Born 03 June 1881, Nephi, Juab UT
Married 05 June 1907, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT (Edith Vilate Porter)
Died 28 March 1961, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT
Parents Jacob G. Bigler, Jr., Hannah Elizabeth Harley
Profession Greenhouse owner/operator
From his journals. Written June 3, 1939 while living at 812 O’Farrel Street, Boise, Idaho:
I was born June 3, 1881 at Nephi, Utah. My father was Jacob Gee Bigler, Jr. And he was born in Pottawattime County, Iowa on November 4, 1848. My mother was Hannah Elizabeth Harley. She was born May 16, 1848 in the same county and state as father. At the time of my birth, my father was on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Kentucky.
My name, Clarence Mendal, was suggested to him by some of his friends and he sent it to mother. (On various records Mendal is spelled Mendell, Mendel, Mendall.) Mother told me when I was a baby I had sores all over my head and face, except the end of my nose. She said a girl named Ann Jackson was the only neighbor girl who could bear to handle me and she would help mother wash and dress me and then would kiss the end of my nose. Bless her heart, she must have been a dear, good girl. I made a visit to the city of my birth in 1904. I made a special effort and found Ann Jackson and told her the story as my mother told me.
She said she remembered me as a baby. When I was three years old our family moved to Central, Arizona (so named because the town was located in the central part of the Gila Valley. The earliest event of importance that I remember was my baptism on July 4, 1889, by my bishop, George M. Haws. I was confirmed the same day by my father. I can see clearly now in my mind the place where I was baptized in the canal. The canal was about 10 ft. wide and four feet deep and ran quite swiftly. About this time I used to swim with the other boys in the canal and catch fish and clams. The farmers who owned the canals cleaned them once a year with shovels. I would borrow their pocket knives and cut down the willows on the banks so they could throw out the mud more easily, then they would praise me for doing such a good job of it.
The farmers owned the canals and operated them cooperatively. One time my play fellow, Nathan Eugene Coombs and I made a boat which we expected to use in the canal. We made it of scrap boards nailed together. It was about eight feet long and two feet wide. The sides were one ft. by twelve inches and the bottom was of one inch boards nailed on crosswise. It was full of cracks and when we slid it into the canal it immediately filled with water, and that was the end of our boat manufacturing business. It might have been a success as a submarine. Nathan and I used to have lots of fun together. Our mothers used to make our clothes from father or brother’s clothes. All the small boy’s pants were made with drop seats and buttoned on the sides instead of in front as now-a-days. My mother used to leave a small hole in the seam in front, but Nathan’s mother didn’t do that with his. So of course we just had to make a hole with our pocket knife in every new pair of pants he got. Finally mother got me a pair of overalls from the store, ready made, which was a great event. Nathan thought it was so important.
When we went over to his home to play, he said to his mother with delight, “See, Clarence has got a pair of real store pants.” And I was sure proud. Nathan’s mother was a woman of Norwegian birth. Her name was Pauline Goldbranson Coombs. She and I got along well together. Some of the young folks had planned to go about eight miles to a dance along way in those days. Sister Coombs was hesitating about letting her daughter go with us, but when she asked who was driving the team, and was told it was Clarence Bigler, she said, “All right. If Clarence is going to drive, Mattie may go.”
We got home the next morning just before sunrise. Had a fine time at the dance, going and coming. I think the only licking my father ever gave me was for stealing some watermelons. He laid me over his knees and taking a small willow from a bird cage he was making, he laid it on the seat of my pants pretty heavy. When I was about fifteen I fell in love with most of the girls my age. One in particular was named Mary Ann Beecroft. One May Day celebration we had a program where we were paired off “lads and lassies” and Mary Ann was my partner. As we marched from the church, I held her hand and though that was really neat. She moved with her parents to. Old Mexico and I never saw her again. In school we were divided in grades by the reader we used.
I completed Appleton’s Fifth Reader and the corresponding work in geography, history arithmetic and spelling. We used to have spelling bees in school and usually I was the last one standing. I remember the last spelling wee we had, I missed the word, “fatigue,” but I was the only person left. I remember my primary president, “Grandma Clemons” as she was familiarly called. She was from England, about 4 ft. 5″ tall and about 100 lbs. She was a convert to the church and had lived in Nauvoo and knew the prophets Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Heber C Kimball and many other early church leaders. She told of being in the meeting in which Brigham Young, as president of the Quorum of the Twelve, was chosen to succeed President Joseph Smith. she said, “I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and Brigham Young was his legal successor. I saw the mantle of Joseph fall on Brigham.”
I thought she meant she really saw a cloak fall down from the sky and land on Brigham. Later I realized she meant figuratively. When I was about ten years old my brothers used to take loads of fruit and vegetables, chickens and eggs in a team and wagon to Fort Grand, which was over a mountain pass. On one of these trips I went with my brother, George, who was about fourteen. A storm came up just as we reached a steep rock rise in the road. It was real hard to pull and our horses were tired. The rain came in a torrent and we couldn’t get to the top of the hill. I was scared and said to my brother, “Let’s pray.” He said to go ahead, and I said, “You, too.” He misunderstood and thought I had said, “Who to,” so he said, “Why to God, of course.” But I prayed alone anyway. Pretty soon the rain quit.
We left the wagon right in the middle of the hill, unhitched the horses and fed them and went to bed in the wagon. The next morning it was nice and clear and we went on our way and sold our load. Sometimes we traded produce to the soldiers and officers for blankets, coats, halters, bacon, beans, etc. On one trip we bought a set of furniture of solid oak, which pleased mother. A few years later I made the same trip to Fort Grand to take an old man named Prothers, and a lot of books he was selling. We had a covered wagon. and the first night out it rained and we had to sleep in the wagon. It was my habit to sleep straight, and his to curl up. He complained, “You stretch straight out like an arrow.”
I said, “Well, that seems to me just as good as doubling up like a jack knife.” We had to laugh at that. When I was about sixteen there was a brother Lorenzo Watson who gave about fifteen of us boys and girls singing lessons free. He invited us to his home. He told me I didn’t have a voice to become a real singer, but I could learn to sing the songs of Zion. I have enjoyed singing them all my life. Brother Watson and my father had a tuning fork. The only ones I have ever seen. They used it to get the correct pitch to start a song. It was a two pronged steel instrument about 3 1/2 inches long with a handle. When you pinch the two prongs together and release them, it gives the tone of the key of C, I believe.
