Sketch Of The Life Of Doretta Marie Iverson Bundy: By Herself
I, Doretta Iverson Bundy was born December 1, 1887 in Washington, Utah to Hans Peter Iverson and his second wife Juliana Johannah Dortea Christensen Iverson. Julie, Martin, Willard, Doretta, Victor, Levi and Annie Emma Rean were the children's names. I was fourth.
Doretta Marie Ierson
I remember some things that happened when my mother and Aunt Dora lived in the same house at Washington. One was about a rocking chair that I and my half sister Amanda both wanted to sit in at the same time. To settle the argument, my mother leaned another chair against the bed and put me on it, saying, "Now you both have got a rocking chair." So we were both happy. You with families know that for two families with small children to live in peace, a great deal depends upon the mothers. I am sure that there was great love and companionship between Mother and Aunt Dora, They were only young girls from the Old Country and appreciated each other very much, but their languages were different.. I remember hearing Mama say, as they sat drying peaches from a little orchard that was on the place, "What shall we have for dinner?" Their food was not too plentiful. They did not know what it was to run to the store to get some little thing to appease their appetites, there being no store to run to. They did have a little garden.
Victor, the fifth child, was born on June 24, 1892 (in the dugout at the foot of the hill, a few months after they moved to Littlefield). It got pretty hot with no shade trees or modern coolers. As soon as Father was able he built us a dugout. We didn't have to carry water so far and it was closer to our garden. But we still had but one room. Father built a shed in front of the dugout where we did the cooking. But the shed was not high enough to let wagons pass beneath it, so we had to prop it up when one came along. It seems quite laughable now but I'm sure it must have been discouraging to my poor mother.
Father was always busy on the farm, but when he had time off, he built the rock homes in Littlefield and Bunkerville. While building he stepped off his platform and sprained his ankle and was laid up for a long time. There was only one bed in the house and the invalid had to have that. So imagine the inconvenience when their sixth child was born June 4, 1894. This was Levi Aaron.
We lived in the side of the hill for about three or four years while Father was building Mother a rock house with two rooms. This is where my youngest sister, Annie Emma Rean was born January 26, 1897.
Father planted fruit trees and a vineyard and Mother always raised a good garden. We had plenty of milk, butter, chickens and pigs, so times were not so hard. We all had to learn to work, as Father was getting along in years, and had built another house to move Aunt Dora and family down to Littlefield. I remember that we raised cotton and got most of our clothes that way by taking it to the cotton factory at Washington. We girls would have lots of fun gleaning wheat and picking cotton after the grain was cut. Father gave us a cent and a half for our clean wheat, which he saved for planting as it was free from barley and oats. I remember men from Bunkerville came and got their seed grain from him.
I remember the first dress I had which was made of cloth from a store. I sent to Montgomery Ward and got the cloth and some narrow lace to trim it. It was my 4th of July dress, paid for with money I earned gleaning wheat. In all, it was $2.50, the lace being 21/2 cents a yard. I was happy and had a pretty dress.
When school was out in the afternoon, we girls, Estella, Amanda and I would get us a bread and butter sandwich and go a mile up the river with our cows and put them in a pasture, then get a handful of watercress and jump out onto some big rocks which were sticking above the water in the Virgin River, and sit down and enjoy our lunch. Many times we did this and talked about what our futures would be.
On the other side of the river on the hill was a spring and beautiful ferns. We would get old bird nests and other thing and put under the water, and in a few weeks they would be covered with the mineral just like petrified rocks. We had many good times roaming over the hills. On the point above the spring which supplied our culinary water were many round, pot like holes in the limestone rocks that the Indians used to grind their corn. We found a lot of arrowheads, and my brother Willard found a grave of a small child and took a handful of beads that had been around its neck. I should like to go over these places once more. I grew up there and lived a normal, happy life.
