and typed by Eugene Halvorson




JAMES NIELSEN and
CHRISTENA MARIA (STENA) SMITH

by EUGENE H. Halvorson

James Nielson (born Jens Hansen) was born 18 October 1860 in the Parish of Galten, District of Framlev, Skanderborg County now called Aarhus County, Denmark, a town near the Kattegat Sea in Central Jutland, Denmark. He was fifth child of Kisten Maria Jensen Pelsen and Hans Nielsen Herning. His brothers and sisters were Maren Katrine, Anna Johanna, Niels, Jens, Jens (James), and Christian.

The daughter’s of James, May and Ella both tell this story of life in Denmark; The family was poor and times were hard. The wealthy feudal landlords made life very hard for the peasants. Having no land of their own they had to live in a rented house and work where they could. All of Han's children were hired out to these landlords except the two youngest. May said, "My father (James) worked as a farm hand. He had to herd cows, clean corals and feed stock. The corals were kept spotless and were bedded each day with clean straw. They milked the cows three times a day. Father received very little compensation for his labor, mostly board.

May said, "In the winter the children went to school at nine o'clock in the morning and it lasted all day. In the summer they went from six to nine in the morning, then worked on the farm the rest of the day. In Denmark they went to school until they were fourteen years old, then one year to the Priest for examination. None of Grandfather's children went to the Priest as he would not let them.

There was not much time for amusement, as the children had to work all the time. They had little freedom, they attended dances once in a while in the winter. Then there was skating and snowballing. The children of the poor class were allowed to gather the dead wood from the forest. You could see many children with large bundles of wood on their backs. Sometimes going long distances in to the forest for wood and also to gather hazelnuts to store for winter and to roast as they sat around the fire at night. They had a lot of pleasure going into the woods".

The parents and the children were all converts to the Mormon Church and all wished to come to Utah but they didn't have the money for the passage. There was only enough money for the oldest daughter to go at first. It took several years before the rest of the family could earn enough for to follow.

Maren Catrina was the first to leave Denmark, in about 1869 or 1870. She immigrated alone to Salt Lake and then sent down to Richfield, Utah. There she met and married Hans Peter Nielsen, together they had built a farm here. Hans was a miller and a carpenter. She would provide a home for the rest of the family when the rest of family came several years later. In the spring of 1877 the three boys immigrated , they were Niels 22 years old, James 17 and Christian 12. Niels died while crossing the Ocean, we have no explanation for his death, only "Lost at Sea". In the fall of 1877 the father, mother and sister, Anna Johanna (Hannah) left Denmark and made their way to Richfield.

May said, "Father, worked here in Richfield on a neighbor's farm and in the wheat fields. This is where he would meet and marry "Stena" (Christena Marie Smith). They were married 13 December 1879. she was sixteen years of age at the time of her marriage and very pretty. She was born in Fountain Green, 22 March 1863, a daughter of Jorgen and Christina Maria Smith. She like most other pioneer children received only a limited amount of schooling. It was a hard life, but if you read Rye's Story you will find that the children turned work into play. She was required to work in neighbor's homes to earn money for herself and her family. Wherever she went, she made life long friends. Stena was just a small child when her sister, Mary was killed by the Indians and driven from her home. When Christena's father, Jorgen Smith left Richfield to settle Koosharem and later Notom, he took his other wife, Mette. Stena would remain and care for her mother, Christina Maria Smith until she died in Richfield 15 years later on the 22nd of December 1900". The family also cared for James's mother, Kisten Marie Pelsen who died in Richfield, 5 September 1895.

James’ name in the Richfield according to the 1880 census was listed as Jens Neilsen and as a "Miller" as an occupation, but we only know him as a stone mason and a coalminer. Christena was his 17 year old wife and Stena's 16 year old sister, Mina was living with them at the time of their marriage. His father, Hans who lived near him taught him to be a stone mason. James taught most of his sons the trade also. Two of the boys used these skills in later life, one was Joe was employed by Utah Fuel and the other was Niels who built his home in Cedar View. They cut stones for the Richfield State Tabernacle and many business houses and homes. Stena or her children would take lunches to the quarry. Sometimes they would stay and watch him split the rock.

James Nielsen family

James and Stena settled in a log house in Richfield where they lived for about twenty years. This is where twelve of their fifteen children were born. Ida Marie (31 October, 1880--16 February, 1889), Niels Nielson (28 June, 1882--5 May, 1936) James was helping to build the Manti Temple when he received word that his wife Stena was about to give birth to Niels, James walked all the way from Manti to Richfield. May (Mary) (20 October, 1883--19 May, , James Nielson (22 February, 1885--9 March, 1889), Christian Edward (14 December, 1886--18 December, 1957), My wife's grandfather, Joseph was their sixth child, Joseph Henry (14 July, 1888--3 April, 1950), Jennie Melvina (26 December, 1889--1 October, 1945), Carolina (4 March,1891), James (Jimmie) (22 April, 1892), Martha (16 November, 1895), Ethel Ordena 2 June, 1894--20 March, 1901), Deceneous (7 June, 1898--15 February, 1899),

May, their third child said, “I could never remember mother when she wasn't nursing a baby or having a baby. She was the most loving and caring person there was". She spent her whole life feeding, clothing and teaching her growing family. She must have been happy because she is always remembered with a smile. The family was respected and loved by their neighbors.

