Early Childhood Events
Remember the good old school days
When we were young and gay
Now that age is creeping on
Schoolmates have passed away
May I mention Ellen, Jane, and Elizabeth
All were sisters fine and true
Very dear schoolmates of mine
All my child years through.
Also Abbie, Rachel and dear Roan
Sarah, Pheobe, and Annie too
Lottie Ruth and Harriette
All faithful friends so true
Remember the old rustic schoolhouse
Painted blue with an entry at one end
With its blackboard and its cupboard
Where we each morn did wend
All the grades were there together
One, two, three and up to eight
One teacher had the care of all
Any yet we got along first rate
Remember the round bulging luster
In the center of the room
And the battered smoking stove pipe
Almost seen its doom
A pail of water on a bench
In the north west corner stood
And out of an old tin dipper
A drink of water tasted good.
There were no thoughts of (murabis?)
Or a binding treacherous germ
Yet health and hygiene were taught
By a teacher grim and firm.
Perhaps for some strange reason
Germs did not fly around
But now there sure are plenty
And for trouble they are bound
On many a cold and frosty morn
As we huddled around the stove
Our many problems hard to solve
Our minds would dimly rove.
Our cares were like bubbles
They’d burst and fly away
Many a thing have happened
Since that eventful day.
Many a time Jane’s old shawl
On the nicked old desk was spread
And a lively game of Jacks was played
while Jane the US History read.
Remember our baseball diamond
When girls were on the teams
How we tried to beat the boys
Not so long ago it seems.
In those days it did not matter
If the ball flew in the street
There were no trucks or autos
Where we would trouble meet
Horses and buggies were the go
Trucks and autos were unknown
No gasoline fumes were spread about
No airships in the air was flown
No policeman at the corner
In winters cold or summers heat
To guide our footsteps safely
When we crossed the street.
No electric lights along the street
To lighten up our way
But we managed fine to get along
In that early day.
No electric light lit up our schoolroom
Just a coaloil lamp along the wall
Encased in a shining tin cap
Brightened the winters pall
Our school days soon were over
Our paths fell far apart
But memory opens wide the curtain
Of every beating heart.
Now we recall with pleasure
The good old happy school day
When youth was in its glory
And we were always gay.
Time never waits but passes on
Many a year has passed away
Many changes time has wrought
Since that my first school day
My schoolmates except one or two
Have passed to that happy land afar
I hope to meet them once again
At the heavenly bar.
When railroad ties started to decay, they were replaced by new ones and the discarded old ties were sold to the farmers around for firewood. Father would buy some every year. This even may not be in the chronological order because it is written from memory. Father bought some of these ties for firewood which we used in summer. This particular time he had them piled up quite high between the railroad track and our house intending to move them as soon as he had time. The engine had a hard upward pull from Dry Creek past our house. The fireman on the engine would fire up so the sparks would fly from the engines smoke stack, to get steam enough to make the grade. Some of these sparks set fire to the tie pile. Father was away to church as it was a Sunday afternoon. Mother happened to be at home with us children. Mother could not do a thing and thought sure the house would go but the wind turned so the flames passed the house but scorched one of the locust trees in the front of the house so it had to be trimmed down. It never became as large as the other one. People saw the flames from afar and soon gathered. Father was thankful he had his ponds full of water so close by the tie pile. The water was baled out by buckets and tub fulls and the fire was finally put out but had to be watched all night as some spark might still be smouldering. Never any more was ties piles so close to the track. Father planted trees and shrubs all around these ponds so the water would be somewhat cooler.
I often wonder now why we were so healthy always and never had typhoid fever. I suppose there were not so many germs in the air or water as there can be found now. Of course, the water was pure clear mountain water but flowed past many a barnyard before it reached our pond but I’ve been told water purifies as it runs.
Grandma also planted “Old Man” and old women very fragrant with their smell. She also planted Lavender and mint hollyhocks and flags (Iris we call them now) and in later years all kinds of beautiful flowers were found in her flower garden. She was always fussing over her flowers. Many a bucket of water did she carry from the pond to her flowers. She also loved to pick wild flowers and many a time she took me with her. Many kinds of wild flowers grew among the sagebrush. Sun flowers grew in profusion also white little we called them primroses. They were so beautiful in the evening and early morn. In the spring violets were found and often I would pick a nice bouquet as I went to school and give my teacher. Now no wild flowers are found around my old home. All the prairie around is now farms or building lots and many nice homes have been built.
I must here state that fathers pond was used for baptism purposes during the summer months. Thousands have been baptized in it by my father until our new chapel was built about 1898 with a baptismal font in it. Mother surely was goodhearted to let the people use her home to dress in during the baptism, for it gave her more work to clean up after baptismal services for plenty of mud would be carried in by their wet feet but she never complained. When the water became low in the pond he would take those who were to be baptized in his buggy to a canal near by and baptize them there. I was also baptized in that pond in Sept 1884. It was a Thursday Fast day was on Thursday at that time at 10 o’clock. It was later changed to Sunday.
Sandy was growing, the little blue one room schoolhouse became too small so a hall had to be rented then later the Latter Day Saints meeting house was rented until the new schoolhouse was built. It was a long dreary mile to walk to school especially in the winter when the snow was deep and the wind cold blowing across the prairie and drifting. Drifts as high as the houses would at some winters be found along the highways. A snowplow would clear the railroad track, so in winter we would walk the ties. Also in the spring when the road was so muddy, the ties were always dry. In those days the track was not fenced. We were glad we could walk on it. Of course, Mother and dad would caution us to look out for the train. It generally came on scheduled time unless it was an extra gravel train. On snowy blizzard days father would take us to school in the buggy or come and get us as the case may be.
Coming home from school we would pass the smelter and often stop and watch the oxen as they pulled the car from one switch to another on frame one track to another to reach the mill or furnace. They had no switch engine until later. The oxen were hooked together with a wooden yoke around their neck with a long chain attached which could be hooked to the cars. The driver would gee and haw to them while he cracked his long black whip. When the oxen became too old they were turned out to graze on the grass around the smelter grounds. When we passed by then they would glare at us but I was never real afraid of them.
One day one of them chased my sister when she came home from school. She was out of breath when she arrived home after running as fast as she could away from it. Thank goodness she escaped. Later as I said before, the oxen were replaced by a switch engine which did the switching of the cars. This improvement was welcomed by the smelter employers.
I was always a religious girl and as Father was in the bishopric, he expected his children to set examples to others in attending primary, mutual, sacrament meetings and Sunday school. One year, 1890, the sunday school offered a prize for faithful attendance. I received 2nd prize having being absent one Sunday attending the funerals of my cousins Neil. I was happy to receive a book entitled “From Kirkland to Salt Lake City”. I still have it and cherish it very much. The Book of Mormon was the 1st prize but as I had a Book of Mormon I was really glad I got the 2nd prize.
I was never frightened standing before an audience so from a little girl I was always asked to take part in school programs and concerts and in religious activities either giving readings, recitations, lectures, or essays. When I was in the third grade I vividly remember one occasion I was just a tiny girl and gave a reading holding a mirror in my hand and admiring myself as I recited. I must have done well as I remember the ovation I got from the audience and the teacher praised me, and was very proud of me. I don’t remember the title of the piece I gave.