When I was about 17, my brother, Joseph and I got the idea of going to Imperial Valley in California. We had received literature telling of great possibilities for agriculture in this valley and thought we could make a go of it. But before we were to leave, we both contracted very bad cases of small pox. During my illness I was out of my head, much of the time and could see quite a number of single beds set around a room. In each of them was a sick person. No one came in to see us except mother and our bishop, Edsel Allred. One evening Bishop Allred and anothe
r brother, administered to us. I had a very high fever and had not slept for 2 or 3 days. It was about 9 PM and the last I remember was feeling the oil and their hands upon my head. I went to sleep and did not wake up until about 11 the next day. I completed the District School, as we called our public school then (1895). I was out of school until 1899 when I entered the LDS Academy at Thatcher, Arizona, where I completed a two year commercial course. During this time I had a very inspiring experience. Brother John F. Nash, an adult convert to the church, and the stake president, Andrew Kimball were having a debate with an elder of the reorganized church.
As brother Nash closed his remarks, he looked straight at the elder and said, “Brother Rice, I’ll meet you in the great beyond and you will remember the testimony I have borne you tonight, that Brigham Young was the true and legal successor to the prophet Joseph Smith.” As he spoke, his countenance lit up in a remarkable manner, unlike we had ever seen before. A group of young people had attended the debate and on the way home I asked them if they had noticed anything different about Brother Nash when he bore his testimony. They said they also had seen the fighting up of his countenance and felt the spirit of the Lord. On March 26, 1904, at the age of 23,I was ordained an Elder by Francis U. Moody.
On 10 AM on March 28, 1904,1 left home to go to Salt Lake City, Utah, with some friends. We started our journey on the G.V.G. & W Railway. The car was crowded and I rode on a milk can and a trunk most of the way to Bowie, arriving there about 2 PM. Met Brother Lambrow and Sister Dodge and their folks there. I paid $55 for a ticket to Salt Lake. The train was an hour late, but by 6 o’clock we passed through Wilcox, on through to Yuma. We crossed the Colorado River into California and passed Palm Springs and San Bemadino and finally arrived in Los Angeles were I changed cars for San Francisco. Passing through San Jose I felt that it must certainly be the garden city of the world. Beautiful hedges, parks and flower gardens. Beautiful cemeteries, evergreen orange trees and eucalyptus. The ground was covered with grass and filigree.
The hills and hollows had been sown to grain or planted with fruit trees. I arrived in San Francisco about 8 am on March 30. I took a street car to the ferry and started across at 9 o’clock on a boat to Oakland; arrived there about 9:30. Rode several miles in the ocean and saw two boats fishing with nets. We passed small towns situated in swampy land caused by overflow of the Sacramento River. The levy had been broken by heavy rains. We stopped for 20 minutes at the depot in Sacramento. Signs of the flood were evident. We passed many orchards of walnuts, plums, peaches and oranges planted on the hills. They had no irrigation. There were green pastures and many small red, yellow and blue flowers. As we went along we could see placer mines where hills had been washed away for the gold.
These were worked in 1849. They are now prohibited because of filling up the Sacramento River with sand. We stopped at Rocklin, a town at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The round house had eleven engines. From there we had two large engines put on our train to pull it over the mountains. Near the top of the Sierras we saw snow. We stopped there for a while and Eph, Brig, Delos, Walter and I and several others got out and threw snow balls for about 20- minutes. When we started down the other side, 7 or 8 cars were added to our train. We traveled rapidly then and got out of the snow in about 40 minutes.
At Bird Eye we stopped for a freight train to pass us, then on through Battle Mountain, Nevada, Palisades, Carlin and Wells. Crossed the Humboldt River several times. It is a very small, winding stream; no trees. Passed several snow fences built to prevent snow from drifting onto the track. At one point we had to wait for a freight train of 49 cars and two engines to pass us. We stopped at Terrace, where I ran to a lunch counter and bought two loaves of bread for 20 cents. The northern extremity of Great Salt Lake appeared and we arrived at Corrine about 6:30 PM. We passed the lights of Brigham City and arrived in Ogden at 8 o’clock, Pacific time. The Cluff family and several friends had come with me. Brother Cluff found a policeman who helped him secure hotel rooms. We went to the hotel to leave our luggage, then went out to see the town. We were excited by the beautifully decorated show windows with Easter eggs and hens, rabbits and guinea pigs. When we returned to the hotel we found the women and children asleep in the beds, so we boys had to sleep on the floor. I slept very well. The next morning about 5:30 am we returned to the depot to take the train to Salt Lake City, where we arrived about 9 AM.
Brig and I took a street car to First South and Main, where we met Mr. J. S. Stevens, whom we had agreed to meet. He took us to his rooming house at 149 South State, where we bargained for two rooms, one for Brig and his wife, Eliza, and one for Mrs. Dodges and her folks.. We bought provisions and cooked and ate our dinner in the room. After dinner we went out to look around the town, returning afterwards to our rooms. I slept soundly, but others were bothered with bed bugs. On April 3 we attended the 74th annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where we heard President Joseph F. Smith, first counselor John R. Winder and second counselor Anthon H. Lund speak in the tabernacle. Later, at a Sunday School meeting, about 250 children from Granite Stake sang, “Have Courage My Boy to Say No.” How grand it looked and sounded! On April 4 it rained, but we went to conference all day. After conference I went to Dr. Snow’s office and had my eyes treated, then down to Sister Dodges folks room. As we started up town we came by a railroad auction of unclaimed baggage.
I bought a telescope for $2 and a suitcase for $2. It contained an overcoat worth about $7 to $10 and other articles worth $2 or $3. At conference on April 6, apostle George Albert Smith spoke. He prayed for moisture in Arizona and wherever needed. Elder Charles W. Penrose spoke and said, “Do not speak evil of the Lord’s anointed. If you cannot speak well, do not speak at all.” President Smith admonished us to be faithful to our families, our farms and our vocations. He wished we had more skilled workmen.
On April 7 I went through the temple to receive my own endowments. We had enough of bedbugs, so on Friday we moved to the Sydney House at 242 West First South. On April 22 we went to Nephi and visited Uncle Abner Bigler, Susannah Goldsbrough, Alice Garret and Grandma and Grandpa Bigler, who gave me a patriarchal-blessing. (Included at end of history.). We went to a dance with Abner Bigler, Jr. and Lillie and had a nice time. Visited Aunt Maggie Hinckley and spent the evening playing games. I had a great time in Nephi and surrounding areas visiting relatives, but on May 2 we came back to Salt Lake.
