During the fall and winter of 1888 and 1889, Father and Uncle Will Widdison built a new room to be used as a living room for Mother, with a nice upstairs room to be used as a bedroom for the boys.
It was joined onto the kitchen of the old house.
Oh, how we loved that new bedroom in the winter time.
It was always warm when there was a fire downstairs.
However, it was too warm in the summer time and we boys would take our beds out to the shed or hay barn.
This practice we never changed while at Father’s home.
The original two room house had not been enough for a family of ten, including parents, besides, we often had others I the home to stay with us. Mother was proud of her newly added rooms and she was very happy.
How comfortable her new home would be soon.
But, said she, why not have a dinner and a dance before moving much furniture into the new room? The upstairs room can be fixed up first for the boy’s bedroom. “You know, William,” she said, “February 21 will be our wedding anniversary: I would like to invite to our home our friends and neighbors and give them a dinner on that day.” Her suggestions pleased Father very much.
He was always glad to see her happy.
If she would be happy, she must be the one to entertain.
Mother prepared a grand dinner and the home was crowded for the dance at night.
Edward Buys was there with his violin, Wm.
Edward, his son, with a guitar as I remember, and Wm.
Bancroft with his dulcimer.
It was a wonderful day of pleasure and mirth, but I feel sure that Mother must have been very tired.
Father said, “Nellie worked too hard, she overdone her strength, and never seemed to feel the same again.” March eighth was a beautiful sun shining day.
The snow was nearly all gone.
Mother seemed especially interested that day.
She went with Father out around the yards among the cattle and sheep.
Yes, life seemed more beautiful than ever.
She now had a comfortable home.
Things would be better for the family.
The home was being better arranged, and what could be nicer than a good organ, and music in the home? Fred Brewster could play the organ, at least he could play cords and accompany the singers.
Father arranged with Taylor Brothers of Provo to deliver an organ.
Our cousin, Fred Brewster was living with us when Mother died.
He and Brother Will were out hitching up the horses to take most of us children to a show.
The show as I remember was put on by a traveling troop.
Brother Will was left with the team.
After getting tired, he also went to the house only to learn the sad news of his mother’s death.
Sisters Sarah and Eliza were ready to go to the show.
Sarah was to go with Alfred Wilson.
Alfred, on entering the room and seeing that Mother had passed away, rushed back to Charleston, so he said, as fast as his horse could carry him, to report the sad news to Bishop N.C.
Father was still out doing chores.
He was called for, but Mother was gone before the time he reached the house.
When Mother started to choke, she cried, “William.” That was all she could say.
The goiter in her throat had choked her.
The experience of that night I can never forget.
It was a happy house so quickly changed to sadness. The organ that Father ordered arrived in Charleston the day after Mother’s death, so that one was sold to Geo.
Baker and another organ was delivered to our home about one week later.
When it came, it was delivered in the evening near chore time.
The salesman sat down at the organ and began to play.
I think that was the first time I had ever heard the sound of an organ.
How thrilled I was at the sound of that music, but my heart was soon turned to sadness when Brother Will turned to me and said, “Hyrum, we must now go and milk the cows.” I plead with him to wait a little longer, I so longed to hear the music.
To me it was so inspiring.
Brother Will said, “If we hurry and do our chores, we can listen to the music the rest of the night.” On the way out to do the chores, I did not walk very fast until I could no longer hear the strains of the music.
We hurried and did the chores and returned to the house, but the organ was silent.
The sun had gone behind the western hills and the musician had left our home. The next three years were sad and trying years, especially for Father and our two older sisters.
The girls seemed to realize their responsibility.
Uncle Will and Aunt Julia Widdison stayed with us for a few months so Sister Malissa, seven months of age could be nursed along with little Nellie Widdison.
It was wonderful how much sunshine seemed to come into our home by the young boys and girls that flocked to our home and the long evenings would be spent in singing, reciting, or playing games, etc.
As I have said, Fred Brewster could play cords to harmonize with most any song and he loved to do it.
Father, though not taking much part, was always interested.
He liked the young people to visit us.
They were not boisterous. In my younger days the main road from Provo Canyon to Heber passed our home.
The road to Midway separated from the Heber-Provo Canyon road on the line between the Edwards and Fower’s farms, then went due west and crossed the Provo River, then turned northward and around the foot of the mountains past the white slide and continued northward through Stringtown to Midway.
