Doris Elva Neilson Smith

Doris Elva Neilson Smith

Stories about Doris Elva Neilson Smith

Memories of Taylorville by Elva

  • Taylorville, Alberta, Canada

Memories of my life in Taylorville for twenty three years 1914 to 1923 …………………………………………………………………… Elva Neilson Smith.

Taylorville was a good place to grow up in. We had good parents, good brothers, sisters and many good friends.

My Father bought his first Model T. Ford when I as about four years old.  He sold some of his famous horses to pay for it. I can remember my first ride; we went to the neighbors, Fred Nielsons to get the mail.

The First World War was on then. Every one was so anxious to scan the weekly news paper to see how things were going.

My first day of school was special. Selma was so good to me. She walked with me to show me the way. She had been there three or four years before and knew all about it. My first teacher was Grant Lee. He later married Velma Lowry. I had many friends who started school that year; Ruth, Cyril , Heber, Iiola, Viola, and me. We were all kindred spirits. I had another kindred spirit, Elaine, she went to school in Whiskey Gap. We only saw each other on Sunday or on special occasions. The next year we had Carl Williams for our teacher then Leonard Workman taught for two years. We went to school in a one room building where my father had gone to school. Church was in the same building until the church was built on the hill.

We looked forward to one afternoon each week when school would be dismissed early for Primary.  Erma Nielson was the president. She lived close by and came to conduct Primary. Erma brought her two young children, Hazel and Lawrence. Almost everyone stayed for Primary. When it was over we would mount or walk  our horses home.

When I was eight, Selma and Cyril came to sleep over, all three us slept on the floor. In the morning there was the news that their baby sister Iva had arrived.

A few weeks later on a Sunday morning our family went to Cardston, I'm not sure I knew why we were going but during the day my sister Verna was born. at the hospital.

When I was about ten years old we moved to Salt Lake City. Fay little rented our farm. After a couple of years my grandmother Neilson passed and we came back home

When we got home a big new school was being built at that time. It had two classrooms and two basement rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. Until the school was finished we went to school in two rooms of Ollie Neilson's house.  Orzie and his wife Eula and Orzie’s sister Thelma Steed were the teachers.

Shortly after we were settled in the new school a strong wind blew the whole roof off. It landed down by the lake. No one was hurt; Mr. Steed had us all out of the building

I remember the blizzard we had in 1928. Most of the students reached our farm and spent the night there. It was some storm, It took my father several days to dig the sheep out and some were still alive.

During the depression the mail came from Cardston twice each week. The destination was Del Bonita. The mail was carried in a buggy with a team of horses; it took one day to come another day to return. Later when things became more prosperous, Mr. Frank Vesper drove a truck with the mail and he made the same trip in one day, three times each week. He would carry cream to the creamery or anything else that needed to go to Cardston, even an occasional passenger. We had the post office in our home for many years. Small partitions were made in a cupboard to hold each persons mail.

Each year the church on the hill was scrubbed and polished to get ready for the annual ward conference, when President Edward J. Wood and company would visit our ward. We had Sunday School, then a Pot Luck, then another meeting which usually lasted until the sun was going down. Those were special meetings and very much looked forward to. It always amazed me how Pres Wood could tell which family we belonged to. He always had it correct, which were Neilson kids or Lowry or Albiston kids.

I grew thinking there were two seasons besides Christmas and threshing time. There was the lambing time which lasted quite a while.  Usua1ly ended with a number of pet lambs to feed. The next was the haying season, when tons of hay was pulled into the loft of the barn or stacked. It was a busy time, with extra men to help and to feed. It was so exciting to be a part of this f'un time.

Life seamed to merrily roll alone but there were some sad times also. When Wanda had her accident and when we lost Albert in another accident, and Herbert Hinds passing. I remember the cold winter day when Ben Lowry was very ill and he was taken to the Cardston hospital in a sleigh. Then there was the Sunday morning when Lamar came to tell us Tom had passed away suddenly. The very same year little Eldon was drowned in the dug out. There were many times in the night when someone came to get my father to come, like the time little Sarah had died in the night or someone was very ill. My father had a gentle touch with sick or sad people.

We were fortunate to have practical nurses in our area. There was Sister Eliza Little, Sister Bertha Sommerfeldt and Sister Rose Lowry, who all did mid-wifery. They were on call many times. When my sister Mary was born, Sister Lowry came riding a horse to deliver her. The roads were impassable because of a big snow storm at that time.

My grandfather Neilson spent his last days with us. He had been living alone in Salt City, and when he became ill my father brought him home. Uncle Julius Johnson lived in a little house near us. He was a bachelor and fathers uncle. He tried to keep us all in line. He had been a soldier in Sweden and he liked to walk with his gun over his shoulder. He loved my mother's meals at least once a day.

I have fond memories of summer afternoon ball games. Every thing closed down for the game. Many of the games were played on our flat. My brothers Ralph and Delbert were very much involved in the games. At each game everyone enjoyed the big hand turned freezers of ice cream made by Mary Lowry and Mary Huber, also the home made Root Beer. 'The day usually ended with a dance.

We enjoyed many sleigh rides as we traveled together to the dances in Kimball and Jefferson. On many occasions we went to Waterton riding in the box of a two or three ton truck. Comfort stations had not been invented at that time. We were able to get ourselves together using the truck headlights.

When I think of Sunday School in Taylorville, Moroni Sheen comes to my mind. Often he would walk from his home in Jefferson to have the church ready and warm for Sunday School. When I was fourteen years old I was the Sunday School secretary. I enjoyed going to the leadership meetings in Cardston

We went to church on the hill, MIA every Tuesday and in the winter three act play was prepared. I will always remember Vicky for her faithful play coaching many times each week, and to Alta for being to all the MIA evenings with a lesson ready for us.

One summer our cousins came from Salt Lake city and they, visited a1 Summer there were seven boys and two girl cousins. What a great time we had.

My father had a stroke when he was forty four years old. He was quite paralyzed for some time  but eventually he was able to walk, however he  was never physically the same. My mother cared for him and worried about him from that time on.

One harvest time I cooked for Fay Little's threshing crew. A cook car and a bunk house for the men was pulled around with the threshing outfit. There were dozens of men to feed three big meals every day besides two lunches, one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. This was a busy fun time without, anymodern conveniences.

The next year I attended the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. When I returned home I helped with the Cardston Golden Jubilee [25 years]. During that time I renewed my acquaintance with Morgan Smith. We were married in the Cardston Temple on 22 September 1937.

I left my beloved Taylorville and moved one hundred miles north to Champion.

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