On the 7th Brigham and Eliza and Brother Kerby and his folks started home. I went to the depot to see them off. I went to the temple frequently and visited other sites. Went to see the LDS hospital, which was under construction. At night I listened to several speakers-an elder of the reorganized church, someone from the Salvation Army and a woman preacher who preached hell-fire for everybody unless they followed her. On May 12, I called upon Mrs. Lucy B. Young, wife of President Brigham Young, and talked with her and her daughter, Susie Gates, about our genealogy. Sister Young was afflicted with rheumatism and had just returned from California. She said she thought the name Bigler was originally Baguley, which was the name of a certain place in England. Lord Richard was lord of the place and he took the name of Baguley upon himself. One of his two sons, whose name was John, emigrated to America. Her maiden name was Bigelow.
On May 28, I went to Salt Air beach and watched the sunset. The water is from 1 to 16 inches deep. On the 29th I visited the city cemetery, which is a beautiful place. A lot of people were there decorating graves. On the 30th, Decoration Day, they had a parade of city police, fire department, national guard and soldiers. On June 26, I attended funeral services for apostle Abraham Owen Woodruff and his wife, Helen, in the tabernacle. They had both died of smallpox in Mexico. Their lives were said to have been as nearly perfect as is possible.
On July 4 I went with some friends and my girl friend to Lagoon to see fireworks. We had a hot time, boat riding, dancing, etc. Had to stand up in the train coming home, there was such a crowd. On July 6 I left Salt Lake to return home. Took the train at 1:30 PM and arrived in Ogden at 2:30. Rented a room for the night and rested, then walked east to the foot of the mountains. I am here at 6 o’clock writing this by an old orchard. I have a fine view of the valley and city, but am quite tired. Went back to my room and slept until 3AM, as the train left at 4 AM for San Francisco. At 12 noon we were stopped at Wadsworth, Nevada. Everywhere I could see was green vines and yards with fences. We reached Reno at 12:40 and changed train crews. When morning dawned we were at the top of the Sierra Nevada among the pines. There is over 40 miles of snow slides. Arrived at Sacramento at 8:06 AM, then Tracy at 10:30 where I changed cars for Los Angeles.
We went down the San Joaquin Valley, which is covered with grain, mostly barley, unirrigated. Berenda Junction City, the road to Yosemite Valley and Fresno, has nothing but barley as far as one can see, but around Fresno there are large vineyards, orchards and packing houses. We arrived in Los Angeles at 8 o’clock the next morning, where I checked my baggage and went to see the city. Bought some oranges, went up the angels flight and looked over the city. The highest building in the city is eleven stories. Visited three curio and souvenir shops, bought an orange wood Spanish Bowie knife for a nickel. Street cars run in any direction and are very narrow. At 9 o’clock the train left the station, passed through Yuma at 7:30 PM. Changed crews at Gila Bend where the temperature was 125 degrees. It was so hot that when I got my lunch out of the basket, I had fined cheese for dinner,. I had worn a hole in the sole of one of my shoes, so when I got off at Maricopa Junction, I had to stand on one foot. When I got tired of standing, I hopped back on the train. I was going to eat an orange, but they had become so thoroughly cooked that they didn’t taste good without bread. I got the bread and had stewed oranges and bread for lunch.
Arrived at Bowie at 9:3 5 PM and got a room for the night. Sat around the depot until 3:50 PM the next day, July 11, and arrived home at 5:30 PM. I had been gone three and a half months On June 5, 1907,1 was married to Edith Vilate Porter in the Salt Lake Temple. She is a sister to my brother William’s wife, Eliza Minerva Porter Bigler. I well remember our first meeting. She had come to visit her sister and the next morning I came to their kitchen where they were eating breakfast. I had come to borrow my brother’s buggy to go to the county seat on business. When they introduced us I asked her if she would like to go to Solomonville, the county seat, with me. I took her by surprise, but her sister helped me out by suggesting favorably. We had an enjoyable time going in the buggy with my fast trotting mare, Fanny. It was a pretty nice outfit in those days. A few months before our marriage I had filed on a homestead about three miles from town (Central) on Ash Creek.
I owned the little brick house in town where my brother William lived, but when we got back from our honeymoon trip to the temple, we moved into a little back room at my parent’s home. We lived there about a year and during this time, on March 26, 1908, our first baby was born, Orville Edwin. A short time after Orville’s birth we moved out onto our homestead, which was 160 acres, 80 acres of which was desert. We raised sorghum cane to make molasses to sell. We mortgaged the house and lot in Central to improve the homestead and later sold the lot to my brother, George. I built a one room lumber house, about 14 x 16 ft. on the homestead. We never did get it finished inside, and a few years later we moved it to Central and used it for a little grocery and notions store, which we leased to my brother, George.
We sold the homestead to James Smith and bought 300 head of goats and went into business with my wife’s brother, Wilford, who had 1,000 head. We later sold out to John Lee, taking credit on 40 acres of land at Lebanon for our equity in the goats. As the land was unprofitable, we turned it back at a loss. We moved to Glenbar, Arizona, and bought a farm, but was unable to pay it out, so turned the equity to my creditors and moved. On May 1, 1910, our second child, Ralph, was born at Central, Arizona. He was a fine little fellow, smart and talkative. When he was 3 years old, he contracted diphtheria and died on October 8, 1913. Our third child, Carl Samuel, was also born at Central on May 29, 1912. While living on our homestead on Ash Creek, I worked part time for my brother, George, selling sewing machines and Raleigh products-a line of medicines and household articles. I had a lot of interesting experiences going to the homes of people in the area. One time I called on a very poor family of renters quite early in the morning. The night before the mother had given birth to twins, but she had only been prepared for one and only had clothes for one. She had to wrap the other one in a flour sack.
In another area I stopped at a house at lunch time where a well driller and his family lived. The only food they had was red beans and bread on a tin plate. The beans were good, but when the lady got through with her dinner, she licked her plate clean. She had such a meek and browbeaten look and her husband such a mean and domineering look, that I thought she was just doing what she had been told to do. We couldn’t get enough irrigating water to raise much crops, so it was rather an uphill proposition trying to farm in a hot country. I had cleared about 20 acres of sage brush and mesquite and had a few head of stock and chickens. We stayed on the old dry farm until 1914, when we moved the house into Central and bought one acre of land and opened a little store and soft drink business.
Mother (Edith) tended the store most of the time while I was out on the road selling my Raleigh products, going from house to house. At this time I drove a horse and wagon, but about a year later I bought a half-ton truck. The day I bought the truck a funny incident happened. After the salesman had shown me how to operate the truck, he asked me to drive it back to his place of business. As I was doing so I came to a patch of sand in the road and the truck began to slow down. I unthinkingly chirped to it as I had been used to doing to my horse. The salesman apparently didn’t notice, but I had to laugh to myself. It was the first time I had driven an automobile.