Many little incidents happen in your early years of school. One happened to me when I was in the fourth or fifth reader, I do not quite remember. I was always very truthful. This particular time some of the girls sluffed their geography class and I tattled to the teacher and so did my seatmate. Often these large girls would not be prepared and would sluff class. Instead of reprimanding the girls she turned to us and said “Seeing you are so interested in their class you may come up and join it.” It was not the answer we expected. Imagine our consternation. These girls were two or three years older than we were, but in size I was as tall as they were but perhaps not so wise as they were. At first I had trouble, I did not know how to take notes when the teacher lectured or read an article on a Friday afternoon and expected the class to write an essay on it for the next week on Friday.
I could not remember enough to write so I came unprepared and was punished by sitting on the floor or standing behind the blackboard. Oh how humiliated and embarrassed I was. Of course the rest of the class would grin and laugh at me when the teacher wasn’t looking. I know they thought it served me right for being a tattle tale.
One day I asked my mother and even cried and begged her to let me remain home on Friday afternoon because I would then have an excuse for being unprepared the next Friday. That’s what my seatmates mother did for her and she was never punished. Mother said “doing that will not help you advance. What did your teacher read about?” she asked. “Well she read an article to me about potatoes”. Mother said to me, “I know you can write something about potatoes if you try. You know they grow in the garden.” I had another cry but wrote a few sentences. When I read them to the teacher she said, “ Good. Never tell me again you cannot write an essay.”
The class tittered as I read it. It was not so perfect but that praise from the teacher spurred me on and I never had much trouble after that. The older girls resented my joining the class at first but finally they took me for granted and I made the grade although I was much younger than the rest of the class. I passed my seatmates and some of the others of my classmates at the end of the year. I found out by perseverance one will succeed “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” I was glad later that my mother knew best and did not give in to my wishes and I was so much farther in my school work.
For sports in those early days a race track was laid out east of the smelter and east of the railroad track a few blocks from the center of town where many a horse race was held during the summer. It was quite a fad to own a horse, a real race horse. Many exciting races were held there for many years. A baseball diamond was also built. Baseball games were a common past time for every weekend. All such sports were free as were ward entertainments. Interesting horse shoes games were also popular. Dances were the only enjoyment that brought in money. Movies were not even thought of. The average charge for dances were 50 cts a couple, 25 cts for extra lady or gentleman. Dances were held in our ward house until the recreation hall was built. In our town were two public dance halls operated by private parties. One of them were above a saloon a place where beer and other drinks were sold. Not a very desirable place for Latter Day Saints. Weekly dances were held there on Saturday nights.
I was not so popular as some of my girl friends were whose parents allowed them to frequent these dances. My parents would not let me go. I was only allowed to go the ward dances. I felt bad at times when some of the girls talked about the fun they had and the newcomers with whom they had danced but father was very strict and I obeyed him. I guess he knew best although I thought I was mistreated. I would quietly listen to his preaching. I called it within myself. He would say, “Those dance halls are not proper places for young Latter Day Saints girls to attend” Of course there were some drinking and smoking because liquor could be bought next door as well as cigarettes. “You know,” he would continue, “We are building character, our character day by day. Every thought and every action ultimately results in character. Good character necessarily depends upon good thoughts and good actions. I want you to build a good character. Each person builds her own no one else can build for you neither can you build for some one else.” Now where I am older and have children of my own, I can see his point of view. We should seeks for ourselves the best material, wherewith to build one character of such stability of structure that will be an honor to ourselves. At our ward dances no smoking or liquor was allowed. At the other halls it was not so particular. Father wanted his children to grow up to be good true Latter Day Saints which I am proud to say we did.
When I was about 13 or 14, mother decided we should have an organ so I could learn to play. They sent to Chicago for it. Money was scarce so I only took a few lessons on it but I was happy I did learn to play many of the Sunday School songs. A few years after I was married, they gave me the organ. My oldest boy James liked music and would play all the popular songs by ear so my children with their friends enjoyed the organ when the gathered at my home which was about every evening. There were not many families who had organs or pianos when I was a girl. Our community were all hard working people.
Neither did we have beautiful bedroom sets and mattresses as we have now. No spring mattress just a tick filled with straw emptied and refilled every year at threshes time when new straw was available. Perhaps a thin cotton mattress or a feather bed would be put on top of the straw mattress to make it more comfortable to sleep on. When I was married mattresses was more modern with springs but I can remember mother’s feather bed which she used over her straw mattress. I remember its striped tick cover. She would shake it up and down until it was fluffy and soft every morning. No one must sit of the bed after it was made. It should look nice with its lacy bedspread and pillow cases all flutted and lace trimmed. In later years it was discarded for Box springs mattresses. I must say here mother’s feather bed was made from feathers from her own chickens and turkeys. She would trim the soft feather part from the hard shaft so they would be real soft and fluffy.
Mother made all her quilts. One I remember real well was made of red and white percale in a fan pattern. Grandmother sheared and washed the wool from our own sheep then carded it into bats and used it for our quilts. She also spun the wool into yarn for father’s white hose. She also spun yarn and made it into blankets so our beds would be warmer in winter as we had no furnaces to keep the rooms warm.
Many a time during winter where it was very cold a brick would be warmed in the oven and put at the foot of the bed so our feet would keep warm. The fire in our heaters or stove would die out before morning so the rooms would get real cold and window panes would be frosted and wintry looking until a fire could be kindled in the stoves. I composed this rhyme in honor of mother’s feather bed 1910
That old feather bed how plain I can see it
That mother loved and used on her bed
She saved all the feathers from chicken and turkey
And was proud and happy of that feather bed
What a joy it was to sink down in the feathers
Late in the evening their rest to obtain
I remember its tick with blue and gray stripes
I often have longed to see it again
The mattress underneath was made of clean straw
With never a thought of a Beauty Rest Spring
She made up her bed but never did dream
Of the comfort a modern mattress would bring
Yes ever morn she would shake up its feathers
So fluffy and soft with a pat here and there
To make it more smooth she’d smilingly say
As she made up her bed with wonderful care
T’was covered with sheets as white as the snow
And cases all flutted and ruffled just right
And a blanket all fluffy woven by my gram
And a patchwork quilt all red and white
Tis not good to sleep on feathers, the good doctor said
And mother believed him and felt kind of blue
To part with the feather bed she had used so long
But as health was at stake she had nothing no choice
So the old feather bed went out of style
And a Beauty Rest has now taken its place
My childhood memories will keep bursting forth
Until on this earth we’ve ended our race
Now we are modern and never do think
What our pioneer mothers all had to do
How busy they were without modern conveniences
And the discomfort they had to pass through
Yet mother was happy with what she had
Thankful she had a house and roof overhead
So she kept the home spotless and in order
While father toiled arduously for our daily bread
Now mother and father have gone to their rest
And gone are the days of the old pioneer
I wonder how long when my journeys through
Who will carry the memories which I hold dear
For my children now in this modern day
Can never visualize the discomforts of pioneer time
No matter how often this writing they’ll read
So this is the ending of pioneer rhyme.
