About the first thing I can remember on my own was when we moved to Logan, Utah. I was about four years old at this time and remember my brother Edwin and my sister Blanche and few neighbors and friends. One or two things stand out quite well in my mind as I think back. I guess some were fun and one or two were just the opposite. My brother, Edwin, received a little red wagon from Santa one year. We both thought it was just something out of this world and the best toy anyone could ever get. We played with it by the hour. One day we were out in the back yard and Ed was giving me a ride when the wagon tipped over. I was thrown out and struck my wrist on a sharp rock. Mother was home alone and upon hearing our scream, came running out. Taking me into the house, the blood streamed from the deep cut and large vein in my right wrist. My mother didn’t panic, but hurried and put pressure on the vein to slow the bleeding. She then somehow threaded a needle, held me down and sewed my wrist and vein, me screaming and kicking the whole time. I never went to a doctor and the wound healed just perfect. To this day I carry the scar on both back and front of my wrist. This scar was used as an identification on my World War II card.. Every doctor who has ever seen the scar thinks it was sewed up by a professional. In those days we didn’t have shots or drugs for such things and we didn’t go to a doctor for hangnails or such trifles. I remember my father always had a nice buggy, a large bane wagon and two fine horses, one named Nig and the other Prince. One day, in the summer, my mother told us that the next day we were going to load the big wagon with bedding, clothes, food and oats for the horses and go on a trip to Bear Lake. Boy, what a thrill to hear such news! The thoughts of camping out one night in the deep mountains and then going on to Laketown to visit our Grandma Cheney and all our aunts, uncles and cousins were sure exciting. In the morning. about sun up, the wagon was loaded. We started on our trip up through the Hardware Ranch, where our father had worked when just a young boy, then over the Danish dugway in the Blacksmith Fork country. This I know was and still is the roughest piece of road in the world. After traveling all day, stopping to rest the horses and having lunch which our mother had made, everyone was getting tired, so our father found a nice level place to make camp for the night. Our camp was near a river. We could hear it rushing and gurgling over the rocks and were told it was the only music to sleep by. In the meantime our father had chopped wood for the campfire where mother cooked our evening meal. After eating and washing the dishes, we sat around the fire and our father told us of the many times he had driven bands of horses through this trail and how an Indian had saved his life when he was very ill with tick fever. Then all at once we received a real thrill as a large mountain lion came down to the river across from or camp. We were all very frightened, but our father threw a few large rocks across the stream. The lion growled a couple of times and trotted away into the forest.
In the year of 1908, my father, thinking the altitude too high for my mother’s health, moved us by train to Giidley, California. We had lived in Logan for three years. In Gridley we became acquainted with a family whose name was Catmull they were always very good friends with our folks and lived in a little town near Gridley called Biggs. On Sundays we would either go to their place after church or they would come to visit us. I remember one thing I did with the Catmull kids which I will never forget. Over on the railroad tracks was a low trestle which went over a small depression. We could just barely crawl beneath this, which we had done many times, letting the passenger train run just inches over our heads. This day, however we misjudged the train. Instead of being a short passenger train, it was a 200 car freight which took several minutes to go by. We were so frightened and so deaf from the clatter that we could hardly hear for a week. We never told our parents why our ears were plugged up. While in Gridley, the Feather River left its banks and caused a big flood. It was so deep that in many places people were taken from their homes in boats. Our house, however was on a little knoll and the water just came up to the steps. However, it was different at the barn where our two mules stood in water up to their necks. Father tied small bunches of hay on top of the stalls and they would have to reach up to eat. After the flood, every fence was filled with dead animals. The smell was terrible and the job digging pits to bury them in lasted many days.
We had a small branch of the Church at Gridley. My mother was a primary teacher and I think my father was in the sunday school. Apostle Heber J. Grant came down and dedicated the little building and when I was called on my mission many years later, he was the president of the Church. While in Gridley, my sister Gene Ann was born and later my brother Grant Cheney. When Gene was born, a Dr. Lavy came to the house and I asked him what he had in his little black bag He said, nothing little boys would be interested in. Later, when I heard a baby cry, I knew he hadn’t wanted to tell me that he had brought the baby in the bag to give to Mama. After living in Gridley for a few years, my father and sister, Blanche, had a severe attack of malaria. So, in July of 1911, the folks decided to move back to Utah. We came to North Ogden and stayed with Uncle Frank Huband, his wife, Prudence, and three daughters, Myrtle, Mable, and Francis. My father decided to buy the place and Ruth and I are still living in the same house at this writing.
The old yellow brick school was near where the stake house is today and the old North Ogden Church was also near-by. I can still see and remember the wonderful times we had in the old North Ogden hall in the top of the church. On the fourth of March (Founder's Day), there were many fine stage shows and other varied entertainments. We also had boxing and what they called smokers (wrestling matches). Hundreds of basketball games were also played in the old hall. Just west of the old school was the town square, and others helped pass many summer days.
The following is a poem I wrote to bring back memories of the old town square.
When I was kid I remember well
The old town square near the school
Where we would play on long summer nights
And do our best to stay cool
It seemed like every kid in
Liked the game of "run sheepy run",
And "hiding the willow" we sure did love
We sure had a barrel of fun.
The girls would scream as the
And the boys would laugh and yell,
If we hit you too hard don't tell your pa
Or we sure are going to get hell.
