Ether WOOD is the great uncle of Lark. Lark’s grandfather John Andrew WOOD (called Andrew) is the [older] brother mentioned in this history. Andrew was born in Grafton and worked as a cowboy and a trucker leading the way for his younger brothers.
Andrew WOOD had taken his parent’s Grafton home apart board by board and moved it to Hurricane, Utah. Andrew and his wife Laura Elizabeth Parker WOOD lived on the corner next his is parents Sarah Jane GIBSON and John WOOD Jr. new home in Hurricane.
Lark’s line of grandfathers mentioned in this history are John Andrew WOOD (1883-1932), John WOOD Jr. (1858-1931) and John WOOD (1819-1911.)
Lark has spoken to Rosamond who gave her permission to add Ether’s history to this family blog.
ETHER WOOD HISTORYPartial transcription by Sylvia Wood Sawyer
The following is taken from the Ether Wood Biography. It was originally typed by Metta Wood Tweedie and bound in a loose-leaf book by Metta and her sister, Rosamond Wood Ranstrom. They are the daughters of Ether Wood. Ether was born 7 April 1889 and died 16 Sept. 1974.
The entire book has been transcribed except for the section describing Ether’s missionary experiences. Sylvia’s reason for transcribing the original typing by Metta is so that the information is more easily readable. Sylvia’s intention in doing so was so that anyone who had ancestors in Grafton and any of the surrounding Southern Utah towns could use the material more easily in constructing histories for their ancestors.
Sylvia intends to use some of the information, as a good description of life in Grafton, in the John Wood, Sr., George Henry (Nen), and Orin Wood histories. They are the line of Wood Grandfathers for Sylvia, and they all lived in Grafton and are mentioned in Ether’s writings. Ether was a cousin to Orin, Sylvia’s grandfather.
I, Ether Wood was born in Grafton, Utah on 7 April 1889 in a two-room frame house about ¾ of a block from the one room adobe schoolhouse where I went to school and church and all public gatherings.
My grandfather’s house (John Wood, Sr.) was across the street west. My grandfather and his wife, Ellen Smith Wood lived in the back room and Uncle George and Aunt Emily Wood Gibson lived in the front two rooms. Emily was the youngest child of John Wood. My grandfather’s house is still standing. My brother, Andrew [John Andrew WOOD], moved my father’s house and barn to Hurricane in 1911 and lived in it until he died and his family moved to Salt Lake City about 1932.
My father’s barn and corral was about 300 yards south from the house and across the street west about 100 yards south from the “south” ditch. I never could understand why he didn’t build them close to the ditch so we would not have to drive the horses and cows to water three times a day.
Across the street east from the barn was a small rocky hill. Just north from it was my father’s blacksmith shop. Two of my jobs at the shop was to blow the bellows to make the fire hot and the other was to help him fix wagon wheels when the tire would get loose. He would take it off, put it in the fire and get it to a white heat then put it in the tire shrinker, push down on the lever which would make the tire smaller. He had a measuring wheel about 8 inches in diameter with the which he would go round the wheel, also the tire. It was necessary to have the tire slightly smaller than the wheel. To put the tire on the wheel he would lay the tire flat on the ground, put the three bricks or rocks under to hold it about three inches from the ground, then crisscross stove wood around it. When it was red hot and expanded he would put it on the wheel, pour water on to cool it and keep from burning the fellies.
Across the ditch north at the top of the lot where the house was, was a molasses mill. The families that lived in Grafton from before I was born till past the turn of the century: On the north street running east and west from the east end was James M. Ballard (Bishop, Postmaster, and Storekeeper.) (The Post office was not Grafton, but Wheeler, as there was another Grafton in Utah at that time.) Next was James N. Stanworth and his brother Emanuel N. Stanworth. Next was Eliza Russell and her sons Alfred and Lorenzo. Across the street north was Wm. Russell and family, also Elias Russell next. On the south side of the street was Thadeus Ballard (his nick name was Thad). A short distance west from Thadeus Ballard’s house in a basement lived Joseph Hirum and David Hastings and their mother who was blind.
There was two streets running east and west. On the street on the south side on the east end was Uncle “Nen” Wood’s log barn and corral – also a short distance west was his two-room log house. A block west was Edward H. Ballard (they called him “Ep”). On west was Frank Russell, Albert Russell, and William Isom. William Isom was my Uncle. His wife Mary was my mother’s sister. A short distance north from Wm. Isom was the Jones home where Charles (we called him Charley), George, Filetus, Alfred, Edward, and Frank lived with their parents.
School teachers I remember are Jeana Spilsbury, Phoebe Terry, David Hirschi, Nell Chatterly, Amos Workman and Rea Higby. David Hirschi and Pheobe Terry rode to and from Rockville each day on horseback. The others boarded in turns with the different families.
Our school’s pot-bellied stove burned wood donated by the men of the town. One night Thatch Ballard and Abner Gibson stuffed up the stove pipe. The stove smoked so bad the next day that the teacher had to dismiss school. Thatch and Abner was the main mischiefs. One day they put a setting hen in Rea Higby’s closet.
Our main way of announcing New Years was to ring the school bell. One of the trustees (Alonzo Russell) didn’t like to be disturbed at midnight, so he locked up the school house and made the brag that “the bell would not be rung that night.” This was quite a challenge for us kids, so after dark, we started checking for a way to get in the schoolhouse. We found the southwest window had not been fastened on top. This window was opposite the bell rope where it hung down from the belfry. Across the school ground west was Thad Ballard’s stock yard with a straw shed next to the schoolhouse. We tied lassoes to the bell rope through the top of the window and from on top of the shed at midnight we rung the bell. We were sure the trustee would come so when we thought he had time to get there we stopped ringing the bell. He unlocked the door and tried to find us. We kept quiet until he had time to get back home.
