I never will forget that happy day when father had raised enough Hereford beef cattle to sell them and he got enough for the cattle to pay off Will Clark, who held the mortgage. He sold every last one of his beef cattle and paid the mortgage in full. Will Clark wasn’t too happy about that, because dad always paid his interest twice a year right on the dot. So that day finally came when the home and farm was free and clear and belonged to dad and mother. That was about 1917, during World War I. I was in Blackfoot, Idaho staying with aunt Pearl & uncle Marion & going to my first year of high school. Blanche was still in grade school.
By this time father had built up a good herd of pure bred Guernsey dairy cows, whose butter fat was extremely high in the milk. They were paid by the butter fat test. Before this he raised Holstein cows who had to give much more milk to get the butter fat.
John and Esther were good neighbors and had lots of friends. They were hard workers. John would haul his firewood from the St. Charles canyon, mahogany which was hard wood, had to break it couldn’t cut it. The pine and quaking aspen. Later on burned coal along with the wood.
John and Esther didn’t go to church much the early part of their lives but they saw to it that Blanche and me attended Sunday School, Primary and Religion class. About this time my father & mother bought an organ from William Clark his cousin and they let me take organ lessons from Opal Keetch. I was about 8 years then and Blanch was a baby or very young. Grandpa Barker had passed away by then. Later I taught Blanch how to play the organ and she was bright, quick and learned fast. I don’t remember what year this was, because I wasn’t keeping records then. But I progressed fast on the organ. Opal said “oh, Adelia it is a pleasure to teach you, if everyone were as good as you, I wouldn’t have any problems.” Louis Booth was the chorister of the ward and Sunday school. He and Opal took an interest in me and wanted to give me recognition so they made me ass’t organist of the Sunday school my parents were so proud of me and I was happy and proud too.
About this time Bishop and Sister John Hunt and Edgar & Nancy Allred started encouragement to my dad and mother encouraging, working with them and they started going to church. Everyone was nice. Ernest Allred, William Henry Michaelson, Heber & Lizzie Keetch all my dad’s cousins. Swan & Lizzie T. Arnell, Wm A C Keetch and Henry Monson. At first they put father in as Religion class teacher, then teacher in Sunday School, then when he was ready they ordained him an elder & put him in as Secty of Elder’s quorum. Then they asked him to become a member of the ward choir, it was a good choir and dad could read music and he sang bass. Dad used to play the violin a little and also an accordian. He used to play for dances. Mother was made a visiting teacher (Relief Society). She was quite timid, not much for public work. By this time I was a member of the choir and dad & I would go to practice together. Soon the time came for us to go to the Temple. Henry Monson had a big paige car, he was a miller and seemed to be quite prosperous then, and he took us down through Logan Canyon and to the Logan Temple 26 of June 1918. Father & mother were married in the Temple and sealed to each other and we Blanche & I were sealed to them. What a happy day. After that day they were devoted members of the church, they paid their tithing and were faithful with prayers, full 10 %. Things went well for them, they worked hard as usual and they became prosperous and had more of the things they needed. We were in the depths of a depression at the end of World War I and there wasn’t much money things (products) were so cheap people could not buy goods. But my folks struggled along and finally bought a used Ford then later a Chevrolet. Dad and mother loved music and they wanted their daughters to have an education, go to high school and they sacrificed and saved to do it. They were such dear parents, so kind and loving and we had a peaceful home. Father was very proud always held his head high and his shoulders straight. He finally bought a pretty navy blue suit and mother cut his hair. They would drive to church every Sunday. He was ordained a High Priest and so honored he was and he was a devoted loyal member of the church and so was mother. They put dad in charge of the sacrament table and he taught the boys what real reverence was by his example. They let him take care of that, even though the church officials decided to put the Priests in charge, but they didn’t want to break his heart after so many years of service and he stayed on until he was too ill to go any more.
To be continued.....