Due to progression we have come a far way in the modes of living. Now we enjoy the comforts of a nice bed with “beauty rest” and “foam rubber” and other kinds of mattresses to sleep on yet the pioneers were happy with what they could make themselves. They were far away from Covetizadron? thousands of miles away in reality. Every thing had to be hauled over the dreary dusty plains by horses and wagon until the railroad came and now in 1958 what a difference between the early steam engine with its high smoke stack and our modern diesel engine also our large moving vans and trucks and refrigerator cars.
Yes progression moves on. Now many things are carried by planes. Mail and perishable things can come to us within a short time so in our part of the country we can enjoy fruits and vegetables much earlier than we can raise them here. I can almost smell the new alfalfa and the song of birds as they flew from tree to tree in fathers orchard. I can hear the train whistle and the clicking of wheels as the trains passed by.
When I think of the sage brush prairie 70 years ago and now. It seems unbelievable that so much progress can be made in surroundings. Instead of the little one room school house now beautiful high schools, junior high schools and grade schools are dotted around in my home town. In my early days mail did not travel very fast not in 1958 mail can go from coast to coast in a few hrs time and to foreign countries as well.
Sandy in 1960 is not the Sandy I lived in when I was a little girl. The Old Depot is taken away which makes the street so bare. Of course the railroad still runs through but no passenger trains are there to see. Liquor saloons are there no more. The dance halls are a memory of the past. Alsops grove and pond is there no more. The smelter is now gone and now in 1960 no sage brush prairie. Nice new houses are built on the banks of Dry Creek. Well kept lawns around every home. All the land is cultivated or cut into building lots. Father was an ambitious man always ready and planning for the next season and ready for what it would bring.
My garden of memories sometimes stretch over the bounds of our home. I remember when father acquired 10 acres of more land so now he had quite a nice farm. I remember how hard he worked to clear the land of sagebrush. He had to plow to uproot the sagebrush. One year he was short of cash so he chopped this sagebrush into stove lengths and mother used it one summer in the old cook stove. It was messy and made extra work at cleaning time. Alsops Grove was the scene of many picnics and the 4th and 24th of July doings. A large pond for boat riding and a large orchard with plenty of shade made it an ideal place for our towns amusements. A large platform where programs were held and dances every week during summer.
I remember the patent medicine shows which came to our town every summer advertising their medicine. They were generally held at Alsops Grove just east of town. A vaudeville act or magician tricks would be the show after which they would offer their things for sale. The whole town would be covered with posters advertising the show and everybody was excited and would turn out to hear them auction off the medicine and the pills. Many would go home carrying a bottle of medicine or a box of pills guaranteed to cure ever so many ills. Alsops Grove was the scene of many picnics during the summer. The business district is smaller now than in former times because a large business operation or rather a super market was built at Midvale just at the suburbs of Sandy. I must mention Schmidts Drug store where we children could get penny candy and other candies. Gum of all makes was a delight of school children.
I cannot remember much about school the first year 1883 only that mother took me there and I liked it. My brother was five years old and I was 7. He did not like school at all.
As I was the eldest, mother would often say to me. “See that your brother comes home with you from school.” I would try my best but the older boys would urge the younger boys to fight. Where I tried to coax him to come home the bigger boys would call him a sissy and say “don’t be tied to your sisters apron strings, you can lick him.” The end would be a bloody nose and a scratch or two and a lecture when we came home. Boys will be boys and do not listen to their sisters.
All my girl friends had brothers older than they were and were proud of it. While I felt had mine was two years younger than I. All the grades were in one room under the care of one teacher. She taught all the six grades. Imagine a little one room schoolhouse plain rough board desks painted brown, a blackboard, a round heating stove in the center of the room, which smoked so bad at times that the pipe had to be taken down and cleaned by the bigger boys and the fire rekindled. Then we would stand around it until we were warm and the classes would resume. The pupils sitting beside the stove would almost roast while those in the back would freeze, but we lived through it.
I must describe one of my first teachers. She was real pretty and was always well groomed. In those days all well dressed women wore their dresses ankle length and all wore bustles. She also wore one and looked real nice in her dress. She wore her hair on the top of her head with little curls for bangs. We all thought she was perfect. Although she was strict and had order in her room we all loved her. We had lenient teachers as well as strict teachers. I remember one who stands out very vividly in my memory. She was small in stature but she demanded order in the school room. She won the respect of all the children even the older boys 17, 18 or 19 years of age who took advantage of schooling during the winter months when not needed on the farm. One of these boys used chewing tobacco and would spit tobacco juice on the floor under his desk. One day this young teacher said very sternly calling him by name, “Henry, we cannot allow this, get the mop and clean this mess up.” At first he did not move. She said it a second time although he was a six footer, he slowly arose, got the mop and did as he was told. It was never repeated again by him.
Another boy delighted to make us laugh. He bundled his coat up as a doll and hugged it when the teacher wasn’t looking his way. All the pupils around him would titter and laugh. One day she caught him in the act and said, “Jim, bring you coat up to me”, which he did. She placed a chair beside her desk and rolled his coat placing the bundled coat in his arms said, “Now sing your baby to sleep.” We all roared with laughter but he did as he was told and never repeated the act again. So school days golden school days, what memories they contain.
A tin bucket in one corner with a tin dipper attached to it supplied us with drinking water. Germs were not even thought of. A teachers desk in front of the room with a swivel chair comprised the furniture of the room. I like the swivel chair because it would spin around. We would take turns and spin around in it when the teacher went home for lunch. What a comparison with our comfortable heated rooms and air conditioners. Our drinking water was taken from a well near by.
My father was a staunch advocate of free public school education. The teachers pay to come from taxation. We had to pay 50 to 75 cents per child as tuition every month. Many of the citizens were opposed to free public school, but it was finally carried out. The smelter, railroads, mills and mines were all taxable and were all located in Sandy precinct so as time went on, Sandy had a fine school and to this day no finer schools, school buildings, High, Junior High and grade schools in Jordan district can be found.
Many changes were taking place. The new smelter was running full blast and work was plentiful. Father being a blacksmith did not have to take his farm repair work to a blacksmith shop unless he had to use a forge which is a place with fire where iron or other metal is heated very hot and then can be hammered into the shape needed. He would shoe his own horses and do all kind of repair work needed on his farm machinery. He had all kind of tools to work with, many of them he had made himself. When haying time came it was time to sharpen mower knives for the mower and it was a hard task for my brother and myself as we had to turn the grindstone. Father would press the knives so hard to the stone. (At least we thought so the grindstone would be so hard to turn). Father at times would become very impatient with us. In later years he made some contraption so he could turn it himself while sharpening his mower knives. Yes, I will always remember his mower, his binder and sulky plow, his handplow, his scraper and harrow, also his high hay poles with a large hay fork attached to a heavy rope which ran through a large pulley. The fork would almost take forth of a lead at a time and was drawn up by a horse which was generally led by one of use children. This made the hay stacks very high. He also had a large barn to store his hay. I also remember how they bound the wheat in bundles by hand until the self binder came into use. My what a useful machine it proved to be. Now in modern times new ways of doing farm work which takes less time and less work by man power machinery does most of it now. Mother would often say father spent all his money for poles, pulleys, and rope. I remember the large granary where father stored his wheat and oats at harvest time. The strawberry patch was quite a distance from the house across our alfalfa field so the chickens could not get in it but the neighbor boys did.