Some of my jobs, as soon as I was old enough to harness a horse, was to milk cows and chop wood besides bring the water for the household. Our culinary water system was a 50-gallon barrel on a sled made from two cottonwood logs about 4 feet long with 2-inch planks on top, making the sled about 2 ½ ft. wide with a chain and singletree on one end to hook the horse to. I would go to the river and dip the barrel full with a bucket. Coming back we had a rocky hill to climb which really make the horse work to pull it up. I had to stop and let him rest several times. In the spring and summer when the snow was melting in the mountains with flash floods, the river would get quite muddy. My mother would put milk in the water to settle the mud. The next time I went after water I would have to take the barrel off the sled and rinse the mud out.
Wash days were what I dreaded most. At that time there was no washing machines or running water. Besides hauling the water, I had to dip it from a 50-gallon barrel with a bucket and carry it in buckets to a large copper boiler on a fire out side in the summer. In winter it would be on the kitchen stove. I also carried it from the boiler to the scrubbing tub where mother scrubbed the clothes on a board. There was also the rinse tub to fill. Then I had to empty the tubs when she was through. The clothes all had to be scrubbed on a board, rung by hand, rinsed in a separate tub and rung again. The women sometimes hired the squaws to help them wash. Sometimes my mother would hire a Piute Squaw – most of the time one by the name of “Mary.” She was the blind wife of a good old Indian named Poincum.
Another job was to milk two cows night and morning, feed them and drive them to the ditch to water. I also had to feed and water four horses. One job that was really for a boy of my size was to chop wood for two stoves and carry it in. I was glad when summer came and there was only one stove to get wood for!
The expression “the river” meant the towns of Springdale, Rockville, Grafton, Duncan, and Virgin. Duncan was flooded away early and the other towns were being eroded also by the Virgin River. This was why Hurricane came about.
My father (John Wood, Jr.) had the first grain binder on the river. It took three horses to pull it. It would cut the grain and tie it in bundles with twine. The grain was never stacked in the field. It was hauled to town and stacked in round stacks. My father and uncles, George Gibson, Nen Wood, and Will Isom had the first threshing machine on the river also. They threshed all the grain on the river.
The thresher had two parts – the separator and the horsepower. The separator separated the grain from the straw and chaff which was powered by the horsepower. This consisted of ten horses in five teams hitched to a wooden sweep about 12 feet long which extended from the horse power to the double trees and the horses went round and round. There was an extension of tumbling rods from the horse power to the separator connected with universal joints. Uncle Nen Wood drove the horsepower until his death in 1898; then Dave Ballard drove it.
James Jepson cut the bands on the bundles as they were thrown by the men on the stacks to the table in front of him. My father and Will Isom fed the cut bundles into the cylinder. They changed off and on this job as it was the hardest, dirtiest job there. The chaff and dirt would puff back in their faces from the cylinder.
Uncle George Gibson measured the grain as it poured from the machine with two half-bushel containers. He sat on a sack with about a bushel of grain in it. From two to four men would carry the grain on their shoulders to a granary or bin depending on how far they had to carry it. The men and horses boarded at the places they threshed.
In the spring of 1898, the worst tragedy in the history of Grafton happened. Uncle Nen Wood was killed by an outlaw horse. The men from the towns on the river gathered in the street in front of our place to start on the spring roundup. I remember as they started out one of them shouted “Here goes Roosevelt’s Rough Riders.” (It was during the Spanish American War.) When they were about a mile from where they were going to camp at “The Troughs” the outlaw horse started to buck. When the horse wasn’t able to throw his rider, he threw himself on his side. Uncle Nen’s head hit the ground so hard it caused a concussion of the brain. He never regained consciousness. Nen and my father had never been separated. I have heard my father tell about their boyhood. One thing I remember well was he said they had one pair of boots between them and they took turns wearing them. (Sylvia’s note: The Orin Wood Family has a slightly different version of Nen’s death. The accident happened just south of Gooseberry – near present-day Apple Valley – in the wash that lies near the main Highway. The horse fell into the wash, and in the tumble landed on Nen.)
At this time the Piute Indians must not have had a reservation. They would pitch their teepees on the edge of town. The people of Grafton was sociable and good to them. The squaws would make regular trips around town carrying sacks containing flour and vegetables. They would usually walk in the house without knocking, and unless you asked them to sit, they would stand. They wouldn’t say anything unless you started a conversation. The Grafton women would add a little to what they had; then they would go.
The Indians would hunt rabbits, porcupines, and anything they could eat. We played with the Indian kids. When it was too cold outside, we would play in the teepees with a fire in the middle. The smoke would go through an opening in the top. It was quite often smoky. They seemed to get along good together. Weather permitting, they would cook outside. They quite often cooked meat and vegetable stew in a large iron pot. When it was done, they would gather round and each one help himself.
They had no wagons. Their method of moving camp was to take two poles about 12 feet long and put one on each side of a horse – like shaves of a sleigh. The horse would hold up one end, and the other would drag on the ground. They would put their belongings on the poles behind the horse. Quite often the kids would ride too. The squaws would ride the horse. In the summer they would move to the mountains and higher ground. My father’s old friend, Poincum, would move to our ranch on Kolob. There was no game laws then, and when Poincum would get a deer he would skin it and quarter it and carry it in on the hide. He always gave us a hind quarter.
