3 Salt Lake - School, Work & Love

By Bernard D. Major

Homepage

Trade School

Warner, Geniel, and Bernard in front of the Spring City House abt 1939

 

During the summer of 1939, I worked in Ephraim, by the Snow College, tearing down an old building to make more room for the college. While I was there, I was offered an opportunity to come to Salt Lake and go to trade school that was paid for by the government. I told Mother and Dad about it, and they thought it was a good opportunity to learn a trade. So in September 1939, I packed what few clothes I had in an old suitcase and came to Salt Lake City. (I returned the car back to Ephraim where I had bought it, for credit on another car when I got through with school.) Clinton Black, my friend, drove me in his car to Salt Lake as he had a girlfriend up there. I paid him for the gas used. I lived with several other boys in a building used as a dormitory. The girls lived in another building next to ours. We rode the bus to school. The trade tech was located in the old buildings and shops on the west side of the West High School campus. (The dormitory was south of 21st South and about 2nd or 3rd east.)

 

(This note was written by Bernard Major at the top of this page on the original manuscript. It is dated March 15, 1993: I feel that I must get back on this history of myself as I don't know how much time I have left to finish it. The pathway behind shines out brighter than the pathway ahead, and my memory is not the best.)

 

After arriving in Salt Lake and getting assigned to a room in the dormitory, we settled down for the night. The next morning we took a bus to the West High School shops building where I registered in the carpenter trade classes under the direction of Simon Kuegle as our instructor. He was of German descent and was a structural Engineer. He was a great teacher. He taught us in class on many mathematical subjects: algebra and geometry, etc. of which was used in the construction trades, also in the use of the power tools in the shop. I took architectural drawing at night school. I will always remember Mr. Kuegle's instructions. He said "I have taught you the best there is in the building trade, but as you go out in the work place and work with other tradesmen especially those that learned the trade in the old country, if they have a better method of doing the work, then learn from them also."

 

Around November or September, we moved to a large building (apt. house) north of the West High. The girls were located north and east in another building. I was appointed to be in charge of the boys. One time, they took us down to a building on Pierpoint Ave. where they gave each of us an overcoat. I was glad to get it as the weather was pretty cold. I had never had one before. While staying at this place, one of the women teachers at West High asked me if I would like to do some work for her. (My teacher had recommended me.) I did chores in the house: cleaning, bathtub, etc. yard work, and it gave me a little spending money. I also worked in a restaurant that was owned by Ted Jensen, who as the son-in-law of Grandma Allred in Spring City. While there, one of the older girls in Spring City, Udora Allred came into the restaurant. She was teaching her first year in school and was staying at the Hotel Utah. She was there for a teacher's convention. She invited me up to see her after I got off work. I stopped by the hotel and talked to her for a while. She wanted me to take her out, but I had little money, and I wasn't too interested.

 

Eva

 

 

 Later, the boys in my dormitory were invited to a girl's civic center on about 5th South and Main Street to a party. Leo Stewart and I and another boy (I can't remember his name), went and we had a good time. There we met Eva Hollingshaus, Elsie Simmons, and another girl, and after the party we talked so long the last buses had already left, so we walked with them home and then walked to our dormitory north of West High. It was a long walk and early in the morning before we got in bed, and I was very tired the next day in school. I thought it would be the last I would see of the girls, but Eva called me a few days later and invited me to a wedding party. I told her that I couldn't go as my suit and clothes were dirty. She wouldn't take "no" for an answer. She told me to get my suit cleaned, so I went with her. I don't remember much about the wedding, but it started me seeing Eva. She worked at American Linen and had a weekly bus pass, so I would walk out to her place on Sundays, and she would give me her bus pass to ride back to the dormitory night.

 

Eva and Bernard with Chief White Eagle

 

Carpenter

I was ordained an Elder, December 31, 1939. After graduating from trade school in May 1940 (I attended trade school from 1939-1940), Clarence Louder, a carpenter classmate and friend, and I decided to work together. We had tried to find work as a carpenter or as a carpenter apprentice, but we were unable to find a contractor that would hire us. All the large contractors were union, and they had their own apprentice program.