I see all of those faces as I reminisce
And dream of those wonderful days,
I wonder where those kids are tonight
They all went their separate ways.
Many have gone to another world
But I don’t think they’re having more fun,
Than we all had on the old town square
Playing old “run sheepy run.”
In those days we had to make our fun
We had neither TVs nor cars,
We didn’t know about outer space
Or trying to fly up to Mars.
It sure would be fun If we all could meet
And talk of the last sixty years,
I guess we would laugh how we all have changed
and also shed a few tears.
At school I remember best my teachers, J. Qulncy Blaylock, Emily Folkrnan, Miss Olynn Hulda Lundstead, Viola Jensen, Mr. Pile, Mr. Mortensen, Mrs. Taggert and Mrs. Metcalf. The were all so kind and so wonderful to my father who was custodian there for 22 years. We played marbles in the spring out in the schoolyard, also, tops, high jump and baseball. In the winter there was “fox and geese’ in the snow. This was a game the girls also liked to play,
About this time of my life, I had a bad spell of Saint Vitus Dance, a nervous condition. Later, the doctor told us that I had leakage of the heart I ended up missing two years of school. I only finished the eighth grade, but later took a two year course at Smith’s Business College. The knowledge gained there I have used many times through my lifetime and I have always been glad for this small bit of education.
In North Ogden we, as boys, were always busy in the summer working for the many farmers There was much work to be done in the fields of beets onions fruit grapes, etc. We were always paid ten cents per hour or one dollar for ten hours work. Eight hour days or forty hour weeks were unheard of. I also worked in the winter time for Mr. Clarence Barker washing tying and trimming celery. This was cold, wet work which we did in an old shed without heat. We had to use well water, which was always ice cold. But, for ten cents an hour, how could I turn down a keen job like that?
Of course we also played a lot as kids. We played many pranks on people and did a few things that we would have been spanked for if our parents had known. We thought it one of the best pranks in the world to grease the old car rails so that the street car could not go up through the cut to Pleasant View. It was big fun to have Mr. Holmes, the conductor, chase us and then go back and try and find sand or dirt to throw beneath the wheels to give him a start. Then we would climb on the back of the car and pull the trolley off the cable. Another fun thing was to wait for cars with their tops down to pass the old store and then throw buckets of ice cold water on the passengers. One time we did this little trick and the passengers happened to be the Governor of Utah, his wife and two friends. I guess we would still be in the pen if they had ever found out who the culprits were. Many times we swiped eggs from Mr. Barker’s chicken coop and threw them at passing cars or plastered the street car as it passed. We also had other fun a bit tamer such as following the old sprinkler wagon clown Washington Avenue in the dust Mr. Milton Holmes, the driver, would turn on the water and we would soon be mostly mud and have to head for the canal to get cleaned off before going home. We loved to go to the Saturday afternoon baseball games when we could get off work. The games played by North Ogden and teams of other towns were always good. However, the most exciting part of the afternoon was to see the big fights that nearly always took place.
THE GROWING UP YEARS
THE GROWING UP YEARS
Well, now that we were teenagers we began to look at bigger and more exciting things such as fishing hunting and even girls. Better jobs that might pay a little more were also sought after. Dee Shupe and myself found a job one summer in the big city of Ogden at the American Can Company. We were given the job of can stackers in hot dirty box cars. We were each given a can fork made of wood, which held 24 cans. We would pick the cans off the shoot as they came from the second floor of the building Then we would start in the end of a car and stack them to the ceiling gradually working toward the middle where the door was located. After reaching the door, we would take large boards and nail them to the floor and the ceiling to keep the cams from shifting after the car was in motion Then we would start at the other end and do the same thing again After several months of this work, we were sent into the building to work on very dangerous machines called tin slitters. This job paid twenty cents an hour instead of the fifteen we had been paid as stackers.
A pass time my friends and I found fun was the game of pool. We always played at the Waldorf Pool Hall which was on Washington Avenue on the west side between 24th and 25th streets. Our good friend, Orson Reynolds from North Ogden, was the manager. If we happened to miss the 11:31) street car at night, he would let us sleep on the pool tables. In the morning we would catch the eight am. car to be home for priesthood at nine. The street car cost five cents to ride and it ran from 6:00 a.m.until 11:30 pm every half hour. Again I want to say, “Give me the good old days.”
We went to many picture shows for entertainment The prices were somewhat cheaper than today. Here are a few examples The Lyceum and Rex were five cents for a double feature comedy and news reel, the Cozy was ten cents, the Ogden fifteen cents, the Colonial and Orpheum were twenty-five cents. But keep in mind we were working ten hours a day for one dollar.
When we ate out it was nearly always at “Ross and Jacks” just down 25th street a few doors. Burger with spuds, as they called it, were fifteen cents. A large bowl of homemade soup was five cents and one fourth of a big pie ten cents. Sometimes we would splurge and go to the “Senate” or “Vienna” cafes. There we got a full three- course meal for thirty-five cents.
