May 23, 2009
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MOUNTAIN HOME, UTAH
(In 1908 Mountain Home, Utah was known as Lake City, Utah and it is located in Wasatch County)
by Joan Bleazard Thomas, 2002
Pages 27 through 59 in my book.
The Bleazard homestead (Cabin) where Wease and Will and their children lived is located about four and one-half miles west of Mountain Home. The family arrived at the homestead in the spring of`1913. Alice remembered when they first arrived in Mountain Home, “We came from the West over the hills from Peoa and it took us eight days. We came up through Kamas and all that country to Tabby (Tabiona) and Farm Creek and over the mountains to Rock Creek. Oh, it was great! When we came up out of Rock Creek and as we were comin' up the hills us kids had to stand behind the wagon to keep it from rollin' back and the horses worked so hard. It was a terrible pull up that steep place out of Rock Creek. When we got to the top of the hill, there was this great, big bunch of Indians and dogs galore. The government must have given them some wagons because they had nice, new wagons. In the days to come they would come past our cabin headed to and from Rock Creek and sometimes we’d hide ’cause we were scared of them. The squaws were on the wagons and driving the horses, and the men were on their horses and there was a line of them.
“As we came around the Bleazard switchback bend Dad had us all stand up in the high spring seat so we could see the cabin down where it was. It was June and there were pretty flowers all around and it was just glorious and we were very glad to get out there!”
Mark was four years old and one of his first memories was when he first saw the cabin. He said, “I remember when we first saw the cabin. What a mansion! No door on it and no window and it had a dirt floor and dirt roof. "
Alice said, ’I can't remember if there was a door on it or not but I can't imagine Dad not putting some kind of door on it because there were all kinds of animals and things around at that time. I remember a homemade door. We probably went without a wood floor that first winter because Dad was working at the sawmill. Anyway, it was summertime when Dad and Mom was putting the floor down and I was supposed to tend the little kids. You know those white sand lilies that grew all over? Well, I left the kids and went pickin' sand lilies and got in big trouble."
Mark remembered, “That first floor had lots of holes in it where pennies and things were lost. The second ground floor was put in some time after Pete and me were married in 1931. The cabin always had a dirt roof and it often leaked when it rained.
“'Mother never complained and we just set things out and took off from right there. We got 12" boards for the door but I don’t know what we did for heat. There was just the cook stove. I can’t remember where they got the stove but I think maybe Dad brought it to the cabin in the fall and I don’t know where it is now. Not long after we arrived at the cabin, a milk cow was borrowed from Abe Lyons for milk for the kids. ” (Page 27)
On April 27, 1908, the year before Mark was born, the Farnsworth Canal and Reservoir Company was organized. Its primary directive was to “construct a canal", and in 1910 irrigation water first flowed through the canal but it was not adequate to meet the needs of the growing communities. In 1915 the Board followed the recommendations of A. G. Burton and filed for rights to water from Kidney, Island and Squaw Lakes and from Brown Duck Lake. Dams and head gates were built on the lakes to increase storage capacity. A dam was eventually built below Moon Lake and it was known as Little Reservoir.
Mark said, “Our nearest neighbors were Heber and Mary Jane Harwood. They had filed for a homestead in 1910 and Heber built them a two-room log house about a half-mile north of our home. They were the parents of fourteen children. Mrs. Harwood health was poor so they eventually moved to a town in Carbon County called Peerless where she could be closer to doctors. Mary Jane died in 1922 and Heber died in 1925. 1n 1925 the land near our homestead belonged to their sons and they sold it to us.
“Gpa Mark Hopwood would sometimes come out and visit and he would always sit by the only window in the cabin, the one on the West. Mother always wanted another window in the cabin and she finally got that other window on the North. She had tried and tried but nobody would listen to her or help her cut it. Anyhow, one day she took to it and cut that other one out. She cut that window on the north of the cabin.”
Alice said, "Gpa Mark Hopwood came out and he’d go behind the house and cough and cough and it would just scare us kids to death. We would sometimes borrow a few things from our neighbors, the Harwards, ’cause it was hard to get things we needed. Once I was sent to Harwards to borrow a cup of sugar and Mrs. Harward said to me, ’Well how’s the old man?' That just went through me and I said “He’s not an old man!” I didn’t think what she said was respectful to Gpa ’cause he suffered so bad and it was not something you laugh about."
Alice remembered, Wease’s sister, Aunt Mary, “came out in a buggy only once that I can remember. Her kids were about the same age as us. They come over Tabby and stayed a few days and I went back with them. I went to Aunt Mary’s place quite a bit. I was named after Mother’s sister, Alice, who died when she was seven."
Mark Hopwood Bleazard wrote to his son, Will, on March 11, 1913 and said, “We received your letter and check this am and was glad to hear from you and to know that things are as well as they are. I am glad you found things all right on the reservation. I told George (Hopwood Bleazard) that if you went out there that we would have to help you until you could get started. I would like to go out with you but I have not been in shape to go anywhere lately. It seems like I give out if I do any work at all. I told George I thought you had better sell them steers and buy some heifers as we need more cattle on the place, for there is nothing that pays better interest. He said you could get a good price for them now. If you turn them on the range and don’t watch them pretty close you may lose them. (Page 28)
“I hope Louisa and the children will be all right now. We would like Ma (Gma Annie) to come home, but if you need her worse than we do we can get along for a while longer. I think like you that there are lots of good places on the reservation yet and I wish some of the other boys could get in there. Now is the best time to start if the railroad comes through and I do not think there is any doubt about it by the way the papers have been telling about it all winter.”
“Let Bird (Bertha Bleazard Miles) read this as it takes me so much time to write to all of you. We got her card to Char (Mark Charles) but he has not got back from the canyon. He went to bring the wagon back that George took this am.
“ It looks like spring now and the ground is almost dry enough to plow. We haven’t heard from Lydia (Lydia Sarah) since Deb (Delbert Ison) went back. The kids had a time with George and Alan going to shows.
“Tell Ma I did not get any chance to talk to Georg. She will have to do the talking as she is there and can understand how things are. I told George that I hated to be mixed up with some people. It is mail time and I will close hoping you are all well From Pa."
Rhoda (Orton/ Stanwood) was born in Salt Lake in October 1914 a year after the Bleazard family moved to Mountain Home. It is not known why Wease was in Salt Lake when Rhoda was born.
Mark said, “We killed and ate lots of `cottontail rabbits until a Rowley kid got rabbit fever (tularemia) and almost died from it."
Alice remembered, “After Dad railed the brush and loosened it from the ground mother and we children gathered them in piles and burned them. Railing was when a horse was hitched to each end of a railroad tie and the rail was dragged through the brush. We all helped clear the land of rocks and burn the land of sage brush and cedar trees so we could plant crops. We sometimes used an adz, or grubbing hoe. It was a hard job and it often looked hopeless with acres and acres to clear.
“I cannot remember ever going hungry, however our food consisted of mostly meat and potatoes, water gravy and bread. For a long time we didn't own a cow. We grew potatoes and wheat. Dad would take the wheat to the gristmill and have it made into flour.
“Then we started raising pigs and could trade them in at the (Brigham) Stevenson’s store for sugar, salt and the necessities we so badly needed. During the summer we herded the pigs on a part of the alfalfa field. We would usually herd them two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
“Mark plowed the ground while Dad was at Peterson’s sawmill. We could see the horses and the hand plow as it went around and around the field though we couldn’t see Mark because he was so young and so small he hardly came up to the handles on the plow. Boys and girls grew up quickly in those days and there wasn’t anything we couldn’t do. (Page 29)
“Mother raised chickens and we ate a lot of chicken and sage hens. We ate rabbits at first but they got diseases. We had chickens galore and it was fine. We had all the potatoes we needed and Mother always boiled the chicken instead of baking it so we could have chicken gravy. "
Anna Dee Bleazard (Rowley/Coupens) wrote, “No one in Mountain Home could make bread as good as Mother (Wease). The old wood stove was without a temperature gauge to tell when the oven was hot enough to bake the bread. She would put her hand in the oven for one second and be able to tell exactly when it was time to put the bread in.
“Mother enjoyed the art of quilt making cooking and gardening. She loved flowers and always had the window sill full of red geraniums in bloom in the winter, and in the summer dahlias, cosmos and roses grew in the yard. The light in the cabin was from a coal oil lantern, and later a gas lamp and what light we got from the stove."
William (Bill) Walker Bleazard said, “Mother would cook the meals but she would never sit down at the table. She was the waitress and when the meal was over the dishes were put down at one end, then Mark, Dad and Jack would play Sluff. Only three people could play and the kitty -3 cards- would be off to one side. Grant and me would fight over who would hold that kitty! Mother and Alice would do the dishes. In addition to that, I remember some of us had a ball and we would throw it back and forth over Mother’s head. Ralph was little then.
"Grant when he got older, he always helped Mother with the dishes. I admire him for that; he always tried to help Mother."
Mark Walker and Stephen Jack Bleazard (about 1929)
Mark said, “There used to be rabbits by the hundreds and they were those big white hares. At least they were white in the winter and they would be everywhere. Men would choose sides and divide and have rabbit hunts and the losing side would fix a big dinner and have a dance for the winners. One year the winners had 1300 pair of rabbit ears and the other group had 1100 pair and the contest had only been for a week.
Jack said, “ I don’t remember how many rabbits we got but we would string out and chase them and then we’d shoot ’em or ride up and hit them over the head with a stick throw them in a sleigh and count them at night.”
Bill said, "The rabbits were so plentiful, thousands of them and they would actually eat away at the haystacks until the hay would tip on them."
Mark said, “For many years Mother had to pack water for about a quarter of a mile for drinking bathing and washing. She would take two big ten or fourteen quart buckets to the natural spring, fill the buckets and return to the house. The natural spring shower was later made by us kids to clean ourselves in during the summer. “(Page 30)
Bill laughed as he said, "Yea, and it wasn’t a hot and cold shower! When I got bigger I tried to remember to pack the water. Alice was gone then and I tried to relieve Mom of that job, but one time I had something I thought was more important to do so she went to get the water, I felt guilty and remember hiding behind a tree and watching her."
Mark remembered, “We thought we were so smart when we got big enough to fix a trail around to that natural spring and us kids thought we done it all."
“The natural spring was over the hill a quarter mile so we fixed an outhouse between the cabin and the spring by nailing a log between two trees and we dug a hole under it. The woodpile was very close to the toilet. This meant that when you had to go to the toilet, you could take a bucket with you, and when you came back to the house you could have a bucket of water in one hand and under your other arm a few logs for the stove! The kids would often forget and it was Mother who would have to go get the water and logs. Mother and Alice would go get wood or water rather than arguing with anyone else to get it. Alice would just break her neck doing anything for anyone all her whole life. Mother was still carrying water from the spring after Pete and I were married. Pete carried water for Mother when Fred was a little, tiny boy, Ann was a head taller, Ralph a bit bigger and Grant just a little boy."
Alice remembered that at one time she and her mother rode horseback to the Meetinghouse to attend Sunday school. It was Testimony Meeting and the Bishop asked people if they had anything to say. No one had anything to say, so the Bishop called on the people to speak. Alice said that she was worried about their turn and asked her mother what she should say. Her mother just said to say whatever she wanted. When Wease got up she said she was thankful that she had a horse to ride to church.
