This document contains two articles about my grandfather, Vistor Moses Iverson. The first is a reflection on his life by my son Ethan Waite. The second is a history written by my mother and her siblings which contains some of his letters and a week of his diary.
The Dreamer by Ethan Waite
Laron Waite - 2017
"His Majesty wrote this book down anew...His Majesty discovered it as a work of the Ancestors, but eaten by worms...So His Majesty wrote it down from the beginning, so that it is more beautiful than it was before." So go the words of an ancient Egyptian scribe as he explained the rebirth of an old manuscript. The belief that old things could become new and live again, is very compelling. Since the beginning of time, men and women have sought for the Fountain of Youth, the key to unlock the gates of eternity. Many have spent a lifetime searching for that one intangible which would ensure immortality.
Dust covered conquistadors have worn out their lives following tales, myths and legends that they thought lay only beyond the next hill. Even in our own time, people spend fortunes on plastic surgery, cosmetics and stationary bikes. Man seeks to live forever. He thinks he can overcome death with power that he does not posses. My great grandfather did not find the elixir of longevity. He died at the age of fifty-four and left his wife a widow for fifty-three years. With a few strokes of my pen, I make him live again. Like that long forgotten Egyptian manuscript, my grandfather is reborn on these pages and briefly springs to life.
The sun sets in the west as feathery white clouds fly over the turquoise sky of Southern Utah. The desert seems eternal and unchanging from day to day. It is still, quiet, and lies thoughtful between the red bluffs and black ledges that surround it. High above the desert floor, which is sparsely covered with chaparral, cactus, and Joshua trees, a man sits on a large red rock. His slight body leans forward in eager anticipation, as if he were trying to follow the waning sun up and over the hills.
A warm current of air flows up off the desert and blows through his curly, dark hair, over skin that is tanned and creased by years in the open. The man's brilliant blue eyes stare out on the arid scene towards the flaming horizon. His stare seems to float out into the air, resting upon some apparition or image unseen by any other. He is always dreaming and constantly spurred to action by what he sees.
The man's name is Victor M. Iverson, my great grandfather. I can picture his communion with nature in my mind as I read and ponder his life. I look into the mirror. I see a man, still young and full of life. To understand who Victor Iverson was is to better understand the man looking back at me. I search not only to disturb ghosts of the past but to understand the present. There is so much of him that I see in me. As I read his history it is my mind that feels the emotions on the page. It is my mind that justifies his actions.
Victor is an enigma to me, most of the time he remains in the backwater of my brain, out of sight and unsung. My focus is the present. I go about my day planner life filled with zeal, commitment, and appointments. Life can be like the dangerous, dark clouds of an electric storm. It can plow under, over and positively bury a person with its constant focus on results and going places. How I would like to see and understand what my grandfather saw as he sat there on that rock. What an escape it would be to leave my hurried path to sit awhile and dream. With time to dream I could better understand my place in life. The draining of the hourglass quickens. I need knowledge before it is too late. Before life envelopes me and I become a drone of modern society.
A faded picture of Victor lies in an album. It is black, white, and creased. It projects the image of a martial young man in the neat uniform of a Marine. He stands at attention with his head up, his stare is piercing straight ahead. I almost feel like he is looking directly at me and trying to ascertain what kind of man his legacy has become. The left hand is upon a draped American flag.
The fury of World War I has been bottled up in the form of trench warfare. Every patriotic young man must do his duty. Young Americans clamor for the glory that their European cousins have already earned. Fortunately for Victor, he never had to go to Europe, he was honorably discharged when his mother became ill. There would be no Angel of Mons to sweep him towards heaven and glory. Instead of facing combat he took leave of the Marines and returned to the deserts.
I have seen war. The type of war fought in city streets. The warfare where the enemy is rarely seen but always present. You can feel him in the call of the merchant or the graffiti on the wall. In Jerusalem, I was a young observer of a struggle that I could hardly understand. The streets of Jerusalem were muggy and hot. Men were sluggish as they walked along. I struggled to understand the moneychanger in front of me. I squinted through beads of sweat. Arabic poured forth like a torrent from his mouth. I leaned close to understand. The tirade of foreign words was suddenly and sharply broken by a bomb blast in the street behind me. From out of everywhere young men appeared with kafikhas wrapped over their faces. They pelted a fleeing police van with anything they could find.
There was no way out. I was trapped in the mayhem. The enemy was revealed to me. Fear froze my joints and I could not run away. I slid against the wall as the rioting and looting intensified. A rock stung my shoulder. More stones rattled against the gaily-painted door of the shop where I was hiding. Hiding in broad daylight, for there was no place to go.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Black smoke from burning automobiles choked my view. Fleeing into the fray, I ran down the street. I met the soldiers as they advanced up the street. They were trying to restore order. The soldier nearest me was shaking and frightened as he fired his gun into the crowd. Finally they were beyond me. I found myself in safety. A place filled with wounded people, but it was safe. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
As I scan his photo, I realize that I have seen that sharp, attentive face before, in the Marine photo of my younger brother. How similar they seem, as if the chasm of eighty-four years were nothing at all. The eyes and face are the same; both glow with youth and determination. Victor's expression shows a calm deliberation about the future. His stare reminds me of the feelings that I had when I was nineteen. Never had the world seemed clearer. Never had I been more determined to take advantage of chance to create my own history.
Victor was raised in the wastes of the Utah, Nevada, and Arizona deserts. Though he lived until 1946, his life was void of the luxuries and conveniences of modern America. Son of a Mormon polygamist and first generation American, he had to learn to adapt to the shrinking West that was still wild and untamed in his early years. Most notable of all, Victor Iverson was a nomad who never could sit still for long. His constant dreams and hopes kept pushing him along from place to place between Mexico and Idaho. He was constantly searching for something that he never seemed to find.
The world is wonderful and full of excitement. There is not enough time to take it all in. These were my thoughts as I sat upon the walls of Jerusalem. I was seventeen years old. Too young to understand all that passed before me. Too old to ever see it all. So I travel, from place to place then home again. Never satisfied from the well I drink from. I am always searching. I find a little truth and desire more. My bags are continually packed, waiting for a new idea to enter into my mind. Normal everyday life can bore me.
In this hustle and bustle of mine I recognize the problem of my grandfather. Too much to do and not enough time for all the wonder. My mind stretches to the past. Like a time traveler I marvel at the differences between then and now. Yet how similar things seem as well.
Even when he married and had a family, he carried them along in search of El Dorado, fortune or success. As I read his history, I gave up counting the many moves that he had made. He was not greedy nor did he seek to control the lives of others. It was his responsibility to provide for his family and help the less fortunate. He never understood money and always seemed to fail in his enterprises. Life was a test that was constantly forming him, pressuring his mind towards a perfection that only he understood. Maybe he was just trying to get by for survival is hard in that terrible land. Yet, his actions would speak otherwise. He was a gyp miner, farmer, dairyman, railroad worker and countless other forms of menial labor. Sometimes just when things started to go his way, he would decide he had occupied that piece of ground for long enough and move on.
I have wondered why he persisted in his dreams, what was it that kept him striving, reaching for something always out of his grasp? He had a favorite phrase that he used to quote when speaking about the consequences of brash acts. " Scolding don't hurt, a lickin don't last long and kill ya they daresent." I have often thought that this was his philosophy as he confronted the consequences of risks and gambles that filled his life. He could endure just about anything for the sake of trying. Life was filled with pain and disease. My grandmother, his daughter, remembers that he would often lie in bed for days, moaning in pain and fever. His "lickin" and "scolding" were very hard indeed.
Life has not been an easy path for me to stroll along. I have felt the need to go about the world and witness suffering. I once held a young Egyptian in my arms. Her grandfather had offered to sell her to me for fifteen piastres. She was so young. She was beautiful but scarred by life. Her smile revealed only the broken stubs of her teeth. Her belly was enlarged by famine. The dark curly hair was matted.
I walked and held her close for awhile. She reached up to stroke my sun-bleached hair. I felt as if I held an angel with in my arms. How ephemeral she seemed! But her trials were very real. I left her there, in her village beside the Nile. When I sat down on the bus, I hid my head and wept. In the darkness of the night, I rose from my bed and prayed to God. I made him a solemn vow. One day I would rescue a little girl from poverty and pain.
Amid lamentation and sorrow is when Victor showed whom he really was inside. In my mind, I picture him at the death of his first child when she was only four years old. A little form lays forever still upon the bed, dressed in her Sunday best; a hard and callused hand fondly rumples her curly hair. Victor, in a gray suit, looks at his daughter through his tears and pauses, with his hand upon her head. Soon they will be coming to take her away but there are still a few minutes yet. Even now she is growing cold, but her father remains unwilling to let her image slide away forever. His mind wanders to dreams of the girl she used to be, before Diphtheria came. There she is at play in the desert; she has just caught a small lizard and hides it in the front pocket of her dress. His dream shifts to the impossible future, to gaze upon what might have been. A young woman, beautiful and healthy rises before him and with patriarchal pride he kisses her cheek as she fades away. All that remains is the lifeless shell on the bed.
With a heavy sigh, Victor rises to perform a final service to his daughter. Because of the danger of the disease that killed her, nobody attends the funeral but Victor, his wife and youngest child. At first, he was not even able to find anyone to carry the casket to the cemetery. An old man in an old truck finally agrees and with the help of the doctor, they slowly travel through the dusty streets of Las Vegas to the burial. No service, no hymns, no speeches, just a hot afternoon in the desert. Didn't you learn your lesson then, Victor? Why did you keep trying?
I found the answer to his perseverance while searching through his poems and letters. He wrote and spoke constantly about his God and he had a strong belief in the divinity of Christ. His fervent poetry, his desire to reach beyond this world and into the next, sounds an echo deep within my soul. He had a hope that he and his family would be blessed in this life. That they would receive blessings in the world to come. Victor had failed to protect his daughter against an invisible enemy. Yet he was content to trust in God and that trust soothed and calmed his heart. Those who are not spiritual will never understand him or what I write here. To them he will always remain a failure, one who dreamed too much and tried too hard.
In a blessing from a Mormon patriarch, he was given this promise, "be humble, faithful, and obedient and you shall reap the reward of the righteous, and be crowned with blessings not a few. The Lord will be with you in the hour of your affliction, to comfort and to bless." In Victor's mind this was not a common message but a divine mandate, on how to live his life. It was his reality! When he dreamed, his mind left this world and views of perfection rose before his sight, beckoning, calling him onward. He was not running from anything but towards all that he believed.
The other day, I took time to do some dreaming of my own. With the eye of imagination, I looked behind me at the past and forward to the future. I focused most on my great grandfather. Visions of him filled my head and I felt as if I came to personally know him in a small way. I confess that I contemplated the future as much as I viewed the past. This was a concerted effort on my part to take all that I knew of him in order to seek him out. Conclusions of a spiritual nature can be slippery, but once grasped they fuse into the very soul. In this realm of spirit, I discovered a part of the true nature of my predecessor.
The gift that Victor is able to lay upon the altar of his God, is a pure and honest heart. He was a twentieth century Don Quixote, filled to the brim with silly notions about everyday life, but steadfast in his view of eternity. A heart forged in trial and sorrow is made clean by the fire. Once man commits to something larger and greater than himself, he will constantly be pulled towards it as if by an unseen hand. My inheritance from him has no monetary value, yet I count it a prize that I believe that I could never, again, live without.
Mirror, mirror on the wall in you I see my grandfather. His is the story of my life. We are both men that can never be satisfied with the daily rising, working and sleeping of a normal life. He reached for God and so do I. We are firm in our faith of a greater Good. Confident in our responsibilities to observe the world and help where we can. We are fully aware of our inadequacies. We are frail, thin men under a blistering sun.
Victor Moses Iverson
by his six living children Marie Iverson Waite, Alvin Levi (Budd) Iverson, Grant Harold Iverson,
Keith Kale Iverson, Archie Ray Iverson and Sharon Alene Iverson Hunt
We would like to hive much thanks to our dear mother for the help she has been to us in giving information, assistance and encouragement when we were putting this History together. We would also like to thank our dear Aunt Annie (Annie Emmarene Iverson Whipple) our father's youngest, and only living sister for her help.
Life Sketch of Victor Moses Iverson
Most of the rest of the information came from our memories and incidents related to us by our father himself while he yet lived.
We wish to honor our father, by this belated, joint effort, so that our. children, grandchildren and all his family on the earth now and those yet to come, can read of him, feel his love and. caring, his kindness, his great faith and strong testimony of the living God and his beloved son, Jesus Christ.
We also wish our children to know of his problems and suffering and how he valiantly bore his cross, ever remaining strong and true to the gospel teachings and what he knew to be right, just and true.
Before we start his story, we would like to tell a little about what he was like.
He was of slender build and medium height, with dark curly hair and blue-gray eyes. Later as he grew older his hair thinned and turned partly gray.
Daddy was a very gentle, loving and caring person. He was always concerned about those less fortunate than he was, and always took the part of anyone who seemed to be getting the worst of things.
Some people took advantage of his gentle and generous ways to beat him out of debts they owed him, things they borrowed or things that were his right.
He would dismiss the problem, saying, "They probably needed it worse than I do", or "It isn't worth the trouble".
Daddy had reverence and respect for all of God's creations and rather than kill an insect or snake that came near the house, he would carry it away on a shovel saying, "All of God's creatures have a right to live."
He had the great disadvantage of having ill health most of his life and gradually became worse, as he became older.
As a child he had headaches, and they continued to plague him through out his life. As he became older, his headaches seemed to become more severe and he was told he had an ulcer and nervous indigestion. He would quite often have severe sick spells when he would become delirious and very ill to his stomach. As a young man, he hurt his back while trying to lift a wagon and suffered with it form then on.
He died at age 54 of a cerebral hemorrhage, January 3rd, 1946.
It is our sincere wish, that if it is permitted by our Heavenly Father, that our father will know of our effort in this endeavor and that he will approve, and know we still remember him often and that we have greatly missed him during all these 40 long years since he left us, and that we love him still. - Marie Iverson Waite
Victor Iverson drawing by Vicki Iverson Farr
Daddy had changing moods, depending on how he was feeling. Illness brought on discouragement and depression, and some times he would be cross. If he was feeling good he was happy and joyous. He laughed and sang and would sometimes dance a little jig. He liked to grab Mama and dance her around the room as he hummed or sang. He was sometimes humorous and would joke. He also wrote humorous letters to his family.
Daddy could also be very serious. He often studied the scriptures and would take time to ponder their meanings. He was very religious, with a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was anxious to work in the church. He felt it was his duty and also a privilege. He did quite a bit of temple work and wanted to do genealogy.
He never drank or smoked and never swore, and never allowed his children to swear.
He never gave in to his illness for long, but would keep going and doing the best he could to make a living, but we knew he suffered a lot.
He showed love and concern for his family and wanted the best for them. He always admonished his family to study and live the gospel.
Daddy was very talented (as was his father) at writing poems and songs, and also at singing. He and Mama sang duets in church and other places many times over the years.
We are including some of his songs, poems and letters in this history. Some have been lost. Pictures that are available of him are included in this history, including one by his granddaughter, Vickie Marie Iverson Farr.
Victor was of pure Danish blood, that is traced back for 10 generations into the early 1600's and possibly further.
