Back to Table of ContentsOur First Quarter Century in St. Anthony 1964-1989


  This part of our history covers the 25 years from 1963-4 when we moved to St. Anthony, to 1989 when we retired from teaching school.  I will use a chronological format as much as possible in writing this part of our history.

In 1964 I received a call from Ricks College to serve in a Campus Stake Sunday School Presidency.  I served in that capacity until 1966.  It was very interesting to work with the college age students.  I also was able to visit my mother often as she was working at that time as a dorm mother in Dorm #1 at Ricks College.

We had been renting our present home for about a year or so from Elmer Nelson’s widow, Leona Nelson Wild.  On October 6, 1965, we closed the deal for $10,000.00, and became the official owners.  We had tried for some time to secure a loan to purchase the house, but each lender felt that we had too many children and not enough income to be a good risk, so they all turned us down.  Thanks to a good friend, Robert Smith, who was manager of the First Security Bank in St. Anthony, we were finally able to get some direct notes that helped us out until we could later finance the house through a regular agency, which we did.

Robert Hill, a son of Hugh Hill, married one of the Nelson girls.   They inherited the Nelson family piano but didn’t want to move it - so we offered to purchase it from them for $100.00 at $10.00 per month.  We enjoyed having it in our home for many years.  After Cindy was married she decided to start giving piano lessons.  We let her have the piano which has been in good use ever since.  We bought a used grand piano the summer of 1997.  About half the grand-kids and some of the kids and spouses play it when they come to see us.  I play it for my own entertainment.

During the summer of 1966, I was awarded a stipend of money to attend a special Latin American Social Studies Institute held at Moscow, Idaho.  I invited my mother to go along and room with me that summer as she was recuperating from a heart problem.  She also took some classes and we had an enjoyable 5 or 6 weeks together doing that. 

[To show the relative age of our children at this time (1966),  Billy would start school in August as a senior in the brand new South Fremont High School.]

At the end of that time, Bonnie came up with our red and white station wagon pulling a travel trailer.  She brought along all of the children, traveling up all in one day.  We traveled as a two car group down to California and visited my brother Lawrence in Auburn, California.  We also visited David who was serving a full time LDS mission in the Northern California Mission.  It was a blessing to have seen him then, as he passed away during an open heart surgery a few months later on January 8, 1967, in Salt Lake City.  His surgeon was Russell M. Nelson, who is now one of the twelve apostles.

On March 17, 1968, I was sustained as bishop of St. Anthony Fourth Ward.  I was ordained a bishop by James A. Cullimore on April 6, 1968.  George Robinson was 1st counselor, and Lyle Nielsen was 2nd counselor.  During the years, I also had Harlo Beckstrand and Jay Sutton as first counselors, due to people moving out of town.  I was released March 24, 1974, and Jay Sutton was installed as the new bishop.  That was a wonderful growing time for me and my family.  Many important things happened in the ward and in our family during those years.

I attended an on campus summer school session at BYU in 1968.  I suggested to my advisor that I would not need to take the required religion class for that term as I had just been installed as a new bishop.  He smiled and told me that I would need to take it all the more because of that.  It turned out to be a great blessing as it was on the life and times of Joseph Smith and the early history of the church.  I shed many tears that term as I read the trials and experiences of the Prophet and his associates.  This course taught me some great lessons and prepared me for some serious business I had to conduct later with several members of our ward.

On August 23, 1968, I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from BYU.  I was now 40 years old.  This degree made it possible to receive a substantial pay increase in my teaching salary.  I continued on taking graduate classes however, so that eventually I had equal to a masters plus credits which made our final retirement very good.  Bonnie later did the same thing.

During the winter months of 1969, while he was a junior, Steve experienced some remarkable success in the high school wrestling program.  He was able to win by pinning his opponents all the way up through the district tournament and on to win the state championship in his weight (148 lbs).  A few weeks later on March 19, 1969, while doing some routine high jumping inside the SFHS gym, he had the misfortune to accidentally fracture a vertebra in his neck.  As a result he was totally paralyzed.  He was taken to Salt Lake LDS hospital by ambulance.  Bonnie rode along with him. 