My father could speak the Piute language quite well. Two of Poincum’s boys died in Grafton and were buried there in the Grafton cemetery. Their names were Wiley and Russ. They put their blankets and guns in the casket which was made by Will Russell. The Indians gathered lots of pine nuts. Besides helping their food situation they traded them to the whites and the stores.
During the early 1890s the men of Grafton donated their time and work to make a road up the Grafton Mountain, south of town. I remember hearing it said that Uncle Nen Wood put in more days work than any other man. This mountain road was so steep it really………. (missing text)
When we arrived at the top of the mountain, he stopped and made me get off and walk. He had what he called a “shoe” he had made to put under the rear wheel and chained it to the back side. It slid down the mountain and he wouldn’t have to brake very much, but that day he forgot the shoe and only had the brake. He hadn’t gone far, me following, when the link which supported the brake bar to the back side broke and turned him loose with no brake at all. The horses trying to outrun the wagon made so much dust I couldn’t see the road. I groped along as fast as I could when I came to where the wood, including the rack and rear axle and wheels, had gone over the rock wall on the lower side. I looked among the scattered wood for my father but couldn’t see him. When the dust cleared, I could see him down the road. The reach which holds the front and rear axles together had broken and the front axle pulled out and the horses continued on with the front axle. A short distance below was what they called the S turn. The horses were going so fast they were unable to make the turn and went straight on through the rocks. They were unhurt with the exception of a few peeled legs and bruises. It was a miracle that my father survived.
At the turn of the century everywhere was open range and nearly everyone in the settlements on the river had a few head of cattle. The cattle ranged in the winter in the Big Plain area – Gooseberry Mountain, Rattlesnake, and Caanan Gaps – and in the summer on Kolob Mountain.
It was always necessary to have a general roundup in the spring and fall to move the cattle from winter to summer range and vice versa. About the first of October, the cattle would start drifting themselves from the mountain to the winter range. Instead of going on to the winter range they stopped on the river. As there were farms along the river with poor fences, it fell to the lot of Edgar Gibson and Harve Ballard and myself to gather them up and start them up the Grafton Mountain toward the winter range. The trail to and from the winter range was through Grafton. Nearly everyone had large corrals to hold the cattle in over night. Sometimes on moonlight nights, we kids would sneak in the corrals and ride the calves.
Some of the men I remember riding with on the range was my father, John Wood, Jr., Dave and Ep and John Ballard, Dave and John Hastings, Frank and Alfred Russell, Dave and Dan Hirschi, Rosewell and Levi and Ben DeMille, Jim Jennings, Frank McMullin, Arch Spilsbury, Ed Higbee, Sam and Hi Ford, my brother Andrew, my cousin Orin Wood, Uncle George and Dardy Gibson, Jim and E. N. Stanworth, and Tom Reeve.
When I was 13 my father was freighting copper bullion from Shem, a smelter on the Santa Clara Creek, to Acoma, a railroad siding on the U. P. Railroad between Caliente, Nevada and Modena, Utah. He also hauled coke back to the smelter. He used two wagons and four horses.
When I was 13 and 14 years old, my brother Andrew, who was six years older than I, was going to school in Provo in winter and worked for the Bar Z Cattle Co. in the summer. That left me to look after the cattle and farm. The irrigation ditch was a problem. It was about three miles long and had to be cleaned with shovels in the spring. We had to build the dam every spring. We would drive wooden pegs in the river with cotton wood limbs and boughs above the pegs to turn the water in the ditch. Every flood would take the dam out and we would have to build it over.
About the turn of the century, my father bought a ranch on Kolob Mountain from Moses Gibson. It was on Big Creek about a mile up the valley from what is now Kolob Reservoir. We lived there many years in the summer and darried. Our milk cows were range cattle and were quite hard to break to milking. We would lasso them and snub them to the fence, Quite often when we turned them loose we would have to go under or over the fence to keep from getting a horn in the seat of our pants.
We didn’t have a cream separator. We had a milk house built of logs with rows of shelves on each side. We would put about a half gallon of milk in each pan. About every other day my mother would skim the cream into a 10-gallon churn that had a crank handle on one end that went round and round until it was churned to butter. This round and round job was one of mine. I really got my exercise.
Be sides this job and helping milk the cows I had two more jobs. We turned the cows on the open range in the day and I had to round them up each evening before milking time. I also had to deliver milk and butter to sheep camps for miles around. In the back end of the milk house which had but one door we stored grain and other supplies. One day, to our surprise, one of the big work horses squeezed through the door and was eating grain in the back with shelves of milk on both sides. We were very careful to not get him excited. We had to work him slowly out backwards. There was a log extending from each side and under the door, so we had to lift each of his feet over one at a time. After that, we kept the door shut!
Grouse was quite plentiful. With my 22 single shot Stevens rifle, I helped some to supply meat for the family.
To go to Kolob from Grafton with a wagon or buckboard, we had to go down the river nearly to Virgin then up North Creek, past Mountain Dell and the Mill. On horseback, we could take a cut-off on a trail up the Black Mountain, north across Coal Pits and cross North Creek about a mile above the Mill where we would come into the road.
My father kept horses and cattle on the ranch from early spring until late fall. He often sent me up horseback to see how everything was. It usually took me until the middle of the afternoon to make it. I didn’t like staying at the ranch alone, so I would hunt the nearest sheep camp to spend the night and then ride back to the ranch at daylight. Sheep herders always seemed to like company. Two of them I remember best was Hi Prince and Jim Taylor. They herded for Joe Prince. His range joined our ranch.
I remember hearing my father and mother tell about when they lived in the Fort at Pipe Springs. My sister older than I died there. The only way they had of taking her to Grafton for burial was in a wagon. It was a long trip for one day. They were until after dark getting to the Rockville Hill which was very steep and crooked. This was before the road was built up the Grafton Mountain. It being a cloudy and moonless night, men came from Rockville with lanterns to help them down the mountain which was greatly appreciated by them.