Victor's grandparents, Jeppe and Annie Christina Mortenson Iverson first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Vestbirk, Denmark, from two young missionaries from America. They were baptized in March 1854 including all their children except their oldest son Andrew.
Victor's father, Hans Peter was then 19 years of age. His mother was Juliana Johannah Dorothea Christensen, who also joined the church in Denmark. She was his second wife in a Polygamist marriage. Hans Peter had three wives.
Annie Christina Mortenson
Hans Peter Iverson
Juliana Johannah Dorothea Christensen
Victor was born June 24th, 1891, at Littlefield, Mohave County, Arizona. He was the 5th child of 7 children and the 3rd son. His brothers and sisters are listed in order below.
- Juliane (Julie)
- Peter Martin
- Willard James
- Doretta Marie
- Victor Moses
- Levi Aaron
- Annie Emmarene
Victor was baptized June 24,1899, at Littlefield, Arizona, by his father. Confirmed July 4,1899 by Edward Bunker Jr.
Victor married Leoma McCain at Overton, Nevada, by Stake Pres. William Jones. They were later endowed in the St. George, Utah, temple, and sealed to his wife and family on March 15th, 1923. Marie, his second daughter stood proxy for her sister Bernice, who passed away at age 4, September 29th, 1922.
Victor received one of his Patriarchal Blessings on June 16th, 1922 given to him by Joseph I. Earl.
Shortly before the birth of Victor Moses Iverson, his parents moved from Washington, Utah, to a tiny farming settlement in the northwestern corner of Arizona, called Littlefield.
They moved into a small one-room cabin that was on the place they bought. It stood on a small sandy hill, with an irrigation ditch running along the base of the hill. From this ditch they carried all the water for their needs. The water came from the Rio Virgin River that ran through the Littlefield farming community. Most of the people lived on the west side of the river.
All the area round about is desert country, dry, hot and covered with desert plants such as a variety of cactus, Yucca, Joshua, Chaparral, Sage, Cat Claw, Mesquite and others. Also with a variety of flowers that would bloom in the spring.
In Littlefield where the land could be irrigated, the soil was fertile and produced very well.
When Victor was born, on June 24th, 1891, in the little shanty where his parents had moved, the heat was oppressive. Baby, mother, and the rest of the family really suffered, so Grandpa Hans Peter built a dugout home into the side of the hill, to live in temporarily. This brought much welcome relief from the heat.
They lived here for some time , because their next child, Levi Aaron was born in the dugout also. Victor's father also built a bowery out in front to give them shade. For those who have never seen a bowery, it is a large frame, built with poles, with branches laid over the top to give shade and protection. They were used a lot before trees could be grown to provide shade.
It was under the bowery that Victor's mother had her cook stove, so that the heat would not effect the dugout.
One big problem was that the road passed right along the ditch bank, in front of the dugout. When a team and wagon came along they had to hurry and make sure the children and everything else was out of the way.
Can you imagine the dust, dirt, heat and misery they went through under these conditions? Especially Grandma Hannah trying to cook, wash clothes and keep her children safe and clean. They were plagued with lots of scorpions, and snakes (including Rattlers) in this dry sandy country. This worried Grandma for the safety of her children.
Victor said his earliest recollection was when he was small and toddling around. His mother went somewhere, and he tried to follow. He stepped into some cactus with his bare feet. He cried so loud and long that his sister Doretta just older than him, came out to help. She also stepped into the cactus, so she began to cry also. They both stood there crying together, until their mother returned to help them pull out the slivers and comfort them.
Victor and his sisters and his brothers usually went bare-footed during the summer and they spoke of how they could run over the hot sand from the shade of one small bush to another.
Aunt Annie, Victor's youngest sister has told several stories about him when he was small that that the family especially enjoyed remembering, and talking about.
One was when Victor was just a toddler. He had a kitten that he was carrying about. His mother had a wash fire going and went into the dugout after something. When she returned Victor had thrown the poor kitten into the fire. Of course he was too small to know better.
When Victor was small he used to say he was going to get some money. When asked where he was going to get it, he would wave his arms and say, "Oh, up in the sky."
Victor used to climb up on the back wheel of a wagon and would say, or sometimes sing over and over again, "To wit, to wit, to wee." The older boys would tease him about this little game of his, but he still liked to climb on his wagon wheel and sing his little song.
Once, when the older children had gone to school, and he was still too young, he ran away and went to school too. The teacher, Charlie Miles, told him to come in and sit down, but Victor didn't want to do that and became a little upset with the teacher, so he went home. When he arrived home he indignantly told his mother, "I'm going to take Charlie Miles gun, go out and shoot some rabbits and feed him the fevers! (feathers)"
One day when Victor was small his father was chopping wood. He called Victor and told him to carry the wood into the house. As Victor was picking up the wood, (it is suspected) that the head of the ax flew off the handle, at least some how he was accidentally hit in the head with the ax and received a bad cut on his head. He ran screaming, thinking his father had hit him on purpose. His father ran to catch him and carried him into the house. His father felt very bad about the accident, and Victor carried a scar on his head for the rest of his life.
At one time when he was small, his father owned a large mother sow, who had just had a batch of piglets. She was very protective of her brood and ate anything that happened to get into her pen, such as chickens etc.
Victor was anxious to see the little pigs and climbed on the fence to get a good view, but in the process he became over-balanced and fell into the pen. The sow came running at him with her big mouth wide open, and Victor barely had time to get up and scramble over the side of the pen.
Victor seemed to be a typical older brother as he was growing up, as he liked to tease his little sister Annie by pulling her hair to make her cry.
After they had lived in the dugout for some time, Victor's father built a much better house. They planted a real nice orchard of peaches, plums, apples, grapes, apricots, and pomegranates. They did very well and soon produced fruit.
They always grew lovely gardens, and good field crops of grain, sugar cane for making molasses, and alfalfa.
Danish people are noted for their thrift, cleanliness and being good farmers.
The Iversons were very hospitable people. Many travelers stopped to spend the night, needing a place to eat, rest, and care for their horses. These visitors were always welcomed and had their needs met.
The main road from southern California into Utah went right by Littlefield. Many L.D.S. people stopped there regularly as they went north to Salt Lake City for Conference, and even the Indians found a welcome refuge with the Iversons. Many good and lasting friends were made this way. Through the years they would hear from these friends.
Grandma Hannah run a small country store in Littlefield, where she sold food, overalls, material for shirts, dresses, and other clothing, etc.
The flour, sugar, and other dry ingredients came to her in large bulk containers, and grandma had no paper sacks or bags to put smaller quantities for her customers, so she would fold paper into a cone shape and fold down the top, so it could be carried away without spilling.
Grandma Hanna made nearly all her own family's clothing by hand. She even made the boy's overalls and brimmed hats out of blue denim.
Victor, Retty, Johannah, Annie, Lee, Willard
Marie remembers, Grandma told me when I was a little girl that, "You must learn how to sew neatly and nicely by hand, then you can learn to sew on a machine." I don't think grandma ever had a sewing machine, but, she really could sew a fine seam by hand.
Victor and his brother would make quail traps out of willow sticks and set them where a covey of quail was likely to wander by. They would bait the traps with a little grain, scattering some of it outside the trap to lead the birds into the trap. (These traps were figure four traps).
The quail provided a welcome supple of fresh meat for the family.
Victor and his brothers had the responsibility to herd the cows out on the hills close by to graze. (especially during the spring with it's new growth.) Many times as he drove them across the river, he would grab a cow's tail and jump onto her back and ride across the river to keep from getting wet. Victor said that sometimes the milk would taste so strong from the weeds and brush the cows ate, that they could hardly use the milk.
Victor always enjoyed roaming around in the hills, looking at the rock formations, even when he was a boy, and all his life. He was also interested in the desert plants and vegetation. He later taught his children, that in the spring you could eat the young, tart, tender Bottle Stoppers and later on the Prickly Pear fruit. He showed us how you could use Yucca root, when dug and cut, as a substitute for soap and how it would suds up when rubbed. It was good to wash your hair with.
Victor and his brothers liked to get their Dad's prized workhorses and ride them. This sometimes got them in trouble, for their father thought a lot of his horses and did not want them mistreated.
As Victor would relate the above, it would remind him of what a retarded Reber boy, there at Littlefield used to say, "Scolding don't hurt, a lickin don't last long and kill ya they darsent."
Victor and Levi used to tell how their Dad would send them and their half brother, Wallace down into the field by the river to hoe. They would work pretty good for a while, then it would get hot and Wallace would say well, I'm going swimming in the river." The other boys would warn "You better not, you will get in trouble." Wallace would say something like, "What Dad don't know, won't hurt him!"
Victor and Levi would go on hoeing, but finally could stand the temptation no longer and would join Wallace in the river. Wallace would watch the trail toward the house and when he saw Grandpa on his way to check on them he would hurry and get out and go back to work without telling the other boys that their dad was coming. He would see Wallace out there working so faithfully and those two other lazy boys in the river swimming.
Wallace was praised and Victor and Levi got a licking. Seemed like that was the usual way things went for them, Victor said.
Having been raised in Denmark near the sea, Grandpa Hans Peter loved fish to eat, so he sometimes allowed Victor and some of the older young people to follow the river up northeast to where it went through the mountains. This was a gorge called the "Narrows" with many rock walls and beautiful formations. They could fish here for Suckers that stayed in that area in the deeper holes, shaded by the rocks. (Perhaps small trout).
One time Victor was swimming and dove into a hole and came up under some rocks. He nearly drowned before he could work himself free of the rocks and come up for air. This close call really frightened him and he never forgot it.
The Virgin River was usually a quiet small stream, compared to most rivers in the West, but during the spring when the snow melt started running south from the Utah mountains, it many times becomes a raging, roaring flood with large rolling waves of muddy water, colored red because of the runoff from Zion's Canyon and other colorful places.
The older boys living up and down along the flooding area of the river became very adventurous and would go out into that dangerous and frightening flood and ride those rolling waves down the river for several miles, then work themselves to the bank and get out. Victor said this was really fun.
In the year of 1910, when Victor was still at home, there was an especially large and disastrous flood that came down the river and washed away much of their prized orchard and land, coming right up to the house. Annie and Victor talked of how they watched that flood wash their things away.
They realized they would have to move their house, before another flood came, to be safe. So they tore that house down and built a rock or adobe house on some land they had on the east side of the river, and they moved over there. Grandma Hanna did much hard work to help with the building of the new home.
As Victor grew up in Littlefield, he went to school through the eighth grade in the small schoolhouse his father had built for the community. This building still stands, but it may have been enlarged some or built onto.
They used this building for church meetings, dances and other community gatherings.
Along with being a farmer, Hans Peter was a stone mason and built many buildings around the area. Some of this interest in building may have rubbed off on Victor, because he became interested in developing building brick and building materials years later.
Hans Peter always insisted that his family attend church meetings and other church responsibilities. They also had family prayers twice a day. Victor said his father usually read a chapter out of the scriptures aloud to his family in the mornings, before breakfast.
Victor said he always appreciated this, because it really helped him learn and understand the scriptures. He was good at remembering what he heard and it helped him in living and teaching the gospel in later years.
Years later as he raised his own family, Victor too, made a habit of reading the scriptures aloud to them also. He would say to his family, "You must study and study the scriptures, then you will understand about the Lord and his great plan of salvation and you will know what you must do!"
When Victor was living at home with his parents, they usually ate "Cracked Wheat Mush" for breakfast, always using their own homemade molasses on it for sweetner, never sugar. Sugar was too expensive and had to be hauled in.
They raised their own sugar cane, cut it, juiced it and boiled the juice down, in a large outside vat, until it was boiled thick enough to be molasses.
Victor had severe headaches, even when a boy. Many times he would lay in the shade of the grapevines with a wet cloth on his head. (This problem may have been inherited, for it has been told that grandpa also suffered from headaches.)
Victor learned many lessons of life while growing up in Littlefield. How to work hard, honesty, kindness to his family and to animals. He learned responsibility and dependability. He also learned the value of prayer and living the gospel. He learned to love the things of nature and enjoy them, because he knew his Savior had created them. They gave inspiration and strength from day to day, to look forward to a better tomorrow.
When Victor was in his teen's, his married brothers, Martin and Willard, and his married sister Doretta and their families had all moved to Old Mexico, to a Mormon settlement to work in the gold or silver mines there. When Victor was sixteen, he decided to go to Mexico to visit them.
He bought a train ticket and started on his way. On the train he met another boy about his own age. He and this boy were friendly and they decided to travel together. When they reached Los Angles, they rented a hotel room together for the night. When Victor awoke the next morning, his new so-called friend was gone and also Victor's money, train ticket and clothes. He didn't even have enough money for breakfast.
He began to look for work that he might earn enough to continue his journey. He met an elderly prospector that liked Victor right off. He took him and bought him a meal, telling the people there at the restaurant to give Victor anything he wanted anytime and he would pay the bill.
This kind old man also took Victor to a clothing store and bought him the clothes he needed, telling them to give Victor anything he wanted, anytime, and he would take care of the bill.
This old man had come to the U.S. from another country, and had found gold. He was now in his 80's and alone. He gave Victor a job panning gold on his claim.
The old man's affection for Victor grew as they worked together. He told Victor he loved him like a son, and pleaded with him to stay with him and be his family. If Victor would stay, he would leave all his wealth to him when he died.
This was a very tempting proposition to Victor, for he really liked this kind old man and felt sorry for him being so alone, but Victor was now very lonesome for his own family and yearned to travel on to Mexico.
Victor saved his money and bought a train ticket, told his prospector friend good-bye, paying him for all that he would on the food and clothes and left for Mexico and family.
While in Mexico, Victor had several frightening experiences he used to tell us about.
He told of one time while walking alone from a town out to where his family lived. It was a long distance, and it started to grow late. As he walked he heard the chilling howl of a wolf in the distance. Another howl answered the first and then another. Before long there seemed to be wolves howling all around him and coming closer.
He was very thankful and relieved to find the splintered and charred remains of a telegraph pole that had been struck by lightening lying beside the road. Hurriedly he started a fire which he kept going all night long, the glaring eyes reflecting the light as the wolves circled and howled only few feet away.
Finally dawn broke and gradually his unwelcome visitors drifted away, and Victor knew his prayers had been answered. His heart was filled with gratitude as he went on his way.
Another day when he was out in the hills, he was hunting his horse that had wandered off in the night (hobbled) he sat down to rest on a large overhanging rock and hung his legs down over the edge. As he did so he was startled by a loud grunt and squeal and a lot of knocking around of rocks, then out from under Victor's feet ran a large brown bear. He was so frightened he jumped up and started to run, thinking the bear was after him! However when he glanced back he saw that the bear was running just as hard in the opposite direction.
Marie relates another story she remembers hearing Daddy tell. She says, "It still gives me the chills when I remember it, as it did when he used to tell it to us."
He said he and a friend had previously seen a cave out in the mountains, that looked exciting to explore. They came prepared with candles and matches to use as light, because of the extreme darkness in the cave.
They walked and wound their way into the depths of the cave or tunnel, sometimes having to crawl to get through. When they finally reached the end, to their utter amazement, they saw two tiny bear cubs, cuddled together in a nest.
The boys looked at the baby bears, then at each other and their faces turned pale in the flickering light of their candles. They could feel their hair begin to stand on end, for they had the horrible realization that the mother bear was outside and could return at any moment. They also knew there was not room for them and her in that tunnel at the same time, even if she was friendly. But they knew there was nothing more savage than the wrath of a mother bear.
