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The following are excerpts from some of our
books. As you can see, children, grandchildren and others will love reading about their
I remember March 27, 1927. They said it was the biggest snow
we had ever had. Granny Tedder and Grance Tedder lived up the
path from us and they had a cow. Ruby Benson was a baby and Uncle Robert,
Ruby’s Dad, came walking through the snow to get milk for Ruby and the snow
was up to his knees. They lived out on the road in Johnny’s house which was a
mile from the house we lived in.
She always wore a blouse which had long sleeves and a narrow neck band. She wore long
skirts which were gathered on a waist belt and she always wore more than one petty coat or
under skirt. She wore what she called her waist coat under her blouses. We would probably
call it a bra. Her dresses where always a dark color and she had one black silk dress
which she wore to church.
The family had one or two cows and some hogs. They had three or four horses.
Grandmother always milked the cows. She made butter and cottage cheese. They also had a
few chickens. Whenever the men folks killed a hog, Grandma always made sausage and she
cleaned and prepared the hog's head for head cheese. That was something I had never seen
Grandmother also made a bran beer. She boiled bran and hops together. When it had
cooled enough, she added yeast cakes and put it in a large enamel crock and put it in the
cellar to cure. This was a refreshing drink for the men folks who would come across the
street to get a drink of the beer when they were tired and thirsty—especially when the
weather was hot.
Grandmother was a good cook. She would sometimes make a delicious chicken soup with
Danish dumplings—a recipe which she brought from Denmark. She also raised a nice garden
and lovely flowers.
I had now finished all the work our grade school had to
offer, and was scheduled for my first year in the Academy at Airdrie; but Mother
was afraid, on account of my being so young, as I would have to board a railroad
train each morning, and again in the evening coming home.
When they arrived in Thurber, her father built two log rooms with a
roof of poles, bark and mud. The Snows brought cattle and chickens so they could have
their milk, eggs, cheese and butter.
Willard Snow and his brother Charles took up two sections of land to
homestead. Some of the fences that Willard Snow built are still standing. When Edna was
six, she moved with her parents nearer to a school. Her first school teacher was Dixie
Pace, and while Ms. Pace was still alive, Edna went to see her. Ms. Pace still remembered
Edna saying, "I am now five but I will be six in December."
Next to Grandma and Grandpa Burton’s home lived Aunt Ella and Uncle
Lafe (Lafayette Burton, Grandpa Burton’s half-brother), with their family who were very
close to us, and their daughters often served as our baby sitters. Melvin was the oldest
and only son and there were four daughters, Dorothy, Linda, Clara, and Edith. They often
fixed my hair, and dressed me up. I loved playing on their swing. They often tended my
newborn sister Jane, who was born in l920.
It was thrashing time. Workers were staying on our farm to help with
the thrashing. It was meal time, and they were seated around long tables that had been set
up in the yard behind our farm house. I was about five years old, and I had important work
I had a small leafy branch for shooing flies. Because we lived on a
ranch and had horses and cattle, there were always plenty of flies around. When a fly
became a nuisance to one of the workers eating his meal, he would call out: "Vera,
come shoo this fly!" And I would run over and shoo it away.
Cattle was a big industry for Boulder, Utah. "I should
estimate," said John King, "that Boulder cattle at that time (1890 to 1900)
numbered around 12,000 head. We drove about 1500 steers out to sell every fall. Of course
in those days, we kept the beef steers until they were three, four, and five years
old." Cattle rustling by the Robbers Roost Gang was a problem.
In 1954 the Ford stopped running permanently, and we junked it. Father
then bought a 1935 Chevrolet pickup. The body of the pickup was in worse condition than
that of the Ford, but the engine ran well. However, it would not run very fast. We usually
drove it below thirty-five mph (Again an estimate, the speed-o-meter did not work.) I
tried twice [when I was fourteen years old] to see how fast it would go. When it got to
about fifty mph, the externally mounted radiator began to boil, and steam blew from the
radiator cap, swept back, and condensed on the windshield. This was in the winter, and the
windshield wipers did not work, so the water froze on the windshield and blocked my view
of the road.
His father, James, was a farmer by occupation and he taught his
children early the value of hard work and thrift. James had very little when he started
having his family but by hard work he became prosperous.
Although these were the
infamous depression years, when we children often wore pieces of cardboard in
our shoes to cover the holes, and ate "Lumpy Dick Mush" for breakfast,
lumpy dick mush consisting of flour stirred first in cold water and then into
boiling salted water, and tasting very much like the paste used at school, we
were blessed to have milk and sugar to put on it.
As I reached my teens, or maybe even
earlier, I became allergic to quite a few substances in the environment. Among
them were dust and certain pollens, but tests that I took indicated that there
were so many that the specialist doubted that the shots then available would do
me much good. For example, I couldn’t tolerate such activities as sweeping out
the garage, and much worse, I could not go on the hay rides that were popular
with my high school friends.