I forgot to mention earlier that when I was from 7 to 10 years old, I often went with my father on freighting trips. Some I remember well. I went with him to Milford. We stayed in Milford with my Aunt Ellen and Uncle Ike (Isaac) Brown. Another time I went to Mt. Trumble in Northern Arizona with my father, Uncle Nen Wood, Uncle George Gibson, and Bert Farns. Father told me about hauling lumber from Mr. Trumble for the St. George Temple. I remember seeing lots of mustang horses.
I remember one trip we always made in late summer was to take a load of wheat to Washington mill. We would wait for the wheat to be ground and then load up the flour and bran and start back. At Grapevine, near Leeds was a toll road through the sand. We had to pay 25 cents to use it.
My prize possession in those days was a little grey mustang horse I called Dick. He was tricky and spooky and had other peculiarities of his own. One of them was when we would turn the horses in the field in the fall, he would get cockle burrs in his tail. When he would switch it, the burrs would prick his sides, so his remedy was to run for the fence or a tree and back up to it so he couldn’t switch his tail and hit himself with the burrs.
We had a manger outside of the barn. One day the bull got out of the corral. I grabbed the bridle, climbed on the fence, and jumped on Dick. I tapped him with the reins and started on the run after the bull. I had only gone a few rods when he put down his head, stopped stiff legged, and in about three jumps (bucks) I slid down over his neck and head and took the bridle off with the seat of my pants. He dodged around me and took off on the run.
In 1903 when I was 14, Jim Maxwell came into Grafton from Long Valley on his way to Lund with a herd of cattle. He bought more cattle on the river and needed more help. I got the job. One night we camped at Iron Springs. I was on night herd with another fellow. On night herd we had the cattle bunched up as close together as they could lie down comfortably. We never allowed them to scatter at night. It was a very cool night. The cattle were quiet. We always rode round and round encircling them and making some kind of noise – mostly sing. I doubt very much the cattle enjoyed it. The reason for making continuous noise was to keep the cattle from getting too sound asleep. If they did that a sudden noise was more likely to stampede them.
The herd was close to a grove of scrub trees. I told the other fellow if he would stay with the cattle, I would go up in the trees and build a fire and we would take turns getting warm. I had barely got off my horse when a stampede started coming in my direction. By the time I was able to get on my horse the steers were there. Each man had a night horse saddled and tied as close to his bed as possible, and the only clothes we would take off was our boots. The other men, hearing the cattle start, came to our aid as soon as possible. The way to stop a stampede is to try to turn the leader and get them going in a circle. I took the leaders having the best start with them. The other fellow followed me quite close, being short handed before the fellows got there. We lost 8 head of the drags – the ones who were at the tail end.
Next morning Jim gave me the job of finding the lost steers and trying to get them to Lund in time to ship with the herd as the railroad cars were waiting in Lund. He and the herd moved on, and I stayed to find the steers. It was quite a predicament for a 14 year old boy with no camp. I thought the lost steers would go straight back the way we had come, which is customary to go back to their old range. It was almost impossible to track them because we had come through the day before with the herd. I stayed that night with my father’s old friend, Wm. Ford in Kanarra. Next day about noon I found them near Hamilton’s Fort and started for Lund where we arrived about midnight. My horse and myself hadn’t had any rest or anything to eat for 13 hours. The steers had been traveling 12 hours steady. They were acting a little tuckered. When we got back to Grafton, Jim gave me a $20.00 gold piece which was double the going wages for a week at that time.
In 1904, when I was 15, I went on the biggest cattle roundup that was ever held in Northern Arizona. There were 75 men and 200 saddle horses and 8 chuck wagons. I can only remember two besides myself in what was called “The River Outfit.” They were Uncle George Gibson and Jim Jennings. We were holding all the river cattle that had strayed, and some had been driven from their winter range.
At periods during the roundup we would cut the river cattle from the day herd and take them back to their regular range, which was in the Big Plain area. Besides the regular day’s work, it was my job to take the horses, usually about two miles from camp, to find good enough feed and hobble them. As soon as it started to get daylight in the morning, Jim Jennings would wake me up to go after the horses. We tied up a horse at night to wrangle on. I think this is why.
I can remember Jim Jennings so well. We seldom got to bed before ten or eleven at night. I would get so sleepy I would almost fall off my horse. Jim Jennings and myself usually drove the cattle back to their range, and because of not having any camping equipment, we had to make the trip from the roundup outfit to the Big Plain with the cattle and back in a day. Going back Jim always rode on a fast trot all the way back.
The first day of the roundup which started at Antelope, we rounded up 2000 head of cattle in the forenoon. In the afternoon, the herd being too large for the Antelope coral, we had to hold them outside. This took men to surround the herd – also some to cut out the ones we wanted to hold. With us, it was all the river cattle in the herd. It also took men to herd the ones that were being cut out, which was mostly steers to sell for the outfit. When the cutting was done, the corral would hold what was left, mostly cows and calves.
Our job then was branding the calves, which had to be done carefully as they belonged to so many men and outfits. We had to be sure the calf we were after was with its mother so as to get the right brand on it. This was daily procedure during the roundup which lasted about 30 days. Our camps were at Antelope, Clayhole, Yellowstone, Bull Rush, Pipe Springs, Canebeds, and the Caanan Ranch. It seemed like the horses thought it was one of their jobs to give a rodeo every morning. It was a good thing there were a lot of good riders.