 

We saw an ad in the newspaper that L. J. Bowers were looking for carpenters to build houses in Copperton. Just south of the high school, Mr. Bowers owned a large lumber company. We went to see Mr. Bowers about the job and he asked us if we were journeyman carpenters. We said "yes" we were. He asked us if we could read blueprints, and we said "yes" as that had been a large part of our schooling. He looked at us as if he was not sure we were journeyman carpenters. (We had not been able to find a contractor that would hire us as an apprentice carpenters.) He said, "Well, I'll give you a chance."

 

He subcontracted out different parts of the house and gave us a contract to finish the inside of one of the new houses (frame and hang doors, baseboards, moldings around windows and doors, cabinets and finish flooring, etc), and we were paid a price to complete it. After we had finished the contract on the house, he was satisfied with our work. He asked us if we would be interested in hanging the double garage doors (7 feet high and 16 feet wide). We said we would, so he gave us a contract at a price on each door that we would hang. It took us all one day to figure out how to hang the first overhead garage door, but we got to where we could hang 3 to 4 of them in one day and making good money for it. Mr. Bowers could see that we were making a lot of money (high wages for that time) so he decided to have his own crew of carpenters hang them and gave us a contract to finish the inside of another house of which we completed. In the meantime, his two carpenters were only hanging one garage door a day and it was costing him more money for each door than he paid us, so he gave us the contract to finish the rest of the garage doors.

 

Bachelor Pad

 

After graduating from school, and at the time of getting the job with L.J. Bowers, we had to find another place to live. While going to trade school we had board and room paid for by the government to help train boys and girls to learn a trade or occupation. Clarence and I found a board and room place to live. It was on 5th or 6th South on the south side of the street between Main and West Temple at a home owned by Mr. & Mrs. Fox. We called her Ma Fox. Clarence and I had a room together. We were served breakfast and dinner. They gave us a lunch to take with us to work.

 

Registering for the Draft

I continued to see Eva quite regularly, and attended the old Poplar Grove Ward on Concord Street next to the railroad tracks (north side) with her. While living at Ma Fox's board and room, I registered for the military draft (1940) as the war in Europe was enlarging, and it appeared that the U.S. might get involved in it. We registered at a building west of the boarding house on the corner. The draft board soon began to call those who registered by the number that was on their register papers and was listed at the Tribune building on the first floor. Also, it was published in the newspaper, and we were notified by mail when and where to report to.

 

Eva, Bernard and friend Riding horses in Spring City, May 12, 1940

 

 

 

Working at the Garfield Refinery

 

Mr. Fox worked at the Garfield American Smelting and Refinery. (They extracted copper and gold & silver out of the ore that came from the Kennecott Mines, but nearly all of it was copper.) He gave me the name of Art Becksted who was the superintendent over the carpenter department, and recommended that I should see him about getting a job there. I went to his home and told him that I would like to get a job there. He told me that they might hire another carpenter or two. He told me to keep in touch with him. I did every week and I guess he got tired of me asking him about the job, so he told me to come out to the plant to start work. I was hired and worked out of the carpenter shop.

 

Paul Frank was my supervisor (foreman). I rode in a car pool with four other men, and I only had to drive one day a week. The work was good, but very dirty. Some of the work that had to be done was to build arch forms in the roaster for the brick layers to lay brick on. The roasters were around 20 feet or more in diameter and very high. The brick levels were about 3 feet apart and a hole in the middle of the circle with a center shaft with an arm on each level. The ground ore was put on the top, and the shaft and arms worked it down through each section of brick shelf or layer and was heated to a high temperature and came out like dry powder. Also, we worked on the brick reverbs. When one of them was shut down and the molted ore was hard enough to walk on, we would go in and build wood from under the brick roof arch where the old brick burned out brick was removed, so that the brick layers could lay new brick in the brick arch.

 

We had to wear wooden shoes that was strapped or tied to our shoes to keep our feet from getting burnt. We wore our carpenter overalls or coveralls, gloves, hard hat and gas masks for protection in the reverbs. They furnished us clothes to wear because of the acid (sulfuric). Also, we worked in the acid plant and the converters. As soon as the clothes got any moisture on them the acid dust would eat holes in them.