Father was a Blacksmith
Father was a blacksmith strong
Mother with her needle handy
Father and mother were pioneers
In this town of Sandy.
They settled mid the sage brush
A mile away from town
They tried to climb the ladder
Instead of staying down.
They struggled hard to make things grow
Upon this sunbaked soil
To make it rich and fruitful
Took many a day of toil.
They finally reached the pinnacle
Which they tried so hard to gain
And lived to see the sunshine
Outshine the days of rain.
If help was needed quickly
No on in vain did plead
For my parents were ever ready
To help some one in need.
They visited the sick around them
And soothes their aches and pains
Many a sad heart they filled
With sunshine instead of rain
Now they rest beneath the sod
And have for many a year
And I often think of them
And hold their memory dear.
Sundays and holidays through the summer, ice cream and soda pop was sold by the owners of Alsops Grove. In winter their pond was used to skating, that is half of it, the other half was cut up in squares and stored in a large building, each cake of ice covered with saw dust. It was sold to the town people. Father would often get ice here and mother would make ice cream for us and it was sure good made with rich cream. Swings and teeter totters would be hung and laid and made amusement for the children.
Walkers Grove and Knudsens Grove were places where we also had picnics. The whole ward would participate and bring their picnic baskets full of good things to eat and stay all day. Sometimes a short program would be arranged. Every family would bring their children and all would have a good time visiting with each other. Swings would be hung from tall trees and seesaws would be made over a large log so the children would have fun. Some times a little refreshment stand would be run during the day where ice cream, soda pop, popcorn, and candy would be sold. Hamburgers and hot dogs were not thought of in my young days. No drive ins where we could refresh our appetite were to be found as there is now. No outside movies or drive ins.
Castella Springs in Spanish Fork Canyon was also a resort where excursions were run by our community in summer. Syracuse bathing resort of Great Salt Lake was also a popular bather resort in early days. An excursion train would come from Midvale junction to Sandy to accommodate the people there. Generally, the people in the southern part of Salt Lake County would participate in these excursions. The resort was later abandoned.
In the early days of the pioneers there were no liquor places to buy liquor. But after the railroad came through all kinds of people came into the valley so liquor places called saloons were opened up, by people who were not Latter Day Saints, in our community. You would often see a rider all rigged up in cowboy style, tie up his horse and enter a saloon. As the years passed by many such places were opened up. Now they are called by nicer names as clubs, taverns, beer parlors or lounges. It was a common thing to see drunks stagger from one saloon to another. Now it is not so frequent as liquor is not sold by the drink over the bar as it was then. Often fights would occur on the sidewalks in the main streets of the city. Street cars were only operated on the main streets of the city drawn by mules so the transportation was slow and people would laughingly say “If I have time, I’ll ride the street car, if not I’ll walk.”
Frontier men who heard of the invention of the streetcar came to Salt Lake City to see just what a street car looked like. Some were satisfied but many were disappointed when they found it was nothing but a car on iron wheels running on rails and drawn by two Missouri mules. In horse and buggy hays water troughs were placed along some of the main streets. I remember one just east of the temple block. One was on State Street west of the City and County building and one on 1700 South and West Temple St. There were others in other parts of the city. They were places so it would be convenient for people to water their horses while out driving. Farmers as well as city people would stop as they passed and water their horses. A hitching post was found before every house who owned a horse and also in front of every business establishment where shoppers could tie their horses while shopping. No meter or metermaids to worry about, so shoppers could take as much time as they wanted to do their shopping. Along business streets you would see all kinds of vehicles, carts, farm wagons, white top buggies, carriages, and hacks. The hotel people owned hacks, as they were called, which would be sent to the depot to meet every train for the convenience of passengers who would like to stay at an hotel. There were no motels or motel lodges.
Every well to do family owned a horse and carriage especially in the city and also a barn in their backyard until later years when the automobile came into existence and the buggy days were over then the barns were made into garages. There were many livery stables where people could rent horses and carriage for pleasure or horseback riding. These were very convenient to those who did not own a horse and wanted a pleasure trip to the Canyon or Great Salt Lake. Several blacksmith shops were found on Main St in the city where horses could be shoed and vehicles could be repaired.
The events which I have written or will write may not be in chronological order but have all happened in my 84 years of life. One of the events may have happened earlier or may be later than I have recorded it but they are all true because as I’ve said before I am no story writer and many times no dates have been set down so only memory counts.
Main Street in 1873 when father came was very different than now in 1960. Let us visualize what it looked like then. The business buildings and the side of the street with the occasional wooden awning over the store front and perhaps a little wooden platform or step in front of the entrance door was a common thing. The dirt road way, the apparently unpaved sidewalks and a yoke of oxen slowly trudging along drawing an oxcart, on which was a large slab of granite to the temple block are hardly reminiscent of the main street of the crossroads of the west mentioned often on the television of today 1960.
Salt Lake City was surely a frontier town 1000 miles from anywhere depending upon its own resources except for what could be hauled by wagon across the vast plains and mountains. In 1869, the long hoped for railroad was finished and many changes were taking place. Great mercantile houses were being built replacing the rude building of an earlier day. Also with the completion of the railroad large quantities of “store goods” which could only be purchased at enormous prices now rapidly became available at lower prices. The railroad also made practical the development of mineral wealth of the region. The continental railroad was a great day for the nation as it was bound with bands of steel from east to west. It was a great day for Utah and really ended the pioneer period. To the east of the city lies the historic Fort Douglas. It was established in 1862 and named after the man who was defeated by Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States. It has always housed a regiment of soldiers and during World War I German and Italian prisoners were kept there. During World War 2, 1000 officers and 2000 civilians were employed there building houses and dormitories and bunk houses to house the soldier boys before they were sent away to their various places to train for the war. Now it is abandoned. No soldiers there except a few officers. Some of the ground has been given to build the new veteran hospital and another piece to the University of Utah and another piece for the Shriners hospital for crippled children.
The pioneers loved recreation so a hall called the social hall was built. Now the hall is there no more. It was torn down for a new avenue called The Social Hall Avenue. A marker has been placed there in honor of it. Many of the large blocks have been divided by streets and avenues, and business houses and food markets have been built along these streets. Other recreation places were found in a place called Wonderland, a place of curiosities and fun. I never had a chance to go there as the day for an excursion there I had the german measles. I felt very bad because all my playmates who went talked about it for days afterwards.
The Salt Lake Theater was built in 1862. It was elaborate and beautiful on the inside and was considered the most beautiful building west of the Mississippi River. Many a noted drama was performed within its walls. In 1928 after 66 years of service, the Theater gave way to progress and was torn down to make room for a new telephone building. The old building which had seen so much happiness and laughter was tired and old and a new generation had developed, newer tastes in the drama and other forms of amusements. It is gone, but not forgotten.
Brigham Young was not a frivolous man yet he knew that his people over which he presided must have good clean amusement. What better recreation than good music, drama and dancing. This drama entertainment it provided has been replaced by movies and television.
The Salt Palace at 9th South and Main was another place of amusement and an interesting place to see. It was made of salt slabs and encrusted with salt from the Great Salt Lake, then compressed and cut into blocks. This formed the exterior. Dancing at night mid multicolored lights set in sparkling crystal call bells, made the inside look like a dream palace out of fairyland. It was an unique resort. Play equipment such as miniature trains, swings, and seasaws for children. A bicycle track was also laid out where some of the best cyclists in the country had competition. It was destroyed by fire in 1910.