After two major surgeries to repair his neck and many prayers,  fasting, and priesthood blessings, he began to slowly get feeling and movement back in his body.  He was in a full body cast for several months then took therapy for some time.  He came home from SLC August 18th, just five months after his accident.  He was blessed to be able to recover with only some minor disabilities. 

He later worked on the Treasure Mountain BSA camp staff and climbed Table Rock with a group of other young men who had some physical handicaps.  In 1972 he was called on an LDS mission in Texas South.  He was able to serve well, filling his mission full time.  I mention this especially as it was a great miracle in our lives to see the blessings of the Lord and Steve’s great determination to succeed, which he did.  He has gone on to other great achievements in school counseling and with his wife and family.  His life and experiences have brought our family and the surrounding communities closer together and increased our faith.

During the summer of 1969 Bonnie was also attending summer school in Logan.  On most weekends she drove to SLC to be with Steve.  I went occasionally.  That summer we had Grover Garrett excavate a large hole on the north side of our home in St. Anthony.  We lined the hole with black visqueen plastic.  Next we built a 16” wall of stone (from the old rock home in the middle of Horseshoe Flat) on the inside of the hole.  Then we constructed an 8 inch concave roof with reinforced steel.  It had an 8” metal pipe in the north end for ventilation.  We water- proofed it and covered it with dirt.  This was our new root cellar.  From childhood I had been raised with the blessing of a dirt root cellar to keep the vegetables in storage through the winter.  We built an entrance through the basement cement wall into the root cellar (Bob christened The Cave) so that we could walk from the fruit storage room right down into the cellar. 

It has been a great blessing to all our families.  We can keep potatoes, carrots, apples, beets, etc. from one harvest to the next.  It will hold about 2 ton of potatoes, and over a 1000 pounds of carrots plus the many shelves of boxed goods that are on each side wall.  We still fill it with produce each fall and distribute it out to our various families during the winter.

After we moved to our present home in St. Anthony, we did some major landscaping.  Among other things we regraded the ground so that it formed a huge bowl shaped area over the entire lot east of our house.  The idea was to form an area that we could flood in the winter and make an ice skating pond for those who wanted to skate.  It worked very well and we did this for several years.  If fact it could still be done. 

During the early 1970’s we took in a few full time LDS missionaries for room and board to supplement our income.  During the years we had Elders Rousch, Keller, Williams, Dennis Kreps, Brimhall, Douglas, Bashom, and Pat Riley.  Steve was in Houston, Texas on his mission and knew Pat Riley’s family there.  So while we would be feeding Elder Riley here, his parents were entertaining Steve there.  Also, Steve knew Teresa Kulbeth’s parents in Bay Town, Texas, while she was here at Ricks and worked for us on the summer program.

Now to tell a story on Elder Riley.  It was against the missions rules to go swimming, skiing, hockey, ice skating, etc.  but since our ice pond was right here in our yard and there was no danger of breaking through and drowning, he decided to risk it.  It was great to watch him out skating in the cold with only his white shirt and dark pants on.  He would wrap a scarf around his ears and put on a pair of big fuzzy yellow work gloves. 

As he played on the ice with the kids, he somehow had a bad encounter with one of our steel shod dog sleds, and came out with both shin bones severely barked.  When we came home on this occasion we found him sitting on the edge of the bathtub trying to ease the pain out of two very sore and bleeding legs.  The next morning his district leader came to visit.  He tried hard to disguise the pain and the bandages on his legs, but to no avail.  He was found out.  So much for keeping the mission rules.   

FREMONT OUTDOOR EDUCATION & RECREATION, INC.

Because of some earlier experiences in outdoor education in a summer school setting, I became interested in starting our own family business along those lines.  We did a lot of planning and in 1970, launched into this summer program in earnest.  We formed a legal corporation with the help of our attorney, Ray Rigby, from Rexburg. 

We purchased a fleet of 8 Smokercraft canoes, a used 64 passenger Ford school bus, 6 Springbar tents, and other camping equipment.  We converted the front half of the bus into a mobile gas kitchen with all the appliances we needed to prepare meals along the road as we traveled from place to place.  We hauled the guests in the back half of the bus and in the station wagon or van.

