Some History of the Life of Christine Elizabeth Nilsson Murray
By Mildred Viola Murray Wilkins
My mother, Christine Elizabeth Nilsson was born the 19th of November 1865 in Hindersteap, Sweden. She came with her parents, Erik John Nilsson who was born the 20th of April 1829 in Kvlstro, Orebro, Sweden and Maria Charlotta Johanson who was born the 25th of July 1837 in Kvlstro, Orebro, Sweden and their family all of whom had been converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (the Mormons) where they could be in the land of Zion, then, the territory of Utah, the year 1878 when she was about thirteen years of age.
The ship they sailed on was an old condemned freighter called the “Nevada”, but the old Captain said, “If they were willing to chance it, he was, because no ship with Mormon emigrants on had ever sunk yet.” He had enough faith in these so called “Mormons” to take the chance.
The day dawned clear and beautiful, warm sunshine filled the air and many friends and relatives of all the people that were leaving had gathered at the ship docks to bid farewell to their loved ones who had joined the Church and were leaving and knowing they would probably never see them again. It was a joyful day for Christine and her brother Carl, her sisters Charlotta, Augusta and Annie, of course they couldn’t see the hardships that lay ahead in the future, and their parents had that undying faith it took and were more concerned in the gospel, and getting to Zion, the land of the promise.
They left behind in that beautiful land of Sweden, a lovely two story house of brick, the only house in that area with a basement, and must timberland, many acres of trees, some of which were the Sycamore. Christine’s father was a shoe repairman (a cobbler in those days) by trade, and a carpenter and tooled leather and that sort of thing. All I know of his parents is that his father was a jeweler, and after repairing a watch for a customer who needed it for a Christmas gift, he closed for the days work, locked up the shop and started to take the watch to it’s owner. Now in this venture was a short-cut across the lake that froze over so hard, the ice would crack open, leaving quite wide crevices, which the young folks would skate right across in delight, and everyone was aware of these wide cracks. Christine (Mom) did tell me of the many times that she with her Swedish friends had such fun at skating parties and sliding over the thick ice and over the wide cracks, not at all afraid of falling in. But her grandfather, getting along in years, and by now it being nighttime, he either slipped or walked off into the water in one of these cracks, they found him the next day, the watch had stopped at ten to midnight. This happened in Lake Multen along who’s bank the cranberries grew wild and plentiful.
Christine’s father was not a poor man, they were able to hire help in the home if necessary, instead of having to work in the factories there like so many of their friends the same age, (They were well to do). He was an honest and trusting man and made a loan of seven hundred dollars to the missionaries who had converted them, and was to be paid back when they arrived home, back in the U. S. A., but their parents were poor and unable to do this. He also loaned seven hundred dollars to some friends who had wished to go along but lacked the necessary fare money, this also he never got back. Back to the day of their leaving, the embraces were made, the good-byes said through blind tears, that only courage and faith could console and comfort as they walked the gangplank up and onto the huge and condemned freighter. They traveled first class, so spent much of their time on deck, they, along with most of the other passengers stood on deck as the old ship pulled away, watching their beloved homeland fade away in the distance.
After a few days out from home, one little girl got sick and died, her little body was wrapped in a sheet, put into a canvas bag with a few lumps of coal into one end of the bag, and with a few comforting words from the ships captain to the bereaved parents, her little body was slid down a sort of ramp into the cold restless arms of the ocean. This was a very saddening experience. Then, a few days later came up a terrific electric storm, The ship rocked, tossed and squeaked. It sounded as though it would fall apart any minute. Dishes slid from tables, passengers were unable to stand without falling, they screamed, cried out and prayed, saying “We shall all be drowned.” But the old captain ordered them all back to their cabins, saying, “Fear not, no Mormon emigrant ship ever went down and this one shant.” soon the storm was over and the day dawned bright and clear. Many people suffered seasickness. Finally, they arrived in New York Harbor. This was a new experience to all of them, as everything else was. They were then guided to a sort of barracks where they stayed that night. I really don’t know how long it was before they were put on a train which would take them to Salt Lake City, Utah, the land of Zion. They arrived there on July 15th, 1878. After leaving their homeland June (date unknown) 1878 to sail for America and Utah, to be with the Saints and live the gospel. I can tell you nothing of their journey for New York to Salt Lake City, my Mother laughingly told me this, I guess we looked quit pitiful as we being emigrants, got off the train at Salt Lake depot and was walking along the street with many others, a bandanna on our heads, our dresses some-what longer than the City folks wore, and different. A kind lady handed my mother a loaf of bread which we were grateful for (in those days the loaves were huge), we couldn’t understand what she said to us, (they didn’t know English).
