Frazier, Adelbert

Please see the biography of Adelbert’s wife, Torgler, Mary Elizabeth. His biography is included in hers.

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Torgler, Mary Elizabeth

This is a biography of Mary Elizabeth Torgler, born August 17, 1852, the daughter of Johannes Torgler and Elizabeth Bugher. It includes a biography of her husband Adelbert Frazier, born October 18, 1853. Mary Elizabeth Torgler

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Family History Library

This is the door to the PFWW’s Family History Library – a work in progress – of course.

Soft Copies (Descriptions and links to internet resources) on this website and others.

Hard Copies (Books and such held at the headquarters of the PFWW).

Image Library (Various and sundry pictures of Pemberton interest).

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Pemberton Leigh, Thomas: First Baron Kingsdown

LeighPembertonThomasThomas Pemberton, as he was named at his birth February 11, 1793, was a British barrister who eventually served as a judge and was also active in political endeavors including sitting as an MP from 1831 to 1832 for Rye and again from 1835 to 1843 for Ripon. He also served as attorney-general for the Duchy of Cornwall. His most famous post was on the judicial committee of the Privy Council, a post he held for two decades. In 1858 he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Kingsdown. He died in October, 1867, having lived over 70 years and never married.

In 1842 Sir Robert Leigh, a relative of his mother, left him an interest in his Wigan estates of £15,000 per annum. At that point he assumed the second surname of Leigh thus becoming the Right Honorable Thomas Pemberton Leigh, or as usually referred to later, Thomas Leigh Pemberton. He was after all, a biological Pemberton.

In an email dated March 5, 2003, and directed to PFWW member Herbert Pemberton of Blackpool, a great grand nephew, Adam Leigh Pemberton states that Edward Leigh Pemberton was the brother of Thomas Leigh Pemberton and his (Adam’s) Great Great Grandfather. He continues:

Edward Leigh Pemberton [was] the founder of Meynell & Pemberton and President of the Law Society, from which Robin is also descended. His fifth son was Major General Sir Wykeham Leigh Pemberton K. C. B. who married Jesse Graham, who is, no doubt the Lady Leigh Pemberton referred to by Herbert Pemberton. Their eldest son, Darell Leigh Pemberton, married Violet Hope Howard and they had five girls.

The Robin, alluded to here, is certainly Robin Leigh-Pemberton, Governor of the Bank of England from 1983 to 1993. He was also Baron Kingsdown.

Photo courtesy of

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Pemberton, Henry, Dr.: Assistant to Sir Isaac Newton

Henry Pemberton (1694–1771), physician and mathematician, was born in London, the third son of Edward Pemberton and his wife, Elizabeth. Henry’s father, a wealthy fruiterer, intended his son to become a physician; it was mathematics, though, which became his serious avocation. He also made contributions to the appreciation of contemporary poetry, and cultivated a degree of musical appreciation.

Pemberton’s delicate health caused him to be sent to a country grammar school in Guildford, Surrey, where he first felt an attraction to mathematics. Having returned to London, he read classics with John Ward (later professor of rhetoric at Gresham College), but also devoted much time to the study of Apollonius of Perga’s Conics. Despite these inclinations to antique studies, he was set to study medicine, and followed a common route of the day to Leiden, where he came under the influence of Herman Boerhaave. Pemberton next went to Paris to improve his knowledge of anatomy. James Wilson, Pemberton’s contemporary biographer, maintained that Pemberton’s mechanical dexterity helped him to become competent in dissection and surgery. While in Paris, Pemberton formed several scientific friendships, some of which led to his acquiring, at a sale there, a portion of the library of the mathematician Abbé Galois. After returning to London Pemberton attended St Thomas’s Hospital to learn ‘London physic’, but never practised medicine regularly. In 1719 he again visited Leiden and graduated MD; by now he was a friend of Boerhaave, at whose house he lodged. In the same year Pemberton published Dissertatio de facultate oculi and On the Power whence the Eye may Discern Objects Distinctly at Distances; the latter was a work showing how certain results of Roger Cotes, hitherto found using ratios and logarithms, could be obtained using a circle and parabola. Pemberton became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1720.

About the same time Pemberton showed to John Keill certain new mathematical solutions he had obtained. Keill brought them to Sir Isaac Newton’s attention, but the latter declined to take notice of them, believing that Pemberton was then connected with the circulation of untruths about him. However, Pemberton came to be on intimate terms with Richard Mead, Newton’s physician; he helped Mead to write the eighth edition of his treatise on the plague, and, in 1724, to edit W. Cowper’s Myotomia reformata (on muscles). At this time an Italian, M. Poleni, produced a paper about the force generated by a moving body on impact, which Pemberton refuted as erroneous. Pemberton’s treatment of the problem was passed to Newton and this, together with Newton’s own refutation of Poleni’s thesis, was published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1772. Intercourse between Newton and Pemberton thus became established and Pemberton was invited to superintend the editing of the third edition of the Principia mathematica, which appeared in 1726. Pemberton was then about thirty years old and was rightly flattered to get the opportunity to work so closely with the great eighty-year-old Newton. However, Newton often ignored Pemberton’s editorial suggestions. Pemberton wrote A View of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophy (1728), which he had partly read to the dying Newton. It made no great mark but could at least be recommended as being propaedeutic.

In 1728 Pemberton was elected Gresham professor of physic, and his Scheme for a Course of Chymistry to be Performed at Gresham College appeared in 1731. A set of lectures based on his course was published in 1771 and a second set on physiology in 1779; in both cases the editor was James Wilson.

Pemberton was said to have spent seven years (1739–46) preparing the fifth London Pharmacopoeia for the Royal College of Physicians, which edition proved he was well acquainted with pharmacy. It appeared in 1746 as Translation and Improvement of the London Dispensary, for which he was rewarded by 100 guineas and the gift of the volume’s copyright.

Pemberton also encouraged a number of younger scholars. These included the young scientist–engineer Benjamin Robins, who was introduced to Pemberton on leaving school. Both Pemberton and Robins were also close friends of James Wilson. The poet Richard Glover also came under Pemberton’s wing on leaving school. In 1738 he wrote Leonidas, an epic on which Pemberton made some acclaimed observations. Pemberton also wrote an Account of the Ancient Ode which prefaced Gilbert West’s Translations of Pindar (1748).

Wilson’s preface to Pemberton’s Course on Chemistry (1771) is a substantial, detailed biography of Pemberton by one who knew him extremely well, describing in it his character as delicate, pleasant, and cultured.

Pemberton died in Cannon Street, London, on 9 March 1771, seemingly after a second attack of jaundice, and was buried in Bunhill Fields, London. He left a considerable fortune to Henry Mills, his niece’s husband.

Many articles written by Pemberton remained unpublished at his death, notably ‘A short history of trigonometry’.

The above was written by W. Johnson and is quoted entirely from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. It can be viewed in its source context here.

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Pemberton, George M. of Sedalia, Missouri, 1810 – 1878

With Family Tree Maker one can print a Register Report for anyone in their Family Tree File. The report below was thus generated.

My grandfather, Thomas Mason Pemberton (03 May 1870-19 Apr 1963) was  the son of George M. Pemberton, Sr., and Sarah Ellen Pemberton.  Sarah was the first cousin once removed, of George M. Pemberton, Sr. She was the granddaughter of George Pemberton IV, and he was a brother to Jesse B. Pemberton, George M. Pemberton, Sr.’s father.  He is the one who began in 1834 to write about his life.  Different years, he used different inks, some blue and badly faded, and difficult to read. These folios are bound in leather, called THE SCRAPBOOK. This volume contains the Minutes of the Walnut Baptist Church from its founding. Another section is devoted to GMP’s writings, and in a separate part, those of his son. One can also find things added by my grandparents: pasted obituaries, wedding announcements as well as hand prints of children.  The entries are not sequential. But are interesting for what they do include. One is a section GMP entitled: History of our Relations.  Another is GMP’s memory of his Grandfather George Pemberton III (1718 -1827).

In 1993 I began to research using the web and contacted Daniel Buckley, who had worked with Ernest Pemberton, on the origins of  our Pemberton line.  They, like Jackson Pemberton, descend from Isaiah Pemberton, and we, from George Pemberton, III, his brother.  Both are the sons of George Pemberton, who emigrated to Virginia in 1710. Dan and I  worked daily for three years to verify what THE SCRAPBOOK contained on genealogy.  Dan and Ernie both were in contact with many others, and together, we made discoveries.  We all concluded the History of our Relations section in the THE SCRAPBOOK was accurate for with Dan, nothing could be assumed. He had to have facts. The PFWW is indebted to his widow Dannie Patricia Little Buckley, who has graciously made access to Daniel’s genealogy research available.

Register Report for George M. Pemberton 


Generation 1 


1.             George M. Pemberton-1. He was born on 23 Jan 1810 in Caldwell County, KY. He died on 10 Nov 1878 in Sedalia, Mo. Burial 1978 in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


Notesfor George M. Pemberton: General Notes:


George M. Pemberton, who was the eldest son of Jesse B. and Tabitha Pemberton, was born in Caldwell County KY, March 5, 1810. He was one of the leading stock dealers of his township (Pettis Co. MO), and contributed largely to the development and prosperity of the county. He was also at one time an extensive land owner, having owned in connection with his brother, Dr. Thomas B. Pemberton, nearly 4,000 acres. He died November 10, 1878. He had been a member of the Regular Baptist Church for many years, and was a good neighbor, widely known and respected. (Quoted from page 977 of the “HISTORY OF ELK FORK TOWNSHIP,”1882)


He came to Missouri in company with his brother, Dr. Thomas B, in 1836, and was married in 1839 to Miss Melissa M. Pemberton, daughter of Judge Pemberton, by whom he raised a family of eight children. Mrs. Pemberton died in 1859 with typhoid fever, and also near the same time, two of the eldest sons and one daughter died. In 1860 George M. married Miss Sarah E. Pemberton, sister of his first wife, by whom he had four children. (History of Elkfork Township).


GMP Sr.’s scrapbook gives birthdays and death dates, lists who married whom, but wedding dates are not always included.


In it he writes:


My first wife Melissa Mildred, daughter of Jesse and Elizabeth Pemberton had 8 children and 5 sons and names them. He continues

My second wife Sarah Pemberton, a sister to my first wife, had 4 children and 2 sons, and names them.


George M.’s first trip to Missouri by horseback was in October 1832 and he selected a location for his homestead before returning by horseback to KY. The following year he returned to Pettis County, driving through from KY with an ox team and wagon. He entered land here from the government at a cost of $1.25 per acre. But it was not until May 7, 1836 that he moved to Pettis County, Mo. He became quite an extensive land owner, about 800 acres. He raised stock extensively and prospered.


George M. moved to the farm that he bought of his brother Thomas B., known as the brick house farm on the 28th day of April, 1865.


His Obituary


…Died at his residence in Pettis County on the 10th of typhoid fever….


The deceased was born in Caldwell County, KY, March 5th, 1810, and moved to Pettis County in 1836, together with his father, Jesse B. Pemberton, and his only brother, Dr. Thomas Pemberton, who now survives him…


It goes on to give his wives and children s names, and some instances in his long and checkered career, including his capture by the Sioux Indians, and his escape and being lost in the wilderness for 40 days….


Illness and Death in the Family (from the Scrapbook) 


This is a typed copy of p.38 of the Scrapbook, labeled Vol. I by George M. Pemberton, SR. Death in My family 


In the winter of 1859 had ten cases of Typhoid first in my family at one time Four of which proved 



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Register Report for George M. Pemberton 


Generation 1 (con’t) 


fatal. My son Thomas departed on the 4th day of February. My son Jesse departed on the 24th of the same month. Melissa my companion departed on the 4th of April. (of child-bed fever) Negro boy Henry departed April 10th. Negro girl Sarah departed February 21. 


My daughter Mariam Buena was sick near seven weeks, was given out by all the Doctors that saw her. Had her clothes prepared to bury her in. expected her to die every day for seven days. It pleased God to restore her. 


My daughter Elizabeth was sick three weeks. She was the lightest case out of the ten though she was quite sick. 


Negroes Darkey and Vina had long spell was given out by the doctors. Jeff was quite sick. Also 

Dr. Smith attended Thomas and Mariam,  Dr. C.C.Campbell attended Jesse, also my wife Melissa. Dr. Wm Snody attended Jeff, attended Vina, Darkey & Sarah 



Melissa Mildred Pemberton is the daughter of Jesse M. Pemberton and Elizabeth Rucker [1]. She was born on 06 Jun 1818 in Caldwell County, KY. Burial 1859 in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO. She died 1859 in Sedalia, Mo [1]. Residence in Pettis Co, Mo, she & sister both married George Pemberton & were daughters of Judge Pemberton. 


Notes for Melissa Mildred Pemberton: General Notes: 


Miss Melissa M. Pemberton, daughter of Judge Pemberton, bore eight children with her husband George M. Pemberton. She died of typhoid fever in 1859 as did two of the eldest sons and one daughter. Her husband then married her sister a year later, namely, Sarah E. Pemberton. 


George M. Pemberton and Melissa Mildred Pemberton. They were married on 15 Aug 1839 in Sedalia, Mo [1]. They had 8 children. 


4.             i. Warren Goodloe Pemberton [1]. He was born on 15 Aug 1845 in Pettis Co., MO. He died 1929 in Midland, Texas.  


5.             ii. George Middleton Pemberton [1]. He was born on 14 Oct 1856. He died on 18 Jun 1919 in Pettis Co., MO [1]. Burial in Crown Hill Cemetery, Pettis Co., MO.  


6.             iii. Brooks Gordon Pemberton [1]. He was born on 02 Mar 1859 in Kentucky. He died on 04 Oct 1921 in Midland, Texas.  


7.             iv. Mariam Buena Pemberton [1]. She was born on 28 May 1849 in Sedalia, Missouri. She died in Littleton, CO.  


8.             v. Lucinda Bathena Pemberton [1]. She was born on 27 Jul 1851 in Pettis Co., MO. She married Monroe Garton. They were married on 31 Oct 1873 in Pettis County. She died in Pettis Co., MO.  


vi.             Elizabeth Tabitha Pemberton [1]. She was born on 17 Oct 1853 in Sedalia, Missouri. She died on 19 Feb 1864 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


vii.            Thomas Fitzhugh Pemberton [1]. He was born on 09 May 1840 [1]. He died 1859  




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Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 1 (con’t)


viii.           Jesse Brooks Pemberton [1]. He was born on 11 Jun 1842 in Pettis Co., MO [1]. He died in Pettis Co., MO [1]. Burial in (tomb stone illegible) Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


Sarah Ellen Pemberton is the daughter of Jesse M. Pemberton and Elizabeth Rucker [1]. She was born on 24 Jan 1827 in KY. She died on 11 Nov 1900 in Pettis Co., Sedalia, Mo [1]. Burial in Rabourn (Pemberton) Cemetery, Pettis Co., Sedalia, Mo [1].


Notes for Sarah Ellen Pemberton: General Notes:


Melissa M. Pemberton and Sarah E. Pemberton were sisters, and both married George M. Pemberton, a first cousin once removed. They were daughters of Judge Pemberton. Melissa bore eight children but died of typhoid. Sarah married January 24, 1860 and bore four children. Thomas Mason Pemberton, born 1870, moved his wife and family from Sedalia, MO, to Phoenix, AZ in the 1920’s.


Sarah’s obit says she “moved with her father, Judge Jesse Pemberton, from the state of KY to MO in 1833 and her residence has been continuously in this state….”


“She joined the Primitive Baptist Church in 1869 and has ever exemplified a true Christian life…


“who has been an invalid for the past six years, confined to her bed nearly all of that time, died

…at the home of her daughter…her son-in-law, Jos. H. Teague, and was buried from the

residence…Rev.J.A.Teague conducting the funeral services.

“She was interred at the Pemberton burying ground November 22…


Written by:


By her son-in-law, Joseph A. Teague


George M. Pemberton and Sarah Ellen Pemberton. They were married on 24 Jan 1860 in Sedalia, Mo [1]. They had 4 children.


i.               Jesse Lee Pemberton [1]. He was born on 26 Aug 1864 in Sedalia, Missouri. He died on 24 Apr 1889 in Sedalia, Missouri (died single). Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


ii.              Dixie Ellen Pemberton [1]. She was born on 04 Sep 1866 in Sedalia, Missouri. She died on 29 Mar 1892 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


2.             iii.        Matilda Caroline Pemberton [1]. She was born on 26 May 1861 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. She married Joseph H. Teague. They were married on 18 Oct 1881. She died on 25 Aug 1937 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


3.             iv.      Thomas Mason Pemberton [1]. He was born on 03 May 1870 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. He married Constance Taylor. They were married on 15 Apr 1903. He died on 19 Apr 1963 in Phoenix, AZ [1]. Burial in Phoenix, AZ.



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Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 2 (con’t)


2.             Matilda Caroline Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 26 May 1861 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. She died on 25 Aug 1937 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


Joseph H. Teague [1]. He was born on 27 Jul 1847 [1]. He died on 17 Apr 1912 in La Monte, Missouri [1]. Burial in Rabourn Cemetery, Pettis County, MO.


Notes for Joseph H. Teague:

General Notes:


“Joseph H. Teague, husband of Carrie Pemberton Teague, died in La Monte Missouri April 17, 1912, after an illness of 7 months. He left his widow and two daughters, Mrs. George T. Lively and Mrs. Lloyd Ryan.


Joseph H. Teague and Matilda Caroline Pemberton. They were married on 18 Oct 1881. They had 3 children.


9.              i.          Flora Middleton Teague [1]. She was born on 31 May 1883. She married George Thomas Lively. They were married on 18 Feb 1903 in Sedalia, Missouri.


ii.              Onah James Teague [1]. He was born on 30 Aug 1886.


iii.             Leona Teague [1]. She died Jan 1958 [1].


3.             Thomas Mason Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 03 May 1870 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. He died on 19 Apr 1963 in Phoenix, AZ [1]. Burial in Phoenix, AZ. (He married twice.)


Constance Taylor [1]. She was born on 17 Sep 1879 in Slater, Missouri [1]. She died in Phoenix, AZ. Burial in Phoenix, AZ. (Second wife.)


Thomas Mason Pemberton and Constance Taylor. They were married on 15 Apr 1903. They had 3 children.


10.           i. Gordon Taylor Pemberton [1]. He was born on 28 Jul 1904 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. He married Kathleen Mary Wurth. They were married Aug 1927 in Phoenix, Arizona. He died on 28 Jul 1975 in Phoenix, AZ [1]. Burial Aug 1975 in St. Francis Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona [1].


11.           ii. Dixie Virginia Pemberton [1]. She was born on 30 Sep 1905 in Sedalia, Mo [1]. She married Willis P. Clarke. They were married 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona [1]. Burial 1978 in California [1]. She died 1978 in California [1].


Iii. Cecelia Ellen Pemberton [1]. She was born on 22 Sep 1912 in Sedalia, Missouri [1].                           She died on 14 J an. 2001 in Phoenix, Arizona [1]. Burial on 18 Jan 2001 in Phoenix, Arizona [1]. She married Paul Marks. They were married in Phoenix, Arizona.


Emma Elsea [1]. She died on 23 Sep 1899 [1].


Thomas Mason Pemberton and Emma Elsea. They were married 1893. They had 1 child.


i.          Verah Alta Pemberton [1]. She was born 1895 [1]. She died 1898 [1].



  Page 4                          





Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 2 (con’t)


4.             Warren Goodloe Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 15 Aug 1845 in Pettis Co., MO. He died 1929 in Midland, Texas.


Notes for Warren Goodloe Pemberton: General Notes:


Cattleman in Midland; moved to Fort Worth. See Newspaper clipping of his death.


“Mr. Warren C. Pemberton, in company with his two first cousins, George A. Pemberton of Denver and J.T.Pemberton of Fort Worth, drove a herd of cattle from Missouri to TX in 1879. The three settled in what is now Runnels County which they helped organize.


“Five years later, Warren moved to Midland where he engaged in the cattle business for a number of years. He served as tax assessor for Runnels County for 18 years and was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and of the Primitive Baptist Church.”


George Allen Pemberton and Jesse Thomas Pemberton were sons of Jesse Middleton Pemberton and Mary Lenox.


Pembertons – don’t know if related – had been in TX for some time. See land records below. -Texas Land Title Abstracts Database: Texas Land Title Abstracts     May 11, 2004 8:07 AM

                   Grantee Certificate Patentee Patent Date Acres Adjoining County

Thomas Harlow1169 Thomas Pemberton 25 Jun 1853 640 Callahan

Gideon Pemberton (dec’d)726 Hrs. of Gideon Pemberton 16 Jan 1861 448

Gideon Pemberton726 Hrs. of Gideon Pemberton 16 Jan 1861 192

W. G. Matthews19/499 R. H. Pemberton 27 Apr 1863 160

Kindred Pemberton Kindred Pemberton 05 Sep 1912 80

Sam. C. Pemberton984 Sam C. Pemberton 12 Sep 1934 481.8

J. Q. Pemberton J. Q. Pemberton 20 Nov 1902 53

Geo. A. Pemberton37/4188 Geo. A. Pemberton 04 Feb 1929 669

Mary J. Pemberton Mary J. Pemberton 14 Apr 1886 108

John J. Pemberton258 John J. Pemberton 05 Oct 1850 4428.40

John J. Pemberton258 John J. Pemberton 05 Oct 1850 177.10

John J. Pemberton875 John J. Pemberton 03 Dec 1850 420

John J. Pemberton875 John J. Pemberton 10 Oct 1850 220


May Moseley [was born 1845 [1]. She died in Midland, Texas.


Warren Goodloe Pemberton and May Moseley. They had 5 children.


i.               Mariam Pemberton [1].


ii.              Annie B. Pemberton [1]. She married Unknown. They were married May 1920.


                                                           Page 5                         





Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 2 (con’t)


iii.             Euphie Pemberton [1].


iv.             Lucinda Pemberton [1].


v.              Minnie Warren Pemberton [1].


5.             George Middleton Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 14 Oct 1856. He died on 18 Jun 1919 in Pettis Co., MO [1]. Burial in Crown Hill Cemetery, Pettis Co., MO.


Notes for George Middleton Pemberton:

General Notes:

From a newspaper clipping in the Scrapbook:


The will of the late George M. Pemberton was admitted to the probate court Monday. To his wife, Grace B. Pemberton, he left his home, 619 West Seventh Street, with all its contents, during her life time. At her death the place is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between his two brothers, Warren G. and Brooks G. Pemberton of Midland TX, and his two sisters Marilyn B. Rucker, of Aspen CO, and Matilda C. Teague, of Sedalia. If Mrs. Rucker should not be living at the time of the execution of the will, her shares to be divided among her three heirs.


All per personal property and household goods, except articles herein mentioned are to be divided equally between his sister-in law, Mrs. T. M. Pemberton and niece, Mrs. George Lively, of Sedalia…..


This explains how “Uncle George’s Scrapbook” passed from George M., Sr., to his oldest son, George M., Jr, then to George M., Sr., youngest son, Thomas Mason, to TM’s daughter Cecelia, and finally to TM’s grandson, Gordon Lee, in 2001.


Grace Walters [1]. She was born 1853 in Caldwell County, KY [1]. She died on 28 Nov 1938 in Independence, MO. Burial in Crown Hill Cemetery, Pettis Co., MO.


Notes for Grace Walters:


General Notes:

Her obit:


“Mrs. Grace Pemberton, wife of the late George Middleton Pemberton (son of G. M. Pemberton, Sr.), passed away at Independence, KS,….Born in Kentucky…she came to MO at an early age. In 1884, she married George Pemberton, who died in Sedalia in 1919. Their only son, Oren, passed away in 1918. Following the death of her husband she moved to Coffeyville, KS, and later to Independence….


…The body was brought to Sedalia by a nephew, Noel D. Walters, and placed in Crown Hill


Cemetery, between that of her husband and son…


George Middleton Pemberton, Jr. and Grace Walters. They had 1 child.


i.               Oren Wilson Pemberton [1]. He was born 1886 [1]. He died on 28 Oct 1918 in Prescott, AZ [1]. Burial in Crown Hill Cemetery, Pettis Co., MO.


Notes for Oren Wilson Pemberton: General Notes:


Oren W. Pemberton was the only child of George and Grace. He died in Prescott, AZ due to pneumonia following an attack of influenza.



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Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 2 (con’t)


6.             Brooks Gordon Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 02 Mar 1859 in Kentucky. He died on 04 Oct 1921 in Midland, Texas.


Notes for Brooks Gordon Pemberton: General Notes:


He was 62 at the time of his death. He had been in Midland 23 years. Funeral was at the Baptist Church.


His Obituary:


…He sustained a minor operation, and seemed to recover thoroughly from that, but a complication of stomach trouble set in, which brought about the end.

……He was born in Missouri….had been in Midland 23 years…present were his wife, son, daughter, brother W.G. Pemberton, cousin, T.B.Cooper and other relatives, the latter coming from Fr.Worth….


From the scrapbook:


“…departed this life October 4, 1921 @ 10 o’clock AM. He leaves a widow, a son, and daughter, Mrs. Fred J. Middleton and Dr. LB Pemberton.


Sallie B. Austin [1]. She was born in Virginia. She died in Midland, Texas. Brooks Gordon Pemberton and Sallie B. Austin. They had 2 children.


i.               Leonard Ogle Pemberton [1]. He was born in Missouri.


12.           ii.         Gracie Allene Pemberton [1]. She married Fred Middleton. They were married Nov 1919.


7.             Mariam Buena Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 28 May 1849 in Sedalia, Missouri. She died in Littleton, CO.


Notes for Mariam Buena Pemberton: General Notes:


Newspaper article on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary:


Miss Marian B. Pemberton, one of Missouri’s fairest daughters, to the altar of holy matrimony arranged in the parlor of her father’s plantation home near Sedalia, Missouri.”


Her husband, Tom Rucker, was a relative of her mother, Elizabeth Rucker.



Thomas Allen Rucker [1]. He died in Littleton, CO.


Thomas Allen Rucker and Mariam Buena Pemberton. They had 3 children.


i.               Willis George Rucker [1]. He was born on 18 Oct 1868. He died 1904 in Aspen, CO.


Thomas Pemberton Rucker [1]. He was born on 08 Aug 1870. He died in UCLA Hospital, LA, CA.




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Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 2 (con’t)


13.           iii. Atterson Warren Rucker. He was born on 24 Jul 1874. He was also known as Addie. He died in Denver, CO.


8.             Lucinda Bathena Pemberton-2 (George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 27 Jul 1851 in Pettis Co., MO. She died in Pettis Co., MO.


Monroe Garton [1]. He was born on 03 Nov 1848 in Pettis Co., MO. He died on 23 Oct 1902 in Pulsie, I.T. [1]. Burial in LaMonte, MO.


Notes for Monroe Garton: General Notes:


Monroe Gorton: Farmer and stock dealer. Prominent among the young men of this township, may be mentioned by the name of Mr. Garton. He was born in Pettis Co. Mo., Nov. 3, 1848. Receiving a common school education, he set out early in life for himself, engaging in farming, in which he has been quite successful. In Oct. 1873, he was united in marriage with Miss Lucinda B. Pemberton, daughter of George M. Pemberton, Esq. She is a native of Pettis Co. Mo., and a lady of culture and refinement. By this union they have one son, Wm. E. Garton. In 1873 Mr. Garton moved to his present farm which at that time contained 160 acres, given him, by his father.


Monroe Garton and Lucinda Bathena Pemberton. They were married on 31 Oct 1873 in Pettis County. They had 1 child.


i.               William E. Garton [1]. He was also known as Willie.


Notes for William E. Garton: General Notes:


From the 1880 History of Pettis County:


Wm. E. Garton moved to his present farm in 1873, which at that time contained 160 acres, given him, by his father, Monroe Garton. He has been very active and industrious, and his landed estate now numbers 1,290 acres, all under fence and cultivation, He has been one among the successful cattle and hog dealers of Lamonte Township. He has always endeavored to feed all the corn on his premises. Latterly he is turning his attention to the raising of wheat, his land being first class for the growing of this product. Seven hundred acres of his land lies in Vernon Co. Mo., on which his herds of cattle graze. Mr. Garton is a man possessed of more than ordinary executive ability, and as a financier he has few equals. He is a good neighbor, is widely known and much respected. He is a prominent member of the M.E. church.


An onionskin sheet of type found in “Uncle George’s Scrapbook” :


“Lucinda B. Garton, died in Pettis County, MO, several years ago, leaving William E. Garton as her only child. He died in Pettis Co., MO, without having ever married, leaving a will providing that all of his property to go to Lizzie Hayden, wife of William Hayden…Sedalia, Mo.”



  Page 8                          





Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 3


9.             Flora Middleton Teague-3 (Matilda Caroline Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 31 May 1883.


George Thomas Lively [1]. He was born on 29 Mar 1880. He died on 11 Dec 1955 [1].


George Thomas Lively and Flora Middleton Teague. They were married on 18 Feb 1903 in Sedalia, Missouri. They had 3 children.


15.           i.          Hazel Dixie Lively [1]. She was born on 31 May 1904. She married J. B. Poundstone. They were married on 05 Apr 1924.


ii.              Lyle Harrison Lively [1]. He was born on 10 Dec 1911.


iii.             Floyd Lee Lively [1]. She was born on 26 Feb 1915.


10.          Gordon Taylor Pemberton-3 (Thomas Mason Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 28 Jul 1904 in Sedalia, Missouri [1]. He died on 28 Jul 1975 in Phoenix, AZ [1]. Burial Aug 1975 in St. Francis Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona [1].


Kathleen Mary Wurth is the daughter of Felix F. Wurth and Mary Christine Miller [1]. She was born on 23 Oct 1909 in St. John’s Parish, Paducah, Kentucky [1]. Burial Mar 2001 in St. Francis Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona. She died on 26 Mar 2001 in Phoenix, AZ. Confirmation in St. Mary’s Parish, Phoenix, AZ [1].


Notes for Kathleen Mary Wurth: General Notes:


From her Obituary:




Kathleen Wurth Pemberton, a Belle of St. Mary’s, died March 26. Her class of 1927 included 15 women who began grade school together, and stayed life-long friends.


Born October 23, 1909, she came from KY to AZ with her parents, prior to AZ’s statehood. Her 3 sisters and 2 brothers were born in the Wurth’s home on 4th St. and Roosevelt. Sisters Angela Wurth Ronan and Elizabeth Wurth Scott Garthe, and her brother, Father Mary Philip, OCD, survived her.


She married Gordon Taylor Pemberton, and in 1928, the family moved to Tolleson and the Roosevelt Irrigation District. A testimony to our parents’ strong belief in education meant a commute of 20 miles round trip, twice daily, for more than 36 years! With Gordon’s death in 1975, Kathleen initiated a new life in a new home on 12th St., in Phoenix. She truly came to love her neighborhood, and new friends. They had eleven children. Grand-children number 32; great grandchildren, 54; and 5 great-great grandchildren.




 Page 9                          





Register Report for George M. Pemberton


11.           Dixie Virginia Pemberton-3 (Thomas Mason Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 30 Sep 1905 in Sedalia, Mo [1]. Burial 1978 in California [1]. She died 1978 in California [1].


Willis P. Clarke [1]. He was born in Canada [1]. He died in California [1]. Burial in California [1].


Willis P. Clarke and Dixie Virginia Pemberton. They were married 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona [1]. They had 2 children, twin boys.


23.           i.          Richard Clarke [1]. He was born 1947 [1].


ii.              Robert Clarke [1]. He was born 1947 [1].


12.          Gracie Allene Pemberton-3 (Brooks Gordon Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1].


Fred Middleton.


Fred Middleton and Gracie Allene Pemberton. They were married Nov 1919. They had 1 child.


i.               Leonard.


13.          Thomas Pemberton Rucker-3 (Mariam Buena Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. He was born on 08 Aug 1870. He died in UCLA Hospital, LA, CA.


Adelaide Grissum [1].


Thomas Pemberton Rucker and Adelaide Grissum. They had 1 child.


i.               Allen Pemberton Rucker [1]. She was born on 25 Dec 1900 in Aspen, CO.


14.          Atterson Warren Rucker-3 (Mariam Buena Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1). He was born on 24 Jul 1874. He was also known as Addie. He died in Denver, CO.


Frances W. Clark. She was born on 26 Mar 1875 in Fort Scott, KS. She died Dec 1949 in At home, Denver, Co. Burial Dec 1949 in Denver, CO.


Atterson Warren Rucker and Frances W. Clark. They had 1 child.


i.               Antoinette Mariam Rucker [1].


15.          Hazel Dixie Lively-4 (Flora Middleton Teague-3, Matilda Caroline Pemberton-2, George M. Pemberton-1) [1]. She was born on 31 May 1904.


Notes for Hazel Dixie Lively: General Notes:


From: Dixie Ann Pemberton

Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 9:47 AM

To: Mary Con Collier

Hi, Mary:

Do you remember Buddy and his visit? I do. Isn’t it a small world…You can send Buddy a note through his daughter Rhonda. See note below for Email address….

Love you….Dixie Ann



  Page 10                         





Register Report for George M. Pemberton


—–Original Message—–


From: Rhonda Mefford

Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 11:42 AM

To: Dixie Ann Pemberton


Hello Dixie,


Boy, this world gets smaller all the time. I was talking to my dad Melvin Poundstone, he was called Buddy as a child. He remembers going to AZ when he was 15 yrs. old with his mother Hazel Dixie (Lively) Poundstone and remembers an Uncle Mason and Aunt Conn. His memory is not that good now, But he remembers maybe an aunt or cousin who was a nun stopping at Sacred Heart in Sedalia. He later found out that she was married and he thought a school administrator. He remembers his gr-grandma Matilda “Carrie” Teague she was born in 1861 and died in 1957 while he was away in Korea. She was the daughter of George and Melissa’s son Thomas Fitzhugh and Sarah( ?) Do you know who Angeline May Daughter of D&L? She is buried near Dixie Elsea and she died May, 1868?


Dixie Ann Pemberton 


Hello, Rhonda:


Isn’t this internet grand! How nice to meet you. The more cousins, the better life seems….Dan is doing a great coordinating…..


You must still be in Pettis County. At the library, look in Pettis County History, 1882 and 1919. Those are two volumes we have out here and belong to my older brother, the first born. Both books have a lot of our early history.


George M., Sr. married two sisters, Melissa and Sarah, sisters and granddaughters of his Uncle George IVth. The IV was brother to Jesse B. Pemberton (George M. Sr.’s father) and the two, sons of George III (1717-1827). His father George II left Cheshire, England for King Wm parish in 1710. His father was George Pemberton I. (The numbers I use to keep the Georges straight in my mind.)


            My grandfather Thomas Mason Pemberton was a son of George M. Sr. and Sarah. Their other son died single in 1889. His two sisters were Dixie and Carrie. Dixie and Thomas married another brother and sister, Emma and Fred Elsea. Emma and her child died in the 3rd year of their marriage.


Thomas Mason married my grandmother some years later. His other sister was Matilda C., called Carrie, who married J.H. Teague.


My paternal grands followed my father west in the late 1920s. Here in AZ were Constance’s brothers and sisters with families were established by the time they arrived.


Some children of George M, SR and George IV moved to Texas, Colorado, Montana, at least those are the places from which my grandparents have newspaper clippings on family relatives they kept in touch with…


My best to you….Let me hear from you again…


—–Original Message—–


From: rhonda mefford

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:42 PM



Hello, Dixie Ann Pemberton


My name is Rhonda Mefford, Granddaughter of George M. and Melissa Pemberton.


[They had 8 children. Which line to you go back to?

I hope we can share info. I was beginning to think I was the only descendant left in this    particular line. I e-mailed Dan Buckley and he said he was just starting to research this line and  

e-mailed me some of your information. It is incredible, there is so much that I didn’t know and    now a lot of the pieces fit in with what I did know. I live just a few miles from where a lot of




 Page 11                         





Register Report for George M. Pemberton

Generation 4 (con’t)


the old Pembertons are buried including George M., Melissa, and Sarah. I hope we can help each other.




J. B. Poundstone [1].


J.  B. Poundstone and Hazel Dixie Lively. They were married on 05 Apr 1924. They had 2 children.


i.               Donald Gene Poundstone [1].


ii.              Melvin Dale Poundstone [1].



 Page 12                         


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Pemberton, Richard – Huguenot

Richard Pemberton: Huguenot

When the second DNA sample from a male Pemberton (who traced his line back into Manakintown, VIrginia Colony) formed a 100% match [Ed. Note. As of March 20, 2016, both samples have been expanded to 67 markers and they still match 100%.] to an existing sample with the same geographical background, we knew we had identified this branch. It is, however, important to be careful with this kind of information and state the facts without inferring things that may or may not be true.

What we don’t know is whether this line is truly Huguenot in its deep heritage, i. e. in its earliest history. We can’t say with certainly that this line will lead back to the French Huguenots. [Ed. Note – As of March 20, 2016, it is now a fact that this line is not French. One of the two DNA samples mentioned here has been analyzed by the Ancestry ethnicity test and found to be less than 4% Western Europe while 71% Irish/British.] We can say that we have the DNA profile of a branch of the Pemberton family which is called Huguenot because it came through the Huguenot village of Manakintown, Virginia. The fact that these two samples are identical and that almost half of their 37 markers are different from those of the Cheshire branch mentioned above, is, on the otherhand, proof positive that these two branches are related only very anciently – something like two thousand years ago. That fact certainly lends substantial credence to the proposition that this newly identified branch is indeed French Huguenot. It is for this reason that the line is identified on the Pemberton DNA Project chart as a Huguenot line.

The tree named “Richard Pemberton, b. 1722, Virginia Colony in our Genealogy Storehouse is one of these two lines.

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Pemberton, Lewis: High Sheriff of Hertfordshire

Sir Lewis Pemberton ( – 1639) High Sheriff of Hertfordshire beginning in 1616. This office was a very old one, originating in the period of the Angles. Sir Lewis would have been responsible for law and order and some functions now held by judges, coroners and magistrates. He held the office for less than a year. He was born at St. Albans.

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Pemberton, Robert Charles Boileau

Major-General Robert Charles Boileau Pemberton
Author and Compiler of Pemberton Pedigrees
by Herbert Pemberton, Blackpool, Lancashire

The following is taken from a “Family Group Record for Robert Charles Boileau Pemberton” found here:


Those of us researching our Pemberton origins owe a large debt to Robert Charles Boileau Pemberton (I shall refer to him for convenience as “RCB”) who on his retirement in 1892 decided to try to assemble a genealogy of the Pemberton family.

Born and baptised* in Calcutta in 1834 [Editor’s Note: In another place on the same referenced page, we see a note saying that he was 86 years old at death in 1914 which places his birth in 1828.], he had a distinguished army career, rising to the rank of Major-General in the Royal Engineers. In retirement, he lived in South Kensington, London, and so was ideally placed to use the capital’s library resources, especially those of the Guildhall, the London Library, the Public Record Office and the British Museum (which housed what is now the British Library). He was a member of the Society of Genealogists.

He died on 22nd December, 1914, and a brief obituary was published in The Times two days later:

The death took place on Tuesday at 13 Cresswell Gardens, South Kensington, after a short illness, of Major-General Robert Charles Boileau Pemberton, C.B., C.S.I., late Royal Engineers, aged 80. He was the son of the late Captain Robert Boileau Pemberton, 44th Bengal N.I. He served at the siege of Delhi and the capture of Lucknow, receiving the medal with two clasps and being mentioned in despatches. He was Director and Annuity Trustee of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and formerly Director General of Railways in India and Secretary to the Government of India in the Public Works Dept. and a temporary member of the Viceroy’s Council.”

