Born 26 March 1908, Central, Graham, AZ.
Married 03 April 1934, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT (Elvira Audry Dobson)
Died 12 Feb 1985, Provo, Utah, UT
Parents Clarence Mindel Bigler and Edith Vilate Porter
From his journals. Written June 19, 1959:
I was born, March 26, 1908 Central, Arizona, Graham County to the parents of Clarence Meudle Bigler, and Edith Vilate Porter. After I was born my parents moved out to Ash Creek, not very far from Central. I was just getting around pretty good. My folks had a wood pile alone to the house with some stumps in it. when mother let me outside to play I went to the wood pile and was going to climb up on one of the big stumps. Suddenly mother came running out and grabbed me down.
Under the stump was a large rattle snake that was really rattling. She called father to come and kill it. As I recall he had a shot gun and there wasn’t much left of the snake to find afterward. Another time I remember my father set steel traps on stumps of trees to catch crows. I watched him set the traps and knew where they were. After he had gone, I went down to one of the traps and could just reach it on the stump.
I caught my fingers in the trap but made enough noise that they came and got me out. My grandfather came out to the farm to see the folks and was hauling sand with a wagon and terra for my father. I came down where he was shoveling and walked up behind him. He didn’t know I was there and as he came back with the shovel he hit me in the head and made it bleed. My mother came to see what was the matter with me and my grandfather told her what had happened. I was always in the right place at the wrong time.
One time I remember my father came in out of the field with his team of horses, a bay and a black, and took them to the well for water. I wanted a ride, so he put up on one to rids to the correll. He had the harness fixed so T could hang on the harness knobs. When we got part way to the Carrell the horse decided to lay down and roll. As he started down my mother saw him and came running and hollering, but as he started to turn over I could sat my feet on the ground and I got off and ran out of the way. I was one seared kid. The first circus I ever saw I still remember. My father hitched the team to the buggy and drove to town. I don’t remember how many miles it was, but I remember the circus leader coming down the road ahead of the parade telling everyone to hold their horses since all horses mere afraid of elephants, My father and an uncle had a large heard of goats away out on the mountains.
My father took me with him one time and I had a wonderful time with the goat kids. While I was there I came down with the measles and dad made me a bed on a load of Wood and we came home. Mother gut me to bed and called a doctor, and I made it again. As I grew older the folks moved into the town of Central for me to go to school. There they had a store and I got all the candy I could eat untill I made myself sick. I don’t care much for it even today. We didn’t live very far from the church house where they held all the socials. One night my father and mother put me to bed and told me where they ware going. I Woke up later andt didn’t find anyone home, so I left the house and started for the church in my pajamas.
One of the neighbors saw me coming and went in and told my mother, who was dancing. She caught me before I got to the door, so I didn’t get very far at my first dance. Then I started school I made two grades the first year and then two more the second year, but after that they would only let me take one. I was never very big, so I had quite a time with the bullies. I made up the difference a time or two and after that I got along good with them all.
As I grew older I got a job cutting wood for the school, so much a cord. I kept warm twice. Another time the town baseball team took me with them to play ball. They got me a suit and did I think I rated, even if all I could do was chase balls for them. My father and mother both worked in the church. Father was the ward clerk for years. Mother worked in the Primary and religion class, where I learned much. I learned to dance at church, for which I thank my parents. I went to church early and loved it. I remember when I was baptized in my uncle George’s pond it was nice. Brother King baptized me and was confirmed by my grandfather.
Later I became a deacon and got to pass the sacrament and gather fast offerings. Sometimes I would get flour, bacon, sugar or some commodity instead of money to take to the bishop, Edsel Allred. My parents decided to move to Glenbar, Arizona, so of course my brothers Carl, Albert, Woodrow, and I went with them. I had one brother, Ralph, next to me, who died from diptheria October 8, 1913.
We liven in Glenbar for three years and farmed . After a while my father sold Rawleigh products and traveled a lot. Sometimes he would take me with him. One time we stopped at a farm house overnight and had supper with the family. The people liked to joke, and in their sugar bowl they had a teaspoon with a hole in the bottom that let the sugar out. I gave it a try and didn’t get much. Another time I was helping a neighbor with his bees, extracting honey. I got in the wrong trail and the bees really gave me a run for my money. I fell down and I’m sure none of them went by without stopping. Finally the neighbor care with the smoker and got them off. I was sore a long time from that experience.