Our family worked together to staff the program and go on trips in the intermountain western states.  We hired a few extra people on the staff occasionally.  We went as far south as Manti, Utah and north as far as Spokane, Washington.  We visited all the major tourist attractions, parks, lakes, forests, etc.  We took groups of boys and girls at the beginning.  Later we catered family reunion groups.  We bought a 2nd 64 passenger bus to be able to transport these groups.  Sometimes we had up to 60 plus guests on a trip.  Most of our summers were spent in this activity.  Then we would continue teaching school in the winters.

By 1980, most of our family members had grown up and were off on missions, school, or getting married.  We kept most of the equipment but stopped doing business as such.  We kept the equipment for our own families to use in the future.  We rented the canoes out to various people through the coming years.  In 1990, we turned the canoe rental business over to Jeff who has enlarged his operation with several more canoes than we had.

On October 31, 1979, we “purchased” the 25 acres we call, The Place from the Ray Hawkes family.  We had been looking for several years to find a place to have for our summer program activities.  Bob and I were dog sledding up in the Horseshoe Flat/Teton River area the winter before.  As we made a big circle around the area we finally saw ‘the place’ we had been looking for. 

We soon approached my cousin Raymond Hawkes and his family, to encourage them to let us purchase this piece of waste ground that was located in the middle of some of their property.  After checking with all their family, some of whom were away on missions, and etc., they called for us to come to their home to settle the matter.

We explained the purpose for our wanting the place, as a family resort, and camping area.  To our great surprise they offered to give us the property, with the option that we could pay for a road right-of-way along the edge of the property so we could have access without digging up the quaking aspen groves.  We settled with us giving them $1000. for this roadway.  A legal deed was drawn up and duly recorded in the Fremont County Court House.

Through the years we have had great enjoyment developing this property.  We have been able to build or install 4 cabins, redwood deck, ball park, amphi-theater and stage, picnic area, outdoor toilets, fire pits, roads, well and water pressure system, septic tank, electricity, parking terraces, hook-ups, tenting areas, archery/rifle range, telephone, etc.

We have enjoyed many family reunions, picnics, camping trips, fireside programs, programs in the amphitheater and on the stage.  The Ray Hawkes family has on occasion also used the place for some of their activities.  The Place is as great in the winter as in the summer.  We can ski, web, or snowmachine in and have great times coming down the hills and around the groves.  Many were the dog sled trips in there in the winter.  It is only ½ mile from the highway where we park the cars across the field to the cabins.

March 24, 1974, (at the age of 46) I was released as the Bishop of the St. Anthony Fourth Ward (after six years of service).  Jay Sutton was sustained as the new bishop.  He was one of two men I tried hard to reactive during my time as bishop.  He called me almost immediately as the Boy Scout Master (for my 3rd time) and I served there until May 18, 1975.

On December 3, 1974, I was operated on in the St. Anthony, Idaho hospital for a hernia on my right side.  Grant Chandler was also there for the same thing.  As we lay in beds, side-by-side, our family and friends came to see us.  The greatest pain came from trying not to laugh as they would joke and visit with us.  With each outburst of laughter the incision stitches would sting and pull and cut short the merry making.

May 18, 1975, the Yellowstone Stake was divided to form two new stakes, the Ashton Idaho Stake and the St. Anthony Idaho Stake.  I was sustained as the stake executive secretary with President Robert Smith, A. Lloyd Barrott, and Eldon Romrell as our new presidency.  H. Eugene Hess was the new president of the Ashton Idaho Stake.  I served as executive secretary till Sept. 20, 1981. 

During the summer of 1975, Steve and Bob took Bonnie and I to Mexico in a black 4 door Volkswagen car we had purchased to take down to Billy and Luisa.  Billy had driven Steve’s pickup with a camper shell of Morris and Betty’s on the back down with their family earlier, and we now needed to make the trade.  We went by way of California, Disney World, and visited some of Steve’s friends.