Now as Brother Brigham was placing the emigrants, and where he felt they fitted in best, and was most needed, he placed them out at Vernon, Tooele Co., Utah, a dry and sparsely settled area. Here he was to repair shoes and mend harnesses for the members that had arrived there earlier. They made a scant living at this, not many had an income of money, so it was mostly barter produce for labor. They struggled along in this manner for sometime, the mother very lonely and the father trying hard to learn to speak and to understand this new English language. But time marches on and the girls grew old enough to work out, only at housework, there was nothing else. Christine got a job for a John C. Sharp, a family with four small children, at $2.50 a week. this helped the family some. and some time later this little family of four children contracted what they called “black Diphtheria” and all four children died. The Sharps were so saddened and lonely by this sudden and terrible loss that they kept Christine on for quit some time. The rest is not clear to me, but it runs in my mind that Mr. Sharp was a sheepman, and owned large herds of sheep.
Jeremiah Murray whose parents and grand-parents were converts to the Mormon Church and since his father lived the law of polygamy and had a plural wife, Jeremiah lived and grew up with his grand-parents in Spanish Fork and by now he too was old enough to make his own way in life, so he got a job shearing and hurdling sheep for Mr. Sharp. Before I go on I must tell you that the house they lived in wasn’t much. It lacked in all the comforts they had enjoyed in their lovely house in Sweden, and Christine’s father learned to speak the English language very fluently, he had to in the work he was engaged in, but poor grand-mother never did and was always very lonely. Christine’s father read the Bible in his spare time and in the evenings by lamplight and would shed tears as he predicted the problems and hard times his posterity would have to experience due to the prophecies that were foretold in the Bible. They eventually purchased a farm and moved into a two room log house with a shingled roof, and then they added two more rooms.
Now they were quit comfortable. This house still stands with the exception of the addition. this is where the father died on the 20th of Nov 1893 at the early age of 64 years of pneumonia. He had toiled hard along with his son Carl, who by now was a strong and husky young man. They had one more son born to them, John Emil, who only lived one month and five days. Christine’s father never regretted coming to the United States and to Utah and joining the Mormon Church. He would off times say that his children’s children would be blessed by their efforts. The mother lived on for quite some time and was often very lonely as she never had anyone to talk with besides her family and the girls were all married by now. Carl remained at home t the farm to be with and care for his mother. She died 2 Aug 1904. They were both buried in the Vernon Cemetery and Vernon, Tooele Co., Utah.
I wish I could tell you more about their first home, but I can tell you that the neighbors were at least one mile apart. And you must remember there was no automobiles in those days, no electricity and no doctors. They depended on the Priesthood and each other, but were blazing the way for their posterity in the future.
Much earlier than the death of her parents, Christine had grown up into an attractive young lady. Her sisters also. One day as they had all gathered at one of their homes as young people often do (perhaps this was Sunday). A young man came riding by on a beautiful black prancing horse. This really excited the girls. He was very well dressed, and they could see that he had black curly hair. What they didn’t know was that Mr. Sharp had been telling this young man about this special group of girls. Well.. He made it his business to ride by several times before finally he lured them out to visit a bit. As I mentioned earlier this was a lonely and sparsely settled area where friends and neighbors were appreciated. And this bit of introduction was the beginning of a romance that resulted in the marriage of Christine and Jeremiah Murray sometime later. Theirs was a long successful marriage. But life in those days (a generation later) still was not easy. The jobbed around for a while, But Jeremiah (he was called Jerry now) thought they could do better if he went into business for himself, which they did a time or two.
One was a camp and feed house for freighters at Camp Floyd. This camp house proved to be a poor investment, so they sold it for what they could get and returned to Jensen, Utah where they had been earlier in their married life. By now they had three children, Elda Elizabeth eight years old, Edith Mariah six years old and Julius Guy two years old. Unfortunately they contracted whooping cough and being July the weather was warm and their problem seemed to be moderately light and the cough not serious. Time had meandered into the middle of August and a gentle rain had fallen leaving shallow puddles and many tiny toads hopping about. The children glad for this change in the weather ran out and joyously wadded and ran through the shallow pools of cool rain water. That night Edith took a backset of whooping cough. The nearest doctor was at Vernal, Utah. He was called in and gave the wrong medication that would stop the cough.