Men I can remember were James Andrews, who was my uncle and also a boss of the roundup, Tom and Charles Andrews, Andrew Bert, Willard Sorenson, Frank Foster, Ef Foremaster, George Lytle, Earl Whipple, Pete Neilson, Monroe Clark (we called him Bridger), Smith Harris, Brig Riggs, Uncle George Gibson, Jim Jennings, Dave C. Bullock, Billy Hudspeth, and Joe Schow.
During this roundup I saw lots of mustang horses – as many as 100 in a band. Soon after that they started trapping them and shipping them out. They fenced the watering places, especially along Clayhole Wash. They would put a gate with a hiding place close by. The only way the horses could get water was through the gate. The way they fixed the horses to move them is they would lasso and throw each horse and then tie a rope from their tail between their hind legs and to one front foot so he could reach far enough to walk but was unable to run.
In 1904, oil was struck on North Creek, a short distance from Virgin. Soon the “boom” was on. Late in the summer I got a job helping survey oil claims for Hewitt for $4.00 a day which was extra big wages at that time. The boom lasted about three years with all kinds of people coming and going. There was four saloons and about everything else accordingly.
When I was 16 in 1905, Monroe Clark (we called him Bridger) came through Grafton from Cedar on his way to his horse pasture in Grand Canyon, down from “The Big Saddle” near Powell’s Plateau. He had horses there – one and two year olds that were not branded. He hired me to go with him to help round up and brand the horses.
The first day from Grafton we went to Canebeds and stayed overnight at the Bar Z Ranch. Next morning, we rounded up some of Bridger’s horses that had wintered at Canebeds. He caught one, a Pinto and led it – not giving any reason. I didn’t ask him, however I was curious. About halfway between Pipe Springs and Fredonia I found out. He said, “How about you riding the Pinto?” I said, “Well, I’ll try.” We saddled him up. I had no trouble riding him because he didn’t try anything fancy. We stayed overnight at the Traveler’s Inn in Fredonia. Next day he still led the Pinto. It was no guess this time. We stopped on the White Sage Flat for lunch. After putting the pack on our pack horse, Bridger said again, “How about riding the Pinto again?” It was quite different from the day before. He bucked about ten times before we got to Cacanena, a copper mining camp where we stayed overnight.
We camped with Zane Grey the author, Buffalo Jones, and Jim Owens, the government trapper. There was one more man in the party. I forget his name. They had a pack of bloodhound dogs and were trying to catch lions alive. We traveled with them two days when we reached the Big Saddle on the rim of Grand Canyon. Here we camped with them the third night. It was interesting to sit around the campfire and listen to Zane Grey tell of his experiences of world travel. He was a quarter breed Cherokee Indian. He was dark, medium height, and well built.
We left the hunting party and went into Grand Canyon down the trail that went to Basses Ferry on the Colorado River. It would only ferry one horse at a time. This was a short cut to Flagstaff, instead of going the long way by Lee’s Ferry. I have heard Dave Ballard say he had traveled this trail all the way. There were places on the trail where it went over rock slides as steep as rocks would lay without rolling. If a horse should lose his footing and fall, the horse and rider would roll hundreds of feet down the mountain. Lower Grand Canyon was the roughest horse ranch I have ever seen. The horses were as wild as mustangs. We had to trap them in a box canyon and fence it off to brand them. This was real work for two.
When we came out of the canyon, the hunting party was still camped at the Big Saddle. They had a real lion hunting experience. They had treed an extra large lion. He went up the tree about twenty feet and out on a large limb. Buffalo Jones went up the tree with a lasso after him. The lion jumped to the ground and the dogs took after him again. The lion went down a crevice in the canyon ledge with the dogs following and the men following the dogs. Under the ledge the lion went in a cave which was his den. Jones went in after him. The lion bounded out past him. Zane Grey was standing about 50 feet from the cave and shot him twice. They showed us his pelt. It measured 11 ft. 3 inches from its nose to the tip of its tail.
We left the hunters at the Big Saddle again and came home. Bridger tried several times to get me to ride the Pinto, but I didn’t relish it. He was the hardest bucking horse I have ever ridden. I found that he was an outlaw the Bridger had paid Bill Syler to break.
In 1906 when I was 17, we moved to Hurricane, although we lived in a tent with a board floor and walls for six years. We built a barn, stable, and corral; fenced the lot and field; and worked on the canal.
In 1907 when I was 18, I rode horseback 100 miles to the Buckskin Mt. (It is now the Kaibab.) to see if I could get a job with the Bar Z Cattle Company. It was owned by Benjamin F. Saunders of Salt Lake City. He sold out in the fall of the year to a company in Los Angeles. I found the outfit in Pleasant Valley. It is about 15 miles from the headquarters ranch in the V.T. Park. I was lucky getting a job. The men with the outfit were Charley Demmick (main boss), Dave Rider Forman, George Wood, Jr., Andrew Wood my brother, Dardie Gibson, Arch Swapp, Oscar Littlefield, Hi Pollack, Tommy Cafel, Billy Craine, and Jake Hopkins.
Our main job during summer was to round up and brand calves. It was estimated there was 8,000 head of cattle wearing the Bar Z brand. The summer range covered all of the Buckskin Mountain, including what is now Grand Canyon National Park. What is now Cape Royal Point was then Greenland Point. It was about two miles wide and 18 miles long – fenced with two miles of fence on the north and was our horse pasture.
After riding a string of three horses for a month, we would go to Greenland, round up the horses, and get a fresh string. Each man had 9 horses. That made it so we would ride three for a month and let the others rest two months. While at Greenland we camped at Neal Spring. We had to pull the shoes off the horses we were turning loose, and before we rode the new string, we had to shoe them.
