2 Spring City - The Teenage Years


By Bernard D. Major

 

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Moving to Spring City   

 

In the spring of 1932 my Grandmother Major became ill and she asked dad and mother to come to Spring City and take care of her.  So I moved with my mother and father and brother and sister from the two room log house that we had lived in Moroni.  Dad traded our horse and property to Uncle James Nielsen for a team of horses and a wagon. Dad had a car prior to his time. It was a Star brand, but we didn't have it at this time. We loaded the wagon with our meager possessions and moved over to Grandmother Major's rock house in Spring City. Grandmother’s home was made of the same rock the Manti Temple was made of and was built right after the Apostle Orson Hyde’s home was completed.

 

 

Gay and her sister Ellen about the time the Major family moved to Spring City, ca.1930

 

The main part of the house was two stories with a finished bedroom upstairs and a large unfinished room. Mother and Dad and my younger sister slept in the bedroom, and my older brother and I slept in the unfinished room. Downstairs was also a large bedroom where my Grandmother slept until she died, then mother and Dad moved into her room.   There was also a large room with a fireplace. The rest of the house was a one story building of which was the kitchen and pantry with a stair leading to a fruit and storage room underneath the kitchen. It was also built of rock from which ran a cold spring of water.

 

 

Spring City House in the 1930's when Bernard lived in it.  (Courtesy of Land records office, Manti, Sanpete, Utah.)

 

Christmas 1932

One of the many wonderful Christmases that I enjoyed was the Christmas of 1932. I had moved with my mother and father and brother and sister from the two room log house that we had lived in Moroni, to my Grandmother’s home in Spring City during Spring time. One beautiful morning, about a week before Christmas, Dad came in the house after doing the chores, and we had sat down to breakfast. Dad said "lets hitch up the team to the bob sleigh and go get a Christmas tree." Hitching up the horses to the sleigh was great fun. We made sure the bells were fastened to the harness and filled the bottom of the box on the sleigh with straw. Mother heated some bricks in the oven of the coal stove, and they were wrapped in paper and put in the sleigh to keep our feet warm. We wrapped ourselves in blankets and started off.

 

We traveled about six miles through a cedar tree, scrub oak, and sage brush grove before coming to the mouth of Canal Creek Canyon. We turned south into one of the smaller canyons until we came to the edge of the pine trees. Here we left the horses and sleigh and walked in knee deep snow. We walked up the slope of the mountain until we found a beautiful blue spruce tree. Its branches were perfectly shaped. It would fit perfectly between the fireplace and the corner. Dad quickly swung the ax and we were soon to slide it down the mountainside over the snow to the sleigh, where it was loaded on to the sleigh with its top extended out of the back of the sleigh.

 

After arriving back to the house, Dad made a wood stand for it, while my brother and I unharnessed the horses and put them in the barn to a feeding of hay. We ran to the house and found Dad already had the tree in the house, and it looked more beautiful than ever. Mother had a big skillet on the stove, and the popcorn began to pop like an army with rifles going off. We threaded popcorn and cranberries on it. Then we would string them around the tree from top to bottom. Also, we gathered some of the straw from the straw stack and colored them with food coloring, and after they were dry we would cut them up in small lengths and thread them also on thread using the assortment of colors and string them around the tree. Then, we took the candle stick holders with their many different colored wax candles and clipped them on the branches of the tree.

 

Christmas Eve night my brother and sister and I hung up our stockings from the mantel of the fireplace, said our prayers, and hurried into bed but sleep didn’t come too swiftly as I listened for the sound of Santa and his reindeer. But sleep fell upon me and I didn’t awaken until I was awakened by my brother saying "lets go downstairs and see if Santa had come yet." As we crept downstairs, we heard the crackle of the wood burning in the fireplace, and as we opened the door at the bottom of the stairs, to our surprise the candles on the tree were lighted and there, under the tree, was a beautiful sleigh for my brother and me and a doll for my sister. There were also some clothes to replace the worn and torn clothes we were now wearing. In our stocking on the mantle were a few nuts, an orange and a beautiful delicious candy animal of which we were delighted to get. It was the greatest of luxuries for us. Oh, what a great blessing was ours that we had been remembered by Santa again.  