After returning to Vernal, he realized his mistake and returned the next day to correct it, but it was too late. Little Edith was gone. Many is the mistake that has gone down to the grave, leaving behind loved ones with lonely and aching hearts. Many times Elda told me of her loneliness and how she missed her little sister Edith. Edith is buried in a rocky cemetery out a short way and west of Jensen. the caption on her marker (which is a marble monument with a lamb nestling there) reads “she was the sunshine of our home”. Whom all agreed was true. Christine blamed herself for this and grieved much, wishing she had not allowed the children to wade in the water and run after the tiny toads that had excited them.
While living at Jensen, Christine gleaned in the fields liken to Ruth of old and gathered wheat to plant five acres, while Jerry was herding and sheep shearing. It was after Edith’s death they left Jensen and moved to Camp Floyd. Here is where Vernon Lester was born, and Vivian Adella at near-by Fairfield and where they became discouraged and sold out and moved to Sandy, Salt Lake Co., Utah. Here they went into the butcher shop business in connection with a grocery store. this was very successful for a while. Jerry supplied meat to the markets in Murray, Utah, Park City, and other towns. hen came a depression and employment went down. People were unable to pay their bills or to buy more at the store. One day Jerry got into his buggy and made a house to house personal call on all his customers who he had extended credit to, but without any success.
Times were really hard and they felt it. So he and Christine tried to sell the store, but no one had any money, so they took what they could, closed the doors and went to try the only place where he might get a job, the Murray Smelter. He was lucky and went to work. this drove the wolf from the door and with what money they had been able to save they bought a five room brick house of five acres of land. Christine at last had a fine home and knew what it was to be content and have close neighbors. She was soon raising chickens, a garden, and flowers all around her house. Here is where I was born, my name is Mildred Viola and Douglas Jeremiah was born here too. Here is where they bought their first range stove, named Steel-star. It was a pretty thing with lots of chrome trim, a warming oven, and a reservoir to be kept full of water. Also a pretty white iron bedstead with brass tips on all the curlie-ques to the head and the foot, beautiful brass knobs on the four poster, and a dresser and commode and other luxuries. But these comforts were short lived.
They now had three sons and three daughters and the two of them making a family of eight. Working at the Smelter the rest of his life to provide for them worried Jerry. so at the opening of the Uintah Basin Indian Reservation in 1906, and the glamorous Government write-ups for homesteaders stirred the pioneer blood in Jerry and he became restless. Seems all one had to do was file an application, and if you were lucky, you were immediately assigned 160 acres, and Jerry would rather be self employed than work at the smelter, so they sold the five acres and the lovely brick house to pioneer it out in Uintah Basin, Uintah Co., Utah. Again Christine liken to Ruth of old, “Whether thou goest I will go”. Jerry bought a team of horses and two wagons and harnesses. they already owned a small team and a black top buggy. He put covers over the wagons (like prairie schooners) to help protect the furniture and trailed the buggy, two milk cows, a box of chickens attached to the back of one wagon kept them in eggs, the cows kept them in milk. It seems there were more cattle, but I do remember the two cows, spotted red and white one we called Daisy, and a black we called Blacky. Sometimes I and Della would ride the cows.
The Desert News put an article in the paper about this means of transportation. Jerry and Christine got a laugh from that. I don’t remember how they happened to get the paper. I must pause here to tell you that these cows were Christine’s inheritance from that grand old couple that sailed the briny blue, and weathered the hardships, trials and poverty at Vernon and are laid to rest there, but this pioneer family (still quite young) seemed to enjoy their traveling along, looking forward to the future and the free land, for them and their sons so they had been led to believe. It wasn’t easy, the boys were still too young, so one hundred and sixty acres of sand and shad-scale was their allotment. Georgie Royals girl, a friend of Elda’s came along with Elda. They thought they would be able to file on a piece of land, but that didn’t work out either, so Georgie left and returned to Salt Lake City.
After leaving Sandy, Utah, when this family arrived at Daniels Canyon, they were not allowed to go on because the Indians were on the warpath, so they held up there for a while. The soldiers at Fort Duchesne kept the Indians under control, but sometimes it took a little doing. While at Daniel’s Canyon is another chapter in the life of Christine. Jerry and son Guy got permission to proceed on with one wagon of furniture etc. Elda and Georgie Royals went along too. This part is dim in my memory, only that Georgie wanted to see what she was getting into before she got so far away and she couldn’t get back to Salt Lake City. As I mentioned earlier she did return.