(His entry in Who was Who, 1897-1915 adds that he was decorated for military and civil services, being made a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath and a Companion of the Most Exalted Star of India.)theindiacompany

His funeral was held at Brompton Cemetery on 28 Dec. 1914, after a service at St. Peter’s, Cranley Gardens, London S.W.7.

The photograph on the right, taken about 1890, is of a group of Indian civil servants, one of whom is RCB. The problem is, we don’t know which one!

RCB’s Immediate Family.

The following information about RCB’s own family is based on Chart 13, entitled St. Albans Family. West Indian Branch, in the published collection of Pemberton Pedigrees.

His parents were Robert Boileau Pemberton, a captain in the Indian army, and Henrietta Peach, who married in 1832. His paternal grandparents were the Rev. John Butler Pemberton and Harriet Price (née Boileau) who married in 1797.

RCB married twice, firstly to Alice Louisa Barrow, in 1862. They had four children, all born in India: Alice Evelyn (1863), Catherine (1864), Annie Gertrude (1866) and Robert (1868), who became a priest in the Church of England. His second wife was Marguerite Ellen Brennan, whom he married in 1876. She bore him a son, Edward Gerald (1877), also born in India, who, when the Pedigrees were published, in 1923, was a Captain in the Warwickshire Yeomanry.

Chart 13 lists three further descendants up to 1923: Robert married Ethel Frances Arnould in 1894 and they had two daughters, Ethel Vera, born 1895, and Katharine Frances, born 1897. For more information about Robert, see below.

Edward Gerald married Yolande Constance Dietz (born in Florence) in 1902 and they had a son, John Boileau Pemberton, in 1903.

The Will and the Books.

In 1911, three years before he died, RCB had published some of his findings in book form as The Pembertons of Nevis and St. Christopher, from whom he himself descended. (Although it was published in London, the only copy traced so far is in the Library of Congress.)

On 29th January, 1915, The Times published an abstract of RCB’s Will, in which he made provision for the publication of more of his work:

The testator stated that for some years past he had been engaged in completing a genealogy of the Pemberton family, and if it should not be finished in his lifetime he left to his trustees all the books and papers in connexion therewith and £500 for the completion and publication thereof, and he also directed when the said genealogy is published that all copies shall be distributed to such persons and institutions as the trustees shall determine and he particularly requested that a copy should be sent to the London Library, St. James Street, S.W. and one to the Society of Genealogists.”

By the time he died, RCB had collected or drawn up forty pedigree charts of various Pemberton families, plus a lot of Notes containing biographical information “with proofs and authorities for statements or suppositions”. Users of the Charts will quickly conclude that he was selective, but he was selective out of necessity. He deserves our admiration for what he achieved at a time when there were few telephones, and no IGI, computers, fax machines or Internet, so that the principal means of gathering information were visiting libraries, writing letters and making personal visits.

Most of the pedigrees, of course, are of English families, although families from Philadelphia, Boston, Ireland and Canada and the Ffrench Pembertons of New Zealand are included, all of them seemingly of a similar social standing to his own.

RCB also goes into some detail about coats of arms. One result of his selective approach is that thirteen of his forty family groups are illustrated with coats of arms, and he clearly devoted a lot of time to researching the heraldry of the Pembertons.

His son Robert edited and prepared the charts for publication, and they appeared in book form in 1923 with the title Pemberton Pedigrees, under the imprint of the Sidney Press of Bedford. In the Preface Robert hoped that “the interest of the various families may justify the issue of the Notes as a second volume in the near future”, but he also saw the need for further research “to link up most, if not all, of the branches with the original Lancashire stock”. Unfortunately, the Notes were never published so far as we are aware, and their whereabouts, and those of the remaining material, are unknown.

The Rev. Robert Pemberton, M.A., editor of Pemberton Pedigrees.

In 1923, when the Pedigrees were published, Robert was Rector of Ingatestone, Essex. In the preceding thirty years he had held appointments in Forton (Hampshire), Scarborough (N. Yorkshire), Solihull and Four Oaks (both Warwickshire) and Lyonshall (Herefordshire).

In 1905, Robert published Solihull and its church. It is a substantial volume of 229 pages, and in the introduction he acknowledges a debt to his father, who transcribed many documents for him at the Public Record Office and the British Museum. As well as a description of the church (St Alphege), the book contains a brief history of Solihull, lists of previous clergy (some with portraits) and officials, and some account of the surrounding manors and their families with, in some cases, genealogical charts.

His research efforts in finishing the book for his father are exemplified by the following entry on page 33 of The Cheshire Sheaf, April, 1906:

Information is desired in connection with the early Pembertons of Lancashire and Cheshire, more especially with regard to those branches whose members migrated to S. Albans, co. Herts, and Rushden and Higham Ferrers, co. Northampton, in the 15th and 16th centuries, and regarding James Pemberton of Whiston, co. Lancs., whose estates were confiscated by the Confiscation Act of 1652, cap. 23, and his ancestors and descendants.

The Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society’s publications have already been examined, as well as most of those of the Chethan and Surtees societies.

A “Geoffrey (or Jeffery) Pemberton, who came from Wiston, co. Lancs., and settled at S. Albans, being descended from the Pembertons of Pemberton Hall, co. Lancs.,” is stated in the Visitation of Northamptonshire of 1681, which is in the College of Arms, to have been the father of Roger Pemberton of S. Albans, who died in 1627, whereas in various Visitations of Hertfordshire, of earlier dates, his father’s name is given as “Robert” whose wife’s name was “Catherine.” In some this Robert is styled “of S. Albans.” Anything tending to elucidate the facts would be useful.

The undersigned would be glad to enter into communication with any Pembertons or others who may be interested in such inquiries.

R. C. B. Pemberton,
13, Creswell Gardens, South Kensington, London, S.W.

Robert died at the age of seventy-one on the 23rd September, 1940, at Mill Hill Emergency Hospital, Hendon, Middlesex. As well as being Rector of Ingatestone, he had also been Rural Dean of Brentwood since 1937. The funeral announcement in The Times on 26 September stipulated “no mourning, no flowers”. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery on 27th September, near his wife, Ethel Frances Pemberton, who had died ten years before, and the service was conducted by the Bishop of Barking, the Rt. Rev. J.T. Inskip. The family mourners were Miss C. Pemberton (sister), Mr. G. P. Burn (grandson), Miss B. Arnould (sister-in-law) and Col. Sholto Pemberton and Lady Wingate (cousins).

A memorial service held at the Parish Church, Ingatestone, at the same time was attended by many clergy from the diocese. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr. Henry Wilson.

An obituary in The Essex Chronicle on 27th September headed “Ingatestone’s Loss”, said the Rev. R. Pemberton had been ill for about three months. It gave details of his career and said he was of a most kindly nature, broadminded and generous-hearted. He had been a valued member of the Chelmsford Rural District Council and the Board of Guardians. He was never happier than when describing the features of Ingatestone’s delightful old church to visitors.

The family grave in Brompton Cemetery, London.

The last resting place of RCB and of his son Robert and some other members of their family is in Brompton Cemetery in London. It is marked by a simple  granite cross. To find it, walk up the main avenue from the Brompton Road entrance until you come to the Colonnade. On your left, level with the end of the Colonnade, is a large monument to a Walker family. The Pemberton memorial is immediately behind that monument.”

Here are some photographs of the burial site.


The engraving reads: “In the ____ memory of Major General Robert Charles Boileau Pemberton”.


An Appeal.

It would be a matter for regret if all the painstaking research into the origins of the Pembertons carried out by RCB and his son has been lost. The Pemberton Family World Wide would be delighted to hear from their descendants and from anyone who knows what has happened to this valuable material. [Ed. Note: This material was located in the Society of Genealogists archives in January 2015, while the final preparations were being made to republish his book. The information fills eight boxes which are designated as the Pemberton Collection.]

* shows RCB being born and baptised in Calcutta in 1834. The record can be found in their British India Office Births & Baptisms data.


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Pemberton, Robert, Esq.: of Rushden, Northamptonshire

Sir Robert Pemberton ( – 1492) elected Knight of the Northamptonshire in 1477 and Sheriff of the Shire in Nov 1480. He was also Usher of the chamber to King Edward IV (reigned 1461 – 1483) and evidently served in a similar capacity to King Richard III (reigned 1483 – 1485).

Robert is the son of William Pemberton of Somershall, Lancashire. His children include William Pemberton, b. 1468 and d. 1536, who married Sybil, daughter of Robert Pateshall of Riseley, Bedfordshire.

The offices of Sheriff and Knight are recorded in the Notes to Chart 9 in the book Pemberton Pedigrees by Major-General R. C. B. Pemberton and edited by his son the Rev. Robert Pemberton, Rector of Ingatestone, Essex, The Sidney Press, Bedford, 1923. Complete imaging of this out-of-print book is in the soft library of the Pemberton Family World Wide organisation.

The office of Usher ot the Chamber is recorded in the Calendar of Close Rolls Edward IV May 1476, and reads: “To the bailiffs of the town of Northampton for the time being. Order to pay Robert Pemberton esquire, one of the ushers of the king’s chamber, 9£ 2s 6d”.

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Pemberton, George, 1685 – , Cheshire, England

George Pemberton, ca. 1685 – and his Son Isaiah Pemberton

This George Pemberton, the son of George Pemberton and Sarah Middleton (both of Cheshire) emigrated to the Virginia Colony in 1710. He married Elizabeth Brooks with whom he had issue: Isaiah, George, Ann, Judith, and Sarah. He and his son Isaiah purchased land in 1750 as shown in the map below. Below the map are some pictures taken in 2011 of a small potion of these properties which consisted of approximately 500 acres each. (A square mile is 640 acres.)

Just as a matter of interest, the following chronology is offered. A full description of most of these transactions appear in Mr. Washington’s Order,  the feature article by James Lloyd, of Volume 1, Number 2 of the Pemberton Post dated November 26, 2011.

  1. 1722 (approx) George Pemberton born (hereinafter called GP)
  2. 1732 February 22, George Washington born (hereinafter called GW)
  3. 1747, Summer, GW, age 15 surveyed his brother’s beet garden to gain practice of the craft
  4. 1747, Sept 18, GW’s brother, Lawrence Washington purchases 100 acres near what is now the center of Charles Town, WV
  5. 1748, February, GW, age 16, invited to join a surveying expedition for Lord Fairfax
  6. 1750, April 4, GP receives a warrant to survey 500 acres “where he lives joining on the North side of the Worthington Patent”
  7. 1750 Spring, GP’s daughter Sarah marries Thomas Carney, son of Thomas Carney.
  8. 1750, October, GW begins purchasing land for himself in western Virginia
  9. 1750, October 3 Note is added to the cover sheet for the GP survey directing Pemberton charges to be applied to “Mr. Washington’s” account.
  10. 1750, October 15 Lord Fairfax deeds land to GP, 473 acres
  11. 1750, October 16 Lord Fairfax deeds land to Isaiah Pemberton, 542 acres
  12. Guy Broadwater files [or executes?] George Pemberton surveyGuy Broadwater files [or executes?] Isaiah Pemberton survey
  13. 1751 March 18 GW files Thomas Carney’s survey with the county
  14. 1770 George Pemberton deeds his property to Samuel Washington, GW’s brother
  15. 1770 Isaiah Pemberton deeds his property to Samuel Washington

The Map Showing Properties of George and Isaiah Pemberton and George Washington and two of his brothers.


Some Photographs of the Isaiah and George Pemberton Properties

The following were taken by Richard White Watson and used here with his permission. The first is a panorama stitched together from three photos. The center view here is looking West from a point a little NW of the SE end of the common boundary between the two properties.

West Panorama from Ambler Road

The following is looking South from the Northeast boundary of the George property.

D-S from Elder Rd-2

And this one is looking South from the housing development  also along the Northeast boundary of the George property.

E-S from Development

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Pemberton, Wendell, 1906-1987; Memoirs, pp 097 – 109

[page 97]·CHAPTER (Tape) VI.2

The town we went to in Minnesota on the west line right close to where North Dakota and south Dakota come together and butt into Minnesota. The town was Breckenridge. Here again, we got there a little too early for the harvest so we just took off to the lake country Northeast of Breckenridge, and when we got into the timber country where there were lakes, every crossroad we’d come too, we’d take the dimmest trail. We did that a few times and wound up a long, long lane where there was a beautiful little lake. There were a bunch of beautiful teenage girls there. Those girls ran a dairy. They had a kind of a knotheaded brother about our age. He was determined to be a big “he-man” and those sisters had quite a time with him. He drank beer and got sick. They had to wash his clothes, and they weren’t too happy about that.

These people were scandinavians lovely people. The girls would go out to get the cows and put them in to milk them. They did all the chores. They didn’t have a father there so I asked them where their father was. They told me he ran a repair shop at Pelican Lake, a shoe cobbler’s shop. Then their mother arrived on the scene and I never got such a shock in my life. She looked like she was ninety years old. Her hair was snow white and her face was as wrinkled as you couldn’t believe — the mother of those lovely girls! When the weekend came, here came papa, dressed in an immaculate blue serge suit, white shirt and tie.

We camped on this beautiful lake. It had loons. They make the most hideous noise at night that you ever heard! You would swear there were a bunch of women out there getting their throats cut. Those birds would cavort and skim over the top of the water. They dived and played. I tried for years to imitate the sound of a loon: I can’t do it, but I do know where the expression, “Crazy as a loon” comes from! They really are — plumb crazy. In the middle of the night they’d be out there flapping the water and making these unearthly sounds.

Before I forget, I had a horse killed out from under me up there. This boss, the big old guy, C.D. Imman who ran this big old truck, had 80,000 pounds of barley on it. I was driving a team that belonged to a man by the name of Fisher. He told me I could use his old mare and ride her, you don’t have to walk in, or lead her, so I did. I climbed up on the old mare with her harness on. The other horse was to her right. I came out of the field and started down the road. [page 98] well, here came the boss with that big wheat truck. It didn’t have a muffler and had a terribly loud exhaust. Wouldn’t you know, just as he got ready to pass, this cockeyed old mare began to throw her head up and down. I tried everything I knew about hazing horses around — kicked her in the ribs, slapped her on the side, and tried to get her out of the road. She just shook her head up and down and backed right into that truck with the 80,000 pound load of grain. The corner of the box of the truck ran into her left hip and made a hole about 12″ across, throwing her and me completely across the borrow pit, through a barbed wire fence and out into the field! I wasn’t hurt except that my leg was between her body and the door. That leg really got squeezed. It turned black. I guess somebody had his hand on my shoulder because the truck had picked up that mare and thrown her, and I wasn’t seriously hurt!

The sad thing was that she didn’t die. The boss had to go get a shotgun to kill her. Wouldn’t you know, I didn’t get quite close enough and I missed her brain, or something, and somebody had to go back and tell the boss that the horse wasn’t “quite dead”, so it had to be done over. Gee Whizzl I really felt cheap!

Another great experience was the gambling. We slept in a huge barn. There was no hay in the middle of the barn and most of the guys just put their bedrolls out in the expanse where the hay would ordinarily be. Up on the sides, over the horses and cattle, there was a good smooth floor. That’s where I slept all summer. Lanterns hung in the barn in the evenings, and I could hang my head over and look down below. The threshing crew would play poker until 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock in the morning, every night.

There were four brothers there from Devil’s Lake, up in the northern part of Minnesota where it often dips to the lowest temperature in the nation. These brothers were really ugly. They would quarrel and fight all the time. I never did understand how brothers could do that. This big, dumb, farm kid, watching that game every night, thought he might be able to beat the game. So! I went down and played poker. I could bluff, and they couldn’t tell when I was bluffing. Good gamblers, you know, don’t have to cheat to win, but they do have to be sharp and smart. They know the game so well that the last thing they have to think about is the rules. They spend all their time watching their opponents and every person has some quirk or some nervous little thing, especially when he’s bluffing, and he’ll do it every time. He’ll flick his ear, or pick his nose, or scratch a place on his body, or something, every time he bluffs. A good gambler observes these things, lets the game go on smoothly and figures out all the things his opponents do. Then, he lowers the boom!

Thev couldn’t tell when I was bluffing though, and I [page 99] played poker with those guys who had played allover the country and I held up my end. I had a nice little stakel I had watched the game for weeks, I thought I had seen every play possible, I thought I knew every rule of the game, and I was playing against the mechanic. He’d played poker in World War I in Europe and all over the country. There was just the two of us, and he said, “Wendell, you can’t win. There’s no way you can beat my hand.”

Well, I thought I knew the game and I put all my money on the table. He told me I was crazy: a fool, but I thought I had something that would take what he had, so I laid ’em out there. Well, I had never seen that play come up. I was wrong and I lost all my moneyl This was pretty close to the end of the season, and I was sick to, think I had worked all summer and then dumped all that money on one fluke!

So, I really got tough. Do you know, before that thing shut down, I won back all my money, and I haven’t touched a card since. For some strange reason, besides “Thou shalt not gamble with thy property”, I have had no desire to gamble. I went to Reno with the boys several times, but the last thing on earth that I wanted to do, was to gamble in those casinos.

I sent my money home when the season was over and we rode the freight trains back home. There was a man and his wife there from Missouri, who worked there all summer. A nice couple — we thought. When they started home — they had a dog wagon without much in the back and my friend from Des Moines rode in the back of the pickup. We got to Sioux City in the northwest corner of Iowa and I gave him money, an address, and tags on my bedding (a good, new blanket roll) and a roll of clothing. He was to stop and mail this home and I would ride the freight with my pal. O.K. they’re really nice people, and I wrote out the address and everything so there was no chance of mistake. You know, that was the last I ever saw of my bedroll or my clothes. I wonder to this day, how these things can be.

So, we came into the big railroad yards at Sioux City, and here was a freight being made ready to go south. I wanted to go south, so when she whistled out, we grabbed the freight. Quite a ways out, pitch dark, middle of the night, the train turned west, crossed the Missouri River and headed out across country. I wondered what on earth was going on. This wasn’t the way to get to Omaha. Just a little way out in the country, was a steep grade to pull. They had to cut the train in two, and take half at a time. When they left the first half, we crawled out, down over the bank, and found a farmyard with two or three vehicles in the yard. Everyone of them had a Nebraska license. We’d been looking for Iowa licenses, so I don’t remember how we got back, but we knew we were wrong. The next freight we caught, we made sure it turned downriver [page 100] toward Omaha and council Bluffs.

In those days you could ask directions of a conducter or a brakeman and 99% of the time they would cooperate. So, we came into Omaha from the West, and I was down in a gondola, leaning up against the front of it with our backs to the traffic. We passed a standing engine, one of those big, old, steam giants, and the engineer saw us in there. He came to attention right quick and made the cutthroat sign and then pointed ahead. That meant, “You guys are going to get your throats cut if go on ahead.”

We jumped over the rail and we hadn’t walked two blocks when here was a six and-a-half-foot railroad policeman. (They wore long, blue coats.) There had been trouble about things being stolen, of course, and they didn’t want anyone fiddling around their railroad yards, and they made it pretty tough. So we had to walk from omaha, west of the Missouri, clear through that town, away out from across the bridge, and into council Bluffs to catch another train. I can remember being tired, hungry, and thirsty. It seemed like one of the longest walks of my life.

We finally caught a freight that went on into Des Moines. This boy was from Des Moines, a real nice kid who had worked up there all summer. He was a devout Catholic so he fit in well with the people we worked for. The boss’s wife, a lovely woman, made sure he went to church with her every Sunday.

Then there was Joe, the alcoholic. I mean he was a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool alcoholic. Every Saturday night he’d get so drunk he couldn’t hit the ground with his hat, but every sunday morning at daylight, the boss’S wife would come out there and call him out of bed to go to Mass. I could never figure out how a gambling alcoholic fool could never miss Mass.

The boy I was with insisted I go home with him. He told me there was no use to go beating my way across the country. He said, “come on down to my place. Maybe we can find a ride for you.” So, I went. The boy introduced me to his mother, and that woman looked like she was 110 years old. I didn’t get what I thought was a very warm welcome, either. Anyway, I stayed and had a good meal, for a change. I don’t remember how I got home from there, but I did get home. I suppose that was the fall of 1927.

I hadn’t been home but a very short time when the neighbor boy told me I should meet his cousin who was in Des Moines.
He said, “You’ll like her. She’s a splendid person.”

I had to go to their place and this girl was visiting there. I had to go on an errand over to this girl’s married brother’s place so the girl got in the car and rode over with me. I forget what the errand was, but she and I were alone in the car. and we started visiting. I don’t remember what the [page 101] conversation was, but I said something, and she turned around and looked at me and threw her arms around me — nearly squeezed me to death! I was shocked. I wondered what on earth was going on! As time went by, I discovered that during her high school years, she had had one sweetheart. I don’t know what their relationship was, but I do know what our relationship was, and it was splendid. She was a splendid person. We went together for about a year. Then I discovered that this one-time sweetheart of hers went to the Navy and became an all-American football player and dropped this poor girl like a hot potato. It broke her heart. So, all this time she had been lonely, until she met me. They were first cousins.

We left Des Moines in a blinding snowstorm — great, wet flakes that blew through the radiator and shorted out the wiring and the distributors on half the cars on the road. There was four to six inches of snow, and those wet flakes shorted out our car. I got out and wiped off that distributor and we went on. We came to a tiny service station. I stopped and asked if he had any old inner tubes. He found one for me, and I made a bonnet to completely cover that distributor and the wiring. I tied it on so the snow couldn’t plaster the wiring and we came on down the road, past the cars stalled along the road. I really couldn’t help them; there were so many. They just had to sit there until the storm was over and dried out the wiring.

I remember her looking up at me and saying, “Wendell, is there anything on this earth that you can’t do?” I thought that was quite a compliment. I was just doing what I had to do.

I went with this girl all winter. She worked in the bank in Des Moines and she visited her aunt there several times. Of course, I had the privilege of visiting with her and she was a splendid person. I loved her very much.
The next year I spent in South Dakota. I made one trip into Des Moines and stayed at her place, on the daveno in the front room, overnight. Her father was dead but he had been a .railroader on the Rock Island Railroad. This girl’s mother always told her I was a bum, that I would never be worth anything, and I couldn’t understand that. How could she do that to me without any reason? No, we didn’t talk about marriage. YOu don’t, when you don’t have a penny. You just do the best you can and hope for the best.

So, I finished the season in North Dakota, came back that fall, stopped in Des Moines to visit her.

Our neighbor was a stockman and had a huge spread — 200 head of hogs, more than 200 head of cattle, a band of sheep that were lambing in January. It was down to 40 below zero, and those ewes were lambing. I was working with a slight-built man, a good scandinavian man, but he had Diabetes. He’d shoot insulin into himself three or four times [page 102] a day to try to control it. I was fighting for enough sleep to keep going, and my girl, of course, was living in Des Moines. During this horrible time of my life, I didn’t write her for two weeks. Anyway, I helped this good widow woman get all this stock ready for the sale and I bought the family car, went to Des Moines to see my sweetheart, my love, and there she was, in bed, with her face to the wall. She wouldn’t turn over, and she wouldn’t talk to me. She said, “I supposed naturally that you had found someone else.”

I didn’t know anyone could do that. I couldn’t talk her out of it. I tried everything. Oh, I didn’t grab her or break her ribs, but maybe I should have — I don’t know.

When I went to the logging camp, I loved that girl with all my being and I wrote to her over and over again. I don’t know that I ever got an answer. I’m not sure, but I did know that her mother would open our letters. Here I was, out in a logging camp, two or three years later, on the east side of old crater Mountain, the last camp there — Camp 10 — I saw an old tramp coming down the track with a pack on his back. As far as I could see, every movement indicated an alcoholic. I sat there and he came up and asked if there was any chance of getting a job, and I assured him there wasn’t as we had steady men who had been there for many months.

We had talked about one minute. I had asked him where he was from and he said he was from the Rock Island, a big division yard out of Des Moines. This girl’s name was Schranz. I said, “Did you happen to know a hog guy by the name of Pete Schranz?”

He swore and said, “Pete Schranz! I fired for him for twenty-six years!” And then he added, “Oh my gosh! That guy was a rounder. Do you know that he had a woman in every stop on that railroad.”

This was my sweetheart’s father. He died with syphilis of the brain until that moment, I had no idea how or why this girl could do what she did, and I’ve never had a chance to talk to her since. Only then, at that moment, was I able to understand why … and why that good mother of hers didn’t “feel she could trust me. She knew I loved trains and I wanted to be a railroader. So, I had my answer and how sad it was, but I was thankful and grateful to finally learn the truth.

Just a short while back, I found out where she went. She married a man who was a drugstore magnate, and I don’t think they stayed together. She had always told me she would never be able to have a family, but she did have two or three children. I think the first man mistreated her and she married the second time. I finally got ahold of her down at Lake Tahoe, and talked with her. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was for what I had discovered. She wouldn’t accept any of it. I told her I could never understand why her mother did what she did, and the girl said, “Why, my mother would [page 103] never do that!”

So, that was the last conversation we had. Isn’t it something that when you know really good people, and you keep your relationship with those people as our Father in heaven would have you to keep it, what a great thrill it is to see them many years later, and you can go up and throw your arms around them with real love and respect?

I have never ceased to be astounded at how small this world is. I don’t know if I have told this before in my football pages, but in this man’s place — who I worked for — this C.D. Imman out of Breckenridge, Minnesota, gave me $28.00 extra for doing the chores at night, when I stayed up there and plowed until it froze up. This big engineer, whose name was Radge carpenter: I was sitting there in the light of the barn, milking a cow, one night, and I had heard he had a brother there who ran a caterpillar for the county. I thought, “Oh, my goodness “To run a caterpillar!” That was the height of a boy’s ambition.

So, one night this brother came over and sat on the sill in the light of the lantern while I was milking, and I kept looking and looking at him. I swore I knew him but I couldn’t be sure. I questioned and questioned everywhere around northern Minnesota, and learned that he had been raised at Orient, seven miles south us. I played right end and he played tackle on the opposing team. I had looked into that great big face of his many, many times when he’d clobbered me. I said, “Well, I’ll be darned!” and reached over to shake hands with him. He didn’t have a thumb or first finger on that hand, the one he grabbed all those passes with. He had lost those fingers in a machine when he was a little kid! I had never noticed that. And he was Radge Carpenter’s brotherl So it is. All my life, things like this have happened.

Just this week, I called down to southern California, along the coast, to get some business information. I couldn’t hear the girl who answered the phone and asked if she could possibly put another girl on the phone. This lovely voice came on, I got my information, and she says, “Did you say you are from Sunnyside, Washington?”
“I had a brother up there a couple of years ago.”
I blurted out, “What was he doing up here?”
“He was on a Lamanite mission up there.”
I told her she was talking to an eighty-year old mule skinner railroader who was a convert from just over the line in Missouri. She got a laugh out of that. I got her name because with this company I was calling, I can understand every syllable she says.

1928, South Dakota: I worked for my uncle. We were up there and had heard of a wonderful orchard forty or fifty [page 104] miles north, so, one sunday, uncle Frank took my cousin, Max Johnson, who worked with me, and went up to see that beautiful orchard. It was one of the few in that part of the country. We were stopped out in the middle of this big orchard, looking through the trees. You know, you can see a long ways in an orchard if you get the angle just right. The hired man walked up to the car and was standing there with his elbows on the car window next to me. He could look across, through the car, and down the lines of trees. While we were standing there, he said, “The baby’s in the well!” and whirled around and ran towards the house.

We wondered what in the Sam Hill was going on. We were totally in the dark. So we roared down to the end of the orchard where we could get out, and went over to the house. There was a cistern just off the back door, made of wood, and round like a wheel. When we got there, the hired man was down in the well, had slid down the pump pipe and had the baby in his arms and was trying to get the water out of him!

We pulled them out. The baby, Uncle Frank’s little boy, was about three years old at that time. His mother was inside the house, he [had] walked out the back door, saw the wheel, picked up the cover to the cistern, got in the hole, dropped into the cistern, and the lid came back over the hole! If that man hadn’t been looking across country and seen that happen, they would have lost their little boy. I’ve thought of this at least ten thousand times. How the Lord looks after people, unbeknown to us.

General Motors! That thing would leave you high and dry at any time. Heat, cold, ice, snow, mud — we had it all over, but the finest mechanics of that day never found the boo-boo in the Saxon. Stanley was married at that time and I am sure we were looking around in hope of finding a cattle spread somewhere in the Northwest, Montana, Idaho, or the Dakotas. Anyway, Stanley was with me, and I have a picture of the day we left. Two of my tomcats are standing on the steps, up on their hind legs, because I was teasing them or something. I have on a white suit, and I think my mother is in the picture.

We took off for South Dakota. You know, in the good old days, tires weren’t like they are nowadays. We got along pretty good, I don’t believe the Saxon cut out on us but I had quite an experience. We were nearly to our destination when we began to have flat tires. We patched tires all day long on that last day, and we finally went into Ipswich, I believe it was in the night, on the rim. Just before this happened (we didn’t know our directions) we saw a light in a farmhouse quite close to the road. It had a glass door, and we could see people inside. So, we pulled in, and I started for the door at the back porch. I heard a big dog leave the barn, quite a ways away, and he really meant blood. So, I hurried. [page 105] When I got up on the porch, he dove under the porch. I knocked on the door, and asked directions. Then I asked the man if the dog would grab me when I stepped off the porch, and he totally ignored me. He turned to wife, and closed the door.

I stepped off the porch, and that dog hit the calf of my leg like a ton of bricks. Of course, I yelled and bellowed and whirled around. That man never opened the door! I backed away to the car, jumped in the car, went down the road a few miles, and felt something sloppy in my boot. I had a boot full of blood! He had ripped those fangs down across the calf of my leg and tore out chunks the size of an eraser on a lead pencil. It has hurt me to this day that I didn’t go back and take care of that dog, but I’might have gotten in bigger trouble.

South Dakota. I had an uncle, Frank Pemberton, there. He was my father’s youngest brother. He was the thoroughbred stockman of all times. He had registered short-horned cattle on this ranch. I don’t remember the acreage, but it was large. It was northeast of Ipswich, S.D., southwest of Aberdeen, probably forty or fifty miles. It was the old Fesenden ranch. That ranch had the biggest grainery I ever saw. There was room for four trucks, side by side, in the center entryway, and huge grain bins clear down both sides of that thing. Tins were full, all the machinery was taken out, and old Mr. Fesenden had filled this gigantic to the center, with wheat. He was going to hold it until the price went up, and become a millionaire. Wouldn’t you know, the Armistice was signed, and he lost his ranch! Another lesson.

This was quite a year for me. So many new experiences, and so much to learn. When I drove the car for the Grand Dragon for the state of Iowa, coming home from Des Moines one night, I dropped over a hill in a savage downpour, and they had graded in soft dirt before the rain. There were chunks of sod and everything in there. I dropped over this hill, hit that spongy dirt and ruts. I lost control of that big car. My boss and his wife were asleep in the back when it went out of control, and it threw big chunks of mud. It didn’t turn over; I stayed in the road, but he was yelling, “You’re turning it too far! You’re turning it too far!”

That is what most young people and inexperienced drivers do. They don’t have the know-how to freeze that wheel.

I was going down the east side of Des Moines once, on a great, wide pavement, with very few cars on the road. A great, big, old black limousine was ahead of me. The same thing happened. It went out of control on dry pavement, and went from broadside to broadside. It took in the whole road from telephone pole to telephone pole, but didn’t turn over, and it didn’t hit anything. It stopped dead-center, crosswise [page 106] of the road! The guy then went on down the road.

Anyway, this bothered me so much that when I was in South Dakota, and I went over a mile to get the mail each day, and I drove my uncle’s Buick, I was determined to test that car to try to find out what caused me to lose control. It was a really flat road, graded and planed, real fine silty sand and hardpack. When it rained, I would test that car, making it swing around, until I finally realized what I had done and how I could avoid it. That sort of thing didn’t happen again for many, many years, until I came out to Washington.

Twice since that, in my life, once in the mountains on a steep mountain road, and another time when we were just going to church on a perfectly level, paved road. There had been a heavy, wet snow, and at a certain speed, the car would plane. It would climb up on top of that snow and then you had no control of the wheels whatsoever. It didn’t matter if you were straight ahead or crosswise. That car changed ends twice, right down the road broadside, swung around and went down the road the other way, broadside. That was one of my most embarrassing moments.

Once when I was going to the mountains to look at a bulldozer at Sunshine Mine toward Mt. Rainier, I had picked up a mechanic at the big Caterpillar company in Yakima. The road was hard-packed, wet snow. I had a ’50 Ford six, a real good car. That car did exactly the same thing, and for a few seconds, I was totally out of control. We eased around broadside one way and then to the other side. We were in a kind of a curve that was banked a little. There was a horrible drop on the left sidel The car slowed down and stopped right in the middle of the road, even headed in the right direction. I was embarrassed again. The mechanic told me that was one time I did everything exactly right. We finished the trip without slipping again.

Anyway, this 1928 year of experience. My cousin, Max Johnson, that’s father’s little sister, Winema [Pemberton], who married Jervas Johnson, and his second boy, Max [Henry Maxwell Jphnson], was a real good kid. After I got up there with Stanley, we looked around at ranches. At that time I could name the county seats in the total southeastern third of South Dakota. Now I can’t remember half of them.

Max came out and he and I worked all summer for Uncle Frank [Francis T Pemberton]. We plowed and took care of the corn, the grain and the threshing — the whole ball of wax. Another boy who worked for Uncle Frank was Ted Stevens. [Frank’s wife was Gertrude Margaret Stevens, so this is probably her brother?] There were six brothers whose life’s work, for years, had been rounding up and breaking, and shipping trailoads of broncos off the range — wild horses.They had a lovely little sister, a beautiful girl. Ted was always talking about his sister, but there was another tragedy. Some farmhand had come up from Iowa, worked that summer, and got this girl in trouble and then left. That just [page 107] ruined everything. I never forgot the tragedy of that.

I’ll talk about the trip out to central South Dakota roundup, later. Ted, Max, and I went out to the central South Dakota roundup. Thank goodness, I have a lot of pictures of that roundup. It was a real experience. Ted’s sister went out with us, and we rode back in the back seat — a long, hard trip to Prairie, close to the Missouri River. As we crossed the new bridge, someone told us about a carload of kids that had gone into that river, and those young kids pulled all the girls out of that car, I don’t think anyone drowned. There was a borrow-pit on the right side, as smooth as pavement, for a quarter of a mile before it hit the river. How the kids got over into that borrow-pit, instead of being on the road, I have no idea. They ran down this straight, level, borrow-pit, which looked like a highway, and dropped over a 14′ bank, upside down, into the Missouri River.

This Ted had bought one of South Dakota’S worst bucking horses, ever. It wasn’t a beautiful horse; in fact, he was kind of ugly. He had a short-coupled back (which is supposed to make a good rider) but he had legs so long he looked like a prehistoric monster. And he was tough! I don’t know that he was ever ridden. I don’t remember his name or the year he was in the bucking string, but I do know he threw practically every man who tried to get on him. Because he was so tough, my friend, Ted Stevens, bought him and broke him to ride. He was the finest cutting horse that ever stepped on the range! The fact that he was raised in that country, with those badger holes, he never stepped in a badger hole or tripped. Not once. The badger holes were horrendous! About six to eight inches in diameter and, in some place, they go straight down. A standard horse running across that prairie wouldn’t last five minutes. He’d step into a hole and break his leg. He’d fall and throw you and roll on you!

So, one of the first times I rode him by myself, I went quite a ways out, and cut out two white-faced heifers. They had been on the range all their lives and they were wild! I was bringing them up along a drift fence, and the further we got away from the herd, the more determined they were to go back. Do you know, all I had to do was to hang on and try to stick in that saddle. You couldn’t force that horse up to those cattle. He’d stay back just so far, and if they made just one step, he’d be one step ahead of them. We brought those cattle up alongside that drift fence, I suppose, about two or three miles, and there was no way those cattle could outsmart him, even when they jumped in opposite directions. I have seen or dreamed it was possible for any horse to be that well-trained.

When you went out across the prairie on him, all you had to do was to hang on. My shirttail would be out in the first quarter of a mile; he was such a rough rider, but you could [page 108] ride him forty miles and turn him out on the grass at night, and get him up the next day and ride him another forty miles. It didn’t faze him: he was that tough!

Here again, a tragedy. I didn’t have cowboy boots: I had never seen cowboy boots. I didn’t know what a saddle looked like. Those old flat-bottomed scows that we had in Iowa, that sloped up to the horn from every angle were perfect slippery slides to slide you out over the horn. In south Dakota they had bronc saddles, roping saddles, with two humps on each side of the horn, and that was like sitting in a rocking chair! You could grip that horse with your chaps and those bulges would hold you in and keep you from going forward. I couldn’t believe the satisfaction of using those saddles compared to what I had seen in Iowa all my growing-up years.

I had on a pair of old flat-bottomed shoes, and the stirrups didn’t have the guard like some of them so your foot can’t go through. When you would dismount from this guy (he was skittish) and when you stepped off, he’d step away from you, quite quickly. He’d let you on pretty good, but dismounting was a little tricky. Wouldn’t you know, I came in off the range, dismounted, let go of the saddle horn, my foot turned over and slipped through the stirrup, in a split second. He stepped away, and I made a violent lunge and caught the horn by the first joint, two fingers, and was lucky enough to get back up! That horse would have dragged me to death in two minutes, just as sure as I sit here.

I got off him and sat down against the side of the barn, shaking for an hour. I realized how close I had come. Things like this have happened to me all my life. I know, absolutely, that for some purpose, somebody has had their hand on my shoulder.

Another thing that was amazing to me, was the little, old two-cylinder, John Deere tractor, that ran that threshing separator all summer. It was so small it looked like a toy alongside of that threshing machine. They went to pull that in to the neighbor’s place, and he blew sky-high. He swore, you are not bringing that thing on my place. “No way am I going to be broke down on account of that toy.”

The tiny little thing ran that separator all summer long. They had four or five 5-gallon cans of water. I don’t know if it had a radiator or a cast-iron reservoir, but they’d have to pour water through it every so often. It ran all summer and we were never once hung up with it.

The barn on this Fesenden ranch was so big it was a full 50 feet to the bottom of the haymow door. I have a photo of me standing in that door, fifty feet above the ground.

Another thrill was that I had a 25.20 lever action Winchester rifle that I had had for years. It was an excellent shooter. In South Dakota that summer we had pheasant all the time. I could shoot the heads off pheasants [page 109] time and time again with that rifle. One day when I was with the boss in the Buick, kids in the back, we saw some pheasants out there. A big rooster landed, so I told him to pull off the road close to where we saw the pheasant go down. They are such artists at hiding and camouflaging — I walked out there: no pheasant. Just disappeared into short stubble! I kept going, and pretty soon, up he flew. I raised the rifle, and the instant he leveled out at the top of his spiral, I pulled the trigger. Down came Mr. Pheasant, end over end. I still remember the expression on my uncle’s face. His mouth dropped open, he looked at that, and shook his head in total disbelief.

I had that rifle for many years. Don’t remember what happened to it. It was a little small for deer hunting. I may have traded it for the 25.35, a high-speed bullet, a bottle-neck bullet, and I used it. I shot the hearts out of seven bucks, straight, when I came west.

Another thing which was a great lesson. My Uncle Frank had the feed to feed out all the calves he raised. They were big, well-muscled, well-shaped calves, and cattle were a tremendous price. I pleaded with him to castrate those calves and feed them out. I told him there was no way to beat it: that you can have all the thoroughbred sales in the world, but you’ll not beat the income from feeding out these beautiful calves.

