Note: This information was taken from “Early History of Liberty and the People” and was written by Vera Shaw Applonie. Part II ran in the May 1 issue of “The Ogden Valley News,” Part III, in the May 15, 2020 issue.
In 1922, Father was called on an LDS Mission to the Northern States under the Direction of Bishop James L. Shaw and stake President Thomas E. McKay. Before Father left for his mission, we had a wonderful trip to the Salt Lake Temple, 27 January 1922. Our entire family arose long before daylight, drove to Eden Station in the bobsleigh, caught the street car to Ogden, and then the Bamberger to Salt Lake City; much different today. It was a day to remember as our whole family knelt at the altar and were sealed for time and eternity. The serenity of that occasion we will never forget. The Spirit of God, the beauty, and Holiness of the temple permeated our very beings. What a wonderful day!
We caught the Bamberger back to Ogden too late to catch the street car to Eden, so we stayed overnight at Grandma Shaw’s. Some job for her to make beds for ten people!
On 22 February 1922 Father left for the Northern States Mission. With no money saved ahead, it was a real task to raise the money for his monthly expenses.
Mother milked eight to ten cows night and morning. We all took turns cranking the milk through the “Separator.” From the cream she churned butter. She placed the molded butter in pound paper wrappers and on each was printed her name. She supplied the Dee Hospital with her delicious butter for the two years that Father was on his mission. With no refrigeration, it required extra effort to keep the butter hard so she worked at it in the cool of the mornings and evenings.
One year after his return, Father was sustained as Bishop of the Liberty Ward, 11 October 1925. This office he held until 15 December 1929. While Bishop, along with Bishop’s duties, he was instrumental in securing and extending the electric power line from Eden to Liberty in 1928. The whole valley was lit up on Christmas Eve when the current was turned on for the first time.
He helped organize the Liberty Irrigation Co. and was President, Director, and Secretary for many years. Also, he was Director and President of the Liberty Land and Livestock Company.
During the summer of 1929, Father and Mother had a six-room frame home built on the top of the hill east of where Woodrow now lives. They continued to operate both farms. As the folks became older, milking the cows was a great chore, so to make their work easier, Father bought and installed a Sears Roebuck milking machine.
Boyd Storey, “The Milk Man,” hauled the whole milk from the farm for five years. In the winter when the snow was deep and the road drifted full, they would have to bring the 10 gallon cans of milk down to the highway. One morning, Boyd and Father decided to hook the black team to the truck and pull it up to the milk house to load the milk. The team broke loose, up the hill they ran. Father was wrapped in the lines, tumbling head over heels but still controlling the team. Boyd, in telling about the incident, said, “Ed Shaw was a man of Go! Grit! And Guts!”
After working in the fields all day, he would come to the house physically exhausted. Too tired to do more until after supper, hear the news of Gabriel Heater, then a nap with his head resting on the table. He would muster strength to go to the milk barn and milk ten to twelve cows.
Gary Jensen, a grandson, states, “He was the hardest working man I have ever known. If he hadn’t lost his leg, I think he would have worked himself to death.”
To plant and reap was his greatest delight. He loved to work the soil. His entire life was spent in fertilizing, plowing deep, spring-toothing, harrowing and leveling and harvesting. During the growing season the crops required lots of irrigating. He would arise long before daylight an on his pony ride from one field to the other, turning the water in the field and checking to see if the water had flowed clear through the field. When irrigating, he wore gum boots. When he came to the house, he would kick them off at the door, roll up his waist Levi pant legs and come in, in his bare feet.
He always had a big herd of white-face range cattle. In the summer, he would ride to the range and round them up to the best grass. In the fall of the year, he sold the fat ones for beef. The rest he would keep and feed them in the field near the barnyard with the hay and grain he had raised during the summer.
In 1947, Father and Mother moved to a little white frame home at 511 2nd Street in Ogden, Utah where he was an active High Priest and home teacher. At this home they discovered many wonderful friends and neighbors.
On March 1, 1953, as we were visiting, Father related this faith-promoting story to me:
“I was coming up the steep grade in North Ogden Canyon, just above Chicken Creek, I was riding the head horse, had the second horse tied to the saddle, and the third horse tied to the second. The last or third horse walked too close to the embankment, with the snow being slipper, he slipped over the band and pulled the second horse over also. As I looked back, I saw those horses rolling one over the other down the steep bank in North Ogden Canyon. The horse I was mounted on was losing his balance and began to slide also. I very quickly reached for my pocket knife and cut the rope and let the two horses roll on down to the bottom of the ravine; thus, saving the horse I was riding from sliding down. What a narrow escape! Had my horse been pulled down over the embankment, no telling what may have happened. I went farther down the canyon where the grade wasn’t so steep, and brought the horses up another slope without serious injury to them. The Lord had a protecting hand over me that day, and by the whispering of the Holy Ghost, I quickly reacted and my life was saved.”
In a mower and tractor accident in 1953, he was shipped round and round through the machine and suffered the loss of his left leg. Two grandsons, Don Carlos and Eddy Lynn Shaw are credited with saving his life. At this critical time, Don administered to him and they rushed him to the hospital.
As I visited Father in the hospital after that serious accident, he looked up to me and stated, “Vera, I actually passed through the veil. My father and mother were standing here beside me.”
Due to his strong persistence, after six weeks he was up and around. With an artificial leg he continued to operate his farm and kept up his activity in the 29th Ward.
My Bishop, Bishop Jay G. Page of the 28th Ward stated to me: Your Father was our home teacher in the 29th Ward. It was very difficult for him with his artificial leg to kneel in family prayer. But with his persistence, he continued to do so.”
He was the Patriarch of his family, possessing an unwavering dynamic faith, determination, diligence, vigor, integrity, honesty, and firmness in his convictions. He considered it a great privilege to work and work hard he did, all of his life. He was thrilled to have lots to do. At the age of 92 years, he raised his last vegetable garden.
He had a sharp wit and a chuckle in his voice when an event especially thrilled him. He would quip, “Golly! Golly! Golly!”
He was seventeen years old when Utah became a state. He was nineteen years old when the Spanish American War was fought. He knew all the Presidents of the Church, except Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
In 1962, at the age of 82 years young, he was Grand Marshal of the Ogden Pioneer Parade. In 1953, Mother and Father celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In 1968, Mother and Father celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary; in 1973, their 70th.
Mother and Father’s sons have held responsible positions, serving missions, counselors to Bishops, and high councilmen. Their daughters have all been active in the Church, holding many responsible positions in Ward and Stake in the auxiliary organizations. They encouraged their children to secure college educations, which they did. Their children have been school teachers, business secretaries, firemen and farmers.
Mother and Father were descendants of noble pioneers. Their bloodlines came from the greatest of the earth. They stood true to their convictions, endured many hardships, lived well and long years, and served much.
They passed away within six months of each other. Mother died 14 September 1974, and Father 7 March 1974, leaving a large posterity of 32 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, and (at the time of this writing) 1 great-great-grandchild.
Life History of James Edmund Shaw: Part II
Note: This information was taken from “Early History of Liberty and the People” by Mary Chard McKee. Part I ran in the April 15 issue of “The Ogden Valley News.”
Bill Heflen, coming from Ogden once a week, would weather the storms to pick up the sour cream to deliver to the Ogden Dairy. Often times he stayed overnight until the storm had subsided and roads could be made through the drifts which had to be made by teams and sleighs. No snow plows in those days.
When new farm inventions came along, such as the manure spreader, hay loader, tractor, buck rake, etc., father was one of the first farmers to purchase them to make his work easier. He always had good farm equipment and often times loaned the machinery to his neighbors.
In the spring of 1911-1912, father took a load of grain to Ogden and approached Mr. William Astell about a 1910 Buick. Mr. Astell, anxious to demonstrate the car, took father for a ride to Hot Springs where they had a swim.
Mr. George Atkinson, the hired man, went with father to Ogden with the second load of grain, to drive the team back to Liberty. Father bought the car, and he and Mr. Astell drove to Liberty. There were no bridges over any streams in those days so when they arrived at Wolf Creek, they stopped, checked the depth of the water by throwing rocks into the stream. Finally, Mr. Astell said the car would make it. So through the high stream of water they drove and went merrily on their way.
The 1910 Buick had carbide headlights, a kerosene tail light, and four dry-cell batteries located under the back seat. To start the car, it had to be cranked from the front end. It had isinglass curtains to attach in rainy weather; very different from cars today. In the wintertime, the car couldn’t be driven on account of the deep snow, so it was stored in the shed and jacked up to preserve the tires. Father always repaired the flat tires. At that time, there were not cars in the town of Eden and only two in Huntsville.
Friends and neighbors came, especially on Sunday, and would line up waiting a turn for father to take them for their very first car ride. Mother and we children enjoyed visiting while friends, neighbors, and relatives waited their turn for their first automobile ride.
In 1915, on a return trip from Ogden, father brought home a piano in the wagon. The wood was a beautiful oak finish, lovely to adorn our front room. It was after dark when he arrived and before it could be unloaded from the wagon, we played many records. Some friends across the valley heard the music and wondered what it was. The next day, several friends came and helped Father unload the piano. Again, people came from far and near to hear the records as they rolled across the keyboard and produced beautiful melodies.
During grain threshing time, in the fall of the year, my sisters and I had lots of fun dressing up a big branding pole which was anchored in the middle of the barnyard. We made it into a first-class scarecrow, outfitted from tip to toe with mother’s sun bonnet and full-gathered housedress—which we stuffed with straw. While we girls were outside, at the supper table, father and mother decided to play a trick on us. Lawrence sneaked out the back door, and dressed up in the scarecrow’s clothes taken from the post. Father called, “A calf is chewing up Ma’s dress. You can imagine our great surprise and fright when the scarecrow took after us! Three little girls almost had heart attacks.
Families in those days had to make their own recreation. Our family would attend the three-act plays, which parts were all played by Ward (church) talent. They were excellent entertainment and everyone enjoyed them. Often, community dances were held. Old and young came for fun. Beds were made for the babies up on the stage by putting two long benches together. The babies slept soundly while the orchestra or the player piano played on and friends and neighbors danced with delight.