 

The ore went from the grinding mills, to the roasters, to the reverbs, to the converters, to the copper casting wheel. When it came out as cooper with silver and gold in it, the waste from the process was skimmed off the melted ore in the form of slag of which was taken out to the slag dump. The metal was heavy and the waste was light. I also worked on the steel buildings, corrugated steel on the sides and roof. A lot of the time I worked as a rigger (person who worked on high buildings, smoke stacks, etc on a swinging scaffold or bolster chain hanging from rope blocks from the top of the building or smoke stack). Several times I went up the high flag pole to put on a large copper ball on a new pulley or new rope. I was never afraid of going up high. This we did along with other carpenter repair jobs.

 

The men I rode with smoked, so I would open my car window wide open to get the smoke out. They complained, especially in the winter. Finally they quit smoking in the car. We got paid every two weeks. On Friday, they would stop at a beer tavern along the highway between work (Garfield) and Salt Lake. I stayed in the car while they went in for beer. I was driving the Hudson car at the time.

 

 

 Bernard and the Hudson

Marriage

Eva in front of her house in West Salt Lake

 

 I was seeing Eva several nights each week and on Sundays, and I had not received any word from the draft. So on about March 15 (1941), I went into the draft board to check on my draft number, and they said that they did not have any record of my registering. I showed them my copy of the registration to prove that I had registered. They said that since they did not have any record of my registration and my number had already been called up, I could enlist in any of the military services, so I enlisted in the Air Force.

 

Alois Hollingshaus and Clara Metzger Hollingshaus, Eva's parents

 

I called Eva and told her that I had enlisted and was to report the next Tuesday. I had talked to her previous about getting married, but she said "no." She could not marry any one in the military because of an experience her sister Milda had. Eva called me Saturday morning and told me to hurry, get dressed and come with her to see the stake president so we could get married. We would need to go out to Spring City and get a recommend from my Bishop and Stake President. We saw her Stake President (Paul C. Child), and we drove out to Spring City to meet with my Bishop (Ellis, who had a lot of beehives for honey). I do not remember who was my Stake President.

 

On Monday we went into the Air Force office to ask them if I could wait until after Tuesday to report as we were going to get married that day, and the officer said that since I was getting married and was working at the American smelting (copper smelter), which was vital to the war effort, they would prefer that I stay there at the smelt work. We said YES and I was given a deferment from the draft.

 

We decided to get married March 25, 1941 in the Manti temple. We left Salt Lake early that morning in the old Hudson car and stopped in Spring City to pick up Mother and Father. Eva's parents came with Alfred and Unice. I do not remember if other members of her family were there. On the way from Spring City to Manti, the right rear wheel of the Hudson car came loose. We stopped and found that two or three of the lug bolts were stripped. I tightened the rest and drove slowly to Manti to the garage I had purchased it, and left it to have the new wheel drum installed on it while we were at the temple getting married.

 

We received our endowment and were married by one of the temple sealers for time and eternity. The temple was beautiful inside. The paintings and the woodwork was very special. They took us to see the spiral staircase that goes from the bottom floor to the top. I marveled at how they could have made it and all the fancy carvings on the wood work with the old pioneer hand tools that they had at the time. I admired the tall stately pine trees that I had helped dig up east of Spring City, when I was twelve years of age. The flowers and the lawn added to the beauty and the spires of the temple seemed to reach the sky.

 

 

After picking up the Hudson car, we went back to Spring City where Mother had fixed a dinner for us. Later, Eva's family left to go back to Salt Lake. We stayed, since we were going to have a shower for us. We did not have a wedding reception. We couldn't have afforded one even if we had wanted to. The neighbors and friends of my family came and brought small gifts, of which I do not remember. I believe it was the Jensen Brothers Max, Hugh and Rollo who brought one of those night potties with root beer in it with the center cuts of donuts floating in it and it looked like.......Well you can guess. My brother Warner planned with others to take Eva and put her in a baby buggy and wheel her up town and down main street, but I was wise to him. I got Eva and got in the Hudson car and left. Warner's car was no match for the Hudson. (Its sister car, the Terraplane was used by the highway patrol.) Warner never caught up with us or found us.

 

Early Marriage

 

We came back later and stayed there with Mother. We returned back to Salt Lake to an apartment we had rented on 7th south and about 123 East on the North side of the street where the present Deseret Industries is currently located. There was a business on the corner with main street, then the 3rd Ward where we attended church, then the 4 plex where we rented. I returned to work at the Garfield smelter and Eva returned to work at the American Linen Supply.