Of course that was the wrong thing to say! Man, did he resent that! He wanted to raise them as bulls and ship them all over the country. Wouldn’t you know, I came home, he had his sale late in the year on one of the worst markets ever! [page 110]

Posted in Biographies | Comments Off on Pemberton, Wendell, 1906-1987; Memoirs, pp 097 – 109

Pemberton, Gideon, 1809 – 1851

Gideon Pemberton Family, by Walter Lewis Pemberton

Gideon was born in Wayne Co. Kentucky about 1809 son of George Pemberton and Mary Lyon. He Married Mahala Koger about 1839 in Kentucky. Her father was John Koger and mother Hester Jones. She was born May 09, 1811, in Anderson Co. Kentucky. After getting married they moved to Morgan Co. Illinois. I found a listing of a Land Patent June 15 1835, which means he started this farm four years before marriage or the date is wrong.

The first Child, John Pemberton was born February 10, 1840 in Morgan Co. Illinois but he only lived a short time and died on April 12, 1840.

The second Child was Irvin I. Pemberton, Born April 12, 1841 Morgan Co. Illinois.

Child No. 3 was Alfred Pemberton, Born January 31, 1843 Morgan Co. Illinois.

Forth Child was William Riley Pemberton Born May 04, 1845 Morgan Co. Illinois.

Then George Washington Pemberton was Born November 04, 1847 Dallas Co. Texas.

Lastly Henry Pemberton November 19, 1848 Dallas Co. Texas.

The two years between Riley and George gives us the date of the family moving to Texas and starting a new life. I have seen several notations of Gideon being a citizen of Dallas Country.  He was listed as a wagon maker and I have a copy of a newspaper story about Wash “Washington” having a wagon built by Gideon.

The 1850 Census of Dallas County shows the Family living in the Scyene area of the county.

Page 83A & Page 83B

160 164   G?? Pemberton           39 M  wagon maker      320 Ky

          Mahalah    “            37 F                       Ky

          Irvin      “            10 M                       Ill

          Alford     “             8 M                       Ill

          Riley Pemberton          6 M                       Ill

          Washington “             4 M                       Tex

          Henry      “           6/12M                       Tex

Sometime during the winter of 1851 the family suffered a great loss of first Mahala in September and Later in December Gideon died. This left the 5 boys as orphans. Several of the local families in the area took them in and raised the boys as their own. As each became of age they went their separate ways in life.

Irvin was older (20 in 1860) and when his own way. We have problems documenting his life. It is known he was in the Civil War with Hood’s 5th Texas Infantry Co. “F” Northern Va. Army. At Manassas Aug 30, 1862 he was wounded in battle. After the war he was married to Mary “Polly” Catherine Sage on Jun 07, 1866 Dallas County. But after the death of his first child he left and she remarried. Not much is know of him till in 1919 when he moved into the Texas Confederate Home, Austin, Travis Co. Texas, where he died on Jan 30, 1929. He was burred in the Texas State Cemetery Confederate sect #3 Row D #44.

Alfred lived with local family until he was older. He was not listed in the   1860 Census Dallas Co. this may because He was in the 6th Texas Calvary Co. “A” from 1861-1864. He returned to the area after the war and was listed in the Collin Co. 1870 Census with his wife Nancy Caroline Gray and several children. They had a total of 9 children 35 Grand children. They devoiced because she did not want any more children so, He and married Ida Jane Holley and moved to Jack Co. Texas then had two more children and 5 more Grand children

Riley was listed in the 1860 Census Dallas County with the Family of Richard and Elizabeth Bruton. This is the same family who lived in Morgan Co. Illinois With Gideon and Mahalah. Then is 1844/5 both families moved to Texas. Riley was also in the Civil War. He is listed on the roster of Co. “A” 31 Texas Calvary 1862-1864. After the war on Jun 09, 1872 he Married Mary Elizabeth Sheppard (Phillips) who had two children from her first Marriage. They lived in the Irvin area of Dallas Country, had 6 Children and 22 Grand children

Washington was listed with the Family of John W. and Janette Davis. He lived with them until 1868 when he married Elizabeth Ann Porter in Kaufman County, Texas. They moved to Smithfeild, Tarrant county and had 6 children, and a total of 35 grandchildren

Henry was living with the E. W. Hunt Family during the 1860 Census of Dallas County. He married Nancy Clementine Toliver in Tarrant County, Jan 01, 1873.

They had 7 children of which 4 lived and had a family with a total 26 grandchildren. After his wife died he married Sarah Jane Craver and had 10 more children and 41 more grandchildren. During My contacting persons of this family, I noted that some of the two sets of kids did not know of the other.

The grand total of descendents, 5 children, 40 grandchildren, 164 great grandchildren, and several hundred great-great-grandchildren. Gideon and Mahalah helped to populate the state of Texas.  But we do not know if any of the family kept in touch over all these years. When I started to put together the Family Tree and connected with a number of persons who are part of the family. I found that very few know how large a family we are. I noted lots of the people live in Texas, but I have connected people for all over the U.S. and as far away as Alaska.

Back in 2001 I contacted all the persons I could contact of our family and staged a family get togather. It was planed for everyone to meet at the little cabin in down town Dallas. Most have know it as John Nelly Brant’s home, but has now been proved that it was not. It is now listed as Gideon Pemberton’s Homestead. After lunch we went to the Dallas Library and talked family. I displayed copies of the Original Land Grants to Gideon’s Land signed by Sam Houston. There were about 50 persons in attendance, so that after 150 years we became a family again.

I wish to thank two persons who helped my getting interested in, and doing this research and putting the information together.

First the person that got me started was Nellie Mae “Bruton” Hacksma. She lived in Wenatchee, Chelan Co. Washington, and did a lot of writing letters with information about the family. She wrote my Mom and Dad to start, but I read them and contacted her. She sent me a lot of information and really got me started on this quest. Also she is the person who had the Gideon Land Grants moved to the Texas State Archive in Fair Park, Dallas. She also had the name of the Cabin located in down town Dallas changed from John Nelly Brant’s to Gideon Pemberton. Sadly she is now gone.

Secondly Isham Irl Pemberton who lived in California and traveled all over and researched the family. He came to my father’s in the year of 1961 or 1962 and had a case with books of information of all the families he had collected over his travels. He said that he was going to have a book printed of the Family Tree. Sadly that did not happen because he died.

in 1963. After many years I contacted his sister who lived in Ft Worth and was given access to these books. I went over the information, and added it to what I had already. This info was collected from persons that knew the names and birth dates and so on. It increased my information by two to three times.

Walter Pemberton

Just one of the family.

January 30, 1929

Place of death: Texas Confederate Home, Austin Texas

Marriage date: June 07, 1866

Marriage place: Dallas Co. Texas

Spouse’s name: Mary C. Sage

Sex: M

Birth date: January 31, 1843

Birthplace: Morgan Co. Illinois

Death date: February 09, 1925

Place of death: Perrin, Jack Co. Texas

Marriage date: (1) February 14, 1866 (2) September 21, 1899

Marriage place: (1) Kaufman Co. Texas (2) Dallas Co. Texas

Spouse’s name: (1) Nancy Caroline Gray (2) Ida Jane Holly

Child No. 4: William Riley PEMBERTON

Sex: M

Birth date: May 04, 1845

Birthplace: Morgan Co. Illinois

Death date: June 30, 1922

Place of death: Coppell, Dallas Co. Texas

Marriage date: June 09, 1872

Marriage place: Dallas Co. Texas

Spouse’s name: Mary Elizabeth Phillips (Note her 2nd. Marriage.

1st was to John Milton Sheppard)

Child No. 5: George Washington PEMBERTON

Sex: M

Birth date: November 04, 1847

Birthplace: Scyene, Dallas Co. Texas

Death date: January 09, 1929

Place of death: Smithfeild, Tarrant Co. Texas

Marriage date: October 21, 1868

Marriage place: Kaufman Co.  Texas

Spouse’s name: Elizah Ann Porter

Child No. 6: Henry PEMBERTON

Sex: M

Birth date: November 19, 1848

Birthplace: Scyene, Dallas Co. Texas

Death date: 1909

Place of death: Bryson, Jack Co. Texas

Marriage date: (1) January 01, 1873 (2) February 10, 1887

Marriage place: (1) Tarrant Co. Texas (2) Tarrant Co. Texas

Spouse’s name: (1) Nancy Clementine Toliver (2) Sarah Jane Craver

Documentation: 1840,1850,1860,1870,1880 U.S. Census, Dallas Co. Marriage Books,

Tarrant Co. Marriage Books, Kaufman Co. Marriage Books, Texas Birth & Death Records and Family Bible Records.

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Pemberton, Sir Francis: Lord Chief Justice

Sir Francis Pemberton

Sir Francis Pemberton (18 July 1624 – 10 June 1697) was an English judge and briefly Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench. He was born at St Albans, the son and heir of a former London merchant, and was educated at St Albans School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. On 14 October 1645, he was admitted a member of the Inner Temple. As a young man, he fell into dissolute company and acquired extravagant habits, leading to his imprisonment in the Fleet for debt. There he applied himself diligently to the study of the law and, having eventually secured his release, he was called to the Bar on 27 November 1654. In 1667 Pemberton married Anne Whichcote, the daughter of Jeremy Whichcote, Warden of Fleet Prison. They had numerous children, as his memorial in Highgate chapel records.

Pemberton rapidly acquired a substantial practice and was regularly retained by the Government in important criminal cases. In 1675 he was called to the degree of Sergeant-at-law and was thereafter regarded as the foremost advocate of his day. 

Appearing at the bar of the House of Lords to argue an appeal to which some members of the House of Commons were respondents, Pemberton inadvertently triggered a constitutional struggle for supremacy between the two Houses of Parliament. The House of Commons had resolved that it would be a breach of their privileges for any lawyer to act in the appeal and ordered that he should be taken into custody. The House of Lords thereupon ordered his release. The resulting tug-of-war ended only when King Charles II intervened and Pemberton was set free.

In 1683 he was appointed to head the Commission set up to deal with the Rye House Plot and presided over the trial of Lord Russell. Although Russell was convicted, Pemberton was regarded as having conducted himself with unbefitting moderation during the trial and he was dismissed from all judicial employment on 28 September 1683. John Evelyn wrote in his diary for 4 October 1683: “He was held to be the most learned of the judges and an honest man”.

Pemberton again returned to the bar and again acquired a substantial practice, acting successfully in the defence of the Seven Bishops. In 1689, he faced a further petition alleging that he had breached the privileges of the House of Commons. On this occasion, the allegation was that, as Lord Chief Justice, he had allowed legal proceedings to be pursued against the Sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons in respect of his official activities. Pemberton was imprisoned for eight months in Newgate Prison.

After his release, Pemberton’s practice substantially diminished and he spent much of his time at his house in Highgate, though he was retained in the unsuccessful defence of Sir John Fenwick in 1696. He died on 10 June 1697[4] and is buried in Highgate Chapel.

The above was taken from

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Pemberton, JC: Inventor

JC Pemberton (1914 – 1996) [JC is his proper name, those are not initials] was the youngest son of Addison and Emma Frey Pemberton, of Creston, Union County, Iowa. JC attended Iowa State University whereJC Pemberton he received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. An interesting insight into the mind of JC as a very young boy on the farm in Iowa, can be found in the memoirs of his older brother Wendell:

JC always swore (and never had any other idea in his head) that never was he going to do hard [farm] work. He always said, “If I’m so dumb that I can’t make a machine to do this work, I’ll just sit down in the dirt and bawl.” He kept his promise. When JC came west into the orchards here in Washington, and saw his first cherry tree and the pickers picking cherries with 22′ ladders on my fruit ranch in Grandview, he sat right down with his back against a cherry tree and drew out a machine to pick cherries! If I had a blueprint of his first drawing, it would be almost identical to (the APE is one brand) those three-wheeled things with the buckling, folding boom, and a basket for a human, that you can put in or out or up or down, dodging any limb, and go anywhere to pick the fruit. That’s what this kid did, and that is how he was all his life.

His rise to fame began while working at the wind tunnel at Boeing, in Seattle, Washington, when he invented a mechanical pressure scanner that revolutionized the speed with which pressures on the surfaces of wind tunnel aircraft models could be measured and recorded. He eventually struck a deal with Boeing and began to manufacture and sell his “scanivalve”. Scanivalve, Corp. located in Spokane, Washington is owned and operated by his sons.

Because his invention dramatically reduced wind tunel costs, he soon became famous in aviation circles around the world. He was, for example, invited in the 1970’s to lecture before Russian Aeronautical Engineers and said he would if he could ride the day train from Moscow to St. Petersurg. After accepting their invitations (with the same conditions) for several years, the Russians finally allowed him his wish. They really wanted him over there.

JC loved to fly and actively held a private pilot’s license for many years. He sons grew up in the air and one of them, along with JC’s grandson, now own Pemberton & Sons Aviation in Spokane, Washington. JC’s first patent was for a spring loaded elevator on a toy airplane that could be launched vertically at high speed and the elevator would stay flat until the plane had slowed considerably whereupon the elevator would snap up and the plane would glide a long way because it could reach such a high altitude (for a toy).

In 1994 JC was inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame.

When he passed away he had over 40 patents to his credit, including, of course, the scanivalve which has been instrumental in everything from flight and turbine tests to process controls and electronic pressure scanners.

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Pemberton, Wendell, 1906-1987; Memoirs, pp 052 – 096

[page 52b] CHAPTER (Tape) IV

Well, back to the 240! I don’t exactly remember the year, probably the early or middle 1920’s, the corn was down, and down bad. There had been a 14″ snowfall that had thawed and melted to about 8″ to 12″, with a quarter to a half-inch ice on it. Half the ears of that corn were frozen in the ice. You had to pick every ear to break it loose from the ice, or at least about 80% of them. Of course, the stalk had broken off all the heavy ears and they were hanging down with their noses in the snow and ice. We picked that corn by hand for weeks. That was about the meanest, ugliest job I ever had in my lifetime. My dad would get us up and we’d go to the field in the moonlight before the sun came up, but light enough to see by the moon at any rate. I think Stanley was with us all the time; the three of us worked together. Dad, I think, was with us most of the time. Anyway, that is what we did. When you have a well-trained team, they stay in the row, and move and stop exactly when you tell them. There was a wagon box, a triple box, with sideboards on the other side. You don’t even have to look towards the wagon. You just put your head down, grab the ears and heave them towards the wagon like you were throwing them against the side of the barn. You hardly ever miss.

You start out in the morning with dry clothes and dry mittens but during the day it gets sloppy because it thaws, and then you are wet as a drowned rat, clear to your elbows. The front of your clothes are wet, and when the sun drops over the hill, it starts freezing again! Your mittens freeze solid on the back and the palm, where you are grabbing the corn, usually stays wet. Your overalls freeze to your hips. Every morning, every day, was the same thing.

When we came in at night, we had to shovel the corn off by hand, up over that sideboard, and heave it back up into a great big homespun wire crib we had. I mean, that is work!

That same year, I built a smokehouse. Stanley was always the butcher, the meat curer, the meat cutter. He was a good hand at doing anything. When he got married and left, though, I did the killing and the butchering. In those days we had what was called a “ham sugar-curer”. We’d use a lot of brown sugar and different kinds of spices and stuff. We’d put the hams down into a wooden barrel of brine. Well, about this [page 53b] time, we had gotten behind in our work, the meat was in the brine and was maybe two weeks overdue. Before I got around to get that meat hung up in my little smokehouse (I had built it on a hillside and run tile from the firebox ‘way up to the smokehouse so by that time the smoke is cool and doesn’t heat up the meat too bad) well, when I took that meat out of the barrel, you could stick your finger through that hog hide anywhere. The hide had swelled up to about 1/2″ thick and snow white. It looked horrible! I thought, “Oh, no! How could I have ruined this whole big beautiful hog?”

Well, I went ahead and hung it up anyway. I smoked it good. The smoke and the warmth dried it out, and would you believe that that was the most delicious ham we ever put into our mouths? I have never, ever tasted ham as fine and delicious as that ham was! We had that ham all during that awful siege of digging that corn out from under the ice, and it was a real honest-to-goodness treat.

I would like to mention the cars we had during the period of the early ’20’s. Stanley had bought an old Nash. He cut the back end off and made a pickup out of it. It had big, old, high 18″ rims (600.18 I believe). Incidentally, out in my yard today, I have the wheels from a 1926 Nash, under a homemade trailer. That car of Stanley’s, chained up, would go through two feet of snow or mud like you wouldn’t believe. The mud in that country, in the spring, when the thaw came, was absolutely impossible. If you could keep up your speed, you could throw it off the wheels, but otherwise, the mud would build up between the wheels and the fenders and there was no way! You could pull it with four horses and slide the wheels and break the axles. That clay, after the winter thaw, would loosen up and roll up on the wheels to 12″ wide. The only way to manage was to back up and go ahead to get a track broken out so you could get up enough speed to throw that mud off before it wedged between the body of the car and the underside of the fenders. I’ve been stuck so many times, and have spent so many hours digging out, you couldn’t believe it!

Then, we bought a 1924 Ford Coupe, one of the finest cars that ever came out of a factory. In all the years, probably eight or ten years, we never added a quart of oil to that Ford. We bought oil by the barrel, and when the oil got low, we’d drop it out and put in fresh oil, and that car never quit running. I drove it to Lake Okoboji up in the northwest corner of the state in 1926, which my pal called “Anyhoo”. This was the boy with the osteomyelitis. He always had one crutch. He was a real sharp cookie, a good kid, but kind of wild. We were so scotch–there was a stem up into the carburetor and you could screw the carburetor down, but when you do that, it makes the mixture so lean that it hits the [page 54b] valves quite hot. I saved on the gas, but I burned the valves completely out of that car!

I took the motor out, under the trees, and tumbled it end over end into the chicken house on straw. Why the straw? Because that was the only place on the ranch where I could get that thing in out of the cold to work on it. On straw, you didn’t dare to drop a part or a nut because you would never see it again.

I sent to “Monkey Wards” [Mongomery Ward, a large mail-order house] and got a set of valve replacing tools. Now, I had never done this sort of work before and I don’t remember seeing Stanley doing this job, but I ordered the valves and a valve facing seat, and would you believe that the pilot that went into the head of that valve cutter was screwed in from the bottom on, little, short threads? I took one look at that thing and figured the pressure it would be under when you were trying to cut. There was no way in this world it could work. Even though I was a dumb kid at that age, I fired them back and got my money and went somewhere else and bought a set with a solid pilot that went clear through the cutter so there was no way in the world for it to wobble or vary.

Well, I overhauled the Ford in the chicken house, put it together again, and that car ran for years and years. I couldn’t have been over sixteen or seventeen years old. That was my first mechanic job. I bought my first socket sets. I still have the old Hinchdale Sears and Roebuck socket set, or about 90 percent of it. That was a fabulous experience for me because the basic principles never changed, and when I went to the logging camps and overhauled Caterpillars and locomotives, there was no problem. I had a good boss and good helpers. As I’ve said a hundred times, if you can break a mule and do a really good job, you can run a locomotive and do a good job! That 1924 car was the best model they made until they changed over and began making the 1929-30 type. It had bumpers on the front and back; it had hub caps with a red dot in the center like Packards. I had a dealer stop me and ask me what kind of a car that was. No car had bumpers in those days except Cadillacs and Rolls Royce.

That ’24 Ford was the cattle car of all times. We used it on all the cattle drives for years and years. The top rotted completely; in fact, it came off. I used to get a big kick out of going down the road in it and just before I met someone, I would stand up with my head and shoulders out the top. No one ran off the road–quite! I drove that car to school for years, with log chains on the bumpers, front and back, and mud piled on it when it still had a top on it.

When I was in high school, I had the respect and permission of the teachers and the principal to leave class at [page 55b] any time to go out and take care of my stock. Everybody knew I had that responsibility. Oh, I could have had a lot of fun, playing hooky and having a ball, but I would rather have the confidence of my teachers and my principal. I didn’t lie to them, they respected me, and I appreciated that. Here again was a great lesson, being a straight shooter and of the things one can accomplish if he has the grit to do what he is supposed to do.

I’m sure I didn’t mention the 1918 Ford that preceded the 1924 Coupe. We ran it for years too. It was the cattle driving car before the ’24. Then too, Dad got an Overland Coupe with a box on the back and a toolbox on the side, in a trade of some kind. We never liked that one and didn’t use it much. I think he traded it off.

Have I told about the hammermills that came into that country during the early 1920’s? Everybody got the idea of buying these hammer mills. Farmers would shovel grain, by hand, into the wagon, take it down to the hammermill, shovel it off into a bin, run it through the grinder, then back into the wagon, take it clear out back home, shovel it off again, then pack it out by hand to feed it to the stock! They really went for that. I guess there was a little advantage in grinding it, but Holy Cow, not that much advantage! Anyway, Stanley had a mill at Grizwold, Iowa which was 50 miles east of Omaha–we were a hundred miles east. I went out there and ran the mill a time or two when his wife was sick. Then that mill came back to Greenfield and was stored in a neighbor’s barn for a couple or three years.

Anyway, I wanted the cream and milk money from a little bunch of cows, so bad, that I went to town with the mules, the only time I was in town all summer long. I was so downtrodden and depressed with all work and no play that I drove the mules in, and when they saw that white pavement, I almost had to break their backs to get them to step on it. I, loaded up with sand and cement, drew plans, made the forms, and built the building. I got that heavy, Hart-Parr 40-horse, cast-iron frame motor and hammer mill–I think it was all on one frame, in one unit. I measured out the base, cemented the bolts in, and, here’s another funny thing, when I rolled the mill in there on steel rollers on planks and let it down, the darned thing fit! I put plow beams in that cement building corners and all kinds of old steel in there. If somebody hasn’t dynamited it, I’ll bet it’s there yet.

When I was a kid, I got so put-out with people who would build cement foundations with no reinforcing in them, on a hillside, and the frost would freeze them, they’d crack and open up, and the next thing you knew, here was the foundation lying on its side, and the building sliding down the hill. It [page 56b] was that way all over the country, so I vowed I’d never, ever pull a boo-boo like that. So that’s what I did, and the darned mill worked!

You could put a stream of oats in that mill at the same time you put dry corn fodder with the coin on it (cut with a binder, shocked, and when dry, you take this whole big bundle of corn and shove it in the mill) at the same time you are running a stream of oats, barley, or some kind of grain, and can pUlverize that stuff almost like flour. It makes excellent, excellent cow feed. Those cows really kicked out the milk on that kind of feed.

That was a great satisfaction to me, having the privilege of building that and seeing it work, because I got the cream money! I only had about six cows out of a rough beef herd. Some of them only gave a quart or two of milk, but hey, I milked them because I wanted those pennies!

I had quite an experience at this time. I went over to get the mill out of storage at this good farmer’s shed. In the meantime, he had leased his place out to some people. When I went to check out the mill, I flipped up the cover on the magneto, and the cover was full of field dust. I thought, “Hey, what goes on here?” The mill had never been but in a field. If there was dust, it would have been flour. I snooped around and questioned people. I came to find out that the boys who were leasing this man’s place, weren’t such fine people. His magneto had gone out so he simply went into the shed and stole mine, put his back on there, buttoned it up and said nothing to anybody. The more I thought about it, the madder I got.

I decided not to put up with that, so I called the man who owned the place, told him what I had found, and told him I knew what had happened. He got ahold of these other people and the next time I came out, my magneto was back on where it belonged! Another great lesson.

This fine man who owned the ranch where the mill was stored, wanted to help me, so he gave me a job hauling manure–cleaning out his barn. I got into the worst mess of my lifetime and learned another lesson! He had used cornstalks for bedding. Those cornstalks were sopping wet, five feet long, under ten inches of hard-packed manure. It was like trying to break a rope. There was no way I could stick that fork in there and come up with a forkful of manure without digging, picking, and untangling those cornstalks. I thought, “Never, never in my life will I allow a cornstalk in manure that has to be removed by hand.” In those days there was no power equipment of any kind. I kept my promise!

Before I go any further, I must take time out to talk of my younger brother, JC. JC was born eight years after we [page 57b] were [8 years after Wendell, 12 after Stanley], and that makes a tremendous handicap. He was always too little to “follow the herd”. Always too little to “go get the stuff”. Always too little to do this or do that. We HAD to work. We HAD to go, and I’d get so provoked at JC. I’d be out harrowing on that big hill in the dirt, the dust, the heat, the sweat running off me, and I’d holler for water or make the high sign for water. Mother would send him out with a bucket of ice-cold water and I’d see him coming down the hill as I was going up the big hill, and when I came back down the big hill, JC would be going back towards the house again. I had to guess where he might have hidden the water. I had to hunt for it. I got so exasperated with that kid that I could bawl!

JC always swore (and never had any other idea in his head) that never was he going to do hard work. He always said, “If I’m so dumb that I can’t make a machine to do this work, I’ll just sit down in the dirt and bawl.”

He kept his promise. When JC came west into the orchards here in Washington, and saw his first cherry tree and the pickers picking cherries with 22′ ladders on my fruit ranch in Grandview, he sat right down with his back against a cherry tree and drew out a machine to pick cherries! If I had a blueprint of his first drawing, it would be almost identical to–the APE is one brand–those three-wheeled things with the buckling, folding boom, and a basket for a human, that you can put in or out or up or down, dodging any limb, and go anywhere to pick the fruit. That’s what this kid did, and that’s how he was all his life.

He is now in San Diego and has built up a multi-multi-million dollar business called Scanivalve. He has sold his product all over the world, the wind tunnels, a little gadget about the size of a toothbrush holder. Simultaneously it registers 48 pressures at the same time, and he can run those pressures now on those big computer banks, a machine as big as a refrigerator, but the heart of the thing is this little Scanivalve that he has perfected. His help, who has been with him for 35 years, are artists at measuring and honing and fitting those parts together to the millionth of an inch. This is his baby. He never patented anything. [JC actually had many patents, but only very rarely spoke of them to anyone, as Wendell’s ignorance here shows.] All he ever said was that anyone who wanted to go through what he went through to develop “this thing” is welcome to it. Would you believe he is still in business and he has been all over the world.

His wife, he had a hard time with his first wife (it just didn’t work out) then he met Van. She is a Greek girl, and she is brilliant. She has a heart to match that fabulous mind, a very rare combination. I can remember my father saying over and over that he had hardly ever in his life seen [page 58b] a man who could work like a horse and still use his head. I found that to be very true in my case.

Anyway, when JC was born, he was one of the cutest little boys that ever breathed the breath of life. Dad used to take him to town and everywhere. He was a joy. Everyone was astounded at this lovely little boy that Mother had had when she was quite old. Then comes the bad thing. I was so ugly and so depressed because of the way we were forced to work, without money, and JC never had any idea of putting out any hard work. That was just “too dumb”. Of course, I teased him.

I had this wonderful magnetic power. I could just look at him across the table, glare at him, and he’d take a hand and swipe his food and dishes all off on the floor and say, “NOW, look what you made me do!” Of course, he got whopped. But pretty quick Dad caught on, and then guess who got whopped. Great lesson!

My cousin, Wilma, that cousin, the adopted girl, my mother’s sister, Mary, had a son born to her about the same time I was born. Mary’s little boy died. So they adopted this beautiful little blue-eyed, black-haired girl who was a living doll. She was the only girl that I had any association with, you might say, all my growing-up years. We were just out in the sticks, running stock all the time. Oh yes, I went to Sunday School. I was in church practically every Sunday. I used to ride an old sweaty horse to the chapel, about three miles away, Sunday after Sunday. Oh, at times there might be some young kids there my age, but time and time again, I was alone, and that was sure discouraging. There were all kinds of false philosophies like, “You can’t do anything on Sunday.” You couldn’t do this or that because it was Sunday. I became very depressed.

In high school I went with a lovely girl for a year or two, and I got so beat down because of the horrible hours I was forced to work that I did a terrible, terrible thing. I just quit her without explaining anything, and I will go to my grave in sorrow and shame for not talking to this wonderful little gal and telling her why. I was so beat down and the pressures–no money and too much hard work.

Anyway, JC started his business and with the brains of this Van he married–she is the bookkeeper, the organizer–and JC with his fantastic electronic and mechanical mind, he builds his own machinery to produce the things in his shops. He can do anything like that. That is his life, and Van will manage it. They came across southern Russia a year or so ago in broad daylight. This never happens in certain areas. This wife of his gave some money to the men on the train and got them to give them tickets to cross southern Russia. JC [page 59b] said the most astounding thing to him was what the permafrost had done. It has sunk and heaved and sunk and heaved until the stone houses and the log houses are cocked up at precarious angles, almost none of them level. I thought that [was] extremely interesting.

You can sit and talk to that girl by the hour and she is the most interesting person to talk to. For example, she went back to Greece to meet the childhood churn that she loved. She found her coming over a rocky hill with a hand scythe over her shoulder, sun-beaten and wrinkled, and looked a hundred and twenty years old. She recognized Van and threw her arms around her.

They really had a reunion! JC was there. A delicacy of Greece is a green, black-walnut boiled in sugar, if you can imagine. A green walnut is about the sourest, ugliest tasting thing you can imagine, but of course, they boil it in sugar. JC got one, he tasted it and hid the rest, but when they saw his plate was empty, they insisted he have another. He had quite a time to keep from eating green walnuts!

Now comes another bad part. Of course, I’m to blame, a lot. This lovely little girl, Wilma, beautiful personality, used to see us corning down the street and she’d run to meet us. She’d wedge in between us, put her arms around JC and look at me and say, “Oh, JC, has he hurt you? Has he been bullying you again?”

She’d walk down the street doing that, and I was so embarrassed I’d just about corne uncorked. She did that over and over and over. She made a fool of JC and made two fools of me. It wasn’t anything like the big deal she made of it. That really hurt! It never stopped.

One spring when the folks were gone, JC and I were eating dinner at Aunt Mary’s. When the noon whistle blew, he ran down and got his lunch, coat and hat on. When time came to go back to school, he jumped off the back porch with no hat and no coat on. I hollered at him to come back and get his hat and coat on because there was a 50 mph wind roaring. The maple trees were leaning over. “JC! Come back and get your hat and coat!”

He yelled back, “I don’t have to mind you!” He ran the eight or ten blocks in that wind, got chilled, and got pneumonia. Mother sat by his bed for days and days not knowing whether he was going to live or not. Finally his fever broke and he got over the pneumonia. He has had bad lungs ever since just because of that ordeal, which might have been avoided if I had been a little more intelligent in dealing with the situation. That really hurt me. JC, to this day, has a hard time to keep from feeling he was horribly abused by that big, ugly brother of his.

[page 60] JC came out [to California] and logged with me all one summer. I gave him my job of taking care of the equipment at night and went out and drove Cat all summer, eating that 18″ red dirt so he could have a chance to go back to college. I taught the gospel to that boy–everything that I have known, everything I have believed, the whole ball of wax. At no time did he accept one ounce of it, and still doesn’t. In fact, he has spent his life downgrading Mormonism, always digging up things that seemed, supposedly, to totally refute the claim of the fullness of the gospel as restored by the prophet, Joseph Smith. I don’t have much comment on this.

I recall the statement of a man, made years ago, that I have never forgotten. I was in a dentist’s chair. This man had been a Mormon but his wife would not listen to the church and he had had to live with this horrible anti-Mormon feeling for a lifetime. As he waited for the filling in my tooth to set, he was looking out across his garden in the back, he said, “You know, in all the ages of man on earth, whenever a person or a group have not been right and have not been in possession of the truth, they have always sought to build up themselves or their group or their nation at the expense of someone else, or some other group, or some other nation, and that never changes.”

I have thought of that statement hundreds of times over the last fifty years. The more I study history, especially the Old Testament, I realize that this is exactly what has happened. Recently I read of twenty-seven civilizations that had been destroyed, and only three had been conquered from without. The others rotted and disintegrated from within. The Roman empire, of course, is the supreme example of this eternal fact–of the destruction of nations by their own filth and their own unwillingness to follow plain and simple truths.

This brings to my mind the age old truth that something for nothing is never good for anyone. Being human, I am positive this is one of the hardest lessons of life I had to learn because everyone hopes to discover a gold mine or some scheme or patent–something that will put them into a position of financial success and glory. If I hadn’t been forced into the positions I was in, who knows, perhaps I would never have learned that one simple lesson. Again I repeat President David O. MCKay’s statement, “Born free or shackled at birth with inherited riches.”

I just saw a piece here in the paper concerning the plight of people who have been on welfare. When the government attempts to cut any of their programs, they immediately rush to some other dole system–the churches or some other thing [page 61] for more gifts. That will never stop, I am sure.

I see another interesting thing in my notes here. I think this was when we were living on the 240. I don’t remember if I was on the west place or the east place, and to save me, I can’t remember which horse I had. I do know I had a long-barreled .22 pistol that I was pretty catty with. I got on my horse and went to hunt rabbits a mile or two south, down in a kind of a waste country–a little swampy and brushy–and I came onto a piece of ground that was sod, real old tough sod that had been plowed. There were hundred of things that looked like miniature pup tents with the flaps open, where the sod had kicked up. There was an inch of snow, and I had never seen so many rabbit tracks in my life. These rabbits had crawled into the little pup tent-type openings in that kicked-up sod. They made perfect little houses for them. Going against the sod, I could see the rabbits sitting in them. All I had to do was walk around quietly, come up from behind, and reach over and grab them by the head. I picked up eighteen or twenty rabbits, and I never fired a shot! I slipped them on my belt–through the tendons of the hind legs–and do you know how much twenty rabbits weigh?

Anyway, I got to where the old mare was and she must have been a dandy because she didn’t spook. Usually a horse will go crazy at the smell of blood. I tried every way in the world to get on that horse, but there was no way I could do it with that tonnage of rabbits hanging on me. So, I took my belt off, threaded them back on the belt and heaved them over her neck, half on each side. Whatever horse it was, she was a real dandy to put up with that. Usually, when you go to put elk meat or deer meat on a horse, they go absolutely crazy.

Before I get into something rather deep–I think Dad told this, I’m not sure, but I didn’t hear it for many, many years. Anyway, it was when he was a young man and going into Chicago with cattle. He had his cattle unloaded and was going uptown to see the sights, with his roll of clothes under his arm. He had gone several blocks; there were a lot of shops with things in the windows that would interest a farm boy, and he heard somebody yell. He looked up and here carne a cow that had broken out of the stockyard, as wild-eyed as any cow that had ever run the range. Man! she was sure she was headed back to the range. Dad laid his clothes on the curb, walked out into the middle of the street, and someone yelled, “Get out of there, kid. She’ll kill ya’.”

Dad stopped in the middle of the street, perfectly still. Of course, the cow was seeing a thousand things that were strange to her. When she tried to go by, and he must have done everything absolutely perfect because he flipped her. She hit the pavement so hard that when she got up she ran back [page 62] the way she had come, wide open, and didn’t even know the difference. Dad walked over and picked up his clothes like it was an everyday occurrence, which it was. He said he then went into the shops, looking at things, and went into a place where there were men at desks, writing or figuring, or something.

He fooled around for awhile and when he got close enough, he looked over this desk, and one man wasn’t writing or figuring anything, he was just fiddling with his pencil. Dad thought that was odd, so he sidled around past the other desk and the other man was doing the same thing. It spooked Dad so much he got out of there and didn’t go into any more shops. He thought it must have been some kind of a trap to roll somebody!

When I got big enough so that I could have gone to Chicago, I think the local buyer bought the stock, so there was no reason to go to Chicago with your own cattle like in the good old days. I remember Dad shipping in cattle to unload onto the 720. Several times we went down there to put the cattle on the 720 pasture. I don’t remember how many cattle there were, per car, but it was several hundred that were on the place there, and I don’t think Dad ever went into Chicago after he took Stanley with him on a trip or two.

Now, maybe I should take a little time to go back to childhood to see if I can figure out what made me tick. As I have said before, I have always been curious and, as you know, it got me into trouble.

I slept out under the stars a lot at night when I was a kid, out with the cattle. Some of those nights were so brilliant–maybe without a moon but the stars were just out of this world. I was continually in wonderment and awe. What are they? How far away are they? The moon was really intriguing! During the years I spent around old Grant Bunche, the one who had the horse who had to get in out of the weather because if there was lightening, he’d run through the fences–the old man who was always watching for tornadoes and talking about the end of the world. That was the big thing in those days–in the religious profession. That bothered me quite a lot even at the age of eight and ten years old. I must have driven my folks crazy always asking, “Why?”.

As I have said, I was in church nearly every Sunday all those years, but I could never understand why the ministers were always squabbling. They all used the same book. They all claimed to be going to the same place. They all swore they worshipped the same God, so why was there all this undercurrent of bickering? I have seen ministers stand toe to toe and one of them will say, “I don’t believe that, Reverend, not for one minute, no siree.” On and on it went, it never ended in all those years. Of course without the gospel, the [page 63] God they described was this great mystical being, without body parts or passions, so big he filled the entire universe, yet so small he could dwell in the tiniest spot, like in the human heart. No way could I comprehend all this. As I read the Bible, it didn’t teach of a God like that.

I heard a lot of ministers preach over the years, fine men, but as I sit here, try as I might, I cannot remember more than two or three them. Two of these men had farmed for years and years before even trying to preach.

One man, Reverend Dewel, farmed for forty years before he tried to preach. I never once heard him raise his voice like most of the ministers did. He simply came up, quietly opened some books, got some papers out in front of him, and would tell of some event from history or the present. Many times he spoke of the Roman Empire and its fall and collapse. Then he would make the comparison between the Old Testament and what was continually happening to the Israelites when they disobeyed, and he could really make a parallel that you could understand. Every time that man talked, one wanted to reach for paper and pencil. With the other men, that didn’t happen. They would yell and rail and get their voices way up high, going on and on, never ending.

One night I was in a group of maybe 150 to 200 people. There were several ministers on the stand. One of the ministers stood up, put his finger up and this is what he said, “Do you know you can ride a horse from the Mexican border to the Canadian line and stay in a Mormon home every night? The Mormon threat is that bad in the west!”

There I was, a teenage kid, sitting right down smack in front of him. That was all I ever heard all my life. So, when anyone would try to tell me about Mormonism, I would be as violently against it as anyone could be because I had never heard anyone say anything good about it.

When I was a kid, two men came down the road. I think they may have been Mormon missionaries. They were two, together, and they were dressed like Mormon missionaries. My mother opened the door, very graciously accepted their literature, and it went straight from their hands, into her hands, and into the big, old burner. That was the end of that. She didn’t let them in.

You know when you have never known the truth, or have never known of pre-existence, you don’t know what you’re looking for. You only know you are confused. There is no way you can understand or comprehend the God they are trying to teach you about, and when you go home and open the Bible, that doesn’t help one bit. It just isn’t there–as they were trying to explain it.

I got a kick for many years, whenever I went to a new [page 64] church, of getting the hymn book out and looking in the front of it for the Creed. It used to be called the Nicene Creed, the Athenian Creed, the Apostles Creed–I guess there are a dozen different names, and I’m sure it has been changed a hundred times since the original Nicene Creed was written when Constantine, the pagan Roman Emperor, called the bishops together and had them write a creed and quit their squabbling. So they wrote the Nicene Creed and manufactured an incomprehensible God. I’m sure the word “incomprehensible” was in the original creed along toward the end. Now, try to figure that one out when you’re a kid really trying to learn–see how far you get.

While on the 240, the man who had the 80 across the road (which, eventually, was turned into my name) was quite a guy, a good man but he didn’t raise very good crops. His fences were always down; his stock was always up in my dad’s corn cribs. Night after night we’d chase the darned animals out of that corn crib. At one time there were wire cribs allover the hill. But, this man was really a fisherman! He always asked me to go, and whenever I could, I went with him. He’d stop a cultivator anywhere at any time when he’d get to thinking about those fish, and he just had to stop and go fishing. I stood on the bank with that man by the hour, by the day, by the week, talking about religion. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t believe.