 

 

Grandmother Ellen Meek Major

                                             Ellen Meek Major about 1885

 

 

 

Grandmother Major had about 15 acres of land south of the house. We had two cows that we had in Moroni and I believe Grandmother had one. At the south end of the property next to the big ditch, there was a small orchard of apples, plums, green ganges, and one or two winter pears. Mother bottled a lot of the apples and made jam out of the plums. The pears we would bury in the wheat bin before the first heavy frost. They would ripen slowly so we usually had pears to eat up to Christmas time. We had a few chickens and a pig or two that we also brought from Moroni.

 

 

 

Map of Spring City property when Bernard D. Major was growing up, drawn by Bernard Major.  Notice that the creek used to be dammed making a fishing pond on the north side of the property.   The house is marked with an "h".

 

 

Grandmother Major had lived a very hard life. Her husband and Dad's father, William Warner Major 2nd, died when Dad was just a very small boy. It was necessary for her to do housework, sewing, or anything she could do to earn a little money. She took care of the little farm to raise food for the family (Dad, Uncle Horace, and Aunt Nellie). She received no help from the Church or government. Those who held responsible positions in the ward turned their backs on her. Even the Bishop burned his old hay and straw stack (that Grandmother had asked him for) rather than give her any. Because of this and many other afflictions caused upon her by others, she became very bitter against the Church, so Dad and his brother and sister were raised outside of the Church.

 

 

 

    Horace and Ellen Major, brother and sister

of Henry Vincen Major, taken about 1885

 

School

I started school that fall along with Geniel and Warner. I believe Warner was two or three grades ahead of me, and Geniel was one or two grades behind. I started school in Spring City in the 6th grade. I believe the thing that I remember most about the old grade school was the fire escape from the 2nd floor to the ground on the south side. It was a spiral chute and we had a lot of fun sliding down it during recess and lunch time.

              Spring City School house, built in 1899, where Bernard completed 6th grade. 

 

Fire Escape built in 1928 on Spring City school's south side  (Kaye C. Watson, Life Under the Horseshoe, 1984, 144).   Bernard loved to slide down it.

 

Friends

I made several friends: LaMar Larsen, Zur Brough, Clinton Black, Fred Allred. LaMar Larsen and I became such close friends. LaMar was just like a brother to me. We were always together. We even made up whistle sounds like birds to get the other's attention or when we wanted to get the other out of the house. We would go swimming together out to the old Olsen pond south of town. At first, LaMar had to go without permission, as his mother had told him that he couldn't go swimming until he learned how to swim.

 

 

Chores

I had my chores to do: feed the chickens, gather the eggs, feed the pigs, clean the chicken coupe, pig pen, and cow barn, take the cows to pasture and bring them back at night, turn the hand separator night and morning, that separated the cream from the milk. During the summer time, I herded the cows along the lanes south of town for feed as we didn't have very much pasture for them. I also had to milk the cows when Dad was late getting home.

  

Learning Algebra

I took shop in the seventh grade of school and liked it very much. I made Dad and Mother a small table and a book case. Reid H. Allred was my teacher. He was a good man in school or at church. He was a good leader for me. He helped me learn Algebra when I was failing with it. I just couldn't seem to understand it. He kept me after class one time. I thought I was really in for it, but he said to me, "I have often thought if a silver dollar was flipped up into the air 100 times how many items would it come down heads and how many times would it come down tails." He had me flip it up 100 times where he recorded it. I don't remember how many times it came down either way. It wasn't important, but it opened the way for him to teach me the basics of Algebra, and it came easy for me after that. I will always be grateful to him for the time and patience he had for me. Each of his students were special to him, and he spent much of his time and talents with his students.

 

 

Scouts

 

Scout troop in 1932 under the leadership of Lowell Hansen.   Scoutmaster Hansen "... held regular scout meetings in connection with MIA Meetings.  In October 1931 the troop took its first hike...and a number of scouts passed tests which started them on the road to Second Class rank.  During the Thirties many scouting activities were completed and the troop grew and advanced rapidly and became one of the leading troops in the Bryce Canyon  Council...In 1933 the troop received the President Roosevelt award (Kaye C. Watson, Life Under the Horseshoe, 1984, 166-167).  

