Back to Table of ContentsFirst Home on the Farm 1948-1963


This part of our history will cover the 15 years from our marriage to the time we moved to St. Anthony.

HOME AND FAMILY LIFE

Bonnie and I were married on July 21, 1948, in the Idaho Falls Temple by President David Smith.  After we returned from our two week honeymoon, the members of the Marysville Ward soon held a wedding dance and shower for us in the old Marysville Dance Hall just west of the old school house.  It was the custom then for people to come and hold a dance, have refreshments, and bring presents.  During the evening we were invited to come and sit out in the middle of the  dance floor.  Then everyone gathered around us and watched us open the presents they had brought for us.  After that we led out by dancing alone in the center of the floor.  Soon everyone joined in for an evening of dancing, fun, and visiting.

We lived with my mother and family in the farm house until they moved to Providence, Utah, that fall of 1948.  Mother decided to sell us the machinery and livestock and rent the farm ground to us.  We would give her 1/3 of the crop for rent and we would have 2/3 for our share.  We moved her and the children down to their new home in the new farm truck that we had purchased late in 1947.

During a break in the harvest that fall, I went to Blind Bull coal mine with Morris Waddell to get a load of coal for our furnace.  As we were loading up, the loader bucket fell on my foot and mashed off my right big toe.  Morris drove me to Driggs Hospital where they sewed it back on.  Lloyd was 15 years old but he was able to run the little 6 ft. combine and the WC tractor and continue on with the harvest for a week or so while I was recuperating from the accident.

After our Drummond rural route mail carrier, John McFarlin, retired in 1947, I became a substitute carrier in his place and applied to the Postal System for a permanent position in that service.  The route was changed to come out from Ashton and combined with other routes.  The position was awarded to another man from Ashton, however I served as a substitute until 1953 and again from 1958 to 1959. 

I also served as a farm census enumerator under the direction of Harry Worrell in the 1950 census.  I worked in the Greentimber, Squirrel, Drummond, Lamont, France Siding, Grainville, and Farnum areas.  This was very interesting and gave us a little extra income at that time.  One one occasion, I stopped in at the Dave and Valera Larson home north of Ashton to fill out the census form.  Mrs. Larson was an older lady who loved to play the piano but didn’t get many opportunities to perform.  She had heard me sing a lot of solos and with the quartet.  She decided to have me sing to her while she played the piano.  She refused to give me the information I needed until I had sung a few songs.  So, that is what I did.

In the fall of 1950, Bonnie and I went to Logan with the truck and rebuilt my grandmother Weyerman’s root cellar.  Grandpa Gottfried Weyerman had constructed it in 1934 when they moved there from Delta, Utah.  After 15 or 16 years it began to show signs of decay so that it needed rebuilding.  It brought joy to us to be of service, and she really showed appreciation for what we had done.

In 1951, my brother, Lawrence came up with his dump truck and helped me build a road diagonally through the field.  We rented a road grader and pulled it with our RD-4 tractor.  After the road bed was formed, we hauled gravel from the gravel pit down on Fall River near the Owen Jensen home.  Then we would smooth up the dumped piles of gravel with the grader again.  The road started just north of our house on the property line.  It then went west a couple of blocks along the small hill top, then on a line straight southwest toward George White’s farm home.  There we built a good approach to the highway. 

This road connected the old county road to the new state highway.  The design was such that when the winter winds blew it would sweep straight down our road and keep the snow whisked out very good.  It would be open many times when the state highway was drifted in.  Our old county road was 1 or 2 feet below the level of the farm fields so it was closed with drifting snow after the first good winter storm.  This was a great blessing to us as we could now get in and out much more in the winter time.

FARMING AND OTHER WORK

As my mother moved to Utah in the fall of 1948, Bonnie and I bought the new truck, WC Allis Chalmers’ tractor, and all of the machinery from her on a note.  We agreed to make payments to her each year until it was paid for, which we did.