Our third child, Albert Edsil, was also born at Central on September 25, 1914. Our fourth child, Woodrow Wilson was born on August 17, 1917, during the time of the world war. He was named after President Wilson. In 1916 we sold our land on Ash Creek to James Smith and bought seventy acres at Glenbar, Arizona.
In 1919 I sold my crop of wheat at $4.50 per hundred. It brought me over $2,400. However, I owed it all to the man from whom I purchased the farm for payments, interest and money borrowed for seed and water assessments. So-the $2,400 only lasted few minutes and I went home with $1.65 in my pocket. I had no money with which to operate the farm the next year, so on November 16, 19211 sold my equity in it, or rather turned it over to my creditors, and left for Kirtland, New Mexico, with four horses and a wagon. We arrived there on December 11.
We rented a small farm in Kirtland and I also hauled coal from the mine there and sold it in Farmington. Our first daughter, Bessie Minerva, was born on March 14, 1922 and our second daughter, May, on November 7, 1923. While living here I had an experience I would like to mention. I had a habit of indecision as to attending Sunday School and Church. It seems I often wished something would happen so I could excuse myself for not going to these meetings on Sunday morning. I would get up on Sunday, knowing I ought to go, but not wanting to. If the water turn came and I had to water the crops, or the pigs got out or some other thing came up, I would fool around until it was too late to go. Then it would be all over until the next Sunday morning. I had this feeling for several years.
I knew it wasn’t right, so I determined to pray and ask the Lord to help me get rid of these feelings. I began fasting on Sunday morning and continued to fast until Tuesday evening, when my wife asked me if I didn’t think I ought to eat. I replied, “No, I haven’t received an answer to my prayer.” But in the night, about 3 AM, the thought came to me as contained in the Bible: “Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth,” and “Those whom I love, I will rebuke and chasten.” I arose and found these scriptures in the Bible and considered them an answer to my prayer. Since that time I have not been bothered with the feelings of indecision.
We moved from Kirtland, New Mexico, to Breen Colorado, then to Farmington, New Mexico. In August, 1924, we loaded all our earthly belongings in our Model T touring car and started driving north, we thought perhaps to Washington, Idaho or Utah. We were undecided, but were on our way. We arrived in Nephi, Utah, the place of my birth and visited with relatives. I was out of money, so I worked on a public building for two days for $6.00 and then proceeded to Salt Lake City, Bountiful and Centerville, where I got a job threshing onion sets for Porter Walton, mother’s relatives.
I wrote in my diary:
“We think we will stay here permanently, as we have received a kindly welcome from Bishop Quale Cannon of Bountiful East Ward and the people generally. Also, we like the country real well and feel we will be able to establish ourselves where. We enjoy the religious and educational advantages. We feel the Lord has blessed us in our journey and will continue to bless us to establish a home in this goodly land.”
During the summer of 1926 I worked for Pioneer Mattress Factory of Salt Lake City and came to like the owner, Brother James Billings, real well. My work was soliciting homes asking if they would like their old mattresses remade or to buy a new one. I covered the territory surrounding the city, going west to Grantsville and Tooele, south to Fillmore and Delta and east to Park City. I did pretty good at it. On Thanksgiving Day we moved to Delta, Utah, to operate a cream buying station for Nelson Ricks Creamery Company. I found I had been misled, as there was not enough cream brought in to make it profitable for me. I had to sell different household articles house to house during the winter to try to earn some money. Our last daughter, Christa, was born while we lived in Delta, on December 2, 1926. In March we returned to Bountiful where I started selling for Salt Lake Knitting works.
I left home on April 6, 1927 and went to Rock Springs, Wyoming, then covered most of the central portion of the state to Yellowstone Park. I had to borrow $10 to get started, but later became the company’s top salesman by selling $5,000 worth of clothing in six months. While selling in Lander, Wyoming, I called at a home and when I told the lady of the house who I was representing and where I was from, she said, “And you are a Mormon, aren’t you?” I replied that I was and she said, “And so am I. I’m so glad to see you!” Her name was Faith May Karlinsey, a convert, along with her four children. She had no contact with the church for a few years she told me, but she was carrying on as best she could by reading from the Juvenile Instructor. I was impressed with her faith and earnestness and felt that I should administer the sacrament to her and her family. Her son, who was a deacon, assisted me. Her area was in the Colorado Mission and ordinarily I should have gotten permission from the Mission President in Denver, but I felt the Lord approved my action and they appreciated it very much. She later moved to Lovell, Wyoming so she could be closer to members of the church. I took her to visit Patriarch Berthelson, who lived in Penrose.
He was a very kindly and spiritual man and gave her a blessing. About a year later my wife’s aunt died and some months afterward Sister Karlinsey married my wife’s uncle, Myron M. Porter. In October, while I was selling for Utah Woolen Mills, I called at a farm house in Burlington and the lady of the house told me her husband wanted to rent the farm. I went out in the field, found the man, and contracted to rent the farm. In a few weeks I returned home and moved my family to the farm. I did very well at Burlington, although I didn’t like the climate.
Then I started thinking about owning my own farm. I had always had that desire since I left Arizona. In the fall of 1930 I made a trip with my sons, Orville and Carl, to Harper, Oregon to see the Vale Owyhee Federal Immigration Project. We bought 40 acres for $1,200 and returned home and sold our crops and stock for $200, which we sent as a payment on the purchase price. The first year we had pretty good crops. Mother and the county commissioner, Mr. Fairman, gathered some specimens and took them to the county fair. She won first prize for one farm exhibit and received $12 as the prize. The second year considerable alkali arose on portions of the farm, caused by seepage water from the main canal. The mortgage was due, crops were not good, times were harder. There was no church organization within 50 miles of our home and the schools were not good. Mother had not been in favor of moving to Harper and I promised her that if things didn’t work out I would be willing to move.