Christine, companion that she was, remained in the Canyon with her family of four. this alone was a responsibility. Vern not yet fourteen, Della, Mildred and Douglas of five months. Vern fished in the nearby stream, cared for the horses, gathered firewood and helped in many ways around the camp. Active curious Della had to see what old Bell (one of the horses) would do if she tickled her heels with a long willow, well, the willow wasn’t long enough and Della got a severe kick on the wrist which swelled up and was terribly sore and black and blue for sometime. And poor five year old Mildred came in contact with poison ivy where it was miserable but not visible. There was no doctors to go to, so Christine with here courage, faith and ability, cared for all our ills, and ailments, prayed much and trusted in the Lord. I will elaborate here to tell you more about her pioneer life here in the Canyon. She had a tent to shelter them and to live in, a sheet iron stove to cook on, which is a camp stove about 26X28 inches square and has a small over for baking biscuits, a small door above the ash pan to slide the wood in, also tow holes on top with a square piece of the same metal (or tin) to cover them with, and a place for the stove pipe at the back.
They carried this stove on a contraption added to the rear of the wagon, also about 4 joints of stovepipe with a wire run through them so they could be fastened on the side of the wagon, along with thirty gallon water barrels they carried along for emergencies. Now back to the tent, she had this young baby to bath and care for and the other children to try to keep clean, and the laundry. she enjoyed the shade of the trees and the rustle of the leaves in the breeze at the close of the day. Her neighbors, the Hodsons, were very kind.
Eventually Jerry returned, and this pioneer family made ready to leave the canyon and the good people who had been so kind and friendly to them, and journey on into the Uintah Basin. (Again liken to Ruth of Old-whether thous goest I will Go.) As summer faded into fall, and winter rapidly approaching, they did not stop at their desert entry (Uintah Basin) but continued on their way to Vernal where they moved into two rooms of the grandfathers big house (Jeremiah Hatch Murray) in Measer Ward.
They sent their children to school here. This was comfort at last after the long trip. (I must tell you that Jerry put the tent up every night to make it as comfortable as possible for Christine.
All to soon spring arrived. However, they were anxious and they had received their allotment of land on the Reservation, 160 acres, so not they moved again, arriving there on Easter Sunday 1906. It was a barren desert with only sand, wind and sunshine. This was 3 miles due east of now Roosevelt, Utah. A tent was set up, a wagon box with bows and a cover served as a bedroom for Elda, this was set beside the tent. the furniture was stacked and covered as best they could with the Linoleum which was taken from the floor of the house in Sandy.
The wind blew every day and the sand flew, but nobody seemed to mind. Oh the faith of those stalwart pioneers. Next morning after their arrival they saw a few more tents on the prairie, now they had neighbor. One day a whirlwind came up and picked Elda’s bedroom (the wagon-box) up in the air and lifted it over the top of the tent and set it down on the opposite side of it. Fortunately nothing was spilled out or lost. this created quite a commotion and some excitement for a while. Soon as possible a one room cabin was built 21X21 ft square. You must remember there was no saw mills, no lumber yards to buy from, so there was no floor at that time, only the good earth. This also served as the roof when laid upon gunny sacks that was secured at Fort Duchesne which was five miles away over a road of deep sand and two dangerous dugways and on the banks of the Uintah River. These sacks were split open and laid over laggin. Laggin was the limbs from cottonwood trees, 4 to 6 inches in diameter carefully split and laid side by side, close together as possible reaching from one ridge pole to the other.
From the inside it was not at all attractive, but with it’s dirt roof and the walls carefully daubed with mud, made this humble abode warm in the winter and cool in the summer. this is where Ralph Nilsson Murray was born. He was delivered by a mid-wife a Mrs. Cougart who was a likable chubby lady. Home is where the heart is, and we spent a joyful Christmas there that year of 1907. Baby Ralph made it like spring on the inside while on the outside the cold winds would blow.
Soon after their arrival on the Easter Sunday, Christine planted potato peelings, (none was wasted), Hollyhocks and Cosmos. We watered them from the barrel. Soon we had new potatoes to eat and flowers to enjoy. The desert was covered with a variety of wild flowers, and it seemed Christine knew the names of all of them. She didn’t get to attend Church much those days. The only one established at that time was a Presbyterian, so she sent us kids to that in our one horse buggy. Jerry and son Guy worked on the Lakefork Canal to get water down to the farmers while Vern remained at home to help Christine care for the family and do what chores they had. This ranch was three miles east of Roosevelt, over a deep sandy road. What neighbors they had were a mile apart. a saloon was one of the first establishments there.