They both turned and started to run in such haste that they bumped into the side of the cave and also each other, both loosing their candles. From there on it was a terrified scramble in pitch dark toward the entrance. They ran, fell, and crawled, bumping into walls and each other, banging themselves up badly, as they made their heart pounding dash for the entrance.
They finally made it before the mother bear appeared, bruised, bloody, and out of breath. They were much wiser than when they entered. They then saw the mother bears tracks that they hadn't even noticed before. They made a resolution then never to enter strange caves again. (It is believed the friend with Victor was Dick Bundy.)
While living in Mexico, Victor worked for a family for a short time. These people had a nephew named Henry, staying with them also. Henry called his aunt "Auntie".
"Auntie" prayed so long once, that Henry got tired and just rolled under the bed near by. When she finished, she couldn't see Henry. When she found him she said, "Henry, you should be ashamed of yourself!" He said, "I was Auntie, that's why I rolled under the bed."
It was while living with these people that Victor attended the Juarez (state or stake) Academy for a while.
After Victor had been in Mexico a few months, his mother, Levi and Annie joined them leaving the home at Littlefield for good.
About this time (1910) Porfirio Diaz, the Mexican dictator who had been friendly to the Mormons, was overthrown by a democratic reform leader, Francisco I Madero. The Saints found themselves in the middle of warring revolutionary factions that continued the state of unrest and bloodshed. Pancho Vi11a and his Villistas were loyal to Madero, while Pascual Orozoco and his Red Flaggers had become disgruntled Madero's leadership and fought against him. The two bands were relying on the industrious Mormon colonists to replenish their supplies. In a never ending series of raids, these factions intimidated the Saints with their demands for guns, horses, saddles, and money.
Many of these conflicts were being fought very near where the Iverson's lived. Aunt Annie said she and others would climb to the top of their chicken coop, where they could see the battlefield and could hear the noise of battle very well.
One day Annie was in school (she went in Moralis in the state of Sonora) when some soldiers kicked the door in and told the teacher to remove the picture hanging on the wall of (Madero or Diaz) The teacher finally got permission to just turn the picture to the wall.
All of Victor's family and the other members of the Church living there were forced to leave Mexico and return to the U.S. The women left first and then the men. They fled their homes, leaving property and belongings behind except what little they could carry with them, escaping only with their lives. In Church history, it states that most of the Saints thought that they would soon be returning to their homes, and did not realize that they were leaving for the last time.
Aunt Annie tells us that they then moved to Kaolin, Nevada, and later some of the family lived in St. Thomas, nearby. Now both of these small towns lie beneath Lake Mead.
Victor met a girl in the Muddy Valley that he thought a lot of. Her name was Dolly Pierson. They went together for a while and planned to be married.
It was the custom then for the man to buy the wedding dress, so Victor bought the dress, and they were making plans then Dolly met an older man from the railroad and suddenly married him instead.
This hurt Victor and made things real bad for him for awhile.
Victor bought a set of books on training horses (and also the harness and equipment. He studied and learned this trade well, and enjoyed very much working with horses. He broke and trained them with gentleness and kindness, rather than with force and fear. He worked at this in several places around the country.
He went to Mount Pleasant, Utah, to visit relatives, where he did some horse training . Then he visited more relatives in Richfield, Utah, where he was told that the army was looking for men to break and train horses.
He went to Salt Lake City to see about a job, and before he realized what was happening, he was signed up in the Marines and there was no horse training to it. This was during World War 1.
He was sent to San Francisco and then to Mare Island, off the California coast. After he was there for quite some time, his mother became very ill, so Victor was given an honorable discharge and was able to return home and take care of his Mother in Kaolin, Nevada.
While in the Marines Victor had several experiences he used to tell about.
His best friend was his bunkey. His name was Edmond Kale. He thought so much of this friend that he later gave his third son his name Keith Kale.
One time when Victor was on a ship and they were out at sea a bad storm arose and gigantic waves washed over the deck of the ship. Once when this happened, Victor was swept off his feet and was barely able to catch hold of the railing, as he was being washed over board. He hung on for dear life and was finally able to pull himself back to safety.
Marie remembers Daddy telling her sometimes about the things they ate in the Marines. One thing he mentioned was having Cornflakes for breakfast. This was a new food then and the Marines called it "Krinkles". Most of the guys really liked them, but Victor didn't care for them, so he would trade his "Krinkles" for something else he liked better.
Victor with his Marine unit. Standing sixth from the left, in front with a small arrow pointing to him.
Victor with his Marine Unit in the back on the right. The blue line is pointing to him.
Not long after Victor returned home to Kaolin, from the Marines, he was working one day with a group of men on the community irrigation ditch. As he was working, a horse and buggy came trotting by, driven by a young, red headed girl.
As Victor stood and watched this lovely girl he had a very special feeling and he was very curious and interested. He had the thought come into his mind that she was to be his wife.
He asked some of the other men working with him, who this girl was ,and was told that she was Leoma McCain and that she was with her mother.
As the men watched her, the girl whipped up the horses as they passed. She seemed to be embarrassed that the men were watching her.
Victor later met this girl at a dance in Overton, a nearby town. He asked her to dance and they just seemed to dance so well together right from the first it felt so natural that they should be together.
They started going together right away and really enjoyed being together and having a good time. They soon found that when they were apart they were miserable and, missed each other very much, and they knew they were in love.
Sometime after this, Victor took Leoma with him to Littlefield to meet his father and other family members. They traveled in a one horse buggy, with "Old Lottie" hooked up between the buggy shaves. It took all day for them to travel from Kaolin to Littlefield. They stayed several days.
Leoma McCain: 1916, age 18
This was the first and only time Leoma was to meet Hans Peter Iverson. He was an old man with white hair and beard. She was quite intimidated by him and hardly knew what to say or do around him. He talked religion to her a lot and Aunt Dora would scold him, telling him to leave Leoma alone.
The next time Leoma saw Hans Peter, was after he had passed away and they went to see him at Littlefield. They were standing looking at him when Leoma nearly fainted, so Victor took her outside until she felt better.
Grandpa Hans Peter was taken to Washington, Utah for burial. That was a long slow trip by wagon in December.
Leoma tells of a dance she went to not long after she became acquainted with Victor. Willard asked her to dance and while they were dancing, he asked her to go with him up to the school Marm's place to get some candles to use on the dance floor to make it slick. Leoma finally agreed, but then Victor asked her for a dance. He suggested that they slip out and go get the candles instead.
"Oh I've already told Willard I'd go with him," she answered.
"I'll bet you don't dare," Victor responded.
"O.K. let's go," she said, so they danced across the floor until they were near the door and then out they went. They were coming back with the candles when they met Willard, and was he ever steaming!
Sometimes when Victor would come to visit Leoma, he would find her scrubbing on the washboard helping her mother with other peoples washings which her mother took in. On these occasions he would roll up his sleeves and take over the work, insisting that Leoma rest for a while.
Finally they set their wedding date for Dec. 23rd, 1916, and were married in Overton, Nevada. They were married at Leoma's parents home (a boarded up tent) by the Stake President. Victor was 25 years old and Leoma 18.
After they were married they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to work. They lived with a Mrs. Rockwell and her son Floyd. Mrs. Rockwell had a millinery shop in town, where she spent the days working, trimming and making ladies hats.
Leoma did the housework and cooking with Floyd's help. Victor had a job.
They then took up a homestead of 640 acres at Parashant, Arizona. This was dry country used by cattlemen. There were some ranchers living out there that they would visit. Victor and Leoma lived in a white boarded up tent and worked to make improvements on their place. There were no streams or sources of water except reservoirs, so one of their first projects was to dig a well, hoping to find water.
Victor would fill a bucket with dirt and with the help of a pulley, raise it up and Leoma would empty it. They worked like this for a long time, but never did hit water, so finally gave it up and also gave up the homestead.
Leoma went home to see her folks, but Victor soon went after her. They went to Grand Gulch Mine where dad worked for a while. They had to buy their water while there (five gallons a day). Again they lived in a boarded up tent.
From here they went to Penns Valley, near Parashant. They lived on a ranch owned by Slim Waring. At this time Leoma was pregnant with her first child:
While they were staying here, Grandma Hannah and Victor's younger brother, Levi, were on their way to Mt. Trumbull with some cattle belonging to Grandma, Annie, and Levi. People were settling that area, taking up homesteads. Victor's mother and brother's and sister's families all moved to Mt. Trumbull to live eventually.
Grandma Hannah and Levi stopped at the Waring ranch for a while to visit with Victor and Leoma. Victor drove the cattle the remainder of the way to Mt. Trumbull.
This was springtime, and Leoma was so hungry for something green to eat, that she would take a slice of bread and go out into the garden and pick the tops off the little green onions. She also yearned for some bacon to eat, so Levi decided to go to Grand Gulch and get supplies.
When night approached, and Levi hadn't returned, Grandma Hannah began to worry. Finally she asked Leoma to go with her to walk down the road a way, and see if they could see Levi coming. After they walked a while, the night air was shattered by what sounded something like a woman screaming.
"What was that?" Grandma Hannah wanted to know.
"Oh just a cougar screaming," Leoma answered.
"Maybe we'd better go back," Grandma Hannah said.
So they turned around and went back. It was around mid-night when Levi returned with the supplies and Slim Wearing.
Levi and Slim bedded down in a little leanto not far form the house, and as Slim climbed into bed, he suddenly came out screaming, "A snake! A snake!" But after investigating, they found it was only a small puppy which had climbed in for a nap. (Leoma remembers that while they were staying there, Slim always slept with his head covered and his feet poking out under the covers.)
Leoma was so happy to have the bacon, that she cooked some up for breakfast the next morning, but the smell of the cooking bacon made her so sick that she couldn't eat a bite.
One day, Victor and Leoma were walking around an old sawmill in that area, and they climbed over a fence and jumped down on some boards. Leoma landed on a large rusty nail which went deep into her foot.
When they got home, Victor got a five-gallon can, filled it with hot water, added some Lysol, and made her hold her foot and leg in it. The water was very hot, but Victor made her soak it for a long time and often, for several days, until it was better.
When it grew nearer to the time for the birth of their baby, they moved to Victor's mother's house in Kaolin, Nevada. On January 6, 1918 they became the parents of a beautiful little baby girl, who they named Bernice. She was so pretty with dark hair, four inches long. A doctor delivered the baby and then a Mrs. Sprague would come in every day for ten days to bath the baby and take care of the mother and child.
For a while after Bernice was born, they lived in Las Vegas, Nevada where Victor got a job in an ice plant.
At first they lived in a tiny house at the back of a lot behind a larger house. Leoma cooked for men who worked at the ice plant. Later they moved into the big house in front. Here they took in boarders, but it soon became necessary for Victor to quit this job, as working on the ice made him ill.
Victor was invited to go north to Idaho with two men he knew, who were going by team and wagon.
He sent Leoma and Bernice to Delta, Utah, to stay with Leoma's parents who were working on two different ranches close to Delta. Leoma's sister, Belle and her husband, Jim were also living in this area. Victor was going to find a job and a place to live, then he planned. to send for his family, who would travel by train and join him. However, things once again did not go as he hoped. His two companions had a great time using their money to drink and party as they traveled, and Victor's money bought the food and paid the travel expenses. Time after time his companions promised faithfully to stop their drinking but to no avail.
Leoma was very lonely while Victor was gone, and after some time her parents moved back to Moapa Valley, leaving Leoma to live with her sister, Belle.
After what seemed a long wait, Leoma received a letter saying Victor had left his two wayward companions, and he was in Ogden, Utah, at Leoma's sister's (Mary) place.
As soon as she could get ready, Leoma had Jim take her to the train, and she was on her way to Ogden. When she arrived, Victor hadn't been seen or heard from for a week or more. Finally though, he showed up. He had been staying with his cousin, Victor Peterson, who lived in Magna, Utah. Victor wrote to Belle and Jim, and they sent word that Leoma was at Mary's.
Victor then took his family to Magna to live, in a small house by Victor Peterson's. Victor took a job in a large plant, oiling the machinery. He had to be very careful at this job as it was very dangerous. (Rowena Bundy's dad had just been killed on this same job just before Victor took it.) One morning after several months of night shift, Victor came home from work and said "Let's go to Salt Lake and get some clothes."
They went to Salt Lake City on the "Bamburger Line."
They were walking down the street in Salt Lake; and Leoma said "I sure wish we knew where Mary lives."(Mary had moved from Ogden to Salt Lake City after her second son, Arthur, was born.) At about that same moment, they heard someone call their names, and looking to an upper story of the building they were passing, there stood Mary, leaning out the window waving and calling to them.
While visiting with them, Mary's husband, Bill, suggested Victor apply for a job as a fireman on the railroad.
When Victor started working for the railroad, he moved his family to Pocatello, Idaho. Not long after moving here, the flu started going around, and Victor caught it. He had mentioned to their landlady, Mrs. Green, that he wished he had a job milking cows, or something that would keep him closer to home as he was not well. Mrs. Green suggested that he go to work for Mr. Palmer, who delivered milk to her from his dairy between Inkom and Pocatello.
Mr. Palmer was glad to hire him, and the day they moved out to Palmer's Victor had the flu so bad he could hardly hold up his head. He helped Leoma mop floors and move the heavy furniture in and then he went to bed. Leoma had to finish the moving.
Bernice also caught the flu and she and Victor were both deathly ill for close to three weeks.
This was the winter of 1918-1919 when the first deadly flu epidemic broke out. People were ill and dying by the thousands all over the country. World wide that year 20 million people died of the flu. .
While Victor and Bernice were so ill, Leoma nursed them day and night, using every bit of wisdom gained in her 20 years of life. There were so many sick and dying people that it was next to impossible to get a doctor as Leoma learned.
She would heat salt bags and lay them on Victor to ease his aching body. She carried water in a small lard bucket for a block to cool their fevered brows. It snowed just after they moved to Palmer's and Leoma had to grub brush in the snow to keep a fire in their little stove, many times having to go out into the frigid night to get brush to keep the house warm. It was a never-ending job!
As Leoma kept her vigil, by the bedside of her loved ones, she did everything she could think of for their comfort and the main source of her strength was her faith in her Heavenly Father, knowing He was near by and could hear her frequent prayers. She knew if it was his will. He would help her be able to take care of them. This was a great comfort to her. Leoma was so exhausted and had gone without sleep for so long, it is a wonder that she didn't take the flu also. The Lord was watching over her, and this experience increased her testimony in the power of prayer.
When Victor and Bernice finally were well again Victor made the comment that he was glad that Leoma had not been able to get the doctor. That if he had had a doctor he would have died.
A while after they got over the, flu; they moved into a larger house up in one of Mr. Palmer's fields. It was so cold that Leoma would hang clothes on the line they would freeze so stiff that it would take days for then to dry. If something was needed (like diapers) they had to be carried inside to dry.
After they moved to the big house they lived in two of the rooms and used the third as a storeroom, keeping the door closed. It got so cold in there that Leoma's bottled tomatoes froze and broke, but just kept standing they were so hard.