A fond memory I have was waltzing with my father and winning the contest. For the prize we received a box of delicious chocolates.
There was an exciting 24th of July celebration held in the river bottoms east of the town of Liberty. Every family entered a float to typify the Mormon Pioneer Handcarts entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The floats emerged down over the hillside to resemble Emigration Canyon.
Father was very enthusiastic to build and enter a float. We all had fun pooling our ideas, and came up with the idea of using our old two-wheeled pig cart that was used to carry milk and swill to the pigs. We outfitted the cart with all the objects we thought pioneers would carry across the plains. Much to our surprise, the handcart took first place in the contest.
It was a Christmas tradition in our family to have a large dish pan of ginger cookies to enjoy. Father loved to dunk the cookies in a cool glass of milk.
Many times mother and father invited her brothers and sisters and their families to our home to have Christmas dinner. Grandma and Uncle Alf Chard would bring a big sack of hard tack candy and peanuts. What a treat for those days!
Occasionally, when finances permitted and materials could be secured, mother would make us new dresses for the children’s Christmas Dance. Father would hook up the team to the sleigh and away we would all go to the dance where we had lots of fun.
In 1917, father and mother bought Uncle Orson Shaw’s old three-room home, located north of the pea vinery upon the hill east of where Woodrow now lives. It had been vacant for a long time and needed lots of repairs.
It was really wonderful to live close enough to be able to walk to church, school, and other activities. While we were living in this home, Alburdice, Amelia and Rulon were born. All grew to maturity except Alburdice, who passed away in 1939, leaving a five-month old daughter, Shirley Ann Lindsay.
Mother and Father kept the farm in the north end of the valley. So there was much more farm work to be done on both places, which required traveling back and forth. Sometimes we drove to the pasture to milk the cows and often times the cows were driven back and forth on the rough dirt road down to the lower farmyard. The milk check was the only yearly income so it was necessary to maintain a big herd of cows.
When our family was all home, Father would go to North Ogden and bring back ten or twelve bushels of peaches to can for winter. Grandma Chard was always on hand to help with the peeling.
In the fall he would make another trip and bring back twenty bushels of apples, which we stored along with the potatoes in the dirt cellar, which made good eating all winter.
After a hard day of work was done, Father would sit at the kitchen table and peel and eat an apple or two before retiring.
Flour, another necessary commodity, was purchased for the winter in big lots. Due to the lack of storage space, it was stacked high in the corner of the bedroom; often times, twenty or more fifty-pound bags.
Father always knew where the best service berries and choke cherries grew and he advised, “Pick the wild fruit before other people come and get them.
There was always a big fat pig butchered for winter meat. The bladder from the pig was washed, dried, and filled full of air with which we had much fun playing ball.
Father’s and Mother’s yard and barnyard surroundings were neat and well kept. Father never hesitated to drive in a nail where it was needed for a repair job.
Father owned interest in a huge threshing machine run by a steam engine. Often times, 20 to 30 men would follow the machine from farm to farm to thresh out the grain. Because of the heavy yield of grain, they would work at our farm for 7 or 8 days. What a cooking job that was, especially when they would devour 13 pies at one meal.
Father loved hard work and so he always stacked the straw as the huge blower blew it into heaps upon the stack. In the hay fields, he would stack the hay. One year when the crop was especially good, he raised and stacked 13 stacks of hay, filled two barns, and stacked it all. During the summer he usually had hired help.
I must not forget the two dogs—old Ring and Tip, who would round up the cows and especially old Ring, serving as a watch dog. By the sound of his bark we could distinguish between strangers or friends.
Father always had several teams of good work horses and foxy ponies. Old Nig and Buck were the saddle ponies for the children to ride.
When the government drafted horses for World War I, two of his best horses, Dan and Prince, were selected to go to France.
Life History of James Edmund Shaw: Part I Note: This information was taken from “Early History of Liberty and the People” by Mary Chard McKee.
James Edmund Shaw was born in North Ogden 25 October 1879, the son of Sarah Jane Ward and Edmund Riley Shaw. His mother was born 21 December 1861, the oldest of a family of eleven children—two sisters and nine brothers. She was the daughter of Patriarch James Ward and Harriett Brown Ward. Sarah Jane, my grandmother, was born near the Clay Hill at 12th Street, Ogden, Utah in a one-room log cabin. It was there Grandmother attended school, sitting on a rough bench while preparing her lessons on a slate which they used instead of paper or a blackboard. She grew up in North Ogden and met her future husband and was married to Edmund Riley Shaw. Edmund Riley Shaw was born in Centerville, Utah, 22 June 1855, son of Martha Ann Thomas, a pioneer of the 1853 Hand Cart Company; and Elijah Shaw II, born 1824 at Cincinnati, Ohio. They were married in 1849 at Nauvoo, Illinois. Edmund Riley Shaw married Sarah Jane Ward 2 January 1879 in the Salt Lake Endowment House. He served a mission to the Southern States from 1895 – 1897. He was also Superintendent of the Sunday School and President of the Y.M.M.I.A. Grandpa Shaw and his brothers Elijah, George, John and Orson went to Liberty with their father Elijah in the very early days and homesteaded what was known as the bench area. Their property extended from Edgar Holmes’ property on the north to Willards’ home on the south. It extended east to the river bottoms of the North Fork River. The land was some of the best in the valley with an excellent water right. Grandpa went to the north and homesteaded the land along cold water, west of the field under Ben Lomond Peak, north and west of where Clair Shaw now lives (in Liberty). Grandpa and Grandma Shaw were among the early settlers of Liberty. However, for several years they would return to North Ogden to spend the winter. The winters were very severe and the snow fell deep (in Liberty). Even though they returned to North Ogden for the winters, they still endured many hardships. Grandpa was a very progressive farmer and he could foresee the need for irrigation water for their crops. He was the first pioneer farmer to direct irrigation water out of the North Fork River on to the land to irrigate their crops. My father was the oldest of a family of twelve children—six boys and six girls. He was born of noble parents, a descendant of Patriarch James Ward who later in life gave him his patriarchal blessing. As a young boy, my father worked with his father on their farm in North Ogden, later in Pleasant View. In the summertime, he would go with his father and mother over the North Ogden Canyon to Liberty and there they would work on the homestead. Grandpa had a lot of cows, range cattle and range land to take care of. They lived in a one-room rustic cabin west of the “big knoll.” Even though they were homesteading in Ogden Valley, they kept their home in Pleasant View where they would return for the winter. It was really out in the wilds and they had to rough it a lot. Father told me: “They had cows to milk and care for and often times the bears would come down form the mountains, tip over the milk cans and the old swill barrel, which they kept for the pigs.” Later on while herding cows on our farm, Mildred, Tura and I would wander up to their cabin and Grandma Shaw would fix us a bite to eat. It was at her cabin that we tasted our first sourdough bread. As time passed, Grandma decided to go up to the Snake River country near Rexburg, Idaho. The family had a long hard journey to Rexburg, traveling in a covered wagon. My father was just a young lad at that time. With his uncle Elijah Shaw, they drove a herd of stock cattle and milk cows to Rexburg, Idaho. There they lived in a one-room log cabin made of cottonwood with a dirt roof and a dirt floor. Pioneering a new country, they had plenty of hardships. All her married life, Grandma was always very much afraid of Indians. There were Indians all around where they lived in Utah and now in Idaho. One day some Indians came to borrow some leather. Grandma, being very fearful of Indians, brought Grandpa’s new harness inside the cabin, and placed it in the middle of the dirt floor. She told them to help themselves. My father remembered the harness laying on the floor and also Grandpa’s surprise at finding so m any parts missing from the harness. The Indians had taken a knife and sliced off the parts they wanted. The mosquitoes were so terribly thick that they made smudges in the cabin of rosin weed to try to drive them out. While in Rexburg, they endured one hardship after another, which comes from pioneering new country. From Rexburg they came back to Pleasant View in about 1888 and settled near the Barnett farm. Later they built a big red brick two-story home. It was at this home that I have my first recollections of Grandpa and Grandma Shaw. In a white top buggy my father and Grandmother delivered her homemade butter to customers in Ogden. Her butter sold for 10 cents a pound and because of the good quality, was always in demand by the prominent families of Ogden—the Brownings, Eccles, and Wattis’s and others. She saved the money she earned and helped educate her family, so father was able to attend Weber State Normal College, a privilege very few had in those pioneer days. Because of father’s athletic ability and interest in sports, he played on the Pleasant View Baseball team for several years. On 21 October 1903 he married Virtue Pearl Chard in Ogden, Utah. They had great courage to begin raising a family in the face of hardships. They began their humble home in the north part of Liberty, where they had homesteaded the land. They lived in a one-room rustic cabin north of Cobble Creek on the west side of the field, below the “big knoll.” They worked hard clearing the rocks and sagebrush from the land. On a homemade dredge, rocks were hauled away, and sagebrush was cleared, piled up and burned. They purchased more farmland and rangeland from Grandpa Shaw. They continued to work hard taking care of the cows, range cattle and chickens. One baby boy was born and died while living in this cabin. Later they moved the one-room cabin down on the lower part of the farm where Clair Shaw now lives. They built two adjoining rooms, which gave them more room. In this home, seven of their children were born: Lawrence, Vera, Mildred, Tura, Woodrow and Mary Jane, and another baby boy who died at birth. The large south front window was always adorned with beautiful house plants. At one time, a French Fucia filled the whole window. They did not have any modern conveniences. Culinary water had to be carried form the North Fork river bottom up the steep hill. Later the water was piped to the outside of the house. In the fall of the year, after the crops were harvested, father would haul the hay and grain with horses and wagon on a dirt road down through Ogden Canyon to market. He would leave early and arrive home late. Mother milked the cows, took care of the chickens and had all the responsibilities of looking after the children. On the southwest edge of the farm was a canyon known as “Thimbleberry.” Here, from a spring, a beautiful stream of water flowed into a manmade pond. This water was ponded up to use later to irrigate the big, beautiful vegetable garden. The vegetables were shared with neighbors, relatives and friends. When the corn was ready for use, Aunt Elizabeth Clark’s family would come to our house, father would take us all to the garden, we would pull sacks and sacks of corn. Then back to the house to husk, cook and dry the corn by the bags full for winter use. We lived about 3 miles from our church and school, with no car to hop into to ride there in comfort. In order to attend school, father would hook one team of horses to the sleigh. Lawrence and the four oldest children would bundle up under quilts and ride to the schoolhouse. Sometimes we rode in the cutter. In the spring and fall, we went in a light rig buggy with one horse hooked in the shaft. Sometimes, in very good weather, we walked. Mother and father would arise bright and early to make necessary preparations. Despite the hardships, we all had good attendance at both church and school. We had very severe winters. The snow would fall deep and often times the wind would drift the snow high, completely covering the road.