Walter Clark bought a new tractor and asked us if we would like to buy his used RD-4 Caterpillar track type tractor for $2500.00.  As we were now operating more farm land, we decided and made the deal to buy it on April 17, 1950.  This is the tractor that I had learned to run as I worked for him as a 14 year old teenager.  I knew it was a good tractor and that we would get many years service from it, which we did.  We also bought his big 10 foot wheatland disc plow with the tractor.

We were renting the 240 acre home place from Mother, the 50 acre Fuller place in Hog Hollow, 320 acres from K.R. Henry (80 east of our house, the Whittle 80 out west, and 80 at Greentimber).  We also had 80 acres at Sand Creek for a while.  The 110 acre Lee place we had previously farmed in Hog Hollow was soon put up for auction and sold to the Worrell family, so we didn’t have it anymore.  We were operating about 600 acres on the average.

Uncle Acil Hawkes was turning his farm over to his son, Raymond, about this time.  As they were getting a new combine, they asked us if we would like to use their old 18 foot John Deere hillside combine?  We decided to try it out for a while.  It had to be pulled by the RD-4 tractor, and also have a man ride the combine to operate the sidehill device to keep it level.  If you were cutting on flat land you could tie the control solid and it would run OK without an extra man.  We fixed it up and used it one season with good results.  The next year they found a buyer for it and we gave it up.

To replace the big combine we bought a K-12 Case pull type combine from Bill Griffel.  It worked out very well.  We went all through it, replacing or repairing anything that looked like it would break down.  When we were ready to start the harvest, we had a family prayer.  Bonnie prayed that the combine would run all that season without breaking down.  I tried to keep it well serviced and adjusted.  It did run all fall without a breakdown or any trouble whatsoever.  The Lord blessed us; her prayer was answered.  We later bought another K-12 combine which we used and a third one for parts to keep the other two running.  When we eventually sold out and moved to St. Anthony, we parked those 3 combines side by side up on the waste land on the Benson place on the south rim of the Conant Creek Canyon.

After we got the RD-4 tractor, we were using it to help clean up some of the old buildings in our yard.  We had hooked a big chain on the remaining part of the floor of an old shop building and had begun to move it away.  As soon as the old floor moved a little, the mice underneath it began to scurry and move about.  Before I knew what had happened a full grown mouse scampered up on the deck of the caterpillar tractor I was driving, and then right on up my pant leg.  It made it halfway up above my knee before I could react.  I made a grab for it through my levi pants and held it tight in a grip with my fingers squeezing around its body.  Then I got the tractor motor turned off with the other hand, and yelled for my mother and wife to go to the house as I was going to take my pants off.

Another RD-4 tractor story!  After a few years we decided to make the biggest room in the chicken coop into a storage area for the tractor.  We cut down through a window area on the south side of the coop and put in a big overhead door.  As I was driving the tractor through the door and over the 8 inch cement foundation for the first time, the front end of the tractor went up in the air a foot or so as the tracks crawled up.  Then when the tractor was on center over the foundation, all of a sudden the front end went down, and the back end where I was sitting went up.  How I was able to survive being crushed was a miracle, for the back of the seat where I was sitting hit the top of the door and broke the back of the seat loose.  It happened so fast, it was all over before I knew what had happened.  I came to realize that somehow I was laying over sideways just out of harm’s way as the tractor gave the lurch and broke the seat where a moment before I had been sitting.  I shed tears as I thanked the Lord for preserving my life at that time.

During the fall of 1958, I was doing the fall plowing out on the Fuller Place near Hog Hollow.  The RD-4 tractor I was driving stopped all of a sudden.  The motor made a weird sound and I knew something was wrong with the pistons. 

We contacted Lawrence Lindsley, who had married my cousin, Margaret Hawkes.  He had done a lot of mechanical repair work for us and I knew that he could fix it.  He said, “No, I am too busy to fix your tractor.  You have a good shop at your home.  Pull it home and tear it apart.  When you get it all apart, call me and I will come down and order the parts you need to rebuild it.  When the parts come then I will come down and help you put it together.” 