One day, he told me. “Wendell, when I was a youngster and going to church, I knelt down and prayed as hard as any human on earth ever prayed. And you know what? I never felt a gosh darned thing!” Gosh darned–that was a common expression in those days.

Here I was, trying with all my heart to believe; in fact, I did believe, if I had something to hang onto. I can distinctly remember that until I was twenty-five years old, always asking, “Why? If there really is a God, why is He silent?” I was always convinced He was silent. Of all the things I investigated all the wild claims and miracles I heard about, I figured out that nearly all were some kind of a hoax because they didn’t quite hold water.

Needless to say, in my wildest dreams, I never thought and had no possible way of knowing, it had already happened. In my time, almost, and in my country! But, because of experiences I had had, I was able to figure out a lot of things that, otherwise, without all those experiences, I’d have been pretty helpless.

I don’t think I have yet mentioned the Ku Klux Klan. I worked for the Ku Klux Klan for four years, all through high school, played football with kids that were on the other side of the square–the fiery circle–the anti-Klans. That town [page 65] was cut like it had been cut in two with a knife. Of course, it didn’t bother us kids much; we didn’t have anything to gain or to lose–no big deal with us–but the Grand Dragon of the state of Iowa, Ralph Hoyt, was my boss. He had a drugstore there for years, and I worked for him mornings and nights for at least a year or two. He was a good man, a fine man. There were many splendid people in that town, including my brother and my father, who were convinced that it was good.

It is very difficult to go back that many years but their belief, I am told, was the same as the old A.P.A. (American Protective Association) during the Revolutionary War. They told me it was absolutely an all-American, Protestant, militant, white, organization. Of course, to exclude the Negro wasn’t right, and the Protestant part wasn’t right, but the American ideals of our Corrstitution were splendid.

I think what I appreciate the most now was the experience I had because of seeing the extent to which people would go–almost going crazy–simply because of their different ideologies and because they couldn’t find out what was going on on the “other side” –as I mentioned, the Fiery Circle Anti-Klan on one side and the Ku Klux Klan on the other. I witnessed good men lose their businesses overnight. The Grand Dragon’s father was a good man. He was knocked down in the street, hit over the head with a pair of pliers, and all over absolutely nothing.

This was when I first learned that you will not find the truth in the newspapers. The big syndicates, if for any reason it isn’t to their advantage or to their liking, they do not have to publish the truth. They can distort the truth in any way they wish as long as they have the power. I remember this was quite a shock to me. I didn’t know this could happen in this country. All the things I saw in the Ku Klux Klan was a great help to me in overcoming the anti-Mormon stuff that I had been taught all my life. It taught me to go to the source to find out what I wanted to know about anything, and never, ever go on hearsay or publications or anything of the kind.

Because it was Protestant, of course, there was always tpe anti-Catholic angle. We would have ex-Catholic priests come and lecture. That was not good. One man came who was a really rotten, filthy man, and my boss, the Grand Dragon, in that meeting, (some of the neighbor boys came–huge boys–I think there were four brothers) and when he began to say things that were not correct about the Catholics, they stood up and called him on it. It was a vicious situation, but my boss got up and stopped it, and I don’t think that ever happened again. That in itself was a real education for a young kid to witness.

When I came West, because the Klan was secret and we were [page 66} under oath not to divulge anything, I wondered who the Klan leader would be. The man who was the head of the Klan was in Susanville, California where I logged. He was the village drunk, so to speak, an alcoholic, and I had not yet opened my mouth about the Klan, but that was the end of the Klan experience. You ask why the Klan in the first place?

Well, there were some pretty rotten political things pulled in the early days, the old Chicago Pendergast (or New York). It was pretty rank, and the Roman Catholics, where they controlled a huge percentage of the population like back in Boston, were determined they were going to use taxes for their schools, etc.–little things like that. No way was it right. No way was it correct when you compare it with restored gospel, it doesn’t have one leg to stand on from any angle in the world.

As far as the underhanded things that were done, the TV has shown “Specials” on the Klan over and over. There is no way I can possibly believe that the thing I worked in for four years–drove this man all over the state of Iowa–was the same thing portrayed on TV. In fact, just a few years before I came to Washington, we had a bookkeeper from Alabama who worked in the tire shop where I worked, and he was prancing back and forth there in front of a group of men one night, telling about all the men the Ku Klux Klan had broken up and put into the hospital. I stepped out and called him a liar. Guess what! I had to apologize to that group because there was no way I could prove that where he was, where he came from, that there wasn’t a lot of scullduggery going on. All I can say is that where I was in the four yeqrs I worked in it, it did not ever happen, not once, because my boss wouldn’t have stood for that, not for one second.

My boss was in the Aragon Forest in the Rainbow Division in World War I. He got acquainted with a boy from New York City. They were both tremendous doers, and when they parted on the dock in New York City, they made a pledge that they would dedicate the rest of their lives to do something for humanity and, hopefully, they could do enough that there would never be another war as vicious as the one they had come through.

The Klan has signs and signals. You can walk down the street past a man and, by the code–just a word or two–find out if he’s a member. When I went into the Temple at Salt Lake City, I was electrified with interest because of the similarity. I had heard about the Masons. I didn’t know anything about their rituals, but I was astounded that the Klan was actually some type of counterfeit of the Saviour’s clan! Now that I am older and all these years have gone by, I know that Satan has a counterfeit for every phase of the plan [page 67] of our Father in Heaven. There is no doubt in my mind at all. That is what Satan does. Counterfeit, subvert, corrupt, and destroy–that is his aim.

These two boys, when they were in the war,were called out time and time again on special assignments to go out into “No Man’s Land” on spy missions. Over and over those two boys would be the only ones who carne back unscathed. This happened so many times that it really made a bond between the two young men, and this was why they made the covenant to try to do something for humanity, to devote their lives to helping people.

Now–if my head will work, I will try to state some of the conversation of these two men as they got off their ship, put their arms around each other and made their covenant. I assume they corresponded some over the years, and after Ralph Hoyt got to be Grand Dragon of the state of Iowa, he wrote to his friend in New York City and, of course, under cover, he gave a few signs, hoping that if the mother man was a member of the Klan, would pick it up. Would you believe, the boy from New York wrote him a letter and across the front page in great, big letters, “Hey, you corne here and I will show you a real Klan!”

My dear old Quaker dad and my lovely, lovely mother and my brother and myself, and nearly all the ministers in that town, became members of the Ku Klux Klan because of the influence of this one, good friend.

[page 68] CHAPTER (Tape) V

I seem to have left out one very important thing in our lives. JC was probably about three years old when Uncle Jim came down to my father and he said, “Now, Addison, it just isn’t right, the work that you do and the hours you put in, I want you to cut this off and I want to take you and your family fishing with me up in Wisconsin. I know the most fabulous lake in the world, and I want you to go with me.”

I can’t remember if Uncle Jim’s wife was dead at that time, or not, perhaps she was. Anyway, we went on the train from Des Moines. It was Whitefish Lake. I don’t remember the town it was close to but we rented a cabin. I have never seen mosquitoes like that! They stuck on the screens at night in a cloud, and the little ones could squeeze through the screens. This was a large lake, a very large lake, and the man who owned the resort had about a 16′ or 20′ launch with a top on it with a fringe around the top. It had curtains that would drop down. He always towed a rowboat behind the launch. We went several miles, away around, to get into the fishing areas. You talk about fish! They had walleyed pike, the meaty white fish, something like tuna, absolutely delicious and with very few bones. They had pickerel, a long, skinny fish. Then there was the muskelunge. It wasn’t a good fish to eat. It had a huge, ugly mouth and it was a horrible fighter. If you were a fisherman and wanted a fight on your hands, you fished for the muskelunge. {Now when I name it, it doesn’t sound right at all.} Would you believe six or eight people would get three washtubs full of fish, all up to two feet long, as long as the top of the washtub, and their tails would even hang over the side–a few of them? He processed those fish some way so there wasn’t any waste. We never got less than a tub and a half to three tubs every time we went out.

One day he took us down to the dam, ‘way down around where the lake got narrow and the hills were high on the sides. A wonderful dam. I had never seen anything like that in my life. It was 1919 and I was born in ’06, so I was ten [sic] years old. I was up on this dam, and when we came back down we climbed down an iron ladder and then stepped on to the floating wharf to go to our boat, about 30 yards away. [page 69] Wouldn’t you know, I turned around and jumped down on this wharf, like all kids would do, and it was wet. My feet went out from under me; I slipped and slid and barely stopped with my feet and sit-down hanging over the edge of that thing. I threw my body way back to try to stay on. My dad really bawled me out. ‘ He pointed out that if I had gone under there, under that wharf, they’d have never have gotten me out. I really didn’t need the scolding because I was really hurting. I knew the danger. I had been swimming and hand fishing by that time.

This Ray South that I have mentioned, was. the hand fisherman of all fishermens. We would go with him time and time again. Coming back that night, possibly from four to
nine miles, there came up a storm. I mean, it really stormed! Before we got within a mile or a mile and a half of home, it was so violent that that big launch was taking water, and we were afraid. The man running the launch stood up at the controls and kept nudging that boat to hit the gigantic waves endwise so that they wouldn’t completely swamp us. He fought the waves and maneuvered that boat, and would you believe, Uncle Jim, to take the weight out of that launch, got into the rowboat on the end of a 30’ rope and sat back there manipulating that boat around so the waves wouldn’t swamp it. I will not forget that as long as I live. He laughed and pretended he was having a ball so we wouldn’t panic. That was fabulous Uncle Jim.

On the way back, we came to the big bridge over the Des Moines River. JC was between two and three years old. We had a folding drinking cup which was quite the thing in those days. Of course, we wiped it off, and we shared. When we went over the bridge, JC was all excited and said, “Whee!” as he threw the drinking cup out there. I knew better than that at ten years old, and I thought that was so horrible. I didn’t understand why my folks didn’t punish him for throwing that cup into the river. I can still see it making the long flight before it hit the water.

I have to go back aways now to a very early memory. The first memory I have that was really associated with the word, “father”. It was in the winter, I was very young, and there was a blizzard. My little mother had shined that light and put it in the window. She tried with all her heart to keep fear off her face for our sakes. Stanley might have been six or seven at that time. It got dark and late, and the blizzard became bad. (As you know, in a blizzard, you can’t see anything. Somehow horses have the affinity to follow a trail or a road where humans are a total failure.) Somehow she managed to keep us from becoming as worried as she was because [page 70] the only indication of fear was when she knelt in the twilight to pray. Then, she couldn’t hide the fear.

Many miles away, maybe it was 20 to 30 below. My father had had a few bobsleds. I remember the rides in the old bobsled, originally. This Robbie who got his neck broken, Dad’s favorite saddle horse that he had brought down to that country–we had his hide made into a beautiful, Morgan horse, tanned robe. We also had a buffalo robe. I can still remember that huge thick hair and fur on that robe. There was no way in those days to keep it clean and so Mother wouldn’t put up with that for long, and it disappeared

Anyway, eventually, way off in the distance, you heard iron tires on that 40 degree-below frozen snow. They make a noise like you can’t believe with all four wheels breaking through frozen snow–sound like four sirens. We heard that ‘way in the distance. Mother raised the window a little bit and, sure enough, that was the wagon! Closer and closer, up the half-mile lane, stopped, went through the gate, stopped, closed the gate, came around that ridge (about a half-mile), ‘way around to the west and north and back down east to the buildings. I remember so well the details of the sounds that night. The tug harness and my father’s voice as he undid the harness, dropped the tongue and the neck yolk. As the animals went into the barn, he spoke to each one as he pulled the harness off. I heard the rumble of the harness as he heaved it on the hook at the back of the stall. Then, putting the corn in the feedbox. Noisy–rumble, rumble, rumble, as those tired beasts devoured their overdue supper.

Finally, he came in the door. He was covered with snow. There were frost crystals all over the front of his great big, brown coat. I don’t know what that coat was made of but it was a long coat–thick, heavy, with a big fur collar. He even had frost crystals on his eyewinkers, his hair, and his cap. I remember that so distinctly!

Another event about this time; I was sitting on the floor with Old Tom in my arms, and he carne in through the door with that coat on. The cat thought he was a prehistoric monster and about tore me to pieces. Of course I tried to hang onto him, and he climbed up over my shoulders, I bent forward and he climbed down my back–really peeled me up but I was determined I could hold him, and he was determined to get away.

This man never changed. Over the years, I never could understand why any man would work like that man worked. He produced a crop after he was broke and losing his land and owed the bank. He told the bank they could sue if they wanted to but they wouldn’t get ten cents on the dollar, but if they’d leave him alone, he’d pay it. Now, that I have stood [page 71] many, many times where he once stood, I know only too well what men do when they simply have to do it.

This was some time after the 20’s. I’m putting this in here because I want to leave my high school athletic story all in one block. So, I will put in here, the ten-cent corn.

One year, corn was ten cents per bushel! A good family that had the eighty rented across the road, by the name of Don Schimm–later you will see that his son and I went west to seek our fortunes–this good man paid, I think, his cash rent with ten cent corn. I have wondered and wondered what went through that man’s mind as he was picking that corn in the cold and shoving it into the great big, huge, long crib on the original home place.

My father sold every hoof of stock on that ranch. Anything on the ranch he could get a penny out of, he sold and bought ten cent corn. He had people all around the country picking their corn, hauling it and putting it in woven wire cribs. They made those cribs just about as far as a man could throw a shovelful, up and across, from all four sides. Dad had corn piled all over that hillside. Here again, this was when my friend and neighbor’s sows and horses were in that corn night after night. We’d never heard of an electric fence. My dad would not let me build a fence across our driveway, which was a steep cut. It would have had to have been fenced down both sides with a gate at the end. He said he didn’t want to have to fool with a gate, and yet, we spent enough time chasing that stock out of there, to build twenty gates!

It was about the first or second spring after that ten-cent corn that I had the privilege to see shellers come in and shell that same corn at eighty-six cents a bushel! I think I mentioned that I was with my dad when he paid off that final note at the bank. Here again, a gigantic lesson of what patience and faith can do. Dad used to say, “Grit your teeth and hang on; things will turn around.”

But what is a teenager to do? Working all those hours and keeping up with a man who had to change horses at noon, and be in the furrow every night until you couldn’t see it? It may have been good for him, but it was rough on me and my brother!

Speaking of rough, here is another tremendous lesson concerning my father and the goodness of the Quaker people. My brother, when he broke those big, raw mules, (and their mouths were so tough they would slide you through field with both your boots plowing two furrows) would wrap those lines around his wrists and grind his teeth. One time he said, “You damned Sons of ‘B’s.”

When he got them stopped and came back, my father said to [page 72] my brother, “When my father, the minister, got ground into the dirt by the stock and the mules, he would call them ‘bitches’. When I got really wild, I called my horses, ‘Sons of B’s”. I noticed you called your horses, “Damned Sons of B’s”. Now, what will your children call their mules?”

I have never known a more potent lesson than that one. It took the Quakers four generations before they got down to where they would take the name of the Lord in vain. How about that?

As many times as I have thought back to those years, I have had a feeling of remorse hit me every single time because of my attitude. Oh, I worked, you bet I did. I held up my end but I was ugly. I never smiled and that was a terrible, terrible thing. I didn’t give my dear old dad the support and love that he deserved, but the Quaker philosophy was not to show emotion. It was actually frowned upon, belittled, or made fun of. This was wrong but by the same token, I never heard of the word, ‘incest’; I didn’t know what that meant in my entire youth because they were so strict in their dealings with things that were wrong in their own families.

Somewhere during this time, before the real crash really hit, you could have bought a trainload of lard for four cents a pound. I know hogs were around two-and-a-half cents, cattle were three plus cents per pound, and when things were supposed to have been pretty good; later on, my dad could have gotten twelve cents a pound for every hoof of stuff he owned, probably 200 head. I was so disgusted with my dad because he just didn’t get around and just didn’t get things done. Those cattle all sold at eight cents per pound. – Think of the terrible loss!

Now, I sit where my dad sat, and I don’t get one-tenth of the things done that I should be doing.

In Dad’s last few years, he was awfully stove up with arthritis. It was pitiful to watch him try to get his legs and feet up inside of the wagon box. He had to really scold the mules to get them to hold still so he had time to pick up his feet and get into the wagon. He had had no one knows how many slight strokes. Mother told us about several times that she would call Steve. She was quite concerned. Dad would never admit anything was wrong. So she would call Steve and say, “Steve, could you please come up? Addison is acting very peculiar.” So Steve always came over with some kind of any excuse, like maybe he wanted to borrow something from Dad. He’d sit down and visit and visit. Maybe stay two or three hours and try to figure out what shape Dad was in, before he’d leave. So, he’d had several strokes before he closed up his business and came out to Grandview to live in the house in the orchard. I think he closed his business in 1943. I have what [page 73] I think is his last sale bill; the month was October, but they didn’t put the year on it. According to the letters Mother wrote, it would be 1943. He lived there in Stanley’s orchard and died in January of 1945.

He was able to enjoy himself there. They raised a big garden. When they came in December of 1944, we were able to visit and be with them a lot. Dad wasn’t in too bad shape at that time. In the winter of ’45 he began to get worse. He was taking some high-powered liver shots to keep his system functioning. Finally, when he became pretty bad, the doctor asked us if we wanted to continue those liver shots which were perpetuating a body that was unable to function. We said that knowing our dad like we know him, he wouldn’t want them to be continued so they stopped giving him the medicine. In just a day or two, Dad was gone.

I remember Stanley and I carried our father out into the hearse. It was quite a thing to do that. It made us realize that this same thing had been done all through the centuries as people took care of their forebears.

At my mother’s funeral, in Grandview, about 1961 or ’62, my brother wasn’t on the program at all, but at the graveside. Just before the service, my brother stepped forward and addressed the group. “I have dreaded this day as far back as I can remember, but as I stand here this day, it is one of the happiest days of my life. I realize what a great woman my mother was and how I realized what she meant to me and to all those around her. It is a great privilege to be able to stand with her here and bear witness to this in her behalf.” I thought that was a splendid thing to do. She was a great woman until the day she died. Like the Stake President in Klamath Falls said of his mother–he had farmed with them, helped to get in many crops of potatoes–“I have never in my life known a woman who could set such a splendid table with so little as this good woman could. I am sure when the kings and queens of the different dispensations are gathered together, she will stand among them.” I thought that was about as fine a tribute as I had ever heard.

I might say here that the last time we visited Klamath Falls, the last time I saw her alive, as we prepared to leave, I put my arm around her and bent down to give her a kiss, and I stepped back to within eighteen inches of her, looked at her, and at least for a fleeting second, she was transfigured. I saw her apparently as she would be, and there are no words in our language to describe what I saw! The sheer beauty of it, and at her age, is totally indescribable in this life. I had a premonition that she knew (I don’t believe she said anything) that she would not see us again; I don’t know, but that is what happened. I saw it! I know what I saw as sure [page 74] as I live!

It’s so easy for us to say we have never seen a miracle, never have known the miraculous things that some people talk of, but that is not true. This type of thing has happened many times, and when we stop to think back, and are forced to remember our history, then these few moments become very vivid and real, and we know they did happen, without a doubt.

Today is February 7, 1985. I have played the tapes that I have made so far–four and a half tapes. I’ve gone over and over them but I can’t improve on them.

I think I should make a insert here and say again that it is agonizing to try to write a history and try to remember back all those years. I have thought, made pages of notes of things as they came to me, and find that I am very fortunate in remembering most of the harrowing experiences of my childhood. I can’t remember what I read ten minutes ago though, and to try to sort through this stuff and get it into chronological order–it just isn’t quite going to happen, but I’m still going to try. I have said many times that I would have to fight to write my life history, but I know that my life’s experiences are so different from the average guy’s that they are going to say, “Why that hallucinating old fooll”

Be that as it may, I am writing it to the very best of my ability and will try to express my feelings as I lived through it. I will try to tie it in with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history of this world, as we have it, by the best historians and, of course, by the scriptures, especially the late scriptures, and the great knowledge brought forth by the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the true church directly under the hand of the Saviour Himself, in person, as He appeared to the young lad. Not by the lad’s greatness, I am sure, but because the time was right. All the prophets that ever opened their mouths testified of the coming of the Saviour and the things that would happen and would be established in the last times before his reappearance.

I am as positive of the things I have gone through and studied and become convinced of, as I am that I live. It would be as easy for someone to tell me my hands are not a part of my body as to tell me that this thing is a hoax–that it has been concocted by man. I don’t care how brilliant they might think they are, I defy any human being to put it together like it really is and then try to make all the details and all the evidence fit together as it does from all history and all prophecies. There is no way it could have been falsified.

[page 75] So, I will continue and tell of the things that were very impressive upon me. If you will remember, all the time I went to high school, I had to take care of cattle. I could hardly get enough sleep to keep going. Now, one of the things that was a thrill to me was watermelons!

I don’t know that my father ever put a watermelon seed in the ground in his life, but on this 240 when we had been there a year or so, I sent away somewhere and got some watermelon, cantaloupe, or muskmelon seeds. That first year saw the most fabulous melon patch I have ever seen in my life! We planted the same seeds in the same ground the next years and for years to come, and not one year did we ever again have a melon patch to compare with the first one. We had what we called the green Kleckley Sweets. You couldn’t put three melons in a big, long white grain sack that held 120 pounds of wheat. You could get two of them in, most of the time, but never ‘three. We had muskmelons (or cantaloupe, I’m not sure) that were eight and ten inches in diameter. The meat on them was a full three to three-and-a-half inches thick, and they were absolutely exquisitely delicious! I’ve never seen anything like it, ever!

I took the team and a single box full of straw and took a load of those melons in. I parked the mules in the town square in the shade of the big elm trees by the courthouse and practically sold that load out, and had $21.00 in my pocket! I drove home that night with the fear in my heart that I might be robbed. I had never had money like that before!

Another really fabulous thing for me was the teachers and the principal and my fabulous coach. That coach was as fine a man as ever stepped onto a fooball field anywhere in the history of this nation. It is unbelievable how he could inspire young kids.

Now, the sad part–I see by my report card that I was in the eighth grade in 1921, I believe. I was a freshman in 1922, sophomore in 1923, junior in ’24, and because of the violent injury, I played my last game on Thanksgiving of 1924 and never played again. I have lived in grinding pain much of my life because of football. Would you believe the old family doctor walked across town more than once to sit down with my father and mother and tell them that this boy, this gangling skinny kid who never weighed over 135 pounds . . I see that when I left the 8th grade I was 5’3″ and weighed 93 pounds. Whe~ a freshman, 106 pounds. Some of our men weighed 165 to 185. We had the lightest team in the whole area but we had the thrill of playing undefeated for two full years.

My freshman year, I,could do nothing, but because of this inspiring coach, I never missed a practice. When we started the second year, we played the alumni scrimmage. The football

[page 76] field was at the County Fair Grounds. My brother’s pal, Lyle Ray, was a fabulous football player. He was built like an ape with great wide shoulders and huge, long arms. His nickname was “Ape” and he carried that nickname all through school. He had little short legs, tiny hips, and this gigantic upper body and arms. I saw him reach out and nail them time and time again with one hand; one ankle, but if he got a hold, they never got away.

Anyway, in this alumni game, he was playing fullback, going through with his head down, splitting right through everybody. I played right end. He carne around towards me once and I dove for his legs with everything I had. His knee — his legs went like stearn pile drivers. One of those knees hit my helmet right smack dead-center, and knocked me out. Things went flying, and that old earth kept bumping me from seven different directions. The coach walked up, put his hands on the ball and said, “That’s the first tackle that’s been made here today.” (I hadn’t touched him with my hands, but I knocked him end over end. I got credit for that.)

There was no stopping me, ever, ever. I played every game for two years, the whole game, except when we were way ahead, and he’d put in substitutes. This fabulous coach — I can still hear that man yelling, “stay on your feet! You can’t play football rolling around like a bunch of old women.” He would say, “Don’t you ever, ever let one man get you down. If you have to go down, be sure you take two men with you.”

He also said, “If you live clean, train and work, and if you plan, which means practice and learning the plays and working a plan, you will win.” He said it a thousand times. Clean living, hard work, planning, and you are a winner.

Another thing he told us that turned out to be true. “When you play against a team that starts to play dirty and nasty and tries to hurt someone, to knock men out, you buckle down and play football, and you will win,” he would say. “You are less apt to get hurt if you make a good clean tackle and stay with that man on the ground, than if you’re up flying around in the air.”

After the rest of us had gone in to shower, all the little kids in the neighborhood would gather around, and the coach would have kids kick goal. The little kids would run the balls back, and every time they’d get loose he’d holler and throw his ball down for the little kids and throw passes to them. They got the biggest kick out of that. Those little kids one day became big kids, and they had all that practice and experience behind them for when they went on the football field.

My brother had this coach for four years and I had him for four years, but during the last year I was hurt and didn’t get [page 77] to play a single game.

I will tell this story now as it is the most appropriate time. Our center’s name was Johnny Baker. Johnny was heavy-set, not fast, and because of this, he played center.
He had real thick legs and thighs, and he did our kicking. This boy would stand out there after we went in to shower, night after night and kick and kick and kick. The little kids would run the ball back, and the coach would throw them passes. That was in 1924. His father ran the one-horse patent medicine wagon. He had qUite a family. There were some older sisters. How he fed his family, I will never know. Johnny and his family moved to California. I never heard of him again.

Years later when I went into the logging camp in 1929, I think it was that winter that things were pretty tough and the plant shut down so there wasn’t a workshop in the winter. I came up to White Bluffs, Washington, where the Hanford Project is now, to work for my brother’s wife’s sister [Isabelle Potter Burns], who had an orchard. I picked and packed apples there that fall. When I came into town in the fall, probably around Thanksgiving, I stopped at a service station. I went to open the door and the old door rattled and made a lot of noise. I stepped inside and a bUnch of men at the back end of the store. They all threw up their hands and said, “Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!”

I thought, “What the Sam Hill?” Notre Dame! It had been undefeated for four years. They had what they called the “four horsemen” of the backfield. I used to be able to name them all. The only one I can think of now is Stottlemeyer. Those four boys had played together, undefeated, for four years. They were playing the University of Southern California and had a tie set up for a close game. There was a field kick coming up. They said Johnny Baker was going to try for field goal in one of the longest tries recorded at that time. There was quite a pause. Pretty soon, he kicked it.

“It’s good! It’s good!” the radio roared, and the crowd went absolutely crazy. That kick defeated Notre Dame the first time in years.

I thought there wasn’t a chance in a million that was my little friend that I used to hunt rabbits with, in the snow, with sticks when we didn’t have a dime to buy a shell [ammunition] with, etc., etc.,

The boy that bapitzed me went with me to Iowa State with me to take a Forestry course, and I got a violent ear infection right at semester, lost my math credit which I had to have to have done anything in mechanics or electrics. So, Borner went to Medford, Oregon, into the Forest Service. His ranger was a Mormon, and a good one. Of course, Horner joined [page 78] the church.

Homer had worked with me and was practically raised with me, married my cousin. I went back to Klamath Falls when I left White Bluffs. We went to a picture show, probably a “shoot ’em up”, I don’t know, but we sat side by side. They used to have the Fox Newsreel between shows and before they started. Would you believe we sat there together and saw this boy we had played with for four years, kick that goal that beat Notre Dame, and it was our Johnny Baker! Talk about a couple of kids getting a thrill!

He shook his head, backed up, looked up, shook his head, and finally heaved a great big breath and let fly. That thing went through there as if you had shot it with a cannon. ‘Nuff said. This was the kind of men that we were privileged to train under.

He left our school and went down to East High of Des Moines where he had hundreds and hundreds of kids. Our struggle was to get twenty-two kids suited up so we could scrimmage. This good man, at East High, during the next fifteen years, won eighty-seven percent of his football games. He never lost a Big Six Track Meet. What that may mean in high school now, I have no idea, but he won every one until he retired. Incidently, he married my Latin teacher. She was a lovely girl. Also, I had an English teacher that I just thought the world of, all through high school.

My first car wreck — would you believe we were going past a blind alley, high buildings on both sides, just going down the street past this blind alley that came out of a corner of the Square. Here came a kid out of that blind alley, cutting a corner, during school hours, just as tight as he could make it. Well, Holy Cats! There was nothing to do. In order to miss him I had pulled to the left as far as I could, over against the curb, and he hit me on the right side, catching his right front wheel on my front wheel, shoving me over into a telephone pole. All it did to that old Model T was to bend a fender down and knock both hub caps off. I have been hit three times, I think, in my life, the only wrecks I have had in seventy years of driving, and two of those times I was off the road as far as I could get and almost stopped dead still. But it was this “hookey kid” who gave me my first crack-up.

The old family doctor who took care of my black and blue faces and bandaged me up so many times, sat my mother and father down two or three times and explained to them, “This boy has absolutely no business on the football field.” But, you know, I HAD to play football! My brother played, and his friends played, so under this fabulous coach, I went ahead. As I sit here, of all the lessons of life I learned, I think it was the privilege of playing football that gave me [page 79] the confidence I needed so badly during those critical years without the gospel or a reason for why I was on this earth. I don’t complain, and even right now, as I sit here I have pain in my back. I was X-rayed a week ago, and the doctor said it looks like the lower vertebraes have so much calcified “stalagtites” that it looks like they are fused together.

When my brother came back from California in 1919 in such a pitiful state, he couldn’t do anything, but the second year he played football, after that violent illness, was the year before I started to play.

Valley Junction is a division of the Rock Island Railroad in the suburb of Des Moines, and those boys were giant men; first, second and third descendants of the Italians who came to this country to build railroads. They were huge men. They had new, white headgear, which I had never seen. They looked like a bunch of elephants coming out onto the field. Well, they came down for a practice game. They had a fullback who was a tycoon and the fullback broke his leg. You could hear it pop clear across the field. One of those big guys tackled him at the ankles, his foot hit the ground, and it snapped his leg. I remember that he laughed and they went out and put him on a car cushion, carried him back to the car, and he joked all the way. Anyway, the score was 18 to 0 in our favor. Another great lesson.

The first time I got my back hurt was the first part of the first year when I played all the time, I believe. We played a team that had a very poor coach and very poorly trained kids. They were great big farm kids and they were tough but they didn’t know how to play football. I played end and went down on all the punts. This great big tackle — I roared down on a punt and I didn’t know he was coming after me at all. He stepped over in front of me and hooked me in the chest with his elbows, hiked me up in the air, I came down on my sit-down on that hard ground and wacked my back. Hey! I couldn’t walk. I didn’t play the rest of that game. Then I could walk but couldn’t run, so I went to a chiropractor and as a result, in two weeks, I was back playing.

From then on, chiropractors were miracle men, and I took dozens of treatments after that for back injuries that didn’t accomplish a thing. Over the years I have learned that if you use a vibrator and do the best you can with exercise, your good old anatomy has the ability to heal itself. I only went to one chiropractor since, in Iowa, years after that. My friend, Homer Wakefield and his wife, nearly went crazy that I wouldn’t go to a chiropractor, but I told them a chiropractor had never really done anything for me, but to please them I went. I had a cold. They guaranteed that he could knock that [page 80] cold in three days, so I went. Well, he worked on my head, my nose, and my back. I took two treatments and may as well have taken a drink of water.

The second time I got a horrible back injury was, as so many times, in scrimmage with our own team. The first team line was playing against the first team backfield. We had the scrub backfield with us. We were whipping them and they got mad. Here again, a late hit is what it amounted to. I tackled him from behind, let go, and started to get up. That first line team was mad and they pushed a whole pile of kids on top of me and caught me in a sitting position. They bent my head over to the left until my head came down and hit the side of my left calf and knee, if you can believe it. It kinked my back between my shoulders so viciously, that if someone had driven a wooden peg in my back, with a hammer, it couldn’t possibly have hurt worse.

I don’t know what I did — went to the chiropractor, of course, and played football, but that was a horrible thing. That would be towards the end of the season of the first year I played, but that is how I got violently hurt, and it was because the kids roared in there after the whistle had blown. That so often happens in professional football.

Atlantic, Iowa was always a tough team. They were quite a ways away and the first year I played them was my second year. There were four German boys — light headed German boys. They were tall and wiry and the shiftiest boys I ever saw on a football team. Three brothers in the backfield! I suppose they had romped and wrestled all their lives. Their father ran a machine shop in Atlantic. These kids were something else! I had been coached that when I played end, under no condition do you allow anyone to get outside of you. You drive every play in and let the other men do the tackling. O.K. Because I had chased sheep and cattle and anything on legs all my life, when I went on the football team, I never missed tackles. It just didn’t happen.

Anyway, these brothers ganged up on me. They came around and I had that man in my arms as sure as any man I ever tackled in my life. His brother slipped around and dropped on my feet from behind. It stopped me like a shot. I can still remember, my fingers just stripped down his legs. He got outside of me and ran 45 yards. He almost made a touchdown. Whether or not they scored on that, I don’t know; they probably did. Well, we were clear down to the far corner of the field, the crowd was on the opposite side of the field, and my coach couldn’t see what had happened. Maybe it didn’t make any difference. When they lined up again, there was somebody to take my place. That never had happened before, or since

[page 81] I still remember the hideous feeling I had. We wonder why kids commit suicide. In the heat of that situation, if there had been a well there, when I was walking off that field with my head down in shame, I was sure I would have dived into it, headfirst. That just shows some of the pressure a young kid can be under. I didn’t realize that could be possible until I went through it. Now I know.

Anyway, they were ahead of us by one point and we lined up to kick goal. We kicked a goal and wouldn’t you know, the darned ball spun underneath, coming back toward us, hit that goal post and went twenty feet, straight into the air. Then it started spinning the other way, spinning away from us, and because of that spin, it dropped down, hit the goal post, bounced up, fell over on its side, and counted as a goal! That was a tied game. That was what kept us from being defeated in all those years.

Creston, Iowa, about twenty miles south on the CB&Q Railroad was always our rival. Here again, there were four brothers in the field. They had stubby, black whiskers! How old they were I have no idea, or how that could be. This was the toughest game we played every year, and my coach would coach us for one full year as to how we were to outsmart this team. How do you suppose he did it? They were really big kids, and he would say, “Don’t you ever line up and snap that ball and don’t you ever, ever, ever let them find their places.” That is how we were trained.

We played the Thanksgiving game on the frozen ground with an inch-skiff of snow on it. We’d slide like heck, and it wasn’t funny. Oooh! That ground was hard. I played against a great, big tackle who outweighed me like you can’t believe. He was dirty and dirty-mouthed. I got hit in the face the first place in that cold, cold weather, and had tears in my eyes so I couldn’t see.

Anyway, we got the jump on them and got a touchdown right away quick. They got mad. He cussed and told me he was going to kill me. He just went crazy. Said he was going to kick a lung out of me. I remembered what my coach had told me over and over again. Can you believe we beat that team 40 to O? This was the payoff after all those years of this man telling us what to do when that happened. I did it, and it worked.

A kind of a sad thing was the fact that I think my dear, old Dad only saw me play one or two games in all those years. I see I made the same mistake. I remember the young kids I worked with and taught in Sunday School when I got older. I mentioned something one day about kids and this kid says, “Big deal! When did you ever come to a football game? When did you ever watch me play?”

You know, they were right. I didn’t go to games. I got [page 82} beat down with work, trying to payoff a mortgage and raise my family.

Another team we played that was always a tough game was a long way from home. We drove in those old Model T touring cars with those great, big kids in the back seat. We were cramped up in there so when we got out of the car we couldn’t walk. Anyway, this game was a tough one. Big kids, and tough. This one time, we beat them hands down, six ways from Sunday, and every single time we made a long gain, that “ref” would call a playback on something. I caught the longest pass I ever saw thrown. The coach had always told us that when we caught a pass, no matter what the score, always go to the goal line and put that ball down, and then if the penalty is canceled or anything, then we’ve got the score.

So, like a darned fool, I ran across the field and over the goal line as I had been coached. They called it back anyway. We made two or three great long runs and they called everyone of them back. We about went crazy.

The fullback that I played against, would always come around and clip me, a body block. He’d throw those spikes up and kick me in the back, every time. I couldn’t get away from him. If I was trying to get at the guy with the ball, the fullback would run interference when he wasn’t carrying the ball — which he wasn’t most of the time because he was such a good blocker — and he kicked me in the back. I’ll tell you, it got insane. I walked up to the referee and pulled up my shirt in the back, I was so black and blue you couldn’t put your finger on a spot that wasn’t. I said, “Is there any reason for this? Do you think he should get by with this?” He just turned his head and walked off.

Wouldn’t you know a bunch of cattle buyers in our area would follow our games? They’d go to the towns and gamble; they’d bet and get lots of bets. Sometimes they would bet against themselves or bet on the points or the score, or something. We didn’t know anything about that until it was all over.

Anyway, after all those plays were called back, we finally won that thing 18 to 12 or 18 to 6, a pretty fair score, but we should have had a 40 to 0 score. I could never understand that. It was months before it finally leaked out that those guys over there were betting like maniacs on that Guthrie Center game.

[page 83] CHAPTER (Tape) VI.1

As I mentioned, the town of Creston wa the biggest opposition team we had in all those years. These boys were Italians on the CB&Q Railroad. There were four brothers in the backfield on this team and they had stubby, black whiskers. The last year I played, we went down there and wouldn’t you know, something happened that just never happens in little towns like ours? The quarterback and fullback had taken out a wild girl and a jug of wine the night before this game. Somehow, I suspected, my coach knew that. They were absolutely helpless; they got sick; they messed their clothes. They whined and complained. The coach sat on that bench, looked right straight ahead and said, “Play ball!”

Normally, he would have yanked those kids out of there with the first booboo they made and they would have stayed out. He left them in there to take their medicine, and it took me years to figure that out. I went out of my head. We should have beat that team 40 to 0, but they beat us 7 to O. I didn’t know what was going on.

They only came around my side twice, and I sacked them both times for a 15/20 yard loss, and they never came around that side again. I got to watching the muscles in the center’s hands, and every time before he passed a ball back, he would fudge, and when he would fudge, I’d jump, and, since I wasn’t getting penalized, I played that to the hilt. I could jump ten to fifteen feet every play, and the ref didn’t penalize me because the guy would fudge the ball a little. After you’ve played for years and have dodged those livestock all those years — I can’t tell you how to do it but, somehow, you can get in between the interference and grab the feet of the guy who has the ball, and I did that over and over. I was going crosswise and reaching around, half-sideways, and got the guy with the ball twisted around with his feet under my back. About three of those big interference guys, fell like cordwood across us, and poked those calks up into my back from that guy’s shoes, and I was hurt. I was hurt so bad I couldn’t even see. I know now I was totally out of my head — out on that field. The coach offered to take me out, but I lied to him and told him I was O.K. I do believe I went ahead and played all of that game, but I never played again.

I wore a steel jacket for nine full months, in the fall of 1924, and the weather was hot and sweaty.

[page 84] I went all over the country in that steel jacket. Even on that trip I told you about when I burned the valves out of that Ford. I even went swimming with that brace, and I took a boat out in the lake against high waves, just to see what I could do. I found I could control it — could put it endwise against those giant waves. When I came back in, there was a bunch on the shore who just cussed me out from every angle. They called me a damned fool and asked me if I was trying to kill myself. Anyway I found out I could control a boat!

So anyway, these guys were tough and big and we lost the game. I remember bawling for hours. I couldn’t stop — something I had never done before. No question about it, I was out of my head.