Garfield Beach was a bathing resort on the shores of Great Salt Lake. With its white sandy bottom made it a pleasant place for bathing. It was located a short distance from Black Rock where the pioneers first went to bathe. It was a noted resort in 1880 and was abandoned when Saltaire was built. It is now just a memory.
Many held excursions there were with our town and surrounding villages as well as the city. To bathe in the briny water was delightful and a ride on the steamer Garfield was a thrill. The steamer is also a memory. Out of the dim past came memories of the sturdy pioneers and their struggles to progress. They worked hard to make their home and surroundings beautiful. Flowers and trees were planted along streets and in their yards. Time passes on and these simple pleasures are replaced by newer methods, newer pleasure equipment, like the Giant Race, Airplanes, fun houses, etc.
The Brigham Young Monument which stands in the cross section of Main St and South Temple which was erected in memory of Brigham Young, who lad the pioneers across the barren and dusty plains to a place of refuge here in the valley of the Rocky Mountains. Now it has been remodeled. Its base has been chiseled off so it is neater and take less room making more room for traffic.
I remember the Savage Photograph Studio, a noted place, a drinking fountain has been erected to his memory just south of the temple block on South Temple St. I often recall the old bakery on Main Street across from the ZCMI where we bought bakery cakes when we went to conference. We children was glad when April conference came around because we could get oranges. Father would always bring some home for us when he went to conference. Oranges were not sold in our little store in early days so they sure was a treat. All kinds of potted plants were also sold along Main St. Mother would always bring home a geranium or other place. Our window sills were wide so plants filled all the windows. On eagle gate on North State Street in our city. An eagle mounted on a bee hive stands. This gateway led to Brigham Young’s private property in early days. This eagle was carved by an English convert to the mormon faith. As the winters snow during the years and summers heat passed over it, they played havoc with the old wooden eagle so about 1891 it was taken down and sent east where it was plated with copper and again placed on the gate which had been made wider to conform with the street. In 1960 the street is being made wider again and the eagle has been given to the daughter of the Pioneers to store away.
Progression goeth on and vast improvements have been made. From a board sidewalk to nice cement walks and gutters and paved streets. From a fountain with a tire dipper attached to it by a chain to a sanitary drinking fountain. Electric cars and gasoline buses instead of mule drawn cars. Electric lights instead of kerosene lamps. Aeroplanes and automobiles instead of horse and buggy. Trench diggers and tractors instead of plows and shovels. Electric washers and dryers instead of washing upon a washboard by hand. Doing the family wash by hand and ironing with flat irons which had to be heated on the family stove or range was no easy job. I know because I did it for many years myself. The electric or steam iron saves many a step to the housewife as do all the various electric appliances. Many years passed by before I had any electric appliances as we had no electricity in the country where we lived.
I rubbed and rubbed by clothes
On a washboard with edges rough
Then reused and turned them inside out
And examined every collar and cuff.
The out on a line from pole to pole
The clothes were hung with care
When dried by the wind there were ready
And were ironed by flat irons now so rare.
We used to heat them in the stove
How quick they cooled we were aware
The back and forth again we went
Now with the new iron we oft compare.
Washing was on all day job
No in automatic washers new
Our clothes are washing as white as snow
And it only takes an hour or two.
Thanks to the man who invented the iron
And other appliances too
For the electric iron save the steps
And makes it easy for me and you.
Electricity will heat our toaster
And toast our bread a golden brown
No need to toast o’er glowing embers
Just press a button down.
The robot man will do the work
Of the housewives of the town
Vitamin pills so handy you will see
Will be the daily menu, so that job down.
I remember when a little girl, mother had prepared a nice picnic basket with all kinds of good food as we were going to a ward picnic. Mother was getting us ready while father had gone to the village to help raise the flag on the flag pole when word came Pres James Garfield then President of the United States had been shot. The picnic was called off. I was a sad little girl when we had to stay home and eat our picnic.
I remember the old sprinkling wagons drawn by horses, sprinkling the dusty streets two or three times a day, especially the business district to settle the dust. Main St and State St as with others that were not paved until later and were covered with deep dust in summer and mirey mud in the rainy season and in the spring when winters ice and snow was melting. I remember well when sleigh bells jingled and many a family in the city owned a cutter or family sleigh and a span of beautiful hoses trimmed with bells. Even on Main St you would see sleigh parties spin by. Now in late years the streets are cleared of snow after every snow storm and even hauled away from the business district. Sleighriding parties on city streets are a memory now. Even sleighriding on the country streets is a thing of the past. It was a great sport for young people to organize sleigh parties and use large bobsleds and sometimes two span of horses to pull the sled filled with young people. Then after a few hours ride meet at someones house for chili or other refreshments. I remember tying my little sled behind father’s wagon and having a nice long sleighride. Now in our automobile age it is too risky and not allowed. Now places on hills and slants are made available for children for sleigh riding.
The first public telephone in our Village of Sandy was announced 1881. Now in our day nearly every family has a telephone and public telephones are found along many of our streets. The population of Sandy grew and a new school house and a new chapel were erected. A new post office and new residences and a store or two. New houses for smelter officials and the superattendent were built at the mining smelter site. A well was dug there for drinking purposes yet the old cistern was still there and came in handy for many farmers who had to haul their culinary water in the winter time. The smelter officials giving their permission to do so. My father being one of them because the water would freeze in the ditch and was hard to get to his ponds so he hauled his water in barrels from this smelter cistern. As the smelter needed water there was a man lured by them to keep the main ditch clean and bring the water to Alsops pond where the smelter stored water and the piped it to the smelter cistern and the homes at the smelter.
Mother supplied these people at the smelter homes with eggs, milk, cream and butter and chickens. Mother also raised turkeys and would sell them at Christmas to the smelter officials who in turn would present a turkey to each of the smelter employees so she never had any trouble to get rid of them. Milk in the early days of my childhood was not sold in cartons or bottles. I remember one milkman who supplied the town with milk. He would bring his milk in large cans and dip it out to his customers in pints or quarts as they desired. Mother having milk customers, we children would bring it to them in separate pails. Milk was only 5 cents a quart delivered. Butter 25 cents a lb, eggs 10 cents and 12 ½ cents a dozen. Wages $1.50, $3.00, or $3.50 a day for a 12 hour shift.
Grandmother always attended swedish meetings. This particular beautiful Sunday morning I was allowed to go with her. Mother had just made me a new red dress and bought me a white chiffon had with a large red rose as a trimming. I was a very happy girl. We had to pass by a large water hole filled with muddy water on our way. The path was narrow and very near the edge. Irrigation water had made the bank soft so as I stepped near it the bank caved in and I went along with it. I never hurt myself but thank goodness it was not full to the top, at the bottom it was a foot or so filled with miry mud. Grandmother pulled me out and took me home. I sure was a sorry sight covered with mud, face and hair. So Grandmother had to go to her meeting alone. I felt bad and cried. Mother took off my wet things and put dry ones on me. She washed and ironed my dress so it looked like new again but my beautiful hat was ruined, the pretty red rose faded upon the white so I could never wear it again. What freak accidents can happen when you least expect them.