The Indians roamed the prairie most every day and so did the herds of wild Indian ponies. The Indians would go into town to buy whiskey, and sometimes get quite drunk. One time a group of about seven stopped off at the small corral we had built by now, by a tree, (to be in the shade as it was quite hot). They were drinking and would come to the house to get water to mix with the whiskey. They became louder in their talk and chant, and they would come more often to the house for water. They looked so vicious and we kinds were so scared we coaxed Mother to leave. Well there was no place to go except up the road, a deep sandy road. Vern with his trusty little horse Blue Bess took Douglas on with him and Della and myself clinging in fright to Christine’s apron started up that sandy road. We hadn’t gone far when like an answer to our prayers some soldiers from Ft. Duchesne met us and told us we could go back home that they would take care of the Indians and they did.
By the next Christmas, they got a floor in that one room cabin. the winters were severe, cold and lots of snow. The wind would howl around the one room cabin and drift the snow, but we were warm and comfortable inside. By now Roosevelt had a L. D. S. ward. The boys had grown up to where they attended Church, and MIA and the town dances which were every Friday night. The tickets were $.50. I remember the boys had nice suits, long gray overcoats, a white brocade muffler to wrap around their necks and faces and a cap with ear flaps.I don’t know how the folks managed to dress them so well and warm. Many others were not that fortunate. When the snow was new and deep they would go in a sleigh (bobsled) they had built and pick up the Angus boys, Bruce and Cliff and maybe some girls that I wouldn’t know about. They would take quilts to wrap up in, which they covered over the horses while they were in dancing. (Oh those were the good old days). I could well more on their home life, butter get back to Christine and Jerry. He was a small man in stature, not over one hundred and fifty pounds, but a hard worker. He built with a saw and hammer, a spirit level and a square plus the nails. Christine weighed about one hundred and forty pounds, almost black hair with blue eyes. By now she raised enough turkeys to help buy the winter clothing and many other items.
In 1910, they built a two room house. Each room was 21x21 ft. On the upper end of the ranch, a nicer building spot, but a half mile farther from town and school. Jerry donated the land the school house was built on which later was named Ballard School. He was the instigator of the first school there and always a trustee. along with raising turkeys Christine always raised a good garden and always lots of flowers.. she was a good manager, a good cook and did all our sewing, knitted all of Jerry’s shirts from white wool yarn, (while he read the Bible). She helped out in sickness and the delivery of babies among the neighbors and never caught an epidemic or sickness. We spent one summer near Lapoint, Utah where she went in swimming with me in that cool shady creek above a beaver dam. That was great fun for me. Christine loved ranch life. She loved working among the chickens and turkeys, flowers and the garden. She would send many dozen of eggs to Myton, Utah and many pounds of butter also. Myton was a Government outpost about twelve or thirteen miles South-east of Roosevelt and there was a better market there for her eggs and butter. Their home on the range was a stopover for travelers going to and from Vernal.
I well remember there was seldom a night that someone didn’t drive in to feed their horses, eat supper and spread their bedroll down on the kitchen floor, eat breakfast the next morning and be on their way again. Jerry was a friendly man and knew people from all parts of the Basin, and everyone was welcome. Sometimes his good wife would get out of sorts at this constant flow of free overnight guests, but they were always fed and made comfortable as their humble abode would permit. (If there’s room in the heart, there’s room in the house). This sort of eased up some after they moved into town, but not entirely.
By now their children were all married and had families of their own. They loved having them come home to visit. Jerry would jokingly say, “You make us glad twice, glad to see you come and glad to see you go”, but he would meander away when it was time to say good-bye. He didn’t want us to see the tears in his eyes.
I am sure there is much more that could be told of the wonderful life together. They were blessed with nine children, 27 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and 11 great great grandchildren at the time of their death. Jerry passed away on November 1, 1949 at their home in Roosevelt, Utah, which had been their address since 1906. Christine passed away on April 4, 1952 with their eight living children present, (as mentioned earlier their second child Edith passed away at age 6 years).
The Utah Pioneers came on or before 1869. The Uintah Basin settlers which are no less pioneers came on 1906 and 1907. Jerry and Christine were among the first. They baby boy Ralph was either the first or second baby to be born on that lonely wind swept desert. Teddy Harmston is the other one in question. No, there was no doctors, no telephones, no running water, no warm fast automobile to take you to a nice clean hospital. this was the Pioneers. They hauled their water in barrels on a sort of a sled they called a lizard, this was crudely built low to the ground, and pulled by a trusty horse, when from the gulch, a mile west, the water was always muddy and hard. They would slice up a cactus and put into the water to soften and settle the muddy stuff. More often they would take three or four barrels in the wagon and go to what was known as Indian Bench, about 3 miles east. This was nice clear water. It was quite a lark to go along to help fill the barrels. after being filled they covered them with a canvas or oil cloth stretched over the top and secured by one of the barrel hoops to prevent spilling. This went on for some years. this is pioneer life on a farm. Later the barrels were filled at the ditch that carried the irrigation water past the two-room house on the farm.
