Memories of Percy Hawkes
He always had interesting
things to tell me of his growing up years.
He was considerate and kind to everybody. When he went to the Navy we wrote letters occasionally.
Then he sent me a Middy Blouse which I wore often to school.
I think I was about a Junior in High School.
His sister, Effie, was my
step-mother. His mother, Sarah, was
staying at our place while she was building a duplex half a block south of our
home. She moved into it and we
rented our big house to a fraternity and moved into his mother’s duplex on 3rd
E. and 4th North.
Hazel Dunford, a new
widow, with a little boy, rented the lower apartment.
Hazel and I became great friends - Percy was fond of her also.
Hazel built a nice home ½ block south of us.
Hazel eventually married her dead husband’s cousin, Grover Dunford.
You can be proud of your
fine father. He loved to play
baseball on the Farnum teams. He
lived at the Brown’s sometimes when he was in Logan.
A humorous incident
happened in our home. One time
unexpected company came to visit us. They
took up all the extra beds. Percy
lay down in my bed. I came home
late from a date - there he was. He
pretended to be asleep and held really still.
I slipped in just enough to get some covers over my head and went to
sleep as far from him as I could. In
the morning the whole family had a great laugh at the whole affair.
A memory I have - is
Grandma Sarah Ann Hawkes calling her kids into dinner.
They were out and about and sometimes far from the house.
She would go out, cup her hands over her mouth and in a high shrill
voice, loudly yell: Aceeee!
Effieeee! Elsieeee! Perceeee! They
all knew that meant it was time to come in.
Memories of Percy Hawkes
by - Ray Brown, a nephew
Spring 1997 Logan, Utah
I remember Percy coming
out of the Navy in January 1919. He
really looked great in his Navy suit and hat.
He stayed 5 days at out place in Logan and treated us to ice cream at the
drug store. We thought he was
In the spring he went to
Horseshoe Flat and started farming. He
farmed 320 acres on the east side of the road and lived in the 2 roomed log
cabin. There was a log barn just
southeast of the house.
When I was 12 and 13 years
old I would come up in the summer and stay for two or three weeks with him in
the cabin. I would help him farm.
On one occasion we were plowing on the 80 right by the house.
The 4 horses were pulling a 2 bottom plow.
Percy taught me to drive the horses and I could do it quite well. One day I was way out on the north part of the field and the
horses were hot and tired and quit working.
They just stood there resting. I let them rest a while, but when it was
time to go, I could not get them to budge.
I tried everything I had seen Percy do, but to no avail.
My only recourse was to
walk back to the house and get Percy to come and get them going.
When I got to the cabin - I found Percy taking an afternoon nap.
I awoke him with the news. He
jumped up and ran as fast as he could up through the field to the horses. By the time he got there they had milled around and gotten
themselves thoroughly tangled up in their harness and the plow.
Percy was very angry at me and the situation, but soon was able to get
the problem solved. He was always
very kind and good to me, however.
Even after Percy and Ida
were married Ray Brown would come on occasion and help with the farm work.
Ray Hawkes and Ray Brown were about the same age and being cousins spent
many summers on Acil and Percy’s farms.
Ray Brown tells the story
that he and Ray Hawkes were staying in the log cabin with Percy and Ida.
On one occasion they peeked through the kitchen door crack and saw that
Ida was taking a bath (with her back to them).
She was splashing a little water on Percy and they were laughing and in a
Ray remembers a lot of
fishing trips, baseball games, picnics, and other good times being up on the
farm and working.
by - Raymond H. Hawkes
When I was a young man in
my teens, I remember an interesting project that Percy (everyone called him
Percy, out of respect I should have called him Uncle Percy but I fell in with
everybody else and used the familiar name of Percy because he was just a member
of the family) and I undertook. We
moved the Joe Cazier house from the other ranch [to the west] to the ranch which
Percy owned at the time in Horseshoe Flat. We connected it to the log cabin that my grandfather, Joshua
Hawkes, built in his early days of homesteading. The small two-room frame house was standing idle, so Percy
made a deal with Dad to buy it.
We jacked it up and placed
logs under it which we used as skids. We
hooked on to the skids with the Caterpillar 20 tractor which Dad had recently
purchased. We thought the tractor
would be able to pull it all right because it had tracks instead of wheels for
traction. But the tractor could
barely pull it. We avoided steep
hills, washes, and rock patches. We
took down several fences and replaced them afterwards.