Home of James Edmund and Virtue Pearl Chard in the north part of Liberty, Utah. The small part of this home was the original log house built by Ed Shaw Sr. up in the field. When Ed Jr. took it for his home, it was moved out of the field to the edge of the section of land and the other part added on in 1910. Members of family, from left to right, Mildred May, Vera, Tura Virgue, Woodrow K., mother Virtue Pearl Chard Shaw holding Mary Jane in her arms. Dogs, “Old Ring,” in front and “Tip” lying on the porch. This picture was taken in 1916.
Biography of Agnes Ririe Burnett
By LaVerna Burnett Newey
Agnes Ririe Burnett was born March 27, 1874 in West Weber, Utah. She was the youngest child of James and Ann Boyack Ririe’s twelve children. The first nine years of her life were spent in West Weber. Agnes was ten years old when all of the Ririe family moved to Ogden Valley at the east mouth of Ogden Canyon. Her father and older brothers had built a big new rock house a short distance from the Artesian Well. The spot is now covered with PineView Dam. Agnes went to school in Eden, Utah, the little town to the north of her home. She sometimes walked several miles or rode horseback. In the wintertime she came to school in a bobsleigh. She won fifty cents once as a prize for the best attendance at school. With this money she bought the fourth, reader which became her study book for three years as they used to read the same books over and over. She went as far in school as they taught at that time, which was the Fifth Reader. When Agnes was eighteen, she started going with David Burnett who was at the time a counselor in the Mutual in Eden. He was born in Harrisville, April 25, 1870, a son of William and Sarah Wilde Burnett. David, a tall, good-looking fellow used to go three-and-a-half miles in horse and buggy to get the pretty little Agnes to take her to a dance. One night after Mutual, the snow had drifted too much for the horses to pull the sleigh through. That never daunted David. He merely unhitched the horse and took her home by horseback. Two other times, the wheel of the buggy rolled off and dumped them unceremoniously on the ground. David and Agnes were sweethearts for five years. Of these they were engaged three. Agnes, being the youngest daughter, and with a great deal of respect and love for her elderly mother, felt it her duty to remain with her for a few years, especially since her mother was sorely afflicted with rheumatism. While waiting patiently, David worked in North Fork Canyon and obtained logs for his barn and grainery. He also began building his home and homesteading some land for a farm of his own. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on June 23, 1897. Two days later, the Ririe’s gave them a wedding reception in the big rock home. One hundred and thirty-five people were invited to the wedding supper which had chicken and all that goes with it. A dance was held after at the Wilbur dance hall. Her father also gave her a cow for a wedding present. Three years after they were married, David was called to Scotland on a mission for the Latter-day Saint Church. At the time they had two little girls, Vila and Clista. The baby Clista was but six months old when he left. It took a lot of courage to part at a time like this, but devotion to the church was one of their principles. While her husband was in far off Scotland, the baby Clista took very ill. Agnes knelt down and promised the Lord that if he would heal her baby, she would work in the church as long as she was able. This promise she kept all the years of her life. She was in the presidency of the Mutual organization for twenty-two years and raised her family besides. She also taught in the Sunday School and was a literary teacher in the Relief Society for seven¬teen years. Shortly after David’s return, he built five more rooms to the house and they added three more little girls to the family. They were Olive, Amy and Lola, In 1910 he was called on another full-time mission to the Western States. Without faltering, he accepted and Agnes struggled on alone, al¬ways maintaining that they lost nothing financially by it and gained much spiritually. David had as one of his companions on this mission, a nephew of Agnes, Alex Hogge. While he was on this mission, she would walk up past the cemetery with her children trudging behind her to milk the cow. Once someone asked her if she were not afraid to pass the cemetery in the dark and she replied, “I’ve never hurt any of those dear dead people and I’m sure they would not harm me,” After David’s return from his second mission the sixth baby girl was born and was named LaVerna Elizabeth. When she was but a year old, David bought some land in Delta, Utah. They spent one summer down there living in a tent. By fall, the dreams of new land pioneering became too rugged, so they sold their claim at a loss and were happy to come back to their home in Eden. It was from this home that the wonderful tidings went out to all their relatives and friends that at last a baby boy was born to the Burnett family. They named him David Ririe Burnett and how they all loved him! Those were the happy days! Books for each one were always given at Christmas and birthdays, participation in church opportunities was always encouraged, an example of daily prayers was always set, the big pantry off the kitchen always had something good to eat in it. Each Fall the threshing machine came lumbering up the road to stay a week at the Burnetts. Agnes was an excellent cook and weeks in advance plans were made to feed the threshing crew three times each day. The shelves in the outside rock cellar were always filled with the labor of her hands. It was in this rock cellar that she once came across a porcupine. No menfolks were around at the time so she beat it to death by herself. She had the courage and fortitude of any pioneer woman who preceded her. One winter, when her husband was on his mission, she doctored a colt back to health. Other times, she packed bucket after bucket of water to pour on the backs of bloated cows. Each fall, Agnes and her sisters, Isabelle and Elizabeth, would pack a delicious lunch and with their children in the surrey go to spend the day in the hills picking chokecherries. Every 4th of July and Christmas, each of her six girls usually received a new dress, all daintily hand-sewn. The children were always taught respect for their elders. Cousins who were older were called Cousin Annie, Cousin Louie, and Cousin Alex. Agnes never had an abundance of worldly goods but there was an abundance of love, confidences and contentment in the home that she and David built together. With the sweet, however, there came also the bitter. One cold December evening in the year of 1919, Vila, the oldest daughter at the age of twenty-one passed suddenly away with the dreaded influenza of that year. She was the third to be buried in one week of the same disease in the little town of Eden. David, in his heavy fur coat, drove a sleigh through the canyon to purchase the burial casket. Agnes’s sisters and the Relief Society dressed Vila for burial. The day of the funeral, David, the father, and another daughter Amy both lay dangerously ill with the same disease. For days it was a battle of work and faith and prayers to save their lives. Neither one fully regained their health. On June 23, 19279 David R., their twelve-year-old son, found his father lying in the path on the way to the barn. A heart attack had taken his life on the day of their 30th wedding anniversary. From then on it was a struggle for her; a struggle to make ends meet during the “Depression” years, a struggle to provide a higher education for her children; a struggle with the culinary water to get enough for the daily needs, and a struggle with incurable illness that crept into the family. Through it all, she remained faithful, patient, and was loved by all who knew her. She lived to become grandmother to five girls and two boys of Lo la’s and LaVerna’s children. Two of these were twins. On October 3, 1944, at the age of seventy, Agnes passed away of pneumonia. All of her children hurried from California and elsewhere to her home. As they knelt in fast and prayer at her bedside, she rallied from her coma to say “Please, girls, let me go home.” When she breathed her last, David, her only son said, “Father and Vila will be just as happy to see her as we are in sorrow to see her go.” She left this earth in her quiet unassuming way. Never in her life did she seek praise, but her children cannot help but praise her many virtues. “Nay Speak No Ill,” was her favorite song and she lived its theme. It was sung at her funeral. As the gates of death closed after her, her children said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
Manuel Lewis Causey: 1845 - November 16, 1913
Manuel Lewis Causey was born in 1845 in Henry County, Tennessee to Gabriel Lewis Causey and Elisabeth G Simpson. He was the fifth of eight children, the third and final son to be born into this family.
Shortly after his birth, Gabriel moved his family to Camden, Missouri. Manuel’s three younger sisters were born in Missouri.
As the country headed toward civil war, the Causey family, sympathetic to the Confederate cause, sent the three brothers to war. William and James, both older than Manuel, joined first. It is unclear just when Manuel joined, but records show him with the 9th Missouri Cavalry Battalion, assigned to Benjamin Elliott’s Scouts. In 1867, John Newman Edwards wrote of Elliot’s scouts, “Major Ben Elliott, formerly of Company I, Shelby’s regiment, had recruited a battalion of notorious scouts and bordermen, and constituted the advance of Shelby’s brigade, a kind of perpetual forlorn hope, because it took the first shock of every imminent danger, and was always exposed to surprises and deadly ambuscades.
No matter how deadly the peril, no matter what numbers assailed them, no matter how enfiladed or surrounded, they were never to rush back upon the main body or yield one inch in retreat; therefore, it was considered a promotion to any soldier to be allowed a transfer to the advance and only men of tried courage could join the corps, and many of them bore upon their bodies the scars of a dozen wounds.
Records show Manuel was captured by Union forces at Batesville, Arkansas while on a scouting detail in February of 1863. “Orders had been give[n] for a group of 50 men to cross the river for the purpose of bringing in stragglers and deserters and about 20 miles north of Batesville, they met with a large force of Federals—and after a short fight retreated to Batesville.”
After their capture, “All the men, with the exception of two, were paroled: Captain Mosby and the other man were killed; sabered after surrendering. The remaining members of the scouting party being taken to Evening Shade, Arkansas and there getting their freedom by virtue of parole.” (Elliott’s Scouts, 9th Missouri CavalryBattalion by Carolyn M. Bartels) Records show Manuel’s parole dated February 6, 1863. Manuel stayed with Elliott’s Cavalry until they surrendered May 26, 1865 in New Orleans; he received his parole June 14, 1865 in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the conclusion of the war, Elliott and General Joe Shelby fled to Mexico rather than surrender. “Some of the men that served under Colonel Elliott accompanied him to Mexico…some 50 of the company” (ibid).