In 1923, I bought a Model T. roadster with rumble seat and self starter. This sure seemed nice after cranking my fathers car for so many years. I drove up to Laketown, Utah, on the south end of Bear Lake. This is where my mother came from and where my Grandma Cheney and many uncles, aunts and cousins lived. here I went to work for my Aunt Della Cheney In her store and ice cream parlor. The hardest part of this job was making tons of Ice cream every week, turning the big freezers by hand and then packing it in ice and salt. After doing this for a time, I figured out how I could make the job easier. I would take one tire off the rear wheel of the Ford and then by using a pulley and belt, could turn these freezers with little effort. From then on I sure enjoyed working there. My sister Gene and few town girls also worked there at different time and I soon found out that my roadster came in handy for stepping the girls since I was the only boy in town who owned a car.
The next summer my cousins, the Willis brothers of Laketown, hired me at sixty dollars a month plus board to move sheep camps, cook for the herders, round up the horses and other odd jobs. We were up in the mountains and I really enjoyed this, what with fishing and hunting sage grouse. My companion at the sheep camp was my cousin, Lane Willis. He taught me how to fry eggs so he could eat them. He sure is a swell guy and is also grandpa to Johnny Whitaker, star of the TV show “Family Affair.” Johnny also played Tom Sawyer and was in many Walt Disney movies and on Gunsmoke” and other TV shows.
In 1925 I went back to North Ogden and worked for the Ballif and Stewart store. This store was where the post office is today and we sold everything from horse collars to banana splits. We also had the only gas pumps between Ogden and Brigham City. Service stations were almost unknown, when I went back to the store to work I bought another Model T. Ford from a friend, Clyde Judkins. I gave him sixty dollars but the car never did run very well. It was later used by some of the kids to practice driving.
In the fall of 1926, Bishop Harold Campbell asked me to go on a mission. I was quite surprised at the call but asked him if I could choose the mission I would like to go to. He told me that he doubted very much if this would happen, but he would put my request in his letter to the First Presidency. I told him I wanted to go to the same mission that he went to a few years before, the Swiss-German. When I received my call in November, I was so nervous that I could hardly open the letter. To my surprise it said, “You are hereby called to serve not less than two and one half years in the Swiss-German mission,” I sure was thrilled but also scared because I didn’t know one word of German. In those days they didn’t sent you to a language school to learn a little of the language and customs. We went to the mission home in Salt Lake City for ten days to study the gospel and hear talks from the Church leaders. While there I found out that 1 must have my tonsils removed before I could leave for my mission. Dr. Harding a throat and eye doctor removed them and had me stay one night in the Dee Hospital. He never charged for either and told my father that he never asked for pay from a missionary. One week later, when I was supposed to leave with my group from the mission school, I started to hemorrhage from my operation. The doctor decided to keep me home for two weeks, so, I had to go with a different group. This group consisted of the finest bunch of guys I ever met, so, I was happy that I had to wait. We left Ogden on the train at 10:30 p.m. and started on the long trip to Montreal, Canada, where we would take ship to England. The group consisted of twelve young boys, some of which were already homesick never having been away from their mothers one night in their life. We were all ordained ministers so we traveled first class both by rail and ship. It seemed that we had a string of train tickets six feet long. My partner in the pullman sleeper was a Brother Olsen from Idaho who was going to Sweden. He would leave us at Buffalo, New York and take another ship to his mission field. He was a “full of fun” guy and I sure enjoyed his company. We filled a corn to see who would get the lower bunk and of course I lost and had to sleep in the upper. Next morning we were just entering Nebraska and were told by the porter that it was 55 degrees below zero when we went through Cheyenne, Wyoming. Little did I realize that I would live in Cheyenne during the first year of my married life with the sweetest girl in the world. We traveled on through the plains of Iowa. The next day we were in Chicago, the windy city. That sure is a good name font and boy, was It cold! We had to lay over there for several hours and then changed trains for New York City where we were to be met by Church officials. Upon arrival, they took us to a real swanky hotel where everything was reserved and waiting for us. After dinner we were taken on a guided tour of some of the city, but it was so cold that we were glad to get back to the hotel Next morning we took a trip to Niagra Falls which was Just like a big iceberg. but very beautiful. At Buffalo, New York I said goodbye to Brother Olsen and I have never seen him since. He has since sent word to me where he is living in Idaho and I hope to visit him sometime soon Traveling on to Montreal was a long trip and riding the nickel-plate railroad was not as nice as the trains we had been used to. It was very rough riding and at times we wondered if it had left the track
The snow was four feet deep on the level when we arrived in Montreal. We were met at the depot and taken to our hotel in small sleighs or cutters, which wee their taxi cabs. The snow was too deep for cars and it was too cold to start them. It was a fun experience to ride in these small cutters, all painted like a checker board. We found out that most of the help in the hotel spoke both English and French. The bellhops and chambermaids were sure nice to us They had seen many L.D.S. missionaries come and go. Next day, we received a wire from our ship captain saying that they could not get the ship down the St Laurence river. The wire told us to sit tight until further orders. We stayed there for four days and nights and enjoyed every minute of it as there were so many unique shops, stores, shows and quaint French cafes to see. The picture shows were silent in those days. On the right side of the screen the words would be in English and on the left side in French, so, it was fun and new experience for us. We were finally told by the branch president that we would have to take a train to Saint Johns, New Brunswick a long three or four day ride through the state of Maine. On arriving In Saint Johns, the captain was anxious to get underway since he had waited seven days for the passengers from the U.S. The ship was owned by the Canadian Steamship Company and the name of the ship was the Matagama.”