After they moved into town, they still carried their drinking water from a nearby Artisan well, as they preferred that to the city water for drinking. In Roosevelt, the drinking water was piped into their homes.
Jerry was a ward teacher all his life. Living out on a ranch he wasn’t able to do much else in the Church. But was an honest tithe payer, donated large slabs of bacon and potatoes to neighbors who were less fortunate. He helped to develop the Basin by supervising jobs on building road, ditches and canals. He brought the first stream powered thresh machine into the Basin. He was a good farmer, raised lots of hay, grain, corn, and squash and raised beautiful horses. The kids at home always had a good saddle horse to ride, and more than one. As I stated, his work horses were big and beautiful.
Now I must return to Christine, who attended Relief Society, taught in Sunday School and Primary, and was a visiting teacher for the Relief Society for many, many years. One year at Primary conference, they arranged her upon a special pedestal upon the stage, artistically draped with purple satin, with all the children surrounding her. (One of which was her granddaughter Glenna Wilkins). They sang “Earth with here ten thousand flowers”. It was all very beautiful.
Jerry also had some exiting moments aside from his hard working days. While herding sheep in Star Valley, Wyoming. I think he came in contact with Bruen, the bear, and killed two large one and a half grown one. While living with his grandparents at Spanish fork (yet a boy). Spanish fork was new and in the rough. Mountain lions were often seen in and around the area.
Sometimes Jerry would have to cross a river bridge and go into the thicket looking for the cows. this was a frightening experience, but he never went home without the cows, because if he did, his grandfather would send him right back, and he better not come home without them. these were Spanish Fork pioneers and the hard shelled type. they had to be. Brother Brigham had sent them there and they were building a common wealth. A kingdom and a home for the persecuted. The Mormons.
Much of Christine’s life history includes Jerry and the family now, so we return to the one-room cottage. Many in the night, they could hear the mournful howl of the lonely coyotes, some of which Guy and Vern would catch in steel traps they had set by some dead animal that had fallen victim to starvation and the cold winter weather. The state paid a bounty of these furry pelts. This of which is sort of ironic, in as much as the money taken in from the coyotes, helped keep the wolf from the door. These were frontier days and Indians stalked around and often knocked at the door for warmth or something to eat. They made friends with the Indians and always gave them something to eat, some of which remained life long friends. One old Indian whose name was “Wash” had a tall handsome son named Jim. They ate many meals at our house. Sometimes old Was would come early for his breakfast. There were others. One was called Duchesne George, another called Sqgushie George.
These few I remember. Duchesne George called Della Nippicant meaning “heap crazy” because she teased him and made him laugh. Now we return to the two room house at the upper end of the ranch. this is where Clyde Richard was born on 24th of February 1910. They were not expecting this baby so soon, and Jerry had to make a trip to Myton. the reason of this trip is not clear to me. the weather was very cold and the snow was deep, so he went in the sleigh referred to earlier. well next day a Shunoke wind came up and Jerry had a muddy trip home, where he was surprised and delighted to find the arrival of a 12 pound baby boy and all doing well.
Son Guy was the one to send for help. He saddled his white horse (Old Bill) and together they galloped off. first for a lady neighbor living one mile west. A Mrs. Wardle who walked to our house rather than ride behind or in the saddle. So then guy galloped on another two and one half miles east of our house to the Indian Bench for a Mrs. Ann Brown who was part Indian and mid-wife and a lovely lady. Mrs. Brown with bag in hand climbed upon the horse with Guy and together they galloped on to our house to deliver that baby boy. (Oh those good Old days).
While there were hard times on the farm, I can also remember some of the better times. We made ice cream, especially for the men working in the hay fields and on Sunday, Christine always prepared a good Sunday dinner. We kids loved taking turns turning the freezer. Jerry with the help of the boys Guy and Vern, and the neighbors grouping together stored the own ice during the cold winter days, when the ice was frozen two and three foot thick on the Uintah River. They stored the ice in straw or sawdust when they could get it. They stored it in a log room especially built for this purpose and was call “The Ice House”. We had ice all summer long.