Mr. Palmer had a dog that was part wolf, which he kept tied up, that he gave to Victor. After a while Victor gave it it's freedom to roam . It got to going for longer and longer periods of time. One early daybreak, Victor saw some coyotes in the yard, and he tried to sic the dog onto them. The dog would run around and act confused like there wasn't anything to chase. After some time, the dog just left and didn't come back and they figured he had gone wild.
In the spring of the year after moving to Palmer's Victor moved his little family to Inkom. Here he worked for a farmer planting dry land wheat. They had a real problem with Prairie Dogs where Victor was planting the wheat, so they would put poison grain around the holes to get rid of them.
About this time Victor's younger brother, Levi, came to stay with them. One night he forgot to shut the granary door where the poison grain was stored. The next morning they found that their little pig had got into the granary and eaten some of the poison grain and was dead. About one or two nights later, the farmer's mare pawed open a gate and got into the field where Victor had put the poison grain. The next morning she too was found dead.
It wasn't too long after Levi's arrival, that Victor and Levi decided to try for better jobs in Montana. The moving began again. They went to Dillon, Montana, by train. They arrived very late at night and very tired. Victor, not wanting Leoma and Bernice to have to set at the depot for the rest of the night, took them to a nearby hotel. He then went back to keep Levi company at the depot.
Leoma remembers that night very vividly! The minute she would shut off the lights, little crawly things would swarm all over them biting and sucking their blood. Leoma spent the night in battle against the bed bugs, trying to make it possible for Bernice to sleep.
Soon they rented a small house, and Victor and his little family settled in. Levi found work on a ranch right away and in a few days Victor had also found work on a ranch 50 miles away. Leoma remembers walking with Bernice about 1/2 mile to town to buy groceries. Their house was located on the northeast section of Dillon.
December, 1919 found them back in St. George, Utah, where their second daughter was born on the 6th. She was named Marie. They were staying with Victor's sister, Annie, and her husband Roy Whipple, and Victor's mother was also staying there.
When the baby was born, Victor was away on a freight trip, taking supplies to Roy Bundy's store at Mt. Trumbull, Arizona.
When Marie was just a few days old the unbleached muslin which lined the walls of Annie's house caught fire. There vas a young man boarding with them. He became so excited that he grabbed a bucket of water and gave it a toss, missing the fire, but soaking Leoma and baby and bed.
When Marie was 10 days old, Victor loaded. his wife and little girls into a wagon and headed for Mt. Trumbull, along with a load of freight. It was near the 20th of December. It was cold with a cutting wind. They had to camp out one night on the way. They built their bed on the ground next to the wagon and Victor put up a canvas tarp to protect them from the wind. They made a good campfire and a warm bed so were alright.
Victor was then 28 and Leoma 21 years old.
Throughout their married life, Victor and Leoma moved back and forth from Moapa Valley, Las Vegas, St. George and Mt. Trumbull and surrounding areas quite frequently, to find work and also to help his health problems.
Before their third child was born, they moved to the Angel Ranch near Overton, Nevada. The day they moved Leoma felt an urgency to get everything in place. When she finally retired, for the night the moving was completed and a good thing, for the baby was born the next morning.
There gas an old man staying on their place and Victor woke him and sent him for a midwife named Mrs. Lytle. Before she could arrive the baby came, delivered by his father.
This little son was born July 27th, 1922 and his father named him Alvin Levi. (known over the years as Budd.)
A few years later Victor wrote this bit of information for his eldest son about this experience. (written as if Budd himself was speaking.)
Alvin Levi Iverson
"My name is Alvin Levi Iverson. I was born in Kaolin, Nevada, Clark County on July 27, 1922 about 5 o'clock A.M.
Mom said there was no doctor and the nurse was about 30 minutes too late, so Dad was sole cook and bottle washer -- but I came thru on high, with my horn a tootin.
I am the oldest boy and third child in our family.
I was blessed and named at the White Star Gyp Camp on September 3, 1922, by John A. Angus.
Dad had gotten a job there. We were there only a short time, when we had to go to Las Vegas, Nevada.
My oldest sister Bernice had taken sick with Diphtheria and died in Las Vegas September 29th, 1922.
I started to school in Sept. 1928 at Mt. Trumbull, Arizona. My first teacher was Dorothy Young.
I was baptized on July 27, 1930 and confirmed Aug. 3, 1930 by Ivan LeRoy Bundy at Mt. Trumbull, Arizona".
A few days after Budd was born, Levi stopped by for a few days with a Warton family, who were cousins to his future wife Stella. They stayed for several days, and since Leoma was still in bed with the baby they helped Victor with the cooking etc. They were on their way to California.
Not long after Budd was born, Victor went to work at the White Star Gyp Camp near Moapa, Nevada, and moved his family there. They lived in a white boarded up tent, like many of the other families working there.
Some wonderful lifetime friends were made while living there, like the Howard Pulsipher and the Robert Reber families. Victor already knew Robert Reber in Littlefield.
Marie and Bernice when Bernice was about age four
While at the gyp camp, in September their precious daughter Bernice took sick. She was around 4 1/2 years old and was a lovely, bright little girl. She seemed far beyond her age in intelligence. She was always very willing to help, and when she did dishes or whatever she did a very good job.
At first, she just said that her throat was sore and that she didn't feel good. She would just lay on a cot outside in the shade of the tent. Marie was 2 years old and she remembers one day as Bernice lay there on the cot the she, Marie, was running around the tent dragging a little oblong, ivory colored, enamel dish pan, that belonged to Bernice. She went around and around the tent making a racket. Bernice told her to be quiet, but Marie just kept going. Finally Bernice yelled, "Marie, stop dragging my dishpan around or I will get up and hit you!" Marie quit and that's the one and only thing or time she ever remembers her dear sister talking to her, or what she said.
Bernice just kept getting worse and Victor got Robert Reber to take them to Las Vegas so a doctor could take care of Bernice. Here they learned the dreaded, unbelievable news that she had Diphtheria. It was such a deadly and feared disease. An epidemic would cause many children to die.
The doctor's name was Hewiston. He had them stay in a large old building that had been an Old Folks Home but was vacated. Only Victor had permission to leave to go after a few groceries. He had to change his clothes as he left and returned.
Dr. Hewiston and a nurse came in to check Bernice and the other children. He was such a nice man. Marie remembers him as a tall slender man in a dark suit and hat.
Dr. Hewiston sent a telegram to Los Angeles after some of the newly developed Anti Toxin for Diphtheria to be sent back on the next train. He waited and waited but it didn't come and Bernice was getting steadily worse. Finally the doctor got on a train and went after it. When he arrived in California he found his telegram hadn't even been delivered because it was on the weekend.
When the doctor returned to Las Vegas with the medicine it was too late for Bernice. She died September 29, 1922.
The terrible loss of their beloved daughter was such a heart breaking tragedy to Leoma and Victor, they could hardly bear it. Victor wrote a letter to his mother describing their loss. It went as follows:
Las Vegas Nev.
Oct. 4 1922
I am writing you in answer to your welcome letter which we received today.
Also to tell you of our sorrow. Our little Bernice left us on the 29th of September. We were working at that Gyp Camp at Moapa when she took sick, we brought her here as soon as we found that it was diphtheria she had, but she was too far gone.
But the doctor did all he could for her he even went to Los Angles to get medicine for her. But he charged us nothing for his time. Oh, Mamma he treated us grand.
And tears came in his eyes when she died, saying, "0, my God, why should it be, for she was the sweetest of little girls.
And Mamma he surly said a great truth for she was not a common child. For her intelligence some times exceeded grown people. Leoma and I were the only ones with her for one week and in that time neither went to bed. Then we got a nurse the last two days. 0, I tell you it was a trial but God is over all. Although it nearly kills Leoma. But it made us realize that our temple work must be done right away. Leoma and babies leaves for Salt Lake in a day or so and I will follow as soon as I can straighten things here.
We did all we could and if it wasn't for our faith and knowledge in God it would surely bow us deep in sorrow, for Mamma she was our darling.
The rest of us are well, the baby is growing fast he is just one day older than Anna and Roy's baby. His name is Alvin Levi.
We have lost Levi's address so please send it to me as .soon as you can. I'll be here for 10 days then I go back to the Gyp.
Leoma feels so bad I can't leave her alone in the house and the doctor says to send her home or away from here.
His name is Dr. Hewiston.
Would you please write and thank him for his kindness to us, I know it would make him feel better than all the money you could offer him, for he is a God fearing man.
The rest of us are well and I pray that we are thru with sickness for a while. 0, but it has taught us a lesson for I know this world has not too much time to repent.
I will close now hoping to hear from you by return mail.
Loving son and Family.
Leoma never did go to Salt Lake, but they went to St. George instead.
Leoma's memories are as follows: When Bernice first got sick I had a hard time keeping her covered at night so I would put her in bed with me so I could see to her better. She had such a high fever and sore throat. Finally she got so bad Victor took her to the Moapa Valley to an old doctor who cared for the Indians. Myrtle Pulsipher came and told me I was wanted on the phone. It was the doctor and he told me to get ready and try to find a ride for us to Las Vegas, that Bernice had diphtheria.
"I wasn't able to find a car to take us, so Myrtle told me to get ready and she would hunt for someone. When Victor arrived with Bernice, Robert Reber said he would take us. We fixed a bed for her in the back seat and I sat back there with her. On the way she asked for a drink of water and when I gave it to her she nearly died.
When we got to Vegas, the doctor put us in a vacant Old Folks Home and each time I went to care for Budd I would wash and change clothes so as not to pass the disease to him.
Victor and I stayed with her all the time for the first week, and as sick as she was she still got a kick out of flushing the toilet. That was something new to her. The last two days we got a nurse named Mrs. Payne. She would stay with Bernice sometimes so Victor and I could get a little rest.
We had fixed up a little potty-chair for her, beside her bed. I was staying with her and Victor and Mrs. Payne were both asleep. Bernice told me she needed to sit on the pot. I lifted her onto the pot, and as I sat her down, she stiffened up. I called for Victor and he came and took her from my arms. They made me leave the room and that was the last I saw of her. They would not allow us to have a funeral or even to see her again. Mrs. Payne said she bought her a little white dress, underclothes, and shoes and socks. She also said she put a little blue ribbon in her hair. We could not have any kind of a service because Diphtheria was so contagious and such a feared killer that it wouldn't be safe.
Marie remembers: My earliest memory of daddy was when he came in to where I was one morning. I remember noticing that he was all dressed up in his light gray suit and looked so nice, I thought.
He stooped down and asked me if I knew where Bernice was. I said, "Yes, she's right in the other room in her bed." Daddy said, "No she isn't there any more." I insisted she was, so we went in to see. I'll never forget the feeling of amazement and unbelief when I saw that her bed was empty and all made up nice and smooth. As young as I was, I can remember a lonely, empty feeling sweep over me. My dear sister was gone forever from this life. I never saw her again. Daddy looked so sad and took me on his lap and tried to explain to me how she had gone to Heaven to live with Jesus and Heavenly Father. As he talked I could see tears on his cheeks and "hear tears" in his voice.
Daddy had a hard time even finding some one to take her casket to the cemetery. Finally he was able to talk an old man, with a dilapidated old truck to do it.
She was buried there on the west side of the oldest Las Vegas cemetery. Now it's right in the middle of a very busy section of town.
I remember the cemetery was fenced then too with a house by the gate. We went there that evening to see her grave and as Daddy talked to the old man there, I noticed there were some very pretty, tiny, pink roses climbing on the fence near the gate. I reached out to touch one of the tiny roses and as I did the old man yelled, "Don't touch those flowers!" He sounded so mean, that I never forgot it. If he would have given me just one tiny blossom in a nice way to place on her grave, what a different impression I could have carried of him over these many years.
On March 15th, 1923 they went to the temple and were sealed together for time and all eternity as a family. Marie stood proxy during the sealing for her sister Bernice.
Following is a song written by Victor M. Iverson for his 2nd daughter Marie, in memory of her older sister Bernice. Marie missed Bernice so much after she died that he would have her sing this song for company.
MY SOUL YEARNS
I have often sat in sad thinking,
thinking of you dear sister,
and wishing you had not left me,
and went to Heaven to live.
It's been long since you went there,
and I was in tender years,
but I have never forgotten,
the look on your tender face.
When you left I was so lonesome,
that I hardly cared to play,
and my eyes would always moisten,
when I found you were not there.
So when my prayers were over,
and I lay in my lonely bed,
I'll dream again your arms around me,
and you whispered love in my ear.
I've wondered why you could not stay
and let your presence bring us joy,
But my mother says that God knew best,
so when he called you went away.
So now, I'm only hoping,
that my life will prove to be
so rich and full of beauty,
that you and I again will meet.
Oh listen to me dear sister,
and consent to what I say,
and let your dear spirit hover
around me night and day.
And when you commune with Jesus,
Just ask him for me,
If He will always let you
be my guiding star.
Victor talked of Bernice quite often after her death, about her cute ways and how pretty she was with her blond hair and blue eyes. Marie heard him say if she had lived she would have been beautiful when she was grown. He would also tell about how bright she was and how she liked to help and could do so much more than other children her age.
Leoma went to Mt. Trumbull to visit for a while after Bernice died, to spend time with her parents and see Victor's mother. While she was there Victor went to Jean, Nevada where he rented a house. He would go to Henderson and work in a mine. They would dig Gyp ore and haul it to Jean where it would be loaded on the railroad. Leoma and the children joined him here after a while.
Grant Harold Iverson
While they were living at Jean, Nevada, their 4th child and second son was born, on March 24th 1924.
Leoma's labor pains started in the night, so Victor sent Levi (He and his wife Stella had also moved to Jean.) after the midwife, who lived quite a distance away. As they were rushing back the lady became carsick, so Levi had to stop for her. She vomited her false teeth out, but it was so dark they couldn't find them, so they hurried on anyway, only to find that they were too late. The new baby boy had been delivered by his father.
The next morning Victor had to go back out in the hills, along the road to look for her teeth. He really didn't enjoy doing that.
They named their new son Grant Harold. Grant after Victor's boss, Grant Halfpenny, and Harold after Leoma's brother.
Baby Grant didn't do very good and wouldn't nurse. He fussed so much and acted hungry all the time, and would just cry when Leoma tried to feed him. They became so concerned that they took him to Las Vegas to the doctor and found that the baby was tongue-tied. Marie remembers standing by a table in the doctor's office and watching as the doctor took a small pair of scissors and clipped the membrane under her baby brother's tongue. Grant really cried and Marie remembers not liking that doctor, because he had hurt her baby brother.
By then Leoma's milk had dried up and with no refrigeration then they could not buy milk or have it shipped in like they do now. There were no dry formulas then either. They finally tried Eagle Brand milk and that agreed with him and he started to do much better.
Some time later they moved to a ranch northwest of Las Vegas, near a large artesian well. Victor had quite a few goats while living there, and they also raised a lot of little chickens which they hatched out in an incubator. During this time whooping cough started going around Vegas, and Victor would not allow anyone but himself go into Las Vegas. He thought he had had whooping cough when he was a child. However it was not long before he came home sick and he had a terrible bout. All the children also caught the whooping cough,
One day Victor was building a room (very small cabin) using 2x4's (they were living in a boarded up tent) and wallboard. He had Marie holding while he nailed it together. The wind was whipping around pretty hard that day and blew the wall over right on top of Marie. 2z4's went on each side of her but she was not hurt.