One job we had that summer was one we didn’t like – splitting posts from pitch pine logs to build corrals for turning over the cattle to the new company.
The winter range headquarters ranch was at Cave Springs, about 15 miles south from House Rock. The winter range extended from South Canyon, which was south from Cave Springs, along the mountain to House Rock. Also, about 10 miles north from the House Rock, including the Sand Hills and east to Lee’s Ferry and on the south along the Colorado River to South Canyon, about thirty miles square. Bar Z cattle also ranged on another large area of open range from Kanab Gulch and Navajo Wells on the east and Antelope on the west.
In the spring of 1908, a roundup was planned for this area. To begin it, Uncle George Gibson and I brought 117 head of saddle horses from the House Rock Valley Ranch to Canebeds – Canebeds being the headquarter ranch for this area. We started the roundup at Navajo Wells, about 25 miles southeast from Kanab. Uncle George Gibson was boss of the outfit. We were gathering old cows and bulls to ship to California.
Our camping places were: Navajo Wells, Pipe Springs, Bull Rush, Yellowstone, Clayhole, and Antelope. When the round up was completed, we started from Canebeds, Arizona to Lund, Utah with the herd. Of the many herds I have helped trail from Arizona to Lund, this was the only one that did not stampede. I think the reason was that they were all old cattle, and being in the spring, they were quite “poor.”
We were two weeks on the trail. When we got them loaded in the cattle cars, John Kitchen and I went with them. The Railroad Co. allowed two to go free of charge and return on the passenger train free. The cattle being poor, lots of them would get down in the cars and others would straddle them so they couldn’t get up. We had to get in the cars and get them up. This was very risky as we could get knocked down and trampled or get a horn. (They did not dehorn in those days.) We only lost three head. After spending 36 hours of this ordeal we arrived in Colton where we unloaded the cattle and rode the caboose on to Los Angeles. We stayed there three days during which time we took an excursion trip to town, also along the coast, including Long Beach.
The company that bought the Bar Z from B. F. Saunders, as I remember the name, was the Keno Land and Water Company. Their offices were on the second floor of the First National Bank Building. Next morning after arriving, we went to the office to report our trip and cash our paycheck. They asked us lots of questions regarding the Arizona ranches. Our pay check money didn’t last very long. We went back to the office to see if we could get more money. The only question they asked was “How much?” We told them $30.00, which they gave us in cash. All they said was to “Tell Temmick to take it out of your next check,” which made our next paycheck quite small.
We rode the passenger train back to Lund – arriving about eight at night. We stayed overnight at the hotel. Next morning, after breakfast, we saddled our horses – the hotel man having taken care of them while we were gone – and rode to Bellview (which is now Pintura), which was about a fifty-mile ride. Next morning we went on to Hurricane, which was barely starting to become a town.
After a three-day visit, I started back to the outfit, which had gone back to Buskskin Mountain. First day I went as far as the Bar Z Canebeds Ranch. Sam Beal was there alone. There was about 2,000 head of cattle trying to water at the lower tanks. The water was drying up and the cattle were choking. Sam told me I had better stay with him about two weeks and help him to drift the cattle to Short Creek, about 6 miles west where there was plenty of water. This was the hardest job, especially on horses, to drive choking cattle from a mud hole.
After we had accomplished this, I went on out and found the outfit at the V.T. Ranch. Soon after this we went on to House Rock Valley and rounded up the remaining cattle and drifted them to the Mountain to the summer range. In the fall, the cattle had to be rounded up and driven back to the winter range in the valley. Our camping places on the House Rock Valley roundup was Canespring, the headquarters ranch, Soap Creek (about 12 miles from Lees Ferry), and the Lower Pools. The buffalo herd was watering here at the time, at House Rock and Two Mile (which was about two miles northeast from House Rock). After we finished this drive, we went back to the mountain and branding calves.
I quit in the fall and went home to school, but I didn’t finish the eighth grade. The spring of 1909 when I was 20, I went on the roundup for Dave Bulloch. I remember Jess Lemon was the cook nad Bridger (Monroe Clark) was with our outfit too. I remember Jess would remind him to load his bed (which was a two-man job) when we moved camp or he would drag it.
When the roundup was over, we trailed a herd of cattle to the Bulloch Plains, and I stayed and herded sheep for Dave. It was my first sheep herding job. While on this job, Jess brought me a letter from the First Presidency of the Church. It was a call to go on a mission to the Western States Mission. I was luckier than most missionaries. I had two farewell parties – one at Grafton and one at Hurricane.
On Oct. 1, 1909, when I was 20 years old, my mother, father, and I left Hurricane in the white-topped buggy for Lund. The first day we went to Kanarra and stayed overnight with my father’s old friend Wm. Ford. The next day we went to Cedar and then to Lund where we left the team and buggy and took the train for Salt Lake City.
We went to the State Fair, also toured the city in an automobile – my first automobile ride. On Oct 7th, I went through the Salt Lake Temple. October 8 we went to Murray, then to Cottonwood to visit our relatives: Aunt Jane Newman, Uncle Joe and Tommy Newman. On Oct. 12, I was set apart for the Western States Mission (with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The Western States Mission was North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico, and of course Colorado.
Sylvia’s note: The next 19 pages are filled with the writings of Ether’s missionary journal which I did not transcribe.……..
I was released Dec. 16, 1911 from Durango. I came over the D. and R.G. (Denver and Rio Grande) through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Salt Lake City, on the U.P.R.R. (Union Pacific Railroad) to Lund, and from Lund to Cedar on BenNell Stage. My brother, Andrew, met me in Cedar with a team and buggy. I arrived in Hurricane between Christmas and New Years. Found my folks still living in a tent.