 

Another great man that has influenced my life so much was Lowell Hansen. He was my scout leader; Van Guarde (Explorer Leader now) and Priesthood leader. He had a special talent to work with the youth. We had fun at scout functions, Jamborees, camping, hiking or just going out on the flats east of town and playing games at night. We took the horses and wagon and after we got to Miller’s flat it was surrounded by big pine trees. One night Warner’s friend, Lamont Taylor, played bear on my cousin Jay Nielsen and  I while camped up in the mountains. They had gone in the trees and were growling like a bear. We went and got in the wagon. They were trying to scare us. After that a real bear came. I guess it was looking for a female grizzly bear. I tell you, we were scared. We had hobbled out the horses and Warner and Lamont Taylor were laying in the wagon asleep. We had hung the harnesses on the trunk of a big pine tree. I had just gone to sleep when a large black grizzly bear had come out. The bear was mad and ripped all the harnesses off the tree. We had a 33 carbine rifle. Warner pointed it up in the air and shot it and it scared the bear away.

 

I received the rank of star scout, then I became so involved with the Vanguards playing volleyball and making bows and arrows and having contests with them. We went to the Chester Reservoir and cut reeds and made targets from tall bulrushes. We would cut the bulrushes and lay them out in a line, interlocking them together, then we would wrap binders twine around them so that they made a long rope about 4" to 6" in diameter. We then would roll them up into a round flat disk, like a hot pad type, and make a tripod stand from it. Finally, we made a paper target and put it on the front side. We would practice shooting at it and the arrow would stick into the reed target, making it safe. The bows we would make out of lemon wood that we would send away for. We made our bow string out of heavy linen thread, and we would twist them together with machines we made out of an old washing machine roller that was used to squeeze the water out of the clothes. We used bees wax on it to make it hold together and be strong. 

 

Future Farmers of America

I went to school in Spring City from the 6th to the 9th grade (junior high) and the 10th through the 12th year at Mount Pleasant North Sanpete High School. At North Sanpete I was a member of the F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America). Dad gave me a pig to raise for an F.F.A. project. I went to Salt Lake with the person who was hauling the pigs and back home with him to Spring City. Later, I took a trip with the F.F.A. to California and down into old Mexico. It was the first time I was away from home. Dad was making adobes (like brick, used for buildings) and I had been helping him and he gave me the money for my expenses. I know that Mother and Dad needed the money more for food, clothing, taxes, and repairs for farm equipment, and feed for the animals, but they insisted that I go. They always went without so that Geniel, Warner, and I could have something better.

 

Making do

 

As a boy, I usually got hand-me-down clothes from my brother Warner when he grew out of them. Mother kept the holes in our shirts and pants patched and Dad kept our shoes repaired, sewing up the seams, pieces of leather sewed in to cover the holes, new soles or heels put on. Dad had a metal stand (a last) with different sizes of plate on the top that was shaped like the bottom of a foot, and he would put the shoe on this with the metal foot going inside of the shoe and bending over the nails as dad nailed on the soles or heels. All of the sewing was done by hand with a needle, thread, and awl with bees wax put on it. Mother did all of the sewing by hand or with the old Singer treadle sewing machine that was made to turn with the foot treadle. Dad also made repairs on the leather harness in the same way, repaired the wagon and farm equipment, the harrow, haycutter, hay rake, the old wood and metal plow, cultivator, etc, himself and getting the help of a blacksmith only when he couldn't do it himself.

 

Depression

 

During the depression in the 30's times were very hard. We had to sell two of the three cows that we had as we were having a drought at the same time, and there wasn't enough feed to keep them. I was elected to take them up town and turn them over to the government buyers. I sure felt bad. I cried a lot as they were like pets, and I knew how much they meant to us for a little income from the milk or cream. Dad was able to get some straw that he fed to the horses that winter. They survived, but were so weak in the spring that they could hardly do the farm work. Dad managed to get a little work from James W. Blaine on his farm of which he got a little feed for the livestock and a little money. Mr. Blaine was the principal of the junior high school. During the depression, the government started the W.P.A. work program to help the people to keep them from starving. Dad was able to work on it for a couple of months, but they cut him off because of the little farm we had.