They moved from here to Death Valley California for a while, living with a Mr. Balanger and his grown son, Marvin.(Marvin was the Sheriff.) Leoma was to cook and clean to pay for their rent.
Victor went to work in the Borax Mines, where they used twenty mule teams, to haul the Borax out. When Victor worked there they used trucks to haul out the ore.
One day while they lived here, Leoma was home alone with the children. Mr. Balanger and Marvin had gone to Los Angeles for a week or two and had left instructions that no one was to be allowed to take any of the guns. Victor was at work. She was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor when someone knocked on the door. She opened the door and there stood a rough looking old guy. "I've come to get my gun!" he spoke gruffly. "You can't have it now," Leoma answered "I can't give it to you!" "You don't have to!", he said pushing her to the side and coming in. He searched through the guns, found one, found ammunition for it and anything else he may have wanted he helped himself to, then left.
Later, when Victor came home Leoma told him what had happened. There was nothing to do but wait for the Balanger's to return. When they did arrive, and heard what had happened, Marvin swore Victor and some other men in as deputies, and they went hunting for the guy that took the gun. They finally found him and some other men somewhere out in the hills making bootleg whisky. They arrested them and took them to Carson City to jail.
They also lived in another house while at Death Valley, but Leoma can no longer remember for sure whether they lived first with the Balanger's or at the other house. Following is Marie's description of the other place as she remembers it:
"I have a picture in my mind of us living in a square lumber house, way off in the country alone. The house faced North, with a road running east and west. Only flat open fields all around that were white with alkali and slewy wet places. The only plant that seemed to be growing was light colored salt grass.
I remember seeing a large, fierce looking white-faced bull with horns. He was very frightening to me and was just across the road from the house.
Many, many ducks wintered there and landed all about. Daddy used to go out every morning duck hunting. I can see him yet, coming back carrying quite a few, along with his shotgun.
Mama would pick the ducks and save the feathers to make pillows. In fact, she still has some of those feather pillows."
To the best of Leoma's recollection, they moved back to Las Vegas in a little house on the east side of town, after leaving Death Valley. While living here Leoma and Victor took in washings. They had an electric, wringer washer. Victor would go gather up the laundry. Leoma would sort the clothes and they would both wash, rinse, hang, gather in, and fold the clothes. Leoma would iron what needed ironed. Victor would then deliver the clean laundry in his pickup, back to their customers.
While they lived here, the kids had a little dog that they liked to play with. Budd had been out playing with the dog all morning when someone noticed the dog was foaming at the mouth. They ask Budd how long he had been doing that and he said "Oh, all morning." Victor tied the dog up and sure enough he did have the rabies and had to be destroyed.
Also while they lived there, when Budd was four years old, he had another close call. He found a dime and was so thrilled and excited he wanted to show it to his Daddy, so he ran outside. Victor had just started up his pickup and was backing out. He didn't hear Budd calling him or see him, and he backed right over him. Leoma had run to the door and tried to scream but couldn't make a sound she was so horrified. Victor realized something was wrong, stopped and run back and picked up his little son. How thankful they were that the wheels had just went on either side of him. He had only been knocked down and was still holding onto his dime to show Daddy.
The fall of 1926 found them living back in St. George, Utah. Leoma was expecting another baby. They made a visit to their folks at Mt. Trumbull and while there they attended church. Dick Bundy commented to Leoma jokingly, "You are sure getting fat!" '
Keith Kale Iverson
Their 5th child and third son was, born on November 18th. They named him Keith Kale. The Kale after Victor's dear friend in the Marines. He called him his "Bunky". Keith was delivered by a mid-wife, Mrs. Little.
Victor's mother, grandma Hannah Iverson stayed with them for a while at that time. Victor was working for a man who had a lot of goats. He gave them some goat meat. Grandma McCain came to visit them for a while to see the new baby, and Grandma Iverson served goat meat for dinner. It was well known that grandma McCain disliked goat meat. However, that is what was served, but no one mentioned that it was goat meat. Grandma McCain said that was sure good meat. She really enjoyed her meal.
Marie remembers: "I was so pleased with my tiny new brother and liked to help Mama with him when I could. When he got to walking around he was so cute, that I started calling him "Keithy". One day daddy sort of scolded me and said , "Stop calling him Keithy, how would you like to be called Marie-e-e-e? Just call him Keith, that's his name". I never called him Keithy again."
Pond to Catch Water on the Family Place , Mount Trumbull, Arizona
About this time Victor and Leoma decided to move to Mt. Trumbull, Arizona. It is about 60 miles south of St. George, across the state line in the Northeast corner of Arizona. It is sometimes called the Arizona Strip because it because is cut off from the main part of Arizona by the Colorado River Canyon.
It is a very dry and harsh land, semi desert, with no running streams and only a very few small springs. People had to rely on reservoirs to catch and hold water for their use and their livestock. Many times they would dry up before being filled again.
The climate is dry and hot during the summer, but at times is very cold with snow in the winter, making it hard to get around and very muddy and wet in the spring when snow begins to melt.
The occasional summer storm would usually be quite fierce with lightening and thunder right over head sending the rain pelting to earth with great force and water would soon fill the ponds to over flowing, sometimes bursting the pond banks and loosing the water. Then men would gather with teams and scrapers to mend the break. Albert Snyder, husband of Leoma's sister, Artie, was very good at building and mending ponds with his team and "Frezno" scraper.
Most of the land at that time was in its original and primitive state, covered with Cedar and Pinion Pine, several varieties of cactus, Yucca, Brigham tea, sagebrush and other desert plants and large areas of grass. In the spring there are lovely wild flowers of several kinds. Sweet Williams, clumps of Snow Balls, Indian Paint Brush and cactus blossoms so bright, waxy and beautiful.
Mt. Trumbull was also known as "BundyVille" because of the early settlers, some of who were named Bundy. Grandma Hanna Iverson and her sons were also some of the first ones to move there, along with several other families. Leoma's folks, the McCains and Snyders came a little later.
Harold McCain (Leoma's brother) had homesteaded a 640 acre section of land, built a fence around it, then went to Vernal, Utah to work and got blood poisoning and died. Victor bought the homestead from Leoma's parents.
Victor's land had one larger hill on the north end and some softly rolling hills, covered with cedar and pine trees and brush. Some areas were quite flat.
The small two roomed house was about a quarter of a mile back in from the public road that runs north and south in a lane on the east side of the place. It was completely fenced with several strands of barbed wire, with a gate opening onto the road.
The house was nestled among a grove of cedar trees. Each of the three older children claimed a tree as their very own and no one could climb "their tree" without their permission. If they were punished or got their feelings hurt, they would go climb their tree until they felt better.
Family members standing on the remains of the foundation of their home in Mt. Trumbull
Many people out there did some dry farming and on good years, when there was enough moisture, good crops were raised.
Most goods had to be freighted in to Mt. Trumbull. In the early years this was done by large freight wagons. Levi, Victor's brother, used to tell long stories about the things they did. He said that sometimes when his older brother Willard used to drive freight wagons he would take Levi and Victor along with him on his trips to be his "Flunkies" to open and close the gates, to help load and unload the wagons and do other things he needed done.
When they first moved to Mt. Trumbull, there was no house on their homestead, so they lived in the house that that Grandpa Albert and Grandma Rhoda McCain lived in just before they moved to Bloomington, Utah. (McCains had traded places with Jim Jones)
Victor bought the school teacher's house at Little Tank and took it-apart and moved it onto their place and put it back together again.
While they lived there Victor tried to build up a good dairy heard and did some dry farming and continue to improve his place in general.
He was milking 8 or more cows at one time. Leoma would make butter and sell in St. George, and they would also ship cream in to sell. They would carry the cream can and butter out to the road and the mail man would pick it up and haul it in to St. George.
There was no electricity so the milking was all by hand, and there were no modern conveniences. No running water, no telephones.
Victor also had a couple dozen head of young replacement heifers. All the cattle would be turned loose to graze the 640 acres during the day. In the afternoon it was usually Marie's, Budd's and Grant's jobs to go hunt the cows.
"We would never know in which direction they might be, so at times we did a lot of walking. Daddy did put a bell on one cow, so ever little while we would stop and listen for the tinkle of the bell to guide us in the right direction. We were always so glad to hear that bell.
One afternoon as we kids were out looking for the cows, we went through a lot of trees and was resting under a large Pinion Pine. We happened to look up into the tree and there up in it's branches sat a Bobcat watching us.
We sort of crept away from that tree very quickly and there after it was known as the "Bobcat Tree". When we would come near it after that, we would get a spooky feeling.
I remember as we hunted cows, of seeing the dusty whirl winds "Dust Devils", and the dry tumble weeds, bouncing over the land with the blowing wind. This scene always made me feel lonesome.
One time when we kids were out hunting the cows a thunder storm came up and we were way over along the West side of our place. I saw a lightening bolt hit the barbed wire fence and a ball of fire rolled down the fence quite a distance, cracking and sizzling as it went. I was glad we or the cows weren't any closer."
One time Budd and Grant went to hunt the cows and they thought that they saw Marie up in a tree across a wash some distance away. Off they went running to see what she was doing. Budd was in the lead and as he run up the side of the wash and under the tree, he looked up and to his surprise it wasn't Marie at all, but a big yellow cougar sitting there switching his tail back and forth. It took Budd only a. split second to reverse his direction and he met Grant still coming as he sped back across the tracks he just made.
Leoma remembers going with Budd to hunt the cows one day. Victor and Marie were both away from home. She left Grant to watch Keith who was just a small toddler. They had gathered the cows and had driven them to the McCain pond to water them. That was where they were when Leoma heard Grant coming crying. Leoma run to meet him and asked him where Keith was. "I don't know!" he wailed, "I can't find him!"
"You stay and help Budd with the cows", Leoma instructed, and I'll go look for Keith".
And that is what she did. She hunted everywhere she could think of looking. She called his name and as the evening grew darker, in desperation she called upon the Lord for help to find her lost child. After her prayer, she walked toward an old brush corral Victor had built and started to search in that area. It was nearly dark when she came upon the small boy, lying on his stomach with his head on his arms, asleep, deep sobs still shaking his little body as he slept.
She gathered the tiny boy into her arms, and with much humility and gratitude in her heart she carried him back to the house.
When the Jones' moved out to Mt. Trumbull onto the McCain place, Victor told his family that they had better start watering the cows at his brother, Martin's place, instead of going to the old McCain pond. Leoma went with the boys the first time they did. Budd and Grant were riding a horse they had named Dugan. Leoma walked and carried Keith. She opened the gate and drove the cows down the lane to the pond and then sent Budd to go ask permission from Martin to keep watering the cows there. When Budd came back from the house to get on Dugan, the horse thought he was loose and he started to shy and then run back down the lane toward the gate. Grant was still on his back and as the horse ran Grant started to scream. "Pull on the reigns!" Leoma shouted to him over and over. She could see Dugan running full tilt toward the very place little Keith was walking. Just in time Grant got the message and pulled on the reigns and stopped Dugan. Again Leoma was thankful that an accident had been avoided.
Watering the cows at neighboring ponds was not unusual. When ever their own pond went dry, they would have the cattle to a neighbors pond. Usually Victor had made arrangements in advance. Many times it was the kids responsibility to see that the cows were watered.
One time Marie and Budd were taking the animals to water to the McCain pond a rattlesnake struck at Budd as he ran barefooted through the brush. When the snake struck Budd jumped and went right over the snake. Victor had been plowing for someone up on the mountain at that time, and later when they discussed it, Victor told them that as he was working, he suddenly felt impressed that Budd was in danger. He stopped his work and knelt down and prayed that he would be protected. It was later that he heard of the snake, and they determined that Victor was praying about the same time Budd sailed across that snake. Their prayers were answered again!
Marie tells of yet another time hunting the cows. Victor sent her and Budd to find the cows and take them to the McCain pond for water. She said, "We had a really hard time finding them, so it was getting late. The young stock was not with the cows, so we just hurriedly drove the cows to water and back home and it was sundown. Daddy ask us if we had found and watered the heifers and we said 'no, we couldn't find them'. Daddy made us go right out then and look for them, but they were thirsty so were coming down the trail. We hurried them on the 3 miles to water and back up to the gate into our place. We turned them in, but by then it was getting pretty dark. Budd and I then started down the road toward home and as we walked through a bunch of trees, right along the trail, all of a sudden Budd grabbed hold of me and said, "What's that?" I said "What?" he said, " That black thing under that tree!" I tried to be his big brave 7 or 8 year old sister and said, "Oh, it's just a black stump or something." But I could feel my heart pounding in my throat. He said, "No! I seen it move!" I looked at it closer and it didn't look familiar and I thought I seen it move too, so we both turned and started back toward the gate and started to climb through, when we heard Daddy's voice say, "Where you going?" Boy! What. a relief that was and how glad we were to see him. He had got worried about us and come to meet us, so just waited under the tree to see what we would do. He always got a kick out of scaring us now and then, but we made sure we always found the heifers after that.
Another time Budd and I had been sent on horses to drive the cows five miles to a pond to drink, It was in the afternoon and we arrived at the pond alright and had just started back, when a late afternoon wind and rain storm came up, hitting us right in the face. We tried to urge the cows and our horses into it, but all of a sudden all the cows turned and with their tails in the air, they ran with the wind, back toward the pond. Our horses also turned and ran with them, so we let them. We knew we had to stay with the cattle.
When the fury of the storm abated, we were able to round the cattle up and head them toward home again. We were soaking wet and cold but still on the horses. I guess I was around eight then and Budd was six. A ways on our trip home, we met Daddy riding out to meet us. What a relief and how glad we were to see him. He said he and Mama had got worried about us so he care to help us. That made us feel a lot better.
We kids liked to go out to the corral with Daddy while he milked the cows. I can see him so plain today, as he always sat leaning his head next to the cows flank, merrily milking away, as the milk foamed higher and higher in the bucket. He usually kept time to a tune he was humming or a song he was singing.
We would many times, take our cups out and he would milk them full of frothy milk, so warm and good. We would don foamy white mustaches as we drank it, laughing and pointing at each other in fun.
As Dad milked he would squirt some into his own mouth every now and then and as we stood around watching, he would sometimes squirt us right in the face and go right along milking and holding a straight face, like he hadn't done a thing. Mama probably wondered sometimes, how we got so splattered.
Daddy built a little white plastered milk house where he had a hand separator.
Here we would watch him separate the cream from the milk, turning the handle of the separator at just the right speed. The rich yellow cream would come out of one spout and the foamy milk out of the other. He kids would fill our cups here too, with milk to drink. The surplus was fed to calves.
The cream was either churned and made into butter, molded by Mama into pounds with her butter mold or sometimes they just put the cream in cream cans, whichever, they sent it to St. George by mail truck to sell.
Of course there was no electricity out at Mt. Trumbull, so people had to find ways to keep their food as cool as possible, especially the milk, cream and butter.
Like most everyone did, Daddy built a large frame cupboard and covered it with gunny sacks, set it under a nice shady cedar tree. He then put an old tub with holes in the bottom, on top of the cupboard. He would then fill the tub with water and let it slowly leak down to keep the gunny sacks wet. This made a cool, clean place to set our milk and other food to keep cool and out of flies.
Dad and Mom had hopes of sometime adding onto our little house, and went as far once as building a foundation or perhaps it was called a footing, but I remember the shape of it there by the house. They moved away though before they did it.