I also remember the time we spent sewing carpet rags and winding them into big balls that we might cover the room. We called the front room with a nice colorful carpet. when this was completed and Christine was sure she had enough, she took or sent them with enough red, green, black, and white huge spools of twine called carpet-warp to Vernal, Utah where she hired a lady who did this sort of wok, to weave them into long strips of carpet. Maybe it would be a month or more before they got over to Vernal to get their precious carpet, over a winding dirt road of thirty five miles in the wagon or their Blacktop buggy. This trip would take all day, they would try to make the trip profitable by going after fruit or some other commodity they were in need of. Now that they had their huge roll of carpeting all ready to go, Christine and Jerry measured the length of the room and cut the carpet into as many lengths as it took to cover the floor. Then with the left over warp, they sewed these lengths together, which was no small job, and when finished it fit the floor perfectly. After covering the floor with nice clean straw for a pad, (which was customary), the carpet was securely tacked down from wall to wall. To make it secure, Christine had taken strips of denim from old worn out overalls and sewed a hem all the way around the edge so the tacks couldn’t pull through. How proud we were of this colorful and pretty floor covering. Our new carpet. Not many had that luxury, and we kids would roll around and fell and enjoy the soft fluffiness before the furniture was replaced.
After this accomplishment, Christine desired for some of the nice things in life. she sent to Daynes B. B. Music Co. in Salt Lake City (un-sight and un-seen) for an organ she saw advertised in the Desert News, Semi-weekly in Salt Lake. The boys Guy and Vern made the trip to freight it home, over a rough and dusty road. They brought other freight also for the local merchants to help pay for the trip. As they excitedly uncrated it the family gazed in pride and satisfaction at this beautiful piece of furniture. It beheld a beveled mirror and such ornate trim with tiny shelves where a vase of some such article could claim possession. Son Vern and son-in-law Cecil Calvert (who married Elda) could chord on the organ, and we spent many a pleasant evening singing and having fun. Jerry not to be outdone by Christine and her organ, answered an add from a magazine called “The Comfort” for an Edison phonograph, Cylinder records, this was a bout 1914. I well remember how proud he was of this and how anxious he was to play some of the “Uncle Josh” records to me when I came home from being away for awhile, and how he loved to entertain his friends or relatives that came to stay over night, with he new Edison phonograph was an improvement over the older ones and had no big horn for the sound to come through.
Oh it wasn’t all bad, these Reservation settlers (home steaders) had so much in common and were very friendly and would have real get-togethers. a house party at one home or the other once a week through the winter months with old Ed Wardle at the violin and how he could fiddle, and how they could dance waltzes, Virginia-reels, Quadrills, two steps etc.. These good neighbors who attended these jolly fun loving socials were a healthy, ambiguous, salt of the earth type that blazed the trails, built the bridges and paved the way for their future generations to profit from. The came dressed in the their best, bringing their share of the picnic, which all together was called pot luck and always might tasty, and served with dignity and respect to the guests who were usually Al and Lotty Wardle, Jim and Hannah Angus, Amicy and Hattie Potter, Jenny and ? Weight, Mart Allred and wife, Jerry and Christine Murray, Lizzy and Jed Wardle. I think there was others whom I don’t remember at this time. but a good time was had by all and the good nights were said and they were on their way home in their wagon or buggy, maybe on horse back. These good people had made that desert blossom, and had better homes by now surrounded by trees, lilacs, rose bushes etc. and had huge stacks of hay and grain in their stack-yards.
Before closing I must return to Vernon, Utah and tell you a little more about Carl, Christine’s only brother. After the death of their Mother, he returned to Sweden where he spent tow years in the mission field for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After which he returned to Salt Lake City, where he met and after a short courtship married the Swedish lass of his choice, Miss Constance Justina Petterson. I wish I could tell you more about this romance, however she did tell me that when she got very lonely and homesick for her beautiful Swedish homeland she would go to Liberty Park and sit under the Sycamore trees, because they reminded her of that beloved homeland, as they grew there too. This was before she met Carl. I do know they were blessed with two children, a son Alma, and a daughter Vera.
Alma was drown in Utah Lake while boating. He and a friend were trying out the boat they had built. His father counseled him about this, but they thought they had it safe enough, But something went wrong and the motor stalled and the boat went down leaving Constance and Carl to sorrow. Vera married and is raising a family that will continue to increase the posterity and generations of her heritage. Even though the name of the particular family went out with Alma at Utah Lake, Vera is married to a wonderful person named Randall Lillie, and lives in Mesa, Arizona.
Jerry and Christine lived, loved and worked together, and faced the problems of life for 65 years. The last twenty nine of those years were lived in a five room modern house on about eight acres in the town of Roosevelt, Utah. Here they kept a cow, raised their eggs, and vegetables and lots of flowers up until about two years before their death. He also kept a saddle horse that he rode up to that time.