I went down to Iowa City sometime the next spring. There was a bone specialist, a Dr. Steiner, who shuttled between Iowa City and Germany, a world famous specialist. They X-rayed my back and the X-rays never showed a break. X-rays don’t show cartilage, and the cartilage between my vertebraes were crushed. That was my weak spot. The vertebrae were cocked around and pinched the spinal cord. I was put into a syphiletic ward with all kinds of people with syphilis. They did spinal tap after spinal tap, determined that that specimen was going to show syphilis. One of the last things they did was to put me into a body cast and when they took it off, he made another steel brace exactly like the one I had worn for nine months. Here I was, my whole life ahead of me and I didn’t know if I would ever work another day.
I said, “Dr. Stein, what can I expect. I have been in the steel brace and in the body cast and I- haven’t bent my back once, in all that time.”

He said, “What would you do if you saw a five dollar bill on the floor?”

I said, “Well, I’d pick it up.” So I held my back rigid, bent my legs, and went straight down, as if I had picked it up. Well, the cockeyed man hit that curtain and threw it completely up over the railing and went out of there like a scared rabbit. I never saw him again. If I had it to do over, so help me, I would tackle the guy. I talked to him just like I’m talking now, dead serious; I didn’t do anything wrong. I suppose he thought that was perhaps the first time in his career that somebody might be questioning his expertise.

I’ve been in and out of hospitals all my life and have seen as much rank ignorance among the so-called brains in hospitals as I have seen in any Mexican farmhand, and this is no joke.

Now, I made a mistake on the dates. I played my last game in the fall of 1924. Then I went to the doctors, over and [page 85] over, trying to find something to do for this back, and couldn’t, and the next year was my senior year so I went to school in the fall of 1925. That was when I put the steel brace on. I ran the line at the football games and that was a kind of a mess. I’d get so excited, having played all those years and then couldn’t play, that I’d go crazy. The referee came over there two or three times and I would have to apologize. I told him what condition I was in and why, so I went ahead and was the lineman, but it was an ordeal to keep my mouth shut because of the excitement.

I went down to Iowa City in the spring of 1926, the year I graduated. Just the other night I got into the letters that my school pals had written me when I was in Iowa City Hospital. The thrill of those letters, and especially from my teacher, who wrote to me and talked to me just like I was her brother. All the years, the relationships I had with my teachers was fabulous.

When I came out of the cast, he gave me the brace and I never put it on! The summer before, I would lie up in that south room on a hard mattress and look out across the countryside, and I would wonder if I would be able to do anything again in my life — my back was that bad. That was before I had the brace on. One afternoon I got up and walked to the back of the place. We had a spring there that watered the big stock tank. There was a rabbit in the spring. It had just gotten in there and drowned. They couldn’t leave it in there to rot, so I very carefully got down and braced myself, got a weed and pulled the rabbit over towards me. I had to reach down three or four feet. When I started to ease that rabbit towards me, the pain hit me in the back just like someone had slipped up behind me and stuck a butcher knife in it. To this day, I don’t know how I kept from falling in. I was hanging there, head down, with my legs over the edge of the curb. I knew I had to get out some way, somehow. I remember I lay there for hours before I could get up and walk. It was bad.

I grew up about a year behind other kids who were my same age. The quarterback that lost us the game was a big kid. In the 4th or 5th grade, we were playing one day when there were no teachers around. He grabbed me around the neck and got a hammerlock on my neck. He hurt me so bad that I went crazy. To think my friend would pull a stunt like that! It was hideous! He said I was to surrender to him and I was so mad I told him I would never surrender. (This would be surrendering to a bully, and all my life, I have resented bullies.) He tried to break my neck. He hung on to me for hours. I would never surrender. I don’t know how any human being could be that dumb, but that is what I did. Along towards dark, we had [page 86] rolled allover the school yard and down by the blackberry patch.

Then his friend came along and the two of them piled on me. They were determined to break my head off my body. Of course. I was so mad I was crazy. I remember getting my arms through a woven wire fence and the two of them tried to twist my neck off. Anyway, it got dark and they had to go home. When they let me go, I couldn’t walk, just wobbled. I couldn’t even stay on the sidewalk to get home, no way. I was going to stop and tell his folks about it, so I got up on the porch and knocked on the door. His mother came out, but I couldn’t talk. Somehow, she guessed what had happened, and I had about three more blocks to home. I remember the agony of those three blocks. I don’t know what I told the folks but I’m sure there was no way I could keep it from them.

I didn’t know until I went into Salt Lake in 1938 and asked for my patriarchal blessing — when I got the blessing and was told I fought on the side of the Saviour in the war in heaven in the defense of the freedom of agency, etc. That has stuck in my being since before I came to this earth — the violent hatred of injustice to anybody on earth.

As a result of this, perhaps, I took exercises all my high school years. Probably started in the 8th grade. I’d open the window in my upstairs room even if it was 40 below, and would work on my neck, especially. That may have been the thing that kept me alive in my football years because ever since I got my neck hurt so badly, I have worked on it and tried to strengthen it.

I don’t think I mentioned that our coach would run; in fact, he ran the four miles to school. When he was in college, he won all field athletic events hands down.
Somehow, when he’d go out at night before bedtime, he’d run across town, and he caught this big fullback smoking more than once. I stood beside that boy two different times, I think, when he’d get out of school and come down to dress up for football, the coach would say, “Turn in your suit.”

Oh, he’d whine and ask Why. The coach would tell him he saw him smoking and would make him miss a game. That happened more than once. This same boy was always dirty-mouthed around the girls. That always bugged me, even in grade school. Before it was over, he had ruined one of the finest little girls. She went out to Omaha, Nebraska, and years later, she died. I just would think she died of a broken heart because of the ordeal of what she went through. In those days, there was no real help for that kind of a situation. It was sad.

This hospital ordeal was in 1926 when I went down to Iowa City. I came back home in ’26 after being in the hospital, and I got stronger during that summer. The big deal was, as

[page 87] my back got stronger, I was feeling better and able to work, I felt pretty good because of the determination to bring my body back into good shape. So, Homer Wakefield, my pal, who I worked with, played football with, went to school with — he played left end most of the time and I played right end all the time. We stripped down an old Model T car. I had $10.00 and a roll of blankets. I think Homer had about the same. We went down to Iowa State College in the fall of 1926 and started a Forestry Course. I’m pretty sure I started my course because I wanted to get away from working those long hours and never seeing any money. So, we did. We had to apply for a job to get enough money to keep us going. Would you believe I got a job as a nursemaid?

I was sent way out east of Ames, about two miles out — there were busses and streetcars to shuttle back and forth on. The woman was a multimillion-dollar insurance man’s only daughter and she had married the “all American football player”. He was actually digging graves in a cemetery to feed himself and his little family! So, you can imagine the pressure within that little family. They had a baby boy just barely walking. My job was to do the dishes, set the table, diaper the little guy, and take care of him while his mother did quite a bit of running around socially. So, that’s what I did! I had to cook some of the meals, do the cleaning, the washing, etc. No problem. I’d done that all my life!

Anyway, I had been there about two weeks when one night she said to me, “Now, beginning Monday morning, we would expect you to serve us two at the table.”
I batted my eyes and I thought, “Well, O.K. If that’s my job, that’s what I’ll do!”

That night, my friend from across the section on the farm where I was raised, Lloyd Wambole, (he’d come down to the college) didn’t have a place to stay so he asked if there was any chance that he could come out and stay until he found a place. So, I asked them. I told him I knew the boy — that I had grown up with him — and she said it was O.K. So he came out, stayed all night, got up the next morning and went back to school. He didn’t eat, just slept there.

That night when I came in, (I don’t remember if it was in the winter but it got dark pretty early) I was sitting on the edge of the bed, just ready to change my clothes and go out to get supper and whatever had to be done. Anyway, that woman came and stood in the door and started in on me like I had never heard a human being in all my life. She said, “You know what? You’re just plain cheap trash. You’re never going to amount to anything because all you want to do is run with your gang!”
I had been a loner from day one. I didn’t have any gang [page 88] and I hadn’t lied to her about the neighbor boy who wanted to stay there. Her husband came in and got ahold of her, tried to shut her up, but she got worse. She told bald-faced lies, but I didn’t know humans could do that and, like an idiot, I didn’t even go to bed. I stretched out across the bed, in shock. I must have had to go somewhere and came back because it was about 11:00 o’clock at night. I had just come in when this happened. It was sleeting and snowing — a blizzard. There were no busses at that time of the night and it was a two-mile walk to the college. I wouldn’t have any place to go when I got there, except I knew one thing — after a harangue and harrassment like that, I knew I didn’t have a job. No way would a woman who had that much hatred towards me have me in her house, so I laid back across the bed and did finally go to sleep.

I got up before daylight. Didn’t have much trouble getting my clothes together because all I had was that bedroll and practically the clothes I had on my back, and a little suitcase. I walked out and walked the two miles to the college and went to my friend, Homer Wakefield. He was in a house with twenty-eight boys. The people who ran it were pretty good people. They had teenage kids in college. So, I went in there and begged for a job. By golly, they put me to work washing dishes. I washed dishes for the twenty-eight kids in that boarding house.

Well, the next day, a man came to the door and made a demand that Wendell Pemberton come out and go to the main office. So I went to the main office and the Dean of Men was a Mormon. I had never seen a Mormon before. I had heard about them but had never met a person who would admit they were Mormon. All I knew was that he was a Mormon and I didn’t understand how that could be as it was such a nice college. Anyway, he set me down across the table and he says, “What’s this I hear? A woman called in this morning and said you were working for them and you slipped out in the middle of the night and they never had a chance to check their silverware and stuff. She said they have no idea how much stuff was stolen.”

I about swallowed my Adam’s apple. I told him exactly what had happened, and you know, that man accepted everything I said, without question. He didn’t doubt me for a single second. He excused me. You know, I have never forgotten that! My first audience with a Mormon! Of course, he was a good man. That was my first respect and contrary to all I had heard about the Mormon people. He treated me like I was a real, honest-to-goodness human being, and I have never forgotten it.

I enjoyed the swimming down there at the swimming pool. [page 89] There was a swimming coach who took an interest in me and thought maybe he could make a diver out of me, I don’t know. Anyway, about the first thing I did was to make a high dive and come down real close to the board, like a professional is supposed to do, but I forgot to straighten my legs out, and I caught the calf of my leg on the tip of the board. It caused a charley-horse in the muscles of that leg and I couldn’t walk for a week. It was horribly painful — out of this world!

I got quite a kick out of wrestling with the kids that I used to run around with. I couldn’t throw them. I was a skinny beanpole. (5’11” and 130 lbs) But they couldn’t throw me either. I could always, somehow, wiggle away from them. At the end of the first quarter, I had a fabulous chemistry professor, and a world famous botany professor. I really enjoyed their classes, especially the chemistry. That guy made it so simple, like it was an everyday occurence. He’d say, for example: A guy goes to wash his hands in the hand bowl. His mother would scold him because she thought he didn’t have his hands clean, but the kid swore that it was the soap that made the ring around the washbowl.

The professor said, “You know, Johnnie was right, that time.” And he’d put down the equation and show how the curdling of the scum would stick to the basin. Everything that man taught, he would simplify, bringing it down to earth so we could understand it, and strangely, you could pretty well remember it! But, in order to handle those equations, he would write the full length of the blackboard. Now, I never had the brain to handle that. On my chemistry test, on the final quarter test, I got 25% or 27%, but man! did I have a lot of company!

Anyway, I got an ear infection from that swimming pool, an outer ear infection, in my right ear. It was really something! My head swelled up and ooh did it hurt! My right eye was bloodshot and the darned college nurse! The lining of my ear had a whole series of little boils-like. They had broken in there and there were pieces of skin in my ear canal. Well, this nurse had a pair of long tweezers. She went down in there, got ahold of the lining of my ear and was determined it had to come out! Hey. I was a pretty tough guy, been black and blue from football, bucked off broncs, dodged bulls, black and blue much of my life, but I wasn’t man enough to stand that pain! So, she says, “Well, I’ll have to send you downtown to a specialist.”

I went downtown to a specialist, an older man. He looked into that ear and exploded into a tirade of cussing! Who in the “‘$*%&(%$* has been in this ear?”
She had pulled a bunch of the lining of my ear and had [page 90] pulled it loose! Another lesson about those with their B.S. degrees!

So anyway, they gave me “gas”. I had never had that before. He lanced the ear and that did relieve it. It got better, but that was right in the semester finals and I didn’t get my math credit — the one thing, of all things, that you had to have if you do anything at all in electronics or mechanical engineering, which I was determined to do as, by that time, I was thoroughly fed up with looking at the rear end of the mule. I thought I would change my life.

I never went back to school. I don’t remember the details. Of course, I worked at horne. We always had the 150 head of steers to run plus the hogs and other livestock to care for. We had quite an acreage of corn and wheat and stuff. Life was pretty drab; pretty ugly by this time. Never ever had any money; couldn’t see how on earth we could pull out from under those mortgaged acres of land, and I couldn’t see a future at all.

It was in 1927, that the neighbor boy Dad had on the 80 at that time, Don Schinn, (man whose father filled Dad’s corn crib with ten cent corn), got ahold of me and said he was going to Nebraska to work in the wheat harvest. He told how much money to be made and boy, that sounded pretty good to me, so we had an old stripped down Model T, about a 1918, I think. It had sat alongside the road for a long time and someone had robbed a bunch of stuff off it. Anyway, we got the car and fixed it up. We got our bedrolls and some grub and set out to seek our fortunes. We must have gotten started in the afternoon. It was 100 miles to Council Bluffs. We got out west of Omaha somewhere and it got dark. Well, when you are that age and are going out west to seek your fortune, there is no way you stop to rest. Wouldn’t you know, the old Model T blew out its lights? There was no one on the road in those days. It was a dirt road, real light dirt, and hey, you could see those wheel tracks in the dark!

We were going along with a grove of trees on each side and a farm building once in awhile. As long as we could see those tracks, we knew there wasn’t anything coming. I don’t know why we didn’t realize another car might be doing exactly the same thing we were doing, but like I say, when you are young you have to hurry. Well, we thought we felt something bump under the wheels. We slowed down a little and something else bumped a wheel. Something else scraped the side of the car, and here was a hog as high as my eye. There was a herd of black hogs in the road. Then we really slowed down. But, remember! We kept moving.

We came up to open country and quite a bit of light came down on the road. Again we went over a hill and got into a [page 91] place where it was a little darker. We thought we had passed something white, real close to us, and I really slowed down. We went about 50 yards and something white came at us. I don’t know whether we had the windshield completely off or not, we may not even have had a windshield. If we had, we would have had to lie down. So, this white object almost hit me in the face. We were in a bunch of white-faced cattle that had bedded down in the middle of the road. That was it; we decided we had better park, so we eased through the cattle and got up on a little hill. There, was one of the biggest bulls I had ever seen. We eased by him too.

Soon, the moon came out. After a few miles we came to a farmstead with big barns but no house, so we”opened the gate and went into the barnyard (there was no stock). We rolled out our bedrolls, really stretched out, heaved big sighs, and readied ourselves for a long, night’s sleep. I hadn’t slept on the ground before, that I know of. When morning came, (we both had illuminated watches you could see in the dark) I looked at my watch, and we had been asleep exactly nine minutes! We turned over and got comfortable again, slept soundly, and when morning came, we looked at our watches, and we had been asleep fifteen minutes. The rest of the night went just like that — trying to get comfortable.

Come daylight, we went on to Carney, Nebraska, and a few miles south of Carney, the Southern Pacific makes a sweep from Omaha and then follows the Platte River out. My friend knew a man in Carney by the name of Mr. Lathrop. He had been in Greenfield, Iowa, and had moved to a farm in Nebraska. He was a [Klu Klux] Klansman. We stayed in his barnyard for awhile and helped to shock his grain. Then we went to work for Elmer Holstein. We hauled bundles out of the field and stacked them at the barnyard. We made great, round, high stacks which came up to a point on top. Then, they would put the threshing machines between a couple of stacks so they could pitch off the stack into the threshing machine from both sides. That is how they did the grain in those days. Or, they had to have a whole bunch of hayracks and haul bundles out of the field, up to the threshing machine and have a hayrack for bundles on each side and have two men pitching into the machine that way. It was about half and half. If the stacks were done right, they would turn water, and it didn’t matter how long they stayed there; they could still be threshed.

This man, where we boarded and slept, had a son about twenty years old — a normal looking boy who was with us on the wagons and out in the field. The boy had epileptic fits. I had never seen one, didn’t know anything about them. We were coming in from the field and were a couple hundred yards from the stack — my pal was driving the team and I was on the wagon [page 92] ahead, looking back at this panorama–and I heard a noise like a horse choking, just a terrible, strangling, choking sound, loud enough to be above the noise of the horses, wagon, and the whole sheebang. I saw the father on the stack wave his arms and start yelling. “Hang on to himl Hold on to him!” I looked back and saw my friend in the center of the wagon with his arm around the center brace, feet hanging. My pal reached down and got him by the nape of the neck and was holding him to keep him from falling under the horses. When we got to the stack, his father stretched the boy out, put something in his mouth, and put something under his head. That boy’s body vibrated convulsively. He’d bang himself hard enough on the ground that it would actually shake. He made horrible noises. And that was my first experience with epilepsy.

We worked there, shocking. and stacking grain, and stayed until it was threshed out. This man was a sharpshooter for the Winchester cartridge company. He went around to fairs and rodeos, shooting these little black, plastic balls, about the size of a golf ball. Held throw them into the air and then shoot them with a rifle. He had a score of like 97 out of 100. We were amazed that any human being could be that good a shot. It just didnlt make sense! But he’d say, “There’s nothing to it. You can do it. Anyone can do if he really wants to try.”

I says, “O.K. Show me.” I had hunted ever since I was eight years old when I sent away to Popular Mechanics magazine and got an 18″ bronze barreled single-shot rifle. You clean a bronze barrel with soap and water, if you can believe itl I made fabulous shots with that gun for many years. The boys would come out from town with the fancy equipment to hunt squirrels or rabbits, and I’d go out with them. Time and time again l’d have three or four or five squirrels or rabbits and, sometimes, they had nothing. So l’d give them part of what I had.

And so it was that we went to the harvest in the West, south of Triney, Nebraska. Elmer Holstein was a pretty good guy. He had sons and daughters and also had a boy working there who was cultivating corn about a mile or so from us. During a hail squall, his four-horse team was hit by lightening. He was sitting on the iron cultivator seat. The lightening went down through all that steel and killed him. I think it killed the horses too, but I can’t remember if it killed all of them. But it was a direct hit, and those horses just about exploded. I donlt think I went to the funeral. I suppose he was from somewhere else. It was quite a thing to work with someone and then find he had been killed like that.

We shocked grain in the potholes of that Nebraska country [page 93] in the most stifling heat of my lifetime. They called them potholes because the ground was swampy and damp so they could raise grain (becaUSe of the dampness) otherwise, Nebraska is mostly a sandpile. I could always keep going if I could get lots of water, but when I ran out of water, I was in big trouble.

When we left there, we went to Bellevue, Kansas, on the north side. We didn’t get a job there as we were a little too early, so we came back to the man we knew in Nebraska and stayed there and worked awhile. When the threshing was done, it was time to move on. He knew somebody from Iowa in the town of Orient, seven miles south of Greenfield. This man had gone to Minnesota years before and had gotten quite a spread going there — a wheat spread.

Those big tractor totally enthralled me! They had steel wheels, I think 36″ wide, and they were higher than my head. He ran the big threshing machine, threshed all fall. So we shocked grain and ran the binder. They had two binders tied together, and I ran them quite a bit of the time to get out of the shocking. Shocking is hard work — really hard work. The man discovered I had a little mechanical ability and they would tie two binders together with some kind of an off-set mechanism and they could cut twice as much as with one binder.

This man had a brother there who wasn’t married and he had a housekeeper. I was to go to his house to help him, so I went over and he wasn’t home. Here was a barnful of horses. I was there all day and I knew that towards evening I should water the horses. I led the first few out to the tank, watered them, and put them back in the barn. I went to the back stall where they had a great, big, black team. They had on a set of heavy hamed [sic] harness. I back the first one out and I had a hold on the bit in my right hand: I was backing him out to my right and was just ready to step between the horse and a big timber in the middle of the barn stall, and that horse jumped and lunged ahead. If I had been a foot ahead, it would have killed me instantly. My right hand got between this iron-hamed [sic] harness and that 8″ x 8″ timber and the horse rammed his body in there with all this weight and then slid off and peeled the skin on my right hand from my wrist clear down over the right half of my hand. peeled the skin completely off my knuckles to where I could see the white tendons in there. I thought my little finger had been cut off, but the tendons were still there. I had absolutely nothing to put on that hand.

I went into the house and all the housekeeper had was Cold Cream. So I plastered this hand with Cold Cream and she made a sling and wrapped it up. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. [page 94] Gee Whiz that thing hurtl And guess what, as a result of this, I got to ride the second binder for weeks because I could ride it and use my feet to trip the bundle carrier, and so forth, and you use your other hand to reach over to manipulate the other lever. It didn’t turn too bad after all. I didn’t have to shock that big, old, heavy grain. The Red River Valley grain was really high-yielding grain.

So I stayed there until the threshing was all done. The boy who run the threshing machine was, I think, an orphan that this good man had taken in as a little, dirty-nosed kid. He’d grown up then and was about twenty-eight years old, and the mechanic. He would take the crankshaft out of those engines in the winter and pour the babbitt and pour new bearings in them. Of course I was totally fascinated with all of this as I had never been around big machinery. The work a machine can do is astronomical compared to six or eight head of mules!

There was a little, old, dried-up man there who worked with the threshing crew, and he was an I.W.W. (International Workers of the world), a wobbley, some kind of a Marxist ideology in the early days that the I.W.W. swept across the country. What did they do — the good union people? They burned the farmers’ wheat fields! I supposed they wanted a raise or something, but anyway, that was in 1917 when the Revolution was going on in Russia and they were trying to organize the labor people of the world into the I.W.W.. This little, old, man would tell of burning the fields, if you can believe it. Another lesson–seeing what people will do when they get wound up over some cause, right or wrong.

The owner’s name was Buck Imman and he was a “buck” — a great, big, tough guy. He and his wife were very devout Catholics. His mechanic was an alcoholic, and the boy he ran with was alcoholic. None of my people ever drank liquor and because I was an athlete and had this wonderful coach, I never had the slightest interest in touching it. One day these guys got me in the car with them, going to a rodeo or somewhere.
We went miles and miles across country, and these men had a bottle. They passed that bottle back and forth, and every time it went in front of me he’d say, “Oh, pardon mel He doesn’t drink,” and then they’d pass it way out around me. There I was with a pocketful of Hershey bars. This went on all day on that long trip. By afternoon, I was so disgusted that I grabbed the bottle, tipped it up, hogged it all down, and heaved it out. I went on eating my Hershey bar just as if nothing had happened. Can you believe I’d have died in my tracks before I would have allowed that stuff to have any effect on me? I got hot. I got hotter, and I just about burned up. I had to go to the bathroom about every ten

[page 95] minutes, but still, I didn’t stagger or allow that stuff to have any effect on me, whatsoever. Can you think of anything worse than for a young person to get that idea in his head? Well, that’s what happened.

These crazy guys — I stayed and did the plowing that fall. This man had beautiful horses and would you believe he insisted I take these great, big lugs — dancing, prancing, four head of horses, and put on those single-bottom plows. I guess it was three horses on the single-bottom and four on the two-bottom. He insisted that I ploW his garden. Well, Jiminy Christmas! If I hadn’t had years of experience behind me I’d have gone crazy, but I took those crazy horses and I plowed the garden! And, I did a pretty good job!

By that time the threshing was all over so I went on this big plow outfit. I and this mechanic too the Altmatater (SPELL) with eight or ten bottoms. There was a platform behind the platform that you stood on and these big ten-foot levers up as high as you could reach. When you came to the end of the field, they would plow a furrow across the end of the field, and as your wheels hit that furrow, you’d reach up and grab these levers and bring them down to lift each set of plows out. For a ten-bottom plow there were five levers and you had to work really fast to jerk those five plows out of the ground. You went out, turned around, and when you came back in, you had to quickly fly that lever up in the air to let the ploW down and grab another before you went past the furrow. That was my job. I “sat plows” until it froze up and you couldn’t plow anymore.

I got a real thrill out of that Altmatater. When you got onto boggy ground, those great, wide wheels, when they would start to spin out, there was a big lever that came right up from the floor. It had only two positions — back for reverse, and the other was to go ahead. When that thing would spin out and start to slip, he could reverse the lever, back and forth, and get that big tractor rocking and just go right through the darnedest mud holes and gumbo of the Red River Valley. I just couldn’t believe how he could manipulate that tractor and never get it stuck. To me, that was a great thrill.

The tractor had what they called a “guider” on the front. There was an iron pole, about 6″, stuck way out in front with this lopsided wheel on it that ran in one direction. The wheel would run against the furrow and guide the tractor. You didn’t have to touch that tractor. We plowed two-mile furrows, if you can believe that. Only once in a great while, if the wheel would hit a rock and bounce out of the furrow, would you ever have to touch it.

One day when he got off to go to the bathroom and I was behind the haystack, I took the tractor, turned it around, [page 96] tripped the lever, and when that wheel came into the furrow and dropped in, then I ran back on the platform and let the plows down, got back up in the seat and watched it go across the field, untouched. At the other end, you trip the lever, spin the wheel around and around, make a big turn, fly back to the platform and take the plow.

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Pemberton, Stanley Addison, 1 Aug 1902 – 12 Nov 1968

Notes for the bio of Stanley Addison and Ada Velva Pemberton

Stanley Addison Pemberton graduation

Stanley Addison Pemberton

9 January 1925 Iowa Census in Greenfield, Adair County, Iowa shows: Stanley, age 21, 1 year of college, father AJ b. Iowa, age 53, mother Emma. Velva [his wife], age 24 [sic], 1 year of college, father George, b. Illinois, mother Mary DonCarlos, age 60, b. Missouri. Stanley and Velva are on Locust Street, both Methodists.

 Dad teaches me to drive the tractor

I think I like this story because it demonstrates what a brilliant child I was!  Maybe?.  Dad dug a well on the farm in White Bluffs and lined it with concrete.  I was 5 or 6 years old, and I “helped” with that project.  I especially remember the steel bars that he set across one corner so as to make a ladder down into the well.  I can’t imagine what I might have done more than get in the way and provide a little entertainment.  Anyway, he decided that I could try to drive the tractor.  I suppose I begged to drive, who knows.  He showed me the clutch and emphasized that that is what I needed to push when it was time to stop.  My first trip was to just drive a big circle so that the tractor and trailer it was pulling would be facing the well instead of away from it.  He carefully explained that I would have to make a large circle and drive way out and around and come back because if I turned too sharply, the big steel brace that ran from the tip of the tongue to the front corner of the trailer would get caught on the big cleats of the rear tractor tire.  I let the clutch out slowly and pushed on the throttle lever and headed straight away from the well.  I was a bit frightened to turn at all but after while realized I would have to turn so I did.  Well, I turned too sharply then, and sure enough the big cleats on the rear tire, one after another, caught under that steel brace and I thought the trailer was going to flip over.  I didn’t have the presence of mind to push in the clutch or to straighten out the front wheels.  I just sat there on the seat staring at Dad who was waving his arms and yelling at me to push in the clutch, which I finally did, but not before scaring myself pretty soundly.  It isn’t fair to speculate, but if I know men, he was thinking how he would explain all this to mother if anything serious had happened.  Oh yes, the brilliant thing?  Well, if Dad hadn’t thought I was so brilliant, he never would have thought I could be taught to drive at such a young age. Or?

A story George Dowd likes to tell about Stanleystanleyvelvanewlywed

George and Brenda lived with Stanley and Velva for some time while they were in High School. One day while working in the new orchard South West of the Canal on the Tieton Ranch, George said he didn’t want to work anymore and quit.  Stanley spoke with him and determined that he was serious about not working whereupon he said, “As long as you put your feet under my table, you will work in my orchard.” George got a new perspective on things and immediately went back to work.  He was much impressed with Stanley’s forthright and clear statement of his expectations.

He offers to provide his son’s tobacco needs

His youngest son Jackson tells this story: While walking home from school I found a partial pack of cigarettes lying beside the road. That began my short smoking career. I thought it was cool to actually own some of this contraband and bragged to my friends that I had some to share with them – which I did over the next few days. I tried many times to inhale the smoke like some of my tougher buddies could do, but I had severe difficulty with my attitude. I just couldn’t see why I would want to do something that threw my whole torso into convulsions as it reacted appropriately to the smoke. So I was content to be “with it” by puffing on the things. When the cigarettes were gone, I found an older friend who got me a few cigars from the local bar. I smoked a couple of those, the last one on the last day of my eighth grade year.

The principal spotted me smoking on the school grounds even though I was a long way from his office. He called Dad and reported my infraction but said nothing to me. When I arrived home I found Mom gone and Dad in the basement discussing our furnace with a neighbor. I had stood there a moment when Dad turned to me and said, “I hear you have taken up smoking.” Completely off guard, I could only answer “Yeah”. “Well, you know,” he said, “it’s illegal for you to buy tobacco so you let me know what you need and I’ll get it for you.”

Funny thing was I never had another desire to smoke. He had put his finger exactly on my disease and cured me with that one sentence.

Stanley trees the Jeep at the Naches ranch

During my high school years we had two apple ranches: one in Tieton and one several miles up the Naches River west of Naches. On one occassion when dad was working alone at the upper ranch, he got a tractor and trailer stuck in the mud in an apple orchard. The 1948 Willey’s Jeep was there so he got a chain and hooked it up in front of the tractor. The Jeep had four wheel drive with a low range gear but the engine needed a tune up so he had to set the throttle rather high so the engine would keep running to keep the wheels turning while he left the Jeep and mounted the tractor and got it adding its torque to the stuck in the mud problem. It all went fine, the rigs moved ahead and the trailer and tractor came out of the mud. However, in the process, he gave the tractor a little too much gas, and it out ran the Jeep just enough to slacken the chain between them and the chain came unhooked at one end allowing the Jeep to run free through the orchard. Now these old apple trees always had several large limbs radiating outward and upward from a 3 foot stump. If the Jeep collided with any of them, one of those limbs would have came right across the windshield (which was lying flat on top of the engine hood) and crushed it down onto the hood and thence down onto the radiator and caved the top of it also. However, there was one tree in the orchard that came out of the ground at a steep angle and had no limbs on the upper side of this heavily leaning trunk. The Jeep singled out this target and ran right up the tree until all four wheels were spinning in the air. The only damage to the Jeep was a slightly band front bumper from the initial impact.

I have one of the best Dads in the World

When I was in Junior High School dad and I went to visit a neighbor on some kind of business. I stood around on one foot and then the other in total boredom while they talked about something way over my head. All at once Arile Griffith turned to me and said, “You are a very fortunate boy! Your father is one of the finest men I have ever met. He is honest and fair when he doesn’t have to be and even when it is not to his advantage.” I have stood a little taller ever since that moment.

A picture of Dad’s family ca. 1930addisonfamily1930

Addison and Emma Frey Pemberton and their children. From left to right: Stanley Addison (my dad), Addison J., Wendell J., JC [that’s his actual name] and Emma Adelle Frey.

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Pemberton, Wendell, 1906-1987; Memoirs, pp 001-051

Wendell Pemberton, born 24 July 1906 in Eldora, Iowa, and died 12 January 1987 in Sunnyside, Washington, was the second son of Addison Pemberton, born 27 July 1871 andWendell J Pemberton Photo died 6 January 1945, and his wife Emma Adelle Frey born 25 June 1872 and died 5 January 1961. Wendell was my uncle and I remember him as a witty and fun loving guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. His profession was farmer and he raised field crops in Sunnyside, Washington for many years. He came west during the Great Depression and found work in the logging camps of northern California. His camp was Camp 10 not too many miles from Klamath Falls and Susanville, California. He was a wonderful story teller and had many fascinating stories to tell. My childhood favorite was the one about how he caught a runaway train engine (no one on board) in the night, crawled all the way around the front of the engine because there was no door into the cab on the side he caught, and brought it back to camp.

Luckily, he was wise enough to recognize the contribution his true stories could make and he made audio cassette tape recordings of them, which when transcribed filled 260 double spaced typewritten pages.

Notes on Page Numbering

In the following transcription taken from those pages, the page numbers are indicated in brackets like this: [page 46]. During the transcription from audio to typewriter, pages were numbered from 1 through 59 and then from 47 on thus repeating numbers 47 through 59. The numbering rendered in the present edition of his memoirs continues this error so as to make comparisons between the two editions simple. Therefore this section entitled 001 – 051 actually contains 64 pages. The duplicate numbering is handled by using, for example, [page 49] for the first page 49 and [page 49b] for the second one.

His stories begin thus:


This is the start of my history after all these years, after all the confusion, and now that I have waited until my memory is bad. If I don’t do it now, it will never get done, so I will start out with Addison J. Pemberton, my father, who was born July 27, 1871, in Hartland, Marshall County, Iowa.

He was the second child of Henry Coate Pemberton and Beulah Roberts Jackson. Addison was raised with three brothers; Harmon Elmer, then my father, then George Fox, Francis T. and three sisters — three lovely little girls later — Ruth Elizabeth, Wynema, and Josephine. When you look at the family photo, these four great, big, strapping sons and then these cute little girls that came along later, it is no wonder my father really loved these little girls.

In my early childhood, the only visits we ever made anywhere was to visit Wynema or Ruth, who married the Reverend Brown, and their children. Wynema’s husband was Jarvis Johnson, a great, big, tall, Abe Lincoln of a man–pure gold. He had sons; Max Henry Johnson, the older boy was Byron Johnson, and the younger son, later, was Richard. He had a Thoroughbred stock farm. The farm was at Lynnville, Iowa. During the depression when things were real bad, my father had 720 acres, and he almost gave this to Jarvis, as it was mortgaged. Jarvis Johnson came down and worked that farm for several years when I was a teenager, and we really became acquainted with them and their goodness.

My father’s father, Henry Coate Pemberton, was a designated Quaker minister. There were a great number of Quakers situated in that area. Father’s people were all Quakers from ‘way back, I guess even to the dungeons of King James in England. They told the king that they would serve him with rigor in every detail except in the matter of religious worship and conscience; that that was a free gift from God, and no man had the right to take that from them. 80, they went to prison.

Henry Coate went on a mission to the Osage Indians who lived around the state of Iowa, I think, for eight months. He took a wagon box of seed grain and some white-faced cattle and I think he spent eight months with the Indians to show them that they could [page 2] replace the buffalo and feed their families. There was no paid ministry in those days so Henry Coate supported his family by farming. They always ran cattle. Inasmuch as there was no paid ministry, I don’t know how they were even designated as a minister, but I do know he was a Quaker minister all his life. When I was a teenager, and I remember distinctly, when the Quaker, or Friends, Church decided to have a paid ministry. My father bowed his head and said, to the effect, “In all probability, this may be the end of the good spirit that Quakers have enjoyed for all their existence.” There was never any money. The only letters of Addison’s that I have in my files are when he wrote to his mother and to his father. He was always concerned about how he could rent the place, get the stock, and pay the bills. Addison’s letters, like all boys’ to his mother and dad were priceless because of the great love of these people and their families. They had to share everything. Henry Coate was known as “Henry Do-good” allover that area. He helped many; took them into his home in addition to his own family.

My father, Addison, was a very quiet, tight-mouthed man. He didn’t talk much. He would work all day and only say two or three words. It makes it difficult to write his history when he didn’t talk much. Some, if not most, of the priceless stories I accidentally heard when I overheard him talking to a friend or to relatives at some gathering, for Father never, ever, tooted his own horn — ever, ever, ever. Unless you overheard someone telling these stories, you’d never know. Like the big, life-size, tin negroes off the fence corner — I suppose it was an Aunt Jemima ad. Dad was always fooling with horses and broncs, and rather than ride these broncs, he would tie these big, life-size advertisements in the saddle, and turn those broncs loose. They would go absolutely crazy with fright. They opened their mouths and squalled like all get-out. My mother thought that was terribly, terribly cruel, but it sure saved a lot of broken bones. Those broncs were really sacked out when that tin got to rattling and banging and cracking. They really, really got sacked out. Lots cheaper too.

Now for an example of the kind of people there were in those days: following account I heard accidentally. As Dad was visiting old friends, someone in the group told this story.
Henry Coate, “Henry Do-Good”, and his boys sold a bunch of cattle to be delivered at a place, at a price. When they delivered the cattle at the scales, the old storekeeper and buyer said,
“We’re going to shrink these cattle three percent.
Henry Coate said, “No. The agreement was that the cattle would be at this price at these scales.”
The storekeeper repeated, “We’re going to shrink these cattle three percent.”
Henry said, “No. The agreement was that these cattle would bring this price over these scales here. These cows are really [page 3] shrunk. They have been driven all day in the heat.”

Someone in the store reached over the got the old buyer by the throat, bent him over the counter backwards, and said, “You old so-and-so, you’ve been stealing from this man for years. You know he won’t fight over a dollar but this is once in your life that you are going to keep your agreement exactly as you agreed to,” and with every word he was banging the old buyer’s head on the counter. This was just one instance as to the kind of men there were in those days – men who would go to the defense of the innocent, instantly, with no questions asked.

I never knew my father to violate his code of ethics, not even once in his life. I’ve seen him ground into the dirt more times than I’ve got fingers, by foals, stallions, mules, and I never heard the man curse or take the name of the Lord in vain. You would think he was hard, tough, and maybe even cruel. No. He was quiet, very reserved, extremely honest – an Abe Lincoln. Remember how Abe Lincoln returned the pennies on the long walk? Well, when my dad was a little barefoot tyke, he walked through the hot sun to the neighbors and returned a walnut. They didn’t have walnuts and when Mother Pemberton [Buelah Roberts Jackson] checked under the bed, she found this walnut. She asked Addison about it.

“Did they give it to you?”
He said, “No.” So he walked back, returned it, and told them he was sorry.

My dad was sworn at and swindled more times than I’ve got fingers and toes. On the ranch, his hogs, his cattle, and sheep were stolen. We always had someone on his places. Every time he got a chance, he would set up some young man in business. The ones who had anything on the ball all made good, and those who were the unfortunate type, of course, they never did and he couldn’t help them. I remember one family he had on the place for years and years. Every fall when they went to settle up, the woman would claim she had lost the cream receipts, and my father would sit there. “Well, what do you think? What do you think is right?” They would haggle around and around, and he would accept whatever the woman said. I thought, “What on earth! How can my father sit there and take that, year after year?” But he did. His philosophy was that the Lord had a way of taking care of those kinds of things.

Addison was educated in a little rural school and graduated from the little Quaker Academy at Hartland, Iowa, that’s the Friends Quaker Academy. Most of his friends lived northeast of Des Moines a little ways, around Iowa Falls, Eldora, and Marshalltown. Hartland is close there some place.

As you will note in his letters to Emma before they were married, Addison was always buying and selling cattle. My father was a cattleman from the ground up. He just couldn’t pass up a calf in a pasture without wondering if it might just possibly be for sale. His total philosophy of economics was to keep a little bunch of stuff growing into money at all times. You could be sure [page 4] of course, this meant livestock; corn, hogs, sheep and cattle, you name it, and you can be sure this was his father’s philosophy also. The first year that Dad farmed was in partnership with his beloved Uncle Jim Jackson, known as J. C. Jackson, (they always called him Uncle Jim). Jim was father’s mother’s brother. Dad loved this good man. My younger brother, JC, was never given a name; he was given the initials out of love and respect to this great man that Dad had in partnership, and in their first year farming and feeding out cattle, they netted $10,000. In those days, that was really something.