 

All my school years I took a lunch to school made of dry homemade bread (we didn't have any kind of refrigerator) with jam or peanut butter (when we had money to buy it) or a boiled or fried egg. An orange was so rare that we were lucky if we could get one for Christmas. We had an apple in the fall or winter. I remember many times while going to school in Spring City with just a sandwich made up of two slices of homemade bread with some bacon grease in between.

 

 Getting Ready for Winter

All of my life as a boy in Moroni and in Spring City we had coal stoves for heat and cooking that burned wood and coal. In the winter time, Warner and I would help Dad saw down the large cottonwood trees in Spring City. We used a two man saw (a saw with a handle on each end) to saw them into blocks. Also, they would split easily when they were frozen. Dad would haul the coal from Hunington Canyon across the mountains East of Fairview with the horses and wagon. I think we would get two to three ton of coal on the wagon.

 

I liked to go with Dad. It would take three days to go get a load. We would leave in the morning and go through Mt. Pleasant and Fairview, up Fairview Canyon and over the top over the other side until we came to a place called Beaver Flat or Beaver Springs. It was a large flat meadow area. Large springs came out of the mountain on the east side of the meadow, and the beaver had made dams making several ponds. We would camp here for the night. There was usually several other wagons camped there also. After we had cooked and ate supper, we would sit around the camp fire and the men would tell stories.

 

Dad would get me up early in the morning, and we would hurry and eat breakfast and I would clean up. Dad would go get the horses which had been hobbled on the front legs to keep them from straying away or going back home. (Hobbles were straps that went around both front legs like a pair of hand cuffs with a chain between them.) As soon as the horses were harnessed and hitched to the wagon, we would leave and travel down Olsen's Dugway to the mine (where the reservoir is now) and load up with coal and travel back to the same place that night to stay.

 

Dad would always be first at the mine to get loaded. The coal was mined by hand. They had a narrow rail track going into the mine with small coal cars on it pulled by a horse or a mule. The miners would drill holes in the coal by hand, and put blasting powder in the holes to blast the coal in the tunnel, and with pick and shovels they loaded it into these small coal cars. The horse or mule would pull it out to the entrance of the mine where the cars were dumped, and the coal would come down a chute to a large wood bin that dumped into the wagons below.

 

The miners took me into the mine once when I was there. They had a canary bird in a cage with them. They said it was for their protection against gas. I suppose if the canary suddenly died, they would hurry out.

 

We would leave for home on the third day early, as it was a long pull up to the top of the mountain before starting down the narrow winding road to Fairview. It would be late afternoon before we would get home.

 

 

In the fall, we would go up into the mountains east of Spring City in Oak Creek Canyon and cut down a load of oak and maple trees. Dad would take the wagon box off the wagon and just use the frame with four large stakes, two on each side by the wheels above the axles. We would cut this up for firewood in the late fall or early winter when there was no farm work to be done.

 

Many of the winters were heavy with snow, with the snow many inches over the fence west of the house and frozen hard on top so that we could walk over them. We would have to dig our way out to the grainery, chicken coop, pig pen, and cow barn. Sometimes the snow would be up to my shoulders so that I could hardly shovel the snow out. The creek in the Spring time would be full and over flowing from the run off.

 

I would do my school lesson sitting on the floor by the side of the heater. We did not have electricity then so we used kerosene lamps in the house and kerosene lanterns to take out side to do the chores in the winter. Later on, Spring City built a water powered generator in the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon.

 

The water was also put in later. Dad walked up to the canyon and back each day to put in his time to pay for our assessments. I believe it is about 5 miles each way. We got our drinking water from a spring by the creek east of the present chicken coop.