We couldn’t believe our eyes at its size. There were beautiful dining and dance halls and the cabins we all had were fine. It was indeed a floating palace. We soon made friends with the cabin boys and all the waiters who were assigned to our table. The food was out of this world and they had some wonderful dishes we had never heard of. The captain told us over the loud speaker or horn, as they called it, that we would be on the ocean eight days and then land In South Hampton, England. But, what with the terrible storms, we took thirteen days and nights. The waves sometimes were as high as a mountain and we would go under, then out, to see another one coming. We saw this through the portholes because for five days we were not allowed to go on deck We also saw some very large icebergs and at one time over twenty whales some eighty to one hundred feet long.. It was indeed a thrill when they spouted water thirty feet into the air. We also went through a school of flying fish. They were so thick on the deck that the sailors shoveled them over board with large wooden shovels that they had on board for that purpose. Nearly all of the five hundred passengers were seasick However I was one of the lucky ones and was never even dizzy. I gained twelve pounds and never missed a meal I even had our cabin boy bring me food late at night, which he was glad to do to get his tip.
After thirteen days of cold wind and waves, we docked at South Hampton, England. Here we left for our various mission fields. Some were to stay in England, others to Scotland, Holland, France, Belgium and two of us to the Swiss-German mission. My traveling companion was Elder Mark Jensen of Salt Lake City. We took a train that day to a little town on the English Channel. That evening we were shown which ship to take to across over into Belgium. The English Channel is considered the roughest body of water on earth, so the ships are built long and narrow to cut the waves more easily. Next morning we were told to take a train to Liege, Belgium, where we would receive our orders. Two elders of the Belgium mission met us and took us to a café for dinner. They told us that the train would be two hours late for Cologne so we were to take our time and enjoy our meal. The menu was in Flemish so we let our two new friends order for us. I never knew until I had lived in Germany for a while that the meat we ate was horse and goat. However the meal tasted good and later we were on our way to Cologne. We arrived at 3 am in the largest depot we had ever seen. Neither of us could say a word or understand a thing that was being said. After waiting for about thirty minutes and wondering what to do, here came one of the best sights I have ever seen. It was Brother Earl Reese of Pleasant View, our close neighbor at home. Did he ever look good to two homesick kids. I had a bathrobe and a fruit cake in my trunk for him, which his mother had sent. After I had told him all the news I could think of, he took us to a hotel and said he would see us in the morning. The bell boy took us to our room and we were on our own. We were very tired and went directly into the bedroom. Were we ever surprised to see a large feather tick over five feet high on our bed. We thought it was just for looks, so we threw it on the floor and found to our surprise that there wasn’t any sheets, quilts or blankets. We didn’t say anything to the bell boy since we couldn’t speak a word of German and thought they would make fun of us. So, throwing our overcoats and bathrobes over us, we went to bed fully dressed. Before morning we found out that we had better call for blankets or freeze, but decided instead to put the tick back on the bed and get beneath it We found out it was the warmest cover that could ever be. Many times we laughed about that in the next three years and many a night we slept under a tick
Next morning Brother Reese came and took us out to breakfast This consisted of potato cakes, black bread spread with lard and a coffee made of grain. He told us we were both to take a train to a large city farther north called Hannover and there we would be sent to our field of labor. Brother Hyrum Cannon met us at Hannover and took us to his boarding house. He was district president of the Hannover District. After telling us to sleep in the guest room, he closed the door and went into his quarters. Brother Jensen looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Huband, how much money do you have?” I emptied my wallet and had eleven American dollars, six pieces of Belgian money, two of French and a Dutch guilder. He said, “Well, I have four dollars and eighteen cents and if we had two or three hundred dollars more I’d be damned if we wouldn’t go home. We were sure homesick what with Christmas just three days away and we not being able to speak a word or understand one.
President Cannon found out that I could type a little, so he kept me with him to help with all the paper work. Since it was all in German, it was quite a task to spell or copy each word as it should be. I found out it had to be almost perfect before it could go to Basel, Switzerland, our mission headquarters. Brother Jensen was sent to a small town nearby arid a year later he was a district president, not the little homesick kid I knew.
My first companion was Otto Siefert of Ogden who had just a month left before going home. I later labored in a small city called Goeppingen where my companion was Clifford Leslie. We boarded with a Sister Rube, her daughter and two sons They were wonderful people and we loved them very much. Sister Rube was a poor widow working as a charwoman in a large office building. We found out that she had to work three days to buy ham and eggs for two young missionary boys Sunday breakfast. I had the privilege of baptizing her oldest son, Emile, who later came to America.
I also worked in the city of Hameln, the Pled Piper town, for several months. The first six months I was alone, then Brother Orson Whitney young of Ogden was sent to work with me. He and I became good friends and later he was my district president. Brother Young is now retired from Weber College and holds a doctorate degree. We are still good friends and have long talks every once in a while about the old days in the Swiss-German Mission.