When Dad went on his own, his first place. was called the Ball Farm. We have a photograph of the emblem, or coat of arms, up on the end of that big barn. I think he bought this in 1902 where his first son, Stanley, was born. Then he moved to what is known as the Cross Place where I was born, Wendell J. I was not named Wendell J. I was named Wendell but I, like my father when he was about twenty years old, added the initial J. Unbeknown to me of this, I did the same thing at about the same age. Four years later, about 1907 or ’08, he went down into southern Iowa, 65 miles southeast of Des Moines, and a hundred mile straight east of Omaha, and bought a place on what is known as Mid River. There is the Des Moines River, the Mid River, and west of that is the Nodway, and I do not know the number of acres. My mind says it was always called the 92 acres, but I don’t think there is any way it could have been that small. It could have been 292. Anyway, that was my childhood. About 1907 when I was one year old, they built a big, new, two-story, white house on top of a hill. Overlooking all the river and timber country below us, the land laid to the south of us and to the west of us and to the east of the house and started up again. It was pretty good pasture but the sprouts had grownup to four or five inches in diameter by that time. It was 12 miles south of Stewart, maybe more; anyway, it was 12 miles to Greenfield; about three miles north and nine miles east of Greenfield to get into this place. The schools were all two miles apart in those days, originally laid out and surveyed. Our school was called the Prior Schoolhouse where we turned in toward our place, one-half mile, opened the gate, drove around the ridge a full wide circle and came into this big, white house.

I never knew why my father left all his people and all his community and came to this country and bought this place unless it was because he was raised on the Iowa River and his mother was the fisherman of all fishermen. Anyway, that is what he did. My mother was quite the lady. She taught school for years before she was married, and she was always–I don’t know how to say it–she was a lovely woman, she loved people, but she wanted to be educated and wanted to always be in with people in society. This may have bothered my dad, I don’t know. Anyway, he bought this place, and this was our home during all of our growing-up years. This is where we were raised. This is where we learned the great [page 5] lessons of life in our early childhood.

I will now go back to 1907 and put in what I can first remember. There is no way I can make this history chronologically correct, and I will try to mark my notes off as I put them on the tape. Anyway, on the first place Dad bought on the river, over on the west side of the place there was a deep ravine that ran clear through it, and back over there was an old original house–really old–down in the bottom. It had timber around it. The only thing that I can remember–now this was before we built the house and I couldn’t have been over a year-and-a-half old, all I can remember is where the back door was where you came in,. the old, black, cast-iron cook stove, and the chimney in that corner where I sat and played with Old Tom, the tomcat, my pet. Try as I might, I cannot remember anything about the house. I can see the stove and the kitchen table. I don’t remember where my bed was, but I can remember that corner where I spent so much time. My mother always let me have this big old beautiful tomcat to play with.

The next memory was after we built the new house–I don’t remember a thing about building that house, or any of the construction at all; not one single thing, but after it was built, they extended a wagon out, took four head of horses and loaded a red grainery that was by the old house. They took it down, forded the creek, and the creek was up. I was up on the front seat with Dad and another man. To see those four horses go down into that water, lunging and plunging, scared me the worst I have ever been in my life. I can still feel the fear. I was just sure we were going to get thrown in that water.

The other things that really stick in my mind are the terrible fears that I had. There were timber wolves there in the early days, and lots of them. They were always killing our sheep. They were always killing the pigs. My father never owned a gun after us boys were born. He’d had a gun all his life. He was always telling us what a fabulous shot he was with his old 10-gauge, but he wouldn’t have a gun in the house after us boys were born. Guess why! We sat in our big front room window and watched two wolves come up one day, across on the other hill. The old sow had piglets over there. These two wolves came by and one wolf would go and get the old sow to chase him and then the other one would get a piglet. The two of them would eat the pig. Then they came back and repeated that about three times and this big, 01′, lean, red sow finally caught that wolf going downhill and broke his hind leg. The last we saw he was going ‘cross country with his hind leg swinging completely loose. Dad went out to harness a horse and went over there with a pitchfork but of course when he got there, it was allover.

I always went to bed at night to the music of the bawling hounds–or training hounds. They would chase wolves across that country all night long. Somewhere, up the river five or six miles; down the river five or six miles, or right past our house, here would come these hounds, and it never ended in all those [page 6] years. I remember Christmas. You could bet my mother always had some kind of a Christmas. There were no evergreens, of course, so we’d borrow from the neighbor a limb or two off their trees so we could have a Christmas tree, or a sample of a Christmas tree, in our home.

One thing I remember very distinctly. I was fooling around with matches and Mother had her bread, always, in the frontroom–I guess the kitchen stove must have been out–and she had newspapers up over this great big rising pan of bread. I was fooling around with this match, just kinda seeing what I could do, and I lit the corner of it and put it out; I lit it again but I must have been too slow. It flared up and really was going! I ran out into the other room and asked if they smelled smoke. My Dad caught on right quick and Man, did I catch it!

Oh yes, there was another. Dad’s younger brother, Frank, was a football player–a real young boy at that time–great big guy. This old red shop they pulled up from the old house and forded the creek with, stood out by the house, and up in there opposite the workbench was a great big shelf. I could step from the workbench and somehow crawl up on this old shelf. There was an old horse blanket up there and Old Torn was up there. I was lying up there petting Old Torn, and Dad’s brother carne in to work at the bench. He had the biggest straw hat I had ever seen in all my life. I had to have something to do so I reached Old Torn out into the air, held him over this big straw hat, and let go. Of course the cat went crazy, scratching to get his balance, pulled off the straw hat, and scratched Frank’s head like you can’t believe. I got the hardest spanking I ever got in all my life!

The horse barn was in back of the big white house, about 50 yards, I guess. It had a buggy shed on the side of it where we kept the buggies. For years, there was a five-gallon can of linseed oil there left from building the house. Guess what! My curious mind always got me into trouble. I took a hatchet and cut holes in that can to see what was in it. Of course the linseed oil ran out onto the ground. When I got cornered, I told my dad, “Well, I just got anxiouser and anxiouser and anxiouser to know what was in that five-gallon can.

Another thing that sticks in my mind as plain as if it were yesterday: my brother slept on a cot and I actually slept in a crib until I was a pretty big kid–maybe three or four years old–I don’t know. Anyway, those hounds one night brought a big old timber wolf in from the west, I think right down through the buildings and backed him up against the side of this big, new, white house, if you can believe it. We both got out and looked out the window, right down on this wolf, and I was so petrified with fear that I never got to see the wolf. The old wolf sat there until he got his breath and then he’d make a lunge at the hounds, and they’d melt like water. When he got his breath again, he dove into them and they opened up like a wave of water and away they went again! And I never saw the wolf!

[page 7] Another highlight of my childhood was what was called the Old Settler’s Reunion. On the river, a mile west of us and then a mile down river — if we went out the back way, was what was called Arbor Hill or Fort Union. They freighted supplies into there in the early days and that store stayed there for years, 14 miles from Stewart on the north and 12 miles from Greenfield on the south and west. I can still remember the white peppermint candy in the store. If I had a penny, I could buy about ten of those white peppermints — if I ever got the occasion. This Arbor Hill had a curve in the river and a great big flat green pasture where the Old Settlers” Reunion was held every year for years and years. They had the complete carnival and the whole ball of wax — from cotton candy to you-name-it. This was the highlight of my childhood. See the picture of us four kids, Stanley and I and two neighbor boys, Dale and Lloyd Wambo, who joined our farm from the south, on this white burro that Dad bought. He bought two burros when they were just cute little ones and they grew up — one to be an ugly, ugly brown burro but the white one was real cute. She was white and tipped in black, and she became the “pet of pets”. She’d stay at the dining room window and we’d feed her bread crusts and prunes, and she would stand there and eat prunes and spit the seeds out, if you can believe it. Through all those years, we enjoyed that pet burro. We called her “Peggy” and we rode her everywhere. We took her to school, and the kids would sit under her and eat lunch. I never knew her to step on anybody.

In all this history, you must remember that my brother Stanley was four years older than I, and we were always together except those terrible times when he went with Dad to do this or do that, and oh! how I hated these words, “You’re too little. You can’t go.”

Stanley went to Chicago, with Dad with a trainload of cattle more than once, and he went to the State Fair with him several times. I never got to go to a State Fair!

We did have an accident one time with this wonderful burro, Peggy. Dad was walking behind her and had spent all day on foot and was tired so he grabbed her tail to have her help him along. Hey! She didn’t like that and she pitched both us boys on our heads on that old hard dirt road, and I can still remember how that hurt. I think that was the only time she ever threw us off.

Now, about my mother. She was one of those 95-pound wonders of the world. She taught school for years before she was married, and had fabulous-ability. In those days, there was always a bully around the country–I suppose there still is. She was aware of this bully at this school, who had run several teachers off. This 95-po.und wonder went in the first day, sat up there, folded her arms, and laid down the rules that “will be followed”. She called this big boy by name, and she says, “You know, I have a splendid horse that I ride to school, and I want him taken care of and [page 8] taken care of right. Now, I know that you have the ability and the know-how, and I would be very pleased if you would care for my horse like you know how to care for it.”

That boy never gave her one bit of trouble. I’ll tell you, when my mother stretched her 95 pounds up to full height and looked you in the eye … well, I never knew anybody that she couldn’t melt down. Do you know what she did when she first went down to that country? She was on a horse–an excellent, excellent horsewoman. Dad had two Morgan horses. One was a dapple grey, high-strung and flighty, always in trouble, and the other was old polly. Polly was the gentlest Morgan horse–beautiful and trustworthy–that ever lived. We were raised on that horse. I can remember the horrible fear when I was about a year-and-a-half old on up, of being in the saddle with my mother when she’d coax that horse down a steep, rocky bank, across the river, and up a steep bank on the other side, plunging and lunging. I was just petrified with fright, but she never showed fear. She loved the woods.

Always in the spring, she’d take me on that horse and go through the timber, always singing and pointing out every kind of flower that grew native to that Iowa timbered country. I can’t even name them now–the Bloodroot, Honeysuckle, and a whole bunch of others. She knew them all. This was her life. And, oh! how she loved people. Anyway, she made acquaintance with that whole area and gathered up all of the young kids in that area and started a Sunday School. Those kids grew up and paired off and the names always went together like Ray and Letha, Rex and Gurtie, and so forth and so on, and they married and had their families and I never knew of a divorce in all of their descendants. I am sure there were, but I don’t know of it.

From our house, we couldn’t actually see the river because north of it, there was a high hill, but the road north of us, the culverts washed out and were never replaced. There was a high, steel, plank river bridge with metal structures that were real high above the water. When we went to Stewart, we could go through our place and cross this bridge and come back that way, but for years, to go out north and west of our place, the road was out, and when Dad was out in the country, to the north or east and was late, mother would always hang a light in the window. If he was to come from the south or the west, she put the light in the south window, but Mother always put that light in the window.

I don’t know how old I was when we got our first sheep and, here again, to go get the sheep would have been quite a thrill. I knew what sheep were but we didn’t have any. Well, I couldn’t go. I was too little. Anyway, they didn’t come home, and it got dark. Hours passed. That light had been in the window for hours. Mother would shine that light up to the reflector, and I could see the anxiety on her face. She knew something was wrong. At almost midnight, we heard the men coming with the sheep. They had had to make the sheep cross the high river bridge, and they almost went [page 9] crazy trying to get them across, because of their fear. They would tie one and lead it and try to get the others to follow. Dad had a big tough buggy whip that he had worn down and just had a stub in his hand, about three feet long. When he came into the house, in the light, he had this whip in his hand, this stub. It had a tuft of white wool stuck in it. I remember I reached out — I was small enough — and I took that tuft of wool and felt of it and smelled of it. I had never had ahold of wool before, and it was quite a thrill.

It was the beginning of a fabulous, fabulous experience in our lives because for the next few years, we always had sheep, and the thrill of raising those crops of lambs, year after year, and seeing them romp and run and play, was really something. By the side of the big white house was an old cave, a dirt-covered old cellar that was sort of poorly built and partly caved in. The lambs would play “king of the castle” on that thing by the hour, day after day.

I remember we had a pair of lambs that we had broke to the harness and put on our little farm wagon. Their names were Buck and Barry. I have the pictures, and the thrill we had all those years was really something.

The wolves were horrible. They were always into the sheep, and this fabulous little mother of mine–I don’t know how old I was–maybe three or four, and the wolves had hit the lambs when they went down to the river to drink. They had run them over the bank, in a bayou, where there was a deposit of about three or four feet of slimy, oozy, mud. There must have been 6 or 8 young ewes, just ready to lamb, and my mother went out in that mud, waist deep, and helped work those lambs out. It was a terrible, heavy job and several of those young mothers bore-twins under that water and in that mud. We laid them out on the bank and wiped them off the best we could and I think they all lived. I can still remember the agony of trying to get them to the house, about a half-mile away, in the worst down pouring cloudburst you ever saw, trying to coax these mothers along. We’d put the lambs down in front of them, then we’d pick them up and go another few feet, but the mothers kept racing back to where the lambs had been born. Then we had to go back and start allover again. I thought it would never, never end. In the years before I went to school, I can definitely remember three crops of lambs.

It was quite an ordeal when my brother, four years older, left me and went to school, and I was left alone. I got into all kinds of trouble. I just couldn’t find enough things to do by myself and, you might know, I did a lot of things that got me into trouble. I sat under the lawn mower, which was up against the side of the house, and one of those blades came down on the middle of my forehead and split it wide open. My mother just about went crazy. Another thing we always had to fight was the wolves and dogs. Dogs love to kill sheep. We had a big, beautiful, black-faced buck we called “Old Joe”. We had him about three [page 10] years. I don’t know whether you know it or not, but when the rams are turned in with the ewes in the fall, the rams fight like the wild goats and Bighorn Sheep fight. They jump 15 or 20 feet and hit in midair and when their heads hit, you can hear it for two miles. This is what we witnessed every year, and many times during the season. Anyway, this Old Joe could take on any dog I have ever seen, or two dogs. I’ve seen him hit a dog and bowl him for 50 feet, end over end. We had Old Joe down to Grant Bunche’s place–that was about 1 mile south and a mile east. Grant Bunche worked with my father for many, many years. They always had him on the place somewhere, somehow, doing something, to try to help them out. So, anyway, Old Joe got killed. We went out to find him on the hillside. There were little skiffs of snow on the ground, and there were three wolves; one with huge tracks, one with medium-sized tracks, and then the female. They had covered that whole hillside and- had split him to ribbons before they finally got him–because there were three of them! You could see the marks where he had hit those wolves and rolled them in the snow for 50 feet, where he had slid 15 or 20 feet, and where the other wolves had come in from the side. He had to turn around, so while he was getting that one, another wolf would attack. They finally killed Old Joe.

It was a really sad occasion. We’d had that old man for years, and we loved him. He had never hurt one of us, however he did hit a stranger a time or two. He never did tackle us boys because we were with him all the time and I guess he just naturally respected us. Probably the reason I remember this period of my life so vividly is because Stanley was in school and I was alone.

Dad would never take care of his own livestock doctoring. He always had Steve Jackson, the neighbor, help him. It was always like a circus. Dad never got his stock taken care of when he should have — somehow he never got around to it and they got to be huge animals when they had to be docked, castrated, and so forth. We had a horse barn with some slats out of the back stall. One day when I was up in the haymow, a great, big, hog came through this open place in the manger, went down along the manger and picked-up the shelled corn under the horses’ boxes. Now, I had seen the men take a piece of hay wire and make a snare to snare the snouts and mouths of a hog so they could put rings in–so they couldn’t root out the pasture.

I’ll be darned, wouldn’t you know it, I made me a snare out of hay wire, fastened it to the rafter, dropped the loop down and caught this big ol’ red hog by the nose and jerked up on it. Holy Mackerel! That hog started to squeal and wham his head back and forth against the planks of the manger, and shook the dust out of the rafters of the barn. I was so petrified! To this day, I have no idea how I got that hog loose before Dad got home. I must have, somehow, because I don’t remember Dad learning anything about it.

[page 11] Another time when I was up in that same haymow–I don’t know if I had seen a circus–but I stuck a plank out there and was playing bear or monkey or something on this board. I went out there 15 times and turned around just before it tipped over but this time, for some strange reason, I was out a few inches too far, and that board flipped up and shot me down on that old, hard ground in front of that horse barn, on my forehead. I think my mother saw it from the window. I think she was just coming out the door to warn me when it happened. I still remember I thinking I would never ever get air back into my lungs again. My mother sat there in the dirt and rocked back and forth with me — it seemed like forever. You can bet she was really doing some praying but, of course, eventually I got my breath.

I know you can’t believe, that a boy that young could take those sheep out on the big ridge by the side of the house and hold them there by the hour and by the day and keep them out of the corn. Now, that place was fenced with hog fence clear around the entire place, but it was not cross-fenced inside, and for years, it seems, I took those sheep out on that hill and kept them out of the corn. Mother called me Little David. She’d read me the story of David out of the Bible and, you know, that really pleased me. So I was known as “Little David”. How many years that was before I went to school, I don’t remember.

One time when I was herding the sheep, I got so lonesome I just couldn’t stand it, so I went down to the school. They were having school; the door was shut; they were in class, of course. I went up to the side of the door and took a short board and went down the siding. Brrrrrrr. Then I’d run and hide. The teacher came out, looked around, didn’t see anything, so she went back in. Then I’d go up and run this board down the siding, Brrrrrrr. She’d come out again and look all around. I thought that was pretty cute. The third time, I was just ready to raise the board when she reached out and got me by the arm. She invited me to come in. She sat me down and started to talk to me about how I was disturbing the whole school — that she couldn’t hold class and that it wasn’t real good — that she was so sorry to think I would do that. Then I had to tell her something. I said, “I don’t know what it is, but there are certain times when my eyes water, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. They just water and I can’t help it.”

I neglected to mention my birth on the Cross place. I that on this Cross place was a great big old stone house. know, my birthday is the 24th of July, and Dad had several men around the ranch. My little 95 pound mother had a horrible delivery. I don’t know how many hours it was, but it was a long, long, long siege. When the sun came out in the afternoon, the heat was unbearable (over a hundred degrees, I think) and she used to tell how the men ripped the plank off the corral fence, and stood the planks up on end against the west side of the house so the house and its windows were shaded. She told many, many times [page 12] how grateful she was for what those good men did.

Mother was a fabulous cook. She loved people and people loved her. We never had a hired man in our lives that didn’t love and respect my mother because of her goodness and her fabulous cooking.
Another thing that happened when I was just a little tyke — we had the workhorses in the yard, old Polly and Dolly and a bunch of bigger, rougher horses. My brother was shelling ear corn out into little piles on the ground for his special horses, Old Polly and Dolly, and of course, Peggy, the burro. Of course the other horses were trying to get up there to get their noses in there for a bite, and Stanley says to me, “Get them outta here!” So, I took a little stick, about two feet long, put it back over my head, and rushed at this horse which had just been shod with iron shoes — it may have been Old Polly, I don’t know — but it laid back its ears and kicked me in the chest with both feet with those shod feet. I remember it as plain as if it were yesterday. The telephone pole was in the yard, and it came down past me and then went right back up again. The insulators on that telephone pole came down past me and then went right back up again; I was kicked that high into the air. I don’t remember any pain at the time of impact, at all. Don’t remember a thing. When I opened my eyes I saw my Dad — he had been shaving and had jumped into the air off that high front porch — in the air with one side of his face shaved and one side not shaved. That’s the last I remembered. When I “came to” I was lying on the old couch in the front room, and then, Man! the pain began to cut loose!

My parents had been on the phone. Mother’s sister, Mary, who lived in Greenfield, had married a doctor, and he was a good doctor. He had a set of running horses. He had the harness hung up over them, like fire horses, so he could go out there, pull a rope, and the harness would drop onto them where he could just buckle the harness. The buggy tongue was right there, dropped down between the horses, and he could get out of there fast. I don’t know how many miles a running horse makes–maybe 20 miles an hour, but he didn’t come and he didn’t come and Dad called back. Old Doc says, “Well, I haven’t had my supper yet.”

I heard my father say, “Well now, we don’t know if this boy is going to make it or not,” and he hung up the receiver. I think the doctor was out there in something like eighteen minutes.

Incidently, before I forget, Father’s little beautiful sister, Josalee, married a man by the name of Ledas Williams and died at her first childbirth. This was one of the saddest things for my Dad. He could never bear to talk about this terrible, terrible tragedy.

Here is another thing I want to mention: The only good horse Dad ever owned, he brought to that country, a fabulously high-spirited riding horse by the name of Old Robbie. A hired man came in one day with a four-horse team and tied them to a hog tree. They panicked, pulled back, and roared down through the [page 13] orchard where they piled up, broke Robbie’s neck and killed him.

Down at the river there was a layer of limestone about nine or ten inches thick, and where it broke off and the water came over that, it would always dig out a hole, causing a whirlpool that went about 3/4 of a turn and then went out at about a right-angle to where the water came downriver. Because of this whirlpool, a six to eight or nine-foot hole was gouged out there. You could touch toes on the bottom and not make your hands stand out the top — it was that deep. Anyway, that was the joy of our lives while we lived on that place. Even years later, after we had worked around the country, that 0l’ Swimmin’ Hole at Teakettle Falls was our pride and joy. Our friends from town would come out there time and time again to go swimming at Teakettle. We could climb up into the willow tree, that hung out over it and bale out of the tree. One time, I pulled a horse and buggy up there, dove off the wheel and hit in six inches of water. Darned broke my neck. Did break my left arm, or cracked it. Anyway, I carried it in a sling for six weeks — never went to a doctor with it. It was definitely cracked though. A kid’s bones will crack like a green twig and, like I said, it was six full weeks before I could use that arm like I should.

My father was not a mechanic. He hardly even had any tools around the place. His tools were literally a hammer and a stone. He wasn’t a good fence builder. He built fence when he had to, but he always had hired men. Would you believe it? There was nearly always stock in my mother’s yard? We had a great big lawnmower but I guess Dad figured the sheep could do a much better and cheaper job. The sheep were always in the yard. They kept it down nice. Know what? When Dad moved off-that place and had a renter on there, the first thing they did was fence the area. We had a garden fenced south of the yard where Mother always had a fabulous garden, but Dad just didn’t build fences like other men did.

One thing I forgot to mention about these sheep that I used to take over on the hill. There was a creek that ran back of the garden, south of the house. A ravine ran down through there, quite a steep one. The sheep would come off the hill, go down the slope through the timber to the creek, then come up east of the house and go into the pen where we always penned them up at night. One day, I started the sheep home and then I took a shortcut across the back of the barn past the old pump down the top end of this draw, and then into the house. My brother and I were sitting on the porch watching the sheep come up. Some big lambs came straggling along, long after the others had come up. They’d go always and then lie down; go a few feet and lie down. We thought, “Hey, what in the . . . and here another one carne o~t of the brush, in worse shape than the first one. We ran down there. There wasn’t a drop of blood on them anywhere.

“Hey, what in the . . . and here another one came out of the brush, in worse shape than the first one. We ran down there. [page 14] There wasn’t a drop of blood on them anywhere. They kept lifting their heads, like they couldn’t get their breath. We went down there, and there were two or three dead ones. Three or four or five of them had had their throats cut by the wolves. They had cut the jugular vein and sucked the blood out of that wool so clean that you couldn’t see blood on the wool, if you can believe it. Wolves are artists at killing stock and cutting the jugular veins.

Another time when we came home — here again, the folks had to go clear around the ridge, about a half-mile and make the big loop and back down to the barn — but us kids, we’d get out, shut the gate, and run down through the timber, past the garden, and into the house. We’d been gone for a few days days. When we came back, we went past the horse barn, and just happened to look into the manure door window, and there, sprawled out in about half of the horse barn was about 40 big old hounds. My brother gave me the high sign and I peeked in there. He said, “You go shut one door, and I’ll shut the other.”
We ran around the barn two different ways and shut the doors, got those hounds locked up in there, but then what? We hated the things because of their noise and ruckus and the sleep we had lost, but we didn’t know what to do with them. Finally, we just had to let them go. They got pretty ugly. They’d bellow and bark and raise Cain in there.

Another time when we had been away for several days, to a fair or something, we came home and us boys unlocked the house and went in. My brother was ‘way ahead of me because he could run faster, and he came back as white as a sheet. He still says there was someone in that house. Because the house was on a high hill in the corner of four sections where there was no road used, it was a really isolated, back-in-the-woods affair.

Another time when I was very young, a man came walking, a great big man with a long overcoat. He knocked on the door and said he was hungry and had to have something to eat. Dad brought him in, set him down, and Mother fixed him a nice meal. He didn’t take his coat off, and he watched Dad all the time. When he sat back in the chair, his coat opened up. He was wearing two guns. We never had any idea who he was or what the deal was, but he really made Dad wonder what in the world was going on.

I don’t think I have mentioned this Fort Union that we always talked about–where we went to get groceries when we didn’t want to go the 14 miles to town. There was a mill just below the store on the river, with a millrace and a great big overshot waterwheel. Mother always raised chickens and it was quite a thrill to go with Mother in the buggy to take the corn down to this mill and grind the corn for the mother hens and the chickens–she always had these little chickens coming on in the spring. I have never forgotten the thrill of watching the mechanics of that mill and the turn of that big old stone with its big old wooden homemade cogs like you see in pictures of antiques. It was really [page 15] something. Above the mill, north of our west place which we bought later, originally there had been quite a dam in there — quite a dam. They had bored holes in the rocks. It had a limestone rock bottom. They had bored holes in these rocks and had pinned 8′ x 8’ timbers across there, and made the aisle for these timbers and filled the center with big chunks of rock to make adam to raise the water to this race that turned the mill. In my later years, of course the mill was all gone and defunct. The dam had been ripped out by high water, but it always intrigued me to go over there and when the water was real low, you could see where these irons had gone down into the limestone to anchor the dam. I used to think how wonderful it could be if we could get folks together to rebuild that dam and have a place to swim above it.

Another horrible experience I had when I was a very small boy — Dad had built a big stallion barn across the road, east of the house. It was fenced on both sides but it was never used because the culverts had washed out and were never replaced. Anyway, Dad was in this stallion barn, nailing up some feed bunks or something. The half-door was closed. An old sow lay outside the door, about 3 feet, with about twelve of the cutest little, speckled black and white and red pigs you ever saw in all your life. They were just darling–just out of this world! I opened that door and slipped out there and got one of those little pigs up in my arms. Of course it squealed, and when I turned to go back into the barn, the old sow looked at me like a roaring lion. She bumped the door shut–with me on the outside! Here was that old sow about twelve inches from my throat with her mouth wide open, roaring like lion. Hey! I could not move; I was so totally paralyzed. Dad came down from the rafters ·with a hammer and stuck a hammer in that old sow’s head and she was out cold for about three minutes. I remember that one as well as if it were yesterday.

I don’t know when Dad got into the land business in a big way. I assume it must have been after we bought the 160 acres in 1913, on the northwest edge of Greenfield, known as the Duncan place. This was where J. C., the third son, was born. This was a well-improved farm, big corn crib, large barn, grainery, and would you believe, running water and electricity for the first time in our lives? That was really something!

In 1913, he bought the Willys Knight, the Overland, with the old sleeve valves and that old cone clutch. Every time he let the clutch out with the motor revved up, he’d break another axle and have go to have it fixed again. That car would not stop even if Dad yelled so you could hear it in the next county — if you don’t believe it, ask Emma. After he’d had the car for about a year, they came out to the big gates of the house and Dad said, “Now, Emma, there’s no reason why you can’t drive this car through the gate.” So she said OK and slid over. He showed her the gears to put it in, how to put the clutch down and let it out REAL slow. [page 16] And so, she went through the gate, yelling, “Addison! Addison! How do I stop it?”

Of course, Dad was already yelling WHOA, but that car chugged, chugged, and she ran into a plum thicket, ten feet high, and mowed down a 50-foot swath through that plum thicket before that old car chugged itself down and drew its last breath.

As you might know, my mother said, “Now, listen, Addison, these boys are getting to the age where I am not going to see them grow up out here in the sticks. They must have better schools and church.” So, in 1916, he bought the house in town.

Dad was gone by the day, the week, and the month–over and over. He had land in Wisconsin, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Colorado, you name it. Some of it I never saw — didn’t even know it existed. Do you know what my mother did when her boys were so much without Dad? She gave us the entire upstairs bedroom, and stanley shelved the whole side to store stuff on. Then he took out the upstairs window, and we put planks and lumber up to that window by a rope and pulley, and built a big workbench. She gave us a full set of wood tools so we could make anything you could imagine. We had shavings on that floor, 8″ deep, for years to come. How blessed we were for that experience. That was mother! We would build birdhouses, stools, chairs, bicycle carrier boxes that would haul pigeons thirteen miles — and they lived too! If they got out they were probably so shook up they couldn’t fly anyway!

Anyway, somewhere about this time, my dad bought 240 acres west of the home east place. The east home place was on the road in front of it and two miles west. It was three or three and a-half miles if you went around the road; If you walked across from place to place, it was only about a mile. He always had a renter on the place. There was a man by the name of Walt Davis who was there for years and years and years.
After the crash of 1918/19, this 240 became the family home. The house in town we lived in for probably four or five years, and always ran from that property, every summer, out to work on these farms during harvest. Dad also bought forty acres about six miles south of the original home place, and a mile south of that, he bought a 160 with no bUildings on it. The forty had an old house and a barn where we could get in out of the cold and sleep at night. We worked on this 160. We had cattle on there every year, and grain. It was quite an experience, traveling that distance from the home place — we didn’t go from the 240 down there, but we traveled from the home place with this old man, Grant Bunche, who was on the original home place after we moved to town.

Trip after trip, by team and wagon. We’d take our lunch and go to work on this 160. We did that for several years–a horrible waste of time, but that’s what we did. It had rattlesnakes on it like you couldn’t believe! We had to watch out for them all the time.

During these years when Dad had land allover the country, he [page 17] was gone, gone, gone. Mother waited and waited, and one night she was sitting on the porch when suddenly she ran down the walk and threw her arms around this great big man. Guess what! It wasn’t Dad! He was a real fine person — just a really swell man — and he laughed and laughed, which completely put Mother at ease, and she didn’t have a bad time over that at all.

[page 18] CHAPTER (Tape) II

I need to backtrack a little now, back to the winter of 1911/12, one of the most savage of winters and what probably set the cold record in the state of Iowa up to that time. I have in my hand a letter that cousin Howard Frey’s mother wrote to my mother’s sister in Greenfield, Iowa, Mrs. Mary Babcock. She says:

“The weather situation .is becoming very alarming here. Last Sunday it was 36 degrees below zero. Fuel is very low. Freight trains are stalled, and sixteen of the mines have shut down. The railroads refuse to handle stock shipments. A car of cattle came through Clarion and were partly frozen. We got part of our hogs off before Christmas but they won’t take the rest, and we haven’t a kernel of corn but what we can buy at fifty cents per bushel, and can buy only a limited amount at that. We have coal to last for about ten days. I don’t know whether we will get any more, and when this is gone, we’re out.

“Apples froze in transit from the depot to the grocery store–two or three blocks. The merchants can’t get groceries; sugar, buckwheat, or beans.

“I made a bed down on the floor by the stove for two nights; the bedroom is so cold. It was so hard on the floor that my flesh is sore, but by sleeping in our heavy, flannel underwear, we managed to not suffer too much.

“When I hear people talk about ‘the good old pioneer days’, I think they should look around. There’s plenty of it here. People have to take their children to school. Howard gets a ride part of the way. He hasn’t missed a day. He froze his face one morning. “This is the worst winter recorded since 1864. I know it beats anything I have ever heard of.

“There is a funeral party stranded in Wyoming, trying to get here.”

Howard adds: “This is the winter that Mother Frey, my mother’s mother died in Greenfield. It seems that from childhood memories, I remember it was a hard one. I think that is the winter of record cold for Iowa. It did get down to 47 below, west of us, here.”

Then I wrote on the bottom of this letter, “I am Wendell J. Pemberton, your cousin. Yes, how well I remember the winter [page 19] of 1911/12!”

It was 40 below, and a three to four day blizzard with high winds came up. Huge snow drifts everywhere. The sun broke out on a crystal bright, clear morning after the storm. The sun on those frost crystals at 40 below, looked like millions of diamonds. It was ust out of this world. Our animals, the hogs and sheep, were all in the barns and the big shed in back of the horse barn. The wind was from the northwest.

“We sat in our parlor and saw three big timber wolves come up out of the timber, jump over the high fence into the front lawn, about 30 feet away. They were so thin they looked to be about eight inches wide. They were continually raising their heads and sniffing, catching the scent of our stock in the barn. They were so gaunt and thin that they were totally fearless. I can picture them as clear as if it were yesterday. My father would never own a gun since we boys were born even though he told us many stories about his old 10-gauge.

He took a pitchfork and tracked the wolves around the buildings, south and then back northwest of the buildings, about a quarter of a mile from the house. They had gotten down into a ditch where there had been a little waterfall, and dug out a deep hole. They had crawled in there and were covered with two to three feet of snow. When the storm broke, they crawled out, circled around to the south, started down to the river, but when they smelled our animals, they immediately turned and came straight towards the house.

I forgot to mention the thunder of the ice on the river, at 40 below. You could hear it for five or ten miles when it let go, as many as two to three times an hour. It is like a chain reaction when it lets loose in one spot, and then travels for miles up or down the river. Then it is quiet, freezes, builds up a terrible pressure again, and then Boom-Boom-Boomtety-BooMl Isn’t is something to have a belief and leaders who have counseled us for years and years, since 1936, to keep at least a year’s supply of (staples at least) everything you need to use and preferably two year’s — fuel, clothing, everything.

We were snowed in here one year when nothing went down the roads — not even a snowplow. What a thrill it was!· We sat here without one thing to worry about.

Now I need to go back to 1913. We had moved from the place out on the river, the Duncan Farm on the edge of Greenfield. Now I don’t know when we moved. usually, the terms of lease-purchase were always in March, but I have my report card in hand, from 1913, and I had started in the [page 20] middle of the year. How well I remember that one! Here is what happened.

I had gone to the country school a year or maybe a year-and-a-half. Anyway, a great, big man I had never seen before, wearing a blue serge suit, walked into the classroom, and had the teacher call me up in front of that group. He handed me a book and told me to read. Well! I was so scared I couldn’t even see the book — I just gulped and swallowed. He said to the teacher, “Put this boy back a grade,” and he turned and walked out of the room.

Can you believe the ignorance of that? I have my report card in hand. I remember my teacher very well; she was a good teacher. I got “G’s” in everything except in Drawing and Deportment. I got “F’s” in those. IStanley andWendell School Class never got a high grade in deportment. Guess I had too much fun!

I have my report card from Grade II, and it is all “G’s” and “E’s” straight across the page. Even my Deportment is good except for one which is “Fair”. So, maybe it was a good thing I did get set back. I’ll never know, but I’ll always remember the disappointment and horrible feeling of that cruel experience. However, I guess it was a good experience, at that.

The three years that we lived on this Duncan Place, so many things happened that were so important in my life at that time. I was seven years old in ’13, and had to totally change friends in a new school. I explained someplace (or did I?) that that place had running water and electricity, for the first time in our lives. It was on the edge of town, but between town and our place, there was a fenced-in park of about four acres with every kind of beautiful tree that grew in that area — even evergreens. Adjoining this a place was a little apple orchard, a big grazing area, a big barn, and a big beautiful doublewide corn crib. The house was small but quite comfortable. Father had apparently started wheeling and dealing in land by this time because he was gone quite a bit of the time.

One of the first agonizing things I remember was the big hogs we kept next to the corn. They had raised up the fence, the big old sows, and gone under and into the corn. Hey! My brother and I drove stakes into that fence by the hundreds. I mean, stakes 2-3 inches through and three feet long. About 40 of those old sows would get their noses on that fence and they could lift tons and tons. They kept ripping it out and ripping it out! Here we were, two kids. I was seven and stanley eleven or twelve; Dad was gone. So we finally braided a barbed wire and made a braided cable, and put on the ground. We stapled and nailed it into those huge stakes. We drove the stakes ‘way down with a 16 pound sledge and, finally, we got them [page 21] stopped. But that was an ordeal I will carry to my grave! We were taught to do things right, and there were no exceptions or excuses for failure, so that’s what we did.

Sometime during this time, I got my first bicycle. Stanley already had a bike but it was so big that there was no way I could stand up and ride it. So, I’d stick my foot through the frame and coast around for awhile. Then I got so I could stick my leg through that big frame and actually peddle that bike! What a thrill it was when I finally got my own small bike that I could straddle. We took that bike apart, took out the bearings and washed them up I think 50 times, put it all back together, set the bearing up so we could see how many times that wheel would turn (while we pushed it) before it would stop. You know, I have used that principle for setting bearings all my life ever since that day.

Now there was another thing on that place that was really something. In that beautiful park next to the house, which was fenced with a high fence, we had a big old buck sheep. He had a name but I can’t think what it was. He was really a big one. Well, in there, no~ far from the gate, was a huge log. Hey! He’d butt anything or anybody, but he was slow and big, and he would always bleat before he’d hit. We’d jump over the log, he’d run around the log, and just before he’d hit us, we’d jump back. As he went by, we could crawl on his back and hang onto that huge bunch of wool he had, and he’d go crazy trying to get us off so he could butt us to pieces.

Anyway, because Mother was sa small and we usually had men at the table, we had a hired girl. She would take in girls who needed a home and some care, so most of the year, she had these hired girls helping her. Well, it was the funniest thing! The clothesline was right next to the back door. In the corner of this park there was a big wooden gate. Every time this Swedish girl, Minnie, would go out to hang up clothes, somehow, the gate would come unlatched and here’d come this big, old buck sheep. He’d always bleat quite always before he’d hit. Anyway, when he’d bleat, she’d scream and run for the house. She never did get hit but, you know, pretty soon Mother caught on to that. Hey! Did she ever work us over when she found out we were leaving that gate latch just ajar so that when the old buck would hit the gate, it would fly open. We really caught it!

On this place, out by that beautiful double corn crib, there was a feed grinder that had a team of horses hitched to a long pole. As these horses went around and around, they would grind feed for feeding cattle. Would you believe Dad brought the feed out of the corn crib in a big basket on his shoulder, poured it into the grinder, then shoveled it out [page 22] again? Then he walked out with it to feed cattle. Imagine that, compared to the feed wagons we have nowadays! Isn’t that something? Anyway, I was so enthralled with this huge gear machine that I would stand there watching it — I knew not to put my fingers in there. I suppose I had put a stick or two in there and watched it chew them. Well, I spotted a leather tug on the ground, and I got to wondering what it would do if I put this big old leather tug in there. So, I did. The first time it made wrinkles in it, so I stuck it in again. Bang! That great big, five-foot cast gear broke and separated — flying in two different directions. Can you imagine how I felt when my Dad carne out there with the next basket of feed on this shoulder and looked down and saw that gear lying there, busted wide open? I didn’t get punished. He just looked at me and asked, “Did you put that tug in those gears?” He never did a thing, just turned around and walked back but he didn’t feed any more cattle by grinding by hand.

Just below our place, about a quarter mile, there was what was called the City Dump, but people didn’t throw dead animals or rotten garbage in there — it was things like old washing machines. Oh, the thrill of finding an old bicycle frame in there that we could put some kind of a wheel on–an iron wheel off a cultivator, or something — to run around with. That was really wonderful! We sorted through that place time and time again and we’d find some little wagon or something we could fix up and use. What an experience for little kids!