Meanwhile (in 1896) the Bundy family moved to Beaver Dam a mile above Littlefield. They had five children, which made more friends and good times. We had dances in our one room schoolhouse. John Hancock was the musician. We didn't have much money in those days, but didn't need it, as we were happy without it. He would bring his family and drive ten miles and play the accordion for 50 cents until twelve o'clock, and on special occasions, such as New Years he would play till morning for one dollar.
During our school days we had good times at Easter and other vacations; we would take our lunches and walk over hills to the cottonwood groves and creek, where there was plenty of watercress. The boys would make swings, which we all enjoyed. We all lived close together, and on moonlit nights we would get out and play "steal sticks," "run, sheep, run," and other games. After we got older, on Mutual nights a wagon load of us would go to Bunkerville for dances, sixteen miles away. That would take the biggest part of two days, starting about noon, dancing all night, then coming home next day. Traveling wasn't so fast and smooth over rocks and sand, and we sometimes got stuck in the river, which we had to cross ten or twelve times. But we had good times and lots of fun. I should like to live it all over again.
About that time (1901) many people moved to Old Mexico Abraham Bundy moved his family down there. A few years later, Martin my older brother, followed them and married Lillie Belle Bundy and brought her back to Arizona. Then in about two years Roy Bundy came up to see his sister and his old stomping ground. I was eighteen at that time. Martin and Lillie and their two little boys, Vernon and Verl, moved back to Old Mexico. Roy and I exchanged letters during the next two years, and in the fall of 1907 on September 5, we were married in the St. George Temple, and moved to Mexico.
On the 18th of June, 1908, Iven Leroy, our first baby was born, and on the 20th of August, 1910, Bessie, our second child was born, two beautiful babies. Iven was blond and Bessie Brunette, with long brown curls.
We lived in Old Mexico about four years, when the war broke out. Roy was working at the El Tigre Mine, about 25 miles up in the mountains, south of Morelos, the town where we lived. The only way to get to El Tigre Mine was by horseback.. My sister in law and I felt venturesome and decided to go up to the mine, her brother Lafayette Van Leuven going with us. I took Bessie, who was seven months old, on the horse with me, and was she hard to hang onto. But we made the trip ok. We stayed in El Tigre two or three days, and when Roy saw that we were able to make the trip he wanted us to stay there, as he was tired of the Mexican grub. So I went back home, gathered up clothes we needed and my little boy and made the trip back again, with Brother McCall who made a trip almost every week with eggs and vegetables on pack mules. It was a rather hard day's journey. I do not know how Iven stood it, as he wasn't yet three years old. I carried Bessie in my arms, and Iven on behind the saddle, and when he got too tired Brother McCall would carry him a while. As I remember, it was a steep mountain dugway most of the way, but we made the trip with no ill effects, only we got very tired.
There were very few white women at the mine and I got acquainted with but one, but I had some very nice Mexican neighbors. We lived in a long apartment house with three other families. I learned to love some of those women very much. When I look back, I wonder how I ever made it through that winter. We had two comfortable rooms, but the long porch on the back without railings stuck out over the edge of the canyon, the only place where the babies could get a bit of sunshine. The front door opened onto the only road going through the canyon, and it was well to keep that door locked. It was a Mexican mining town. I remember being quite spooky at night when Roy had to work the night shifts. It was only about two blocks from the mills where he was working, crushing the rock and grinding it into mud, then running it into big tanks and adding cyanide to make the mud settle to the bottom. Later, they would run the clear water into another tank where they added something to gather the gold. They then made the gold into bricks weighing about 100 lb each.
I was at El Tigre when the war commenced . The rebels were on top of the canyon and the Federal troops were across the canyon. We could see the soldiers and could hear them shooting all day long. The Federals took the gold bricks and threw them in one of the water tanks, thinking to hide, them, but one morning the Rebels rushed the town, took all the provisions they could carry and made a local Mexican tell them where the bricks were hidden. I don't know how many bricks they loaded, one on each side of a burro.
They got into the mountains with their gold, without being overtaken, but sometime later some of the burros were found with the gold still strapped to their backs, dead.