The house was heavy enough to leave some healthy skid marks behind it.
After getting the house to
its new location, Percy raised his family of six children in it.
This same house was later moved to the Whitmores where they (Albert and
Reva) raised a large family in it. It
was a home for three large families.
I believe I was visiting
with Ray Brown in Logan during the summer of 1927. At this time Percy and Ida became engaged and we all spent
time at Grandma Hawkes’ place in Logan. It
was a time of much joviality and many pleasant times were spent together.
It was a big event in their lives and made for a lot of excitement in all
As a young man I remember
plowing on the home place at the ranch. I
was driving six head of horses on a two-bottomed plow and doing summerfallow.
Percy was paying me to do this and I think it was about one dollar a day. The plowing went very slowly and I thought we never would get
through. It was monotonous to sit
on the plow and watch the weeds being turned under as new furrows were being
made. This happened day after day
and eventually the summerfallowing came to a finish.
Percy had a marvelous
sense of humor. He was at our place
in Farnum one hot summer day and I asked him if I could go swimming in his car.
He replied that he didn’t think it would hold water to do it.
I was having trouble with one of the doors on his car and he said the way
to fix it was to lift up and bear down at the same time.
When Ray Brown and I were
young men we were getting the combine ready to start in the harvest at Percy’s
place. Percy came out and said,
“Would you boys like to come in to supper?”
We were talking and said something to the effect that we were not boys
anymore, but were men. He overheard
us and referred to us as young men after that and made us feel important that we
had arrived at the point in life where we were men and not boys anymore.
Percy was my bishop when I
reached the age to think about going on a mission. Economically times were tough as we were just pulling out of
the great depression of the 30’s. Percy
encouraged me to go, and he told me the ward would do what they could to support
me. I was able to get 160 acres of
ground known as the Wade Place. It
had been lying idle for several years and was just growing a crop of weeds each
year. We were able to get this
ground for practically nothing, so I decided to raise a crop on it which would
help pay for my mission. I was sent
to the East German Mission which cost me $25.00 a month for the time I was there
from Feb. 1937 to Sept. 1939. I’ll
always be indebted to Percy for getting me off on my mission. My mission helped me set some lifetime goals and I have been
so thankful for them as they have made my life much happier and more meaningful
than it would have been otherwise.
I had arrived home from my
mission and had never had a chance to talk to anybody about [my sister]
Helen’s death. She passed away
shortly after I arrived in the mission field and I went throughout my mission
without talking to anyone about her dying.
She was 19 at the time she died and I felt it would be a good thing to
get the answers to a lot of questions I had about her.
I felt close enough to Percy to talk to him about it. We were working in the timber in Island Park when a good
opportunity presented itself to have this confidential conversation.
It was a wonderful experience and I felt close to the spirit at the time.
I shed a few tears and felt so much better afterward because I felt a
burden had been lifted from me. So
many unanswered questions about death, the spirit world, and why everything had
happened the way it did, gave new meaning to life and what it is all about.
I appreciated him so much at the time and this gave me a close wonderful
relationship with him that was meaningful and always remained with me the rest
of my life.
When Leah Belle and I were
married we wanted to spend the first night in the Hotel Utah.
We had a wonderful dinner and a reception in the Empire State Room at the
hotel with several relatives present. After
an outstanding evening we decided to retire and get what rest we could because
we had to get up and leave about 5 A.M. in order for me to get back to San Diego
without being A.W.O.L. Percy walked
up and down the hallway calling Leah Belle’s name, trying to find out which
room we were in. It was like a
little puppy dog and as soon as he found our room he came and jumped in our bed
and wouldn’t get out. It made a
relaxed moment for us which could have been a tense situation.
We appreciated the fun he made for us and always remembered the pleasant
evening he made for us.
of Percy S. Hawkes
By - Leah Belle D. Hawkes
I must have had more
exposure to Percy during Ray’s month’s leave as I was up there more
weekends. My next vivid memory of
him was the following Christmas Holiday (1944) when Ray had a 15-day leave and spent it in Rexburg with me and my family.
His dad, Acy purchased a Dodge from his sister Effie, in Logan, and asked
Ray to drive it back to California to him on Ray’s return trip from his leave.