 

Right after we returned, we bought a kitchen set and a bedroom set from the South East Furniture Company in Sugar House (Harry and Ann Proter introduced us to Gordon Sorensen, who was the manager) on a 90 day credit. Later, the apartment gas stove oven blew up as Eva turned it on. Luckily she didn't get burned. We bought a new gas range from Southeast Furniture Company right after we started to attend the Third ward. Bishop Brewster called Eva to work in the Young Women's as a Beehive teacher, and I was called to assistant scoutmaster. The members of the ward were not very friendly. Bill and Lou Hoffman and family were very nice to us.

 

 

Ardith Jean Major

Eva became pregnant three months later and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Ardith Jean, on April 11, 1942 the following year in the L.D.S. Hospital. We were very happy to have our first child.  

 

1420 Indiana Avenue

 

 

Eva and Ardith in front of Indiana Ave. house 1942

 

At about the same time, Eva's Mother and Father were arranging to buy a house at 1420 Indiana Ave. The Lundskogs lived there and her mother and father (Plevies) lived in the back apartment of the house. Eva's parents had found out that the Lundskogs were buying a new home and was going to sell theirs. They also found out that Eddie (Edward Rabiger) wanted to buy it also. The Lundskogs told Eva's parents that the first one to bring the money would get it, so they hurried up with the money (I don't know how they had ever saved that money ) and paid for the house and let us buy it from them on a monthly contract at about .02% interest. We later learned that Ed Rabiger was very mad that we had bought it.

 

We moved into the house. It was good, but needed some changes. The front porch was a wooden deck with 4 brick and wood columns holding up the roof of the porch. There was a coal burning heater in the front room just west of the present door that goes to the bedroom. There was a beam that crossed the ceiling just west of the front door with a bookshelf type cabinets with glass doors that separated the front room and dining room with an opening in the middle.

 

In the kitchen there was a brick wall (that was the rear of the original house) where the end of the kitchen cabinets are now. There was a coal cook stove in the corner where the present gas range is now and a door going into the bathroom next to it. The present hallway going into the bathroom and bedroom was closets. There was a door going through the brick wall in the kitchen, next to the coal cook stove, to a room that was used as a storage, and laundry room with a trap door in the floor that went to a small fruit storage room that was dug out under the kitchen. The rest of the area under the house was not dug out and had no windows in it.

 

There was another bedroom to the east of the storage and laundry room, with the present doorway going into the south bedroom, with another door going into the rear apartment. The apartment looked pretty much as it is now, except for the new aluminum windows that replaced the old wood windows that were hinged and opened in. The door, window, and base molding we changed, also the lower part of the kitchen cabinets. There was a small coal cook stove where the gas stove is now, and a coal heater in the south east corner of the east room. The back doorway to the outside was the same as is now, except I put on a different door.

 

In the rear of the yard next to the alleyway, there was an old single wooden garage on the east with two hinged wooden doors facing the alleyway. To the west was a chicken pen and a coal storage shed in the northwest corner of the yard. The present sidewalk to the garage went to the alleyway, and there was a wooden gate between the coal storage shed and the chicken coop (pen).

 

We attended the old Poplar Grove Ward that was located on the west side of Concord street next to the railway tracks. I was called to be a teacher of the Elder's Quorum, assistant scoutmaster, scoutmaster, and assistant area scout leader with Lamont Olsen while living in the old Poplar Grove Ward before entering the war.

 

The old wooden shingles on the house were getting bad, so I bought new cedar shingles and tore off a small area at a time, and recovered with new cedar shingles always closing up the section of roof before quitting to prevent any rain from leaking through. The old shingles that were removed were used to start a fire in the coal stoves.

 

 

Ardith and Eva on south side of Indiana Ave. house, 1942

 

 Ardith and Vincen Major the Spring of 1943.  Ardith was celebrating her first birthday,

born April 11, 1942 and Vincen was celebrating his 52nd birthday, born  March 20,  1890.

Ronald Arthur Major

Ronald Arthur was born 3 years after Ardith was born, on March 3, 1944. We were very happy and proud. We now had a daughter and a son. Ronald was the first grandson for Grandmother and Grandfather Hollingshaus. They had several granddaughters, but had not a grandson, so they were very happy also. Both Ardith and Ronald had been born healthy and strong at the LDS Hospital.

 

Ardith, Ron, Eva abt  1944

 

Ardith and Ron playing with Grandma Mattie Agatha Major abt 1945