Mother was a born nurse. Many a time she would be called out to help when a new baby arrived to wash and dress it and see that the mother was comfortable. Then she would come home and fix some tempting delicacy or often some broth and send it to her. There were no maternity homes to go to so they had their babies at home, generally assisted by a midwife.
Mother was often called when death entered a home. There were no mortuaries in the country so the bodies had to be prepared at home. She would wash and dress the body for burial. There was no hearse so father would be asked to drive taking the body or casket to church or wherever they would have the service and to the cemetery. He had a nice span of gray horses and a buggy long enough to hold a coffin or casket as the case may be. The coffin was often made by a carpenter of the town and would be lined with white material or perhaps silk. Some of the mothers could not sew so mother would help them with their sewing. In those days nearly all clothing was made at home. Ready made clothing as we can get them now were not found in our little stores. Mother made many a buried suit and buried clothes to many of the families in the ward. Now we can buy everything we need all ready made up to wear. Sandy was steadily growing and some yardage could be bought in some of the stores. Mother and Father would often go to Salt Lake to buy our clothes when they wanted something extra nice.
Sandy now in 1959 is not the same as it was when I was a young girl seventy or eighty years ago. From a rude shanty town it has grown into a beautiful city, a city of two stakes called the East & West Sandy Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now residences are built on hills and mountain sides. Yet when I go out there, I miss the old Depot. It makes the street so bare, of course, the railroad runs through the town but no passenger trains are there to see. Liquor saloons and dance halls are a memory of the past as is Alsops Grove and Pond. The smelter and sampling mills or all gone.
A great event in my life was when father decided to remodel our house. Two rooms built of brick were added one on each side that is north and south side also a utility or pantry. The kitchen was enlarged also. Grandmother was given one of these new rooms to use as her own and I was to share it with her at night. Grandmother had always wanted a loom and now her desire was granted as she would have room for it. She wove many a yard of rag carpet so our floors were well carpeted. She also wove carpets for neighbors and friends at 10 cents a yard if they furnished the rags and warp. She also carded the wool from our own sheep and spun it, then wove it into sheet blankets for winter use.
When I was about ten years old, my brother, I and my girl friend went to Dry Creek to gather autumn leaves. We found some real beauties-red, yellow, and orange. We picked them and started home with our arms full and filled all our vases. Soon after this my face flushed up and started to swell. Mother became alarmed. She had heard of “Poison Ivy” but had never seen it. Well, she threw out the leaves. For the next two weeks I was covered with small blisters filled with fluid which dried into hard scabs. My face became so stiff and I was really blind for three days, but through prayer and administration of the elders holding he priesthood of God, I was healed. I missed school for 3 or 4 weeks. My brother and my girl friend were not bothered with it. I often wondered as I grew older why they did not get doctor. Both father and mother were very devout in their faith and believed in the administration by the elders and prayer. I can here state that my parents never had a doctor in their home until my sister contracted diphtheria at the age of 21 while teaching school.
We had no movies radio or television in those days, so we had to make our own amusements and fun in our little town. For holidays in the year parties and programs were in order. The first day in May, “May Day” was a great day sponsored by the Sunday School. A King, Queen, and maids were chosen to rule during the day. It was an honor to be chosen Queen for you had to be a number one Sunday School student and attend Sunday School regularly all the year. My turn came when I was 12 years old. Mother made me a sheer white lawn dress trimmed with beautiful embroidery. She also made my underwear and slip, all trimmed with lace and embroidery (now we can buy our underwear all ready made at the store). My dress had stars pasted over it and also my organdy sash. My crown was three pointed and made of pasteboard covered with quilt paper and stars. My stockings were white and my slippers were black with large ribbon bows on them. I really felt like a queen. We had a program at 10AM. The main part was the crowning of the Queen. A special speech was given by the King when he placed the crown on her head. Then in the afternoon a matinee dance for the children at which I was the main character. May Day ended with a dance for adults at 50 cents per couple which paid for the orchestra. These May Day exercises were discontinued a few years later.
Our school used to have debates often and as a little girl, I often wondered if even I would have a chance to take part in one. My turn did come and I was chosen on the affirmative side. I still remember the question, “Which is the most important, the steam engine or the printing press?” The steam engine won. (Remember this debate took place before we had Diesel engines or gasoline trucks).
Saw mills, flour mills, and paper mills were built by the pioneers and even silk was manufactured by raising silk worms. I have gone with my father when he has taken his wheat to the flour mill to be ground into flour and waited his turn. I also went with him to the paper mill where he took rags to exchange for paper. It was interesting to see the rags chopped up and made into pulp and then run through rollers to dry and come out as paper. It was double interest to me as we were studying at school about the making of paper so I could really relate before the class how paper was made at this mill. This paper mill burned down in 1893. The walls were saved and was later sold and remodeled into a dance hall called the “Old Mill”.
I remember distinctly a story “How to Gain Wisdom” I had in Sunday School class. We were studying the Proverbs, one ready “Go to the ant hill scattered and consider her ways and be wise.” I was very anxious to prove that. On my way to school, I passed many ant hills and wanted to find out for myself how to be wise, so one day I scattered a large ant hill to see what happens, not with the intent of harming them, but to see what they would do. I was very careful not to get one on my person because they give you a miserable time if they nip you with their nippers. Well, these little creatures were bewildered as they were scattered all around. In a minute or two, however, every one were busy carrying between their nippers a grain of sand or food that had been stored for winter. If the kernel was too heavy, another ant would come and help. All were working together until the hill was finished. I found out it was wise to store food for a rainy day and also never to be idle, always working in unison. These little ants seemed to say, “Working together will win out, for in Wisdom there is strength.”
During winter we had much fun during noon or recess. We would choose sides and have snowball fights. No automobiles to be careful for. No icy snowballs just light snow was allowed. I remember one boy daring the girls. It was fun but poor Charlie got the mumps the next day so it was no fun for him. Now he sleeps under the sod as do many of the other who were in the challenge.
Another incident I regret very much that I did. Even now I wonder how and why I did it. I was very bright in my studies especially in Arithmetic. I was always prepared and would let my friends copy my work, but for some reason this particular day I was very angry at them. I thought I would teach them a lesson. I had a double slate (we did not have notebooks for examples or problems). Well, I worked all my problems correctly and turned my slate and worked by problems with mistakes in them on the outside so when they asked me to copy, I let them copy the problems with mistakes in them purposely. When the teacher asked us to place our work on the board, theirs were all wrong. Mine was correct. My conscience did not hurt me at all at the time. I thought it served them right for copying. They were severely reprimanded by our teacher when they admitted they had copied their work. As a result, my friends would have nothing to do with me not even speaking to me. I spent the most miserable week in my life. Their arithmetic problems suffered because copying others work does not help. I stood it as long as I could so one morning I pushed my slate over and whispered, “Copy” and the trouble was ended. Not so long ago some of us talked over our school days and this incident was brought up remembered by them. Most of them have now passed to the beyond.
I was a good speller too. Our school had spelling matches. The best spellers to be chosen in the final match. It came at last, I was the last one to fail and spelt down on the word buoy, putting the “o” in the wrong place. I received a red ribbon badge with champion speller printed on it in gold letters. I still have it in my possession.