On this place, Dad had a big bunch of beautiful hogs. I mean they were dandies, but Hog Cholera hit them. Oh, what a mess. One day a huge boar came out of the barn, walking real slow, weaving around coughing. About 100 feet from the barn, he fell over. I ran out there and put my hand on his side. His heart had stopped; he was stone dead! We lost … oh, maybe all of them. It was horrible! We were supposed to burn them, but can you imagine the agony of burning 100 head of hogs?

There was a well back on the ridge, back in the field, that we didn’t use, away from anyone else or any other wells. We took the hogs back there and dropped them into the well.
We pretty near got a well full of hogs! Then we finally covered the whole thing over with dirt. An experience that a young boy will never, ever forget.

On this place, I don’t know exactly how long I was there — I was seven when I went there — but, anyway, within about a year or two, I and a little neighbor boy about the same age (I think we were in the 3rd grade) ran a trap line for several years. I ran four or five or six miles a night every night after school to check my traps. All I ever caught were [page 23] skunks and civet cats and all I ever got was 75 cents a hide. Then there was one time … we had heard about mink. Now, there really was money, a dollar or two, maybe two or three! Anyway, I caught a mink, and man, was I thrilled! But when I sent the hide in, the report came back with twenty-five cents. It was what they called a cotton mink. It had a beautiful color until you blew on the fur, and when you blew it open, instead of having a good, rich color, it was snow white.

I think I was in the 2nd grade when I came in one evening from school. I thought the fire in the big, old heater that burned hard coal, with the cylinder down the middle (it was self-fed), was out. I poked in there. There was no sign of coals, so I put some sticks and paper and stuff around the bottom and threw a can of kerosene on it. Of course, there were glowing coals down in the middle. That thing exploded, throwing the doors off the stove, blew the chimney off and out across the room, singed my eyebrows and hair. I was really a mess. It didn’t hurt me bad, but the house was horrible. To try to clean that up and put the stovepipe back on before the folks came home was really an ordeal.

Then, at the same place, I really got burned. The big, old kitchen stove had a heavy oven door, I mean it was really heavy, and adorned with bright iron. I was cold and wanted to get my feet in the oven to get warm, so I pulled a chair up by the oven. The oven door was very very hot, and I dropped it. It pinned my left hand between the edge of the chair that I was sitting on and the stove. I couldn’t get loose. I have an inch-long scar to this day. The ball of my thumb and the inside of my hand all along my thumb and all my fingers on the other hand–the tips were burned when I tried to get my left hand loose.

One evening just after dark, we were sitting out on the porch, and out of this park south of the house, we heard the old buck bleat just like he does before he hits someone. Then we heard a man yell. The old buck bleat again. The man yelled again, and then he really yelled. We heard something hit the fence away off in the far corner. You could hear that wire squeak for a mile. Pretty quick, up the driveway came Grant Bunche, the old man Dad had always had on his places. He was a heavyset man with arthritis. I guess it wasn’t the least bit funny to him, but to sit there in the dark and hear those noises and hear him yell, you knew exactly what was going on. We really got a kick out of that. He wasn’t baldly hurt but he sure was shook up.

I learned another lesson while on that place. Dad sold a bunch of hogs. The freight depot was clear through town; one block from the square in the center of the town and about five or six blocks to the depot which was on the edge of town. My [page 24] father took his boys and, instead of hauling the hogs in a wagon like everybody else in the world, he turned them out, and we drove them. We sauntered along real slow because they were fat. We drove that herd of hogs, probably about 200, right down the street. Everybody from allover the country came out to watch the procession. I remember that it was really embarrassing to me but it didn’t seem to bother my dad a bit. We drove them down there, walking real slow, and they weren’t all beat up from loading and pounding around — just let them take their time and grunt along. They arrived at the stockyard in perfect shape.

There were two huge livery barns in town. On was exactly one block west of the square, right in town. It was a gigantic affair. I don’t know whether the fires were set for insurance, or not but this big thing caught afire, and we could hear the noise, sirens or bells, in the middle of the night. There was a ruckus; people hollering. We could see the flames, and I guess they were several hundred feet high. We were about four blocks from that fire, and the heat was so intense that there were whole shingles in the air that actually fell in our yard, and we had to watch to see they didn’t set things afire around our barns. Eventually, the other livery barn burned, although I don’t remember that fire. It was only a half-block from the corner of the center of the square in town.

It was here in 1913, our first year on this place, that we got to go to the County Fair, and I saw my first airplane. It was freighted from the old depot a mile out of town, clear through town, and to the fairgrounds, with a horse dray, in wooden crates. It was opened up and assembled there, and it flew! In fact, it flew all over the country, around and around, and it did a good job. That was a real event, seeing that plane flying and doing a good job.

The other big event on this place — I don’t know if I was 13 or 15, but someone in our family had died up in the northern part of Iowa. My mother and dad got on the train. Of course, we boys were big enough to do the chores and take care of the livestock. This huge barn had a runway clear around three sides of it with 16-18 foot gates. You could put the gates against the walls and then it was all open, or you could swing the gates around to the center and you had 15 or 20 pens. Wouldn’t you know — I don’t know if I had ever seen or heard of a rodeo but of course, everybody rode calves; we all knew that. Anyway, we put the gates all back against the side of the barn and ran a bunch of stock cattle in there. They were mostly yearlings and two-year-olds. In the bunch was a great, big high-horned heifer. She stood about two feet above the rest of them. We hung a lantern up at each end of the [page 25] barn, and discovered if we could run those cattle off to one end and hold them there all bunched up tight, we could jump up and run right across the whole bunch and pick out the one we wanted to ride. Then, when they untangled and ran back, we got a free ride clear across to that barn, wide open!

Man, we were having a ball! We were really the cowboys. Now of course, all couldn’t go smooth. I got up there running across their backs and here was this great big, high-horned heifer, right smack in front of me. Like a darned fool I straddled her. When they untangled, she exploded! I rode her down to the other end of the barn where she whammed me up into the rafters. I came down on my back across toe edge of a cement gutter with a sharp edge, about a 16″ trough. I couldn’t walk. Would you believe, my brother knelt down beside me in the dirt and the first thing he did was to put me under oath! “No matter what happens — I don’t care WHAT happens — you are NOT going to tell the folks what we were doing!

Well, I rolled around there for awhile. Talk about back injuries! A few years later, after we had moved into town, I was walking to town; in fact, I was a little late and was running to school. We had a brand, new asphalt pavement with sidewalks, curbs, and cement gutters. It was a cold morning. I had to cross the street. I crossed it at an angle, and there was a Model-T Ford several blocks away. There wasn’t another car within miles of us. I crossed over the pavement and was running down on this new, white, sidewalk-like curb, next to the curb. This car came down the road from several blocks away, not slacking up one bit. It didn’t go by me, it went along the edge of the curb, slammed into me, hit me in the back, and threw me on my face, and ran over me!

Now, I can’t account for how I did this or how I had brains enough for it, but those Model-T Fords had a V-wishbone in front, and my feet flew up, got caught in that V-wishbone–I was on my stomach — and somehow, I twirled around sideways rather than have that pull my feet up over my back and break my back. When the car stopped over me, my feet were caught in this wishbone. I missed the front wheel. My face was right under the left door. An old white-haired woman fumbled around for her gloves and peeked out through the side curtain and she said, “Oh! I just tried and tried and tried to find that horn, but I just couldn’t find the horn.”

This was an old woman who drove her daughter out into the country to teach school, and I guess she drove her every day. Well, about a month after this had happened, we were driving cattle out of town and we saw this old woman come down a long hill. There was a hay rack on the road but she didn’t go by the hayrack, she ran up behind it and slammed into it. She [page 26] smashed her radiator and all the water ran out onto the ground. How could any person on earth do that? But, that is what the old, white-haired lady did.

Somewhere about this time–1913, 1914, or ’15–we had a bad drought. The pastures turned brown in June. We drove the cattle from this Duncan Place about two miles north and five miles west to the Nodaway River where I used to trap. We did that for weeks and weeks. We let them graze down the road, slowly going and slowly coming back. Most of the wells around the country dried up. Our well was really dry. That river finally dried up~ and I can remember the last big hole on that river had only about eighteen inches of water in it There were lots of catfish in there. I was always putting catfish in the bottom of the buggy–didn’t have a bucket. I brought them home and put them in the stock tank where some of them revived, at least for a few days, and swam around the stock tank.

I’ll always remember the Sunday our dog got hit. I thought he was killed. He layout in the weeds alongside of the road, but when we came back about two days later, and here was this big, gangling, half-Collie and half-Fox Terrier pup, alive and running around waiting for us. I don’t know how he lived, but he did.

JC was born in 1914 in a town called Crescent, Iowa, twenty miles south of us. We went down by railroad many times, sometimes by railroad and sometimes by car. Anyway, Mother went down to this hospital quite a bit before her time. There was a good doctor there and the hospital. She had had some horrible times delivering before. I remember before she went to the hospital, she was rushing around one Sunday morning, trying to get us off to Sunday School and she fainted–sprawled out on the floor. Dad came in, picked her up, and carried her to the bed. I had never seen Mother faint before, and I couldn’t understand this. I don’t remember what they told us about having babies. I can’t remember whether we looked forward to the event or if we were kept in total ignorance.

Anyways, JC was born. Away back in the original history, I have a file, and in it is a copy of that hospital bill. You can’t believe how cheap the costs were:
Cottage Grove Hospital, A.J. Pemberton, ten days at $2.50 per day. Total bill: $25.00. Two weeks at $20.00 = $40.00. Nurse’s board and room, $5.00 per week. Telephone calls: Mr. Pemberton’s bed, 75 cents. Mrs. Cora’s bed, 75 cents. Total bill: $84.25.

There were two doctors who worked on the case. Each visit was [page 27] one dollar, and the one time, of course, it was $15.00. I guess his companion charged $10.00. The total bill was $28.00. It’s hard to account for that in 1982!

In 1914, I was eight years oldi maybe I came nine that summer. Anyway, Dad had some land out at Council Bluffs, a hundred miles west on the Missouri River bottom. We took horses, wagons, supplies, and that old Willys Knight. Incidently, Stanley drove that Willys Knight. In fact, he drove that car allover the state of Iowa, for Dad, when he was fifteen or sixteen years old. Never heard of a drivers license. I remember he had to hold on to the ~teering wheel and stiffen his body clear out to push his leg down on the brake and the clutch to operate it. I don’t know why he didn’t make a block to put behind his back. Well anyway, Dad had a swell hired man by the name of John Reese, and they drove those horses and wagons a hundred miles, to Council Bluffs. Of course, I got to ride with Mother and Stanley in the old Willys Knight with all our supplies and our cooking utensils. Mother was an artist at camping and “make-do”.

We’d set up a tent ‘way back from anybody’s house. Snakes! There were bull snakes in there, eight feet long. Would you know, Mother took some old hens with her–even had an old hen with little chickens to keep her busy! I drove buckrake. I was eight years old, and I drove the team to the buckrake all that summer. I think the team I drove was Steve Jackson’s beautiful bay Morgan horses. I can’t remember whether Steve was with us or not. All I remember was this John Reese who fished the hay up to Dad. Dad was always on the stack. Everything was hand work. This buck rake was a wide rake with great, long teeth that slid under the hay in windrows, a horse out on each side. I would bring that hay in, up to the stack, and back away, tipping the rake out from under it, and go back for another load. Snakes! You can’t believe the bull snakes. There was what they call the Red Adder there. It wasn’t poisonous. It looked like a Garter Snake except it was real thick with a blunt tail and a white mouth. They could sit up and hiss and raise holy Cain. Here I was, an eight year old kid, probably barefoot, and in every load I brought, I would see snakes drop out of it.

I remember one time there was a great, big bull snake. I had seen him in that load two or three times. He would stick his nose out and then go back in. Man! I was standing up in the seat. I jerked the horses back and I says, “That thing is full of snakes–there’s a dozen snakes in there!” The man that fished out on the stack was a great, big muscled guy. He pitched that hay up there and on the last forkful of hay, as Dad reached down to take the hay from him, here came a giant bull snake, down around the pitchfork [page 28] handle, down around the back of the guy’s neck. Old John just turned around, whopped him with the pitchfork, and threw him up in the pile with the other snakes, and there I was just a’screaming bloody murder.

I have a picture of myself and three of the neighbor kids, one I started trapping with when I was seven or eight years old. When I look at that picture, there is no way I can make myself believe that I went clear across country, up and down that river, and trapped for a year or two. We had to run. If we didn’t, it would be pitch black and we’d have a horrible time getting out. Of course, many times it WAS pitch dark. The thing that really got to us were the doggoned dogs along the road.

One night we had finished trapping and had just come up over the hill. We’d skirted this farmhouse, a half or quarter mile, and were just ready to cut across an open field. There were two dogs. One was Collie and one was part Bulldog or something. They were so ugly and they really raised Cain. Of course, we went across to the opposite side of the road, climbed the fence, and started to cross the field. We got about halfway across the field when those two dogs came at us, their mouths wide open, ready for blood. We had our hands full of traps and probably a stake or something–no gun, no nothing to hit them with. We stopped and stood still, back to back, with the traps in front of us and eased our way an inch at a time. I’ll be darned. I was petrified with fear. I didn’t figure we’d ever get away from those dogs, but finally–it must have been a full hour–they gave up.

Another time I was coming up from the junkpile in back of our house, the same road we used to go to the trapline in pitch dark. They had a dog that I guess had been kept in the house all the time and that dog roared out there. I was petrified again. Pitch dark. Couldn’t see the darned thing. Here again, I stopped and eased slowly away, and didn’t get bitten.

Stanley, being four years older than I, became acquainted with a boy in town, by the name of Lyle Ray. They really hit it off together. Now, Stanley was always willing to let me go everywhere with them, but this other kid never, ever, wanted a little brother along. So, they’d ride their bicycles six miles around in a circle, trying to ditch “little brother”, but I could always cut through somewhere on my little bike and head them off. That kid would get so mad that he couldn’t talk! That went on for years! Day after day this kid would try to take my brother off without me. I don’t know what kind of mischief he was figuring on getting into but you can bet they were always into something.

[page 29] Nineteen sixteen, on the 3rd of March, Dad bought the in-town house and, I suppose, disposed of the Duncan Place about that time. A nice family took over that ranch. This left Dad free to be on the road continuously–buying, selling, and swapping land–dividing grain, sorting cattle, or something, somewhere, sometime, in some state. As I said before, this was the time he was gone almost perpetually.

I want you to remember that all these years that we were on the town property, he hauled wood from the original home place, about 12 or 13 miles downriver, by team and mules. The doctor’s barn in town, at my aunt’s, was always there and we could always put a team in there. I used to take a cow to town when I was in high school because I could milk the cow and sell the milk. I would keep this big, 0l’ white Holstein cow in there and milk her. I peddled the milk for ten cents a quart and, hey, she gave a bucketful. In those days that was really something!

When we bought this town property, I have a note that says for the next seven years, every summer when school was out, we would go and camp or stay at that forty acres Dad bought about ten or eleven miles east of town and a little bit south, and the 160 a mile south of it. Here again, Stanley and I were there alone, time and time again. Grant Bunche’s son ran the binder and we cut the grain on this big old place. Stanley and I shocked every bit of that grain. We used to make a game of it to see if we could shock it as fast as the binder could cut it in hay. We really poured on the coal, the two of us could do it, and even get a little time to rest about every 3rd or 4th round. That was a real challenge–seeing if we could keep up with that binder. There were rattlesnakes there too.

On this 160, here again, there were at least four sections that were there in one chunk, with no roads between them. The roads may have been surveyed for in the early days, but the bridges and culverts were out, and that land was run by a man by the name of Bush who ran white-face cattle in there. They were wild and they were mean. They had those big white-face bulls too, but there was timber allover there, and when we crossed it, we didn’t worry too much because you could always run for an oak tree and climb up before the bull could get you, but you had to be on the watch constantly every day you were in there.

There was a little bit of a spring-like place with a little scrub timber in it in the center of a huge grain field. One night before we started home, one of us made the suggestion to go find some rattlesnakes. We stepped into that weedy little wet place, and hadn’t gone ten feet before we killed a little rattlesnake with three-and-a-half rattles on [page 30] it, and we went on about another fifteen feet and Jiminy Christmas, here was one of the biggest rattlers I ever saw in my life! He coiled and really set up a sting. I think he had eighteen rattles–maybe it was ten, but it was a big one. We were pretty dusty by that time and we didn’t want any more snakes, so we left.

On this same place, the 40 acres, there was a barn and a house where we could get out of a storm. Dad was gone again. We had sold the cattle and had to deliver them from the 160 into town, over eleven miles. We had a herd of horses on this 40, and in this herd was a blaze-faced mare. She was a beautiful animal; could run like a streak of lightening. The day before, or at least less than two days, Stanley got that young mare up, worked with her,- fooled with her, put a saddle on her, got on and rode her around the section. He tried to make her mind–doing what you do to haze horses around–and then took that cockeyed green horse out down to this 160 to round up those cattle. We went in there before daylight and, right in there on the knoll, we ran into a rattlesnake that buzzed like heck–it was too dark to see–so we threw dust on him to keep him coiled and keep him buzzing. We fumbled around and finally found a rock, got up as close as we thought we dared, ahd heaved this rock at him. Then we’d wait a few minutes until he’d crawl off, throw dirt on him to make him coil and buzz again so we could find him, and we killed that snake and cut his rattles off before the sun came up–before you could see.

And so we started out with this stupid, green horse. Remember it was eleven miles to town–and we hadn’t gone a mile down the road until this horse walked up behind me and stepped on the back of my leg, slid down over the tendon to my heel, and split my shoe off my foot. I still remember the horrible, horrible pain. I couldn’t walk but, still, I had to. I may have gotten on that horse after awhile, but I remember the agony of having to walk.

We had made arrangements with some German people to eat at their place. The men worked in the hay, would come in at dark and wash up on a bench outside. Then they would go in to eat. This woman cooked a good meal for them. She fed quite a few people. Anyway, I came in on the back porch, and while these men were ganged up to wash at the bench just outside the door, I saw a rug at the back end of the porch, and I was so tired and so beat, that I lay down on that rug and, you know, the funniest thing happened. It wasn’t a rug. It was an open cellar door! I dove down that cellar head first and hit my head and the corner of my right hip on the sharpest stone steps you even saw in your life. It split my head open clear [page 31] to the skull and made a gash about three inches long on the point of my right hip. I don’t remember the impact. I remember rolling over and bumping into a door that flew open.

I knew I was in a cellar from the smell, and I could see cracks in the old dirt floor. I thought I was in another world! I didn’t have any idea of where I was or what had happened. I don’t remember who helped me out, or if they had heard it, or what, but pretty soon the pain set in. Here again, I don’t think they had a thing in the world to use. That was one of the ugliest nights of my entire life. My mother sat there with me the whole night through and put cold packs on my head and on my hip, and tried to comfort me. There was no way I could go to sleep with that much pain. I still have the scars–quite vivid.

The people who were down on the 160 next to us, who had the big spread of cattle, were named Bush. They had two sons in Russia with the International Harvester Company. When they had the revolution there (what was it? 1917?) both of these boys almost got caught there. They just barely got out before the slaughter took place. That, to me, was quite an experience. I didn’t know them personally; in fact, I almost never talked with them. They had a huge stone house at their headquarters and, in all those years and the miles it took to go around (I didn’t care to walk through that herd of wild cattle to go in the back way), I never even got to see that stone house. I have wondered all my life how it was built and what it looked like, because all my life I dreamed about living in a stone house. They are cool in the summer and warm in the winter if they have thick, rock walls. Needless to say, I never got my house.

The other thing of extreme interest was the family that lived between the 40 and the 160, about a half-mile from our house. We had to go by every day as we went between the two places for two or three summers. They had the loveliest family that could be. There was an older girl who stayed inside all the time and did the work. Then there was a girl the same age as my brother–just one of the cutest, dandiest girls that ever lived–and then there was John, my age, and a younger boy and girl who were twins. They were Latter Day Saints. Not once did I connect the name with Mormon.

That good man would take his family on the 4th of July, and ten-gallon cans of lemonade, and ice cream, and take us boys (I don’t know where Dad was) down to the river, and we’d spend the whole day. That’s the kind of people they were. Never once in all those years did I see a Book of Mormon in their home or any mention of Mormon. I never knew until I grew up and joined the church that Latter Day Saint meant Mormon. They were probably Reorganized; I don’t know.

[page 32] Anyway, a year ago, I called back to Iowa on the phone (1981) and got ahold of this lovely girl the same age as my brother, about 15 at that time, and asked her about it. She immediately said, “Oh! No! My mother was, but I wasn’t…” end of conversation. I have thought of that so many, many times. They probably were Reorganized–I have no idea–but they were one swell family.

I got poisoned on green apples. I mean I was sick! I went down to the thicket north of their house, about 300 yards, a plum thicket off the side of the road. I threw up and had diarrhea and I tell you I was so weak and so sick! I could hear the kids playing in the yard a few hundred yards away and hear their conversation, but I couldn’t make a sound loud enough for them to hear me. I was that far gone. I lay in that plum thicket and, just before dark, my brother came by in the old 1917 Model-T. I crawled out into the road and waved him down. I got into the car and we went into this man’s house–the folks weren’t home down at the 40; we were batching [living as bachelors]–and the man took me in and gave me water and clean clothing and put me to bed just as if I were one of his family. They were that splendid a people. As I say, to this day, I have thought of that a thousand times. I wish I could talk to them. She said her brother, John, my age, was already–I can’t remember for sure if he was already dead or not, but some of the kids had already died. Anyway, I never got to talk the gospel to them.

A couple of other things on that 40. We slept in a tent, we two boys; a little tent outside of the house. Mother slept in the house. Here again, I don’t know where Dad was–buying grain in Dakota or branding cattle in Colorado–I don’t know. Anyway, it was a moonlit night out of this world. We couldn’t stay in bed so we got up and went down to the neighbor’s place. I don’t know what we did, but we played with those kids in their yard and just had a ball there in the moonlight. Well, we had snuck out of bed (didn’t tell Mother you know) and when we came back over the hill in that brilliant moonlight, we saw a white shiny object in the middle of our yard. Hey! We really got scared. What in the Sam Hill was that? We came down that long hill and when we got closer, we could see this white object was moving. It was Mother, sitting out in her rocking chair, wearing her white robe. She was totally confused and scared because her boys had vanished. I guess you know we never forgot that stunt and we never tried it again–taking off in the middle of the night, not telling anybody. But that moonlight was so bright, there was no way we could resist going for a romp!

[page 33] The creek that ran down through there and just missed this house about two or three hundred feet, where there was a curve where it came in and curled around against a big bank. It would dig out a hole there when the high water hit, eight to ten feet deep, with an 8-foot bank above it. You can’t imagine how much fun we had there, year after year. We’d put shelled corn on this big, high bank, head a cow or a horse or a hog there, give each other the high sign, and push them over the bank, making them land in this ten feet of water and watching them go under and then swim out. [Editor’s note: At this point the transcription begins to repeat from page 28 thereof. The repeat ends on page 37 and we pick up the story there.] The fun never ended because they never seemed to catch on, but it was great sport for us as long as nobody got hurt. It didn’t hurt the animals any.

On that creek I saw my first turtles hatch out. I found a turtle-egg nest in the sand on the edge of that creek and had the thrill of watching those little turtles hatch out. They are the cutest little things–about as big as a half a dollar, and man, can they swim! They stick their noses out for air, blow a few bubbles, and then, down they go again. Cute as a bug. I think there were eighteen of them.

When I was in the 3rd and 4th grade, I moved across the hall of the school house, just inside the front door. I still remember wondering and wondering why–we had two kids in that class who could run down a column of figures like a rat through a hole and turn around and be goofing off, and I’d never be more than half-way down. It never changed. I really [page 38] wondered, “Is there something wrong with my mind?” I just could not do it. These little snots both could, and hey, those kids got into more trouble in that town than any kids that ever lived there. And it never stopped. They broke into the theater and stole candy and had candy wrappers all over town, and stuff like that, all the time. It never ended.

We lined up outside, marched up the winding stairs to the 7th grade, and this little snot came up and kicked me between the legs from behind. I didn’t want to pass out in front of all those people but I almost croaked with pain. Anyway, going up the stairs, he tried to run past me. I just whirled around. He was afraid of me, whirled and fell down those stairs–just really fell–and told the teacher that I had pushed him. Well! I was really hostile. That night the teacher excused all but Wendell Pemberton and this boy. Like an ignorant, stupid fool–I was so mad that no way would I take any punishment like somebody else and get it all straightened out–I left. The next day, the principal came in and motioned me out. Now, he had this big drawer full of whips the first time I went down to the Manual Training Room, and that’s when I really froze up.

About that time, the teacher was holding up flip-cards in front of the class and we were naming the birds. She flipped a card, and here was this magpie with a big tail right straight up in the air and white feathers, and I yelled, “Skunk”. She thought I was being “smart” and sent me out into the hall. I felt pretty peculiar, but I went out into the hall and stayed there quite awhile. I was whistling real soft to myself, positive I wasn’t bothering anybody. I didn’t think anyone could hear me. But I’ll be darned! She was just inside the door and heard that. She reported that to the principal, and between the two things, I was informed that he wanted to see me. So, I went down to the Manual Training Room where he had told me to come, and just as I stepped inside the door, he whirled and slammed the door, locking the bolt lock. Right in front of us, in the first workbench, here the drawer was pulled out. There were about eight hickory whips about as big as your thumb and about three feet long. I saw those whips and froze. I ground my teeth and thought, “Why, you dirty, rotten, son-of-a-gun! I’ll tell you nothing! No way am I going to take punishment for someone else’s mistake–because the kid had told the teacher I had pushed him downstairs.”

I swore that she didn’t tell me to stay, and he couldn’t prove it, and so he let me go. The next day, he called me down again. Here was the drawer with the whips in it. There were two kids in there trying to clean up their work. Of course, they wouldn’t miss the show for anything. They [page 39] stalled and stalled, so he told me to go up to his room. So I went up two flights of stairs, and as I went into his room, he said, “I have decided you are going to have to have a thrashing before you can get along with your teacher.”

Then he grabbed me by the back of the neck from behind and whammed me over the first desk. He just went insane. He beat me across the back with that big, old, heavy hickory whip, I suppose at least twenty lashes. It hurt insanely. I was so mad I was out of my mind. I couldn’t get my breath.

I loved my teacher. She was an excellent person and I never, ever had any trouble with her. I loved her. But this ignorant man… that is what he did.

I remember going home, grinding my teeth. At first I thought about committing suicide, but there was one thing I knew for sure, and that was that I would never, never step in that school again as long as I lived. What happened after that… I’m blacked out …

I can’t believe that my mother, with those scars on my back that I carried for six years–there is no way I can believe that my mother didn’t know. Maybe she had personal contact with the man–I don’t know. I don’t remember going back to school. I don’t remember sitting there. I do remember the sore back; really something. I just can’t remember.

There was a boy who sat in the back by the name of Inge Hoover who had tuberculosis of the bone. He was two or three years behind in school. He had a hideous ordeal with osteomyelitis. He was a sharp cookie, and he had crutches. When this same teacher asked him a question he couldn’t answer, the teacher got real ugly with him–real sassy–and made a remark like, “Where did you expect to find the answer? In your spelling book?” He said something back to him; it was an ugly situation, and that teacher started right down the aisle to go back to him, and he stepped out and grabbed that crutch, and if that teacher had touched him, he’d have busted him wide open. He was that kind of a boy. This was after this teacher had given me that savage beating. Whether or not I told people about that, I have no idea. I can’t remember. I suppose the word got around–I don’t know. What an ordeal! It was twenty-five years, even after I had joined the church, before I could ever bring myself to forgive that man.

Guess what–in raising my family, I never whipped my kids, ever, but I did things that sometimes were similar, not being wise enough to hear them completely out, I am sure. I remember thinking about it, “Here I am with my lovely, lovely family, and look what I almost did because I didn’t take the time and the pains to get all the facts before the scolding.”

page 40] This Steve Jackson was my father’s mother’s brother’s boy, which would make him a nephew. There were about fourteen children in the family. Their father was Reuben Jackson. Steve was one of the oldest boys. The father was killed under a triple-box load of coal, freighting coal for the school district. Steve and his brother, little guys (ten and eleven years old) — the father went down to put on the brakes as they crossed the wash with their four-horse team and big load. The pin was out of the brake lever so he went under the wagon on his head. The wagon ran over him and killed him, and those two little boys had to pick their dead father up, in the night, and take him on in and tell their mother that their father was dead.

The youngest girl, Helen, was a baby. She was given to this lovely uncle, Jim Jackson, that my father loved so much — a brother of my father’s mother. This wonderful Uncle Jim adopted this little girl, Helen Jackson. I think her name was Helen Hunt after the great writer, Helen Hunt Jackson. I remember her, when we would visit Iowa Falls or Eldora, what a cute, sweet, little girl she was.·
Uncle Jim was always the brain. He was always a bank manager or president or president of this or that, the organizer. Those Jacksons really had something. As you know, the two boys I worked for in the logging camp, Tom and Jim, were really something — I’ll come to that later when I get into my logging years.·

After we bought the town property in 1916, somewhere close there, before 1919, my mother was threatened with T.B. In those days, the word “tuberculosis” was the no-no of the age. If a person had it, it was always hushed up because it was thought to be so terrible. How badly Mother was threatened, I don’t know. Anyway, we sent for a tent-house where she could sleep out in the open air. It was a 9′ x 12′ with a wood frame and canvas. It was all screened in around the top half. You could drop the sides down in grooves, having the whole tent open, half-way around, so the air could come through during the night. The screen was for mosquitoes. We slept out in that tent-house every summer for possibly, six or seven years.·

Now, this house in town was shut up (and I think the shades were pulled) all those years when we were gone, which was days and weeks at a time — and house was never molested, if you can believe it. Somewhat different from nowadays.·

I have a financial statement of my father’s which I want put in my history. One in 1907, and the other, I think, just before the Armistice was signed in 1918. The comparison is really revealing, the status of his financial statements at that time. Here it is:

[page 41]
October 30, 1907 Assets · · · · · · · · · ··Liabilities
·· · · · · · · · · · ·$ 20,901.29 · · · · · · · · · · · · ·24.08

November 9, 1918 Assets · · · · · · · · ··Liabilities
·· · · · · · · · · · ·$230,357.00 · · · · · · · ·138,300.00

Notice the difference between the monies and the amount he owed. All Dad’s land was mortgaged and sold. When the crunch came in 1929, nine years later, Dad lost everything, and turned back every acre, possibly a minimum of 5,000 acres. He wouldn’t take bankruptcy. That is another story all by itself.

When the Armistice was signed [ending World War II], the town went absolutely crazy. They bought all the shotgun shells in the town, cases and cases of them. They got ihto open trucks and drove around this square, and shot those shotguns off. I don’t know how many, I guess all day until midnight.·Anyway, we were sleeping in this tent-house, and in the middle of the night, those shots that were shot up into the air from the town square, which was a half-block, plus a full block, plus a quarter, making it two or three blocks away, the shot rained down on our tent practically all night long. I never forgot that.·

This Steve Jackson that I mentioned, got married on the 20th of March in 1918. He moved to some town in Iowa. Dad may have had some land close to this town because Steve was always, always on his place. For years before Steve was married, he ran a 120 south of our original home place, about five or six miles. He batched there. He was an immaculate housekeeper, a fabulous bread baker, and could do anything.·

He was Dad’s right-hand man, always — always. He did all the horse doctoring and taking care of the animals . . . he could do anything. Dad would buy big bulls because they were cheap, and would castrate them, put them out on grass and then sell them. They sold for hamburger, and he really made money, but it was a horrible ordeal because there was always the danger of losing them, especially if you were working them in hot weather. Steve would do that work for my father. I remember that time and time again, they’d get those big, old bulls in the barn and think they had them snubbed down, and hey, they could just about shake a barn off its foundation. Of course I was just a little guy and always afraid they would break loose. They’d make the timbers crack, I’ll tell you.·

Also, Dad had a big herd of hogs, maybe 200, and here again, he just never got around to getting those kinds of jobs done. So, when it came time to take care of the pigs, they’d have quite a crew around — GrantBunche and his boy, who was a [page 42] big, strapping man, and Steve Jackson, and so on. Maybe they’d have a hundred hogs penned up. The pens were made of big gates, usually temporary pens out on the hillside. Of course the pigs were big by that time, too big, and they would squall. The old sows, 40 or 50 of them would just about tear the earth apart, and roar like 20 lions. It was deafening; you couldn’t hear a sound, and it never ended.·

I remember one time, one of the men was down on his knees holding a pig down. The sows were just a few feet behind him, rattling those gates and rattling that timber. Somebody reached over and grabbed this guy by the leg. ·He jumped over two or three sets of gates like a shot out of a cannon. The boys really got a charge out of that, but the man who thought the sow had him for sure didn’t think it was funny.

When I started this history, I mentioned how I had seem my dad ground into the dirt time and time again, but he would never curse. Well, when I was just a little guy, he had a bronc, a mare that had a mule colt. He had broken this bronc to ride, and she was a good rider. This little mule colt followed him out behind the mare, like colts always follow their mothers, and he went out the gate and turned down the lane to the right. The mule colt didn’t quite get through the gate. He turned inside of the fence, and it was a barbed wire fence. They got down there about 200 yards and the colt tried to get to his mother, and he hit that wire fence and cut himself badly. He really squalled, and his mother pitched my Dad off clear out to the end of the reins — I mean, he really went out! He had the reins wrapped around his wrist, and this bronc jumped into the air — and I can still see those feet over my dad. She was just going to stomp him right into the ground, but because he had the reins wrapped around his wrist, he whipped those reins back and forth, sideways, and jerked her mouth so hard that when she came down, she missed him. This was an everyday example of the way my dad lived.·Although I was just a little tyke when I saw that, I remember the fears I had that my dad was really going to get hurt.·

Another time when I was a little guy and was playing out in back of the barn, he got the old mare saddled up and went to the barn and got the big, old, black stallion out. He pulled the stallion’s head up, over the top of the mare’s, by the saddle, so he couldn’t fool around and kick him but do you know, that stallion doubled his body up like a Brahma bull at a rodeo just the minute Dad’s feet hit the stirrup, and twisted around somehow and kicked my Dad’s right leg. It popped like a shotgun. I wondered what in the world was wrong with my dad. He got off that old mare like a streak of lightening. I never saw him tie anything up so fast in my life. Then he lay on the ground and began to roll. He threw·[page 43] up. For hours he was in pain. The stallion had kicked him by the knee and the thigh. Well, after he got up, he limped off to get a drink of water, got on that mare again, and I can still see him going over the hill with that stallion. I don’t know what he did to that stallion, but I’ll bet it wasn’t funny.·

1919. This was qUite a year. It was the year of the big swindle. (I was twelve years old; thirteen that summer.) Dad had bought some land in the Sacramento Valley, the finest vineyard land north of Sacramento, California. About twenty of Iowa’s bankers, businessmen, farmers, and you name it, got together and went in on this huge deal to buy this expensive, beautiful grapeland. There was an excursion train they went out on to inspect this land and to check the descriptions, deeds, and all that type of thing, to see that everything was O.K. But before they went, they all gave their notes and a down payment, I suppose 20% to 29% down, to be held in escrow until they surveyed everything and checked it out. Instead of putting the money and the notes in a bank vault like they do nowadays, (this man’s name was Stoner) they put it in a safe in Stoner’s office which was in one of the large buildings in Des Moines, Iowa.·

Then they went out to check the land. Incidently, there was a train wreck on a washout, due to a flash flood, and it had dumped a trainload of peaches. My dad told about having to wait there and all the passengers got out and loaded up on peaches. Anyway, they went on in to Sacramento, and Stanley, somehow or other, got Typhoid Fever and nearly died. It was pitiful. They were in an old hotel in Sacramento with a trained nurse, Dad worrying, on the telephone with Mom, they talked back and forth. Dad told her, “Well, we’ve got the finest doctor and a trained nurse here twenty-four hours a day. I don’t know what good it would do for you to come down.” So Mother didn’t go out. It don’t know how long it was, but it was a seige, and when they came back, my brother was so thin it was absolutely pitiful. His legs were like broomsticks. I can still remember the awful feeling I had to see my brother in that shape. He pulled out of it, over the years, but it didn’t happen all at once.·

When they came back, the funniest thing happened. They found that safe in Des Moines blown open and all those men’s notes, because they were 100%, were taken all around to the banks, discounted and cashed. These men, Stoner and his partner, were never seen again and were never apprehended. It couldn’t happen, but it did!·

We had a neighbor who lived south of our house on the Duncan Place. Her husband had died and she was alone, had a little money, and she traveled a lot. She carried a .38[page 44] somewhere down in her bosom for years and years and years.·She figured that somewhere, sometime, she might just accidently, in some resort or somewhere, bump into Mr. Stoner. Of course, it’s a good thing she didn’t, but that is what she did.·

There are a lot of other stories. When my father finally did go under during the Crash, two people in that town committed suicide. One of them had a son, and this boy became a professional, international bum. He lived off rich women, like in Reno and the glamorous spots of Europe. He did nothing for the rest of his life but be a professional bum. After his father had killed himself, he was playing ball in the yard one day. I didn’t like to catch — it was in the lot just across from our house in town — and this kid says, “Do you want me to catch for you?”·
I said, “Sure.”·
He came running towards me, and I raised up this pad to put it over my head to give it to him, the catcher’s protection pad, and that kid doubled up his fist and hung one on me with all his might — right in the pit of the stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I knew I was going to faint, and I couldn’t get my breath. I whirled and started to run to my house. I made it around the house before I went down, and I remember still that horrible, ugly kid pulling that stunt. There was no way I could retaliate. He was way bigger than I was. He had an expensive cap — his people had money — and all I could do was rip the lining out of his new cap. That was the best I could do at that time.·

Anyway, in 1919 when Dad and Stanley were out there, Mother went to Colorado Springs. Also in Colorado Springs, my brother’s wife, Velva, was a DonCarlos, and her brothers were the DonCarlos’s of Springfield. There were about three or four of them, big men, sharp and smart, bankers, lawyers, bookkeepers, you name it. One of the older boys had a boy by the name Edred. This young man had T.B. [tuberculosis] He was out there in a special sanitorium, in a cottage out in the open for the summer, and we were there for weeks and weeks while Dad went to California with Stanley. During that time Stanley was sick, we spent practically the whole summer there.·

There was a resort and park south of Colorado Springs, out a ways, called Estes Park, as I remember. I was twelve. I had a ball there that summer, seeing the sights and going out in this park. I would lie on the bridge in the park and through the cracks I could see those great, big, beautiful trout. Oh! How I would have loved to have gotten a hook into one of them! I’d go swimming every day. The water was so clear you could see through fifteen feet of it — lots of seaweed in it — and so I dove in it one day and hit that·[page 45] seaweed with my hands and a big water snake came out between my fingers. Gave me quite a thrill! I don’t think I dove in there anymore. I never had any fear at all. I would take the bus out there by myself and be out there all day long. Never, ever would you have to think of being molested. Girls could walk through that park at any time of the day or night, and you never heard of anyone molesting people in those days. If they did, they might never have another chance!·

There was a woman there in a cabin by us, who must have had six or seven small children. Nice woman. I overheard a conversation one day. My mother, lovely woman, always made friends and visited. This woman was questioning my mother as to if she trusted my father as he was gone all the time. Of course Mother said one hundred percent; no questions, hands down. But, this woman kept saying, “But, how do you know? How do you really know?”·
You see, she had been deserted and left with those little children, a pitiable position, and you know, she kept that up until it really got to my mother. I was very young, of course, and couldn’t realize all the things but I remember the conversation. I was standing not too many feet away, in the bushes. I could see the expression on my mother’s face, and I have never forgotten that. “How do you know? HOW do you really know?” … another great lesson.·

Now I come to another terrifying experience. Guess I had lots of them, didn’t I? Out at Estes Park, up at the end of creek — somewhere up in there — quite a walk, was the Seven Falls. There was actually a set of waterfalls that had seven drops, and they were high. The creek came in way above, came down a canyon, and cut a little gully in the side of the canyon, with the seven sets of falls. There was a stairway so you could walk from the bottom up. It may have been a couple of thousand feet — it was a long way. Up on top, you’d turn to the left and come out above this huge precipice, straight-down canyon, and over the bluff, was Helen Hunt Jackson’s grave, the writer. She had sat on that bluff, looking out over that mountain country, and had gotten most of her inspiration for her writings.·

Well, we went up there. I don’t remember who I was with — Mother, Aunt Mary, and. Wilma. When you got on top, there were trails all over there. Just how I got separated, why I was alone, or if I went ahead or stayed behind longer, I don’t know, but coming back, I took one of the many, many, many trails, and thought I was going right. I got back there on a ridge and all at once I realized that I had no idea where I was. I knew at that time that I had taken the wrong path.·I tried to backtrack and got confused. It seemed the world would just whirl. I’d look and think it one way, and·[page 46] right while I was turning around, the world would whirl around and west would be north and east would be south. I can remember that to this day. I’m so very direction-oriented that when I don’t know my directions, I am in deep trouble.·

Well, I was lost! I had never been in the mountains before in my life, just a little guy and a stranger to mountains. The horrible, horrible, agonizing feeling of it! You know what? I sat myself down and sat there quite a little bit without moving. I figured out that the country where I stood and the country that surrounded me sloped one way. Even though there were a lot of little gullys that ran to a dozen points I could see below me, I thought, “Hey!· Those all have to drain into the one creek, the Seven Falls.”·I started straight downhi~l through brush and rocks, and when I got out, I hadn’t missed the head of those falls by more than six hundred feet!·

I still had a problem. I didn’t know where the folks were. Quite a lot of time had gone by, by this time. I didn’t know if they were worried about me or were looking for me, so I went clear down those falls, couldn’t find anyone. I saw messages people left saying they would stay there. I went clear back up those stairs again! Well, I’m sure if I hadn’t spent my life chasing stock and running all the time, I would have had a heart attack. I can’t remember where I did find the folks, but we finally connected. I remember that experience and that hideous feeling of being lost in the mountains as well as if it were yesterday!