In the fall of 1921 we sold our stock except two teams and wagons and one saddle horse and headed for New Mexico across the Apache reservation where they tried to trade their horses for my saddle We traveled 3 to 4 weeks passing through the Zunia reservation and others. We passed through the White Mountains., a beautiful trip. It was there I saw my first flying squirrel, which I shot to make soup. we never killed anything unless we needed it for food. I was taught never to kill anything needlessly, for God made animals for people to eat, that really needed food.
In the late fall we arrived at Kirtland, New Mexico where we stayed until school was out. I was In the eighth grade there. While in Kirtland us kids would go to Primary and religion classes as well as Sunday School. It was here that I was ordained a teacher in the Aaronic priesthood, and my sister, Bessie, was born. I got a job with a Mr. Palmer, he made adobe bricks and burned them into red bricks like they have in a lot of older homes. We would make sometimes 7,000 a day. That’s where I learned to love ,the Indiana, the Navajos. This was at ShipRock, the Indian Agency. I had lots of fun with them. They gave me the name of Mountain Bear and Mountain Lion.
Another time I lived at Farmington, New Mexico, a place where lots of indians traded for goods. Some of them could drive four little horses on an empty wagon. It looked like they were always on a trot. I’d go down by the tracks and listen to them talk. I worked for a fellow named McClucus, who read water meters on the river for the government. There I trapped and helped him and went to school. One time I was out for a week because I surprised a skunk and he surprised me. Finally I led him to the river and drowned him.
Mr. McClucus had some nice horses and I would run horse races with the Indians on their Big Day. One day a neighbor boy wanted to ride the mare that we were going to run against the indians, so. the boss let him try. He started second at the starting line and held the mare back. The Indians got a big lead on him, but finally he loosened up on the reins and she began passing them up and was only half a neck from the lead at the finish.
We moved on into Colorado (Kline), where I met the most remarkable family. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Glispie, better known the country around as Uncle Bob because of his friendliness and hospitality. He taught me that the great pleasures of live Come from helping other people. To do unto the other fellow that which you would have him do to you. I have tried to follow his example and have received much pleasure in doing it.
We moved again, this time into Utah in 1928 where we lived in Bountiful. We kids did farm work while dad sold mattresses for a company in Salt Lake. Our darling mother kept house and got our meals and lunches with the rest of us helping her when we could. She was such a wonderful mother kind, patient, gentle and sympathetic with us all.
I got a job before and after school working for Dip. Carter. I would got up at 4 o’clock in the morning and cut asparagus until train time, then go to school. In the evening we would gather all kinds of vegetables and wash then bunch them for the Central Market in Salt Lake City. We helped build a church and a recreation hall in bountiful, then later we moved to Delta where we had a cream station and did other odd jobs while we went to school. We helped build another church here. My sister Christa was born in Delta.
Finally we left Utah in an old car and came to Wyoming in 1928 and settled in Burlington. We farmed there and that winter was very cold and stormy. The old house we lived in was like a barn, Every time a storm came streaks of snow were across every floor about a foot apart. The rugs would flop and the curtains would blow. We stayed one season, then left and went to Oregon and Idaho. I came back, but father has never been back since.
It was in Burlington that I met my wife, who was teaching school. We worked in the Mutual together and later became engaged. While we were engaged she decided she wanted to become a nurse, so we waited five years before we were married at the Salt Lake temple. Our wedding date was April 3, 1934 and we have been together most of the time since then, except when I had to go away to work.When we were first married I worked at Emmett Idaho on a ranch. Ella took care of an apartment house for us a place to live. That was in the depression of the 1930’s. Top wages were $30 a month with board, but the Lord has blessed us all the way through with the necessities. In 1935 Charmayne was born in Emmett, Idaho. Ella’s mother had come out from Burlington and took care of us. She was one of the most beautiful persons in soul you would ever meet. Unselfish, kind, cheerful and patient. In all my acquaintance with her I have never heard her speak an unkind work to anyone or about anyone. Her whole life has been one of service to others.
Later we moved to Basin, Wyoming where Ella’s mother was. Grandma was very ill and they called us to come. We’ve never gotten away since, not enough money. We stayed with Ruth and Clarence Eastman and I worked at Woodruff & Bon beanery. Here at Basin on January 13, 1937, our second girl was born, Alice Gayleen. She contacted the flu and died 11 days later on January 24, 1937. It was a great loss to us, but understanding the gospel as we did we knew she would still be ours in the next world. We feel proud to have such a wonderful daughter that God loved her so much that he called her back home when her life was in the bud.