 

Outhouse

Since we didn't have water in the house, we didn't have a bathroom either. Dad had built an out side toilet out of wood and set it over a hole dug in the ground. When the hole was mostly filled, he would move it to another location and cover up the old hole. It sure was cold in the winter time, but it served the purpose: we didn't stay inside very long because of the cold in the winter and the flies and bees in the summer. We would put a little lime in the hole often to keep down the smell and the flies away.

 

Outhouse at the Spring City home in 1976.  The children are Rachelle and Christopher Crowder, grandchildren of Bernard and Eva Major

 

Laundry and Bath

 

In as much as we didn't have a bath tub, we would use the wash (laundry) tubs to bathe. Water was carried up from the spring that we had in the basement under the kitchen and heated on the coal stove to use in the bathtubs.. The washing was done by hand by heating the water in one of the wash (laundry) tubs. We had three rocks sitting on the ground west of the granary that were flat on two sides and about eight inches to a foot in height, and laid in a circle with the wash tub sitting on top of it. We would built a fire of wood under it. When it began boiling, Mother would put in the home made soap and the clothes and would let them boil for awhile, then she would scrub them by hand on the wood and brass scrubbing board (washboard), and rinse them in another tub of clean water. It was my responsibility to put the tub on the rocks and fill it and the rinse tub with water carried up from the spring.

 

In the winter, when the weather was bad (stormy), the water was heated on the kitchen stove and washing was done in the house and hung out side to dry (except for the few that was needed right way and was hung up in the house), and they froze on the clothes line. The wind and the sun dried them out.

 

Mother saved all the grease from frying bacon and other meat, and she would cut off all the fat of the pigs and melt it. This was used with lye to make soap. The grease and lye was put in a tub over the fire outside and cooked while being stirred. When it became thick it was poured into pans and cooled, afterwards it was dumped out onto some boards and cut up into blocks of soap to be in the laundry tubs to wash the clothes. The soap was grated into small chips before putting it into the laundry tub with the clothes. All of my life as a child we lived under poor circumstances, and I know how it was to live in poverty when others seemed to have plenty.

 

Home remedies

When I was 13 or 14 years old I had 11 boils on my right arm, and they were extremely painful. Mother made a tea out of sage brush and had me drink it. (It was tonic used as a blood purifier that would remove the infection and heal the body and stop more boils from developing.) The tea was the most bitter taste that I ever have tasted.

 

We used to get stems from a bush that grew out in the sage brush and cedars. It had no leaves and the stems were jointed. We dried it and made a tea from it. It was called Brigham Tea. The tea was a light pink color and was good for colds and for good health. We also used a plant that I called wild rhubarb (wild pie plant). It was poisonous, but the roots were used as a medicine.

 

Playing Sports

When I was in the eighth grade, I injured my right knee playing football, and the knee was swollen large. The doctor told Mother that if I didn't get the swelling down, I would have to have an operation on it. Mother had me sit by the stove in the kitchen, and she heated water on the stove. She put hot towels on my knee all night long and by morning the swelling had gone down. I didn't play football again. I completed my junior high school in Spring City.

 

I loved to play basketball. When I lived in Moroni, Warner and I, and sometimes our friends, played basketball on a flat spot on the hill just below the chicken coup and cow coral. We had a pole that was dug into the ground with some boards nailed across it at the top with a metal hoop from an old wooden barrel nailed to it, to form the basket for the ball to be thrown into it. I played basketball during my ninth year. After graduation, I attended North Sanpete High School in Mount Pleasant through the 10th to 12th grade. I played center and forward on the basketball team through the 10th and 11th grades, but due the earlier injury to my knee it was weak, so I was unable to play during my last year in school, but I was given charge of the book store by Mr. Rassusen. I took office practice and bookkeeping instead of physical education and basketball practice.

 

I guess I was just average at basketball. I was never a high point player, but by my height I was able to make some baskets and got a lot of rebounds. I learned to play ball first when I was 5 or 6 years old in Moroni. We had a pole planted in the ground with some boards nailed to the top for a back board  and a metal hoop from an old wooden barrel, and I always played with older boys so I had to work harder to get the ball.