Spring 1912 I went to Moapa Valley, Nevada on horseback to sell trees for Frank Barber. I stayed part time with Uncle Mose Gibson at St. Thomas. Coming back, the first day I rode from St. Thomas to Littlefield, Arizona, the second day to Hurricane 60 miles. I rode a little white horse of Andrew’s (brother) named Pedro. In 1912 I also worked at the Cripps Brick Yard and hauled rock for the foundation of my father and mother’s house with a wagon from on top of the Hurricane Hill. I also helped build the house.
In the spring of 1913, I herded sheep for Pace and Mathis. There were 3,000 head of sheep and no horse and no camp tender. It was difficult because they (the sheep) ran for it (the grass or water, I guess). This was on the neck of the desert near Iron Town.
On the 26 of June 1913 I married Augusta Carter in the St. George Temple. In July we made a horseback trip to Grand Canyon with High Woodward and wife, Dr. Cox and Fern Segmiller, Dolf Atkin and Maggie Olsen, Biz. Price and Ann Rencher. Augusta rode a little white horse of Andrew’s, named Pedro. I rode a sorrel pinto. We also used a grey horse of my father’s named Dobin on the chuck wagon. We took turns driving the wagon and cooking. The winter of 1913 Augusta taught school at Short Creek to help her mother and sister Ellen with their finances.
1914: In the spring, I started work for Sp. Esplin on his farm at Orderville at lambing time. I lambed a herd of 2,000 ewes on Indian Bench. After lambing, I herded them on Clear Creek Mountain, Orderville Gulch, and on the ranch on North Fork. At that time, sheep herding was done on foot, and did we get our exercise….the day Iona (our first child) was born, I walked from North Fork to Hurricane, down the East Rim Trail and through Zion Canyon, which was not a Park at that time. The distance was about 80 miles. After that, I rode a horse on to St. George, where Augusta was.
About Sept. 15, I went back to the herd and trailed them to Arizona where I herded them during the winter. There were two herders. Merrill Hall herded the other herd. Charles and Ed Esplin tended camp.
It was at this time a range war was going on between the sheep and cattle men, which seemed to center at Wolf Hole Lake – the main water place, especially for sheep, where about 50,000 sheep watered. The cattlemen dug a trench and drained the lake. They also fenced it. About 20 sheep men, armed with rifles and whatever equipment it took to do the job, joined forces. My camp tender, Charles Esplin, was with them. They tore down the fence, dragged it in the trench and fill the trench with dirt. This seemed to put an end to the feud.
Spring 1915: About 6 miles east of Hurricane was the Gould’s Sheering Corral, where about 300,000 sheep was sheared – the most in the world. After shearing, we trailed the sheep back to the mountain summer range.
In June 1915, when Iona was about 10 months old, my father brought her and Augusta in a buckboard, around by Canebeds and Short Creek and through the Sand to Orderville and on to North Fork to stay with me at the herd. On July 1st we started moving the herd to the Reserve, There being no road, we had to use pack horses to move our camp, and we had to carry Iona on a horse. In the fall, we moved back to North Fork by the same method. My father brought the buckboard back, and I took them back to Hurricane by way of Cedar Mountain and the Kolob Ranch.
About Oct. 15, I went back to the herd. They had moved to Clear Creek. Lewis Woodbury was with my father. We stayed there until Nov. and got caught in a 15-inch snow storm and had to take the short cut out over the Bullock Trail, which crossed the river through a deep gorge. Climbing out with my pack horses, the (sheep) would get “ledged up.” I attempted to head them off on foot, grabbing at bushes to support me. A bush broke and let me down the sloping ledge, and when I lit, I sprained my ankle. Next morning, after camping for the night (a shepherd leaves the bed ground at day break and the herder has to leave with them), being unable to put any weight on my foot, I cut an oak staff and hobbled out to get my horses and then with difficulty, packed the horses.
That winter I tended camp and Homer Esplin herded the sheep. About Christmas time, I went to Orderville to trail the bucks to the herd. We had to camp out in the open. I remember it was so cold we had to chop our meat and bread with the ax.
In the spring of 1916, I quit work for Esplins and bought a few cattle and ranged them on the Kolob Ranch in summer and in the South Hills in winter. In winter I tended camp for Charles Lundgren. During the winter of 1917 -1918, I tended sheep camp for Bill Smith and my brother, Claud Wood, herded the sheep. In the spring, Claud quit and another brother, Clarence Wood, and a cousin, George Isom, helped me trail the sheep to the shearing corral and the lambing ground on the Bullock Plains where we lambed them. After lambing, I quit and lived on the Kolob Ranch during the summer.
A daughter, Ellen, was born … in St. George, Utah. This spring of 1918, I bought some cattle from Bill Spendlove. I ranged them on the Kolob Ranch in summer. I fenced the southeast side of Little Creek Mountain for a winter range. Also, my father, Claud, Clarence, and I started a sheep buck herd. In the spring, we ranged them in the Berry Springs area and on the Kolob Ranch in summer. The following are some of the sheep men that owned the bucks: Albert Lundell, Charles Lundgren, Oscar Larson, Joe Prince, Howard Chamberlain, John Spendlove, Wm. Spendlove, Ted Atkin, Henry A. Pace, Wm. & John Adams, Thorleys, Brinkerhoffs, and others. We continued this about 4 years.
In 1921, …a daughter, Metta was born in St. George. In 1922 we sold the Kolob Ranch to J. W. Imlay, and I ranged my cattle on Langston Mountain in summer. In 1923, I worked for J. W. Imlay on the Kolob Ranch.