I was put in as second counselor in the superintendency of the Sunday school and in charge of the ward teachers of the Basin Branch of the church. Brother Clinton Black was bishop, Elden Kinghorn and Alfred Whyte were counselors. February 28, 1937 we moved south of Basin 6 miles and started work on a ranch for William Spencer. We went to our first ward teachers meeting, Mar. 3, at Eldon Kinghorns home. We had good attendance. In looking over the years of life and counting blessings, I can say that very little sickness have I had in my life due to the teachings of my parents to keep the word of wisdom. by example they taught moderation in all things is essential in keeping good health.
As a boy my favorite sports were horseback riding, baseball and swimming, basketball and dancing. We all had work to do at home after school and my first chores were to carry in little buckets of chips and wood for the fire. Later I milked the cows and fed the pigs and chickens. As I grew older I helped do general ranch work with father. March 11, 1937, made a frame for my wife’s mirror and played with the baby, who was always ready to help do things in her way. I was a lover of animals, especially dogs and horses. I would take all the stray dogs home with me that I could find and feed them. One time I picked up a valuable trail hound that got lost on the river from a man who used him for trailing fox and coyotes. He was glad to get him back. I traded a little dog I had one time for a ticket to the circus because the manager wanted him.
March 12, 1937 – Helped clean the yards and straightened things up around the house so people could tell someone lived there. We are judged lots of times by the way our place looks and our yards. March 18 came up to the place where I lived and burned weeds, hauled manure. March 20 had Charmayne’s foot lanced at the doctor’s in Basin. It had a gathering on it. Also helped my wife plant her garden seeds in hot beds. March 22 – Butchered a hog at Mr. Spencers place and hauled manure. Tuesday we spread fertilizer and put a drag together and a harrow. March 28 – My family and I went to the Sunday Easter program then brought my two sisters-in- laws and families out, and also my wife’s mother, for Easter dinner which we had in connection with a birthday party for my sister-in-law, Ruth Eastman, and myself. After dinner I took Ruth’s families back to town and then went to sundayThermopolis mineral springs where I left my wife and baby, sister and mother-in-law, to take treatments for their ailments.
My nephew Richard Eastman went with me. Coming back we were so sleepy that we got on the wrong road and had to turn back 24 miles to get on the right one, but we made It all right anyway even if it was late at night. On the road we saw one of the most beautiful pictures – a mirage of the moon, It was something very unusual to see. The moon coming up threw a reflection on a line of clouds a short way above the horizon that made it look as though we were going to drive into a lake. Finally the moon came up and spoiled the scene. March 29 I started batching with Ella gone. I didn’t care much for it because it was lonesome, so I bought a good dog for company.
April 1 – Received a paycheck and went to town to pay my bills and tithing. The Lord pours out great blessings to us if we pay our tithes and offerings. If you pay your bills when you agree to you make friends and can get help when you need it. Honesty is of very great importance in our lives. It wins strangers, for they will trust you. Appreciation goes a long way as you travel along life’s highway. Truthfulness goes hand in hand with these other factors which make or help to make great characters. A thing which all admire in a person. So let it be said of me that I am honest, appreciative. truthful and considerate of others.
April 5 – went to Thermopolis to see my wife and baby. I took Ruth and family with me. Wednesday went to ward teachers meeting at Bro. Kinghorns where we had refreshments after meeting.
Friday April 9, my wife and baby came home after being gone for two weeks. I certainly was glad to have then back after batching that long. Sunday went to sunday school and church where they held a special meeting to see whether or not we build a church house. We voted for one, as God asks nothing but what he prepares a way to accomplish it.
April 13 – planted potatoes
April 12 – made a scrap book with the help of my wife.
April 24 – helped the boss plant sugar beets. Thursday we set an old hen. Saturday night corralled my neighbors horses for him until morning.
May 4 – Planted potatoes and garden. We had Grandma Dobson and Ruth and family out for Mother’s Day dinner, also a deaf and dumb man. I had to irrigate, so I didn’t get to go to the program, but stayed home. Brother Kinghorn’s daughter got me a carnation just the same.
May 17 – started planting beans for Mr. Spencer.
May 13 – took an unfortunate man in who was deaf and dumb and gave him a bed for a night and his meals for a day or two and let his rest up. He had an assortment of things to sell for his living. I bought 82.50 worth of stuff to help him. I get a great deal of pleasure out of being able to help someone.
May 22 – helped put the new roof on. Fixed the sprinklers that irrigated bean ground.
May 27 – I bought a heifer from Mr. Kinghorn for $80 and she freshened
June 1. She brought we a nice black heifer calf. I gave Mr. Spencer a dollar for hauling her home.