The plan worked just that way and I followed his advice.  However, when the parts came I called him again and he said that he was still too busy to help me.  He said for me to just go ahead and try to put it together by myself.  He said to call him on the phone if I got stumped as to what to do and he could tell me how to proceed, just on the phone.  Well, that is just what happened.  I did have to call him many times and he always was able to tell me just what to do.  When I finally got it all put together and started it up, it was a great thrill to know that I had been able to overhaul it completely myself with his advice.

The winter we got married, 1948-1949, we lived several months in the basement of Bonnie’s folks in St. Anthony, and drove truck for my cousin, Ray Brown.  He had several trucks and had a contract to haul big broken rock to riprap the banks of the South Fork of the Snake river west of Lorenzo.  We hauled the rock from a quarry on the bluff east of Thornton.  The road became so soft in the daytime that the trucks would sink and get stuck.  It was found that if we would work from 10 P.M. to 8 A.M. that there was enough frost in the road to support the trucks.  So, we worked a 10 hour shift during the night for a long time.  It took me about 3 days and nights to make the adjustment to the new schedule, but I finally got used to it. 

On New Year’s Day 1948-1949, Bonnie and I went up to the ranch and checked the snow level on the roof of our home on the farm.  It was a very severe winter with a lot of snow and wind.  We found that the wind had blown almost all of the snow from the south side of roof and piled it up on the north side.  We had to shovel off about 5 feet of snow from that one side of the house.  We also found someone had stolen my horse saddle, and several other things from out of the house.  That same winter there was snow closure on the main highway, and the railroad to Drummond was closed for about 6 weeks.  Supplies had to be taken by snowplane to feed the families for a while.  We have a newspaper picture of a school bus covered over with snow that winter.  Also, see the railroad train in the snow banks and the rotary used to get it out. (p. 36 of the Homestead book).

We had a few animals in our barnyard lot.  In March 1961, we bought a Morgan mare, named “7-UP,” from Curley Morton.  She gave birth to a sorrel male colt on April 20, 1961.  It had a white star in its forehead.  We named it Thunder.  It was a wonderful pet for the children and didn’t need to be broke to ride, as it had been handled from the day of its birth. 

We had a few cows to milk and calves to feed.  The milk was sold to Basil Manwaring Cheese Factory in Ashton.  Then we would get whey from his cheese factory to help feed the few pigs we had.  We raised a few chickens for eggs and meat.  Uncle Acil loved to come down occasionally and buy a fresh chicken for their table use in the summer months.

ACTIVITIES AND RECREATION

Soon after, we were married and living on the ranch.  Lloyd and Alta Hawkes VanSickle came by on their way back from California.  He sold us two Malamute husky dogs.  This was the beginning of a long line of dogs and dog teams down through the years.  We have kept records of 93 dogs and pups we have had up to April 1987, almost 40 years. 

It would fill a book to relate all the experiences, trips, activities, etc. that this hobby brought into our lives.  Perhaps I will find time in the future to write a record of many of those wonderful activities with our children, friends, students, etc.

In 1984, Kelly Coburn, Floyd Huntsman, and I took one son each and made a memorable one week expedition through Yellowstone Park with 30 dogs and 6 sleds.  I took Bob.  Niel Smith also went along on a snowmachine to take video pictures which turned out very well.

As we lived those 15 years on the ranch, all of our 10 children were born and had all the experiences that farm life could offer.  They were involved with the raising of the dogs, the cattle, chickens, horses, pigs, and other animals.  They learned to operate much of the machinery, tractors, etc. as their age and maturity allowed. 

We enjoyed many camping trips out in the mountains and along the streams of our beautiful valleys.  The work of the farm along with the church activities, scouting, 4-H club and other things provided them with a well rounded out and interesting life.