I was transferred to the city of Pfortzhein near Heidleburg, the famous university. I had about three hundred and fifty members there. I was very frightened when I was called to go there, as branch president, because just a short while before, all the priesthood bearers and their wives had been excommunicated from the Church. My only help was a new young companion from Salt Lake City. His name was Lynn Wood and was one of the finest young men I have ever known. The district president introduced me to the members in Sacrament Meeting as their new bishop, Sunday school superintendent, M.IA president, Relief Society president, scout master, choir leader and anything else he could think of. I am sure I was white as a sheet and shaking with fear when he told them that I would be the speaker for that evening. In a few months most all of the members were reinstated and it was the finest place I ever labored. The saints even built a room in the hall for us to live in so we wouldn’t have to pay rent. We also had so many dinner engagements that we had to keep books on them so no one would have their feelings hurt by being left out. It wasn’t long before our free room was the talk of the mission. Missionaries would travel many miles to stay overnight with us at the ‘Boat’s Nest,’ as they had nicknamed our little room. We had such visitors as George Albert Smith, Jr, whose father was later President of the Church, Lewellyn McKay, whose father was also later one of our presidents, Hugh Nibley, the famous Church authority on the dead languages and scrolls, and many more. Orson Whitney Young and my dear friend, Eric Pollei, who was a companion at one time, visited us often.
Brother and Sister Adolf Kay were two of my finest members. I later sponsored them and their children so they could go to America. They went to New York and stayed there for a while. They then later went to Ogden, where they lived up until their death, a few years ago.
I received my release while at Pfortzheim and was escorted to the train by most of the members and many friends. They cried and hugged me and sang out ‘auf wiedersehn.’ It was sad to leave all those wonderfull people knowing you probably would never see them again, at least not in this life.
I arrived home In the middle of the Depression when there were no jobs or money. My father had just lost what he had in the Ogden State Bank It made me wonder what would become of us. It was really tough and even former millionaires were committing suicide every few days because they had lost everything overnight. I stayed around home for a few months, not being able to find work of any kind. It was very disheartening to want to work and have no jobs to be found.
I had an Aunt Lucy McDermont, who was working for the Larkin Mortuary in Ogden. She told me one day that Mr. Larkin was going to hire a man soon to work for him. He would teach him the trade and help him through embalming school. She had told Mr. Larkin about me and that I had just returned from his old mission. He talked to me and said, ‘Come back in two weeks and the job will be yours.’ However, I guess it wasn’t to be because I went up to Lyman, Wyoming. to visit my Aunt Della Cheney. She hired me to work for her in a bus depot and cafe. I stayed there for several years. My brother Grant, and sister Gene, also worked there and later my Uncle Claude Cheney. This bus depot and cafe were open twenty-four hours a day, so we were kept very busy. However we had a fine time and enjoyed it very much. Aunt Dell went into business with a Mr. Lon Jenks. They had a store, meat market and a bottling works called ‘Chinikee.’ Not long after I went there, they decided to go into the picture show business. After purchasing an old building. they set me to work digging out a dirt floor on the slant. This was all done by hand with pick, shovel, wheelbarrow and pickup truck.
I soon became a very good friend of a fellow named Levold Bamey Rollins. He was a wrestler and had me do the advertising in all the mining towns in that part of Wyoming. I also made arrangements for the halls and hauled the wrestlers who came from Ogden and Salt Lake to the meets. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. After the bouts they would come back to Lyman. Then we would all go on jack rabbit hunting expeditions in the dark between Fort Bridger and Evanston. At dawn they would flag down a bus and return home to Ogden or Salt Lake.
Barney and I went on many elk and bear hunts thirty miles above Cora, Wyoming. We had many good hunts and stayed eight or ten days. Sometimes it was thirty below zero and believe me, that is cold in a tent! We became acquainted with some people who had a large elk camp and they let us hunt and eat there. The man who owned the camp always had a large moose for camp meat and sometimes bear. Moose reminded me of the horse meat I had to eat in Germany and bear meat is sweet like pork. We also went fishing up in the high Uinta Mountains and in streams near Fort Bridger. One time we went up near Moose, Wyoming, and got snowed in. We were down in the bottom of a gorge near a lake when it started to snow. It snowed over two feet the first night and didn’t stop for four days. We had to dig a road for over a block to get our using snow chains. We sure never worked harder in our lives.
In 1932 I bought a new Ford sedan with a V-8 Engine, the first Ford had ever built. I decided to take my mother, sister Blanche, Aunt Dell and my Aunt Delina Willis to the World’s Fair in Chicago. We had a wonderful trip and saw many things we had never dreamed of. On our way back, we traveled down through Kentucky and Arkansas. We saw tobacco and cotton fields for the first time and had a beautiful drive through the Ozarks. My sister, Blanche helped me drive and that was surely appreciated on the long trip.
On returning back to Lyman, I decided I didn’t care too much for the Ford, so sold it and bought me a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was a thrill to ride and very much fun, even if there weren’t any paved roads at that time. Barney’s father was town marshal and hired me as a motorcycle deputy since the people really sped through Lyman. This was a lot of fun for me and I had many a chase out through the desert. Perhaps this poem I wrote best describes the thrills I experienced with “Old Harley”:
We rode the wind in bygone days
My Harley bike and me,
O’er mountain high and sun-kissed plain
Was happy as could be.
My Harley was a real friend
He never spoke harsh words,
And how we flew on sunlit trails
Much faster than the birds.
Many miles we traveled
Through desert heat and sand,
On highways smooth and byways rough
My face was burned and tan.
Through shady glens and forests
And past the purple sage,
We wouldn’t trade those fun filled days
For any given wage.