It is unknown whether Manuel was one of those that went to Mexico; however, he could have returned home to Auglaize, Missouri and from there headed west. His obituary states he came to the Pacific coast in 1871.
In 1878, Causey is in Eureka, Nevada working as a teamster, and on April 18, 1880 he married an Irish girl, Ellen Mcgee. The marriage did not last long as Ellen returned to Pennsylvania, declared herself a widow, and went on with her life.
1882 found Causey in Salt Lake City with another man from Nevada, Albert Lenzi Fuge, preparing to open the Dew Drop Saloon at 117 Main Street. It’s advertisement proclaimed it “the neatest saloon in town.”
He also began a new venture in August of 1883, opening a skating rink on West Temple near Second South, The Causey, Hawkins and Co. Skating Rink. Unfortunately, after only a year in operation, a fire destroyed much the rink. Apparently, the gentlemen rebuilt and continued to operate and in 1884 Causey went to Boston and Chicago to try to patent his roller rink floor. In order to finance this idea, he sold his share of the Dew Drop. At this time, he was also filing mining patents for the Burning Moscow lode, was active in the Salt Lake Democratic party, and listed as the superintendent of Maybell Mine in Stockton, Utah.
By June of 1888, Manuel was residing in Mill Fork of Spanish Fork Canyon. In August of 1888, Causey leased the new Roberts Hotel in Provo. The Hotel Roberts was built in 1882 and was located on University Avenue. This mission style hotel was a famous landmark and a center of Provo social activity for much of the early 20th century.
In a notice in the Provo Daily Enquirer dated May 31, 1889, it is stated, “Mr. M. L. Causey yesterday sold the Roberts House to W.C. Stone of Nephi and Bert Brown. From now on the management of this house will be under the new firm. Mr. Causey has, since he obtained possession of the Roberts House built up a fine business, the benefits of which will now fall to his successors.”
Not one for being idle, he soon had a new business venture underway. In the same newspaper on October 4, 1889, it announced, “The new lumber firm of Causey and Snow; located in Ogden Canyon, in addition to furnishing the Pacific Short Line with ties and bridge timbers, have secured the contract for 450,000 feet of tie and bridge timber for the extension of the Ogden City Railway company. Persons with teams wishing employment will do well to correspond with the above whose address is Huntsville, Weber Co, Utah care of Nelson Hotel.”
After making the acquaintance of Levi Snow in Provo, Causey start this new lumber business with a sawmill in the Monte Cristo area; however, there never was a Nelson Hotel in Huntsville. In reality, Lars Magnus Nelson had built a large two-story brick home that would later become the Valley House. While Nelson and his family lived in the home, he sometimes rented out rooms. This time he undoubtedly would learn to regret renting a room to Mr. Causey. L. M’s oldest daughter Hilma (known as Mae) and Mr. Causey soon formed an attachment and on December 8, 1890, eloped to Ogden and were married. This event caused so much anger and pain that she and her father never spoke again. Causey was 45 years old at the time, only two years younger than Mae’s father, and she was just nineteen.
This story was published in Our Pioneer Heritage (vol.17), “The story is told of Mr. and Mrs. Causey, pioneers, being routed out one night by a grizzly bear ripping open the tent for supplies which they had inside. They went out the other end of the tent and hiked about three miles to a mill operated by Stephen Nye. Thus, Bear Gulch received its name.” Causey Creek also received its name from the placement of their sawmill.
By early November of 1890, ads began appearing in the local Ogden newspaper:
– To Contractors and Builders – We have on hand first class red pine and native lumber of well assorted dimensions, which we are now offering, are the very low price of $20.00 per M. at our Ogden yard in lots to suit. Causey Snow Lumber Company Office and yards No. 2250 Washington Avenue Between Twenty-second and Twenty-third streets
By March of 1890 this ad would appear:
The entire stock of the Causey, Snow Lumber Company must be closed out within the next 30 days at a very low figure for cash Causey Snow Lumber
At this time, Causey was joining forces with W. G. Childs to consolidate small lumberyards into a larger operation. In February they would form the Consolidated Lumber and Milling Company with Childs as president, Causey as vice president, J B Stoddard secretary and John A Boyle treasurer. This company operated two sawmills, “located twenty-eight miles east of Ogden, where are manufactured all kinds of lumber products embracing ties, electric poles, ect., and is filling large contracts for the Ogden Street Railway Company and other Corporations.” (Utah, Her Cities,Towns and Resources 1891-2 p.197)
During this time he also became involved with the Ogden Hot Springs and Resort Railroad. Through this and the lumber business he became acquainted with David Eccles and Charles Nibley. These associations would take him on to Oregon and new business adventures.
By 1891, Causey and Mae had settled in the Le Grande area and he began an active career in real estate. In the fall of 1893 he was deeply involved with encouraging the building of a sugar beet factory and sought investors as far away as Germany and France. After six years of trying to raise the funds necessary, he final found a set of investors that were truly interested in the persons of David Eccles and Charles Nibley.
Over the next few years he would help to establish the Oregon Land Company, a corporation formed with Charles Nibley as president, David Eccles – vice president and M. L. Causey – secretary. Their purpose was to buy and sell land to promote the production of the sugar beet, build a railroad, and encourage growth in the Grand Ronde Valley.
Causey spent years promoting development in the Grand Ronde Valley and beyond, a few examples of this—promoting an expansion of the sugar beet industry and railroad into Prosser, Washington area; building an exhibition hall to display the agricultural products of the area; and planting a 260-acre apple orchard for commercial use in the area.
He held positions on the boards of several companies, including La Grande and Cove Electric Railroad Co., Oregon Land Co., and Eastern Oregon Colonization Co. He was a member of the Commercial Club and Masons, Order of the Eastern Star.
He owned the Causey Real Estate Company and was an active part of his community. He and Mae moved to Portland and resided there until his death. In an article in the Portland Morning Oregonian newspaper dated November 17, 1913 it reads:
M.L. Causey is Dead End Comes to Prominent Real Estate man At Home Here
Grande Ronde Valley Development is Due Largely to War Veteran’s Early Work in State
M.L. Causey, prominent in the real estate business in Oregon, a veteran of the Civil War, and one of the first men to begin the development of the fruit land of Eastern Oregon, died at his home, 734 Clackamas street, yesterday evening after an illness of several weeks.
Mr. Causey was born in Tennessee in 1849* but spent the greater part of his boyhood in Missouri. During the Civil War he was in active service in the cavalry under General Joe Shelby. He came to the Pacific Coast in 1871 and from that time was identified with the development of the West. He was best known in Eastern Oregon. For fifteen years he lived in the Grand Ronde Valley and he was the first man to begin the development of the “Sand Ridge land” in that section. He planted two of the largest apple orchards that were set out in the Grand Ronde country. In later years, Mr. Causey came to Portland, where he made his home. His widow survives. Mr. Causey was a member of Washington Lodge of Masons and Washington Chapter18. He was a member of the Rose City Chapter of the Eastern Star.
Funeral Notice Causey – In this city, Nov. 16, Manuel L. Causey are 64*. The funeral service will be held today (Tuesday) at 2:30 at the family residence, 734 Clackamas Street. Friends invited. Interment at Mt Scott Park Cemetery
(*This year appears to be wrong given that Causey appears in the 1850 census as being six years old. This would also indicate he was closer to 68 at the time of his death rather than the reported 64 years old)
Utah Place Names by John W. Vancott and other publications list Thomas Causey as the name of the owner of the sawmill in the Monte Cristo area. However through out all my research I have not found a “Thomas Causey” and all the evidence I have shows Manuel L Causey as the only Causey to have a sawmill in this area. The mistake might be attributed to the fact that for some reason know only to those who give ‘nicknames’ Manuel was often referred to by Mae as Todd in several correspondences.
Remember my Valley by LaVerna Burnett Newey (p. 312) states, “One of the Nelson’s daughters eloped from the house with a gambler named Causey. Mr. Causey came into town about the time of the LaPlatta days.” This became town legend, but Causey was never involved with the LaPlatta mines; he was already in Oregon by the time the mines began operating.
Story of Pioneer Days – Part I By Mrs. David Eccles
Note: A pioneer of 1867, who crossed the plains by ox team, Mrs. David Eccles, widow of one of the great industrial leaders of the west, today (1934) tells of her journey to Utah and subsequent events in the development of Ogden.