I understand that in early days and especially during high-water time, the people of Midway traveling to Provo transferred over the west Midway bench (southwest) to the low pass at the head of Deckers Canyon, thence down Decker Canyon past them, Bagley, George Brown and Enoch Richins ranches, and thus connecting up with the Heber road near what is now known as the Wallsburg Switch.
In high water time, Provo Canyon was very dangerous to travel.
One time my father and mother and Billy Hartle were driving up Provo Canyon.
The water was so deep in the road it ran into the wagon box.
It was hard to tell where the road was.
Billy Hartle nearly drowned.
Father could not swim, but he pulled Hartle back into the wagon.
Mother had her baby in her arms.
Father tried to get mother to walk around the side of the mountain, and avoid riding through the worst places.
This Mother refused to do.
She said, “If you are drowned, I would rather go with you.
I would be left helpless with out you.” MIDWAY CHARLESTON ROAD The road which now runs on the line between Charleston and Midway was not built before the year 1895.
For years we herded cows on the Midway side and Father bought ten acres of land from John Watkins which we farmed many years before the main road was built; so we had to ford the river.
Father kept good horses and he was expert in handling a team in the water.
Father learned how to drive across the river and the river seldom got so high that he was afraid to cross it if he had work to do on the opposite side.
He would start in the river at a reasonable distance above where he would land on the opposite side.
When he got out into the deep swift water, he would be going down stream.
The water pushed the wagon and team downstream, but the horses kept their footing and made for the landing point.
When near the landing point, Father would speed up the horses sot he water would not swing the wagon around too fast.
We children often went down to the river to watch Father drive across.
Mother was glad to let us go so we could report that he had crossed in safety.
The river was not so high at night as in the morning.
As I remember, Father would tie down the wagon box to the bolsters or axles so the box would not float off the wagon. Now back with my story to the main road, and back to the Edward and Fowers corner.
Leaving that point, the road to Heber gradually turned a little eastward and passed the old dirt roof Walkers (Fowers) house where Mother and Aunt Ann spent their first night in Charleston.
Then the road ran nearly east and up past the old Calvin Murdock home, continuing on past the old William Winterton home and just a few rods north of where the new home still stands.
It crossed Daniels Creek just past the big cottonwood tree which still stands.
In early days the people of Wasatch built a pole worm fence from Charleston to Heber, and it was built along about one fourth miles south of where George T.
Giles built his home out southwest of Heber.
I remember traveling that road when it entered the Heber-Daniels road about where Bill Mangum’s service station now stands. The road I have here explained was discontinued after the new road between Charleston and Heber, which we called the country road, was opened up to travel.
Part of the fence which traversed the old road remained standing for many years until it rotted away.
That fence had been built so the cattle and horses of the valley might run at large in the summer time south of the fence, but kept out of the fields northward while crops were growing. THE DANIELS CREEK WATER STORY In those early days, all the waters of Daniels Creek were used by Charleston residents as I will later explain. The settlers of Charleston were the first to use the water of Daniels Creek and they claimed most all of it.
Daniel Creek Stream divided at, or near, the lower end of the old Henry Nelson farm.
The one stream that went almost straight west ran down through Charleston, running through the lands owned by John Pollard, William Bancroft, William Winterton and Samuel Richmond, it being homesteaded by Emanuel Richmond, later known as the Simmons, Smith and Price farm.
This stream was called Dry Creek.
The Other stream always kept the name of Daniels Creek.
After its division from Dry Creek it ran in a north westerly direction going down through what was later the George Simmons farm and near where he built his house and barn.
It went through the edge of Isaac Brown’s farm, then through the William Winterton homestead.
The old channel had been filled in and now instead of Daniel Creek, there stands sheds and corrals of Heber R.
Winterton built by Moroni Winterton, the barns and corrals of Valeo J.
Winterton built by William Winterton his father.
After the old channel reaches where the old main road crossed Daniels creek just about six or eight rods north of the William Winterton last home, the route is still marked by the stumps of many large cottonwood trees and the old channel has never all been filled.
It was from this stream that father first irrigated when he moved to his homestead land.
When the Charleston upper canal was built there was a large waste gate put in to allow the overflow waters to pass through it if the canal would not carry it all.
I speak of this waste water gate because of my personal knowledge of conditions at that time and I have personally irrigated with the over-flow water of Daniel Creek, and I have done my share to help fill up the old channel when it was no longer needed.
I have seen large streams of water in Daniel Creek, in the springtime.
When people started to homestead land higher up on Daniel Creek then known as Buysville, they wanted the waters of Daniel Creek.
So, in order to procure the right to the use of the waters of Daniel Creek, some of the Daniel people helped to build the Charleston Upper Canal.