We had a large garden south of the house that was watered with ditch water coming downhill in a ¾ inch pipe.  It provided 35 pounds pressure.  We sometimes divided up the whole garden into little plots so that the children could each have their own little garden and plant what they wanted.  They would plant, cultivate, water, and tend it all summer.

For a family swimming pool we obtained a used cheese vat from Basil Manwaring cheese factory.  It was 5 ft. wide 2 ft. deep and 20 ft. long.  We would fill it with the ditch water that ran down the pipe and into the yard.  Since the water had run along the surface in the sun for a few miles, it was usually lukewarm and about the right temperature to swim in.  The kids had a wonderful time during the summer months swimming and splashing water on each other.

In the spring of 1961 we organized our own family 4-H club and named it the Happy Hustler Club.  We were under the direction of Mr. Earl Hossner of Greentimber and were a part of his larger 4-H organization.  The children used the colt, a calf, and various other animals in our farm lot as their 4-H projects.  Billy fixed up a large box with medicine and veterinary supplies as he was even that early in life interested in his future life’s work.

The underground water table level in our area began to fall through the years.   When the well was dug originally in the early 1900’s it was about 75 ft deep.  When my father took over the place in 1938 we soon had to have it deepened to 175 ft.  By 1961 the water level was so low we could not pump enough out for our use. 

We employed G. Lewis Hopkins Company from Thornton to come in the fall of 1961, after Thanksgiving and deepen the well enough to get a good flow of water.  They ran into a hard object down in the well, probably a pipe wrench that had been dropped down earlier.  As a result, it took them a lot longer to finally get down deep enough (about 425 ft.) to get to good water.  It took them 10 weeks to finish the job.  (Soon after we sold the place to Mark Albertson in 1963, he had to drill it deeper again.)

We had to haul water in several 10 gallon milk cans during that time to water the livestock we had and for our household needs.  Most of the time we got the water from Walter Clark’s home in Ashton.  I would take the cans there in the morning on the way to teach school and pick them up on the way home.  Rhea, his wife, would have washed and dried a batch or two of clothes I had left and have them ready for me to take home to Bonnie. 

We scraped up enough money to pay the well driller a good down payment and paid the balance in payments later on.  He was very good to us.  We also needed a new pump and etc.  Our Bishop Morgan “Jim” Reynolds knew of our plight.  He came out one day and gave us the money out of the fast offering fund.  He said that we had paid our fast offering all of our lives and that we were entitled to it.  This was a hard thing for us to accept, but we almost had to do it.  Since then we have continued to pay a generous fast offering to repay his kindness. 

During the spring and summer of 1963, my brother, David, came to live with us.  To earn some extra money we helped Lyle R. Peterson and his wife Vernetta build their new home in St. Anthony.  We were there to do the framing and get the rafters and roof on his home.  We also helped with some of the interior work.

We lived 5 miles south of Ashton, so there were numerous trips to town in the last few of those years.  We moved to St. Anthony in August of 1963, so that brought an end to the wonderful opportunity for growth and development on the farm.

OUR CHURCH ACTIVITY

The old Farnum Ward I had grown up in as a child was discontinued Jan. 11, 1948.  It was consolidated in with the Marysville Ward east of Ashton.  So, we started out our marriage and family going to an old school house in the center of Marysville where the ward held their meetings.  I served as the YM President with Edna Heward as YW President until 1953.  Bonnie and I usually went to Salt Lake to MIA June Conference to receive instruction and participate in the Mutual activities.  It was a great experience. 

By 1950 a new ward meeting house was under construction.  We did not have the money to pay our building assessment of several hundred dollars, so I worked all one winter at the Warm River sawmill to pay for it.  I worked next to the sawyer, Neil Smith, and set the metal “dogs” for each log he sawed.  We had helped to haul the green logs out of the forest in the fall with our new farm truck.  Neil Smith became a life long friend.  The next year we moved him and his family to Washington state in our farm truck.  He later became a faithful member of the church.