My parents had the address of a distant cousin, Johnny Porreca, so we went
directly to his home where we were welcomed with open arms. He was anxious to
show us around Torricella Pelligna, introducing us to friends and family. The
five-mile ride out into the country along a winding road took us to the old farm
where our grandfather was born. The farm was off the main road at the end of a
lane. As we stepped out of our rented cars, we stepped back in time. Stories
Grandpa told us about his childhood took on real meaning.
Within a short time Charlie and Joe built an addition onto the front of
the hotel and tore down their first business establishment. With more room they expanded
their business to include groceries. This was the beginning of the first convenience
store! Charlie and Rosie ran the store (Rosie’s mother, Mary tended their children) and
Joe routinely traveled to the city for supplies to stock their store. It was an exciting
time. Back in those days in Hanna, money was scarce so when someone couldn’t pay cash
for their goods or groceries at the store, Charlie traded for almost anything–eggs,
chickens, pigs, posts, stock, even real estate. As a last resort he gave credit.
George had a red beard, so the Indians gave him the name which means
"red beard" in their language— "Inka-Pompy." It is a name by which
he is known today among even the descendants of his Indian friends, Indians who have never
seen his red beard, but who had been told by their parents and grandparents about
Inka-Pompy, their beloved friend and teacher.
Axel Nielson was born on the 20th of March in Helsingor, Frederick,
Denmark. He was put in an orphanage when a child. He was confined there until he was 15 or
16 years old. He was adopted by Johanna Nielson who took him out of the orphanage and gave
him the name of Nielson. The orphanage told her he had been put in by a person by the name
of Christian Hendrickson who said he was the child’s father. The Nielsons were flour
millers and that is where Axel learned the trade.
Axel traveled across the States and landed in Richfield, Utah, were he
pitched hay for Chris Poulsen for a living. He was barefooted until he could earn enough
to buy shoes and clothing that he needed.
Later, he got a job in the flour mill in Elsinore, Utah, for Bertleson,
and worked there until he got enough money to send for his wife and son. Peter was then
three years old; they came across the ocean in 1884, and then across the states to
Grandma Sophie Larsen Nielson could speak no English and it was a
terrible trip for her. She carried their clothes in sacks and a home-made trunk. The trunk
they kept for years. Victor, second son of Axel and Ane Sophie, could remember seeing the
trunk. Victor said he thought it took six weeks on the boat, and to cross the States to
Salt Lake about fifteen days. Then one day to Juab, then on a buckboard to Elsinore.
Victor thinks Grandpa [Axel] met her at Juab and took her on to Elsinore in a buckboard.
This beautiful church stands on the banks of Little Indian Creek in
Washington County, Missouri. It was built in 1918 after the original church was struck by
lightning in the bell tower and burned down. The cemetery has many family members buried
there. The Church today is still as much a part of the community as it was throughout its
We left Copenhagen the spring of 1885, and sailed to England where we
had to change ships. The ship from Denmark to England was all right. We had to travel in
steerage and, in no time, sickness was rampant both from the rough passage and disease.
When at last the boat docked in America, some Custom Officials, observing the pale and
languid child, hurriedly took me from Mother explaining that a doctor should see me.
Mother, not understanding English, was terrified, but they soon brought me back and made
Mother realize that I would soon be all right.
They had a little daughter born about June 12, 1886, in Elsinore. This baby died from whooping cough when about three months old, in
1886. She had been exposed to the whooping cough by some child that came with
parents to visit Grandma and Grandpa. The baby Ana was buried in Elsinore
cemetery. Victor has seen the grave.
Because of Sterling’s sister, LaVern’s fragile health, doctors
recommended a warmer climate at lower altitude. They moved their family of six to San
Diego, California in 1917 where they remained until 1920. George wrote in his history,
"The children enjoyed the climate and the garden with its sweet potatoes and peanuts
as well as the flowers...In time the children got home sick. There were no children in our
neighborhood to play with and they wanted to return home.
I was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1881, and christened a Lutheran.
My earliest recollections are of the apartment house where I lived with Mother, Father
already being in America. My mother left our home each day to work. She was a tailor of
men’s suits. The first thing kids were taught was the name of their street and the
number. Most of the children of the working class were left long hours to shift for
themselves, and the one thing they had to know was their home address. My address was 42
Princess Street. One of the days that I was alone, I fell down the stairs and poked a
stick in my eye. The money that Father had sent for us to join him and the money which
Mother had been saving had to be used to try to save my eye. This was not to be. I lost
the vision of one eye.
After a great delay, the money was again accumulated and we were to leave for America.
I was vaccinated and inoculated for four diseases. This, on top of my eye accident and not
being a robust child, I became desperately ill. At Liverpool, England, we had to change
ships and we boarded one from the Mediterranean loaded with Greeks, Turks, Mongols, many
of whom had small pox and typhus. Because I was ill, they made Mother and me move down to
the bottom of the ship and travel those many weeks without ever seeing the sky or having
one person to whom we could speak. Each day my mother suffered a thousand deaths fearing I
would die and be tossed into the ocean as they were doing with others who died.