Once there it took three days in the Mexican legal offices to process the papers so we could switch vehicles.  They were not able to show us very much of the surrounding country, but we did have a good trip.  On the way home we brought Luisa, Percy, and Leslie.  We each had a visa except for Luisa, who had come into Mexico without one.  We therefore had to smuggle her out.  We approached the border checking station late into the night with her stuffed in the overhead sleeping deck and me lying just in front of her with the children sleeping on the beds in the lower part of the camper.

Bonnie and Steve were in the cab.  Bonnie was the spokesman for the group.  She showed the border guard the handful of visas and told him the rest were in the back.  After a few tense minutes they let us pass without even looking in the back.  The stress was so great on Luisa that she went into labor pains, being about 8 months along with Alex.  She was soon able to move about and the pains subsided.  However, we had only gone a block or two from the border station when we had a tire blow out.  We very nervously got out and changed tires and went on our way.  We were successful but chose not to engage in anymore smuggling activities.

While we were in Meridian, Idaho, at Jeff and Lynda’s wedding reception June 5, 1976, we got an announcement that the Teton Dam had broken and that our part of the country was under water.  We traveled home the next day in the summer program bus.  We came home by way of Arco, Dubois, and down the Red Road north of St. Anthony.  All the other roads home were closed. 

We were happy to find out that the water had just missed our town, but sad at the destruction that had occurred in all the communities to the southeast, south, and southwest of us.  I worked long hours in the LDS Stake Center for two weeks in the office.  We had set up an emergency headquarters there and communicated with the emergency headquarters on the south hill in Rexburg by radio and telephone.  We had truck loads of emergency food, clothes, etc. brought into the stake center from several surrounding states.  We then dispersed the goods, and organized clean-up crews to help clean up the homes in Wilford and other nearby areas.

A year later, June 1978, we went on a church history bus tour with Ken Howell of Sugar City.  Bonnie and I took my mother and her sister, Betty, with us on the tour.  We visited most all the major church history sites from here back to Illinois.  We stopped in Nauvoo, Illinois, for the Relief Society Monuments dedication.  After the tour, we flew home from the airport in Chicago, Illinois.  It was an outstanding tour.  We gained a greater appreciation for the Prophet Joseph Smith and his associates as they endured the persecution and pioneered the trail west to Utah.

December 15, 1979, Bonnie and I sang in the community choir as they presented Handel’s “Messiah” in our local SFHS.  Kit McBride was the leader.  He asked me to sing the first tenor solo that introduces the rest of the Oratorio, called “Comfort Ye My People.”  I had sung a lot of solos and in quartets by then in my life.  This was something else, to sing this difficult and exacting number with great power and religious feeling.  I practiced for weeks on it with an accompanist and at the big rehearsals with everyone present, and finally felt some confidence.  The night of the final performance, however I was scared to death.  The Lord blessed me and I was able to render the number quite well.  We made an audio cassette tape of the whole program.  I enjoy listening to it, especially my part on it.  My mother was in attendance and later wrote telling how she enjoyed listening to her son sing.

May 8, 1981, my brother, Lawrence W. Hawkes passed away in California.  We had a funeral for him May 11th, in the Ashton Third Ward Chapel with Bishop Brent Stohl conducting.  He was buried at the Pineview Cemetery.  His son R.J. Hawkes dedicated the grave.  R.J. is now the bishop of his ward in American Falls, ID. 

In June and July of 1981, Steve bought us some special priced airplane tickets to go on a 21 day vacation.  We could fly anywhere in the USA, or Caribbean.  We chose to meet Billy in Washington DC, from there he went with us to his home in Puerto Rico where we stayed for 10 days.  Percy was baptized in the ocean.  We then flew to Disney World and Sea World in Florida, Niagara Falls, and finally visited David and Teresa Hocking in North Carolina before coming home.  It was a great trip and we were able to see a lot of country and visit a lot of people.  Thank you, Steve!  He said that is how he wanted to pay his rent for the time he lived with us before he got married. 

September 20, 1981, our St. Anthony Idaho Stake Presidency was reorganized.  With Neil Kunz as President, Blaine Hawkes as first counselor, and Grant Chandler as second counselor.  I was  now 53 years old.  This was a great nine years serving with these men and the brethren on the High Council.  Just before this time I had served nine years as the stake executive secretary with Robert Smith as President.  So, together I had served 18 years in the same office rooms in the stake house.  We were released Sept. 23, 1990.