It was planned out that Percy and Ida would ride down with Ray for their
first trip to California. I decided
to go as far as Logan on the bus with the three of them, and we had a jolly time
When reaching there, I
called home and received permission to ride on down to California with them as I
still had another week or ten days’ Christmas vacation before school at BYU
began in January. This was one of
the most enjoyable and pleasant trips I can ever remember.
There was nothing but laughs and jokes the whole way.
We arrived in the Riverside, California area after dark on New Year’s
Eve, and in trying to find our way into Los Angeles, ended up in some orange
groves. After much trial and error we arrived at Ray’s parents’
The plan was to show Percy
and Ida, Forest Lawn, which we toured for several hours on New Year’s Day, and
they enjoyed it so much as it was a gorgeous warm almost summer-like day there
in California. Afterwards we went
to Ray’s parent’s home and had his mom’s famous donatelly or don Italy, a
wonderful pasta casserole made with pork roast or chicken.
We went on to San Diego where Ray had to report in and they spent several
more days sightseeing with his parents before returning home on the bus.
Those were war-time days and very few people could get enough gas or
tires to drive private cars between Idaho and California.
Six week later Percy and
Ida and my mother and I travelled by bus to Salt Lake City for Ray’s and my
wedding the next day. We had a very
pleasant time with them, once again and then Mother and I went to the
City Building and made the arrangements for a wedding license the next morning
before going into the temple.
The group who went through
the temple with us the next morning were: Ray’s parents, his Aunt Elsie and
Uncle Charles Orison of Logan, Aunt Effie of Logan, her son Ray Brown and wife
Lois, of Nibley, Uncle Percy and Aunt Ida, my mother, Isabelle Davidson, and my
grandparents Sarah Louise and William Byram.
We hosted the same group for a wedding dinner at the Empire Room of the
Hotel Utah about 5:00 P.M. on Valentine’s Day 1945. Ray’s sister Peggy attended the dinner. After dancing a while and then mailing our wedding
announcements, we all stayed at the Hotel Utah.
We didn’t want anyone to
know just where our room was, and so crept up to another floor to our room.
Soon we could hear Percy going up and down the hall calling,
“Lee—ah—Belle!” over and over, as mournful and loud as he could. We were laughing so hard in our room and hoped he couldn’t
find us. Finally, he burst in, and
tore our bed all apart and jumped in it and covered up!
He said he was staying the night there!
He stayed there over and hour and wouldn’t budge!
Everyone trooped in and we had a lot of fun over it as he quipped many
humorous things, as only he could. We
finally got him out of there, but he kept calling us up every little bit until
about 2:00 A.M. saying each time, something like,
“Is this the Hawkes nursery?” or something else to bring us a laugh.
We will always appreciate
the humor and relaxation he brought into an otherwise tense moment in our lives
and have grieved that he wasn’t able to share such a moment in his own
children’s marriages, as he made so much fun for us and we will always be
grateful for him. My dad was in
Kansas at a funeral and Ray’s dad was not the kind to be anything but serious
at that time. So the comic relief
was welcome! We knew we had to
leave by 5:00 A.M. with Ray’s parents to ride 18 hours to Los Angeles and on
to San Diego to get Ray back in 72 hours from the time he left.
Seven months later, we
made our first trip home on leave from San Diego and Ray longed for a camping
trip in the forest. So we planned
one with Percy and Ida, where we had an enjoyable time somewhere up in Island
Park. While there in our tents, we
heard on the radio that the Japanese had surrendered and it was VJ Day!
What a happy day to share with them.
World War II, which had so shaped all our lives for years, was over!!
Our next association with
Percy and Ida was the following Christmas Holiday while home from BYU, after
being out of the Navy since October. One
day of the holidays we spent at Percy and Ida’s and he took us by sleigh up to
the ranch and back. I can remember
how fun it was with sleigh bells jingling, and seeing the horses’ breath in
the cold. We were all bundled up
snugly in the sleigh with the rest of their family having a jolly time.
That was the last time I ever saw him alive.
When my school was out in
June of 1946, I got back to Idaho and Ray’s parents took me on up to the
ranch. We passed Percy and Ida’s
and they told me how sick he had been. I
wanted to go in as we passed the house, but for some reason they were in a hurry
and said I could come back and see him the next day. The next morning he was taken suddenly to St. Anthony to the
hospital and passed away before I could see him! I always regretted not insisting on going in to see him as we
passed by the night before.
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If there are any additions or corrections that would make this more complete please send them to P. Blaine Hawkes.