About 1893 the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was dedicated. Some members of different faiths were allowed to go through the night before the dedication. It was a glorious time in my life when our ward was permitted to go and I was able to go too. Every ward was assigned a certain date to go and a certain section to sit in the temple auditorium. My whole family was able to go. I was very much impressed with the services. I heard sweet music during the services, where it came from I do not know unless it was heavenly music. There were other who heard it also and many other things were heard and seen. A baby boy was born there one day during the services. The services lasted every day for about 3 weeks until every ward and stake had participated in the services. After all the stakes and wards were through all the Sunday day school children were given a chance to go through again. My assistant teacher took our Sunday School class and boarded a train at Sandy Depot and came to Salt Lake City and marched up to the temple. We had no trouble every one in the group marched in order. After the services were over, we again marched to the train and came home.
In those days, boys and girls in the country were not familiar with city streets as they are now. I believe it would be a very hard thing to take a class in unison to any place. They would not stay together. Every boy and girl enjoyed the excursion to see and pass through this beautiful temple and hear the dedication commenting on it for days afterwards.
During the winter months when farmers were not as busy, the would plan parties at each others homes to spend a pleasant evening in games, dancing, and refreshments. Generally a banquet supper was served. Summertime was a busy time for the wives. Fruit had to be taken care of. Mother made preserves, dried apples, & apricots. Vegetables were also dried and pressure cooked. She also bottled fruit for winter use. Haying and threshing time kept mother busy cooking for hired men. The threshers are coming was an excitement for us children, but mother would have plenty to do. Meats had to be roasted. Pies and cakes had to be made, new bread made, all had to be done on a hot, wood or coal burning cook stove and made ready for the threshermen’s hungry appetites. The thresher was drawn by horses. 6 or 8 span or horses was used for power in threshing. Later an engine run by steam was used which was very dangerous as sparks would at time fly aloft, although they used a screen over the smokerstack, they could easily cause a fire in the straw. Threshing was done by pushing the shocks of grain into the machine which chopped the heads of grain and made the wheat kernels fall out and were fanned clean by a fanning contraption which separated the chaff from the wheat kernels and they would come out through a funnel and then be sacked and carried into the granary bins. Now they have harvesters which cut and thresh at the same time and wheat is carried into trucks by a funnel. No more cooking for the threshmen by farmer’s wives as they have their own cook wagon and their own cook, following the harvester from place to place wherever they have threshing to do.
We always had plenty to eat. Milk, butter and eggs were raised on the farm. In the early winter Father would have a pig or two butchered and also a steer. Sometimes a pig or two butchered extra to pay for our school and winter clothes. Mother would make sausage and render lard. As there were no deep freezers, meat had to be cured by being dry salted or brined so it could be kept during the year. Some of the hams and breakfast bacon would be smoked. Some of the meat could be frozen by hanging it outside in winter, but had to be canned or brined when thawing days came. Now we can deep freeze our meat which does away much of the old way of curing meat. Mother also made soap from fats discarded and saved during the year. She would also make cheese, warming a boiler of mild and add rement tablets to it. Let it stand a few hours then stir it up and press the whey from the curds through a sieve or colander until a firm mass and then put it up on a shelf to dry. Sometimes she would put caraway seeds in it. We children did not like the seeded cheese but father did. She would also make cottage cheese. Fresh meat could be bought for 5 and 10 cents a pound and liver, suet, and hearts were given away for nothing. Now everything is sold for money. Nearly every farmer had a outside cellar to store their potatoes, beets, and carrots. They stored them in white sand. Potatoes and apples were also stored in pits. Cellar was built under the dwelling houses where food and milk was put in cupboards all screened in so flies or other bugs could not get in. Apples would be peeled and dried under netting so the flies would not feed on them. Peaches, apricots, and prunes were also dried.
A new canal was dug and made ready to carry water from Utah Lake through the county to help the farmers with irrigation water. I remember father working on it. It is just a short distance from my old home. Its water was welcome to those farmers who lived below it and could use it. Water was needed on these dry, arid, farms. The mountain water was scarce in the later summer, so the canal was a great help.
About 1891 or 1892 our ward was reorganized and after 10 years of service a new bishop was chosen and the old bishopric stepped out of office.
Ezekiel Holman Bishop
Emil Hartvigson 1st counselor
Andrew O Gealta 2nd (my father) was released and
James Jensen Bishop
William D Kuhre 1st counselor
William W Wilson 2nd counselor was chosen.
The relief society was also reorganized. Two or three years later a new brick chapel was started and built.
The Paper Mill
Up at the mouth of a canyon
Big Cottonwood by name
Stands an old rock building
Noted for its fame
Tis the old old paper mill
Built by early pioneers
To make their needed paper
In those early years
Paper then was made of rags
Chopped and made into a grass so crud
Then rolled through rollers hot
Until it came out nice and smooth.
Now they use also straw and fiber
And other materials too
Woody pulp is also used
As new experiments grew
Then one day the old old mill
Went up in fiery flames
The walls remained because they’re rock
I don’t know who was to blame
Now its rebuilt and remodeled
Into a ballroom grand
Where you dance to good music
From a modern orchestral band.
I think it wise to note down the happenings that our children may read of the doings of their fathers and mothers which would otherwise be forgotten ages to come.
I must say something about our holidays. Holidays are somewhat different now in 1959 than they were 50 years ago in the early 1900s. Things have changed, we are more modern now but it is pleasant to remember how a less hurried generation celebrated the holidays.
Lincoln’s birthday comes first on my list. His birthday wasn’t so important. We sometimes had a program in school where we remembered he set the slaves free and he also became a president of the United States.
Then comes George Washington’s birthday. We all know he was our first president of United States. In my school days we always had a big program on his birthday and as well write some of his biography and perhaps an afternoon dance would be given us.
I almost forgot Valentine. Valentine was a very important day to the school children. We always had a valentine box at school where we deposited our valentines. What fun it was to hear our names read off and we received a new valentine all covered with lace and ribbon bows if it was from a boy how proud we were and what a scream it would be if some boy got an ugly one.
The first day in May was May Day sponsored by our Sunday School. First thing the hall was decorated in Peach blossoms if they were in bloom or else paper roses would have to do. At 10AM we had a program and a matinee dance at 2 PM for the children. A queen and her maids with the king crowning the queen was in order.
Then on the May 30, Decorations or Memorial Day. A program was held at 10 o’clock AM. Band music and appropriate talks at the cemetery. Graves were all decorated, each party taking care of their lot. Later the cemetery was made perpetual care.
Next comes the glorious 4th of July, our nations birthday with it firecrackers bursting all around causing injury to many a child. One year in the nineteen hundreds, we had a regular snow storm even coats felt comfortable on July 4th. The atom bomb had not been thought of but we had skyrockets, pinwheels, sparklers, and firecrackers. They are handled much safer now than when I was a little girl. Always we had a parade headed by a big brass band, canons from Fort Douglas also soldiers were in the march. After the parade was over many would take the street car to the Liberty Park to eat their picnic dinner. At night the glorious firework display exploding in the sky and music drifting from the dance pavilion was heard. No traffic jam to worry about every one was happy.