Mark remembered his mother going to church as often as possible but it was usually a long walk and “she had to get all of us ready."
Alice remembered, “I don’t remember Mother getting to church before we moved over to Lyon’s house in Mountain Home. I remember when I was eight years old me and Mother rode a horse from home to Mountain Home. I guess I must have been on the back of the horse. When we got to Mountain Home we went north past the store and to the Lake Fork River. We couldn’t find the river so I didn't get baptized that day! We were gone hours and hours and it got late. Anyway, I was baptized in the canal the next year. Mother saw to it that all of us were blessed and that we were baptized when we were eight years old Dad always encouraged us to go to church and he’d say, ’Get ready and go to church!’ I heard him say that when I was a kid.”
Will attended church often when he was a youth but he never went to church when he lived in Mountain Home. Mark said, “I didn't go to church much as a young man but I did go a few times. As long as mother could control us we all went. When we got a little bigger and mother couldn’t control us, we all quit."
Mark continued, “One time Anna Dee was so sick the doctor didn’t give them much hope for her. I think it was pneumonia but I can't remember for sure what was wrong. I know they gave up on her and they tried this and that." Alice said, “Ann had this other thing and I can’t think what it was, but people who have it very seldom live. It’s worse than pneumonia and it wasn't polio but it was awful, she was really sick. I was married and came up to the Cabin and Mrs. Housekeeper and Mom were sitting up with Ann during the nights, and one night they could tell when she changed for the better. That disease sometimes leaves you with health problems. I don’t remember if a doctor come to the house or not." Bill said, "We all had to stay out in the tent. Doctor Wood came up there." Anna Dee doesn‘t remember what the sickness was.
Jack remembered, "Anna Dee had measles and was very ill. We all had the measles and slept in a tent. The snow would come in around the stovepipe hole."
Wease and Will were the parents of eleven children and she lost two and maybe more babies in the early months of pregnancy. Bill was born in 1917 and Wease wanted to have him named after his father, but Will didn't like the idea. Wease asked him to please attend church with her when the baby was blessed, and when Will refused to go with her she named the baby what she wanted – William Walker Bleazard.
Charles (Chick), John William (Will), father; and Fred Walker Bleazard
In about 1918 Will went by team with Gene Sorenson to Sun Valley, Idaho to prospect and to mine. While in Idaho, Will got a Call to enter the Army (World War I) but before he could get home and could take his physical the war was over and the Call was cancelled. At this time he had been in Mountain Home for about five years and was the father of seven children. Will’s brother, Delbert Ison (Deb), served in the Navy in WW1, and his brother, Mark Charles, served in the Army in WW1.
A Mr. Morgan who lived in Vernal, Utah wrote a letter to Will date June 14, 1918 and said, “Dear Friend Bill. I haven’t heard from you for some time. What are you going to do about going up to Idaho? I am thinking of going up pretty soon if I can make arrangements to suit me. You didn’t say anything about me getting someone to buy
Showalter out, what do you think? I can’t shoulder all the responsibility of all the work that has to be done prior to working the property alone, and Showalter won’t do much. If the four of us, you and I and Jim and Showalter can get together some way on this I would take the car and two besides myself and ship our stuff to Hailey and I could come out and get it after we got in there see. Now you think this over and take it up with him and let me know what you can do at once, as I have a government position in the East that I will have to attend to if we can’t make some arrangements soon. With Best Regards, Your Old Pal Morgan. "
Wease wrote a letter to Will on June 16, 1918 and said: “My Dear Will. I will write on the back of Mr. Morgan’s letter and it will save paper- ha-ha... Your letter from Blackfoot was rec’d hope you have reached Stanley before this. We are having a dandy rain just now, the first since you left. Terrible thunder and lightning and I wish I could hide. Have had a little water of late, have most of the crop watered over once and the hay is looking fine now and is growing very fast. Emmerson Rowley hasn’t been able to help me much with the water. He is still miserable. The kid, Oliver, hasn’t helped him any since you left. He has enlisted in the Navy and expects his Call any day. I went over to a farewell for Clyde Rowley with Emmerson and Flossie last night. Clyde leaves in the morning. Warn (Warren Mecham) wanted me to tell you to tell Charley that Roy’s baby died about a week ago. (Page 32)
“Uncle Frank brought Aunt Lovina out to visit Arthur. He has spotted fever and is very low. Janey’s boy was struck with lightning and they don’t know if he will live.
“My, it seems a year since you left home. Bert S was here today. He said they had heard from Fred about a dozen times. He says Johnny beat his Pa up pretty bad broke his nose and some ribs, pretty near done old Jim up. How much did you figure Mr. Rust owed us? He sent me word I could have the asparagus roots for 50 cents and wanted the money. There’s a 10% assessment on the ditch due now... ”
“I let Vera and Jack go over the hill with Hazel’s Pa. Jacky wanted one of us to go with him and Vera wanted to go so bad They went last Monday and went thru in a day. Vera said they didn’t have any bother at all. I guess it was quite a trip for them. Wllie and I got the cows herded and they gave us a nice mess of milk. I make all the butter we can use.
This is the Harward Home where the Bleazard children slept. It was also home for Mark & Evelyn 'Pete' Bleazard
for a few years (the little girls in the picture are their daughters Barbara and Joan - about 1937).
It was later the home of Jack and Viola Bleazard for many years.
"Dearest Will. Sunday Evening. Harwards (Heber and Mary Jane Harward) went to meeting and after they came home I walked up to see what they had heard of the break in the canal. They said the Bishop preached that there were six teams on the break and it will take some time to complete. It will take $3,000 more and it has already cost about $8,000 and there was $11,000 that they had borrowed that must be paid up right away. They had or will levy an assessment of 58 cents. Ok I tell you. Will, everyone is discouraged and ready to go most anywhere! The reason I didn’t try to explain to you about the break was that Warn told me he had written to Charley and explained it all to him and I thot he could tell you. I guess he has the letter long before this.
“The kids are all well but I have been on the sick list quite a bit since you left. Some days I can’t get around at all. You know I have told you I thot I had kidney trouble? It has been so bad I have had to go to bed at times. I have been reading the doctor books and I think it’s female trouble. Guess I will have to get some medicine of some kind. I sent Hebe’s pulleys up to Bill Shirts to get fixed couldn’t get him any new ones.
“Jim and Bert are still in the mountains. Write as often as you can deary, I get so lonesome for you. Lots of love and kisses from Mama and Babies."
“In July of 1918 Jack was in Salt Lake with his Grandparents, Mark and Annie Bleazard, and while in Salt Lake he had his tonsils removed at a cost of $15.00 Wease wrote to Will on July 21, 1918 and said, “Haven’t heard from you since I last wrote but thot I would write a few lines while I look after the cows. Another Sunday has rolled around and it’s as lonesome as ever. I let the kids play a while because they get tired of herding and only Willie is here helping me now. He has got the buggy whip after them. He is such a cute little busy boy. (Page 33)
“Very stormy weather of late and lots of hay is getting spoiled. The men, that is a few men are still pegging away at the break trying to fix it. Warn (Mecham) is amongst the bunch so he hasn’t started his hay yet. He says all the help he will have with our hay will be Lula (Mecham) and their kids and me and ours so I guess it will go up in a hurry. Don’t you think so?
“I rec’d a card from your Ma (Annie) last night stating Jacky was operated on the 16th and was ok. I am so thankful for the card because I was so worried about him. Did she send you word? I have been in the barber business. I thot maybe some of the fellows you had barbered so much would offer to cut the boys hair but nothing doing The only time any of them are accommodating is when they want an accommodation.
“Did you hear Mrs. Isaacson was dead and buried? I didn’t hear it until yesterday. Hazel was telling me.
“How are you doing for something to eat? Do you want some money? How is your rock looking? Wish you had some of this flour, meat and garden stuff. We have all kinds of it and will soon have summer squash, beans and cucumbers. Our onions are pretty good nice for green onions and the trees all look fine. The weeds are healthy this year. Arthur Marchant was here taking census yesterday and has been very sick but finally pulled through, looks bad.
“How it thunders and lightnings and I wish you were home! Is Gene (Sorenson) still with you? How did Edith feel about him going? Wish you would write oftener. How often does mail leave Stanley? Are you camping in a tent? Oh, tell me all about yourself. Did they tell you Bird had a baby? Love from Louisa.”
“Wease wrote to Will on July 30, 1918 and said, “Dearest Will. Rec’d your letters of the 16th and 22nd the other night, was sure glad to get them and to know you were all right. I do sure get so lonesome for you and the kids. I feel at times like I can’t get along without you and I will be glad when you come home. I wish I could pick our garden, log cabin and flour, chickens, cows etc up and put them up where you are, don’t you? Oh I would like to be there and with the kids. If we could do that it wouldn’t take much to live on for a while, would it? Our garden stuff is on now and everybody that has seen it thinks it’s the prettiest garden stuff they ever saw, but it don’t look good to me. It’s so dry and it doesn’t look like we will ever have any more water. They have given up working on the canal for now until the men get their hay up. Lula was here today and she said Warn would start working on our hay on the 1st of August and it’s sure ready. All of the neighbors have their hay up. Heb’s (Heber Harward) is sure hurt about the hay and I believe we would of done lots better by letting him put it up, it would have been up by now. Emmerson had thirty four big loads this year. I wanted to borrow Mr. H’s (Harward) cultivator to cultivate the potatoes but nothing doing. The potatoes don’t look very good but still there are nice big spuds under the vines. All I can do for them is keeping the weeds out I guess, and they are sure plentiful.
“Marky is feeling bad because Pinto’s colt died. The colt didn’t amount to much and it had distemper so bad it died. Mark has been quite sick since the 24th but is better now. No (page 34)
“Mr. Telo has not showed up with his friend. If his friend wants to buy I think he will sell him his place as I hear he is anxious to get out of this dry country and 1 don’t blame him.
“I think you will have to get things straightened out with the ditch company when you come back. The Bishop says you gave Brig (Brigham Stevenson) an order for $20.00 and I only had $17.00 and they had you owning 61 cents on the last spring assessment. 1 hunted the receipt for it paid in full. It’s sure a mixed up mess. Guess we will have to leave it until you come to straighten it out. The Curtis fellow that lived at the Mill the married one got killed instantly some way a few days ago and the other one was hurt pretty bad.
“I got a card from your Ma (Annie) stating that the operation was on the 16th but I have never had a word since then but suppose Jackie is all right. Don’t believe they give a d— for us out here, none of them! Have had one small note from Pa since you left. Dale (Gerald S) was here last Friday and had dinner and fed his horses. He was on his way from George’s. He said he wished he could stay and help put the hay up but that he couldn’t. He told Mark he wanted Old Tom and would leave his Old Plug for us but we had Tom over to Bert Jenson’s pasture. Emmerson had put him there and I was glad the horse was there. If I need a horse 1 know Tom and I don’t know Dale’s horses.