I was born in Aarhus[e], Denmark, January 30, 1857. My father was Christian Jensen and I was named Bertha Marie. My own mother died when I was only two years old and I was reared by my step-mother, Karen Jensen, who lived to be 94 years old. She died about 1918. My father died in 1875 at the age of 57. Early in June 1867 my parents, my little sister Mary, then about two years old, and myself left Denmark for America. From Liverpool we sailed on the steamship Manhattan. This was the first time that a large party of Mormon emigrants had used a steamer to cross the Atlantic. My father was a well-to-do landowner in Denmark and he aided twenty-one other persons to get to Utah. Some he helped for the entire distance and some for at least a part of the journey. On the journey across the ocean we travelled in the steerage . . . about 400 (blurred type on the transcript makes it difficult to read if the number is 400 or 4000) English emigrant converts joined us at Liverpool. Unlike most the early day emigrants who required many weeks on the ocean, we had a rapid trip requiring only 13 days. There were only about two days of rough sea, the rest of the time being pleasant. I recall that one stormy morning I awoke unable to find my clothing and shoes. The pitching of the ship had tossed my apparel out of the bunks and down the aisles and I had to recover my belonging from a heap of clothing piled at one end of our quarters. I saw a funeral at sea when a child died and was lowered over the ship’s side. We arrived in New York Harbor on July 4, 1867. The cannons were booming and the usual celebration was in progress. The following day, after we had been examined and released from quarantine, we went ashore at old Castle Garden. There I tasted my first American pie. It was cherry and full of seeds. Like Edward Bok who has written of his early American experiences, my first impression was that there were more stones than fruit. Next we embarked on a river steamer and journeyed up the Hudson to Albany. Our first ride in this new country was very enjoyable. All day and as long as light lasted, my father and I stood out on deck watching the beautiful scenery and marveling at the fine homes and gardens in the pleasant green valleys along the river. From Albany we traveled to Buffalo, N.Y. and there we ‘camped’ in a large warehouse. The immensity of the building impressed me and I thought it was a queer way to camp; all the families in one big room. There I suffered a great disappointment. Most of the older persons went to Niagara, a short distance away, to see the falls, and being only 10 I had to go to bed early. I cried bitterly. It was many, many years later, in 1893, when I was on a trip back to Europe with Mr. Eccles, at the time of the Chicago World’s Fair, that I had a chance to see Niagara Falls. Next we took a train to St. Joseph, Missouri, and from there we went by river steamer up the Missouri to Council Bluffs. There father bought his, and helped other purchase theirs. There were several returning missionaries in our party. The Union Pacific railway at that time had built as far west as North Platte, Nebraska, and father learned that for $10 fare each we could ride from Omaha to the end of the line and wait there for the wagons to arrive. The railroad equipment was very poor at that time and I recall we sat on benches without backs. The cars, having no springs, rattled and jolted us over the newly-built roadway. I got tired and wished to sleep so I stretched out on the floor under the seats. I remember the conductor kicking my feet that had sprawled out into the aisle. We had to wait three or four weeks at North Platte before our outfits arrived. There were about 600 or 700 persons in the emigrant train, in [charged] of Captain Leonard G. Rice. Our company was the first large independent company of converts to come to Utah. Up to this time the church had always sent wagons and teams and other assistance to companies crossing the plains, but this year no aid was forthcoming. Father had a fine outfit of three wagons with four oxen yoked to each wagon. Father had never driven oxen in Denmark and he didn’t know anything about them, but soon learned. He had purchased a big Texas long-horned steer that frightened us at first. Being new to the country father had been sold a brindle ox with no teeth. He did not know that the buyer should inspect the teeth. The ox was healthy but had a hard time to get sufficient food because he couldn’t graze the tough grass. It fell to my lot to care for the ox. Father bought a quantity of damaged flour from an army post and mother baked this into bread for the ox. Whenever we passed green herbs or weeds, I gathered as much as I could and a few times we passed little patches of volunteer corn that had sprung up from a few kernels spilled when freighters had fed their teams the preceding year. I gathered these young corn stalks and thus got a little tender forage for the toothless ox. Every time the wagon train stopped it was part of my duty to feed the animal a piece of bread. Each evening we fed him at the wagon before turning him out with the others. In this way we got that ox to the Salt Lake valley in as good condition as any of the stock and he worked in the yoke every day but two when father hitched up a mil[ch] cow in his place. Another job I had was the collecting of dried buffalo chips for fuel. We always had a sack of them hanging on the side of the wagon on the plains. No buffalo were killed by our party but we did see a big herd coming toward us one day. We were fearful lest they stampede into our train and frighten the cattle, but just as the herd got within a few hundred yards of us, the leaders veered off to the east and pushed around our party. The weather was good most of the time, and, as we had plenty of food, we did not suffer any particular hardships as many of the pioneers did. No Indians disturbed us. I recall that one woman died during the journey. Another time one of the men was shot by accident by a rabbit hunter. We halted a day or two to attend to his wounds; but, after suffering for some time, he died and was buried along the trail. After that, the men were forbidden to do any hunting in the vicinity of the camp. Whenever possible our camps were in grassy flats along streams or near springs. I always detested camping in those sticky, yellow weeds that infest much of the west. At that time I had not learned the English language and consequently do not recall the names of all the places along the route. I remember one time, when the wagon train was near a large mountain that looked as if it had been split, something broke on one of the wagons and the men halted to fix it. The women and girls walked on ahead expecting the wagons to come up soon. We walked for a long time; and, as they day was hot, we got very thirsty. Soon we were out of sight of the wagon train and we could find no water. Then off in the distance we saw a group of tents and a man near a little ditch. We went over and made signs that we were thirty and he gave us some milk to drink. One of the men there took a fancy to me, the only little girl in the group, and tried to get me to go with him over to a group of buildings nearby. Finally, my father and some other men came riding up on horses searching for us. I was glad to see my father. The man still wanted me to go with him, so father nodded that it was all right and the stranger took me by the hand. Just as we got near the buildings, I could see soldiers drilling in a courtyard of the garrison and I was frightened. I remembered the war between Germany and Denmark and the coming of the soldiers in 1866. When we were almost to the fort I pulled my hand away quickly and ran back to my father. The man went on to the fort and came back in a moment laughing and presented me with a big bag of stick candy which he made me understand I was to divide with the others. There were several cows with our livestock so we always had milk and butter along the way. We used to average about ten miles a day and I believe that I ran an extra five miles trying to gather feed for the toothless ox and buffalo chips for our evening fire. Once I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake. A teamster yelled “Jump” and I jumped. In the evenings the older people played games and danced to music, but I usually was busy helping my mother in camp and then I had to go to bed early. We traveled up the Platte river, then up the Sweetwater and over South Pass, down to Fort Bridger and then through Echo canyon, and over the mountain to Emigration canyon and down to Salt Lake City, arriving there October 5, 1867, just at conference time.
Note: This history was copied from the Eccles family historical collection on file at the J. Willard Marriott Library in their Special Collections on the University of Utah Campus in Salt Lake City and at the Ogden Genealogical Library in Ogden.
Stringtown school bus circa 1924
This photo of “Eden’s Stringtown school bus” was taken from the book “From Swineville to Stringtown: Life in Eden, Utah for the family of Hyrum Stallings and Nancy Ritter” compiled by Ray Wilmot. Eden’s first school house, a one-room log building, was built in 1866. In 1884 it was replaced, at a cost of $1,004.50, by a larger frame school building crowned by a bell. Money for the school was raised by taxation. The dimensions of the building were 26 x 40 with 12-foot ceilings. It was built across the street from the north side of the Public Square, or Eden Park, as we call it today. The new school had seating capacity of 78, and was dedicated January 27, 1884. This served the community until a new yellow brick schoolhouse was built and dedicated September 14, 1919. In 1926, the 10th grade was bussed to the new Weber High School located on the corner of 12th St. and Washington Blvd. in Ogden. Another change came in 1937 when the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades were taken to Huntsville for school, followed in 1944 by the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Finally, the last year school was held in Eden, attended by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, was during the 1945-1946 academic year—until the new Valley Elementary School was built, dedicated, and readied for the 2009-2010 school year.
Working Our Way through Childhood By Ann Stallings Draper
I had been tending my three grandsons for the day, and they had been little “hellers.” My cats were on the roof, toys were scattered all over the house, clothes dropped in every room, and I was ready to blow my top by the time my son came to pick them up. I put on a pot of coffee, and while it brewed, I got the cats off the roof, put the toys away, gathered the clothes and put them into the washer. Then, as I sipped my coffee, I thought about what Mother had put up with, and I polished her celestial crown until it out shown the brightest star in the heavens. It was then that I noticed the magic slate that the kids had been playing with lying on the table. I picked it up to put it away, and saw what had been written on it. “We love you, Grandma.” It was signed Steve, Chris and Michael. Tears came to my eyes, and I stopped to thin, “Had I ever told Mother that I loved her?” I don’t think I ever had, and I couldn’t remember any of us showing Mother or each other any affection. I wondered how she had raised seven kids, cooked for the family—plus six or eight hired men—kept us and the house clean, and still retained her sanity. Mother was a morning person. She was always up before the sun, winter and summer. Dad liked the fresh morning air, but he liked it in bed. Mother was up, had the fires started and breakfast ready before anyone got out of bed. Breakfast at our house was not a bowl of cereal and a slice of toast. We had cooked mush, biscuits, honey, jelly, and jam on the table. If anyone wanted ham, bacon, or eggs, Mother would prepare them in a matter of minutes. One of my favorite breakfasts was cooked whole wheat. Mother cleaned and washed the wheat the night before, poured boiling water on it, and put it on back of the stove to let it soak, steam, and partially cook over night. Boy was it good, whether with milk and sugar, or butter, salt and pepper. I often thought that one reason Mother got up so early was so that she could spend some time with herself and do her own thinking. She didn’t have much time to do it during the day. Mom’s Schedule - Mother had a schedule worked out, not by the hour, but by the day. Monday was wash day, come hell or high water. Nowadays, I gather my dirty clothes, chuck them in the washer, set the timer, and go about cleaning the rest of my house. When the bell rings, I put them in the dryer until the bell rings again. I take them out, fold them, and put them away. In Mother’s day, it was all done by hand power. We didn’t have hot water, so on Monday mornings she filled the boiler. This vessel had about 10 or 15 gallons of water. She put it on the hottest part of the stove as soon as she got the fire going. While it was heating, she gathered up the dirty clothes and sorted them. Sheets and pillow cases made up the first batches. Towels and dish towels were next, followed by underwear, colored dresses and shirts. Last came overalls, colored work shirts, and socks. By the time we got up, had our breakfast, and did the dishes, the washing was ready to go. Mother made her own soap—a combination of fat drippings and wood ashes or lye. For washday, she kept a can of soap and put hot water in it, then set it on the back of the stove to wash with. The hot water