When there was a good crop of pine nuts, we would some times go out in the fall for a week or so to camp and pick them. Several times, I remember, we had some of our relatives along. I remember Keith when he was about a year old crawling off the quilt we put him on and getting into soft pine gum, stickers and even cactus. Then he would cry and it was so hard to clean the gun off and pick out all the stickers.
Dad would some times get up in the tree and shake the limbs or knock the cones down. It seems like we sold quite a few nuts in St. George and we would also have a large barrel for the family to eat, during the winter.
How well I remember being sent out with a pan to get nuts out of that barrel, and as it got low, I had to practically stand on my head to reach in to the nuts.
Daddy had quite a few bad sick spells out there at Mt. Trumbull, where there were no doctors and no drug stores for medicine. We had to rely on a few home remedies or medicine on hand, but mostly on prayers and the power of the Priesthood.
Sometimes, when he would become very sick in the middle of the night, Mama would wake Budd and me up and ask us to go to our nearest neighbor's, Dick Bundy, who lived about 1/2 mile away or if he wasn't home we would walk on to our Uncle Martin Iverson's place which was 1 1/4 miles away, to ask them to come.
It was pretty frightening for us two little kids, to walk thru the darkness, with shadowy trees along the way and coyotes howling and owls hooting. It was such a relief to finally reach Bundy's or Uncle Martin's and. have them walk back with us, which they always did willingly. We had great faith in them administering to Daddy. We knew he would he would soon feel much better.
One summer we went camping up on top of the mountain. It was not so dry and hot up there and tall Ponderosa Pines and Quaking Aspen trees grew. Also scrub Oaks and more flowering plants. It was much prettier and was a real treat to go up there. That evening we made a good camp and built a nice camp fire which we all gathered around while mama was fixing supper. About dark Daddy said he better go find some more wood, so he walked over a ways through the brush and trees. He was gone a while, when all of a sudden we heard this scary noise and looked up to see something come galloping toward us on all fours, out of the darkness. Us kids screamed and ran to Mama, fearing the worst. I don't know what Mama thought but of course it turned out to be Daddy, having his fun scaring us. He laughed and thought it was real funny. We all did too after we got over the fright. We were so relieved that he wasn't a real monster that we piled all over him, which made him laugh all the more.
Daddy knew some people that lived up at Tuweap that he needed to go see, so he decided to ride up on top of the Trumbull mountain and on over to Tuweap by horse back. He said I could go along and ride in back of the saddle. I was so thrilled to go along.
We camped one night "up on top" as the mountain was sometimes called. As Dad scouted for wood I walked along a dry sandy stream bed near camp, and found some very large cat tracks in the sand that made me real edgy. When Daddy came back, I showed the tracks to him and he said they were large cougar tracks and very fresh and thought we might have frightened him away as we rode up. I felt real spooky for fear he might come back, but Daddy built a good fire and said, "Oh we'll be all right if we say our prayers." Which we did.
We stayed a day or so at Tuweap and I can remember the lady there being so nice to me. We went out and looked over the edge of a very deep canyon. Daddy made sure he held onto me. On our ride back down the mountain we saw a large Diamond Back Rattler curled up under a bush by the road, asleep. Daddy said, "Isn't he pretty, we will just let him sleep."
We lived around 2 miles from school and the church house. It was the same, except the lower grades were held together in a small one roomed, lumber school house. Just south of it was a large white one room lumber building, where all the community get togethers were held, from church, school, dances and celebrations to funerals.
We usually walked the two miles and on Sunday morning we did it as a family. Grandpa McCain was Sunday School Superintendent for a long time and he would get there early to ring the "Half Hour Bell", to let everyone know we had better hurry. If we were listening, we could hear it from our place. He also built the fire in the large pot bellied stove when it was cold.
Daddy served as counselor in the Mt. Trumbull Bishopric to Uncle Roy Bundy who was Bishop.
When I turned eight years old, it was too cold to be baptized in December so we waited until in March and then Daddy baptized me in our pond. He then confirmed me the next Sunday at church.
Budd and I used to walk the two miles to school. He was in the first grade and I was in the third, with Dorothy Young (later Alldredge) as our teacher. The walking was fine until it got cold, then our toes, fingers and noses would be about frozen by the time we got there and could stand by the pot bellied stove to warm up. Then our fingers and toes would really smart and burn for a while, until they were all warm again.
One winter trip to school, I especially remember. It had snowed about a foot deep during the night, but we broke trail through it out to the main road and we were glad to find that a wagon had already been through and left two wheel tracks for us to walk in the rest of the way.
As we hurried along one of us in each track we looked up ahead and saw two gray shapes coming toward us side by side down those same tracks. As we came closer to them, I could see they were either wolves or coyotes and we all four kept walking toward each other. When about 10 feet apart we all stopped and stared at each other for about a minute. I remember their yellow eyes with a black slit. All of us were reluctant to step out into that deep snow, but finally they gave in and stepped to the side out of the track and let us by. As soon as we had passed, they stepped back into the road and we all went on our way. I never was sure if they were wolves or coyotes, but probably the latter.
One day Daddy was riding our sorrel, blaze faced gelding named Dugan. Budd and Grant were out watching him as he galloped along and Dugan stepped into a hole and fell, throwing Dad to the ground, knocking him unconscious. The boys went over where he was and sat down to watch him. When he came too, he could hear some one sighing. When he was able, he opened his eyes to see who it was and saw Budd and Grant sitting there looking down into his face and looking so concerned. He said, "Why didn't you run tell Mama?" Budd said, "We wanted to see if you were dead first."
One time Victor and Leoma had just mounted the horse double to go some place when a coyote came into the yard. Victor said, "Hang on!" and off they went dashing after the coyote as he dodged this way and that through the brush to escape, which he did. Leoma thought it was a pretty wild ride.
Victor had one of his terrible sick headaches one day that was extra bad. He had been vomiting and so sick and then he would just pass out. Leoma was so frightened but she knew they could depend on the Lord for help, so she and the children knelt around his bed and prayed that he would be restored to health. When he did finally start feeling better he told her that his spirit had been from his body and floating in the top of the room, and he could see his family kneeling around his bed calling for him to return and that is what made him pull through.
The Priesthood was also instrumental on many occasions in helping him to survive his sick spells, as it has been before mentioned. One particular event he had been so drastically ill that Leoma sent for their nearest neighbor, Dick Bundy, to come and bring someone with him to administer to Victor. He responded as quickly as possible, bringing Roy Bundy with him. After the blessing was given and they had gone home, Victor said that he could just feel the sickness drawing out of the top of his head. Soon he was well again and going about his work.
Budd remembers: One time Dad and Budd and Grant and Marie were driving down the dugway above Roy Bundy's place in a wagon, and they met some tourist from California going up the other way in an old Model A Ford. They stopped and talked to them and they gave each of the kids a grapefruit. That is the first time Budd remembers seeing a grapefruit. He could tell that Dad really liked grapefruit, and he had never tasted one so he gave his to Dad. (They didn't give one to Dad.)
Victor sitting in the family car when they lived south of St. George.
He recalls Dad's old Model T. When they went anywhere they had to haul tire patches, a hand pump, extra gas, and tools for the frequent blow-outs and break downs. When going up hill, Dad had to back up because when he went frontward the tilt of the car would keep the gas from going into the engine and it would quit. Dad also always said he wished he had a "Rexal Rear-end" in his outfit.
At one time the government was buying cattle from people for $5.00 per head. However if you wished to keep the cow and make jerky out of it for your family you could. Budd said Dad sold quite a few to them on those terms.
One time Dad and Mom and the family were coming in to St. George when they had a blow-out. They were close to Wolf Hole so mama and the kids camped for the night while Dad walked through the night to St. George to get a new inner tube. Mrs. Parker had a store not far from where they camped and she had a daughter that played with Marie while they were there. (The girl's name was Evanell. Later when she grew up all the cowboys that stopped by there called her "Heaven n' Hell" They said she was heaven to lay eyes on but Hell if you got too close.) Dad was able to get what he needed to get the truck back on the road, caught a ride back with someone and was back to Wolf Hole by 9 or 10 A.M.
Budd tells that one year Dad and the kids all went up on the mountain to a place they called "Boney Hollow". It was about a 10 acre area that was quite level and smooth (a dried lake bed). Dad built a two strand barbed wire fence around it and they planted corn there. They would go up there quite frequently to weed and take care of the corn. It was growing and doing good but one day after it had got up there quite high someone cut the fence and Schmutz's cows were into it grazing it off.
Grant tells us: I remember one time when we had to cross the Fort Pierce Wash to go home. It had rained and a big flood had come down the wash while we were to St. George, and to get home we had to cross. Dad walked out into the water to see how good the crossing was, then he took the fan belt off our old Model T Ford and drove across ok. I think the water was up to the running boards.
Leoma says that one time Victor took the family camping by the dugway going to Mt. Trumbull while he was burning gyp and working with it. Keith was just little and he had a light case of whooping cough. He wasn't very sick but he would start coughing and then throw up.
Before they had left, Leoma had been washing dishes or something and had taken her wedding ring off and dropped it into a wooden comb case she had hanging on the wall. When they returned, someone had ransacked the house, stringing books, clothing, and other belongings all over. It was a real mess! Worst of all, her wedding ring was missing. They were told that certain neighbor kids were the guilty ones, but after talking to the parents there was never any satisfaction or restitution.
When Grandpa McCain traded his place at Mt. Trumbull and moved to Bloomington, Utah, he traded with Jim Jones. When the Jones' moved out there Victor and Leoma were to find their patience tested many times. They would find their fence cut and Jones' cattle in their place. Victor had a white work horse that Jones' were always borrowing. They would never return him and when Victor would go to get him they would say, "We've just got to have him! We aren't through using him yet!" When and if Victor did get him and take him home he would hardly have time to use him before they would be back borrowing him again. In exasperation, Victor finally gave him to them saying that they needed him far worse than he did."
One time Budd had a mustang pony. One of the older Jones boys offered to take him and break him for Budd. He had him for a while and then one day without saying a word he brought him back and put him inside the gate. The poor thing was almost dead. Budd never did know just what they did to him.
Again Marie remembers: "I, as a child loved our life at Mt. Trumbull, but I know it was a hard life for our parents, in such a harsh, dry land, trying to make a living and raise a family. They had no modern conveniences and life was a day to day struggle. (Leoma says about her life: I was quite happy when we lived at Mt. Trumbull. I had my husband and children around me and to me the hardships we lived with day to day were just part of life. I was not used to electricity and all the modern conveniences that came with it or carpeting on the floors so I didn't miss them. I remember when I got my first electric iron in later years, I thought," there couldn't be anything better than this. I can just stand here and iron without running to fix the fire or changing irons or anything." I think when we lived. at Mt. Trumbull was one of the happiest times of my life.)
Marie says: I loved the wildness of the country. The tree covered hills and the ledge and mountain. The rocks, wild flowers and native plants. I loved the fury of the electrical storms. The sound of the crashing thunder has always thrilled me, perhaps because there in that dry land, it usually meant we would receive some much needed water.
I loved the sound of the blowing wind in the trees and was intimidated by its shrieking howl along the large rocky ledge that ran full length along the east side of that country. We called it "The Ledge".
I still remember the thrill of the sound of howling coyotes and the mystery of the hooting Owl at night and some times the chilling scream of the cougar. That is where I learned to truly love nature and all of God's creations. Now when I see the picture of a large hairy Tarantula spiders, I think of Mt. Trumbull.
We as children had to invent our own games and entertainment. We had one little animal in abundance out there, that was safe to play with. It was about the only pets we had, but we would catch them, play a while, then turn them loose and the next time catch others. This was the "Horny Toad". They resemble lizards but fatter and without the long tail. They came in several hues from almost white to buff and gray with very pretty markings in designs in brighter or darker colors on their backs. They would some times play "dead" or possum and would close their eyes and hold very stiff, but when you put them on the ground they would soon come alive and run away. They came in sizes like a large toad to very tiny. They seemed to survive well in that dry hot land and probably got their moisture from the desert plants in the region.
We were afraid of the Rattlesnakes and the large hairy Tarantula spiders.
We especially liked Mt. Trumbull because of the people. Most everyone right in the Mt. Trumbull area had taken up a homestead or bought the improvements on a homestead, each being aloud 640 acres (or a section) which as I remember was a mile square.
In the outlying areas for many miles in most directions was land owned or leased by cattle ranchers. With many men working as cowboys.
Some of the people at Mt. Trumbull also owned herds of sheep.
The people there were like a large family. Close with friendship and help when there was trouble or a crisis and also close like a large family when it came to holidays, celebrations, picnics, programs , dances and of course church activities.
We also liked the Western atmosphere. The riding of horses, working with cattle, the cowboy influence and we loved the western music and songs, and the Western dances. Our music was a fiddle and a cord played on the piano. It was so exciting to hear some of the cowboys whoop as they danced a fast tune and whirled the girls around. Here is where I first learned to dance.
Many of these people were our relatives. Grandpa and Grandma McCain lived on their place, just next to ours on the south. There's a hill there called McCain Hill. Mama's oldest sister, Artie and her husband Albert Snyder and their family lived farther south.
Grandma Hannah Iverson lived with Daddy's brother ,Willard, who lost his wife and had a daughter, Nellie, to raise. Daddy's two other brothers, Martin and Levi also lived there with their families. He also had two sisters, Doretta Iverson Bundy and Annie Iverson Whipple who lived there with their families. It was so much fun when we would take a day and go visit some of them. A lot of those dear cousins are still so special to me. The homes were quite a ways apart usually, because the places were large.
There was one major event that happened I think, that decided my folks to leave that hard life and that was Daddy's cows became sick and started to die, first one and then more. He put the sick ones out in a grove of cedars away from the others, but they continued to get sick. I can see him yet there by his beloved cows, working and doctoring them. He would cover them with an old quilt or canvas, give them warm water and do everything he could for them as they laid there and died.
He finally sent to St. George to have a veterinarian come out to see what they had. A Dr. Woodbury came out, took tests and told Dad that his herd had Hemorogic Septicemia (Shipping Fever) a very contagious disease among cattle. There wasn't anything he could do for the milk cows, but it seems like he did inoculate the young herd of which there was around 20.
Daddy really felt badly about loosing his cows, so we decided to move back near St. George, Utah. Grandpa and Grandma McCain had already moved back to Bloomington which is about 5 miles south of St. George.
It is not remembered for sure, but Victor may have had some of the heifers driven in to Bloomington (it could have been someone already driving a herd in and they may have brought a few in for him). At any rate, he soon found a farm east across the Virgin River from Bloomington to rent, in an area then called Price. He did have a few cows and chickens, and some of Joe Milne's horses.(It was Joe Milne that they rented the farm from.)
Marie says: We moved into this quite nice, lumber house that sat on posts with quite a large space under the house where we kids could play in the sand and shade.
Here Dad farmed the land and I especially remember him raising lots of melons, especially acres of casabas and lots of squash. Daddy sold a lot of his melons and other produce to people in St. George.
One thing that stands out in my mind about living at Price, was the hot sandy soil and we kids going bare-foot during the summer. We got pretty good at running from the shade of one bush to another, just like the lizards did.
I also remember our many fun times wading along the river in the mud, quicksand and warm water. We had some special swimming holes where the water was deep enough to swim.