Just prior to the dedication of the church house in the spring of 1952, I had the opportunity to help install the new pipe organ.  I worked with the organ installer from SLC and enjoyed seeing the internal workings of the organ.  He let me play it after we were through.  It had a most beautiful rich sound.  I loved to sing solos at church with this organ playing in the background.

July 19, 1953, I was sustained as 1st counselor in a new bishopric.  Walter Clark was bishop and Mac Reynolds 2nd counselor with Morgan “Jim” Reynolds as clerk.  We served together until February 9, 1958, when we were released.  I was ordained a high priest on September 27, 1953, by George Q. Morris, in Salt Lake City.

After our release from the bishopric, I was called to be the Boy Scout Master in our ward.  On February 19, 1959, I received a “Dad of the Year” award from the local BSA District.  I served as Scoutmaster there until September 1959.

When we moved to Providence, Utah, to go to school I was called as the Explorer leader in their YM program in Sept. 1959.

When we moved back home from Providence to the farm in the spring, I was called as lst counselor in the Yellowstone Stake YM Presidency.  Richard “Dick” Clark was president and Ross Wynn was 2nd counselor.  I served there until we were released in 1963.  We three flew to SLC June Conference in Ross’ airplane one of those years.

In 1951, Lyle Andrus organized a quartet with her nephew, Lewis King, Rulon Hillam, Z.J. Egbert, and Blaine Hawkes in it.  She was a very good teacher and made us practice several songs until they were “perfect.”  She also had a way of arranging for us to sing most every Sunday somewhere.  We sang from places in Yellowstone Park to southern Idaho and all in-between.  This was a wonderful experience for all of us.  We all became the best of friends.  In years later Mac Reynolds and Walter Clark would sing in the absence of one or the other who may not be there. 

Our family had a habit of sitting on the second bench from the front in the center section of the chapel in our ward and they filled the whole bench.  As I was in the bishopric a lot of those years, Bonnie was sitting alone with them.  She had trained them to be very good in meeting.  Sometimes at home, they had a nap in the afternoon so they would be all rested up and ready for a long 1 ½ hour evening meeting. There were many people who commented on how well behaved they were.  Once in a stake conference in St. Anthony,  Pres. Max Mortensen gave us all a good compliment in the meeting about what a good example our children were. 

We look back on the fifteen years our family lived in the Marysville ward with fond memories.  Bonnie often recalls the good feelings and love all the people showed her.  Our family did get a lot of attention because they were well behaved in meetings and were dressed clean and neat.  They were not perfect and at times after the meeting would run and play in the “wreck-and-racin-hall” a little too much.  With our last babies some of the ward girls took delight in holding, then hiding them away until we had gone part way home.  But on the way we would take time to count heads and then have to go back to the church house to find our “lost” one.

BACK TO SCHOOL & TEACHING

I had worked each winter in the local spud cellars on a sorting crew either shoveling spuds or sewing and piling the 100 pound sacks for ten years.  I received $1.25 per hr. and so could make $10.00 in an 8 hour day.  This work was often interrupted because of extreme cold, low prices, etc.   As a result I really didn’t make much money during the course of a whole winter. 

My mother had an opportunity to work at the USU in Logan at a fraternity house with her room and board included.  She made the suggestion that perhaps we could come down and live in her home and go to school in Logan toward becoming a school teacher.  We accepted that invitation and so moved our family cow along with our other necessities and children to her place in Providence, Utah.

I started school at USU as a sophomore in September of 1959.  I completed a successful year of school there and moved back home to the farm in the spring.  Mark Albertson and his wife and family rented our farm home that winter.

In those years, one could receive a provisional certificate to teach elementary school after only 2 years of college credit.  I applied for a job in the Central Elementary School in St. Anthony.  Mr. Eugene O. Rich was working as clerk of the board at the time and was helpful securing the position for me.  Also, Floyd Stohl was a school board member and put in a good word for me.  And so it was that I started teaching the sixth grade in the fall of 1960, with a starting salary of $3190.00 per year.