After I was the only white woman in town for two or three weeks, our Bishop in Morelos sent horses to take me home. He wanted Roy to stay in El Tigre to bring word to the people in Morelos if the Rebels headed that way. But a bunch came into Morelos from another direction. They made their camp in and around our Church and school buildings and had a cannon set on the hill overlooking the town. But they were a pretty decent set of men. They would come around to our homes and buy bread, eggs and anything we had that they needed. But they would kill our milk cows for their use right on the street. They carried their rifles and a couple of belts of ammunition. We tried not to appear afraid. One day a soldier came to my door for bread. He had a brand new rifle of which he was quite proud and he showed me how to flip the shells out fast from the magazine, then passed it to me, thinking I would be afraid. But I took it and I flipped the shells out as fast as he had done. He was quite surprised and praised me quite highly.
The townspeople sat waiting, ready to leave for the States at a moment's notice. We left, and the first night out, Bishop Brown, who was watching their movements, told us to go back if we wished, as there was no danger in sight. So some families went back to their homes. But most of them went to Douglas, Arizona. Some of the farmers who had raised a lot of grain were hauling it to Douglas as fast as they could. My brother Martin was one of them, and he returned the night the word came that we could go back. He asked me to stay with his wife Lillie while he hurried back to Douglas for another load. His home was in San Jose, ten or fifteen miles from Morelos. So I and my two babies stayed with Lillie. She had four small children. At night we would stay at the Van Leuven home. Their women folk had gone to Douglas, but the two boys, Lafayette and Cornelius, were gathering crops as fast as they could.
It took Martin six or seven days to make the trip to Douglas with his grain, it being sixty five or seventy miles. When he got back to San Jose, he took us to Morelos to stay while he went to Douglas with another load of grain. There were still quite a lot of people in Morelos, and now the word came for everyone to leave at once. Roy had been promised that if he would go back to El Tigre and bring word to Morelos if danger threatened from that direction, that a way would be opened for his family to get out should it be necessary.
Brother Huber brought us a one horse rig that would have been ample room for me and my two children. But Lillie and her four children had to go, too, so Brother McCall came to the rescue. He took Lillie's two oldest boys, and someone else took a trunk and our bedroll. Well, our cart was the last to leave, Lillie and I in the seat, each with a big baby to hang onto. Letha and Bessie and Iven ad Floyd were at our feet. It was in August, very hot, and the rainy season was on and big black clouds were rolling up in the south. The ruts were deep, and we had a big lazy buckskin mare who did not want to walk on the ridge in the center of the road, so she would get down first on one side and then on the other. She didn't seem to care if we were the last or how far behind we got. Lillie vas trying to shelter us from the hot sun with her umbrella. But soon the wind began to blow and the thunder got louder, so Lillie used the whip and I kept hold of the lines as tight as I could. We were getting farther and farther behind and I was quite nervous. The other wagons were out of sight and the road was narrow and. rough with big chuckholes and on the flats the grass was higher than the horse.
Soon the rain commenced pouring and we had very little to wrap up with. The umbrella came in very well, and the little boys crawled under the seat. But nothing made any difference to the old mare, she wasn't in any hurry. But no matter how long the road always comes to an end.
The Lilliewhite Brothers had big grain fields and a big shed where they threshed their grain and had piled a lot of straw on it. So the people decided to stop for shelter and feed their horses. The grass was not so high here. We drove our outfit by the side of Brother McCall's and he stretched a canvas from his wagon. The rain had now stopped, but the grass was wet. Our bedroll was nice and dry. We made our bed on some straw, very thankful to have caught up with the crowd. We weren't long in giving the children something to eat and climbing into bed, though we were wet to the skin. Those under the shed did not fare as well as we did, since water dripped through the roof all night.