“Yes, dear, our store bill is going up and I don’t get anything we don’t need either. I had to get another book. I don’t know if Brig has any money from the Ditch Company or Jack yet, he hadn’t got any a while back but still he hasn’t made any kick. I guess I will have to cash my bond and give him some. Spencer Wlliams was also here the other day.
“Lula (Mecham) was telling me some of the prospectors had found the Hadden ore. Jim and the Knight’s men are still in the mountains.
“The kids and I went over to town on the 24th. It was a punk time and everybody stood around and talked about the water. Sure a discouraged bunch here now. We went over with Ray and Hazel. Emmerson and Floss went fishing. Everyone is doing as good as they can under the circumstances. Wish we could get another rain and I wish I could see you. Do hope your prospects turn out good so we can have enough to get along on without you being in one place and me in another. Do write as often as you can, Deary, as I am so lonesome without you. Lots of love from Mama and Babies. "
Wease wrote to Will on August 31, 1918 and said, “Dear Will. I am lonesome for you tonight, are you lonesome for me? How I wish you were home. Our hay is nearly all down. Warn came today and started cutting but it’s too bad he was so slow in getting it down. I don’t believe there will be much more than half the hay there would have been if it had been cut three weeks ago. It’s nearly all burned up now. Warn doesn’t think the patch will do to leave for seed and he says there isn’t any seed on it. Warn only got thirteen loads of hay off his patch this year. He says some of our hay is fine and some of it isn’t any good. Guess it’s all the fault of the irrigator, me, but I am thankful we have as much as we have. Warn doesn’t know about the grain, if we don’t get more water, he is afraid it won’t fill out.
“It doesn’t look like we will ever get any more water. 1 think there are a few men working at it (Page 35) now. I’m afraid the gardens and spuds will soon be gone if we don’t get the water or rain. I got a letter from Vera tonight. Guess she is too busy to help Pa any, she says Grandma and Pa B are down to SLC. I also rec’d a birthday letter with a $1 bill in it from dear old Pa (Stephen Walker) today. He is pretty well but is having a hard time of it. He wishes someone That Cared was over there to help him —the poor dear soul. I wish I had someone that cared to look after things here so I could go over and help him.
“Mark says Tom and Snap would make a good team. Pa also said our little Jacky was well and he talked better than he did. I am so lonesome without him —are you?
“Alice went to the Office today. It took her 3 hours and 20 minutes. She said Old Pinto went as fast as she could. They are both awful slow, I mean Pinto and Snap are slow."
“Warn is all excited over prospecting. He is going over on Black’s Fork as quick as he gets our hay up. How is your rock looking by now? I hope it turns out good. It wouldn’t seem right for us to get any money any way other by hard licks would it? It would sure seem good to live in a different place where we could enjoy life a little bit and have a different neighbor than Bro. H. He gave Warn a going over about the hay and said it was all Mrs. Bills work that Warn got the hay. He said you arranged with him to put it up the morning you left and he could prove it by Charley and Gene. He can sure give anyone lots of misery. I don’t ever go there, but in every way they can make bother. I get more discouraged everyday. It’s nearly 11 o’clock and I guess I better go to bed. Warn said he was going to bring all his bunch here tomorrow.
“Emmerson got Bert Jenson’s (Pete’s father) hay put up for ¼ and board. Jolly put it up. Goodnight, dearest. Hope you are not as lonesome and feel as blue as I do tonight xoxoxo
“Monday afternoon. We are all well and hope you are. We have a big rainstorm today and more rain mean more rest for the hay men. It’s too bad our hay isn’t up. I guess nearly everyone’s hay is up around here but ours and that makes me feel pretty blue. Jim and the Knight’s man came last night. Jim stayed all night but the other man went home. Have you heard of the Woolen Mills at Provo burning up? I sent my bond by Jim to get it cashed at Duchesne. I sure hated sending it but didn’t see anything else to do. How much do you want? Jim let me read a letter Fred wrote to him explaining the lease you have. It sounded like it was a good proposition. The worst thing is that I am afraid you will be there for some time yet. I am getting awful lonesome for my Deary and don’t know how I can get along without you much longer. Do you miss us or does it seem good to be out of the noise? Willie is starting to talk quite a bit. He is so cute. I would like to hear from you oftener. Lots and lots of love and xoxoxo from Louisa and Kiddies."
On July 4, 1919 the Little Reservoir below Moon Lake washed out and the huge volume of water caused a break in the canal. Every man who could leave his farm used every tool that was available and worked in three eight-hour shifts around the clock to repair the damage. They attempted to build a dam across the canal above the break but the dam failed to hold. Crops were lost and livestock died before the water was again in the ditches. Little (Page 36) Reservoir was never rebuilt. Instead a dam was constructed across a canyon near the frog pond that forms Twin Potts Reservoir.
In the late summer of 1919 Will took Wease and all of the children except Mark, Alice and Vera to Peoa. Wease’s mother (Lydia Marchant Walker) was sick and Wease went to Peoa to take care of her. At this time Wease was pregnant with Grant. Grant Walker was born on December 29, 1919.
Mark was ten years old in 1919. The winter of 1919 was terrible and it was the year that the flu epidemic occurred and killed millions of people all over the earth. Several people in the Basin died that year from the flu, and all of the schools were closed. Alice, Vera and Mark remained in Mountain Home when Will took Wease and the other children to Peoa. Will then returned to Mountain Home to work and take care of the place. After returning home Will left Alice at the homestead to feed chickens, cows and to take care of the cabin and, since the school was closed, Mark and Vera went with their Dad to the Peterson Sawmill. The sawmill was located in the foothills between Rock Creek and Lake Fork.
Will left the sawmill sometime in late November or early December and went to the cabin where he and Alice got in a car and left for Peoa to get Wease and the other children and bring them home. Alice said that, "when we got to Duchesne it was the first time I saw electric lights."
Vera and Mark stayed at the sawmill and worked. Mark remembered, “I worked hauling sawdust and taking care of animals, and Vera cooked meals for everyone. One time I took a wagon and team to Mountain Home for supplies. The snow was so deep that one of the horses went down and I was stranded. I wrapped a blanket around me and was found by workers at the sawmill quite a while later.” He was 10 years old.
Alice said, “Dad and I went to Peoa in an old car to get Mother and the children and bring them home. When we got there it was the middle of the winter and there was a terrible storm and we couldn’t come home. I don’t know how the car held all of us or how we did it, but the family all went to Salt Lake to Gpa Mark and Gma Annie’s place on 33rd South. Mom had one room that she tried to keep all us kids in and there were quite a few of us kids. This was hard on Gma Annie and hard on Mother. While we were there lots of us got the flu, and Dad (Will) got soooo sick he darn near didn’t make it! The sickness and the bad weather made us stay in Salt Lake all winter. Gma Annie and Mother took care of everyone. “It was here that Grant was born on December 29, 1919. We stayed that winter and it was a terrible winter. The next spring when we did get out we went to Price on the train. I wonder what Dad did with his car? Anyway, we went on the train to Price and then we came back on the mail buggy to Duchesne and then on to Mountain Home.”
Bill remembered, “Dad told me that when he had the flu he couldn’t move his arms because they were as big as logs." (Page 38)
Bertha Bleazard Miles (Aunt Bird) wrote, “In the fall of 1919 there was an epidemic of flu all over the world. Ma (Annie) was in Salt Lake and went all over the county with Dr. McHugh caring for the sick. Lyd and Oscar were at the 33rd place and Will and Wease and some of their children came in there. They all got down with the flu and they were very sick. People were dying everywhere. Rose and Belle were home and they didn’t get the flu so they helped Ma (Annie) care for the others. Pa (Mark Hopwood) was with Ella and Dale and they all got it, so Ted went down and brought Pa up to our place so we could take care of him. Then Ted and I were both down. Ma (Annie) came as soon as she knew how we were.
“Will was working at a sawmill near Mountain Home and he had his farm. He found he could lease the Abe Lyons farm in Mountain Home so he got Ted and Charl to come to Mountain Home to work with him. He moved his family to town and Ted and I moved into his cabin on his farm. Charl rented a small place in town and they all worked together on the farms and at the sawmill.
"I was alone with my two little kids on Will’s place when they brought me the word that Pa (Mark Hopwood) had died at his home on 33rd South in Salt Lake. Ted was away a lot of the time while we were on Will’s place. There were no close neighbors and we couldn’t even see another house where anyone lived, so I was lonely and homesick.
“Will had a lot of pigs that pastured on the farm, they had to be herded to keep them out of the crops, and I had to herd them quite a lot. That is the main thing I remember of those three months.
“Pa (Mark Hopwood) was having a bad time so Deb’d brought him out to the Basin, first to George’s in Fort Duchesne and then up to our place at Mountain Home and the change did help him for awhile. He got well enough that he built a wire door for George and when he got up to our place he saw the flies and the chickens that were in the cabin, so he built a wire door for me, which I think was the last work he ever did. They (Deb and Pa) stayed at Mountain Home for a few weeks and then started back to Salt Lake and by then Pa was bad again. He never got better and died 15 August 1921."
Jack remembered, "Uncle Charles Bleazard was living out there at that time. He had a house just across the road from the Church House. He worked on the Abe Lyons place and he worked our farm too. He was a good basketball player and he played with Reed Lyons and Witt Fortie and Martin Lindsey."
Mark said, “Uncle George lived down below Roosevelt someplace and not long before Gpa Mark Hopwood died he came to stay with George. Gpa got asthma so bad down to Roosevelt in July or August that he came up to our place. Gma Annie always insisted on him doing something, although he could 't even talk for coughing. He had the worst cough and asthma I ever seen in my life. It was hot that summer and the flies were bad Dad would fix a funnel out of screen and put it down in a bottle some way with just a little honey and it would get filled with flies real fast. Gpa Mark Hopwood was pretty cool and he’d been through it all. He said that the thing we needed most was a screen door. He was a great carpenter and he built a damned good screen door that probably lasted for 40-50 years. I have thought a lot of times that there was nothing up at the homestead I would want. When it (Page 38) comes right down to it though, I’d have liked to have Gpa Mark’s screen door. Don’t know what I’d do with it. It might still be there but I’ve never been there to look for it.
“Mother and Dad lived at the Abe Lyon home for about a year. This is the home that Abe Lyon’s built and that Cliff and Rayda Stevenson lived in for a long time.
“Gpa Mark Hopwood got worse and some days he couldn’t even get out of the house. A little later they left for Salt Lake where he died in the home at 550 East 3300 South in August 1921. Gpa was quite a tall fellow with not an ounce of meat on him as long as I knew him and he was a little bit dark complected. Gma Annie lived twenty years longer than Gpa Mark Hopwood and lived at this home for a long time. She loved flowers and planted lots of them around her home. Annie had diabetes and a heart condition and both she and her mother, Rhoda, suffered from a nerve problem on their faces.”
Ralph Walker was born in 1923; Anna Dee in 1925; and Fred Walker in 1927.
