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Short Biography Ervin Merle Ormsbee
Grand Junction, Mesa, CO
Ervin was born in an adobe house with a dirt floor. He remembers his mother sprinkling the floor down every day to settle the dust, and using rainwater to wash their clothes. There was not much wood around and remembers burning corn cobs one winter to keep warm. He remembers one time when a cyclone (tornado) came up, his mother and the children hid in the cellar. When they came out they found a cow up in a tree and they had to cut the tree down to get the cow out... and the chickens were piled up against the barn with their feathers blown off. Ervin remembers coming down with Typhoid Fever when he was an older kid in school. Growing up on the farm he did all kinds of work to earn money. After his marriage, Ervin worked hard sometimes 16 hours a day at a sugarbeet factory, then hauling coal for the Public Service Dept.
He also followed the fruit harvest in different areas and to California when he was first married. His father bought a 10 acre orchard for them in 1924 and he made good money in apples until the worms got bad and Ervin had to draw on his life insurance to help pay the hired hands. For about 4 or 5 years he played baseball on Sundays for $5.00 a game and he obtained a school bus route when they used horses (Ervin used mules) to pull the buses. Later he bought a Model T Ford truck and built a box on it to haul the kids in. During the depression, Ervin broke horses and had a stud horse that he used for breeding. He also worked in the Silveton & Ouray area in the mines.