May 30- Went up to Lou and Lotties. They gave the baby a bum lamb that we took home. My cow gave about 8 gals. of milk a day her first calf. which was very good.
The latter part of May and up until June 11 it was quite unsettled weather. Lots of farms got their hay rained on.
We started haying June 14 and finished June 23.
June 14 – Started doing chores for Mr. Glen Small for a week while he went to Billings Montana for treatments from a doctor there. He hasn’t felt well for some time. He is also a ditch rider on the Big Horn canal and a very good neighbor.
June 23 -. I came after my wife to take care of their mother who was very ill. Grandmother Dobson came and kept house for my baby and I until she returns. We sure miss her, but doing good to others and helping others gives her great pleasure. She has always been liked and appreciated for nursing work, which she enjoys. I haven’t written for several years, so will make a few notes to fill in the gap. After working for Mr. Spencer for a year we went to work for Mr. Pete Pederson close to where we had lived. We worked for him for-four years then quit for various reasons. Later we went to Lovell to the Brick and ‘file company, but came back to Basin where we are still staying. We rented different places and tryed farming but didn’t do so well. Even with all my mistakes and ups and downs my good wife stayed by and helped though it was hard on her. I am thankful for her help and counsel. She always held up her part.
After renting several years we bought a small place close to Manderson, Wyoming, which we still have. It isn’t big enough for us now because the Lord blessed us with a large family and the best children he had. We are proud of them all. Thus far all the children have gone to Manderson school. Charmayne graduated, went to the “Y”, for a year and is now married and has a nice family. Edith Mae graduates this year, 1958, and planed on going to BYU this fall. She is a great leader in Mutual or wherever she is.
Our prayer is that she will marry a boy of her own faith and be married in the temple. One who lives his religion and honors his priesthood, who can give her the spiritual protection she needs to work in the church and get the most pleasure out of life. If she doesn’t her life will not be so happy and successful. We are proud of the others – Donna who works for St. Claire down by Worland, A fine girl. The boys are scouts and deacons. Dale is a very fine boy and is working for his individual awards in priesthood and scouting. Perie and Bill are scouts now, March 28, ’88. I have been working for Jefferson Lake Sulpher Co. for 3 years, not far from home. The boys and mother run the place. We raise and some hay.
9th October, 1957 I was made secretary of the Mutual and also of the Elders Quorum. In 1958 I was made second counselor in the Sunday school, also snout committeeman for the scouts and welfare representative for the elders quorum. I was thankful for these jobs. When I do the Lord he will help me when I need him.
Edwin, who represents us in the Navy and in the church, is doing a fine job.
1958 has been quite a year. I had my first operation at Worland hospital, Edith got married, I got to go to the scout camporee and jamboree in the big horn mountains, Tom and Charmayne had another daughter giving us two granddaughters. All the boys were in 4H this year. Dale started in FFA this fall. I was put in the Sunday School superintendency for the second time. I have a fine group to work with – Ross Wardell and Lester Snider, Lova Kinghorn and Iva Henderson.
I am also a ward teacher with Dale along with other jobs. I was also 4-H leader for 4 years. I go tomorrow for a check-up at Worland. Andy Anderson is my doctor. I was going to California to see the folks there when my vacation came, but it got too stormy. We had a very nice Christmas, 1958. All were home except Charmayne and family. Edwin and Helene came from California, Donna came from St. Clair’s at Worland. We all got lots of nice presents. The Lord was kind to us and protected us through the holidays. Mother and Donna went after Edwin and Helene at Rawlins, but they had taken a plane by the time they got there. It was a hard drive for mother and Donna. Helene was ill most of the time she was here. I took any vacation and used one week doing things around the place and going to Burlington with mother to genealogy and the other week I went to Lovell to Aunt Mae Faith Porter’s genealogy on my mothers side. June 15, 1959.
I am still working at the sulpher plant. Charmayne & Tom and family came out from Calif. to help me spend a happy vacation and will stay a week with us. I wish they were closer so we could see them more often and the dear children. We are thankful for them and also for the kindness of Tom’s father and mother. We are proud of their fine church record and the records of each of our children this far in life. Today we plan on goigenealogyng up Tensleep canyon, June 19, 1959. We will have a picnic and the kids who want to can fish. I plan to go on the 20-21 to see my stepmother in Salt Lake, who is ill. At 90 years old She has had to slow up a little. She has been a good mother. I plan also to get all the geneology I can concerning her and her family.