February 24, 1985, the St. Anthony Stake Presidency announced a boundary change for six of our nine wards.  Third ward was in a situation where mostly elderly people lived.  They were not able to have a good primary, cub scouting, young men, scouting, and young women’s programs.  After the great shake-up it had balanced the membership and improved all of the wards in the stake.  Our family was now in the 3rd ward without even moving.  The stake presidency met secretly in the basement of our home many nights making plans for this change.

In August of 1986, Bonnie organized a Third Ward Table Rock Hike in the Teton Mountains.  She was the ward activity director.  We had 59 people altogether who went on the hike.  Billy, Luisa, and family were here and went with us.  This was my last hike to the top of Table Rock.  Most of the way I didn’t think I would be able to make it, I was so tired, but I just kept going.  About 50 of the 59 made it to the to the top.  It is a very strenuous hike.

In October and November 1986, our family drew up the Articles of Incorporation of Hawkes Mutual Trust Association, Inc. and By-Laws.  Our attorney, Ray Rigby, helped us organize this and file the papers with the State of Idaho.  Five of us each put up $100.00 in capital stock.  Others started putting money into individual savings accounts.  After one year we had $4500 in assets.  The year 1989 ended with about $32,000 in assets.  As of April 1, 1998 the share balance was $121,657.27.   We have over 50 members of our family participating in this program.  Over 80 loans have been made to-date (May 1998) for between one fourth and one half million dollars to our family members.

This program has been and will continue to be a great blessing to all our extended family.  Only family members can participate in it.  We have had various directors and officers in the corporation through the years.  It is to Steve that we owe our greatest debt of thanks.  He has served as Treasurer/Manager without any salary or reimbursement since the beginning.  He manages the business very well and sends out quarterly and year end reports to each family.

April 1987, I gave up the last of many dog teams to Kelly Coburn of Driggs.  I kept the harness, sleds, tow lines, lead chains, etc. in case I ever wanted to use them again.  By then all the children were gone from home, and I could see that we could not function with them as we used to do.  Yes, I still miss them in the winter time, but it is nice to not have to take care of them in the summer.

Philip and Diane and family moved to Las Vegas with the Nielsen Construction Co. to do the finish work on the new LDS Temple there.  Later they stayed there and did various finish carpenter jobs.  Philip had an interest in airplanes and the airport.  He worked part time at the airport, enough that he was able to get free air flight time for himself, his family, and his parents. 

During parts of 1987/1988, Bonnie and I were able to use this benefit and travel to various locations, including Mesa, Washington DC, Boston, and Washington state.  We had great times visiting family and friends and seeing the country.  We had to pay a total of $5.00 each for each trip and be on stand-by.  We were always able to make our connections and really had many good trips.  Thank you, Philip, for this opportunity!

July 1988, I was able to participate in the Boy Scouts of America Encampment at Island Park.  Our unit was awarded the best gate entrance and neatest camp site.  As a reward we were honored to have the president of the church Ezra T. Benson visit and have dinner with us.  We were thrilled to see him get right in and eat with his fingers along with the rest of the boys and leaders.  I was able to have a good picture taken with him at our log gateway.  This encampment was a highlight of my scouting career.

On September 1, 1988, my mother, Ida W. Hawkes, passed away in Logan, Utah, at the age of 81.  She had visited all of her children and stayed with them for a few days at a time during the last few years of her life.  However, Norma Ruth is the one who was close to her in Logan and was her primary care-giver.  We all appreciate Norma and the wonderful way that she cared for Mother through the years.   We also appreciate Mother and the example she set for all of us.  She taught us the gospel and to be obedient to it.  We love and appreciate her.

After I had taught for 29 years, all in the sixth grade, at St. Anthony Central School, and Bonnie had taught 24 years at Parker Elementary, we decided to retire.  We retired June 1, 1989.  We were both about 61 years old.  This turned out to be a good decision for us.  We received a retirement that has given us what we needed for a comfortable living.


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.