Along the shores of ocean blue
Then up through redwoods high,
We stopped and gazed at giants tall
They seemed to reach the sky.
Then on the highway 101
Through fog and mist and rain,
On and on we traveled
Harley never did complain.
Lake Louise was beautiful
With poppies in array,
It made me think of heaven
And there I’d like to stay.
But Old Harley seemed real restless
So we took the road once more
And looked for trails to lead us home
It was great to hear him roar.
His name was Harley Davidson
A stalwart all the way,
I loved old Harley dearly
In a special kind of way.
As you may gather from the above poem, I took a lot of trips on my Harley and saw many wonderful and interesting places.
One day Barney asked me if I wanted to go with him on Sunday to the town of Huntsville Utah, to see his girlfriend. He was sure he could find a girl for me and we would take them to Ogden for dinner and a show. Of course I said yes. We arrived in the little town shortly after noon and his girlfriend was just ready to leave work at the telephone office. Three other cuties who were there visiting, left and walked up the road. After getting into the Ford, my friend drove up and stopped beside the three and asked if one of them would like to go with Mr. Huband to dinner and a show in Ogden. The cutest little girl I ever saw came right in and sat on my lap. I told her my name and she introduced herself as Ruth Peterson. Well, it was love from then on and we are still together after about 43 years of married life.
MINING IN CALIFORNIA
Shortly after I met Ruth, I decided to go to the Mojave Desert in California with my two cousins,Vara and Otis Cheney, to work for a Mr. Grubel in a gold mine he was getting ready. We drove to Los Angeles in a Pontiac which Otis had bought for the trip. In LA we found that Mr. Grubel wan’t quite ready to start operations, so we stayed with him and a Mrs. Mills, his housekeeper. While we were there, a big earthquake hit that area. Many people were killed, just a block or so from us, in a large supermarket. It was a rough time for two days and nights. Some of the shocks would knock us to our knees and the house moved two feet onto the sidewalk This experience I will never forget and I hope I never have to experience it again.
We finally went out to the mine site and started to build our camp. Living in tents in 120 degree heat was no great joy. We started to bore a tunnel in the solid quartz hill and after a year of hardwork, without pay and at times not much to eat we struck a rich vein of gold. The news spread fast and before we knew it the government had sent two men out to close us down. They claimed our lease was a forgery because the land had never been recorded properly in the early days. After all the hardships, work and fighting the heat, rattlesnakes and scorpions, we went back home with nothing but our old clothes and worn out boots. The only happy part of this little episode was the wonderful letter which I received every day from my cute little sweetheart, Ruth, who was waiting for me back in Huntsville.
BACK TO WYOMING
Back to Lyman and a job with Aunt Dell and Mr. Jenks seemed like heaven after the mining experience. Beer had been legalized by that time and Aunt Dell had to add a beer parlor to her bus depot in order to keep her contract. I was appointed bartender. We opened the bar at six a.m. and closed at one a.m. or later, according to the bus schedules. We had a lot of tough cowboys who sometimes gave us trouble, but the biggest headache of all were the boys from the C C camps nearby. They would steal everything they could carry away from the cafe and beer parlor. We finally had the captain of the army, who was in charge, make our place off limits to those roughnecks.
About this time, Ruth and I decided to get married. I sold my Harley bike and bought a new Dodge sedan. Uncle Claude Cheney went with me on the bus to pick it up in Detroit. We had a wonderful time at the Dodge plant watching my car being put together from start to finish. We also were taken to another part of the large plant and served a regular banquet. Philo Ellsworth’s father and brother, George, were also with us to pick up a car to take back to Lyman. Those were the days of the Dust Bowl’ in the plains states. Because of this, we were re-routed up through the Black Hills of South Dakota We saw them carving the Rushmore Monument and could hardly believe our eyes at its size and the hundreds of men working there.
The day after I arrived home, Ruth and I were married. It was the 29th day of March, 1935 and took place in the Salt Lake Temple. My sister, Blanche, went with us. After coming out of the temple, we went to see my brother Grant and then went to a show. Blanche went back to Ogden on the old Bamburger train. Ruth and I went to the Moxum Hotel which was just across the street from City Hall in Salt Lake. We had a nice room on the fourth floor. Next morning we had breakfast at the Temple Square cafe. We then left for Ogden where we stayed at the Ogden Hotel for the night. Arriving in Huntsville, we found Ruth’s mother very upset with us because she had prepared a big wedding dinner for the family. We were only three days too late. I told her that I thought the sweetest girl in the world surely deserved a short honeymoon before leaving for the wilds of Wyoming. Ruth’s dad just gave us one of his wonderful smiles and said, Lane, I think you did just the right thing.
Ruth and I both worked for Aunt Dell and Mr. Jenks for several months We then decided to lease a motel in Cheyenne, some 355 miles to the east. We had a real tough winter with fifty below weather for two weeks at a time. The cattle across the street froze to death standing in the field. In the spring, after school was out we had Dale Ellis, my nephew, come out from Ogden on the train to help us out. I’m sure this was his first job. He was only ten or twelve years old at the time.
The only thing we liked about that cold, windy town was the week of Frontier Days.’ They had one of the best rodeos in the nation. We had three acres of land by the motel and we rented almost every inch of it to rodeo visitors for tent space. There were no campers or trailers in those days.