Next came the 24th of July, Pioneer Day. Now called The Days of 47, celebrated in honor of the Pioneer who treked the barren plains to come to a place of refuge from persecuting mobs. With the queen and her attendants leading the big grand 2 hr parade with its magnificent horse drawn floats of every description. The streets were lined with people until it ended at Liberty Park. Many brought a lunch and stayed at the park during the afternoon.
A few months soon passed by and the crops are garnered and Thanksgiving appears with its Turkey dinners and church services thanking God for a bounteous harvest and love for one another.
Last of all Christmas with the Christmas spirit everywhere and people are happy visiting with each other bringing gifts and good wishes to friends and relatives. In my home town we had a Christmas program sponsored by the Sunday School in the morning and a dance for the children in the afternoon and each child received an orange and a bag of candy with a small gift enclosed. Generally it ended with a dance for adults at night.
Now Christmas being over we looked forward to a new year. New Years came in and old years passes out and new resolutions are made for the New Year.
Another good time we had every Christmas was in my own home. All work was put away during Christmas and New Year holidays. Father would go to the mountains and cut a Christmas tree and it was always a nice bushy one. In those early days there were no restrictions on cutting trees of any kind. Mother would make decorations and trim it with candles. We had no electric bulbs to brighten it. Nice red apples and oranges were hid among its branches and homemade baskets filled with candy were also found. Christmas Eve we would always have company. Several of mothers old friends as well as fathers were invited to spend Christmas with them. We always had a Christmas Eve dinner like they had in their homeland (Sweden). It consisted of a fish course called Lut Fisk (Stock Fish), mashed potatoes, vegetables, white sauce with mustard in it. Rice pudding (or grott) and fruit cake and Klenor. Santa Claus would always come when we were asleep and fill our stockings. We always hung them up before we went to bed. For Christmas Day dinner we had chicken and in later years when another raised turkey. We always had turkey with all the trimmings. Sometimes a little pig would be roasted whole. I did not like that kind of meat. It was too jellied and not mature enough. Such Christmases I can never forget.
I was chosen valedictorian of my class when I graduated from school. The exercises were held at Wandamere (Now it is the Pribley Golf Course). It was a beautiful pleasure resort at that time. A nice resort to bring children and picnic and spend the day. I was very proud to be chosen to represent my class.
I have been active all my life in church work, generally as secretary. I have also been in the stake as asst sec as well as in the wards I have lived. I was also in the Relief Society Presidency. I have also been a Sunday School teacher and also a classleader in the Relief Society.
In 1890 or 1891, a sunday school training class was held at Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University) at Provo Utah. Two active sunday school teachers from each ward in nearby stakes were chosen to take this class. A young man as well as myself was chosen from our ward (Sandy Ward) to take it. Thanks to my parents, I was able to go. They paying all the expenses for my fare, board, and lodging while I was there. We were all strangers to each other but before we were through we became dear friends. After returning home and given our report, I was asked to take the second intermediate class. My assistant was a bright and intelligent young man. We taught the Book of Mormon. We had a wonderful class of boys and girls, some of them did not belong to our faith but were very interested in the lessons. Two of these boys whose parents were Lutherans went back to Sweden with their parents about 60 years ago (1895) and I never heard from them until last year (1955) when I received a letter from the oldest boy now a man of 70 years. I sure was surprised that he still remembered me and wrote me. While teaching this class we gave a wonderful review of the years work. All the class taking their parts very nicely. We were complimented very highly by the Sunday school and the Bishopric which made us very happy. While I was attending this class at Provo, a course in mutual improvement activity training was given by a professor Brumhall. I was chosen secretary of this training class in which I learned to become an efficient secretary which has been very useful to me when I have been secretary in Relief Society in wards and stakes. Shortly after Jordan Stake was organized I was chosen to be assistant secretary in Jordan Stake Relief Society which I held for 15 years until I moved to Salt Lake City.
I can remember the hundredth anniversary of the copper one cent which at that time amounted to something. Despite the ancient saying “not worth a red cent” the penny cent would buy all sorts of things including the choice of a wonderful assortment of candies and gum. But those days are gone, as vanished as the buffalo. The one cent postcard has also disappeared. Now in 1958 all that the penny will buy is 12 minutes of curb parking time providing naturally that space is available. We had no parking meters to worry about in those early days, park as long as we wanted to. There was a time when wages was paid in Gold. I have seen $20.00 gold pieces, $10.00, $5.00, and $2.50 gold coins. Now wages are paid by check or paper currency mostly with dollars and small change in silver. I don’t remember seeing the money the pioneers used when they began their trade with one another.
Salt Air, a lovely bathing resort, was built on Great Salt Lake about 1893 a mile from the shore. It was built on poles or stakes driven into the lake bottom. The water surrounding it several ft deep. Bath houses were built where the water was safe for bathers. A large pavilion was built for dancing with a picnic area underneath, also a restaurant and other concessions and amusements. A great roller coaster was built but was later destroyed by fire as was some of the other buildings. It was remodeled. Two rivers flow into the lake, the Jordan and the Bear River on the north but no outlet has been found. During the dry season a few years ago due to evaporation and small river flow the water receded so the resort was on dry land. It was a strange feeling to walk upon the sands which so recently had been covered with water. The bathhouses had to be moved and a gasoline car carried the bathers from the bathhouses to the lake which had receded about a mile beyond the pavilion. The water being so salty it is easy to swim in and drowning is almost an impossibility. A person must be careful not to inhale or swallow any water because it might strangle you it is so salty. An open car excursion train came hourly from Salt Lake City to the lake during the summer months. I believe there is a bus every morning for tourist travel who like to see the lake. I have to smile when I think of the bathing suits we wore then in my young days compared with the suits of today. They were made of black or blue material with a white braid trim. Blouse, shorts and a skirt were sewed together in one piece, black hose went with the outfit. What a difference in dress since those days of hundreds and now in 1958. Now in 1960 the Salt Air Resort is shut up tight. No water surrounds it. It stands on dry land. It now belongs to the city and is still a tourist attraction but it is all boarded up and it gates are closed. Sunset Beach a few miles south of Salt Air is now the beach for bathing in the lakes briney waters.
In the early days of the pioneers and I consider my parents were pioneers although they came to Utah on the railroad 1873 & 1874 and did not come by train or handcart. Everything was done in the home. Mother made her own soap, potato starch, which she made by grating the potatoes on a grater and taking the starch by water baths. The starch would sink to the bottom of the vessel and would later be dried into meal or starch. What great progress had been made with new inventions and electric appliances of all kinds. We also have canneries for fruit and vegetables run by electricity. I wonder what the next fifty years will bring.
The Latter Day Saints of early days practiced polygamy or plural marriage. Many had more than one wife. The government passed a law prohibiting more than one wife so many who had more than one wife living with them by the United States marshal were imprisoned at the state penitentiary for six months or more as punishment for breaking the law. Father had only one wife for which I was very thankful. President Wilford Woodruff of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints issued a decree called the Manifesto in which the Saints were advised to refrain from contracting any marriages forbidden by the laws of the land, if they did still persist in doing so they would lose their membership in the church and be cut off the records of the church. This manifesto was issued September 21 1890. One of our articles of faith reads in part “We believe in honoring and sustaining the law.”