Next morning the road was very boggy and slick and there were big mud holes to go through and we had to double up to get up hills and through mud holes. It rained again but we didn't mind so much, since we were with the first wagon. When we got to Cutcrevence the creek was rising fast so the wagons hurried across until it got too high. Then part of us went on one side and part on the other. When Bishop Lilliewhite drove up and saw our condition, he sure bawled everyone out for not staying together. He said no fires were to be built though it was a very dark night. We had just got into bed when Martin drove up. We were sure happy to move our bed into his big covered wagon. There was room for us, and Lillie was sure glad to get out of the wet night with her four children.
In Douglas, at the border, U. S. Government had put up army tents for all of us. Martin made another trip to Mexico for a load of grain. And while he was gone, their fifth child was born, a baby girl, Eva, Grandma Lilliewhite being the midwife. I took care of Lillie and her children and washed and cooked for them. Martin was happy to come home and find his new baby and his wife doing fine.
Roy didn't get out of Mexico for two or three weeks, and he walked most of the way, hiding in the day time and traveling at night.. He soon found us a house in Douglas, and was I ever glad to get out of the tent where it was ankle deep in mud and into a house. One morning, after a night's rain, there had not been a dry place under our bed bigger than a milk pan. Our bedding was all wet and muddy and there was no place to hang things to dry. There were several hundred people living in tents, it was laid out like a city with streets and a few street lights and one or two places where we could carry water from, and a few outdoor toilets on the outskirts of the "town." On Sunday we all gathered together and held Sunday School and Church, with curious people from Douglas driving out to see what we Mormons looked like and taking pictures to put in the papers. They took a collection to help those poor people, but I never heard of anyone receiving any help.
Grandpa Bundy and family had moved to LaGrande, Oregon, so, as the U. S. Government gave all the refugees transportation any where in the U. S. that they wished to go to, we moved to Oregon, too, but only stayed there a coupe of months before deciding to move to Kaolin, Nevada. Roy and the other Bundy boys had been used to freedom, where they could fish and hunt wherever they pleased without a "No Trespassing" sign on every corner. And in Kaolin, Nevada, the LDS Church had bought a tract of land and was selling it. We bought a house and a farm, and everyone planted cantaloupes, which did fine, except the returns hardly paid for the seed. So we tried onions which did well but made only $6.00. So that was another discouragement.
On November 12, 1913, our third child, Helen, was born, and on September 2, 1915, our fourth child, Elmo Aaron. Then, in the summer of 1916, Grandpa Bundy, Jim and family, and Roy decided to spend a couple of weeks up in the mountains (southeast) where it was cool. And as the men were anxious to see what lay on the other side, we camped in a beautiful place among the pines, near a cool spring, on a Mr. Stutznegger's ranch. Chloe, Jim's wife, and I stayed close to camp with the children and enjoyed the shade while the children had a good time. The men climbed a high peak to see what lay on the other side. Then late that night they dragged themselves into camp, Happy as any three little boys who had just found a coyote's den. They had seen a green beautiful valley to the east, an ideal place for homes. So when we got back to Kaolin, Martin, Jim and Roy made a trip there, going around by St. George. They found the country beautiful with grass up to the horses' stirrups. So they staked. out their homesteads.
In the early part of 1916 Roy and his father went back out to Mt. Trumbull, which is what it has been called ever since, and built a dugout, my first home, and built a fence around to hold the grass for our cattle, as there were lots of sheep in the area. Then Roy left his father there and came back to Kaolin to get his family, two cows, one calf, four horses, a wagon load of provisions and our household goods. Roy's brother Pat went with us to drive the cattle.
We arrived at our new home about dark. I started looking for water. Elmo needed his face washed and Helen was crying for a drink. We had been on the way four or five days. Grandpa Bundy pointed to a five gallon can or keg half full of water and said, "Here is your water supply. Do with it as you see fit use it all tonight, or save a drink for tomorrow. But when morning came, I saw that there was a little skiff of snow on the hillside, and as I was one who never waited for water to come to me, I took my wash tap and shovel and some matches and went out and supplied myself with it.. About every week more snow would fall, and I learned to be grateful to my Father in Heaven for sending it to me to sweep up and melt.