I rode with a neighbor to Emmett, Idaho where I tried to rent a farm. I worked a few days cleaning ditches, etc., when the owner decided it would not, be practical for me to rent it, as I had so little equipment and no reserve for living expenses. So I rented a small house in Emmett and returned to Harper, where I disposed of what equipment I had and gave the grocer a deed to the farm in payment for $100 I owed on a grocery bill. I borrowed a trailer and loaded up our old Buick with all our earthly possessions and moved my family to Emmett. After I got them settled I went to Salt Lake City, hoping to find work with the Pioneer Mattress Factory for whom I had worked in 1926. However, it seemed that people didn’t have money to have their old mattresses remade, though many of them needed it. Times were very hard. I tried selling canned wheat for Utah Pure Food, but I couldn’t sell enough to make a living, so I returned to Emmett. For the first and last time in my life, I hitched a ride on a freight train, because I had no money to get home. The date was August 20, 1933. Times were very hard during the depression and work was hard to find. On October 23, 1933, my son Carl, married Inez Park. They are living in Caldwell. On May 10, 1935, they had a sweet baby girl named Sylvia Marie. On April 5, 1934, my son, Orville, married Elvira Audrey Dobson in the Salt Lake temple, then they moved to Emmett. Albert joined the Citizen’s Conservation Corps and went to Garden Valley camp. I am now working on the Citizen’s Work Administration and also selling a new kind of light bulb called a “mushroom lamp.” June 5, 1934 was our 28h wedding anniversary. We celebrated by eating lunch in the city park with the family. Here is a poem Clarence wrote to his wife:
Dearest wife, thou art kind and gentle, Sweet and tender as a rose. All the joy your presence brings me None but your own husband knows. Fairer than the flowers of Eden, True and constant as the light, If deprived of your dear presence, Life would be a dreary night. You have made our home an Eden, Sweet to me as Heaven above, Can a man do aught that’s evil With so true a heart to love? So I’ll cherish you, my darling, Keep you free from every ill, And I pray that God will keep me Safe with you on Zion’s hill.
As of April 25, 1936 we were living at 641 East First Street in Emmett. We had bought a house from Mr. Moore at Letha, Idaho and moved it to this location. Orville and Ella had a fine baby girl on July 5, 1935. They named her Charmayne. On Christmas, 1937 we had a good Christmas dinner with a tree and presents. Mother and I, Albert, Bessie, May, Christa, Carl and Inez and Sylvia celebrated together. June 5, 1938. Mother is working for Mrs. Spencer, whose husband is sick. She bought some dishes with the money she earned. We had planned a dinner for our wedding anniversary, but I had a chance to work some overtime on my job on W.P.A. so I stayed and earned $3.50 extra. I got home about 6 PM and had supper without the family.
I have had considerable extra work the last two weeks, for which I am very glad. Summer of 1938. I made a trip with my brother, George, to his home and my old home in southern Arizona, going by way of San Francisco to visit the World’s Fair there. George is a foreman on a CCC camp in Mt. Pleasant, Utah and was going back to his home to look after it.. We had a very enjoyable trip. Stopped to visit my brother, Joseph, who lives in Sacramento, California, then went on to Arizona where we visited Mother’s folks and mine. January 1, 1939: I began work as janitor at the Boise Stake Tabernacle.
Times are pretty tough this year. My boys Albert and Carl are not working much of the time. Bessie’s husband only has work part of the time. She was married June 23, 1938. Christmas 1939. We are now living at 712 Washington Street. For Christmas there was mother and me, Albert, May and Christa, with Carl, Inez and their daughter, Sylvia and son, Ralph. We had a nice dinner with some gifts and a little tree which May had brought from the hills. We are in better circumstances this Christmas than ever before, I believe. Albert bought us a nice lounge and chair and I got a nice floor lamp and an oil heater. We are quite comfortable, but I can’t make my salary go far enough to pay all the bills, it seems. I have not paid a full tithing this year, although I wanted to. I will try again next year. I grew some tomatoes in the back yard of this house. One vine grew 11 ft high and produced several tomatoes which weighed one pound each. I called them “Bigler’s Bigger and Better.” I had my picture in the local paper, reaching as high as I could to pick a tomato.
Excerpt from a letter written by Inez to Clarence and Edith on March 11, 1940
“I had a tooth pulled this morning and being no good for anything else, decided this would be a chance to tell you my news. I have a job for you, Dad on the first Sunday in April. I want to join the Church and would like very much to have you baptize me, if you want to do it. Carl though you would enjoy it. I want the babies blessed, too. I only wish it had been done when they were tiny. There are so many things to say that I won’t write any of the now, except that I am very happy. ..Don’t have any misgivings that I might change my mind. There is no other way for me now-being baptized is a thing that I must do, a love inside of me.”
We are very sad this year. Mother passed away after a short illness on the 14’h of December. We miss her cheery smile this Christmastime. We all went up to Carl’s home for dinner. All the family were there, except Orville and Woodrow and their families. Orville had come for the funeral. In 1941 Clarence wrote this poem:
The trials and troubles I’ve had, I’ve left them all behind. I’ll look ahead instead of back, I know the Lord’s my friend. I’ll strive to keep a pace With men who are good and true, And serve my Lord the best I can, And more I cannot do.
May 15, 1941. We moved to a 5 acre farm at Colliser, Idaho. Didn’t do very well at that, so I got a job as janitor at C. C. Anderson store. On Thanksgiving day, 19411 moved back to Boise, locating at 114 North 17 Street. I got a better job as custodian at the Young Men’s Christian Association, where I worked until October 20, 1945. I had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the Idaho Falls temple. Our stake had chartered a bus and about 30 of us went. The services were wonderful and very inspiring. Afterward I took the bus to Salt Lake to attend general conference. In Salt Lake I used my time trying to find out what I could about my mother’s line of genealogy.
I visited with my sister-in-law, Eliza Porter Bigler and Donette Kesler, who is secretary of the Bigler Surname Association. They suggested that I should get acquainted with Dr. Lyman Merrill Home, who was president of the Association. I visited him at his home and told him I wanted to learn what I could do to help in genealogical work on my paternal line. He smiled and said, “Have you any time to spare?” I replied, “I suppose that’s about all I have, is time.” “Well,” he said, “We have been thinking we ought to send someone to Pennsylvania to do research work.” I said, “I know my heart is right, but I don’t know if my head is so good.” To make a long story short, he took me to Margaret Fisher, who was treasurer of the Association. They decided that evening to call a meeting, at which they decided that I should go to Pennsylvania to do research work and the Association would pay my expenses.
I told Dr. Home that when I got back from Pennsylvania I would come and be their gardener. He said that would be swell. I want first to get acquainted with what genealogy information is here before I go East to find more. I earnestly seek the blessing of the Lord that I shall have His spirit to inspire me in my work; to bless me spiritually and mentally that I will be able to do effective research work. (Clarence did not go to Pennsylvania, but spent many years researching family genealogy in Salt Lake.) I returned home to Boise, Idaho, worked about ten days at the YMCA and returned to Salt Lake to begin what I considered would be the most enjoyable work of my life.