Annie Bleazard wrote to her son, Will, on January 30, 1927 and said, “I am glad more than I can tell you that you are all getting better. You must have had an awful hard time and even worse than we had around Xmas time. We are pretty well now... I could not be quite sure, Will, from your letter if it was Wease or the baby who was so nervous, but I thought it was Wease. She has had enough to wear out iron nerves. You must all try to do all you can to help her and make things go easy as possible for her. I do wish she could come home for a while; a change might be good for her. I’ve never seen medicine do much while the things that cause the nervous condition was the same. Gentle massage always toward the heart sometimes helps circulation. I’ll be glad when you can come home but be sure the roads are all right and things at home are right before you leave. Is Alice better? Those measles are the worse kind this year than I ever heard about before. There are so many have trouble after the measles leave and so many have died. With buckets of love to you all From Ma.”
Mark said, “Jack and I finally dug that well by the cabin. Everyone said there was no water there and it really didn’t look like there was any water. We started to dig and went down about twenty feet and hit water!” Jack said, “I remember every shovel of it and I remember all the rocks that went in to prop it up. It was before me and Viola were married I propped that up to keep it from suckin' in.
Mark continued, “Mother planted an orchard with yellow transparent, Jonathan and other apple trees, raspberries, currents and gooseberry bushes. The trees had to be wrapped each fall with gunnysacks or levies’ to keep the rabbits from destroying them. It was one of her biggest jobs and some of us helped her wrap the trees. She loved that orchard and was very proud of it. She always planted and cared for a large vegetable garden.”
“Mother made our clothes using the treadle sewing machine or we wouldn’t have had any clothes. It helped a lot when Mother would get a package from Peoa from her parents, Stephen and Lydia Walker. (Page 39) The packages would have food, fruit, clothes, maybe cloth and sewing stuff and would sometimes have shoes and shoe repair stuff.”
Alice remembered one 4th of July when she was the only child in the family with good shoes and they were boy's shoes that her Gpa Walker had sent her. Alice said, "The older kids passed their clothes to the younger ones as long as they would last and I’m sure they were wore out. First one wore them and then another. "
Jack told the following story: “I remember the 4th of July when Elec Pace was sitting behind a canvas with his head poking through a hole and you would pay so much for eggs to throw at him. In the next few days Mark and Chick got in an argument over it and Mark said that Chick couldn’t hit anybody that way, and Chick said he could so. They bet horses on it. They took a canvas and wrapped it around a cedar tree and cut a hole in it. Mark went up in there and stood on a limb and stuck his head through the hole. Chick was supposed to be about a hundred yards away and he had a dozen rotten eggs. Chick took the eggs and kept taking a step closer, a little closer and a little closer and then he let the eggs go! A rotten egg was coming right straight for Mark and he ducked his head and it went right down the back of his neck They fought and argued over that and Mark lost his horse but wouldn’t give it up, he wouldn’t pay up. They was still arguing about that the last time they got together. Later when Chick went to Idaho he took one of Mark’s horses and when he got up there he sold the horse (laugh)."
Mark said, “Dad always cut all the boy’s hair until I was about fourteen years old and then I took over the hair cutting." Jack remembered, "Mark would cut my hair and I was going to cut his but he made such a bad job out of mine, and he wouldn't let me cut his. Mark got to be a pretty good barber and I always had a pretty good haircut but his hair was right down on his neck He couldn’t get anyone to cut his, and he wouldn’t let me cut it."
Bill remembered, "On the 4th of July here comes these guys, Fred and Hap Birch, Abe Lindsay, kids from Mountain Home to get Mark to cut their hair. Mark would be cuttin' hair on the 4th maybe ’til noon. Never charged a dime!"
Mark said, “One thing that hurt me about the most is when we had that twenty-two head cattle permit on Pigeon Water. We started out with two or three cattle and they were all we ran, all we had. Everybody around Mountain Home had a few cows to go on the range. Later on we had twenty-one cows and I thought Boy, we’re getting to be a big outfit. Dad came home from one of his trips and sold every cow we had except one crippled cow to finance a mining trip to Idaho. Dad came back at the end of the summer without a cent. Mother had been figuring what we'd do when we sold those cows. It was a good many years after that before we got back to twenty-one head. That might have been about 1921."
Emmerson Rowley was one of Will’s friends and another partner was Clarence ‘Nick’ Killian. Mark said, “In about 1925 Nick gave me a calf and gave Jack a calf and we I kept them at Dad’s. Pretty soon as we grew up we thought they was ours, but Dad thought they was his.” Jack said: “My calf was a wild one and we couldn’t get close to it and pretty quick it died. Mark’s stayed there and it had a heifer calf every year and it growed up and (Page 40) so Mark figured he had about as many as Dad had. Dad come along and sold them all so I ended up with just as many cows as Mark had (laugh) None.”
Jack remembered, “When Nick Killian gave Mark and I the calves, we had worked all summer putting up hay for him, so Nick didn’t ‘Give’ us the calves we worked really hard for them and we earned them."
Mark remembered, “Gma and Gpa Walker gave Mother a piano when she and Dad got married. Gma Walker had taught Mother and Aunt Mary to play the piano and I believe the piano had been at the Peoa House they owned. It was quite a deal to get it out to Mountain Home and the cabin was so small with almost no place for it. It took up a big part of that one corner. Dad had objected to Mother bringin’ it out and didn’t do anything to hurry it up, he wanted Mother to wait until he got a new house built. Someway Gpa Walker brought the piano out for Mother. Mother taught Anna Dee to play and she got so she could play real good. Mother would once in a while go and sit down and play a little and I remember her playing, ‘Star of the East.’ When she got where she had more time, she played it a lot. I don’t know where the piano is now but someone said it was given to Anna Dee and that maybe one of her daughters has it now.”
Alice remembered, "When Aunt Bird and Uncle Ted lived over in the cabin, and Mother and Dad were in Mountain Home, Mother went to church all the time. People were surprised that she could play the piano so well and she played for mutual and for road shows. She was the director."
Mark said, “When we first got to the cabin there were beds in the cabin for Mother and Dad and us little kids. As the family grew and we all got bigger there was not enough room in the small one-room cabin for all of us to sleep. Two large tents were put up. One tent was at the East of the cabin and the other at the North and the children slept in the tents both winter and summer. Girls slept in one tent and the boys in the other. We had diseases, maybe chicken pox, measles and other sickness while we slept in the tents and Mother had to take care of us and I don’t know how she done it. When we got big enough to stand the frost and cold we slept in those tents and some of us slept in the tents for years. It was after Alice and Ray Oman married that Mother and Dad fixed another boarded-up tent at the West of the cabin for their bedroom.
Rhoda and Alice in front of the "boarded-up tent that was Will and Wease's bedroom.
“At times some of us slept up at the Harwood place. I remember how much I hated night to come when we had to walk over a quarter of a mile up there. We had one advantage up there though, they couldn't holler at us! We didn't really fight a lot but we didn’t always agree all the time. Chick thought he was more Chief than he was, and Jack and I would tease and play and do this and that. Chick was just kinda crowded out because there was a big age gap in between. There was not that buddy thing like me and Jack had."
Bill remembered, “At the Harward place we sometimes had friends sleep over, Art Harward and four or five of them. Chick decided to pull a trick on them and he was on one side of the door and I was on the other side and it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. When they came in we were supposed to whack ’em over the head with pillow. (Page 41) The first one in was Jack! Oh man, that sent him into a fit and I thought they were goin' to get into a fistfight but they didn’t.
“We slept there quite a few years. One time during the summer we put the beds out South of the house on grass. Leon Stewart, Ed ’s boy, come over and he was famous for stealing stuff. Mark had seventy-five cents in his pocket and in those days it was like a million dollars. At recess the next morning Leon invited me to go to Brig’s store with him and he bought seven candy bars and ate them all and he didn’t offer a bite to me. When I told I Mark he said, ‘My God I wondered what happened to my seventy-five cents, and he didn’t even give me one of the bars!” (laugh)
“Leon had a cold both summer and winter and we called him Snotty. One time the teacher told him to ‘Go outside and blow your nose clear to Chicago’. "
Rhoda went to Salt Lake and stayed with her grandparents, Mark and Annie Bleazard, when she was about sixteen years old. Later, she and Rulon Orton married and they moved to California.
Mark said, “When Chick got big enough so he could ride a horse he took off. He was gone over around the Lonetree, Wyoming area haying and he must have been about fourteen or sixteen years old when he rode off. Chick was nicknamed ‘CottonTop’ because of his blonde hair and he never did like being called that.
“At age twelve, in 1921, I worked with 'Wild Horse’Richards and Wilford Stevenson building trails through the high Uintas from Rock Creek to Moon Lake. Wilford was always playing the banjo. The next year (1922) I worked on the Provo River road to Mirror Lake.
“Mother probably had the hardest life of anyone I ever saw and she complained the least about it. She always lived in that one-room cabin. When she went to town she’d usually walk and I only remember her riding a horse to town once. We’d milk two, three or four cows and would separate the milk from the cream in a hand-operated separator. We would take a three or five-gallon milk can of cream to town about once a week. It would be weighed and tested and Mother usually got about $3 or $5 for it. That is what money she had to keep us going. We had to let the calves suck for a long time and Dad wouldn’t let us wean them."
Alice said, “Now if you’ve ever seen a life that was like my Mother's life it’s just almost more than I can stand to think about. I just can't see how Mom ever raised all us kids.”
Mark, Jack and Charles 'Chick' Bleazard
Mark said, “Several people in the Basin had their own stills where they made 'sour water/booze’ for their own use during Prohibition. Dad had one on our place and he used either wheat or barley in it.” Jack said, “I think two or three of the Shirts guys over around town had stills. Once the Sheriff come up and broke in and found the whiskey and all the blame was placed on one Shirts guy and they took him down to Duchesne.” (Page 42)
Bill remembered, “A wooden barrel was by the stove because the moonshine had to be kept at a certain temperature. The barrel was thirty gallons and maybe even bigger. The barrel had an open top and was wood and he mixed barley and what it takes to make whiskey. Hell it must’ve been good stuff. When I was just a little kid I remember the Indians coming down off Towanta Flat and sitting in front of the cabin. At the South there were no windows and god knows how long they’d be sittin' there. One of us would go out and there they’d be. Dad would give the leader quart or two-quart fruit jars of whiskey and the rest of the Indians would follow the leader back to the Flat. I remember them circling the house, just like in the movies! 'Dad told us that if a stranger came to the house, and really I don 't think there was more than two strangers came my whole life, or if the FBI or Sheriff came, we were to take the coarse rock salt in the bucket and put it in the barrel. Then they couldn’t prove it was whiskey, it was just hog slaw! We never had to do that.
"The Shirt’s had stills and quite a few people had stills. John Shirts, Susie’s husband Ed Stewart, Nick Killian, Ern Mitchell, and they were Dad’s drinking buddies."
Jack (and his wife, Viola Mitchell) remembered the sour water they drank was sometimes referred to as “fire water.”
Mark worked at Mirror Lake in 1924 and he worked for the Rock Creek Cattle Association during 1925-26.
Mark said, “On January 9, 1924 and on my fifteenth birthday, I went to Mutual at the Mountain Home Ward and several of the boys were playing Tag. Wesley Shirts was chasing me and I grabbed the piano as I went around it. One caster was off the piano and it fell on me and my leg was shattered in many places. I was in the Duchesne hospital for forty-five days and on crutches for a long time. The doctors thought the leg should be amputated because they didn’t think I would ever be able to bend the knee. I always had a limp because of this. My sister, Alice, was living in Salt Lake and attending school at Granite High School when this happened and she quit school and came to the Duchesne Hospital and worked the entire time I was there. She was not paid for her work because her pay went to take care of my hospital bill. She also saw to it that I had the food and stuff that I needed.”
