Cornell went to Summer School in Rexburg so he could teach. I was so lonely without him. Blair was born in 1924. When we lived in Fish Haven and Garden City Blanche used to come up and stay with us. Vera Nelson Haddock was usually with her.
They met new boys and went to dances. Dear mother came and stayed with me when all of our babies were born. She worked so hard and dad didn’t like to be without her or have her go away. Beverly was born at St. Charles and I stayed there that time. The folks had no electricity then and that meant washing on the board for poor mother. We imposed on her then, we were young and didn’t realize it then. If ever anyone deserved a reward in heaven it was she and grandma Henderson and I am sure they are getting it.
Irene Duffin, John’s niece came to St. Charles to visit them. She told how uncle John took her to Laketown to see aunt Alice and the folks and he forgot his dark glasses so she bought him some. He couldn’t get over how thoughtful she was. Irene was that way. The Barkers were a very tender and sentimental people, shed tears easily. When Cornell and I had to move away from the white frame house we had built on the north west corn[er] of their property, it about broke their hearts, they love the children so much. I never will forget when we left our little six room white house and moved to Groveland, Idaho. We had to go where Cornell could make a living. He was a teacher and they paid poor wages in Bear Lake. That morning father opened the gate and as we drove away he wiped the tears from his eyes. It about broke my heart also, to leave them. But by that time Blanche was married to Madsen and she lived in Bloomington and had her children, so they weren’t left entirely alone. It was while we lived in Rigby, Idaho that dear Madsen died with “leukemia” and left his dear wife and five children alone. That was an awful ordeal for all of us and I don’t know how they all lived through that sorrow. Blanche had a big old home, a farm not paid for, small insurance and the Social Security hadn’t been in effect long and they got practically nothing from that.
We sold our home to my dad & mother and they moved up there out of the old home. It took a lot of doing to get dad out of there but mother was glad. As I remember they paid 1,700 for it and that just paid for the material in it, but my dad worked hard to help build it, as dad Cornell’s father & Earl Pugmire. We took the money and bought a home in Salt Lake City on 754 Windsor St. We paid over 7,000 for it just after the 2nd World War.
Going back a little when father became active in the church, he taught a Sunday School class and I was the organist before I was married. We would go to Stake church Union meeting in Paris in the winter he would have a nice white covered old fashioned pioneer type wagon box on the sleigh and would warm bricks to keep our feet warm. Of course he had a team of horses to pull it. We had plenty of quilts to keep us warm but we had to go 8 miles to Paris.
I remember father came to Fish Haven with the same outfit to bring Cornell, me and Blair who was a little baby then, to spend the week and Blair cried all the way down and as soon as we arrived and took him out of the sleigh he stopped. He must have been frightened or didn’t like to be wrapped up.
Later years my father always took his milk to the creamery himself. It was a co op creamery and only a block away . Used a little wagon in the summer & a sleigh in winter. He made good on his cows and they had a nice bit of savings in the bank. They had happy years then, a little more means to do with. Cornell said never had he seen such devotion from a person as my mother showed father. Blanche was there as much as she could be but she had a family to care for and make a living also. They would drive over to Bloomington several times a week to see Blanche and the children. It was only five miles away. They would shop at Paris & Montpelier. Those were happy times for them. They lived in St. Charles all their married lives and were always together. In later years, father worked for himself and didn’t have to go away to make a living.