As September drew near, Ruth was getting ready to give birth to our first child..I sent her and Dale on the train back to Ogden. A few days later, I had Ruth’s two brothers, Clyde and Orivs, drive to Cheyenne in their Model T truck to move us back home. I had to sell our beautiful Dodge for six hundred dollars just to keep going. I sold the business to a young couple who gave me a few dollars in cash and the rest in a post-dated check. The check bounced so I ended up getting only fifty dollars for the business. I paid for the gas and hotel on the way home and gave Clyde twenty dollars. That left me with twenty.
We moved in with my folks at North Ogden. On October 17th, our first son, Edwin Heber was born in the room where I am now sitting. We had Dr. Strandquist come out from Ogden in his Model A Ford. After his second trip, I asked him how much I owed him. He said, “Do you think twenty dollars would be too much?” I gave him the last cent I had on earth. From then on it was a struggle to try and find a job. We stayed with my folks for several months. Edwin was sick to his stomach and couldn’t keep his food down. It took the whole family, including Aunt Dell, to take care of him. After some time, we found a Dr. Cheney in Salt Lake that knew just what food to put him on. I later found out that this doctor was a distant relative of mine.
I decided to borrow the down payment for a new Plymouth from my father so Ruth, Edwin and I could move to Salt Lake City. We leased a rooming house on “B” Avenue however this didn’t work out as we had hoped for so we moved to St. George. There I had a job selling McNess products which included everything from vanilla to turkey spray. We will never forget that hot summer in St. George. While there, our second son, Thomas, was born. Aunt Dell was with us and early one morning we called the doctor. He soon arrived but after looking at Ruth, told us that it would be some time yet. He told us that he would go have breakfast and return a bit later His car was hardly out of sight before the baby was born. As usual, Aunt Dell knew just what to do. The doctor put Ruth and the baby in the hospital. That day it was close to 120 and at that time there wasn’t any air conditioning in the hospital. The doctor and his brother owned the hospital and I guess he felt guilty for going home that morning for breakfast. He never sent us a bill for himself or for the hospital. That Fall I was asked by the town fathers to quit selling in the county since the merchants were getting upset. I sold all the supplies I had left and we left for Los Angeles.
The times were really bad and there wasn’t any work available. If my Uncle Farrel and Aunt Blanche Whitlock hadn’t let us move into a little summer cottage they had in their back yard at Monrovia, I don’t know just what would have become of us. They also fed us most of the time so we wouldn’t have to go to bed hungry. I rode to LA every day with Uncle Farrel to try to find a job. I even shined shoes at times to make a few nickels to buy food. I sure hope none of our children will have to go through those kind of hard times.
One day, Ruth’s old girl friend from Huntsville, who was then living in Van Nuys, came to visit us. Her husband, Max Tolman, asked me if I would like to work for him in the gardening and landscape business. He said he could pay sixty dollars a month for hard work six days a week and twelve or more hours a day. I readily accepted, but he told us we would have to move closer to the work. Most of it was in Beverly Hills and Hollywood and it would be best if we could move near him in Van Nuys. After a long day of house hunting, we found a small place and moved what few things we had from Monrovia. This however, was short lived because the house was sold and we had to move into another place near by. Ruth’s sister, Mary, stayed with us for a while because Ruth was expecting our third child. It was nice that she could be there with her smile and cheerful ways.
We were soon blessed with our first daughter, Jo Dell. She arrived early, was born on the kitchen table and only weighed three and one-half pounds. Of course Aunt Dell was there with us. After the doctor arrived, he took the baby and I with him to a hospital 35 miles away. She was placed in an incubator where she stayed for over a month. Then we brought her home and the doctor showed me how to put a glass over the top of a dresser drawer with a tiny light bulb inside to keep her warm. She was so tiny that we carried her on a pillow so we wouldn’t drop her. Ruth had to feed her with an eye dropper.
Sometime later, my old boss, Mr. Grubel, whom I had worked for in the mines, leased a large building owned by the nurses of a large hospital in Los Angeles. He had it made into apartments and wanted us to move over with him. He gave us a good deal so my brother Grant, Ruth, myself and our three little children moved again. By this time, I had gone into the gardening business for myself. Living in the center of Los Angeles, just one block north of the city hall on Alpine Street, was a lot closer to my work.
We stayed with Mr. Grubel for several months and then had to move. The nurses sold the property for a housing development. I had lost my Plymouth in the mean time and so we loaded our belongings into an old Model A Ford that I had bought for fifty dollars. We moved to a nice little house on Blackwelder Street in Los Angeles. This house was owned by an old couple who lived in the front of the lot. At first they were a bit hesitant to rent to someone with three little children, but when we bought a house a few months later and moved to Venice, they both cried because they loved our kids so much.
One day, I was working in the back yard. Mel (Warren) was just over the fence in his yard when the radio became silent for a minute. Then the terrible news was broadcast about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We could hardly believe our ears. Before long, whistles were blowing and bells ringing all over the city. The radios were telling the bad news and President Roosevelt was talking. I had noticed for several weeks at my job that the Japanese gardeners were leaving. I was being offered so much work that I couldn’t accept half of the jobs. They knew what was coming and many had gone back to Japan.