Bill said, "When they brought Mark home, Alice come home to take care of him. You know, when Mark’d start feeling better he sometimes was kinda grumpy and him and Alice would get to discussing things maybe arguing a little, and Mark would try to find things to throw at Alice. I would slip things where he could reach them, I was always on Mark’s side.”
Jack remembered, "Against the doctor’s orders, Mark rode horses when his leg was healing from the breaks and he was left with a crooked leg."
Jack said, “When Mark was old enough he worked away from home but he never had any money when he came home. He said he spent it on Punch Boards. I stayed home and did (Page 43) the farming. Dad would give Mark money to go to the dance and when Mother said ‘Why don’t you give Jack some?’ Dad said, 'He don’t need any, he can’t dance!”
Mark said, “Right after World War I the government brought several stallions into the country and let them out on some kind of terms to different people around the country. Ed Stewart got one of the stallions. He had a lot of what is called polo ponies. He’d breed them range mares to the English thoroughbred stallion. As we got older, Jack and I broke bunch of those horses for Ed Stewart, and he paid us with sheep. I think we got twelve old ewes. The sheep had lambs and we had mutton. As we got bigger, me and Jack butchered some of them.
“Dad was always going to be home and build a house, and we all got out logs and stuff. Jack and I got out plenty of logs to build a house but the logs were used to build the two shops instead of a house, and then we built a granary. We had thought we were going to get a house, but Dad thought the logs wasn’t good enough for a house. They would always be used to build a better granary, shop or something. Bill and Ralph and Grant were determined to build a house and I remember the logs out there about so high by that tent back of the house. They started on the house and it was built so high and never higher. Then Chick was going to build one. He did build the long one that was first a granary and then was remodeled and was a home for Grant and Lois. That one was built."
Bill said, "Chick was working at the Peterson Sawmill and got some logs, the ones that were split so the round part could go on the outside of the house and the flat side on the inside, not like the ones in the cabin. Hell, it got up to the half and stayed that way for a long time, in fact we had bedrooms out there –there was no roof. It was torn down maybe in the 30s. Charlie Fietkaw helped Jack and Chick and I think he helped with the granary. Grant and Lois lived there for quite a long time."
Jack remembered, "Chick got logs out to build a house but because they raised so much grain they had to use the logs to build a granary. Dad hired Charley Fietkau to build it. We had already started building it but when Charley came he tore it down and started over, guess we weren’t doing it right and that was about in 1932. When the granary was completed we put grain in one end and beds in the other.
"When Grant and Lois Lyons were married and after Grant got the place, they remodeled the granary and lived in it several years. They lived there until they sold the place to Dr. Abbott and moved over to Mountain Home.
“Bill and Ralph started a house. They poured the foundation and laid the floor but something happened and they quit. "
Mark said, “Dad had a blacksmith shop where lots of work was done other than making and fixing horseshoes. Me, Jack, Chick and some of the others would get an old tanned cowhide and make bridles and halters and reins. All you’d have to buy would be the bit. We had brass colored rivets and a tool that would put the rivets through and they would spread out and hold real good.” (Page 44)
Jack said, “The shop was used for repairing machinery as well as for making horse shoes."
Bill remembered, “I remember lots of things done in the blacksmith shop. Horse shoes, plow shears -the blade right on the bottom of a hand plow that had a tin so when it turned the dirt it had a sharp edge on it and the dirt kinda slides back along a rolling piece of metal and tips the dirt upside down and that plow shear would need to be sharpened Dad and Jack used to do that together. They would get a piece of metal and shape it to a point and when you weld the shear onto a plow you would have to get that thing red hot to where it was sparklin’ and then pull it out quick-like and put it on the anvil. I’ve watched Jack and Dad work and Jack was Dad’s right hand man when it comes to that. Dad had a single jack and he was hitting it as fast as he could and Jack had a double jack They just hit it as fast as they could and they had it timed just perfect so they wouldn’t hit each other! They brought it together ’til it was just almost melted at about 2000 degrees. They had to do it at that high temperature and then they’d let it cool. Dad would heat it back up, reshape it and work it over to get it right and then cool it a little. Then heat it up again and while it was a cherry heat they dumped it in water and that would distribute the carbon in the steel and temper it."
Bill said, “I once accused Dad of going out to the Basin to look for the Rhoades mine but he wouldn't admit it. Hell, before I was born I’m sure he and the Mechams and Ed Hadden had prospected that whole Uinta Range. In fact up Miner’s Gulch in Rock Creek some of them found a vein of iron ore and were sure it was the Rhoades mine. They filled four of those seamless sacks, the ones that will hold about a hundred pounds of wheat with the powder and Dad said it was so heavy, like pushing a tree. Nick Killian, who was a cowboy, took cows over to Keetley and then was goin' on to Salt Lake. He took a sample of the powder to Salt Lake in the fall of the year to have it assayed and Dad stewed all winter long wondering when he would get word. In the spring when he did get word it was just a trace.”
Mark remembered, “Every dollar Dad could get he’d put into that mine up in Idaho around Hailey. They put lots of machinery in it. They never did investigate where they was going to get the ore from. They just found a little streak of silver around a piece of ledge and they would dig that off. They had to have some kind of a slurry outfit to separate the ore, and there was this machine at the foot of the hill. Wasn’t long till they put the tramway down but before the tram was done they used packsaddles on their backs. I went up with Dad and dug on that, me, Nick Killian, Gene Sorensen and Ed Stewart. Ed Stewart had a hump back and Gene Sorensen was a mean SOB! I would have to hold the drill over my shoulder and turn the handle every time my partner would hit it. Old Sorensen? Every time I’d get a hold of that he’d hit me in the back of the head! Them mining trips were always a little something to break the monotony. One time Nick wanted Sorensen to go down to a house to get more sour water. Nick pulled out two or three dollars and dropped one on the floor. Sorenson saw it all right and they stood there arguing. Sorenson was looking at that dollar and Nick just kept heckling him. (Page 45) They just stood there arguing. Old Sorensen made a dive for that dollar and Nick just put his foot on it. I still wonder sometimes how they got dressed in the mornin'. And there was always Dad and the sour water. Yes, Dad boozed."
Bill remembered, "Uncle Deb was up there and so was Mark and they got in a car wreck. They were in an old 1923 Dodge and Deb run of the road halfway between Ketchum and Hailey. I think Deb ended up in the hospital but I don’t know what happened to Mark."
Wease wrote a letter to Mark and Will on July 10, 1928 and said, “Dear Will and Mark. Just rec’d your letter of the 4th and card of the 7th today. Sure sorry to hear of Mark and Deb getting hurt. Thank God it’s no worse. Somehow I felt something was wrong on the 4th somewhere. You would have been better of celebrating with me. How did it happen? Were they speeding or what? I guess it wrecked the car. If it did you won’t have any more car than I have will you?
“I was going to send this note with the kids when they went to the show but Bill and Joney Hadden came up. Bill went up to the Rangers station and Joney stayed here and they just left. The kids are coming home from the show; they have been hauling hay all day.”
“The weather is hot and dry and we have no rain. We have lots of wind Did Thressa go to Deb? Write often and let me know how you are. We are all right here, just that there is nothing but work and worry for me. I guess Emily (Killian) is quite peeved at Nick not coming home for the 4th but she is not so hard hit, Reed took her to the celebration in the buggy. No news over in this part of the world.
“Ern (Mitchell) was telling me the life insurance man would like to have gone to Idaho with you. Mr. Mitch was operated on last week and he isn’t out of the hospital yet. I sure hope Mark and Deb are improving. I sure wish Mark had stayed home! I wish you would come home too, and let the mining go. I will send this letter to you in the morning. Lots of Love to both of you, Mama. PS I don’t know if I would trust Mark to come home with Nick and Ed! We can manage here. I don’t think Nick’s kid brother is doing a thing towards haying. These are sure some good kids when they know the responsibility is on them.” A newspaper article dated July 15, 1928 reported: “Delbert Bleazard of Salt Lake City is in an improvised hospital in Hailey, Idaho as a result of a distressing automobile accident just south of Ketchum. Mr. Bleazard and his nephew were driving in from Boulder where they are engaged in a mining enterprise when they met a car... and in passing the car ran off a culvert bridge. The car turned over a number of times and smashed into a telephone pole. It is a complete wreck. Mr. Bleazard suffered a broken breast-bone and injuries to his back and abdomen. It was feared at first that he must die but latest reports are that he may recover. His nephew suffered a broken collarbone and a wrenched knee. Fred Shirts, Wlliam Bleazard and others brought the injured men to town at once and everything possible is being done for them. Mrs. Arkoosh of Bellevue, a professional nurse, was called in to care for them.” (Page 46)
Jack said, “I didn’t go to the mine that time but went up later with them to a mine by Hailey, and they had dozens of mines and claims. We might have done just as well with those mines in Rock Creek and they were closer to home.”
Wease wrote to Jack and Will on September 25, 1928 and said, “No letter from you since I last wrote but I am lonesome for you so thot I would drop you a line. We are all well. The thresher is at Emmersons and both boys have been there all day and I guess they went to the show tonight. It’s 10 o’clock and they aren’t home. The machine goes to Rusts from the Bishops and then they will be here, maybe for dinner, as Rusts have only about two hours work
"Mark has all the cattle now but Bob’s yearling and he can’t find any trace of it yet. I am sending you some jelly and if it carries all right and you like it let me know and I can send you more. Mr. Stewart’s kids tell our kids about hearing from their Daddy real often and I wish one of you would write us a line every time you get a chance to send a line. They say you can’t get enough power to operate your mill, what do you need? Didn’t Nick send you any money? I think him a crook. I don’t think he even figures on going and helping you out. Mark thinks he can get you some money soon by selling the seed or some wheat. Let us know what to do.
“Everyone around here is digging their spuds and we are going to get ours in soon. I don’t think it’s many nights since I wrote you and I don’t know any new news, so will go to bed. Write to me soon or you might see me up there. Lots of love to both of you, Mama.”
Apparently while most of this was going on Bill, Grant, Ralph and maybe Fred and the girls were helping their mother, Wease, and putting in the crops and tending the animals.
Alice said, “Dad was at the sawmill a lot when I was young and he had to work there to make a living. He did not mine a lot then but I remember he did mine a lot as I grew older. He did a lot of prospecting and he believed in it. I think he had Mom thinking he could strike it rich. What I remember in the first place is that when Dad was a young man he was somewhere and found some little rock on the ground. He had it assayed and I think he got $20 out of it or something. That is what started him to go huntin’ gold mines, and that is what he did all the time. But right at first when they came out he didn’t go mining so much. .Maybe in the mountains in Rock Creek ’cause I remember some of the rocks he found.”