…. another daughter, Rosamond, was born also in St. George. This was the year I bought part interest in the Cedar-to-Hurricane Truck Line, and in the fall I bought a model G International truck with solid tires. We hauled the Rockville Bridge that crossed the river.
In 1925, I drove the Model G to Salt Lake City and traded it in on a new Model 63 International. My first job with it was hauling peaches from Hurricane to Cedar. I also bought a Model 43 International. The following four years I did a lot of hauling for moving-picture companies. In 1926 and 17 I hauled building material to Grand Canyon for building the Lodge.
In 1928 I bought my first 4-wheel brake and dual-tired truck – a Dodge Graham – and hauled copper ore from Coconino, Arizona to Marysvale, Utah with three trucks. My brother, Andrew, went with one truck. Erwin and Claud, my brothers, helped with the driving – also George Isom and Leland Stout. We kept the trucks going 24 hours a day. In 1929 we moved three road camps from East Zion Park to Cape Royal Point, Grand Canyon, including Horsed, 4 NPS compressors and other equipment – also gasoline for trucks and caterpillar tractor equipment. We also hauled hay and grain for horses and camp supplies for Lang Construction Co. of Los Angeles. We moved a Diesel Engine from Cedar to Kanab for Southern Utah Power Co. We also hauled generators, transformers, pipe, and poles for them.
In June 1930 I drove a 10-wheeled Morland truck from the factory at Burbank, Calif. and started hauling road-building equipment to Grand Canyon for Lord and Bishop of Sacramento, Calif. In the fall when the job was finished, I moved the equipment back to the R. R. at Cedar. During the summer I hauled road oil to Clear Creek and Coal Hill for North Western Engineering Co. of Rapid City South Dakota.
In 1931, early in the spring, I moved a road roller and a rock crusher from Buckhorn Flat to Hatch for W. W. Clyde and Co. During spring and summer I hauled road-building equipment and supplies to Grand Canyon for Hodgemon and McVicar, including culverts and gasoline.
The years of 1931 and 32, during the depression winter, I hauled culverts, equipment, and bridge-building timber for 42 bridges on the Boulder Dam R. R., before the dam was built, for Merrit, Chapman, and Scott. I also hauled supplies to Zion Park, also for Merrit, Chapman, and Scott.
In 1933 Less Ford, Bill Steiner, Mike Eachus, and I hauled road oil from Heber City to Uinta Basin for North Western Engineering Co. In January, I moved a dismantled Osgood Shovel from Zion Park to near Green River in three trips in zero weather for Reynolds Ealy Construction Co. I hauled C.C.C. Camps – also coal for the camps.
In 1934 I hauled road oil from Salt Lake City to Soldier Summit. Also, Mike Eachus and I hauled road oil from Price to Emery. I moved W. W. Clyde’s Hot Plant from Soldiers Summit to Grafton. I hauled road oil from Cedar to Grafton.
In January 1935, I went to Detroit, Michigan and drove a Dodge truck and hauled a panel pickup to Cedar City. Mike Eachus and I hauled road oil from Marysvale to Hatch, also from Evanston, Wyoming to Woodruff, Utah. I hauled construction equipment for W. W. Clyde from Springville to Garden City near Bear Lake. I hauled road oil from Logan to Garden City by way of Logan Canyon.
In 1935Mike Eachus and I hauled road oil from Salt Lake City to Uinta Basin for W. W. Clyde, also from Evanston, Wyoming to Cumberlin Flats where we oiled 60 miles of road, also from Kemmerer, Wyoming to Daniels, a 100-mile haul, we oiled 20 miles of road. I hauled 20,000 bags of cement from Cedar to Zion Park Tunnel for Reynolds Ely.
In 1937, I hauled road oil for W. W. Clyde from Evanston, Wyoming to Randolph, Utah, also from Salt Lake City to Ogden. In 1939, I hauled gravel on a road construction job near Overton, Nevada. I also hauled a C.C.C. Camp from Cedar to Hurricane. In 1940, I hauled road oil for W. W. Clyde from Flagstaff, Arizona to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon – 200 miles.
In 1941, I bought a ranch at New Harmony from G. C. and Leo LeBaron. In June I went and worked on a road job along the west side of Lake Mead in Nevada for A. Tichert and Son. Winter 1941 and 42 I worked on a road job in Elderado Canyon between Nelson and the Colorado River.
In spring 1941, I worked on the Basic Magnesium Plant at Henderson, Nevada, and in the summer, I hauled water at McCarran Field Air Base which is now Nellis Air Base for Myers Brothers, Beebe Construction, and Gibbons and Reed. In the fall I hauled water for the building of the Indian Springs Air Base with four trucks for Gibbons and Reed.
In 1943 I hauled water for building an air base at Yucca, Arizona for Gibbons and Reed. In 1944 I hauled water for more construction at McCarran Field, also at Kingman, Arizona.
This is the end of Dad’s writing. From here it is what I have remembered and found information from his papers and what I found from others. Signed Metta Tweedie, (Ether’s daughter).
After the War, he went to live on the ranch in New Harmony in the summer and in Las Vegas in the winter much of the time. He raised turkeys on the ranch to eat the grain they raised for a few years, but it didn’t last. He bought a store in Kanarra, where he lived for a couple of years, but he had to sell because people didn’t pay their bills enough to keep it going. He continued to raise grain as much as he could, mixed with winter working with the trucks.
He was very interested in the American Indians and made quite a few trips to the Pow Wows and to visit Indian country. We went with him one year. It was in the year 1966, after the family reunion and he took us in his camper. He took us again the next year also, and we were very thrilled with the country.