 

I met a girl from Mt. Pleasant at our stake conference in Spring City and later in school at North Sanpete. I liked her very much but it was one-sided. Her younger sister took over, and that was the greatest mistake of my life. I should have concentrated more on my schooling and playing basketball. We rode in a school bus from Spring City to Mt. Pleasant every morning and afternoon. When I stayed after school for ball practice or other reason, I would have to walk the six or seven miles back to Spring City. Very seldom would anyone pick me up and give me a ride.

 

Seminary

I attended seminary during my 9,10,11 & 12th year. When I was in the 9th grade I attended seminary in the old Bishop's Storehouse that was on the corner north west of the grade school.

 

 Bishop's Storehouse

 

Ice

In the winter months, Dad would go down to the Chester Reservoir and saw large chunks of ice off the reservoir. They were loaded into the horse drawn wagon or sled and hauled home where a storage shed had been built, and about a foot of sawdust was filled all the way around with two feet or more at the top.

 

In the summer time, we would dig out a chunk of ice and break it up into small pieces and put it in the ice cream freezer that was hand turned. Mother would make the ice cream from cream, milk flavoring, and junket tablets to make the ice cream. Sometimes if we had some fresh fruit, she would put it in it. We had a raspberry patch and when they were ripe she would put them in. I would look forward to turning the freezer so after mother took out the paddle, I could lick it. Mother also made homemade root beer out of root beer extract, sugar, water and yeast. After it would set for a day or two in the 5 gal crock jar, she would bottle it, and put it under the bed for another few days, then we would put some of it into the spring under the house to cool. It was really good but would get strong if it got too old.

 

Helping Widows

When I was 12 years old, I was ordained a deacon in the L.D.S. Church in Spring City, and I was assigned a district to gather fast offerings. We would go out on the Saturday mornings. I would pull my wagon or sleigh with a box on it. They had very little or no money so they would donate flour, grain (wheat, barley or oats) potatoes, carrots, onions, bread, cookies, bottled fruits, vegetables or meat. I would take it to the Bishop’s storehouse so that the Bishops could distribute it to the needy.

 

Spring City Church dedicated 1914

 

I was assigned later when I was fourteen to furnish and cut wood for two widow sisters, Maria Allred and Sister Stienie Allred. During the good months, I would take the team of horses and wagon and go out to the cedar grove south of Spring City. With the help of the horses, I would pull out the old cedar stumps that were dead (from the rest of the tree that had been cut down for cedar posts), and load them in the wagon, or pull out large clumps of sage brush. After unloading it at the two widows, (Maria Allred I called Grandma) I would come by later and cut it up for firewood.

 

I remember one time I helped Grandma Allred (no relation) hang wallpaper in her front room. It was plastered walls and ceiling and had a sand paper finish. We didn't have wallpaper paste like we have today. We used flour and water. Gee, it sure looked good when we got through, but the next day Grandma Allred said that it all came down during the night. They didn't have paint then either. They used calcimine that was white or colored. It was a powder, and it was mixed with water and put on the walls with a brush.

 

Planting Trees at the Manti Temple

 

 

I also remember as a deacon, the ward Aaronic Priesthood was assigned to go into the mountains and dig up some of the small pine trees and take them to the Manti Temple to plant. After we arrived at the temple, they took us into the wash room on the north side of the temple to wash our hands and face. Afterwards, they took us into a room where they ate. There was a long table with chairs around it, and they seated us on one side. President Young (the temple president) sat on the other side of me, and I was so embarrassed because of my dirty clothes, and he was dressed in white clean clothes. I didn't feel hungry and could hardly eat.

 

Deseret Live Stock Company 

 

 

 

Bernard's Friend working at Deseret Live Stock Company 1937

Before I leave my youthful years I must write of another experience that taught me a great lesson. During the summer between my junior and senior year (summer 1937) at North Sanpete High School, I went to the Deseret Live Stock Company to tend camp for Heinze Larsen. The Deseret Live Stock had many herds of sheep and the summer range was north and west of Evanston, Wyoming.