Mark said, “Uncle Ted (husband of Bertha Bleazard Miles) would come out to the homestead and stay sometimes. If you see someone who just sits and reads you'll be seeing someone just like Uncle Ted. It sometimes bothered Mother because she just had one of them big old square stoves that you put a three-foot long block of wood in, and a stove that had a reservoir at one end. Ted was the damdest fellow to read you ever saw. I’ve seen that bastard sit with his feet up on the end of the stove all day long and read as Mother tried to do her cooking on that stove."
Bill remembered, "Uncle Ted had a long whip made of leather that was maybe 10/12 ft long. It was a whip that would be used when driving maybe 4 or 6 head of horses and he would reach out with that whip and pop us kids. Well, Ted could pick a fly of the wall with (Page 47) that whip and I’ve seen him chase Mark and Jack with that whip, popping it and chasing them all around the house. Ted spent quite a lot of time up at the cabin. He had a pipe with a little chrome band about half way up the stem and I figured I could get it on my finger for a ring. I kept askin' him to give it to me when he wore it out. I can still see that ring and I wanted it in the worst way. Hell, he might still be smokin' it!"
Jack remembered, “Dad and Mom moved to the Abe Lyons home in Mountain Home and they leased the Abe Lyon ground and planted and raised grain and put up hay. While they were in Mountain Home, Uncle Ted and Aunt Bird (Bertha) Bleazard Miles lived over on the Homestead in the Cabin. Ted herded the pigs and he had a long whip. He walked and chased the pigs out of the grain whipping them and oh, how they would squeal.”
Mark said, “Mother was about like Alice and she’d do anything she could or thought she ought to and never say a word. I think Mother was browbeat in those early years so she didn’t dare say a word but really when I think about it, I don’t believe I ever heard Mother and Dad argue even once. When Mother really felt bad and when Dad would go off helling around or anything like that, she would sometimes want to go and he wouldn’t take her. His excuse was always they didn’t have no way to go, they didn't have no traveling buggy. We had a wagon and that’s how we got around but when he wanted to go he’d just have one of us kids get the saddle horse for him and away he d go! I never once seen him give her any money. Never did! "
Alice said, “I never heard Mom say one thing against Dad and she’d always stick up for him. Mom never had any money. There’s so much fuss over smoking today and no one l does a thing about drinking. Drinking to me is so much worse than smoking because when someone smokes they only hurt themselves but people who drink hurt a lot of people. Dad had that habit and it hurt Mom and there were other things. Some of us see things different on this…”
Mark said, “In Mountain Home there were Indians in the school. An Indian named Roger went to school with us. Roger was deaf or maybe he pretended to be deaf He rode from Rock Creek to the school. There was a bunch of Indians all from the same outfit. I didn’t think Roger could read or write or do a thing until we moved to Bridgeland. It was there that I found out he was a real good writer. Most of them Indians are real good writers. Roger was killed over at Bottle Hollow a few years ago."
Bill remembered, “I remember Roger, Curtis and Angie. Roger and Curtis rode from Rock Creek to our place and would ride with us to Mountain Home. I think they lived at Sadie’s place. Angie was younger and he was the very first casualty in the war in Europe, I don’t know what battle it was. I remember Roger talking but Curtis wouldn’t talk. He never said one word inside the school and the teacher couldn’t make him take part in anything. Curtis never said one word all the time he ever went to school that heard. Once I traded horses with Roger. In fact it was Maude. I traded the mother of the colt Jack hit in the eye with a rock. Roger said ’Trade horses? ’ so I traded him. That Maude (Page 48) would jump sideways if a bird flew up and once she threw me off and I hit the back of my head on a rock. I still have a dent from it! I was in maybe the third grade.”
Mark said, “We thought we were tough and once Art Harward and me decided to try the teacher just to see if we could Witt Fortie was the sixth grade teacher. I think maybe he heckled us a little because I never did get a lesson and never even attempted to. I'd go to school and just sit on a bench but that was all. I didn’t get in and study ‘til I was in the seventh grade.
“Fortie would go home for dinner. Art and me hid behind the porch and when he came back to school we jumped out and were going to throw snowballs at him and maybe beat the tar out of him. Why? Maybe it was because Aaron Stevenson who was a couple of grades above me would whip the teacher about once a month. We just thought, ‘Well we’ll try him. I was the first one to throw a snowball and take a poke at him and he just knocked me a Rollin', and then he did the same thing to Art. We didn’t get up very close after that. Mr. Fortie was a musician and he later became a BY U professor. Dad always said to us, ‘Don’t you ever come home telling me you whipped the teacher ’cause if he can’t whip you I’ll help him -the two of us can whip you. I knew better than getting in any hassle with the teacher after that."
Jack’s wife, Viola, said, "There was this orchestra in Mountain Home. Witt Fortie played the saxophone, Cliff Stevenson played the trumpet, Clint Stevenson the trombone and Doll Lyons corded for them on the piano. They were good and we used to dance to them a lot."
Mark said, “Bill Case, the eighth grade teacher, asked us what we figured to be. We I all said ‘I don t know.’ I don’t think we had any idea what we figured to be. Mr. Case said. ‘I don’t think many of you will be anything other than farmers or housewives so we’ll just sit these books aside and I'll teach you practical things.’ He taught me how to measure grain, headgate, haystacks and useful things like that, and I have always appreciated what he taught me. I picked up arithmetic easy and was good at spelling. I didn’t learn nuthin' until those last two years of school, the seventh and the eighth grades. I believe a kids' got to want to learn and if they’re going to school to just sit and take up a seat, a teacher ought to have one of them long rulers and whack him on the head every time he isn’t paying attention. History and Geography and that stuff? Well, I didn’t know nuthin’ about it and I didn’t want to know about it. They learned me my abc(s). When we were supposed to be learning the multiplication tables I was sitting by the wall and if I was 't studying when the teacher went by, I don’t remember who it was, the teacher’d grab me by the hair of my head and shove me against the wall pretty good. The teacher gave me so long to learn the tables and boy, I learned to say the tables forward and backward and I never forgot them! We got no sympathy when we got home if we got in trouble at school."(Page 49)
Jack remembered, “Howard Rowley was a good friend of Marks and a good speller. He and Mark would practice after school and by the end of the school year Mark could spell."
David Franklin and Lenora Johnston Housekeeper were neighbors of the Bleazards, and they arrived in Mountain Home in 1910. They had eleven children and lived on the farm for 33 years. One child died as they were coming to Mountain Home when he fell out of the wagon and was run over by the wagon wheel, another one month old child died from pneumonia and another died from the flu. Lenora had typhoid fever in 1926. They sold their farm in 1943 and moved to Sandpoint, Idaho. Their oldest child was Cleown.
Mark said, “Cleown (David Cleown Housekeeper) used to flog me right along. Cleown was cross-eyed and he’d be talkin' to you but his eyes would always look somewhere else. Jack was younger and he stood back a little. Dad would say, ‘Don’t you guys ever come home again saying Cleown whipped either one of you when you’re both there, or you’re due another flogging.’ He said that me and Jack were to whip him when we got into it the next time. Soon Cleown came at us again and he wanted to fight and we took to him. We was just like them Jews and we went into the fight to win! Now, I’m telling you it was just like we was fighting for our existence. We just had to whip him that once and that was enough and he never bothered us again."
Jack remembered, "Cleown would come out and tie into me and Mark, and Alice would come and pull him off and sit on him and shove his mouth full of dirt. Alice was always there to take care of us. I don’t think we took him on too hard but for years we was a fightin.’ Seems it was one kid being bigger than the others and tryin' to take control."
Alice said, “Right to this day people tell me about this. I was just as big then as I am now. Cleown lived on top of the hill and he used to come down to our place a lot. At night his dad would come to the top of the hill and holler, ’CLEOWN’ and you could hear it for miles! Cleown never seemed to know when to go home. Cleown kept leaving the gate open and Dad told me I was to go down to the gate and beat him up if he didn’t shut that gate. So I sit there that night and I don’t know where Cleown was but when he came along he was` goin' to go through it and I came to life and told him he had to shut the gate. I thought I might have to fight him or something but he just shut the gate and went on his way. I didn’t have to take him on that day (laugh)."
Alice, said, “I grew fast and was a big girl almost as big as I am now when I was a young girl, and Mark was a little tiny person until after I was married, and Jack was real small too. Cleown used to pick on Mark and Jack."
Bill remembered, "There was an open air dance hall at Moon Lake, kinda back in the trees. Cleown, Grant and I were timbering up on Bear Waller and we went to the dance at Moon Lake. While we were there Arzie Mitchell, the Sheriff’s kid just beat the hell out of Cleown! Cleown stepped in a hole and his leg was caught. This damned Mitchell kid would hit him and knock him back and with his leg caught he would pull him back up and whambo he’d hit him again! Well anyway, when we got back to the timber camp, Cleown was lookin' (Page 50) in the mirror and he was missin' two or three teeth. He never did have very good teeth and Cleown said ‘My god, he at least made me look a little bit better.’ Cleown used to steal the traps that Jack had set for rabbits and coyotes."
Mark said, “We had a cooler, our refrigerator. We put gunnysacks and other cloth all over it and there was a tub of water. The sacks would pull the water out of the tub and we’d have to keep that tub full of water. This is where we kept the milk, butter, eggs and other stuff.
“We killed the pigs we raised and cured them for bacon. Mother would salt the pork so it would keep and then she'd have to boil it several times to get enough salt out so we could eat it. We didn’t have no beef. I don’t ever remember killing a beef.
“We dug a root cellar out South from the cabin a couple hundred yards on the knoll and it was a good cellar. Mother used to fill it with bottles of fruit and vegetables. We had a hay patch around it to help keep stuff from freezin' but in the winter we didn’t get in that cellar very ofien. We’d go out there and the chute would be chock full of snow and we’d have to dig all that snow out before we could get in to get things.
“When we was big enough me and Jack and Chick would borrow horses from Nick Killian or from Harwards and would catch them wild horses right up above Howard Rowley’s place. There was a lot of wild horses. Up 'till then we didn’t have a horse we could claim as our own. We would go up there in the spring of the year and the horses would be winter weak and we’d catch them. We would let our horses go and some of the wild ones would follow them back to the homestead and then we’d catch them.”
Mark Walker Bleazard (about 1929)
“Lucy Rowley, a neighbor, has written about the wild horses and about her husband, John, "The wild horses used to come in the first year we were there. There would be so many colors and they’d look like a flower garden. They would string clear across the flat and come to feed clear up to where we later had our orchard. Oh, they were so pretty running loose on the range. Dad used to kill the spring colts in the fall and we'd eat the hindquarters. I couldn’t make it go down but would cook it for the rest. It was the smell of it that stayed on my hands. Dad used to take the meat all over the country to give to the Indians and non-Indians to keep them from starving."
Mark said, “I caught a lot of horses and even caught them when I worked for that Association. The wild ones we caught were the only kind of horses we had. We’d catch them up across Towanta Flats and when you caught them ponies they were yours and you didn’t have to pay for them. That’s what we used for saddle horses. We caught Brownie in 1922-24 when he was about two years old. Once Brownie was taken back to the Flat for a while and when they we went to get him, he just walked up to us."
Bill remembered, "Once we had maybe seventy five horses on that ranch. I don’t think Brownie had been there for more than a couple of years and when you would go back into those cedars at the Ames place he was the only one you could walk up to. And if you (Page 51) were irrigating and all you had was a shovel, no halter or bridle, you could still get on him. Then you’d have to hang on for dear life as he would put those horses in the corral."