I remember riding horses across the river especially with our cousins Robert and Arthur, who lived with Grandpa and Grandma McCain. Seems there was one horse that always liked to lie down in the water and whoever was riding it would get wet too.
There was a branch of the church in Bloomington at that time, so on Sunday we would go over there, many times during the summer we would walk and of course had to wade the river, taking off our shoes and socks.
One time Mama wasn't feeling very good, so didn't want to get her feet wet. Dad said he would carry her piggy-back. As they got out in the middle of the foot deep water, Daddy stepped into a hole, falling and dumping Mama into the water too. I can still see them both sitting there in the water laughing, so we kids sat down and laughed too. We then all went home wet and didn't go to church.
Dad had a pet heifer. She was a buff colored Jersey with horns. I thought she was pretty. She liked Daddy so well, she would follow him around like a puppy dog, and I know that pleased him.
When she had her first calf, she was very nervous and protective. One of the boys wanted to see her new baby and got in the corral with her. She took right after him and he dived under the fence just in time to escape her sharp horns. From then on she would come after any of us that came near, except Daddy. She still loved him.
Whenever Mama or us kids went anywhere near her, we would carry a pitch fork just in case. Then one night she got into some grain and ate too much and died. Daddy felt bad, but the rest of us, especially Mama was almost glad.. We didn't have to carry a pitch fork any more.
While living here, Dad decided to kill a goat for meat, but he had an awful time. The coat blatted, cried and moaned, before he got the job done and Daddy felt just terrible. He said he would never again try to kill a goat. I don't think he did either.
One Christmas we didn't have a Christmas tree so we kids went out into the hills and found a good looking Chaparral bush and decorated it. We liked it a lot and it was different.
Now and then in the spring, a sheep herd would pass along the hills near by, so we kids would hurry our to see if they had any dogie lambs they would give us. Once in a while they would and we would be so thrilled to carry it home and show the family. We would then raise them on the bottle.
We kids went to school in St. George at this time and drove an old black mare named Bessie, hitched to a one horse buggy. Two neighbor kids named Romain and Sheila Stutznecker rode with us. They lived north of us on a farm and were our good friends.
We took hay along for the horse and would tie her up to a tree at the edge of town, unhook her and give her the hay and we would walk on to school. We did a lot of fun things on those trips back and forth to school. Usually the boys against the girls and visa versa. Occasionally we would dump somebody out of the buggy and go off, leaving them to walk the five miles home. Once in a while, some one got dumped in the river.
Jim Bundy's house. Victor and Leoma's family lived here for about 6 months.
One time when they came out of school, as Leoma remembers, Bessie had got loose. The kids started to walk home when Robert and Arthur came along on horses. They told them that the horse was tied up at Milne's (her owner). Marie and Grant got on back of Robert and Arthur, and rode home with them, but Budd went back to get the horse. When the kids got home they told Leoma what had happened , they also realized that Marie was still carrying the rope that they used for driving lines. Leoma worried and wondered how Budd would drive the horse home without any driving lines. Finally Victor walked to town to find Budd. Meanwhile, When Budd realized he had no lines, he went to the trash dump, (south of the temple) and got some old inner tubes and cut them into strips and made his own driving lines and came home. When Victor got up there he found no sign of Budd and had to walk all the way back home again. Budd had beat him a long way.
Keith remembers: In 1930 while we were living at the farm at Price (now Bloomington) Dad was hauling hay with a team and hayrack wagon, Dad sat me on one of the horses and told me to hold on to the hames of the harness. The horse I was on went to sleep so Dad touched him with the pitch-fork which woke him with a jump and I fell off over the horses back-end right in front of the wagon wheel. Dad threw the pitch-fork as he jumped down and snatched me from under the moving wheel. Grant said he did this before the pitch-fork hit the ground.
Leoma can't remember for sure the sequence of events but she does remember that when they left Mt. Trumbull they turned the homestead to Jim Bundy for money Victor owed him. He had been trying to develop Gyp and had borrowed money from Jim. Sometime about this time they had to return to Mt. Trumbull for about six months to finish proving up on the homestead, so they could turn it to Jim. During this time they lived in a little house belonging to Jim. It was at this time that Leoma and the kids were home alone. They were just having their evening family prayers when they heard the front gate open and someone walk down the walk to the house. Expecting someone to knock, they hurried to finish praying. They waited for the knock but it never came. It was dark outside and it was a little unnerving wondering what they were doing or what they wanted. Finally after a few moments the door knob began to twist and. turn, and they began to be really frightened. After another quick prayer for protection and guidance, Leoma got up the courage to open the door. The only things she could see outside were some calves wandering around the yard. Later she said something to Cloy Bundy about the experience and she laughed and said, "One of those calves had been raised on the bottle, and he had often tried to open their door by turning the knob with his mouth."
Front: Meb and Tony Whipple, Grandma Hannah Iverson and Stella Iverson. Back: Annie Iverson Whipple, Victor, LeAron and Levi Iverson. The picture was taken shortly after Bernice passed away when Victor went to pick up Leoma after her visit to Mt. Trumbull. It was taken early in the morning just before leaving for Jean, Nevada. Leoma was getting ready to leave while Victor visited his family. The women in the picture weren't fully dressed, Stella had her night gown on under her coat.
When they left Mt. Trumbull this time. Leoma caught a ride into Washington with Jim Bundy. He was hauling a big load of wood in. The night before Leoma's sister, Artie said, Why don't you get packed and ready to go, then come over and sleep at my place. That way you will be ready to go when Jim comes after you in the morning." The plan sounded good to Leoma so she did. Marie slept on the floor with some of Artie's girls, Budd and Grant went out into the barn with some of the boys, and Leoma and Keith had a bed that Albert, Artie's husband had built and attached to the wall.
After going to bed she was attacked by bedbugs by the hundreds! She got up every little while and started a lamp and fought bedbugs. She finally got so disgusted, she took Keith, leaving the other kids who seemed to be sleeping good, and walked home. There she unrolled enough bedding so they could lay down and sleep the rest of the night. When she returned for the kids next morning, Artie explained the bedbugs by saying that when they had had their house fire, that everyone had donated bedding and etc. and some one gave them things with bedbugs on them and she hadn't been able to get rid of them.
Jim Bundy loaded all their bedding, boxes and other belongings on top of a big load of wood. Then Marie and Budd went on top of that. As they drove down a dug-way Budd started calling "Marie fell off, Marie fell off!". They stopped and hurried back to see and she had just slid from the load over onto the bank above the dugway, so she wasn't hurt.
The way Leoma remembers it, this is when they lived for a while in part of the old Cotton Mill at Washington. Victor was working very hard all the time trying to develop his gyp products.
While living here Victor had a couple of very painful accidents. Once while making some rubber molds. He melted some old inner tubes and spilled some onto his hand when he was pouring it. His hand was burned badly.
Another time Dad dropped a car engine on his foot and mashed his big toe, Grant tells us. It was so painful that Leoma walked over to Victor's half brother, Walter's place and woke him up in the night to take Victor to the doctor. However all the doctor did was wrap some gauze around it and sent him home. It was still hurting so bad when he got home, he took his pocketknife, and dug down under his toe-nail until he punctured into the wound, and opened it up enough for it to drain and get rid of some of the pressure.
While they were in Washington, Leoma served as secretary in the MIA They were also asked to sing duets quite often in different church meetings.
Close to this same time they lived they moved to the southwest of St. George, Near where Kmart is located now (1987). Victor bought this place from his brother Willard. He built a two room lumber house on it. It had plain board floors with no covering. Marie remembers an old console phonograph with a wind up handle and a stack of records. She sure used to enjoy playing them. In back of the house was a large straw covered shed where we had beds during the hot summers and of course we had the ever present, out door privy, but I especially remember the one here.
For a while Dad had a black two seated touring car and we would sometimes ride up to church in it. Many times though, we would walk and we kids also walked to school from here.
I turned 13 while we lived here and liked to go watch some of the open air dances they used to have in those days, by the Dixie College in a large open air pavilion. Seems like it was also used as a tennis court. I would usually go with two of my close friends, Anita and Rose May.
One night I stayed later than I should have, and as I was walking down the long dark street toward home, I heard a horse galloping up toward me along. I had a feeling it might be Dad looking for me, but I was scared of every shadow anyway and it was too dark to see and be sure, so I hid until it passed on going toward town. I then hurried on home, hoping it wouldn't come back and catch up with me before I got there. I went right to bed and later heard Dad come back on the horse. He came and checked and seen that I was in bed. The next morning he said, "Why did you hide from me last night, why didn't you call out to me?" I said, "Well, I didn't know it was you and it was too dark to see."
Keith says that while they lived there Dad tried to set a good example for us kids and took us to church, which was a good long walk from just east of where the Hilton now stands to the St. George Tabernacle. We were in St. George South ward. At one time I remember Dad took us to church to the old Dixie College Building and President Heber J. Grant was there and spoke. We were living here when Dad had a Sedan Buick. I remember I and Grant was playing out back of the house when I looked up and saw a dog start into the driveway and stop. He had a very foamy mouth so I told Grant, "There is a mad dog", and I ran for the house. Grant didn't believe me for a few seconds then the dog headed for Grant and he climbed a post. The dog was uncoordinated but still could move pretty fast. Budd took the clothes puncher and went to Grants rescue. Budd would punch the dog away when he tried to get at them. When they got to the house the dog went around and around and finally laid down on the east side. Budd climbed onto the roof, Mom handed him a kettle of hot water. When the dog laid down in a fit, Budd poured the hot water on him. It ran off biting at the hot spot. A few days later Dad was taking us to church in the car and the pup we had refused to get off the fender so Dad realized he was getting rabies and killed him.
Also while we were living here we felt the house shake and heard a loud blast. Dad said it must be an explosion at the oil well to the south of us (where Bloomington Hills is today). They were trying to bring the oil well in (as they called it) by setting off nitroglycerin down the hole. Some how the nitro went off on top of the ground or in the well tower. There were a lot of people there to celebrate the occasion when this happened, and many were killed, some blown to pieces. They found arms, legs, and other parts on the hill close by.
During these years Grandma Hannah Iverson had been living in a small house just west of the temple, renting the place from Elias Hunt (Jay's Grandfather) She lived here for years working regularly in the St. George Temple. I was quite sickly at this time, and Daddy felt that I would be blessed and do better if I went to the temple for my endowments. So he got special permission for me and I did go. I worked in the temple for others too as often as I could. The dear sisters in the temple fussed over me and made me feel so welcome, it was a joy to go. For quite a few years I was pointed out as "the little girl who goes to the temple", my health did improve after that.
Dad also used to go to genealogy classes during this time, so he would take me along. We would walk up and back in the evening and he would talk to me about the things he wished and hoped for me and the rest of his family. The main thing and his greatest hope was for us to live the gospel and always be active in the church. He had hopes of the boys especially, going on missions and me and the others doing genealogy and temple work.
While they lived here Dad raised lots of melons and sold them in St. George. Marie remembers the kids gathering asparagus in the fields, tying it in bunches and peddling it from door to door. The boys also sold melons this way. While here, Budd got a black horse he named "Cheeko". He was very gentle and a good kid horse. Budd really thought a lot of him. We all did. They also lad a lot of baby ducks while they lived here. Leoma's sister, Mary and her husband Lloyd Holliday, came to visit one time and Victor gave them two ducks to take home with them. That was the only
Archie Ray Iverson
It was here on June 22, 1934, that their 4th son and 6th child was born. He was named Archie Ray. Marie says: "I was thrilled with this tiny. baby brother, but when he was a few months old he developed a severe case of eczema. It was terrible for him and Mama and Daddy too. It would itch and hurt and he would scratch. It would break out into running sores on his little face arms and legs and he would cry so much! The folks would walk the floor with him at night, taking turns trying to get him to sleep and keep him from scratching.
They tried a lot of things and took him to several doctors trying to find something to help him. He finally just had to outgrow it over several years. It was a real bad thing for a baby to endure. One summer when Archie was little, he got the measles. Budd stayed outside so he would be sure and not get them.
One day Budd was walking to town and looked back and Archie Ray was following him. Archie was about over the measles then, so Budd decided he better pick him up and carry him home. Later, Budd too came down with the measles.
Grant says: We went to the Virgin River where it comes out of the mountain just east of Beaver dams. While we were there Dad was trying to catch some fish and all of us kids was having a good time in the water. The water had made a deep hole under a big rock and some trees that had been washed down the river. Dad was up under the rock, he had to dive under the water to get there. He got his head up in a small air pocket so he could breathe. In trying to catch fish Dad. got his arm caught between the rock and limbs and couldn't get out. Mom was trying to help him but she couldn't get him loose so she went to the car and got a big butcher knife. (Then I ask her what she was going to do with it, she said she was going to get Dad loose where his arm was caught, for some reason I thought she was going to cut Dad's arm off. During this excitement Dad had worked his arm loose and got out ok.
When I turned 8 years old my Dad baptized me. He also conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on me and ordained me a Deacon when I was old enough.
Dad helped whitewash the St. George Temple. They used ropes and came down from the top. Dad told about being up on top steeple and helping.
I remember when we were kids Dad used to scare us when he had a chance. I remember one time my brothers, Budd, Keith and I was out looking for the cow and it had started to get dusk. As we was on our way home, we were walking up to an area where there were trees on both sides and it was dark and shadowy. Suddenly we heard a cougar growl. I told Budd and Keith it was just Dad, but about that time he growled again and we all headed for the wooden gate post. Budd was on top then Keith and I was about fence level. Every time we started to get down Dad would growl again. After a bit Keith started to cry so Dad came out in the open. Boy what a relief it was to really know it was only Dad. I think we loved him all the more when he did things like that. I think kids like to be involved with the parents.
Marie writes: While living here I remember my brothers inventing or building some real cute farms. They would each have their own little area that was their place. They would build little stick fences, and corrals. We would search in the hills for dry, white, bleached bones from a dead horse or cow. They would gather the vertebrae bones of all sizes and they would be their horses, cows, calves and any other animal they wanted. Their horses were called "Boney horses." They would lay sticks up for log houses, build roads from farm to farm, put leather or string harnesses on their boney horses and also build their wagons and farm machinery. They could play contented for hours doing this. They also played marbles a lot and I took some cute pictures of them doing this.
During this time I was going to school at the Woodward Grade School. I got an autograph book (these were popular in those days) for my friends to write in. I also had some of my relatives write in its pages including Daddy and Mama. Following is what Daddy wrote:
In the making of your life there are two sculptors. One is the king of Heaven, who with his chisels so fine, has hewn your arms and hands, the curve of your neck and the straightness of your spine.
He made your wonderful hair and molded your beautiful face. He molded all your outward beauty along with many of your race. But now it is you who must use those fine chisels in making the inner picture of this beautiful work of art.
So please dear Heaven, help you do your part. Be sure and use the hammer of love and strokes of kindness, caring lines of gentle fairness, making a picture so beautiful and true.
Oh Dear Sister, the chiseling of the inner part is entirely up to you.
God sent the sun, the stars and moon,
The pearly dew drops sweet,
And then he sent you, darling daughter,
To make it all complete.