was carried to the machine, soap added, clothes put in, and motor turned on. The motor consisted of “kid power.” Each child took a turn, cranking the wheel that turned the washer, swishing the clothes back and forth in the soapy water to get them clean. They were clean when Mother said they were clean. Next, we turned the crank on the wringer that took most of the soapy water out of the clothes. They were dropped into a tub of cold rinse water. Then, they went through the wringer again, and into the bluing water to brighten them. Some of the clothes had to be starched, and all of them had to be hung on the clothes line. On windy days, they dried quickly, and in winter, they froze dried. About 10 o’clock, Mother had to take a break. Not a coffee break. She had to start getting dinner ready for the hired men. This was the biggest meal of the day, and consisted of meat, potatoes, gravy, one or two vegetables, bread, butter, jam, and dessert or fruit. While the meal was cooking, she continued the washing. Sometimes she ran out of lines, and the overalls, shirts, and socks had to be hung on the bushes or fences. This became a game with us to see who could make the funniest-looking bush. When the clothes were dry, they were brought in and folded or dampened down for ironing. The wash was not finished until supper was over and the dishes washed. If there was any time left, we could play, and Mother could rest. Tuesday was ironing day. No electric irons then! Mother would get up as usual and clean the back of the stove and put the flat irons out to heat before she started breakfast. If any soot got on an iron, and then on the clothes, they would have to be re-washed. She then set up the ironing board, and brought in the large basket of dampened clothes. The iron had to be tested to make sure it was not so hot it would scorch the clothes. If a drop of water sizzled when you dropped it on the iron, it was just right to use. If you were a good spitter, that would work the same. Once again, Mother did most of the work; the good shirts, best dresses, and fine linens. Gertie and Beulah were allowed to iron some of the colored things, while Mother got dinner. Maude could be trusted with the pillow cases. But my speed was the handkerchiefs. Sometimes Mother sent us out to play, just to get rid of us. Wednesday wasn’t show and tell; it was patch and mend. I think every week Howard had to have new patches on his knees and behind, and Maude and I had to have hems and seams replaced on our dresses. Buttons were sewn back and stockings darned. Of course, there were other small jobs to be done: churn the butter, bake bread, cakes and cookies, prepare meals. Mother made eight loaves of bread every other day. It must have been one of those days when Grandmother Ritter brought her friend Mrs. Gallon over to visit. Gertie answered the door, and asked them to come in. “Mother is in the front room resting,” she told them. Mother was lying on her stomach, and Maude, Howard, and I were playing horse on her back. “Nannie, is this the way you always rest?” asked Grandma. “No, Mom, but at least I know where they are,” was Mother’s reply. Sometimes she would go out and hoe the garden just to relax. Thursday was cleaning day. Floors were scrubbed with strong soap. There were no rubber gloves, so you can guess what our hands looked like. Rugs were swept (no vacuum), windows washed, and other minor repairs done. Friday was cooking day so we would have plenty of food on hand for Sunday. Bread, cakes, pies and all other goodies were prepared. The house smelled like a child’s dream of heaven. Mother made the best cookies I have ever tasted. Dunked in milk, they were ambrosia. When asked how she made them, it was a cup of this, a pinch of that, and a smidgen of something else. There was no temperature gauge on the oven, so, if the stove was hot, they browned in a hurry. If not, they cooked longer to get the necessary golden brown color. Saturday morning, we changed the sheets and pillow cases on all the beds to get ready for Monday’s wash. Saturday afternoon and evening was bath day. The boiler was again put on the stove, but this time after the noon meal. Mother washed our hair, starting with the oldest and working her way d own to me. I sometimes thought she used a scrubbing brush on my head. It hurt for the rest of the afternoon. After dinner, the kitchen was always off limits to everyone except Mother and the kid she was bathing. About half of the hot water in the boiler was poured in the round tub on the kitchen floor. When it had cooled down, she started washing. After each kid was bathed, a little more hot water was added and the next kid was run though. It was something like dipping sheep in the spring of the year, or the modern-day car wash. I was always last. I swear that’s why I’m the darkest one of the bunch; I never got really clean. When we were all through, the water was carried out and dumped on the lawn. I always thought it was for fertilizer. After supper the boiler was again put on the stove. Mother and Dad bathed after we went to bed. Sunday was a fun day for everyone except Mom. We didn’t go to church, so we had a long day to play. Dad was what was called a “Jack Mormon.” He had been baptized, but didn’t go to church. Mother’s family had never belonged; therefore, we were misfits in a town where almost everyone went to church. There was no definite work for us to do, except help get the meals; milk the cows; and feed the pigs, chickens, cats, and other stray animals that were around. Then, we would play. We often dramatized the funny papers. Jim always got to be the hero. One comic strip showed he bad guys hanging the hero until he “whistled.” So we got one of Dad’s lariat ropes, put it around Jim’s neck, and hoisted him to a beam in the shop. It’s a good thing one of the hired men came along at that moment or we would be still waiting for him to whistle.
Note: Information for this historical account came from the book “From Swineville to Stringtown: Life in Eden, Utah for the family of Hyrum Stallings and Nancy Ritter” compiled by Ray Wilmot. The setting is from the early 1900s in Ogden Valley. For more information about the book, contact Mr. Wilmot at Rpwilmot@hotmail.com> This story was written by Ann Stallings Draper from a section of the book titled “Working Our Way through Childhood.”
Farming & Livestock in the Valley: Part 2
Note: This article was taken from Chapter 29 of “Remember My Valley: A history of Ogden Canyon, Huntsville, Liberty, and Eden, Utah from 1825 to 1976” by LaVerna Burnett Newey.
The late Orson Newey told this author that once in the early days as a young man, he and Joe Bingham were herding cattle in the South Fork area. They were sleeping in a little shack. It was cold in the morning, and as Joe got up and threw back the covers, he noticed a big rattlesnake lying almost under Orson’s armpit. Quickly going around to the other side of the bed, he yanked Orson to the floor.
“Don’t get your dander up,” said Joe. “See who your bed companion was? A 14-button rattler!”
David Berlin, born in 1882, told his grandson Bill Wangsgard that as a young man, he herded cattle with his brothers on the homestead land near Cobble Creek. They would pitch a tent by putting poles to the square and covering them with willows and then old quilts. Once one of the little boys gave a frightened cry. Searching for the cause, they discovered a rattlesnake crawling out from the willow beneath the bed. Toward late summer, when the spring dried up, they often had to scout around for clear water. Young David remembered seeing balls of snakes during the mating season. Because there was no way to go around them, he jumped from one rock to another over them.
The following anecdote is told by the famous tall-tale-teller of Huntsville, Roy Stoker.
At one time a family homesteaded near the present Snowbasin road. It seems the area was alive with rattlesnakes. Especially in August, the snakes made their way from the upper dry elevations to the lower streams for water. This particular pioneer family was at a loss on how to combat them, so they bought a large herd of pigs and turned them loose on the hillside. The pigs with thick hides and thick skulls blissfully rooted for feed, but invariably disturbed the rattlesnakes who attempted in vain with their poisonous fangs to discourage this new tough enemy. The unflinching pigs merely grabbed the reptiles by their tails, gave them a firm flip, and the snake was defunct.
It was impossible for “old Man Backman” and the boys to separate the unbroken horses, beef stock and yearling calves from the cows at milking time. Bishop Hammond devised a solution for that problem. A short stretch of fence with bars for the passage of wagons was built between two ledges in the South Fork Canyon near the mouth of Magpie. All animals were individually branded by their owners then driven in the spring by townsmen and placed behind the bars to be sure that none came back down and destroyed the growing crops. They were left there until feed was gone in the fall. For weeks during the early part of each summer, a bunch of cattle could be seen above the bars looking for a careless traveler who might give them an opportunity to return home.
Irrigation Water In 1861 an irrigation company was organized in Huntsville under the supervision of Jefferson Hunt and a water ditch tapping the South Fork about two and a half miles above the present center of Huntsville was made, bringing the water onto the top of the bench where the town now stands. This same pioneer irrigation ditch still meanders from east to west through Huntsville, 115 years later. It was surveyed by Charles Grow with the improvised square, a plumb, and two sticks. It was dug by hand labor and extended piece by piece as the town developed. Later, all of the first irrigation ditches in the Valley were plowed in the most convenient places.
Walter and William Lindsey, as young men, according to Mrs. Jennie Neil, were the first to take water from the North Fork. Mr. Riddle irrigated from Spring Creek in Liberty.
Richard Ballantyne’s farm, previously owned by a Mr. Mitchell, was the first in Eden to take water out of Wolf Creek. Later, the Lindsey ditch on the east of Eden was brought into the center of town. Still later, a ditch was provided from the North Fork of the Ogden River. In 1871 the Eden Irrigation Company was organized. The first trustees were John Farrell, Richard Ballantyne, John Riddle, James Burt, and Josiah M. Ferrin. Armstead Moffat was chosen treasurer and Edmund Burke Fuller, secretary.
There were more contentions and bitterness over water and fencing rights in the early days than anything else. Before the days of civil courts, water troubles were often taken to the ward bishop to solve. This put the bishop in a serious predicament. Whichever ruling he made, he was bound to lose face with a member of this congregation. Sometimes it involved members of his own bishopric, and then it was doubly hard to make a decision.
In one case, a watermaster told a farmer he wasn’t getting his share of water and he should put some rocks in the ditch to equal it out. The farmer was then hauled by another farmer into bishop’s court for doing this. When confronted, the watermaster denied his involvement in it. Who was to believe whom? “To be or not to be” was a dilemma church courts were confronted with. Gradually, civil courts took over.
“The year 1889 was a season of universal drought in the territory of Utah. In June of that year, the Plain City Irrigation Company obtained through the District Court an injunction restraining the settlers of Ogden Valley from using the waters of Ogden River for irrigation purposes. They had filed on rights to it. In consequence of this injunction, one-half of the grain in Ogden Valley failed to mature and the potato crop and vegetables were practically burned up” (From a 1917 Huntsville booklet).
The Standard Examiner, 1974, covering three articles by D.D. McKay, stated, “In 1904 the Plain City Irrigation Company filed a second suit—this time against the Eden Irrigation Company. It was an injunction against Eden users on the ground that their right was junior to that of Plain City’s. The case was tried in District Court and went to the State-Supreme Court.
“The ruling was that when the Eden people used the water on the land and then allowed it to seep gradually underground and then follow its natural channel below, the lower valley residents received more water from the North Fork than they would get if the water were permitted to flow down the natural channel of the creek and be subject to evaporation and leakage. This happened especially during time of scarcity or drought. Studies subsequently were made and data collected that proved this theory.”
Alec Hogge of Eden once wrote:
“The pioneers who surveyed our irrigation system upon this bench can be congratulated, as every acre can be irrigated from different ditches and so divided that it takes care of all land under cultivation. When a farmer has a large amount of acreage, he is entitled to a larger headgate, and his water is measured out by the hours he is permitted to use the water each week.
We take our turns with no watermaster, trusting every man to take his turn, and when through, his neighbors take over. We have a board of directors, three men chosen from a company and a secretary to oversee the needs of the canal such as cleaning, repairing as necessary, and making assessments to cover the necessary expense for the year’s operation. No better system can be found in irrigation now.”