Brother and Sister Home offered me a room in their beautiful home where I could work on genealogy. It is a very nice room with private bath and it is warm and cozy. It has gas heat. This is one of the finest homes in the city. I presume it must have cost about $15,000 or more. Strictly modern on two floors besides the one I use in the basement. There is a garage for two cars. I am grateful for all their kindness to me. I am treated as a member of their family and made to feel welcome. Their children are Harriet, whose husband is in the Army, and Carolyn and Marilyn, twins, beautiful young women who attend the University of Utah, Alice, Robert, David and Jonathan, twin boys. I help Sister Home all I can with the garden and around the house.
I helped take up her gladiola bulbs and plant tulips and rake up and burn the leaves. They have a beautiful front and back yard with tennis court, large lawn, fish pool, lots of flowers and shrubbery-about one acre of ground. I have cleaned the storm windows and straightened up the food storage room, and do the dishes anytime I can. I cleaned the ceiling and walls of the laundry room in the basement and vacuumed the rugs. I want to show my appreciation for their kindness to me. Dr. Home is very busy and Sister Home has so much to do to care for her family and the home, inside and out. I also helped Dr. Home at the hospital by cleaning the pharmacy, front windows and venetian blinds for $55 per month.
February 25, 1946: Sister Home has decided she needs me to pay $35 a month for my room and board. That is too expensive for me, so I will try to find another place to stay. On February 28 I moved to Gibbs Apartments at 69 North State. Rent is $10.50 per month, and it is on the same block as the genealogy building and only three blocks from my work, so I will save $5 car fare per month. I was going to pay Sister Home for my back rent, but she has decided she wants me to work for her instead, so the Lord is blessing me.
I get paid 85 cents per hour when I work for her, and am slowly reducing my debt. Inez (Carl’s wife)’s brother was in a military hospital in Kearns, Utah (outside of Salt Lake). He was in the Army Air Corps and had been injured by a fall. Inez came to see him and we had a nice visit. Clarence loved doing genealogy work and spent all his spare time doing research and visiting people to try to get more information. Two of his favorite quotes were: “A man who takes no pride in his ancestry is not likely to have his descendants take any pride in him.”
On one occasion he talked with James Bigler, a third cousin. He wasn’t interested in genealogy, but said, “You know we Biglers north of Farmington don’t know nor care about genealogy, but the Biglers down south are regular maniacs about it.” Clarence laughed and considered himself one of the “maniacs.”
On June 3, 1946, his 65th birthday, Clarence wrote
Today I enjoyed myself very much. I went about 10 AM to the genealogy library and checked work on some family group sheets. AT 5 PM I came home and got a double ice cream cone and bought some groceries. Had a good supper of calf liver and peas, then went to a show. I contrast this birthday with my 52 d birthday, which I spent in Salt Lake City. I had earned about $20 in a month, trying to sell canned wheat door to door. Times were hard in 1933 and I could not find work in this city, so I returned to Boise on a freight train. Now I do work I enjoy-I work about 4 hours each morning cleaning a pharmacy and get $55 per month, which more than pays my expenses, so I can help my daughter, May, some while she is attending Utah State Agricultural College at Logan. She is doing well and I’m very proud of her. She works in the dean’s office and earns enough to pay her living expenses.
I have been paying her tuition. I hope to save enough to pay some for next school term, about $100 or less. I bought her a nice black short coat and a bag recently for $26.50. I spend the afternoons doing research and temple work. The Lord is blessing me wonderfully and I am grateful to Him.
September 7: I attended the Ensign stake conference and priesthood meeting. After the evening session Brother Jesse Perkins took me to ice cream in the café next door, then we came to my room and listened to our church program, which was a talk by Elder Franklin S. Harris on the Book of Mormon. We also listened to a good talk by the Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake, Dwain G. Hunt, on the dangers of communism and the position of the Catholic church on this menace,. Their teaching and advice is identical with that of our church-that it is subversive of good government and dangerous to our Christian way of life.
October 14: Today I began working for the druggist, Mr. John B. Heinz at $40- per month as a stock room helper. I bring the different articles from the stock room to the sales room and keep the stockroom in order. I am already cleaning the pharmacy for Dr. Home, who owns the building. I have also recently began cleaning the building lobby, salary not yet determined. I am now earning $99 per month, for which I am grateful.
October 20: Today I spent all day with Brother Jesse Perkins. We had lunch in my room. He brought some ice cream and we made a stew. About 5 PM we administered to Sister Olga Hartman. We have performed this ordinance for her several times in the past weeks. She has an inward cancer from which she suffers a great deal. She is always relieved when we lay hands on her and bless her. Her mother, Sister Pederson and I, as well as Olga, have asked the Lord to heal her, but if it is not his will, to take her unto Himself so she may not have to suffer the intense pain to which she is subjected. The only relief she gets when the spells of pain come on is through the administration of the oil and blessing by the priesthood, or by the morphine the nurse gives her.
Nov. 7: May’s birthday. I sent her a pair of nylon anklets. She had written me a few days before saying she would like a pair of white angora anklets. She thanked me graciously a few days after. She is doing well at college.
Nov. 28: Thanksgiving Day. May came down from Logan with her friends to see a football game between her college and the University team. Orville and Ella had sent us a cooked chicken and we had a very good dinner all by ourselves in my bachelor apartment. I enjoyed very much having her with me. We talked bout her going on a mission and about her getting married. She is corresponding with a young man whose home is in Logan and who is attending a dental school in Chicago. She will finish her schooling about next August All the children had left home to get married or to go to college, so Clarence felt he could move to Salt Lake. In December, 1945, Clarence went back to Boise to visit. Albert and Max were home from the Army-Albert from the Philippines and Max from France.
Excerpts from a letter written by his son, Albert from Luzon, Philippines dated Sept. 2, 1945
“Well, today is VJ day. I am going to listen to the broadcast of the surrender meeting in a few minutes. Quite a day that everyone has been waiting for. Things are pretty quiet here, especially for us, as we happened to be in combat at the time of the news. Those doughboys were really happy, more so than anyone else. It is all over now ….I may not get home until after the first of the year, nothing is definite. (He got home the middle of December.)
I was down to Manila for five days last week. Conditions are getting better. Much different than when I was there the day it was liberated. The city is really ruined and burned. It will take many years to rebuilt it, but it will be the prettiest city in the Pacific when they do.” (From a letter Bessie (Jo) sent to her father when her husband, Max, came home from the service) ‘Max got home yesterday. He hasn’t changed very much. We are so happy. I love that man! It is wonderful having him home again and he thought I had the house fixed up real nice. He really appreciates a home and family. He even appreciates just being in this country. He thinks he is so lucky to have a wife and home like he has.