Their children are as follow:
1. Elda Elizabeth-married Cecil Calvert, had four children, Cecil Murray Jr., Wilma Marjory, Hayden Victor and Myron Julius.
2. Edith Mariah-died at six years of whooping cough at Jensen, Utah.
3. Julius guy-married Edna Curtis, had three children, Marell, Curtis Jay, Evelyn, and another died at childhood.
4. Vernon Lester-married Nora Lavon Caldwell, had three children, Carl Vernon, Helen Mar, and Kenneth Max.
5. Vivian Adella- married Doyle McClellan, had three children, Donald Dee, Eva Claudia, and Merle.
6. Mildred Viola-married Ormon LaMond Wilkins, had six children, Glenna Fern, Keith Murray, Jerry Max, Cody LaMond, Nola Myrl, and Kendyl Ormon.
7. Douglas Jeremiah-married Erdria Lloyd, had one child, Christine Elaine.
8. Ralph Nilsson-married Helen Reeves, had three children Ralph Nilson Jr., Katherine, and Judith.
9. Clyde Richard married Erna Wall, had seven children Gail Richard, Lois, Donna Kay, Jeremiah Martin, Larry Clyde, and Danny Wayne.
There is much more I may in large upon later, This is just a few highlights.
by Mildred Viola Murray Wilkins age 79
Given to Christina Elizabeth Nilsson
Patriarchal blessing given by John Rowbery on the head of Christina Nelsson daughter of E. J. and Charlotte Nelson, born 9th Nov 1865 in Sweden.
Sister Christina in the name of Jesus Christ, I place my hands upon thy head. I seal upon thee a fathers blessing, which also is a Patriarchal Blessing, to seal upon thee such things as the spirit shall indict, for thou art an heir by promise to the blessing of the new and everlasting covenant which have been restored. I seal the promise and blessings upon thy head, and thou are blessed of the Lord for thy mind have inclined to righteousness in the morning of thy life and I say unto thee cherish the things thou has received and which you shall more abundantly receive and to lead you in the path of peace for you are called, and chosen to do a great work and your mind shall be stored with good matter and mind filled with treasures of council which you shall administer to those that need, for thou shall be honored among the daughters of Zion, and shall be instructor of the youth and many shall call you blessed.
In due time, you shall be sealed with the anointed of the Lord and from the fruits of your body shall spring kings, and Priests whom shall honor your name and shall be a star that shall gladden and happy your household, and you shall be blessed with the blessing of heaven and earth.
Your heritage shall flow with milk and honey. You shall be blessed with the gift of faith to heal your household. Honor your father and your mother and observe the laws of life. Your days shall be many and happy for you shall stand in Holy Places in the day of judgment and wasting your mind shall expand and have great comprehension of the things of God. Call upon the Lord early and the desires of your heart will be realized and no good things held from you.
I seal you up unto eternal life to come forth in the morning of resurrection and inherit eternities and blessings which I seal upon you in the name of Jesus, Amen and Amen.
We believe this was translated by Christina Elizabeth Nilsson Murray In her own hand writing.
Given to Christina Elizabeth Nilsson
Patriarchal Blessing given by John Rowbery on the head of Christina Nelson daughter of E. J. Nilsson and M. C. Nelsson, born on the 19th of November 1865, in Sweden.
Sister Christina Nelson in Jesus name I place my hands upon your head to seal upon you a father’s blessing, which also is a Patriarchal blessing to seal upon you such things the spirit gives, for you are an heir of the promises to those blessings of the new and eternal covenant which has been restored, and I seal those promises and blessings upon your head, and you are blessed of the Lord because your conscience was boweth in righteousness in the morning of your life. I say to you, keep that you have accepted and that which shall accept, will lead you on the road of peace, for you are called and chosen to do a great work. And your understanding shall be filled with good subjects and understanding filled with counsel which you shall give to those who need, because you shall be honored among Zion’s daughters and shall be a teacher for the young and many shall call you blessed in the future. You shall be sealed, and from the fruit of your womb shall spring forth kings, and priests which will honor your name, and shall be a star which shall bring joy and happiness to the household. And you shall be blessed with blessings from heaven and from the earth, your inheritance shall flow with milk and honey and you shall be blessed with the gift of truthfulness. That all of your household may honor your father and mother and follow life’s laws, and you days shall be many and happy for that day and days shall you stand in holy places for your conscience shall stretch forth and have great understanding for the things of God. Call upon the Lord of your hearts desires, and no good things shall be withheld from you. I seal you up to eternal life to come forth on resurrections morning to inherit unending (eternal) life, and these blessings I seal upon you in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen and Amen.