Grandpa took our wagon and horses and went back to the Muddy Valley. Then Jim brought his wife and family;. Iona, Genevieve, Loran, Ben and Bill. Jim and Roy, got busy making Chloe's first home in Mt. Trumbull, a stockade corral with a wagon cover over it and the poles around the side to keep the wind and cold out.
Our homes weren't anything for beauty, but places to sleep, eat and keep warm. But now came the job to see what we were made of.
The men commenced plowing and fencing, and with six or eight head of horses and three or four cows to melt snow for there was a deep need of water. In a wash north of our house the wind had drifted a deep bank of snow and this is where our work commenced. The men would plow half a day, and since they did not have hay or grain for their horses, they spent the rest of the day building fence, and the horses unhitched from the plow would rush up to us for a drink. And the cows drank once a day. Then, in the afternoon we had to fill the barrels with melted snow for the horses to drink in the morning before they started plowing. The children all helped some by dragging in wood to keep the fire going. We had to have water for house use as well, so we had to work. It would not have been bad if it had just been for a week or so, but when it ran into a month, or six weeks, we would get very discouraged. We would have to laugh in order to keep from crying.
When the snowdrift was exhausted, the men hauled water from a wet weather spring a mile upon the mountain side.. But first, they had to make a road, so Chloe and I went along and threw rocks and helped any way we could. Our first Easter there, we went to the spring for a load of water and took our washing along and had a real washday while the boys built road.
When planting season came, Roy would plow the furrows and I walked while I planted twenty two miles of corn. We planted potatoes, beans and Mexican June corn. I never saw corn grow taller: Then, about the first of June, Chloe and I and families moved up to the spring, so water did not have to be hauled for the animals, since the men were busy hauling lumber(from the sawmill on Nixon Mountain) in order to build our house. He was also building a reservoir. Then my mother, Levi, and sister Annie moved out. Mother stayed on the mountain with me. Fred Schulz, who had a ranch west of the Bundys', watered his sheep at the spring every third day, and would give us a nice piece of mutton, which was much appreciated. We got our first rain on the fourth of July, so could move back home. I was sure glad, as the little black gnats were bad and we had to have smudges burning all day. I would run my hands over my baby's face to feel the lumps; his eyes swelled shut.
We began building a four room house, and it was wonderful to move into a house again. Roy had his reservoir ready and hoped that it would fill and hold. When a terrible storm came one night, he got up and went to the pond, though I coaxed him not to go. His pond was full of red, muddy water and he walked across the bank with his lantern, then walked back. Then, "Puff," and the dike broke and the water whooshed out. Roy rebuilt it four or five times that summer, to no avail. So Grandpa Bundy had to haul water from Little Tank a pond some twelve miles north of us. I can still see icicles hanging from his beard that winter.
On the 29th of September, 1917, our fifth child, Barbara, was born, the first in Mt. Trumbull. A beautiful baby girl.
Jim and family moved to their homestead one mile west of us, and Grandpa had brought his family consisting of Grandma and their three younger children, Pat, Chester and Edna to their land adjoining us on the south. And in October, 1917, Martin and Lillie and their family, Vernon, Verl, Floyd, Letha, Eva, George and Lawrence arrived. They homesteaded three miles to the north of us. Roy and Martin laid a pipeline from the spring on the mountain side down to the cove on our place so we could water the cattle without the hard drive up hill. But it didn't last long, being only a wet weather spring.
Everyone was busy building a home. That first winter we held school in one room of our slab shanty with nine children in attendance Pat, Chester, Edna, Iona, Genevieve, Loran, Iven, Bessie, Vernon, Verl, Letha, Floyd, this makes twelve; however, Pat soon dropped out. The exact number at school's beginning is not certain. Our children, Martin's, Jim's, and, Grandpa Bundy's.
We had plenty of work to do so did not have time to get lonesome. The men were busy clearing ground, fencing and making ponds. Everyone was trying to find ways to feed their family. But we would get together and have dances and community dinners. And on the fourth and twenty fourth of July we would spend the day and half the night having some good times.