I’m glad he thinks that, but I think I’m the one who is lucky to have such a great husband.” May was also home from Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, UT. She works 4 hours a day, which pays for her board and room. She and another girl have a cozy apartment in a home at 373 E. 5`l No. in Logan. Christa was in New York, having married William B. Manning. Carl and family were in San Diego, California and Woodrow and family at Emmett Idaho. Orville and his family were at Basin Wyoming. I worked 14 days at the YMCA and earned $70. Clarence always found time to be of service. He states on Jan. 17, 1946, “Helped box shoes in the evening at Yale Ward chapel to be sent to our LDS people in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe. There were about 1600 pair of shoes, all from ward members.” Poem he wrote in June 1946:
When the world looks brown and upside down Do something for somebody, quick. It will bring you a smile, making life worth while, Do something for somebody quick. It will help you most, just to be the host, So do something for somebody quick. AND Life isn’t always so smooth as we’d wished And friends may not prove to be true, But give them a smile, ‘Twill make their life seem worthwhile And double your happiness too.
From a letter written to his son, Orville, dated Nov. 18, 1946
Brother Erickson lives near me. I worked with him in the beet field yesterday. Our stake has 11 acres of beets and we have them all in but about 30 ton. I have worked several afternoons. You see, I make my living before noon and then I have all the afternoon and night to work for “the building up of the kingdom of God on earth and the establishment of Zion.”
I was helping a sick lady do her housework and washing dishes. She was expressing her appreciation and I said, ‘My wife is up in heaven patting me on the back for doing this.’ Well, mother would be more than glad to do more than I was doing. I know she approves of my helping people who need it.”
Clarence and Brother Perkins were home teachers to a Sister Olga Hartman, who was suffering from cancer. Her husband had deserted her and her daughter, Betty some years previously. They were called on frequently to give her blessings and they spent a lot of time there talking to her and her mother, Tabitha Pedersen. They had all become close friends and it was a very difficult time for him when Olga passed away on Christmas day, 1946. As Olga had requested, Clarence had Olga and her daughter, Betty, sealed to him.
December 31: Spent most of the day with May. She had bought material and made curtains for my window and cupboard and a table. She changed the position of my furniture and fixed up my room very nice. It seemed so good to have her with me during the time of our bereavement. Over the months they had been sitting at the bedside of Olga, Clarence and Tabitha had become good friends. He also enjoyed Betty, Olga’s daughter, who lived with her grandmother since her mother’s death.
They decided to turn their friendship into marriage, so on February 19, 1947, Clarence and Tabitha, were married. Tabitha had been a widow for 20 years, and Clarence for six. She had thirteen children from her first marriage and Clarence had seven.
June 22, 1947: My daughter, May visited with us on Sunday, with her fiancee, Gaylon Caldwell of Brigham City. He seems to be a very fine young man and was gracious enough to ask me for permission to marry my daughter, which I readily gave. He suggested I might ask him about his family background, but I declined to ask him questions, trusting to my daughter’s judgment in the matter. May has told me they plan to be married in the temple.
On August 1, May (she nick-named herself Vickie), was married to Gaylon Caldwell. He is a promising young man who has been given a scholarship at the University of Nebraska to study political science. They were married by President Christiansen in the Logan temple, then went on a honeymoon trip to Yellowstone Park.
August 17: Yesterday my granddaughter, Charmayne (Orville and Ella’s eldest daughter) stopped over to visit us. She stayed overnight and left today for their home in Basin, Wyoming. She is a dear, sweet little girl of 12. She and Betty became attached to each other and enjoyed themselves. We showed Charmayne the interesting things of the city.
October 23: About the 15th of September we moved from 4517 Holladay Circle to our present home at 1790 Siggard Drive. Tabitha’s son, Woodrow, bought the house for $12,000 or a little more. We pay him $35 per month rent. Our monthly benefits from old age security has been increased so that we get $45 each per month. We have been working hard digging up lawn and planting flowers and arranging the household goods.
November 7: I have been working the past three weeks for Woodrow, helping his carpenter remodel an old house and building an addition to it, about 15 miles south of here. I work 9 hours a day, 5 days a week for $45, or $1 per hour. I do other odd jobs as I find them. Sometimes I help Brother Bolton on his farm. Worked one day uptown remodeling a basement.
November 9: A few days ago I phoned the city Humane Society to find someone who wants dog. Betty has a nice little dog, but mother wants to get rid of him because he gets in her flowers and ruins them. They sent a man over and we gave him the dog, whose name was Honey. He took him late in the evening and the next day bout 11 AM he was back. Mother saw him from the front door over in the neighbor’s yard. She called him and he came right over the fence in a bound and ran through the door past mother. He wasn’t use to coming in the house, but he was so glad to be back he forgot his manners. Mother said, “Well, I guess we’ll have to let him stay. We can get some dog repellent powder to keep him way from the flowers.”
Christmas 1947: Many thoughts are in my mind and heart at this time. I think of the fact that it was in December that my dear wife, Edith, passed away, seven years ago. It was on Christmas last year that Olga passed away. I am happy to have a companion again so that my life is not so lonely. My children are scattered across the country, with Christa in New York, May in Lincoln, Nebraska, Orville in Wyoming, Albert and Woodrow in Washington and Bessie and Carl in Idaho. The Lord has been good to me.
February 6 1948: We had a wedding reception at our house-Tabitha’s sister, Tranquilla Triplet, and my good friend, Jesse Perkins were married today.
February 20: Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. Many of Tabitha’s family came, but my family is too far away. We had our pictures taken by a Salt Lake Telegram photographer and today we had a nice write-up in the paper. It was fun. Tonight I am enjoying Betty’s practice on the piano. She is a dear, sweet girl. She is very diligent in her music and her school work. Here is a poem I wrote for our anniversary: A year has passed and my sweet lass Is sweeter than before. She says she loved me then, But now she loves me more. Of all the flowers I ever saw, She is the sweetest ever. She raises flowers and chickens, too, And that’s a great endeavor. Tabitha is a real flower wizard. She studies her catalogs and likes to plant different kinds of flowers. She likes to see things grow.
August 1948: Our flowers look gorgeous. They are all in full bloom. We have a fine garden of vegetables, especially tomatoes of several types-climbing, tree and bush. We have had several dozen ripe tomato already. Mother has put up 109 quarts of apricots and some jam and jelly. We received 100 pounds of white beans from Orville and Ella. Mother grew and sold about $50 worth of tomato plants and a few cabbage.
We bought 50 Leghorn pullets, (chickens) white, at 80 cents each. They are looking fine and we are getting 38 to 42 eggs per day. That’s about 80% and that is very good.
We also bought 25 New Hampshire red cockerels (another kind of chicken) at 50 cents each and they have done fine. (Clarence was allergic to chickens, and after struggling for a few years to raise them, had to give them up.)