This was after the early days when they had so much trouble over water right in bishops’ courts and early civil courts.
Pictured left: Huntsville’s mercantile store built by Soren L. Petersen. The store, which is still standing, is located kitty–corner from the Huntsville Park-minus the top floor.
Pictured right: This photo of Leon’s Market in Huntsville was taken by Doug Clawson in 1988 when he was 18 years old. He is the son of Jack and Eileen Clawson of Huntsville. Leon’s Market used to have a second story where many dances were held and many memories made. It was removed in the mid-1960s due to structural concerns. While working for the Soil Conservation Service in Huntsville, Leon Sorensen purchased the building—the town’s general store—which, together with his wife Bonnie and their family, they operated for over 37 years. The phrase “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it” was never more apt than at “Leon’s Market.” It was leased and operated as a store until 2001. More recently, it was the home of the Ogden Valley Community Church. Photo courtesy of Jill Clawson Smith.
Huntsville Stores Note: This article is from the book “Remember My Valley” by LaVerna Burnett Newey, which was printed in 1977.
In the spring of 1869 a cooperative store was organized in Huntsville with about $700 worth of stock subscribed. William Halls was appointed business manager. In 1878 the stockholders of the cooperative store were bought out by Christian Petersen who paid them 64.5% for their original stock investments. This institution had had a prosperous existence for several years, during which at different times dividends had been paid amounting to 350% to stockholders. But changes of directors, placing inexperienced men to manage, jealousy, lack of confidence, etc., resulted in its dissolution. D.D. McKay in his “memories of Huntsville” wrote of going to Christian Petersen’s store for 5 cents worth of sugar. “The matches were of the 8 day variety. There was also in plain view a little container with gold dust in it and a little scale to weight this precious form of exchange.” Christian also owned a sawmill where he was later killed. Soren L. Petersen, who owned a small store in the west end of town, bought Christian’s property and built a two-story with dance hall on the upper level. After Soren’s death, the store was operated by his sons Adam, Alma, and Joseph L. Petersen. Adam later bought a store in Eden and Joseph L. Petersen owned and operated the store in Huntsville. Joseph L., as he was called, was notary public, legal counselor, public speaker, and leader in town and church affairs. About the 1930’s, Joseph L. moved to Ogden and sold his store to Edward Jesperson. When Mr. Jesperson died, his son-in-law Elton Knapp managed it for a few years until his early death. Leons Mercantile, now occupying the historic store*, sells everything from anything in the food line to thread, bolts, real-estate, and gas. When Leon Sorens[o]n removed the saggy second story of the building, he found many interesting items stored from days gone by. His daughter Lou Ann brought to the third grade Valley School’s annual museum several pairs of high-button shoes as well as the later high laced ones. In the earliest days, many small stores sprouted in the Valley. People with an extra room stocked shelves with goods they had bought on infrequent visits to Ogden to sell to the local residents. Isabell Grow Jensen remembers of going to such a store as a child for a penny’s worth of candy. It was situated near Louis Wansgaard’s present home and was managed by a childless couple named Johnson. This couple owned the first “graphanola” (record player) in Huntsville and in the evening the young people congregated on the front veranda to listen to it. Lars Hanson had a store near 6775 E. 100 S. Lars later left Huntsville and started what was known as the stockyards and meat-packing plant in Ogden. Children of the early days loved the candy stores. Tom Slater had one on Second West. Later, George and Mary Madson, still living, operated a candy store on Main Street close to the Huntsville central business district. There was a small hotel, pool hall, and later a restaurant and post office on the site of the present south (LDS) church parking lot. Chris Thurston, Carl Peterson, and Carol Renstrom Gesford were among the early remembered proprietors. Among the more prominent stores recalled by oldsters was the building which formerly stood south of the present Wood’s Market. It was another two-story large building that also accommodated dances on the upper floor. Fred and Wilhart Schade managed the store until about 1910 when they sold to C. C. Wangsgard. It was thereafter known as the Wangsgard Hall. Louis Wangsgard, his son, now in his late 80’s, remembered of opening the store at 5:00 a.m. to accommodate the sheepherders going through town. They stayed open at night until all the lights in town were out. This building was later purchased by the LDS Church and used as a recreational hall for picture shows and dances. It was torn down in 1954 to make room for a new church building. The well-known Ben Wood’s Meat Market was a never-to-be-forgotten gathering place. Ben’s jovial spirit and accommodating ways drew Mormons and “Gentiles” to his establishment. It was told by some that during the depression years of the 1930’s, his stack of patrons’ unpaid bills bulged in his drawer and many a poor family might have starved had it not been for his generosity during those trying times. Other merchants in the Valley probably did the same. About the turn of the century Ben had a slaughter house in the west end of town which furnished fresh meat daily for his flourishing meat market. His son Kay Woods is carrying on it the tradition of his father. According to Kay’s typical wry humor, he sells everything from sirloins and sandwiches to saddles. The now empty building in the center of town labeled Allen Grocery was last operated by Mark and Loris Allen for a few short years. It was once a thriving confectionary in the 1930’s and 1950’s and owned and built by Clarence and Ruth Olsen. The Olsens loved having people around them so it was a pleasant and wholesome gathering place for the young people of the three towns. A date to a school or church dance or any town event was never quite complete without a visit to Olsen’s Confectionery. Excellent large hamburgers, sundaes, sodas, and floats were 10 to 20 cents each. When the Olsens retired, Gunn McKay leased it for a while. But when the LDS Church urged the closing of unnecessary establishments on Sunday, Gunn, true to his faith and convictions, gave up his most thriving day of the week and also the business. His sacrifice turned into a blessing, for more lucrative opportunities opened up for him.
*The Sorensens operated the store for over 37 years. Later it was leased, still operating as a store until 2001. More recently it was used as the Ogden Valley Community Church, but now stands vacant.
Huntsville team from the annual “Valley Tournament” (1950). From left to right, front row: Gordon Madsen, Bryant McKay, Don McEntire, Monroe McKay, Quinn McKay. Back row: George Larkin, Norman Montgomery, Leon McKay, Grant Crezee, Moyer Grow, Bryan Renstrom, and Coach Floyd Barnett. Photo courtesy of Rosemary Wangsgard Waite of Huntsville.
Valley Elementary class 1950. Photo submitted by Nancy Marty of Huntsville.
Shown below: Noah Jensen, Eldon Jensen, Marcus Orton, Calvin Chandler, Halver Bailey, Lloyd Shaw, Jennabie Ballif, Beth Ellis, and Doris Lowder. People are standing on an avalanche that came down in the winter of 1929 in North Ogden. The snow slid down to 3100 N. in the vicinity of Bates Elementary (about 900 E.) Alice Wyatt remembers sledding for seven consecutive weeks on snow-packed North Ogden roads during that winter. Photo courtesy of the North Ogden Historical Museum <www.wp.nohmuseum.org> Visit The Ogden Valley News Facebook page for a view of the original photo.
The J.M Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop
The J.M. Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop was built in 1895, and is a brick, onepart block commercial building with a stepped gable parapet and Late Victorian Commercial details. The period of significance dates from 1895, when it was built by Jesse Wilbur, to1951, when Jesse passed away. Jesse partnered with his son Glenn in 1924, and they used this building as a commercial outlet providing primarily blacksmithing and other related services to local farmers and the surrounding communities. Following Jesse’s death, Glenn carried on the business for two more decades. It was significant in the areas of industry and commerce because it provided essential services in a developing community and played a vital role in the development and success of the community of Eden and surrounding Ogden Valley. The building was originally designed and constructed to facilitate the needs of the blacksmithing industry—a once very common and necessary business in frontier life—and is the only known continuously functioning blacksmith shop remaining in the region. Following a recent careful rehabilitation, the building continues to operate as a blacksmith shop today.
Industry In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Utah, when horses were the primary mode of travel, blacksmithing was a busy and prosperous enterprise. Travelers did not commonly bring tools with them and, therefore, blacksmiths were strongly relied upon. Emigrants would gather scrap iron as they crossed the plains and would often trade the iron or grain or food. Blacksmiths in Ogden, specifically, not only shod horses and set wagon tires, but also made necessary items for household and farm use. In 1850, the Weber County census listed 22 blacksmiths. The town of Liberty (four miles from Eden) had two blacksmiths, which did not last very long. The J.M. Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop proved to be the more successful and provided blacksmithing business for these communities.
The Wilbur Blacksmith Shop began operation in Eden, Utah, in 1895. Located about 12 miles east of Ogden, Eden lies between the north and middle forks of the Ogden River in Ogden Valley, originally called “Little Valley”2 by Shoshone Indian Chief Little Soldier. In 1825 British trapper Peter Skeen Ogden and others employed by the Hudson Bay Fur Co. were the first white men to explore and trap wildlife in the valley, which then became known as “Ogden’s Hole” or “New Hole.”3 Later, President Brigham Young of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent two exploration parties in 1848 and 1852 to the valley. This led to the establishment of three Mormon communities of year-round residents: Eden, Huntsville, and Liberty. The first cattlemen came in 1856, and by 1860 small farms were beginning to form.
James Burt (b. 1822), an experienced blacksmith, immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1862. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he crossed the plains with other Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, Utah where he was invited to do blacksmithing work for Church president Brigham Young. He had acquired sufficient funds by 1870-71 to purchase a piece of land in Eden and became one of the first permanent settlers in the area. He built Eden’s first blacksmith shop, which served the other nearby settlements of Huntsville and Liberty as well. In 1895, James Burt sold the blacksmith shop to his assistant, Jesse Wilbur (b. 1874), who replaced the building with a new one (the subject building) in 1895 and changed the name to his own.4 The J.M. Wilbur Company Blacksmith Shop provided essential services and support for this growing agricultural community. Blacksmithing was a vital industry in any settlement of this era and this building retains significance as the industry’s only vestige in the Ogden Valley. Common blacksmithing services needed by these farmers included replacing parts for farm equipment, shoeing horses, constructing tools, providing tilling equipment, and building steel wagon wheels.5 The Wilbur blacksmithing trade was a practical service and a boon to the farming industry, which contributed significantly to the growth and success of the community.