Then in about 1951 the doctor discovered that my father had cancer and evidently it started in his prostate glands and spread into his intestines and then all through his body. It was so far advanced when they found out, they couldn’t do anything for him. He was in and out of the hospital and suffered so. So we as a family talked it over with the High Priest group pres. And we wanted to pray that if possible to ask the Lord to take him so he wouldn’t have to go through that awful suffering, so he suggest the High Priest in the group would come to our home; father was a High Priest then and we would pray to-gether for him. The President of the Stake Burdette Pugmire lived in our ward and he was the mouth piece. If it weren’t the Lords will that he call him soon, then to bless him that he wouldn’t have pain and the terrible suffering and our prayers were answered and the pain and suffering left him, he lived on for another year and a half. He was able to walk about the house and wander around outside in the warm sunshine. His organs functioned right up till the last. He was at peace, of course he was miserable, but he ate his meals till the end. Mother was so devoted to him, night and day. The doctor taught her how to take care of his problem of a urinal bag and remove it & clean it; she was a good practical nurse anyway. They gave him a pain pill & a sleeping pill at night. When it was spring he could look out the window & see the honeysuckle, snow balls and lilacs blooming. They even had a “Golden Wedding” a beautiful cake and friends came from St. Charles and all over the valley. I never saw such concern, thoughtfulness and help that came from people. The church helped some but once when we took him out of the hospital the bill was paid and we never knew for sure who paid, but a good idea that it was Whitney & Hazel Transtrum who were in charge of the cancer funds that did it. They had offered to help once but they were too proud to take it. This sickness wiped out all of their savings. They didn’t apply for a State pension like all of their friends did, who owned property. They would deed the property to their children and then apply for State checks once a month. There was no Social Security for farmers then. But my folks never did that they used what they had. After father passed away mother sold her property a little at a time and put in the savings bank and she had what she needed. She lived with Blanche toward the last it was too lonesome and she couldn’t drive the car. She broke her hip and finally passed away with a stroke Feb. 1963, ten years after father died in 1953.
|John T and Esther E Barker Golden Wedding Anniversary|
A little more about things I have left out that now come to my mind. When we were growing up we always called our parents papa and mama. What I want to tell about is our Christmases when we were young. Papa would go up into St. Charles canyon & get us a beautiful well shaped green Christmas tree. We never put the tree up till Christmas Eve, he would make a stand and put the tree up and then we would trim it.
A little about the tree trimming, it was mostly bought from the store or sent for from Sears or Montgomery catalogues. Little red velvet stuffed Santa Clauses with white fur trim & whiskers, pretty faces of Santa, angels in dainty pretty colors, with tinsel all around them, or the edges. There were small pencil thin red fancy candles in holders. Then we would drape tinsel all around the tree. We made a few paper chains of red & green paper and made a few strings of popcorn, also some ornamental balls colored, they were small but pretty colors.
In evening we would light the candles, remembering there was no electricity. We never did have a fire, the candles were placed well out on the tip of the tree and they were carefully watched.
We always had nice presents for Christmas. The folks were poor and they used to wait until the day before Christmas to buy our presents and they would go up to the stores in St. Charles and buy the things that were left and usually the things that were left were the good expensive things and they would get them at a big discount. There were pretty dolls with glass eyes, lashes and the faces were so pretty, some would open & close the eyes. There were dishes (play) cupboard, metal trunk, play irons, rocking chair brown varnished with carving. Jeanne Berntson has that and is
One year Blanche got a baby doll with pacifyer in its mouth, all dressed, and a pretty white bed with little posts and gold trim & knobs on the bed posts. Mama had a pretty brown cupboard built by one of her brothers, I think it was James the one that died young, or Uncle Jasper I can’t remember which one.
Next day for dinner we always had sweet plum pudding, mince pies, I don’t remember the meat it was either chicken or ham with all the trimmings.
Our candy was simple, hard tack, gumdrops, jelly beans and creams. I didn’t like any of them. We had nuts, peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts and hazel nuts. There were a few oranges too in the stockings.
On Christmas Day there would be a children’s dance and we would get all dressed up and go up to the amusement hall of the St. Charles Ward. Evening there would be a dance for the grown ups.
I forgot to write about the candy animals & figures (Santa), etc made of crystal looking red hard candy. They came around in covered sleighs singing Christmas carols. These were horse drawn sleighs and there were bells on the horse. As they would trot along the bell would ring or tinkle. We used to go coasting down Bunderson’s hill over in the meadows. I never did have a good sleigh, it was a home made one. I don’t remember whether Blanche had a new one or not, as I was eight years older than she.
I am inserting a little history about my great grandfather Joseph Hyrum Pugmire, father of grandma Sarah Jane Pugmire Henderson. He was a mason and a good one and he did the masonry work on the Fielding Academy built way up on a hill in Paris, Idaho. It was a church (LDS) school. Cornell and I (Adelia) graduated from there in 1922. It burned down around 1923 or 1924 and burned up all of our records. Later they built a Fielding High School down town in Paris. Blanche graduated from the new high school.