I have been working for Tabitha’s son Woodrow building houses. He has suffered some losses in his business and things aren’t going too good right now. He and his family are going to live with us for a while to help with expense. He may have to sell this house and try to get another one.
Got news from Albert and Mary Ellen that they have a son, named Duane Albert and Bessie has a girl born July 11 named Gloria Jean.
June 3, 1949: My birthday. I worked all day for Woody. Arriving home about 7 PM I found the electric power was off. Betty had made me a fine birthday cake, but dinner was half cooked on the electric range. We waited for some time for the power to come on and for Woody and Mary to come home, but I was so hungry I ate some bread and milk by candle light. We waited a while longer because Betty didn’t want to show her cake until Woody and Mary came, but mother and I persuaded her to bring it out. It was a lovely angel food cake. It was the first time Betty had made one, and we were proud of her cooking. AT 10 O’clock Woody and Mary came, but electricity was still not on, so we ate the ice cream and cake by candle light.
September 4, 1949: My daughter, May and her husband, Gaylon came yesterday for a visit. Gaylon is a student at Stanford University at Palo Alto, California. May works in the library of a school there and helps in that way. Mary drove us all around to show the kids the town, including This Is The Place Monument. I have asked them to write in my journal.
“This is Gaylon. We are here over Labor Day weekend on our six day trip to Utah. The folks have been fine to us, lots of wonderful food, sightseeing and a visit at Sunday School and Fast Meeting. Life with us at our home in California is mighty “usual” and will be for a few more years then I’ll get my degree and we’ll settle down and begin having those 9 children. In the meantime we expect you folks will visit us so we can do something nice for you.”
“This is May. Did my husband say 9 offspring? Well, time will tell. We just finished having one of mother’s famous Sunday feasts and it was surely a treat for us. This has been a very nice visit for Gaylon and me, but much too brief. We think our folks in Salt Lake are a mighty fine couple.”
January 1952: Clarence records a story told in a Sunday school class he attended. President Wood of the Canadian temple was sealing a family of children to their mother, who was there, and their father, who was dead. After beginning the ordinance, he stopped and asked the mother if she had listed all her children. She replied she had them all on the list. He started to proceed again, but stopped and asked the mother if she was sure she had all the children. She replied she was sure. He began again, but stopped the third time and asked if she had not forgotten one of her children. She then replied that there had been one little girl who had only lived a short time after birth and they hadn’t named her.
When asked why he had stopped three times to ask the question, he said, ‘Each time I began the proceedings, I distinctly heard a little girl’s voice say, ‘Don’t let my mamma forget me. “‘
December 1950: (From a letter Inez wrote to Clarence) “I am sorry I have not written for so long. I was operated on in July for goiter and since then my hands have been so numb from nerve reaction that I haven’t been able to hold a needle or a pencil until just lately. It’s been pretty bad for all of us, but I’m getting better now.”
August 1952: (From a letter Clarence sent to his children) I have been turning this matter over in my mind for several days, trying to formulate an approach to you with regard to your adopted sister, Betty’s wedding, and how you could do something for her and for me to help us both. Our financial circumstances at this time are not very good. Mother and I are not making much just now from the flowers and hens. The hens are not laying so well and flower sales are slow. Betty has been working since school closed, but she only gets beginners wage at ZCMI and it doesn’t go very far. She has practically all the work to do to prepare for the wedding, though mother will see to the cooking. She is an excellent dressmaker and is making her own dress, but there will be so much other expense, about $25 or $30 for invitations and about the same for photos and $25 for the chapel for the reception and other items. You have all been so good to me since you left home. Any money you could send to help with expenses would be greatly appreciated. She has no other brothers or sisters, only you.
February 18, 1954. Our wedding anniversary. It snowed last night and today about 10 inches.
Here are a couple of “cold” jokes Clarence had recorded:
- “It was so cold the flame on the candle froze and we couldn’t blow it out, we had to break it off”
- “It was so cold our words froze and we had to fry the congealed words before we could tell what we were talking about.”
This is also our Red Letter day in our flower business. Last June we got four African violets and now we have about 500, including planted leaves. Also, last Monday we started growing orchids. That day we received two orchid plants from Tropical Flower land in Los Angeles.
We subscribed for a course in orchid culture and this course included one air plant and one soil plant. We received a letter from the president of the company which said, “If your little greenhouse and your wife’s kitchen and living room are already crowded with plants, your orchids will soon run you out altogether.” We are remodeling our little greenhouse, which is a lean to type, on the south side of our home. It is about 12 x 30 ft. And is full now of about 1400 begonias, 100 primulas, plus coleus, petunias, fuchsias; ferns, geraniums, Christmas cactus and various others. We all say mother has a green thumb-and sometimes I say both thumbs are green because she has such good success at growing flowers. I think we will sure “go to town” growing orchids and African violets. She says you have to love flowers to succeed with them.
June 8, 1957: Salt Air Beach, Great Salt Lake: Just 50 years ago today my wife, Edith and I were here and went in swimming. We had been married the day before in the Salt Lake temple. Today I am here with our eldest child, Orville, and his children, Dale, Perie, Bill, Donna and Edith. I gave them admission tickets, a drink and a ride on the auto scooter. We had a lot of fun. 50 years ago is a long time. She was with me for 33 of those years and we raised 5 children. Clarence spent as much time as he could at the genealogical library working on his own lines and also as a paid researcher. The bus line didn’t run close to the house and he didn’t have a car, so he usually got a ride into the library with a neighbor. After Betty married, she visited them frequently with her family. One time they were talking about going to climb Mount Timpanogos. “I’ve never done that,” Clarence exclaimed, “I’d like to go.” So he went with them and kept up all the way. In the guest book at the cave he entered, “not bad for man 80 years old.”
On March 28, 1961, as he was riding to town with a neighbor, Clarence suddenly developed an asthma attack. He couldn’t catch his breath, and by the time the neighbor could get him to the hospital he had passed out. The doctors tried everything they could, but he was gone. So came to an end the earthly trials of a man who is remembered for his cheerful disposition, histories and stories for every occasion, his helpfulness to neighbors and those in need, his dedication to genealogy research and his activity in the church. His life exemplified what he tried to teach his children-that happiness comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We close this history with his testimony:
“My testimony of the gospel has grown from day to day and I rejoice therein and thank my Heavenly Father for his goodness to me. I’m sure the Lord loves me, for during my lifetime, as a whole I have felt His influence to chasten me when I have gone wrong and to bless me when I have followed his prompting. God grant it shall ever be so.”