The old gentlemen, George Noakes, Sr.
Was the engineer on this project and he surveyed the route and got his grade by pouring water in a gun barrel.
The canal was very crooked because there is no cut or fill which will be found in all later built canals. In the late published book entitled “Under Wasatch Skies” p. 25, we read, “Edward Buys was the first settler on the creek (Daniel Creek) where the present settlement now is.” It was Edward Buys that purchased from my father, William Winterton, his right to the use of the waters of Daniel Creek.
He paid for it by working on the Charleston Upper Canal.
The old Walker farm, but later known as the Fowers farm where Uncle John and father farmed the year of 1869, was irrigated by water from Daniels Creek.
My father, William Winterton was one of the most interested parties in building the Charleston Upper Canal and he did much work with pick and shovel. HERDING SHEEP Nobody fenced their individual fields.
Cattle and horses roamed at will until about April 15th of each year, according to the season when growing crops would be damaged if livestock was allowed to run loose any longer. At Sacrament meetings and other public gatherings each year, about April 1st to 15th, notice would be given out to the people just when the fields would be declared closed and owners must take care of their livestock.
It meant that our sheep which had grazed over the fields west and north and even as far as Nephi Caspers home, must now be taken care of.
Brother Will must stay out of school and herd them.
It was lonesome for Will to go with the sheep alone, so why not let Hyrum go with him? So I went with Brother Will and holding to his hand much of the time, and especially did I need the help if there was a ditch to cross such as Spring Creek Ditch which often carried a good stream.
He would jump over the ditch, then he would reach my hand and say, “Jump.” I had to jump or land in the ditch.
He was four years older than I and quite stout.
We had free range for our sheep, about 250 to 300 head not including lambs.
We could graze them anywhere south of the old Heber-Charleston road and west of the Heber-Daniel road.
The Daniel Creek fields were far enough south that we need not worry about them.
As time went on each year, a few people gradually began closing in on us.
Shall I say, trespassing on our rights? Well, anyway, they began breaking up more land and sowing crops and we had to herd the sheep closer.
It was during the spring months of 1884 and 1885 that I helped brother Will to herd the sheep.
Those two seasons Uncle Will Widdison helped father to take care of the farm.
In the Spring of 1886 Uncle Will Widdison went to work for P.H.
McGuire at his sawmill in Lake Creek.
Father must have more help on the farm.
Brother Will was 11 ½ years old.
He could drive a team and help put in the crops.
Hyrum was seven years and eight months old.
Ralph was two years younger.
Hyrum knew how to herd sheep.
Ralph could go with Hyrum.
Ralph could see over the tops of the sagebrush most of the time, but he must stay close to Hyrum and not get lost.
Hyrum knows where the lucern patches are, where the sheep might do damage.
The herders must keep careful watch.
If the sheep get close to the alfalfa patches they will smell it and then will start off on the run for the better feed which they liked.
A good thing we had a dog.
Mother would put up good lunches for us, and we would hunt for the sage hen nests.
If we could find the nest before the hens started setting on the eggs they were sure good to eat.
We liked eggs, but did not know the taste of eggs in the winter time.
We did not know that chickens would lay eggs in the wintertime.
We spent many a day out with the sheep when it was stormy and cold but we would decide where we could best hold the sheep that certain day and then would build up a large sage brush fire.
Sometimes we would pull a lot of green sagebrush and build us a seat by the fire. In those early days I remember the sheep contracted skab diseases.
Some sheep would loose a lot of wool on the sage brush.
The first days Ralph and I started herding the sheep, we would get tired and we let the sheep go home in the middle of the afternoon.
Then father said, “Boys if you will keep the sheep out until sundown each night until they are sent to the summer range, I will give each of you one dollar. Besides, if you will be diligent in gathering the loose bunches of wool that you see hanging on the sage I will pay for all that you can gather.” We liked Father’s plan so we each gathered wool and would go home with our pockets full.
The wool we gathered brought us more money than our dollar wage.
However the time for shearing soon came around and our gatherings of wool soon became harder to find.
I don’t remember that anybody told us we smelled like sheep.
Now-a-days people are so funny.
What does it hurt if you carry wool in your pockets and smell like sheep? Now that we were to be paid for keeping the sheep out until sundown we were sure that the sheep did not cross the canal until the sun had settled behind Timpanogas.
When the canal was full of water it was sure fun to see the lambs jump into the water and have to swim.
If the herd had not had such good leaders that had been trained year after year, we would not have been able to get them to cross such deep water.
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