On September 6, 1919, our sixth child was born. We called him Clarence Ambrose. Now we had six, beautiful children.
We raised corn, beans, squash and had plenty of milk, butter, eggs and meat. Roy built a windmill to turn a small mill for grinding corn and cracking some for the horses. Some years there were lots of pine nuts and Chloe and I would move up on the mountain with our families of little children and spend a few days picking up the nuts, which was enjoyed by all through the winter.
Every year new families moved out and joined us. Aldredges, Van Leuvens, Browns, MCains, Snyders, Whartons, Jones, Hallmark and Whipples and some others. This made us feel the need for a church organization and a Sunday School. We were all happy when Abraham Bundy was put in as Presiding Elder. In 1918, a one room schoolhouse had been erected half way between Roy's and Jim's homes and teachers hired as needed thereafter. So the time flew by.
On March 2, 1922, our fourth son, David Ammon, was born, and on the sixteenth of November, 1923 our fourth daughter, Leah arrived. On the twenty fourth of November, 1925, Newell Alma, our fifth son came. And on the fourteenth of August, 1927, our fifth daughter, Juanita was born, making ten beautiful children. We had been greatly blessed of the Lord, though for lack of space I cannot write the many happenings of those years.
In 1928, Mt. Trumbull was made a Ward of the St. George, Utah Stake. Roy Bundy was Bishop and Martin Iverson and James Bundy were councilors. With our Sunday School, Relief Society and Primary, there was work for all to do. Up to now I haven't said anything about my work in the Church. When a young girl I taught a Sunday School class until I was married and moved to Old Mexico. There I taught Primary. In Kaolin, Nevada I worked in Relief Society and Primary as I did later at Mt. Trumbull. Most of the time I walked and carried a baby one mile, or went out in the pasture to find a horse, which would take longer than if I walked. But many times I would get my horse and buggy in order to take my baby along. We had no baby sitters in those days. In 1929, Iven was called on a Mission. He had always looked forward to going and had saved his money for that purpose. But in 1928 his father was stricken with arthritis and our Stake President advised Roy to keep Iven at home until he, Roy, should be on his feet again, not knowing how long that would be Iven put off his Mission for two years to help take care of his father and the ranch. We did all we could to relieve Roy's pain and suffering. Then he decided to go to Kingman, Arizona, to the County Hospital, but received no relief after several months, so came home.
That winter the smallpox was brought to our country. One day Iven came home from the sheep camp sick with a high fever, and asked that Elmo, his little brother, go and help him, as he had been sick for several days. But I insisted that he get one of his cousins to take his place with the sheep. Iven raved with fever all night, and by morning was all broken out with the pox. Then our entire family of fourteen had it, and my brother Levi and wife and three children.. We had no doctor, nurse or medicine. We were sick enough to die, but the Lord was merciful and we all survived.
On the twenty first of June, 1929, Madge Doretta was born. And on the nineteenth of April, 1931, Iven was drowned in the Colorado River. He and his cousin Floyd Iverson were down there with their fathers' sheep and decided to swim. But Iven got caught in a whirlpool and couldn't make it. Those two cousins were closer than brothers and nothing but death could separate them. It was hard for Floyd to come and bring the sad news to us. The last time I had seen Iven, he had said, "Mother, I will stay with the sheep until they finish lambing, then the little boys can take care for them. For I am either going on my Mission or getting married. We have always felt that his Mission was on the "other side."
On the 1st of November, 1933, Orvel Allen was born, our twelfth child, a beautiful ten pound baby full of life and energy. When he was four years old he got rheumatic fever and had to lie in bed for from six months to a year. It made him so weak and nervous that he pulled most of his hair out and left him with a weak heart. Roy suffered for thirty years with arthritis, battling all the while, and hoping to overcome it. He passed away the 31st of July, 1959.
At this date November 10, 1958 my children are all married and have families. I am the proud grandmother of fifty six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, with eleven living children