[page 47]·CHAPTER (Tape) III

All the years I logged were in the mountains. I crossed the mountains at night time and time again, and came out solely on my own knowledge and maps that I had previously looked at. I was never really lost, except once when I hunted deer up towards the Canadian line. I never carried a compass; I should have, and for a time I was lost up in there but that was the only time I had ever been really lost in my life. I even went up to Hilt, up that crooked, winding railroad, over those eighteen trestles, and when I got into Camp 22, on the other side of the summit, I knew my directions.

I think I mentioned that Aunt Mary and Wilma were with Mother and I there all that summer. We had an enjoyable time. Mother and Aunt Mary were so companionable and so congenial. We took many, many trips sightseeing, and to different places and different camps over the country. We were afoot as we didn’t have a car but the buses ran all over the country and for a few pennies you could ride to town and back out to Estes Park and all over.·

I wish to put in here that we did buy a car called a Saxon, about 1919. That was really something! It had a short in in somewhere, and no mechanic, no electrician, ever found that short. It would quit anytime and anywhere — rain, snow, mud, storm, you name it. We’d fiddle around, trying everything, and then pretty quick, away it would go! Totally undependable. We never knew when it was going to cut out and go dead on us, and what’s more, we never knew what we had done to get it started! We used it for years and years, though, and put up with that thing. Stanley and I took it to Dakota in 1928, and yes, it cut out on us quite a few times.

I got along quite well all through my grades. I had good relationships with my teachers — a lot of good people. I remember when we first moved to town, there were kids in the 8th grade that had missed many years of school — anyway, they had black, stubby whiskers! They really gave my brother a bad time. He’d come out of that door at school, and what they did to him I don’t know, but they scared him half to death, and he would run for miles around the outskirts of town to get away from them, to get home. It never ended. Actually, it went on until those kids graduated. They caught me a time or two but I was so much smaller that they didn’t do much of anything. [page 48]

One time when they caught me, they put a magnifying glass to my head and scorched my hair a little. I didn’t raise a fuss, so they didn’t get much enjoyment out of it, and they left me alone. But Stanley had a terrible time trying to get away from those kids. There was a blackberry patch behind the old schoolhouse. As soon as they were out of sight of the teacher, they’d take kids in there — anyone they didn’t like — and get him by the feet and the hands, count, heave him up in the air, and then throw him up into the blackberry patch where he’d get all scratched up. Great Sport, they called it!
I had an ugly experience in the 7th and 8th grades. There was a boy by the name of Don Foster, a tall, wiry kid whose parents were divorced. He didn’t have a mother, and his dad gave him professional boxing lessons. That kid was so tough and so good at it, that when he was in high school, in the lower grades, when the side-shows would come to town, that man would get people to make bets that they could stay in the ring with him for so many minutes. It was really something how the guys around town would put up a lot of money and, as far as I know, that kid could always stay in the ring for the time limit. I think the guy in the side-show lost money every time! Well …·

·When he was in the 8th grade and I was in the 7th, we would play football scrimmage — no headgear, no suits, just old-fashioned. He could put his head down, go through the whole bunch and drag all the kids with him. Well, when he would do that (I played “end”) I would tackle him by the feet and stop him. He turned around and whopped me a good one, open-handed, across the face. He said I was off-sides, but it hurt and my feelings were hurt. We lined up again. I made darned sure I wasn’t off-side, and I tackled him again. That time he hit me harder. He did that five or six times, and the last time, he just whopped the devil out of me. I was not off-side. I don’t know where the teachers were. They were supposed to be looking out the windows and taking care of things. I remember going over and sitting down against the side of the schoolhouse, and I had myself a good bawl. I was really hurt to think anyone would be that much of a bully and get by with it — not get caught, but he did. I don’t think I ever went back in to play after he whomped me on the head six or seven times — oh, yes I did. I went back for more. Same thing. Every time.·

My first year in high school I played scrimmage, and somehow I could tackle. In all the years I had dogged sheep and cattle, horses and mules, and hogs–when you go onto tne football field, that really pays off! I remember one time when this kid came through–I was using a helmet and shoulder pads at that time; a good outfit–and I only got one leg but I [page 49] nailed him. Well, it made him mad, and he kicked me in the head with his other foot as hard as he could possibly kick, and it was no accident. The earth just turned over and over. I lay perfectly still, but the earth was going up in the air and coming down on me from seven different directions. I was knocked silly. I think that was the last time for the next two years that I missed picking up both those feet!

We had another bully also. Big, ugly kid, dirty mouth, always making filthy remarks around the girls. We were playing hockey, and he was bullying, wading right through everybody, pushing the puck back and then whopping them across the shins. He did that to a little guy there, and the little guy hit him back. I saw those two boys stand toe to toe and hit each other with those hockey sticks as hard as they could swing them. How that little guy stood that I have no idea because the bully was big, and he was hitting him with the hockey stick as hard as he could across the hips and the side, but the little guy hit him back, blow for blow. Finally, they just quit! I had never seen anything like that. It made me boil to see a bully pull a stunt like that.

In grade school, here again, Stanley being four years older than I, was in high school when I was in the 5th grade, and went in the opposite direction from what I went. So we didn’t have much in common at that time except that we always had to work together. As I mentioned before, Dad was always moving cattle. Year after year, we would be caught moving cattle at night. Sometimes it was pitch black. Still, I don’t remember a cattle drive where we came up short, not one! What a blessing was the experience of taking responsibility. We just simply had to do it. It was our way of life. Why at midnight? Because you don’t push cattle in stifling heat. It’s best to just ease them along and let them graze until it gets cool in the evening. You know, there are no stopover motels for cattle. We were the “All-time Model-T Cowboys”. That Ford met us with food and drink, over and over again. Have you ever tried to eat a sandwich at 20 below zero? You have to be pretty hungry to get that job done. With wire £ences on every 40 acres, you don’t use horses. That Ford would go ahead. They shut all the gates and tell everybody they saw that the herd was coming. People always cooperated. Who wants 200 head of steers trampling their crops and gardens and flowers and lawns?

That was how I learned to drive — no problem at all. I was eight years old, two miles an hour, and no cars on the road. No problem! Big green pastures, no trees, no fences, no ditches. I think my first ride was when I uncramped the Model-T, jumped in, rode around a great, big, green hill in a great, big, green pasture. You learn the throttle and the [page 50] clutch before you go on the highway. My brother drove that and the old Willys Knight all over the state of Iowa. We bought the car in 1913, and Stanley was eleven years, so by the time he was fifteen or sixteen, he was a good driver. There was one time in question, which was in quite a city. It had a wide street down to the depot. We were parked on the depot side and wanted to go into a restaurant on the other side, so Stanley thought he’d cross the street. He had parked the wrong way and he headed into a big, black, sports car. He was going pretty slow, but he must have gotten his foot and brake mixed up; I don’t know. Anyway, that old Willys Knight chugged along, bumped into the sports car and bent the fender. Didn’t make a mark on the old Willys. Stanley was just sick! The finest man I ever saw came out of that restaurant. He said, “Don’t worry,” and he reached down, grabbed the fender, bent it back up, and said, “You see, didn’t hardly hurt a thing.” Oh, what a splendid man! I didn’t know there were such people.

The house in Greenfield was the “in and out house” for the next seven years. I think I mentioned that every summer we’d take the tent and provisions and go to the old home place. I think the tent sat down there in the timber all summer; in fact, I’m sure it did. We had planks under the trees for a table, and I’ll always remember the men coming in from the field to eat at that plank table, with Mother standing there with two oak limbs to keep the flies off the food while the men ate. Mother always set a splendid table and she was a good cook. This was our life.

For years, Mother did the washing in Aunt Mary’s basement because Aunt Mary had said, “Now, Emma, you bring all your wash to my basement. I’ve got these big tubs and this electric-powered washer, and two big rinse tubs. There’s just no reason for you to try to do that washing by hand out there”.

I fired the furnace in Aunt Mary’s rooming house in town. That was my job. I went there every night and early morning, before daylight, and fired up that old coal furnace so the rooming house would be warm when people wanted to get up. I was sorry Dad was no mechanic. His tools were a hammer and a stone! And because he was no mechanic, I guess he just didn’t want to fool with gas systems and water systems, but anyway, every drop of water that came into that house on the 240 (and we did wash there many times, using an old hand washer out on the porch), I packed every drop of water up a steep hill from a creek. Oh, how I hated those wash days! Well, it didn’t hurt me any, and it sure made a lot of muscle. I was always underweight and a year, or so, behind the other kids my age, but other people had their water piped in. Other people had·[page 51] windmills that pumped their water up to water tanks, but not Dad.

So, guess what? Every logging camp we ever moved into, I always piped water into each cabin! By hose or pipe or someway–Ruth always had water. I don’t think I mentioned that the well on the original place was 100 feet deep and pumped so hard that I couldn’t even get a drink by hanging on the pump handle! Dad pumped that hard thing for years to water horses and the other stock, by putting all his weight on it. I don’t think it was until we moved away and the next man balked at that and built a windmill.·That windmill was quite an experience for me. They took the bottom of the ladder off so I couldn’t get up there. Did that stop me? Criminy no! Do you know how far you could see from the top of that windmill? You could see the watertank in Greenfield twelve miles away!

Stanley got married in 1924, the 20th [sic: 25th is correct] of June which was Mother’s wedding anniversary or her birthday [her birthday was the 25th], one of the two, and pretty soon Dad had Stanley back on the home place. They were feeding out a big bunch of hogs. I don’t know just where Stanley was, he was probably working for the county because he was working for the county when he got married. Anyway, he was gone quite a bit and I had to go over there and feed that big herd of hogs. We’d go to the river with barrels on a skid and fill the barrels with water out of the river and haul it a half-mile, up the hill. Then we’d dip it out by hand into big, old barrels. Well, guess what we did! We fixed up those barrels with plugs in the bottoms, and put them over the ends of the troughs. Then we’d put the grain in the barrel, pour in the water, and mix it up real good to make this mash, or swill as we called it, and all we had to do was to pull the plug and let it run on down into those great, big troughs. Forty head of hogs at each trough, drinking as fast as they could! A slickest feeding outfit I had seen in my lifetime!

Velva, bless her heart, did some of that work, but she was threatened with a miscarriage and that’s why they got me to go over there and do those chores, for quite a while, that summer.

It’s difficult to put this history together without sounding as if I were the biggest blowhard that ever lived. Everything is I, I, I, and I don’t know how to change it. I don’t have one, single thing to brag about. I am so humble–humbly grateful, for the masses of experience I had throughout my childhood and my entire life, that I can hardly contain myself. I am so grateful that my father lost every penny and turned everything back, which gave us the great privilege to work, to sweat, to learn, and especially, to innovate. We always had to innovate. You should have seen that harness, wired up with wire from off the fence corner.

[page 52]
It was a sight to behold, but we made it work, and I am grateful. Please, as you read this, remember that I paid for all of this with years and years of blood, sweat, and tears.·I earned everything I ever got, and again, I am thankful! As I sit here now, close to my 76th birthday, and that’s too close to 80, I realize and I know for sure that the only real satisfaction in this life is to do the best you can every minute of every day with what you have in your hands. All those years of drudgery and monotonous work, I always had to invent some kind of challenge–some kind of goal–to see if I could achieve it, to keep me going.·Like when I worked in the grain harvest, out there in those potholes in Nebraska, where it was stifling hot, the humidity was horrible, and you just didn’t think you could live unless you could get to ~ater every two minutes. I only had one heatstroke in my whole life and, hey, that was another experience I’ll never forget.

(At this time I want to backtrack a little and talk about some of my formative years.)

This old Grant Bunche and his wife were good as pure gold, not educated, kind of backwoodsy. I don’t think he could read. His wife read the Bible to him a lot. They were always talking about the end of the world, the common philosophy of all ministers who talked about hellfire and damnation in those days. This good man was always watching the sky for cyclones. When the storms came up, even though he had gout and heavy old overshoes, he’d strike out across the pasture calling old Dirk. He had two horses; Dirk was a big, beautiful, high-strung bay, a wild, powerful animal, and his companion was a little Morgan-type grey, dappled and stone blind. He was blind all the years I knew him. That old man would run across the pasture, calling Dirk, and Dirk would come to him. Nobody else could touch him. He’d put the halter on him and I’d say, “What’s the big deal?”

He answered, “Oh, if he’s out here in the storm when the lightening hits, he’ll go crazy and run through the fence.”

I watched him take that team down a steep, rocky bank with a loaded wagon, and talk to that blind horse so he could feel his way and get to the other side. He’d say, “Easy now, boy. Watch out now.” and the horse would raise those feet and come [up] that steep bank on the other side, just as though he could see. To me, that was a great lesson.

You see, when I was in high school, after Dad really went broke and didn’t have any money, he called me from school and said, “Son, I bought a horse out at so-and-so’s place. I want you to go out and get him Friday night and ride him home.”

I went out there and here was a big, blaze-faced, beautiful horse, but with three legs. One had the biggest·[page 53] scar and wire cut and was stiff. That was kind of embarrassing. The neighbors had pretty good horses and harnesses; we didn’t. It never ended. Next week, same thing. “I bought a mare out of town a couple of miles. I want you to walk out there and bring her out to the ranch Friday night.”

I did. She was a Thoroughbred but she was so old and sway-backed, and her hips were so flat you could have set a teakettle on ’em. Another time he bought a great, big, black mare–a beautiful animal–with one eye. Stone blind in the other. And then there was Old Bill. Bill was a Morgan horse, real thin. Guess what–only one eye! That one eye caused him more trouble! He never seemed to catch on that he should turn his head to get the whole sweep. He’d just blunder into things on his blind side. Then, there was this big, beautiful, Thoroughbred mare with the finest coat you ever saw! He had a fabulous stallion colt. We broke him, and we worked him for years. He was a huge, horribly powerful animal. The things that happened with that stallion would fill a book!

He’d tear down fences and go across the country, taking everything with him. When he was working, he would mind, and he was a working fool, but when we worked him with a blaze-faced gelding he was mean and ugly, and would kick him under the tongue a thousand times. You couldn’t make him quit. You could beat him to death, but he’d still kick and bite that gelding. Working with a mare, he would never bother, but put that gelding with him and he wanted to fight all the time. Anyway, these blind horses, and the ability we had to work with them and talk to them–talk them down rough places and up the other side–I learned some of the greatest lessons of my life in patience in helping to deal with animals.

Then there were the mules. There’s no end to what we can talk about concerning mules. The mule is always looked down upon, but mules are smart. Oft-times, they are much smarter than the drivers. You can’t force a mule into a hole or a creek or a wire fence, or some such thing. They just won’t go–they’re too smart.

I meant to tell you about Stanley. As I said, we were always together, did everything together, broke horses together, trained colts, built carts, ironed wheel-wagons on buggy axles when the buggy axles went out. We had a ball. We hitched up two burros one day at the east place–I wasn’t very enthused about that idea. We got this big, brown, ugly burro that I mentioned before, with old Peggy. The wagon was an old buggy with iron wheels off the cultivator on it. We started out across the ridge and across the west pasture which was·[page 54] large. That darned brown burro–you couldn’t stop her. She got scared and started off. I was sitting down in the back of that wagon, hanging on with both hands and, hey, I’d have given my life to gotten out of there. They were going so fast that I didn’t dare try to get out. I wasn’t too big at that time. The noise those iron wheels made on that hard dirt and the rocks, the burros with their ears laid back, running wide open! I didn’t enjoy that ride in the least. Stanley, of course, got a big kick out of it.·

Stanley was always in a big hurry. He could never quite wait to tie everything down, secure. The first big span of mules we had were out of Thoroughbred mares that Dad had. They were tall, beautiful animals, a jack and a jenny. This jenny mule, Stanley had let her break loose when he was breaking her, two or three times, and they have a mind like an elephant. They just never forget. In all the years we lived in that town house, we hauled wood fourteen miles from down the river and into town. Why we didn’t get killed, I don’t know because, once in a while a car would come down the road. I don’t think we had any reflectors. I don’t know how we could have those long, sharp poles sticking out the back end without somebody getting killed, but somehow, no one did. All those years, we were on the road every weekend, hauling wood to town. In fact, I had a pair of mules alone, after Stanley was gone. It was a little pair that I broke later–another story!

Anyway, I had an old iron-wheeled, iron-tongued wagon, and I came down over the top of a big, steep hill. I was walking alongside, on the left side, and all at once the load went ahead and jabbed those mules in the rump. Sharp poles. Pitch dark. We kept going, picking up speed, and I couldn’t get them back because the poles were goosing them in the rear end and we went faster and faster! The wagon turned off to the left, and I kept the team ahead of the wagon. I had no idea what was going on–absolutely none. The wagon went off the grade on the left side down in the bar-pit. The bank was seven feet high, and I was just sure the wagonload of poles had jammed into those mules, but the jenny mule had jumped up onto that seven-foot bank–didn’t have a mark on her. The other one had stayed out of the way ahead of the wagon down in the ditch. There I was! Wagon crossways in the road. Sharp poles sticking out right smack in the middle of the road, and here came an old Model-T cranking down the road with headlights you could see about eight feet with.·I ran out there and got him flagged down before he hit.

He agreed to stay there with me until I managed to get the mess straightened out. This iron tongue had rusted out about two feet ahead of the tongue that went through it, and had·[page 55] folded back. It didn’t hold a pound back. That load just ran its course into the rear end of the mules. I learned a great lesson. If those had been horses, there is no way in the world they’d have gotten out of there, but the mules never had a scratch on them.·

Now, I want to make a little comparison between my temperament and that of my brother. This team of mules that my brother broke–he did a pretty good job of it, but as I said, the jenny got away several times. We hauled wood to town with them for years. When they’d take the team out of the barn at Aunt Mary’s, where the doctor used to keep his running horses, and hooked them up to start home, that jenny mule would pull back and go crazy. She’d get him out at the end of the rope, sling him around, going crazy, spinning in a circle. If you are out in the open, like in a pasture, you can hang on, but when you’re in town, she could cut you in two on a telephone post or something. So, she’d get loose.·Again, we’d go to the telephone–there was a guy out at the edge of town by the name of Shorty Hansen, who had a big place, and he was a mule breaker. We’d call and say, “Shorty, that darned mule is coming again.”

So he’d go out there with a big whip or club in his hand and when she’d roar out there, he’d haze her into his yard, we’d go get her and bring her back. You could walk her back again, if you were real careful. We’d usually take the other mule out there or take the Ford and tie her to that to lead her back. This happened over and over and over! She never quit.

Now… The other team that Stanley broke (the folks were gone, of course) were just coming three-year-olds, just right. We got them harnessed, and that hurry-up brother of mine put them on the hayrack. We turned them out into 60 acres of freshly plowed ground with that hayrack. Man! Going downhill, they really split the breeze, but if he pulled on the lines hard enough, he could turn them in circles. They ran around in circle after circle. They got up a good sweat, then they calmed down, and he talked to them and talked to them and found he could turn them a little bit this way and a little that way. The road back to the barn went down through a steep little wash, through a high pole gate. At the bottom of the wash, we had laid long poles, lengthwise, in place of a bridge. The water would go through the poles. We had them tied so they wouldn’t wash out. Then it went across a flat, about a hundred yards, went by a great, big, fence corner, and there was just room between that corner and a real sharp bank in the creek, with about a fifteen-foot drop into the creek. Then, you’d run on aways, turn to the right, and down a rocky ford, up the other side, and up into the barn.

[page 56] Well, I was out there watching my brother and he came around the hill and told me to open the gate. I said, “You’re crazy.”

He yelled again, “Open the gate!”

I refused, and he really blew a fuse. So, I thought, “Well, what the heck. If he wants to kill himself, fine.” I opened the gate, and the mules saw the opening, saw the road, knew the road, but, when that iron-wheeled, old rattley-bang hayrack hit those poles, bootely-bootely-boot, they broke into a dead run. They laid their ears down and really flattened out to the ground! [flat out gallop] They came to a big wash, shied to the left, and straddled a five-wire barbed wire fence with that hayrack. They left the hayrack sitting there, broke the singletree or somehow stripped themselves loose, and went off across country. I mean they really took off. It took us a half-day to corral them and get them back to the barn. All they had on was the steel hame harness, their collars, and the tugs. The lines had dragged, they had stepped on and broken them to pieces. The underneath harness, they had gotten their feet through and had broken every strap on it. What a sight to behold!

This was in the spring, right at the beginning of the work season, so we just turned them out into the pasture, and they were out there a full year!

Then Stanley was gone and I was alone. The folks were gone so there was nobody to stop me, so I got those same two mules in. One was a light-colored, beautiful, beautiful animal, a jenny; in fact, I broke her to ride and rode her all over the country. But guess what! She discovered that if I got off and then she got ugly enough, and spun me around at the end of a rope, I couldn’t get back on her. I have heard of animals biting but not people biting animals. I tried for hours to get on that mule. No way. She would not let me on. I’d get up to her and she’d step out of the way. I’d got so mad I bit her on the nose as hard as I could bite without losing my teeth. So then she swung me on the rope, and she swung me so hard and so fast that I couldn’t hold the rope around my wrist. She stripped me out and slid me down the hill and went out across country.

Of these two mules, the little jack mule was the sassiest, proudest, shiniest-coated little guy that ever raced across the terrain. I can still see him running. When a mule runs, he turns his nose up in the air, first one way and then the other, as if they were thumbing their nose at you. Anyway, I got them in and I snubbed them down to the old mares and I worked those two mules all spring. I cultivated with them, I plowed, I harrowed hundreds of acres with them, with the big, old harrow.

Now, the neighbors had carts but my dad thought·[page 57] boys should walk, so we walked. We never had a riding cart, ever. Here again, that built muscles in my skinny legs.·

I never let this team of mules get away, not even once. They were so perfectly trained they would obey every command. One spring day, we had had a lot of rain and I had gotten caught up [on the farm work], I hooked them to the buckboard and started out across country. I, like all kids, hadn’t been away for quite aWhile, and I just wanted to see that, nice, green spring grass and the flowers in the country. I went about six miles, down to the old 120 where Steve had worked on Dad’s place. I remember the road was muddy and ugly. I was up on a steep sod bank [off the road, out of the mud]. It was wide enough for a buggy (the roads were narrow in those days) between the fence and the sharp grade, a drop-off. I was standing up in the buckboard, and as I came up over the top of the hill, guess what I saw. It looked to me like a green prehistoric monster! It was on an old Altman Taylor-type tractor. It was bright green and yellow, and I thought, “My gosh, if those mules see that dragon, they’ll never stop!”

Up on that bank, I turned those mules around in a completely sharp turn, stood on the corner of the buggy so it wouldn’t tip over, and the left wheel came right back under the buggy, and flipped the hind end completely around, and they never even saw the dragon! I got out of that one pretty slick.

I had a memorable experience with a cute, little, saucy, black mule. I mean in no way would he fool around you. He kept his distance, always. In the spring, in the plowed ground, when you are turning, a horse will sometimes step on another’s feet and jerk their feet out from under him. When they do, they flip dirt up into the air, and it gets under their collars. Well, he had gotten a rock under his collar which made a horrible bruise on his shoulder–one of the ugliest I ever saw. I had to get him up, and I doctored that shoulder for maybe a month. He was out in the pasture all alone, the rest of the stock was somewhere else. It was a Sunday, and if you can believe it, I was wearing a white shirt (which would have spooked 99% of them). I came out and sat on the corral fence, just sitting there looking out across country, and that guy saw that white shirt. He came clear across that pasture and up the hill. I don’t think I said a word. He looked at me, and walked up to me, and laid his head on my shoulder. I had never seen anything like that in my life. I have heard since of perfectly trained horses that would do that to their masters, but to me, that was one of my great thrills to that time. You think a mule is dumb? I don’t think so.

While I’m on the subject–but this is not a mule. I had·[page 58] four horses on the harrow, and I had a big, green, bay colt–I mean he was green, touchy, and flighty. When you turn a harrow real short, like if you are going left, that harrow will pull to the left and the end of the long pole that sections are tied to, will run into the ground. Now, if you turn a little too short, the harrow will raise up to its full 30 feet in height and crash down, upside down.·

Well, I was next to this creek bank, and this green colt shied away from it. He cut way back in, made a real short turn, and wouldn’t you know that harrow beam ran into that soft, plowed ground and here carne the harrow, up in the air–straight up–30 feet, and was going to crash down on the big bay’s rear end. I slapped him with a line and made him jump about four feet ahead. When the harrow came down, it missed him by about eight inches. If it had hit him, I would still be a huntin’ that horse!·

All our harnesses in those days had what we called “blinds”. They were to keep the horse from seeing what was going on behind him and getting scared, like if we were loading something flashy or something they had never seen before. When the harrow came down, of course it made a noise, but he couldn’t see it, so he didn’t go anywhere. So, I just stopped, cleaned up the mess, and turned the harrow over, a section at a time, and hooked it up again. And so, nobody got hurt.

I’m going to jump ahead now about two years and tell you of the tragedy I had in 1923. I was in a grocery store, working as a clerk. It was the 23rd of March, green grass was up two or three inches, and everything was corning along fine. Then, we had a blizzard. A dilly! It snowed and blew for several days, not too terribly cold, but the snow drifted perhaps the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. I remember there was a funeral at the edge of town, a neighboring friend had died, just out of town a mile and a half. There was no way in the world they could get out to get that man buried.

I saw rabbits that had smothered in those drifts and thawed out, five feet above the ground. The county Caterpillars that usually plowed snow didn’t get anywhere for the first few days. Guess who had to go to the ranch and hunt up our work stock?

Eight head of those old, faithful horses, that I had worked all those years–I didn’t mention the Clyde, the blind mare that we had. She was a beautiful animal; blaze-faced, Morgan type, stone blind, but as faithful as any animal I ever drew a line over. Here again, I could talk to her and coax her through any kind of situation. Sometimes we did have accidents with teams, like crossing a river. A horse would get down, they’d get tangled up, and they’d flounder and·[page 59] lunge. I mean it is”a rip-roaring mess to clean up–broken harnesses… Sometimes it’d kill a horse. Anyway! I walked out to that ranch at the end of the thaw, and all eight were stone dead. I’m wrong about the cold. It was cold, about 20 below, and those animals couldn’t get at the feed. When that happens, an animal doesn’t last too long. They have to have continuous food.·

This blaze-faced Old Bill and the faithful bay mare that we had worked for years, were out in open stock field that had been cut with a binder and there was no food except for a few stalks. Here they were lying on the hillside, stone dead and frozen solid. The big, beautiful, black mare with one eye, had gotten down into a ditch about three feet wide. The snow by that time had made the ditch about seven feet deep, and she had just backed up and gone ahead in that ditch for about 300 yards. She couldn’t get out of it, and she froze to death, standing up. The faithful blind mare had drifted in the storm and fallen down in a steep wash where the creek had washed out. She was down about fifteen feet, straight down. The heat from her body had melted the snow like a tunnel. She was dead. One of the most pitiful sights I can ever remember.

I had to locate all of them–all stone dead. I can still remember the bad feelings I had at having to witness that–not one alive.

I need to mention Old Coaly, the balker. I wanted to kill her and feed her to the hogs, but my dad blew a fuse and said, “Now, Son, we don’t operate that way,” and he made me work this balky horse for years and years. Why somebody didn’t get killed with her, I don’t know. For no reason at all, when the going got tough, she’d stop and back into the wagon. Sometimes she would kick like a maniac. She’d kick the head right off your body if you weren’t prepared for it and didn’t dodge. It never stopped, so we had to learn to outsmart her. We had to watch her whenever they were on a hard pull. The instant she would start to fly backwards, we would yell, “WHOA”, and pull back on the lines, making her think we’d stopped it. Then we’d get out and fool around, tinker with the harness, lift her collar up and adjust something or another, and tap on the wagon to make her think we were repairing something, and then maybe she’d go ahead and work all day! But, the next day–lo and behold–the same thing would happen. Over and over and over and over and Dad would not let me kill that horse. But, guess what! Maybe that was one of the best lessons in patience I ever had in all my life. Again, it made me innovate. It made me alert because I had to yell, “WHOA!” before she figured out she had done it on her own.

So we are near the end of the first 59 pages where the numbering in the typewritten transcript drops back to 47 again. See “Notes on Page Numbering at the top of this web page.]

Just one more. This balky Coaly was a beautiful animal, [page 47b] all black, shiny coat and blaze face. I broke her to ride and I rode her all over the country. At that time I hadn’t been to Dakota, and Dad had an old flat-bottomed saddle with a low, pointed horn. I had never seen a real saddle,- a bronc saddle or a roping saddle, in my life. I didn’t know there was such a thing. Well, I had sent to “Monkey Wards” [Montgomery Wards, a famous mail-order house] and got me a regulation lariat. I roped cats and hogs and fence posts and anything that would move. I thought I was pretty good. I don’t know that I had ever even heard of a rodeo, but I got old Coaly and my rope and we went out across the pasture.·Down in the bottom, here was a big three-year-old steer, a dilly! I thought, “Now I’ll try the real thing.”·

I stuck my heel in her and we went out across the flat, wide-open, and I made a pass, a perfect toss–absolutely perfect! I flipped the rope around his hind end, kicked her in the ribs (to flip him, you know) and guess what. When that slack came up against that old flat-bottomed saddle, that saddle spun off that horse, around on her side, quicker than you could blink an eye! So where did I go? I went down that rope, halfway between the steer and horse, running wide-open. You know, I have thought for years, but I blacked out and I can’t remember one, single thing as to how I got the rope off that steer, how I got the horse and saddle back together–there is no way I can bring to mind what happened.·I wasn’t knocked out, but it was an ordeal we went through that I can’t remember.

You know, there’s more! Old Whitey. She was a beautiful, Holstein cow, almost snow-white, with cute, black markings, around her face and a little bit on her neck; otherwise, she was snow-white with a black tail. She was a huge cow, and she really rolled a bucketful of milk, but hey, she could jump any door or any fence that ever existed so she could get into the corn crib. If they eat too much corn, you know, they bind up inside, and if you don’t get a bunch of mineral oil down them, that will slide on through, they bind up so bad it kills ‘ern. It’s what we call “founder”, and they die pretty quick. We must have doped her a dozen times. She is the cow I took to town and kept in Aunt Mary’s barn for years. I hauled her hay and I got to keep the milk money. Ten cents a quart!

The barn doors were all half-doors, sawed across at an angle so the edge was real sharp. One morning when we carne out, the top door was open and this darned, crazy cow could see that corn crib. She wanted corn so bad that she jumped her front end over the door and was hanging on the door with that sharp edge up across her flanks and across the big milk veins that came from her stomach into her bag. I don’t remember how we got her down; she must have weighed about a [page 48b] ton. But somehow I got her off there. It damaged her bag, and it was many weeks before she stopped giving bloody milk.·

This famous blind horse that Grant Bunche had, old Dirk, that was so faithful–I had him over at my place and was taking care of him. I didn’t have my own horse, I had one of the wild ones and Dirk on a big load of hay. Up from our house on the 240 was a real steep hill. There wasn’t any snow but the ground was frozen so hard that it was slick, and I mean they had to really dig in their toes, and their footing kept slipping. This Dirk, I was standing on the load, easing him and coaxing him, getting over to the side where the ground was a little rougher. All at once, he started going down on his knees, and I thought “Oh my gosh, his collar’s too tight and he’s choking.” I jumped off the load, rammed my hand under his collar, and there was all kinds of room there. He rolled over and I put my ear on his side. He was dead! He’d been running out for a long time without being worked, and he had broken a blood vessel. He died right there on the road.·I sure didn’t feel very good about that! That was quite a tragedy, and to have to tell his owner what happened was something I didn’t want to have to do.

While we’re on the subject of these experiences on that 240 and the things that happened to me during my formative years: Dad had bought a beautiful, beautiful black boar. Dad wasn’t much on thoroughbred stock and in his philosophy, you turned them out into the wide open spaces and they can go to the river if they want to drink. That’s the way he believed all his life. So, he had this young thoroughbred boar–he was always trying to upgrade his herd by keeping the finest sires–and then he had bought another boar that was a huge and vicious animal. That hog would watch him out of the corner of his eyes, and you couldn’t trust him anywhere at anytime or under any conditions. He never cornered me, but then I never gave him a chance.

We came home from town one day and when we came over the hill, we heard a horrible squealing. The young thoroughbred boar was inside the barn, with the door locked, and a plank gate besides. The big boar knew he was in there and he wanted to fight so bad that he broke the door off the hinges, ripped the inside planking all loose, and tied into the thoroughbred boar who was about half his size, and had sunk those tusks into him I’ll bet a hundred times. Here was the young boar Sitting back on his haunches with his head away up in the air, completely surrendered. The big boar was frothing at the mouth and spinning around and around and about every third circle he’d stick the little boar with one of those tusks. The poor little guy was squealing so you could hear him for four miles. That was something I never forgot.

[page 49b] It wasn’t long after that until I came home and the big boar was missing. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I hunted for tracks outside of the pasture and, sure enough, there were his tracks between us and the neighbor. This big boar had smelled their hogs, made a hole in the fence, went through and headed for the neighbor’s hogs. I started up there but before I got there, down in a wash I found him. He had rooted out a nice big hole, made himself a nest, and was taking a nap! Now, I was scared to death of him and there were no trees close, so I picked up a rock about half as big as my head. I took a run with a shotput and would you believe that rock went up into the air and came down and hit him dead center” on the snout, just between his nose and the eyes. He jumped up, stuck his nose in the air, backed up, and then went ahead, backed up, went ahead, and kept that up. It had really hurt him. I started yelling at him. He stuck his nose in the air and marched down the hill and out that hole like a little soldier. He knew what hole it was. That was the end of that ordeal!

Oh my! I almost forgot this one. Well, we had an old red cow–a skinny old affair. She learned how to squeeze between any fence ever made to get to the corn. Now, I’d had about enough of that. This was when I was playing football and was in good shape, so I got me a whip one day and decided I was going to run her to death. So, she was in the corn and I snuck upon her and came down across her rear end with that old whip. Tried to cut out a steak but didn’t qUite make it. I ran that cow at least a full half-day, and the whole country behind her was green, including me. I couldn’t run her down. The surprise of my life! She was so thin and so tough that she wouldn’t die! She stood out there on the hillside and I don’t think she moved for a day and a half, but would you believe that cow never went back in that cornfield?

Here’s an easy one to remember. Back in that country when it rains, and it really rains, and there is either short grass or open field with nothing to hold the water back. When you get a cloudburst you may get eight inches of water in two or three hours. That eight inches of water simply slides off the -hills, piles up in the valleys, moves out towards the river, taking out everything–bridges, fences, you name it–everything goes. If you are back in that country, notice that the bridges are always high, way up in the air, so that the river can flood over the road for maybe a mile on each side of the bridge, and there sits the bridge, out in the middle, up in the air so trees and garbage can’t pile up under it and wash it out.

One warm summer day, probably in July, we had a dilly. You can hear the roar of the river for a mile when it was in flood stage. I’ve gone down there and watched two-foot maple·[page 50b] trees coming down that river, rolling over and over. We didn’t wear clothes because we were two or three miles from anybody, and clothes could get caught in barbed wire and kill you. Us dumb kids, would ride that flood water down a mile or more to where it came into the big river. All we had was an old cedar pole, or anything, just to hang onto for a little extra security. We did that more than once. Now, of course, it was a little problem as we didn’t have any clothes with us, to get back without being seen–down the creekbank, in the bush, around the curves–took a little doing. We probably got caught, but we never knew it. We were kids in the raw and we did it several times! This was on the 240, two miles west of the original east place.

This one, I MUST tell! Again, it really shows the true character of my little mother. The old original team we had were called Polly and Dolly, one a beautiful Morgan horse and the other a lovely dappled grey, high spirited, flighty troublemaker on the other side. We went to town with about 6-8 inches of snow on the ground. It was in the spring, quite late, I’m sure. It got hot that day and really caused a thaw. We came home in the buggy just before dark–Mother and Stanley and myself. Well, there was a creek at the head of Grand River. That is quite a river on the map before it flows into the Mississippi, or where it goes into the Missouri before it goes to the Mississippi, I can’t remember which.

Here again, there was this big flat and way out in the middle was this high bridge. We came home and hit that just before dark, and that snow water had melted so the river was at flood stage. The water was over the road for probably a quarter of a mile. Mother stopped and looked and looked. You could see the tops of the fence posts part of the way, on one side, and it didn’t look too bad. So, Mother put us down in the bottom of the box, took a good lineup on the sight so she knew she could stay in the middle of the road, and she went ahead with that team.

Would you believe we got out in there and she had to put us up in the seat? It was that deep, and there were cakes of ice twelve inches through floating in that water, that kept knocking the feet out from under the horse on the left side. When we got close to the bridge, she saw there was a huge washout where the water was running across the top of the bridge and then dropping off a foot or two. Every time she’d try to swing the horses to the left to miss that waterfall, another cake of ice would hit them, and those horses were lunging and plunging. I was maybe four, but I remember that water, I remember those horses being hit with those big chunks of ice, as plain as if it were yesterday.

There was my mother, the excellent horsewoman, talking to [page 51b] them and coaxing them. Finally, she made it to the bridge and got them up on the bridge. I could not understand why, when it was all over, my mother broke down. She sobbed and sobbed; she just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t understand that!

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