Jack said, “Mark and me caught the horses. Brownie was a great horse and was a year younger than the older one that Mark got. The older one was just as good. How Bill got Brownie? Well, he had another horse but it wasn’t broken or nuthin' and it was a wild kinda ornery thing and we tried to corral and train it, but it would run. I threw a rock at it and hit it right in the eye and knocked its eye out. Bill wouldn’t have it and said I owed him another horse, so he took Brownie and that's how he got it. Later when Mark was in Talmage and his girls didn’t have a horse to ride to school, Dad took the horse to him."
Bill talked about Brownie and said, “I remember it like this. Reed Mitchell had three horses, Candy, Peanuts and Maude. He gave me old Maude and that damned old horse was just like ridin’ a rockin' chair, he was a willow in a windstorm. Well, Maude had a colt and the colt was about two or three years old and Jack was gonna break it. He had it up in Harward’s corral and there were several horses there and he was trying to catch it and it kept runnin’, so Jack picked up a rock and it hit the horse in the eye and blinded it. That was the one that I was supposed to have -the colt. I didn’t have a horse for a while. A bunch of young people, Mark, Jack, Chick maybe eight of them went up on the Flat and they run this herd of wild horses in and at that time Little Brown was probably about two years old. They brought the horses down into Harward's field and ended up on the Ames field. The field was plowed and they ran that little horse out there and tried to rope him. I don’t know whether it was Jack or Mark that finally got him. You know, wild horses usually go crazy when you rope them and keep trying to get loose, but that damned horse just led along like any old broke horse you ever saw right from the beginning."
Joan remembers: “Brownie was at Talmage for a long time and my sisters, Barbara and Marlene, and I rode him to school. Later he was back at the homestead where all of the children of Jack, Bill, Grant and maybe all of the kids and their kids rode him. Little Brown was at Grant's place when he and Lois found him dead. He was about thirty years old.”
Mark said, “I don’t know what happened to some of the horses we caught. I do know that someone would come through the country and buy the horses and take them out to Salt Lake where they were probably re-sold and used for some kind of fish feed or meat or something. Dad would hear that someone was coming to buy horses and he would send us to round up some horses. He’d leave us some horses and maybe sell the rest of them. We d start over and catch more wild horses. Bill Anderson took several of our horses over to Kamas one time. He paid us $5 a head and he sold them to the Fish Hatchery for maybe $15/$20 a head. I remember one time that hurt me pretty bad. Jack Chick and me had a bunch of horses and we had them corralled. Dad kept a lot of pigs around and had nuthin’ to feed them. The horses were corralled and he was on the peck and he just got his gun and went down there and shot 1, 2, 3 of the best horses to feed to the pigs. We had enough horses as far as that goes, but this hurt me bad. (Page 52)
“There was a blind wild horse on top of that old baldy hill. The hill was as flat as the kitchen table out there and it dropped right off to ledges and rocks. It was quite a unique thing with cedars and then straight off. Them Indians used to believe they had to take a good horse to ride to the happy hunting grounds and I think this was one of those horses the Indians left there. The horse was still on that baldy hill when me and Art Harwood were catching horses, and I think the Indians must have put his eyes out. This horse must have been able to see a little though ’cause we’d run him around and try to run him off the ledges. I don’t know why we did that! The horse got away and later that winter I saw him out on Towanta Flat. I don't know how he got off that baldy hill.
“We had an Indian friend named Dick Wanrodes. He would come to our cabin almost every evening about dinnertime. He would take a plate of food but he wouldn't sit at the table to eat it. He would sit cross-legged on the floor. One night Dick came when he was very sick After a time he took off a small leather pouch of gold nuggets that he always had around his neck and said, ‘It is the white man’s money rock that is making me sick!’ He took that small poke of nuggets outside into the darkness and returned in a few minutes without them and said that they would bother him no more. He died soon after that and no one ever knew what happened to his bag of nuggets. He didn’t have time to bury or hide them but they were never seen again.”
Bill remembered, “Chief Wanrodes adopted Wabun Wanzitz (known as Wobbin) after Wobbin had been abandoned by his father. Wobbin's mother was Sadie Wanzitz and Sadie’s Flat is named after her. Wandrodes enrolled Wobbin to an Eastern school where he studied music and he always treated him like a son. It has been said that Wanrodes told Wobbin things about the Spanish mines and treasures in the Rock Creek area that even few Indians know. Wobbin searched for something in that area for many years and never found it and eventually he drank himself to death and died a pauper. Wobbin was always working on dozens of old Spanish maps, charts, waybills and documents that had been given to him by Wanrodes. I’ve heard that the papers were found by one of the old Utes who passed them on to his son."
Lucy Rowley tells this story about Dick Wanrodes curing her husband, John. "Six days after John was struck, Dick Wanrodes came to the house. He looked all around to see if anyone else was in there, then he came in. I gave him a chair and he sat there for a while then he said 'Can I talk?' Sure you can talk, I told him. John can hear you but he can’t talk back. ‘No' Wanrodes said, ‘I want to talk to God.’ I told him that would be all right.
“Dick went out and got a pinch of that real fine dirt from out of the ditch in front of the house and rubbed it all over John’s head and chest and then he put his hands on John’s head and prayed over him. He then brushed all the sand off and put his hands on his head and prayed over him again. When he got through he knelt down and said the most wonderful prayer I ever heard. I couldn’t understand a word because it was all in Indian, but he was so humble and so sincere you could just feel it. Then Dick (Wanrodes) got up and said to me, Maybe we can talk a little in two days. You send for me when he can talk a little again. (Page 53) Two days later, at two o’clock in the morning, John said ‘where's Toots? that’s what he called me. I was right there and he told me he wanted some water then he couldn’t say any more. I told him what Dick had said and asked him if I should get Smoot up or wait until morning. The river at Rock Creek was high and he motioned so I understood that he wanted me to wait. Just as soon as it was light I got Smoot up and gave him breakfast and he caught his horse and left. It was way in the afternoon before they got back The water was so high that Smoot just rode along the bank until Dick (Wandrodes) saw him. Dick had trouble catching his horse and had to swim the river.
“Dick was all painted up with his war paint. Jim and Burt Shirts were in the house and Dick wouldn’t say a word ’till after they’d left. Then Dick said, ‘Did he talk a little?' I told him what he had said and the time it was when he had said it. Dick said that he’d fix him up now. He got some more dirt and did just like he had done before, putting the dirt on and then laying his hands on his head and praying, then brushing it of and laying his hands on him and praying some more. Then he had two bones and he would rub them together so fast ’till they were hot then he’d lay them on each side of John’s head. Dick Wanrodes sent Lucy and Edwin outside and told them to be quiet and they just sat on the porch outside and listened. Dick had some feathers he would brush Dad (John) with.
“After Dick had used the bones, he knelt and put his head against John’s head and Oh! The awful noises he made and then he pulled their heads so hard together, then he just pushed Dad away and said ‘You’re all right now! ’ Then Dick went outside and was so sick he just vomited and vomited. Then he laid there under the trees and slept for quite awhile, and then he got up and rode away.
“As soon as Dick pushed him away, John said. ‘I feel better now. ’ He talked after that and his speech was halting at first but soon he was all right. I sent for the Elders again and they administered to him."
Mark said, “I remember the death of Chief Dick Wanrodes. He was very old and nearly blind when he died during the winter. He wanted to be buried along Rock Creek at the sacred place where his father and other Chiefs had been buried before him, but deep snow made this impossible, at least until spring. Dick was buried under deep snow on the Bleazard dugway or switchback. The next spring they dug him up and took him to Rock Creek to bury him. The old Chief was dressed in Mormon temple garments by several neighbors, for he had been a friend of Brigham Young and had been baptized by the Mormon leader. When Dick died they had a bowery -you know how they fix some willows over the top of an outfit and put some trees around it. Jimmy Wanrodes was there and there was another fellow by the name of Billie Pigeon, he was about my age. Jimmy was older. Billie came driving that team of white mares up there and there was maybe eight or ten Indians. Dick was put in a board casket and they loaded it in this old wagon that was driven by Clyde and Ralph Rowley, and he was taken to where his forefathers had been buried. They started down the Creek. They had this little bay mare of Dick’s called Shorty, quite a racehorse and a real good one! They tied Shorty behind the wagon. I t was quite a burial site up on a ridge or mesa so high you wouldn’t believe or suspect anything was up there. (Page 54)
“Nick Killian and I were up that way riding for the Association on Rock Creek. It was about I925 and I was probably about fourteen years. Old Nick and me come down the river looking for cows and the Indians asked us if we’d come and help them and shoo the flies off Wanrodes. We tied our horses up and went over there and they gave us a little bunch of willows. We'd just take them and shoo them flies off this dead Indian. He’d bloated up bigger than this table. You could smell him for twenty-five miles! I’d shoo them flies off for a few minutes and then I’d get a whiff of that and run just as hard as I could run out a ways and then I’d vomit. Boy, would I vomit! Then I’d go back and shoo a few flies and then back out to vomit! The smell wasn't bothering Nick he was staying there pretty good. but Oh, I’ve never been so sick in my life. Since then if anything dies I can skin it but if it’s been dead overnight I can't skin it.
“When we got there we saw a huge pile of wood as big as these two rooms and after dark they started the fire. First one squaw went up there by the coffin and the squaw’d sit there and bawl on through her arms and talk Indian, and then another squaw would go up and do the same. I don’t think there was ever a Buck talked. We decided they were going to carry on all night so we left and went back to the camp at Stillwater. Next morning we come back to see if they was still there and to see what was taking place and we was also looking for cows. When we got to the burial place we saw this little bay horse, Shorty, dead by a tree. The horse was laying out there in a grove of trees. The Indians always kill a horse for them to ride to the happy hunting grounds. They had buried Dick and the wood was all burned up and things were gone. The way they killed the horse? They put a loop on his nose and tied him quite high in a tree and then scared him back. He’d hang back on that rope which was tight around his nose and was smothered. He choked to death, and then they cut his throat, and then cut him loose and let him fall.
“I believe that there was a lot of Spanish activity in the Rock Creek area and that a Catholic Mission was built in Rock Creek as early as 1700. I have seen things and I have listened to many stories about rich Spanish mines in the lower Rock Creek area. The reason for the mission was probably to serve as a center for groups of mines producing gold and silver ore from places like Squaw Basin, Brown Duck, Blind Stream, Farm Creek and maybe even from Moon Lake and the Granddaddy Basin. The Priests probably used the Indians as slave labor to collect and pack ores from the mines. At the mission the ore was ground to powder, melted and made into bars of bullion. It may have been the same bars that Thomas and Caleb Rhoades packed to the Mormon Mint. Old mines are definitely in the area, no doubt about it!