My work wasn’t considered important to the war effort, so I was obliged to go
to work for Douglas Aircraft at the town of El Segundo. I worked there for a year as a
metal fabricator and inspector. I then transferred to the big plant at Santa Monica. I
started out on the graveyard shift with 87,000 other people.
BACK TO UTAH
After I quit Douglas, Ruth and I decided to return to Utah, but after selling our home and all the furnishings, we found out we couldn’t get gas to drive home with. We also couldn’t buy a train ticket or bus ticket since Douglas had taken the liberty to freeze all transportation for us. After the second day of waiting in the train depot with our three little children, the ticket agent motioned at me and said, “Those people over there have two tickets to Salt Lake to sell and I will turn my head while you buy them” I guess he was tired of hearing our kids cry and was glad to get rid of us.
When we returned to North Ogden, we stayed with my folks for a few days and then rented a small house down the street on the old David Shupe property. Building material was very hard to come by, but our good friend, Lee Haviland, found some native lumber and some plumbing fixtures. He and his brother then built us a basement home just north of my folks house.
While living in the basement house, we thought our world had come to an end when our son, Tommy, came down with two kinds of polio. His lungs, back and legs were gone. It was the most heartbreaking thing of our lives. The doctor rushed him to the St. Benedict’s Hospital and had him placed in the iron lung. Sometime later, our oldest son, Edwin, came down with it also. He was lucky and didn’t have it in the lungs, but had to stay in the hospital for some time.
All the treatments and therapy didn’t help Tommy very much. He lived in and out of the hospitals for four long years. My good friends at the post office bought him a fine wheelchair for Christmas. He had his picture taken for the “Standard” which was printed along with several long stones telling of his courage and how the nurses and doctors all loved him. Ruth hitched a ride to the hospital month in and month out to be with the boys. I know if she never did anything else in this world, she will still be in a high place someday for her work, love and patience she had for those two boys.
Ed came out of the hospital and later spent three years in the U.S. Navy and another four years at B.Y.U. before his marriage to the former Patricia Pack in the Hawaiian Temple.
Thomas Lane passed away on October 11th. 1952, and was buried in the North Ogden cemetery. His funeral service was a beautiful one. There was a very large crowd because everyone who had known him had loved him.
In the mean time, my Aunt Della Cheney, who lived with my folks, died at home in North Ogden. A short time later; my mother also passed away. My father then asked us to move from the basement house to live with him. This we were happy to do. (Tom passed away after we had moved in with father.) The next year, my father passed away and was buried on his 94th birthday, next to mother and Tommy. Those were certainly times to try the very heart of everyone concerned
Through all those trials I had been working at the Ogden Post Office as a clerk carrier at the wage of sixty cents an hour. It was quite a struggle to make ends meet sometimes.
Since moving from California, we were blessed with three more children:
Connie Rae, Frank Perry and George Albert.
Lane and Ruth Huband - 1968
LANE AND RUTH HUBAND'S GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY - 1985
Children: Left to Right
Edwin, Connie, George, Jody, Frank
CHILDREN of LANE AUGUSTUS HUBAND and RUTH NORINE PETERSON:
1. Edwin Heber Huband born 17 Oct 1936 In North Ogden, Utah. He md. 13 Jun
1963 Patricia Lucille Pack.
1. David Thomas born 17 Dec 1967 In Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. Michael Lane born 10 Feb 1970 in Bountiful, Utah.
3. Lori Anne born 7 Jul 1972 In Salt Lake City, Utah.
4. James William born 2 Oct 1974 in Hung Loi Ward, Can Tho South Viet Nam.
5. John Richard born 8 Novl974th Hung Loi Ward, Can Tho South Viet Nam.
6. Linda Ruth born 12 Feb 1976 in Seattle, Washington.
7. Susan Kristina born 9 Apr 1977 in Seattle, Washington.
8. Charles Edwin born 6 Sep 1979 Washington, D.C.
2. Thomas Lane Huband born 21 Jul 1938 in St George, Utah.
He died 11 Oct 1952 after suffering from complications brought on by polio.
3. Jo Dell Huband born 19 Jul 1939 In Van Nuys California. She md. 13 Jul 1958 Gary Charlesworth
1. Jed Huband born 21 Jan 1963 in Ogden, Utah.
2. Bret Gary born 17 Aug 1963 in Ogden, Utah.
3. Denise born 22 Aug 1966 in Ogden, Utah.
4. Brian Lex born 8 Dec 1967 in Ogden, Utah.
5. Culley Benjamin born 6 Oct 1971 in Ogden, Utah.
4. Connie Rae Huband born 5 Aug 1945 In Ogden, Utah. She md. 7 Sep 1965 Val Jesse Sneddon.
1. Knstin Joel born 12 Nov 1966 in Castro Valley, California
2. Terri Michele born 16 Dec 1967 in Ogden, Utah.
3. Joe Bradley born 30 Dec1969 in Great Fails, Cascade,Montana.
4. Jill Susane born 15 Jan 1976 in Boise, Idaho,
5. Frank Perry Huband born 26 Jun 1950 in Ogden, Utah. He md. Mary Estrada 14 November 1992.
1. Francine Marie born 3 August 1995 in Walnut Creek, California,
2. Alison Ruth born 25 November 1997 in Gaithersberg, Maryland
6. George Albert Huband born 19 Sep 1953 in Ogden, Utah. He md 25 Feb 1977 Lori Downs.