Sometime in 1898 the family in search of a more stable income and better conditions moved from Richfield, Utah to Spring Glen, Utah. James's brother, Christian Nelson owned farm here in Spring Glen and needed someone to take care of it. Christian was the “Railmaster” of the D&RG Railroad. He helped them settle and helped James get employment. We believe James did buy a farm here. The family was quite large. There were ten children, the parents and Stena's aging mother, Christina. These were hard years the time when four of their children would die, Deceneous who was born in Richfield 7 June, 1898 died in Spring Glenn 15 February, 1899, Manilla Viola was born in Spring Glenn, 10 February, 1899and died soon after. Another child, Minnie was born in Richfield 10 January, 1901 and died at birth.

"Ed said, " After the death of a favored child (Ethel in March, 1901), his father began drinking and gambling. James owned a good share of land in Richfield and much of Spring Glen. He lost most of his belongings to gambling, leaving the family near poverty." "One evening after the sun had gone down in Winter Quarters, Stena and a neighbor stopped to rest while walking. As they sat on the rail road tracks overlooking the town, Stena pointed her finger at the saloons below and said "That's the reason we are always poor."

Poverty caused by James' gambling forced the family to move back to Richfield. They moved back in 1899. After a period of fair health Grandma Smith (Christina Maria) died and was buried, 28 December, 1900 in the Richfield Cemetery. In the next two or three years the Nielson's would move again to Winter Quarters, their last and permanent home. This is where Ella was born 20 December, 1904. The move from the farm to the mining camps caused many problems, drinking and gambling was never a problem in Richfield but it was in Winter Quarters. Stena didn’t like to raise her children in a mining camp. Some of her children began to drift away from the Church.

Hard times also came when James was injured in the mine. His hand was crushed but nothing has been written about it. He was given some work outside the mine. Town Marshall was one these jobs.

A few years later Stena , only 43 years old would die in Winter Quarters on 18 July, 1906. Some say she died of pneumonia. Ella said she died giving birth to her 16 child. She was taken to Richfield and buried near her four children and mother in the Richfield Cemetery. Her name on the stone is listed as Christena Marie. James was left with baby, Ella and three small boys to raise.

Ella Nielson was only 18 months old at her death said, "I never knew my Mother but my cousin James Brown told me this; "They called her Aunt Stena, a noble soul had lived, a good wife, loving mother of a large family, spending her married life, feeding and clothing, teaching and training them for life's mission. I had been in the home many times as a boy, associated with Niels and some of the others. I was always well treated and looked after. I still remember her good looks and the smile on her face. Respected by her neighbors, she lived a good life. I never heard anything bad said about your father and mother. I know you will love and appreciate your mother in all she went through. A small home, not the conveniences we have now to make the work easier. I never heard her complain, but she did the things that were necessary to fill the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. Honor your father and mother by living in the right way.

Ella Nielson Boothe said; My Mother had a dear friend, a Mrs. Robertson, her maiden name was Gilbert, She told me of the dear times they had together, how she loved her family and tried so hard to make a good home. She made rugs, quilts, and was always busy, Mrs. Robertson said, "She loved my mother as a sister. So if only I could hear more of her early life, it would have been wonderful to know her, and to have heard her dear voice.

James lived in Winter Quarters until all his children were raised. It was very hard to live alone after Ella got married and left home. At times he would leave home for five or six weeks at a time to live with his children. He was always welcome. They tell of a wonderful father and a good grandpa. He cared very much for his family and always tried to be there for them. His grandchildren Norma and Meryl said he was the best grandpa in the whole world. He would always remember them and bring a gift for each one of the children. it wasn't an expensive gift; they just knew that he cared and remembered them. he would tease and play with them. Helen Nielson Houghton tells how he would hide candy or toys in the grain bin for the children to find.

Meryl said "Grandpa would take a teaspoon of sugar, dip it into his coffee and then eat the coffee flavored sugar." To clean his huge handle-bar mustache from his coffee, he would tuck it in his mouth. This would also get the attention of his granddaughters who would stare at him, wide-eyed.

James had been visiting a daughter in Idaho when he got sick, she took him by train to the old Saint Marks Hospital on Beck Street. The Doctor said, "There's not much we can do for him , he's dying". James said, "I don't want to die here, I want to go to May's. He was then taken down to the train depot and sent to Eureka. May met him at the station and took him home in a hearse, the only transportation available. May was a nurse, an angel of mercy, she was always caring for the people in Eureka. She went to the homes of the poor in Eureka to deliver their children and care for the sick. She did this without charge. She was the one the family came to when they were sick or injured.

He died in May Jones’ house, arriving one day and dying the next evening. He died with gallstones. May were told was doing her best to help her Father when five-year-old Meryl said "Mamma, can I help you?" May gave her some lotions to rub on his feet. A short time later Meryl said "Mama, grandpas feet are sure cold." May looked at her father, took Meryl by the hand and without a word led her from the room. Poor Meryl thought that she had done something wrong. James died peacefully in his daughter’s home in Eureka, Utah on the 11 Oct., 1925. After the mortician had done his work, the casket was returned to the home for May the wash and dress him for the funeral serves that were held there. James was later sent to Richfield and buried by his wife and children in Richfield.

Norma said that in his early years, James drank quite heavily, but did change this habit considerably in later years. She said, "At times we would see him sneaking away with his bottle, very quietly then pretty soon you could hear him singing all of these old Danish songs. We would come out to listen. We just loved our Grandpa." Thora said Grandpa would wear his overcoat during in the summer. He always said what kept out the cold should keep out the heat. LeRoy remembers his grandfather’s visits to their farm in the Uinta Basin.

This story was written by Eugene Halvorson. If you are related to the family and would like more information please e-mail him.



[ Front page ] [ Towns ] [ Points of Interest ] [ Databases ] [ Research records ] [ Histories ] [Maps ]
[ Photographs ] [ Surname Page ] [ Query page ] [ Look-ups ] [ Links ] [ Utah Railway ] [ E-mail ]