“I remember seeing old stone outlines that looked like a building foundation and may have been a part of the Catholic Mission. There are burned parts of what may have been a cedar stockade. I remember when I was a kid seeing what I believe was a massacre site near the old ruins and even several of the carettas (buckboards) that had been partly burned or covered by Indians. In a small grove of aspens below Mountain Sheep Pass, I saw parts of three carettas that were crudely built and not very large, about the size of a small buckboard wagon. I often wondered how they got there because the area is so rough, and I think they may have been made at the mission. I also found six or eight holes that had been dug near (Page 55) those carettas which looked like rifle-pits. I have talked with people who said that where I saw the broken and burned carettas the ground used to look like a battlefield. They mentioned the bone of both animals and humans sticking out of the ground where coyotes or other animals had probably dug into gravesites years before. Later I found what may be another site further down country just off Blue Bench at Zimmerman Wash. It is close by the old burial ground atop the ledges by the Indian Race Track. It might have been where a last stand was made by fleeing miners and soldiers. Early settlers have found old caretta wheels, sun-warped leather shoes and pieces of matchlock muskets.
“My brother, Bill, and I worked on a leased section of Indian land downstream from Miner’s Gulch known as Daniels Flat. There was, and still is, a log cabin there that was built by Walt Daniels. Daniels was an Indian Ranger who kept a close watch on that area, including the old mine in nearby Dick Hollow. We herded cattle in places like Pigeon Water and Miner’s Gulch and would ride our horses from our cabin to Sadie’s Flat. At that time Sadie’s Flat was a small Indian settlement with about two-dozen log cabins and only that one cabin remains today. We were never bothered or followed by our Indian neighbors unless we went into that one canyon. Every time we rode into Dick Hollow an Indian would appear and ride with us, and it usually was Walt Daniels. Another Ute who seemed to watch us was Ike Sauschnick who we called Shotnick. He was a mean old man who many people thought watched over the old mines, and a few of the strange deaths of prospectors and treasure hunters have been blamed on Shotnick.
“In 1908 an engineer was hired to survey a route for a canal to bring water from. Pigeon Water to our farms and he found that a canal had already been there. It was an old watercourse going along the foothills across Towanta Flats to Mountain Home and then to Altamont. When repairs were made and water turned into it, the canal had an almost perfect water grade. It is now part of the Farnsworth Canal system. The old canal probably brought water to the Priests at the Catholic Mission.”
Mark said, "I herded sheep in Colorado for Pete Ottosen in 1928." Alice said in June 1993, “When Mark went to Colorado to herd sheep he bought a camera with the little money he had and when he came home he gave the camera to me. I still have that camera and that sweet memory."
Mark said, “We had a big black stallion named Frank. People from Mountain Home got together and dug up $2500 and sent to England and bought the Percheron stallion. They had Frank shipped over but when they got him here many people didn’t have enough stuff to feed him and so we had him the last ten years of his life. My team of horses, Bess and Sis, were both out of him, they were his granddaughters. Most of the horses in that upper country can be traced back to him.”
“When the threshers would come there would be about ten or maybe a dozen men come with their teams, and there were maybe two or three thresher crews around the country. Beckstead had a thresher crew. They'd just come and while the men worked the women would prepare meals for the threshers. Neighbors helped one another. There’d be a tub sit out front to wash in before lunch. How my mother ever fixed for the threshers, I don’t know! (Page 56) I remember when the threshers were at Housekeepers one time. They had this big table along a wall with things to sit on at both sides of the table. They didn’t have enough knives and forks to go around. We got in and sat down and Hoot Wilkins was there and Hoot was sitting right across from me and he didn’t have a fork or knife so he just reached over and took mine! What little food she had Mrs. Housekeeper (Lenora) put on the table. Here she comes with a pumpkin pie and she just dished mine out and I ate it in a minute. When we got through dinner there wasn’t a scrap of nuthin’ left on the plates. She looked over at us and said, “Did you have plenty, Mr. Wilkins?’ Hoot said ’Yes.’ Did you, Mr. Bleazard? ‘Yup’ She asked several other men and they all said ‘Yes.’ Mrs. Housekeeper said, ‘Well, it looks like I cooked just enough.’ I know she had cooked every dam thing she had. They lived up on top of the hill from Dad’s place. They was a poor, a very poor, family and they never had nuthin' and didn’t take care of nuthin.’ They had eleven kids.”
Bill remembered, “Let’s see, there was Zelma, Mark’s girl and we called her Zelmee. Lizzy, that was Jack’s girl but he didn't like her that well. There was Rosetta and we called her Rosette. Alvin was my age, and there was Jesse. Well we would ride to Mountain Home to get the mail and I remember those three gals maybe 4, 6 and 9 years old, they were pickin' pine nuts. They had a long stick with a wire hook and one would jump up and try to hook the pine nuts and as she jumped she said ’Come down from there you sonsabitches!’”
Mark said, “Nick Killian, Dad’s partner, had kids pert near my age and he was maybe 20-25 or more years older than me. Nick always helped Jack and me if we was ever in need of anything and if we couldn’t get it from Dad. We had a chance of getting it from Nick.”
Annie Bleazard wrote to her son, Will, 0n May 2, 1929 as follows: "Dear Son and Family. I been hoping to get a line from you to let me know how you are all getting along but so far I’ve not heard since you wrote to tell me about Alice having a baby. Ray (Oman) sent a card a few days after your letter came. What are they naming the baby? (The baby was Wilma and she was born 4/6/29).
“The big sack of Germade came the beginning of the week. I thank you so much for it, you can’t know what a big help it is. Delbert (Deb) went out to Wyoming where Oscar is to help with sheep. I do hope they will give him something that he can do and also that he will stay with it for a while anyway. He only went on the 23rd of April so he has not had time to know much about it yet.
“We have good weather here now but everything is a month behind time, still it will grow fast when things get warmed up a bit. George and Dale have both been in but only had a few minutes to stay but that was better than not seeing them. I think I will go up to Park for a day or two. Bird is not very well. Do you remember how your Grandma Rhoda used to suffer with a pain in her face? Since little Tiny died she is a nervous wreck and she don’t get over her troubles very good.
“I guess, Wease, you was about the only one who was not there at the funeral. Laura said she saw our Vera not long ago and how well she looked. I’m a lot better now but lazy I guess for I can’t do much work any more. Please write soon and let me know how you all are. How is Mark doing? With much love to you all. From Ma.”
Mark said, “About my Dad, Will? There isn’t any of the kids that he got along with very good with. Oh, you have to get along, I guess. Like Bill? Bill he went to war in the Pacific and had a real bad time and when he come back he went to help Dad Something happened and Dad told him that if he couldn’t get along here to get the hell out. It wasn’t very long till he told me that too.”
Bill said, “I just left. Dad and I decided, or rather Dad decided, to bring some water down the ridge there by Ames. We had a ditcher and a plow and Dad decided to turn the water in. When the horses would get to pulling and we were soppin’ wet with the mud and stuff hittin' us -and well, he was goin' to do it his way! I had been takin' orders and listening to that for quite a few years in the Army and I just decided to leave and come to Salt Lake. Dad was a great one for ‘Be reasonable, do it my way!’”
Bill served in the Pacific in World War II and he said, 'In the service guys got an allotment that they could assign to someone and I made out my allotment for Mother and I tried to make sure that she would be the one to get it and Mother appreciated that. We were paid a dollar a day maybe $50 a month and all I got out of it was $6.25 a month. They took out $25 of my pay and the government matched it for my Mother and she got that $50 a month. She mentioned several times that it was the one time in her life she had some money of her own to spend."
Bill’s wife, Beverley, said, “Mother was a saint and she had a nifty sense of humor. We had great times when she stayed with us in Salt Lake and when we went to Idaho we laughed and laughed. Once in Hailey, Idaho it was a very hot day and our little girl, Patty, I wished we had named her Patricia Louise, ‘Gwanma, the watta is soupy and the butta is runnin' away!’ Mother thought it was so cute, and would always say that."
John William "Will" and Louisa May 'Wease' Walker Bleazard
Mark wrote, "Mother was (67) sixty-seven years old and living in Hailey, Idaho when she had a stroke. She died on October 18, 195l. Dad his brother, Dale, and Mother and someone else was up there mining. She took sick and died right there. They were living in an old homemade house trailer. What happened there, I'm not sure. I know that Mother had been having trouble getting around for a few years.
“Dad stayed at our home in Talmage for a while after Mother died and he also stayed with Alice, Chick and Bill for a while. Most of the time he lived with Anna Dee at her home in Magna, Utah. He had a stroke and died on December 15, 1955.
"When Dad and Mother's estate was settled Jack got the Harward place. Different ones got different stuff. Grant got the pickup and the cows and he paid $18, 000 for the place and the cows. I had to figure that the total amount of everything that Dad had when he died place and all, and I figure the total was about $40,000. I had to split that up between everybody. I came out with the twenty-two head of cattle permit and a little money. I had that money split amongst them and the machinery and all the stuff and I tried to be as fair as I could. I was also the Executor of Gpa Mark Hopwood Bleazard’s estate and I worked for a long time trying to get it all taken care of.”
The Decree of Distribution on John William (Will) Bleazard’s estate was recorded on March 25, 1958 in Duchesne County. It states, "in the hands of said Administrator for distribution is the sum of $22,719.40 and after claims expired and debts and obligations have been paid the heirs —Alice, Jack, Mark, Chick, Rhoda, Bill, Grant, Ralph, Anna Dee, Fred, and Vera’s daughter, Louise Bearden, each got $2,065.40. The administrator’s fee of $641.37 and attorneys fee of $962.16 are reasonable and should be allowed"
Mark said, “A Dr. Abbott owns Dad’s place now, and Floyd Lyons leases the place and runs cows on it. Jack traded or sold his place (Heber Harward place) where he and Viola had lived for twenty years to a Miller in Roosevelt and they purchased a new place on Montez Creek.
“After I got the twenty-two head cattle permit, the first thing they wanted to do was cut it. I was spokesman for the Association on Pigeon Water with a six-month permit for twenty-two head I went to the Forest Service and instead of them cutting it, I got them to enlarge the permit and cut the time. The number of cows was increased to forty-four head and the time cut to three months."
On Thanksgiving Day in 1927 the dam across the canyon near the frog pond (which forms Twin Potts Reservoir) washed out. The water stored behind it rushed down the river washing out bridges and head gates. Loss of the water was a devastating blow to the people in Mountain Home and Talmage. The damage to the canal company was estimated between ten and fifteen thousand dollars. In 1930 a new dam was started and it was not until the spring of 1935 that the reservoir was filled again. This was a difficult time for everyone. In 1930 Mark had been working to help rebuild the old reservoir below Moon Lake and the Twin Potts reservoir.
It was this year when Evelyn Dorothy (Pete) Jenson returned from Montana to Mountain Home to be with her sister, Rayda Jenson Stevenson, when her second son, Jack, was born. It was at this time that Mark and Pete became romantically involved.
(The next upload is MOUNTAIN HOME, 1931 to 1937)
JOHN HOPWOOD BLEAZARD > Wife # 7 - LYDIA DAVIS BLEAZARD > MARK HOPWOOD BLEAZARD, son of John Hopwood and Lydia Davis Bleazard. > Mark Hopwood and Annie Ison Danks Descendants List > Annie Ison Danks, wife of Mark Hopwood Bleazard > Rhoda Ison Danks, mother of Annie Danks Bleazard > [Untitled] >