Commerce After many years working in James Burt’s Blacksmith Shop in Eden, Jesse Wilbur purchased the shop in 1895, built a new shop on the property, and established the J.M. Wilbur Company. Because the community was agricultural, his skills were indispensable to the farmers there. Interchangeable parts were not mass-produced in those days, and so much of Jesse’s time was spent in building new parts to replace homemade ones for equipment needing repair. He fitted horses with shoes using steel purchased from Ogden, then heated it and shaped them with his homemade hammer. His custom design of the “Wilbur Bale Hook” became known as the best tool in the Mountain West for hooking bales of hay and was sold in several states outside of Utah as well (“Eden Blacksmith”).6 He built snow plows, bob sleds, tilling equipment, and steel wagon wheel tires, which was an especially laborious and painstaking process. Tire setting was one of the most significant and difficult repairs offered at the Wilbur shop.
On February 1, 1924, Jesse’s son Glenn became a partner in the business and the business name was changed to J.M. Wilbur and Son, which remained until Jesse’s death on June 19, 1951.7 As technology caused an evolution in transportation and automobiles became the dominant mode, the Blacksmith Shop adapted to the times and offered automobile and gasoline service in addition to blacksmithing.8 Expansion of amenities to include automobile service appears to coincide with the additions that were added to the south side of the original blacksmith shop (and more recently removed). This is supported through photographic evidence of the service station component; however, no other documentation exists to confirm the dates or extent of the service station activities.
James Burt, Sr. In the early nineteenth century, child labor was common in many countries. Nine-year-old James Burt (b. 8 January 1822) began his life of manual labor in his birthplace of Blontyre Lanark Scotland. During the next few years, he found himself working with machinery, water wheels, and blacksmith equipment. After refusing to fulfill the role of striking workers at the Blontyre Works, he found himself unemployed and homeless at the age of fifteen. It was at this time that he began learning the trade of blacksmith, often working eighteen-hour days. Economic downturns often forced him to change jobs working for the railway, sugar factory, and ironworks. In spite of these challenges, he consistently found enough work to marry and support his childhood sweetheart, Mary McBride, when he was only seventeen. Of all his jobs, he loved blacksmithing the most and took every opportunity to learn the trade well.
In 1850 James and Mary were introduced to and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which greatly impacted the future of this family. They left Scotland in 1862 and sailed across the Atlantic to begin the arduous journey across the plains to Utah in hopes of joining others of their faith. James resumed his blacksmith trade at the invitation to work for Brigham Young in Salt Lake City. Hearing about the beautiful valley east of Ogden, he purchased a small piece of land in Eden between 1870-1871, eventually building a shop and becoming the blacksmith for the three main settlements in the valley.
After Mary’s death (1897), James sold his shop to his assistant, Jesse Wilbur, in 1895. Jesse then built the new shop three years later on this same property. James died on 17 July 1904 and was buried in Eden.
Jesse M. Wilbur Jesse M. Wilbur (b. February 1874) was the eldest of seven children born to Elisha Wilbur, one of the first settlers of Eden, Utah, and Rose Ellen Worden Wilbur. Upon the death of his mother in 1897, he became the legal guardian for his four youngest siblings.
Jesse began learning the skills of a blacksmith from his father at the age of eighteen, which became his life’s work. Not only did he receive on-the-job training, but he also attended classes in blacksmithing at Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) in Logan.
On July 5, 1899, Jesse (age 25) married Minnie Farrell (age 23). It is believed their courtship took place in their earlier years as they attended the same school together in Eden and only lived one block apart from each other. Their first home was the Wilbur home in the “Stringtown” section of Eden, where Jesse also operated the farm.9 They later moved to the Farrell home, one block away from the Blacksmith Shop. Jesse and Minnie had seven children. Minnie always did the bookkeeping for Jesse’s Blacksmith Shop.
On February 1, 1924, Jesse’s son Glenn became a partner in the business and the business name was changed to J.M. Wilbur and Son, which remained until Jesse’s death on June 19, 1951.
According to LaMar Petersen, “Everybody liked Jesse Wilbur. He was friendly and obliging. When he shod the horses, his shop became a haven for idlers and bug-eyed kids. His smelly leather apron, the red-hot embers in the forge, the sweat of the horses all made a pleasant atmosphere worth standing around for an hour at a time enjoying. I loved to watch him at work, smoking his stogie, intent on gentling the horse as he applied the shoe, his swarthy, perspiring face showing both concentration and kindness. He was also a fixer. He mended plows and harvesters, an occasional wheel from a wagon, or a flivver that refused to start.”10
Jesse is also remembered as a good friend of David O. McKay, a later president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who was a native of nearby Huntsville, and would often pay visits to Jesse’s shop. They enjoyed discussing local events and politics but avoided topics of a religious nature.
Glenn M. Wilbur The son of Jesse M. and Minnie Farrell Wilbur was Glenn Wilbur (b. 1 December 1903). He married Clara Hunt on March 28, 1936. In 1924, he became his father’s partner in the Blacksmith Shop. After his father’s death in 1951, Glenn changed the name of the company to Glenn M. Wilbur and continued to operate the shop. Gradually, new ideas were formed and gas pumps and auto mechanics became a part of the blacksmith trade. Glenn operated the Blacksmith Shop until his retirement on May 29, 1971. For 42 years, he was one of the last blacksmiths in the Ogden area. Like his father, he continued producing necessary articles for home and agricultural use as well as horseshoes. He also provided service to the community as vice president and former director of the Eden Waterworks Co. Glenn died at the age of 69 on November 19, 1973. Today, the building still functions as a Blacksmith Shop.
Historical Context for Eden/Ogden Valley The small agricultural community of Eden, Weber County, Utah has always been known for its picturesque beauty, fertile grasslands, and numerous waterways all surrounded by the Wasatch and Cache Valley mountain ranges. Located about 12 miles east of Ogden, Eden lies between the north and middle forks of the Ogden River in Ogden Valley, originally called “Little Valley”11 by Shoshone Indian Chief Little Soldier. The valley once served as temporary summer hunting grounds for the tribe where beaver, muskrats, game, and even bear were plentiful. In 1825 British trapper Peter Skeen Ogden and others employed by the Hudson Bay Fur Co. were the first white men to explore and trap wildlife in the valley, which then became known as “Ogden’s Hole” or “New Hole.”12 Geographers later named it Ogden Valley. The severe winters and difficult passage through the Ogden canyons discouraged permanent settlements. It wasn’t until President Brigham Young of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent two exploration parties in 1848 and 1852 that led to the establishment of three Mormon communities of year-round residents: Eden, Huntsville, and Liberty.13 The first cattlemen came in 1856 and by 1860 small farms were beginning to form. Stephen K. Wilbur is thought to be the first settler in Eden, which was surveyed in 1866 by Washington Jenkins. It was Jenkins who suggested the Biblical name of Eden because of its beauty. Because the elevation is 4,941 feet (1,506 m), the new settlers were faced with long harsh winters causing many challenges. In March of 1876, James Burt, Jr. left his wife Annie and three children at home to retrieve fresh water when a sudden snow slide rushed down the mountainside tearing the home from its foundation and carrying it and his family downhill. Everyone was saved but his toddler-aged daughter Catherine, who was buried the next day in Eden Cemetery. The displaced family lived in the home of James Burt, Sr., in Eden for a while. One month after this tragic incident, Annie gave birth to a son giving him the name of George Survival Burt.
Other challenges also beset the community. Although relations between the settlers and Indians were mostly peaceful, tensions were still high. Shortages of food were not uncommon as the townspeople often offered provisions to the Indians to maintain peaceful conditions. Some even paid an annual “tax” for several years to avoid problems. Men often carried rifles when working in the fields. Relations further deteriorated at the break of the Black Hawk War in 1865, causing many of the settlers to move closer together in the Eden area for protection. During the winter of 1877 an epidemic of scarlet fever and diphtheria broke out in the community lasting until the next year. Very little medical help was available in the valley and the epidemic was especially hard on the children claiming 64 lives. Hordes of grasshoppers led to successive years of crop failure. In spite of these trials, progress moved forward.
Mail came to Eden from Ogden twice a week and was delivered to Richard Ballantynes. In 1893 the first post office was established which served as the post office for the town of Liberty as well. In 1861 Thomas Bingham built the first hand-driven shingle mill on the North Fork between Eden and Liberty; the first power-driven mills came a few years later. The Blacksmithing business run by James Burt and then Jesse Wilbur served the towns of Eden and Liberty for many years, as did the grocery store in Eden. Religion greatly united the people of these communities. James Burt, Sr. served as the first Sunday School Superintendent for Eden and Liberty, and his son, James Burt, Jr. helped the church acquire property for the first tithing house, ward house, and cemetery in Liberty. The Eden Ward’s population in 1900 was 294 members. Several prominent church leaders such as Matthias Cowley, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young, George Q. Cannon, Franklin D. Richards, and Daniel H. Wells visited the Latter-Day Saints in the valley. A one-room school house built in 1866 in Eden also welcomed students from Liberty. In 1884 a larger school house was built with a bell placed on the roof to call the children to school or warn residents of an emergency. The bell now sits upon the Daughters of Utah Pioneers historical monument dedicated in 2005 to honor the historical significance of Eden.14 _____________________________________________________________________________ 2. “Early History of Liberty, Weber, Utah”. 3. Ibid. 4. “Biography of Elisha Wilbur,” p. 6. 5. “No Town Could Make it without a Blacksmith” 6. Ibid. 7. “Biography of Elisha Wilbur,” p. 6. 8. “No Town Could Make it without a Blacksmith” 9. Gardiner, Don (Grandson). “Biography of Minnie Lavina Farrell Wilbur,” February, 1982. 10. Petersen, LaMar. “My Garden of Eden,” Utah Historical Quarterly 56 (Summer 1988): 236-49. 11. “Early History of Liberty, Weber, Utah”. 12. Ibid. 13. “Settlement of Eden,” Utah Historical Markers on www.waymarking.com, posted March 23, 2011, http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMB1F9_Settlement_of_Eden 14. “Settlement of Eden,” Utah Historical Markers on www,waymarking.com, posted March 23, 2011, http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMB1F9_Settlement_of_Eden