 

 

 

I got there, along with Zur Brough, in time to finish up the sheep shearing (cutting off the wool), after the wool was cut off we had to pick it up and put in large burlap bags that hung from the roof supports. It sure was a dirty stinky job, but I survived it. After the shearing, I went with Heinze and some of the others into Evanston. They were drinking, but I wouldn't drink with them. I told them I would only drink soda pop, so they brought me a large glass of root beer. I drank it, but it had a different taste than the root beer at home. I learned later that they had spiked it with gin (alcoholic beverage). By the time I got back to camp, I would have gotten rid of my stomach if I could have cause that was the only thing left that didn't come up.

 

The rest of my stay at the Deseret Live Stock was good. I was assigned to tend camp for Heinze Larsen. He was in his mid-twenties. It was my responsibility to do all of the cooking, order supplies, go for water, and take care of the horse and mule.

 

The Mule was assigned to me to ride and pack in water and supplies with a packing saddle on the mule. I didn't have a saddle for it, so I would ride it without and it would buck me off, and I would land on the ground, and it would come over to me and laugh in my face. However, we got along otherwise.

 

Bernard with his mule while working at Deseret Live Stock Company 1937

 

One time when Heinze went home because of the death of his father from a heart attack, I was left alone with the camp and sheep for a couple of days. I put the saddle on the mule as I couldn't find the horse at the time, and I rode out around the sheep. As I rode down the ridge of a gully, I saw a mountain lion crawling up the bottom of the gully getting ready to attack one of the lambs to eat. I had the 30-30 rifle with me in the saddle scabbard, but I was afraid to shoot at it while I was in the saddle on the mule as I feared it would become scared when I shot, so I got off and tied the mule to a small tree. By this time, the lion had spotted me and had started out of the gully to run up the side. I took aim and fired the gun and the lion leaped up in the air and came back to the ground and ran over the ridge on the other side. I never saw it again, and I don't know if I hit it or not.

 

I returned home after spending the summer there just before school started. These experiences and others taught me a great lesson on keeping the Word of Wisdom and keeping the body and mind clean.

 

 

 

Working on the Water Tunnel

 

Tunnel house about 1937.  Bernard worked on the water tunnel (Kaye C. Watson,

Life Under the Horseshoe, 1984, 159).

 

I graduated from North Sanpete High School the latter part of May in 1938 and went to work on the water tunnel that was being dug through the mountain a distance down from the top in Canal Creek Canyon to bring the irrigation water from the other side down to water the farms north and west of Spring City.   ("By the 1930's the lack of usable irrigation water had become an increasingly difficult challenge for Spring City's farms; therefore, it was decided that the only solution was to bore a tunnel through the mountians to bring water to the western slope from the eastern side where the natural drainage was to the Colorado River...Work began in 1937 and continued until 1939."  Kaye C. Watson, Life Under the Horseshoe, 1984, 158).

 

My job was to dump the cars filled with rock that was blasted out inside of the mountain and put in the small dump cars on the rails and pushed out of the tunnel to the dump where I would release the catch and let the front part tip forward, thus releasing it's contents of rock down the hill side.

 

Later, I worked with the Swedish cook who taught me how to make many pastries. I enjoyed working with him. Also, I was given a job working on the canal that gathered the water on the other side of the mountain. I worked as an assistant to the large back hoe operator that was digging the canal. I was responsible for greasing the machine when it was stopped. Oil and fuel that was furnished to us in 55 gallon drums. I was taught how to make grade levels so that the backhoe operator would keep on the right grade level.

 

I lived in a tent with a man named Osborn when I worked on the canal on the east side of the mountain. While working on the west side, on the tunnel and with the cook, I lived in the bunk house for men. After getting through with my job on the water tunnel, I bought a Model B 1932 Ford Roadster car with a rumble seat in the back. It was a fun car. I never had any problems with it.

 

After getting through with my work on the tunnel, I went down to Richfield and lived with Warner and Leana and worked with the turkeys and in the beet fields. Later, I returned back to Spring City and traded the Roadster car for a 1933 Ford sedan, of which I had some problems with it. I worked during the summer for Charles Clark taking care of his turkeys out on the Crowford farm.

 

Bernard with his father, Vincen, and brother, Warner in Spring City