I taught for three years, living at and operating the farm on the side.  This proved to be too big a job for all concerned.  By now we had 10 children and the farm was not producing enough income to support the 12 of us.  So, we decided to give up the farming operation, move to St. Anthony, and go full time into school teaching.   Bonnie agreed to go back to Ricks College and also teach to help out the family budget.  She started teaching at Parker Elementary school in 1965 for $3770.00 per year.

We also took extension classes, summer school, etc. for several more years.  I received my BS degree from BYU, August 23, 1968.  Bonnie received her BA degree from USU Logan, June 5, 1971.  We continued taking graduate credit classes to upgrade our education so that we finally had a BS/BA + 40 hours which was equal to a masters degree plus on the pay scale.

In 1989 we retired.  I had taught sixth grade 29 years at Central school in St. Anthony, Bonnie had taught 24 years at Parker Elementary.  Our salary at the time of retirement was $25,912 each per year.  We also got a $11,250 bonus each as an incentive to retire early.  This made it possible for us to clear our debt load that we had accumulated over the last several years.

OUR MOVE TO ST. ANTHONY

We suggested that Mother sell the farm house and the 7 acre barnyard and garden lot to Mark and Betty Albertson.  On October 3, 1967, they paid $3524.10 for it and moved in that fall.

We sold all our machinery to Francis W. Bratt and a 10 year lease on the 240 acres on October 9, 1968.  That was the end of our farming career.  On February 26, 1969, Mother sold the east 80 to Francis W. Bratt for about $12,000 and the Benson Place to Bill Bishoff on May 1, 1977 for $46,000.  Mark Albertson purchased the Home 80 November 2, 1979.  This was the last of Mother’s farm property.

In August 1963, we moved our family to rent the Henderson house at 308 West 2nd North in St. Anthony.  We made arrangements to have our milk cow at the Elmer Nelson home on 249 West 4th North, just a couple of blocks north of the Henderson home. 

After living at Henderson’s for a year, Mr. Nelson suggested we buy his home - where we could live and have our other livestock there, as he had a barn, chicken coop, shop, and etc. in the lots north across the alley from his home.  He was planning to move soon.  As it turned out, he soon died, and we ended up renting the home from his widow for a year.  We were able, with great difficulty, to finally obtain a loan thanks to the help of Robert Smith, the manager of the First Security Bank in St. Anthony.  We purchased the Nelson home on October 6, 1965, and moved our horses, cows, chickens, and dogs into the lots on the north side of our new property.  We paid $10,000 for the house and four lots.

Our farmstead in the city soon ran into trouble.  The authorities came by one day and said that the field just north of our property had been annexed into the city and they were building a new South Fremont High School there.  The new annexation did not allow livestock of any kind except the dogs.  So we were able to keep the dog team and built a kennel for them on our house lots.  We sold the north lots to Richard Roseborough in 1969, for $1000.00, so he could build a home there.  He was hired as a custodian in the new SFHS.

Our new home was similar in many ways to the one we had just left on the ranch in Farnum.  We were all sad to have left the ranch where all the children were born, where we had lived the first 15 years of our marriage, and where I had lived for a quarter of a century as a growing young man.  In fact there were many of us who shed tears on occasion until we finally made the transition.

Through the years we have remodeled this latest home in St. Anthony to be a wonderful place.  It has been close to school, church, and friends.  Our children now have many fond memories of their growing up years in this house.


Home + Historical Summary + Horseshoe Flat Decade + First Ten Years in Farnum + First Home on the Farm + First Quarter Century + Golden Years + Ancestry from Adam Hawkes + College Credits + Tribute to Bonnie + Humor + Tribute to Walter + Percy & Ida Hawkes Farm  + Contact

 If there are any additions or corrections that would make this more complete please send them to  P. Blaine Hawkes