Your loving Mother
In 1935-36 Dad let the farm go back to Uncle Willard Iverson. He lived in a house at the northeast corner of the Cemetery. Keith tells us that he got very sick. He said, "I would waken in the night and cry out as in a nightmare. Mother would set up with me and sometimes had a hard time holding me in bed. As I would awaken I'd cry out in terror. After some time Dad gave me a blessing casting out evil spirits and I was completely relieved of this of this terrible condition.
Leoma says: "I never saw a little child so strong as Keith was when he would wake up in this condition. He would just look wild our of his eyes, like he was terrified of something. Only the power of the Priesthood would calm him. I was always afraid this might occur when Victor was away, but I would pray that everything would be ok and it always was."
Keith continues: Dad was a very kind man. One time I remember on Thanksgiving or some special day, he sent Grant and myself to a family he thought was very poor, with the only duck we had. We wondered at the time who needed the duck worse, them or us. About 1937-38 Dad took Grant and I and we worked several weeks on the construction of the first Church Welfare building to be built in the area. We worked here every harvest for several seasons to follow. We helped in the canning of peaches, the making of molasses, and even in the making of brooms.
Dad worked for years to develop building material out of gypsum. He believed with such a vast supply in the area, it would be a great advantage for its use, and a good business. Developing and using his own formulas he made plaster, brick and a marble like stone from it. I spent a lot of time helping Dad. We'd try this and that, working out in the hot sun. I'm sure I showed little interest if any, as my mind was always on the canal swimming hole with the other kids.
While they lived by the cemetery, they decided to take Archie to Las Vegas for a while to see if a change in water would help his eczema, but it didn't so they were back after a couple of weeks or so. They moved to a little house across the street north of the temple, where the temple parking lot is now. That house and land was owned by Charlie Sullivan. (They lived in a few other houses also at one time or another.)
At one time when Marie was younger and there was still brush growing on the eastern end of the temple parking lot, there was an old Indian couple that lived there in a little make shift tent. The man was blind, so it was up to his wife to try and take care of him. It's not clear what they lived on, but Marie says, "I know it wasn't much. As poor as we were, Daddy would send me down to the Indians place to take some food. They were always nice to me and really seemed to appreciate whatever I brought."
"Daddy always did have a soft spot for the Indian people and tried to help them all he could. He helped them over on the Reservation west of Santa Clara, to build better houses for themselves. He also served as the Sunday School Superintendent over the Reservation. for a while and would hold Sunday School and teach lessons to the adults. He took me along to teach a class of the teenagers. Some of them were a lot larger than I was, but they sat and listened good. That was the first position I ever held in the Church."
Some of the Indian people were among Victors best friends. Over the years they learned to love and respect Victor, and they always knew that he was one white man who was a sincere friend that they could count on.
Following is the copy of a song Victor wrote, about the Indians, which was performed at a conference at the tabernacle. It was very impressive.
"0 Where, 0 where," cried an Indian boy,
"Did my Great Grandfathers come from?
And why is my skin of a copper shade,
And we live in a small wigwam?
We've lived this way for many moons,
Just wandering on these plains.
Does God not know of our lowly state;
And why do we carry this blight?
My mother, she plants and reaps the corn,
And weaves our blankets and clothes
My father, he hunts and takes the scalp
Of his fallen unfortunate foes.
"0 'Why, 0 why, did the white man come
And force us from our homes
Where the buffalo roamed, and the antelope ran?
Then, there was plenty for us all,
But now it is hard for us to live,
For hunting now is all gone.
How long will it be until we know
Of our fathers and our God?
The white man, in his business way,
Just striving for silver and gold,
He knows not where, from whence we came,
And he has no care where we go."
"0 listen, our young Indian friends.
I did hear the cries of your souls.
And the history of your fathers, I know it well,
And a blessed people they were.
But they strayed from God's holy light,
Just wandering on in sin.
Their God, he called, but they would not hear,
So he sent upon them this blight.
The curse he gave them was very sore,
And from them he hid his face.
But the time is at hand, and his promise of yore
Will make you a delightsome race.
And now it has been just a hundred years
Since God once more did speak.
He sent his angels from the skies
With his gospel to the earth
And one of his first great commands
To those he did authorize,
Go teach it to the Lamanites
That my promise I might keep,
For in mighty prayer from day to day
Their fathers my petition did seek.
So now, if you, this gospel will obey,
It will teach you of your Lord.
Daddy loved music and wrote a number of songs. He also liked to sing and had a good strong singing voice. He and Mama would sing together and they had lovely voices. There was one song they used to sing quite often, called "The Haunted Falls" That song has sort of haunted me down through the years and I once knew it by heart. It was of a young couple with three small children. They lived in Pioneer days out by a water fall. The father went to town after the mail and while he was gone some Indians rode up, broke down the door, tortured and killed the mother and burnt the house and babies to the ground. Then through the years, the man just wandered around where the dwelling had stood so they called it the Haunted Falls and the Haunted woods.
I get to thinking about Daddy singing this song and now he's been gone all these many years and I do feel sorrow and feel haunted by his voice I used to hear.
Daddy loved the Gospel hymns and sang with enthusiasm. He would sometimes have us sing them together, as a family at home. He had a strong voice and I liked to stand by him as we sang in church. It made me feel proud.. He especially loved the hymn, "Oh My Father".
Daddy wanted us children to learn to play music. He once arranged for me to take piano lessons from a Mrs. Cannon and I could practice at her place. I did for about a year, but it was just too hard without a piano at home.
Then he was able to get a violin from a man who made them, but I had no teacher to teach me and no money during the depression.
Daddy played the Harmonica very well and I soon learned to play it too, by practicing a lot. Daddy would some times imitate playing a horn, making a noise with his mouth and pretending to slide a trombone back and forth. I thought he sounded just like one. He also made music on a saw.
Dad told us to memorize songs, especially the Hymns. He insisted we learn "Improve The Shining Moments" he said it could be used as a pattern for our lives. I've always been thankful I did memorize it and I think of Daddy every time we sing it in church.
Yula Sue (Aunt Annie Whipple's daughter) told me she remembers "Uncle Vic" singing a song he wrote titled "Hitler's Poison Candy". She really liked to hear him sing, so every time he came around she would beg him to sing for her.
Daddy always looked real nice and neat in his Sunday Clothes. He usually just had one outfit of good clothes, good enough to wear to church. I can picture him yet as he was getting dressed up for church, putting on his tie and tying it just so, I would watch to see how he did it.
If his shoes needed polished or blackened he would turn over a lid on the cook stove, take a small damp rag and dip it in the soot and apply it to his shoe, rubbing it on good, let it dry, then rub to polish.
Some times as we walked to church together he would give us a piece of gum to chew to "sweeten our breath" but he always had us throw it away before going in, for he said "you should never chew gum in church, that would not be reverent, and it would take your mind off the lesson. Your mouth must be empty when you partake of the sacrament." I've never forgotten that lesson , but as a child I remember how hard it was for me to throw away that gum. We didn't get it very often.
As I was the oldest of their children in the family, I was usually Daddy's helper, to work in the fields, the garden and the chores. Mama worked outside a lot, but she had her own work to do and babies to see about. But for a while, until the boys were old enough to help him I was his "flunky" as uncle Levi said.
I wasn't very old myself, when he started me helping him and I still remember how inadequate and scared I would feel. Especially when he put me on a horse, to guide him down a furrow, while he held onto the hand plow and tried to make a straight furrow. I really tried, but many times that horse didn't want to walk down the furrow. After so much of the horse stepping out and the plow going crooked, Dad would get very exasperated and would grab me off the horse and say, ""Go to the house." That would make me feel terrible and I would usually cry all the way and hope he wouldn't ask me to do that again.
I also remember going with him when a group of farmers would get together to clean ditch. They would hook horses onto harrows, put them into the big ditch and drag the harrows up and down the ditch to clean out the moss and trash. Dad put me on our big horse, lined up in that big ditch of water, between several other horses and harrows. We would go up the ditch splashing and churning, with the horses not wanting to stay where they were supposed to and the men yelling orders. To me it was awful and very frightening and I kept wondering what would happen if some one fell off among all those horses and harrows. I knew then that I just wasn't meant to do men and boys work. But I guess it taught me that you can do things even when you're afraid, if you try hard enough and say a little prayer every now and then.
However, I wasn't the strong boy my Dad needed and he really did need one with him being so sickly.
I did help a lot though, hoeing in the fields of melons and squash. There was one job I really hated though, that I worked on every summer and that was killing squash bugs! They would get pretty bad and we didn't have the powders and sprays they do now, to control them. We had to pick them off and chop them in two or at least kill them. They stunk so bad it would make us sick.
I also remember Daddy having us put a little kerosene on them to kill them. It was tedious, stinky, hot work either way. I really learned to detest squash bugs.
The only farming Dad did after moving from the place on the Southwest of St. George, was just raising a garden.
It was while they were living in the Sullivan place north of the temple that Jim Bundy finally paid Dad the last he owed him on the place out to Mt. Trumbull. "with a little cash in his pocket, Dad bought "Mom her first electric washing machine, and also the first radio they owned. Her washer was green with a revolving wringer. After she got it, she did Grandma Hannah Iverson's washings until she moved back to Mt. Trumbull. Also Grandma McCain and Aunt Mary came and did their washings in her washer too.
The folks bought a place east of the temple about 1 1/2 blocks and lived there for several years. The house was small with two rooms. Later they built a large lean too along the back. The house faced south and Daddy put a large cement step at the front door.
Mama raised some pretty flowers and I especially remember the many large calla lilies and tall caster beans, that were almost like trees. They provided some badly needed shade, because there were no trees then. They planted some later. Most of the land in that area was still in brush, as it was just south of the temple also.
Us kids used to chase little cottontail rabbits around the area, south and east of the temple. Dad bought a pasture that was just across the road east of the temple, where the large stake house now stands.
While living here Daddy did a good deal of work developing the gypsum products. He would go out in the hills and find a deposit of a good grade of gyp and bring some in and cook it in a long shallow vat about 6-8 feet long and 3-4 feet wide. That dry gyp would boil almost like water. We would stir it with a long handle hoe. It was then ready to use in making brick or plaster and was usually an off white color.
As Daddy experimented making brick and finishes he really made some beautiful ones, with many different colors and finishes. He made and kept records of his own formulas so he would remember what he used and which turned out best.
His bricks were so hard and sturdy he could easily break regular brick by hitting them together. They were only half as heavy as the regular brick.
Grant says: Dad's brick that he made out of gyp he had baked from raw gyp he found south of St. George, could break 5 commercial brick by clapping them together before his would bust. Dad's brick was only 1/2 the weight of the others. He also had a way to make Marble by using pressure. He would lay some gyp on a rail then hit it with a large hammer and make a nice little piece of marble all colors.
Marie says: Many of his finishes were as smooth and polished as marble and in many different colors. He would test them to see how they would hold up and nothing marred them.
He took his samples and made trips to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City several times, to try and get some company interested in his product, so they would back him financially, but no one seemed to want to take the chance. They would tell him his product was great, but it would cost too much or some other excuse. He would come home blue and discouraged.
Then it seems like, he would have another bad sick spell.
During the Great Depression, companies and people were going broke and this probably had a lot to do with his lack of success in finding financial backing. lot of then didn't want to go into something new. Daddy wasn't only fighting ill health and poverty, he was also fighting the conditions of the depression which made it so hard for every one.
While the family lived east of the temple, the boys were really growing up. Some of them raised pigeons and it seems they did a lot of trading with other kids around close, for things they wanted. I can remember Daddy talking about them growing up to be traders. Seems they traded. for bicycle parts until they built one or at least tried to.
One evening Mama ask Keith to wipe the supper dishes, but he didn't want to. Budd figured he could make that lazy brother of his wipe the dishes by force. He drew back his fist to hit Keith, Keith dodged and Budd's fist went through the wall board. Keith did wipe the dishes, however.
While the folks lived at this place I (Marie) went off to Mesquite Nevada to go to High School and stayed the first year with the Howard Pulsipher family. They were good friends of Mom and Dad. They had been working at the Star Gyp Camp when Bernice died.
They had a girl my age, also named Bernice and we enjoyed being together. I worked for my board and room.
After three years of school there and Budd also came down and stayed with Pulsiphers one year while I was staying with two other families during that time. The high school was in Bunkerville and I met Rodney Waite. We went together almost two years. When he graduated, we decided to get married on August 3, 1938, on Mama's Birthday.
The temple was closed at that time for repairs, so Rodney and I were married there in Mama's and Daddy's little house, by my Bishop.
A car door was accidentally slammed on my thumb that day and mashed it very badly, so I think I cried more on my wedding day than anything else. Daddy cut a hole down into the nail to relieve the pressure. He seemed to feel as badly as I did.
He had great empathy for not only his family, but all others he came in contact with.
Keith, Archie, Victor, Sharon, Leoma, Laron and Marie Waite, about 1943
Sharon Alene Iverson
While they lived in this same place, their last (7th) child was born. Sharon Alene, on April llth,l941. At last I had a baby sister, something I had hoped for during all my growing up years. I already had my first little boy, Laron, and of course lived, away from home, so I couldn't be around her very much.
It was always so special when I could go home and see her. As she grew though, I was about like a stranger to her. I asked Mama how come she waited until I had left home to have me a sister. She said Well, that's just the way it worked out." So Daddy and Mama were Grandparents before their last child was born. Dad adored Sharon, we all did.
I had three boys, before I finally got a girl and had begun to think that the only spirits left were boys. When we finally had Patsy, I was so happy I cried all day. But this happened several rears later in Idaho.
Keith went with Dad prospecting and etc. about 1941, "Dad went prospecting and I went along. At the time we didn't own a vehicle, so Dad arranged to have a fellow take us out. We set up camp at the Bloomington Caves. We stayed here for several days. Dad was using an Ultra Violet Ray lamp at night, that would show different colors in the rocks. If there was anything of value such as gold or silver. It would show scorpions and centipedes in a gold or turquoise color. Dad got so enthused, he over used the lamp and became temporarily blind. Not knowing that it was temporary, we became very worried. It turned off stormy and sent a lot of water down Santa Clara Creek. So the man who had taken us out was unable to come get us because of the high water. I started to town on foot. I was able to cross the flooding creek as it had subsided somewhat by the time I reached there. I borrowed a couple of horses and went back and got Dad. We were all happy when he got so he could see again.
In 1942 I went with Dad to his mining claims out in the west mountains. World War Two had just started and there was a demand for tungsten that was used in hardening of steel. We worked cutting trenches along the hill sides with pick and shovel. Dad had hopes of striking a vein of tungsten. He had found "float" as he called it, which was tungsten bearing rocks in the bottom of the wash below. Dad would get so enthused he'd work real hard then he'd get sick. On one occasion he wasn't feeling well so went to camp early. I continued to work a while. When I quit and started going to camp the trail passed over some hills and I could see it winding down toward Welcome Springs. As I topped a little rise, I could see Dad lying along the trail near the bottom of the hill. I ran to him, thinking the worst, and was relieved to find he was still alive. He said he was sorry to startle me that way but he had gone as far as he could go. Dad suffered with sickness a great deal and was hampered in his efforts to accomplish anything because of it.
Budd tells of an experience with Dad when he was about 14 years old. He said that Dad had been talking to Old Dentist Cox (from St. George) and Dr. Cox told him that the Indians used to have a copper mine out on the Arizona Strip, close to Andrews Canyon at a place called Molly's Nipple. Dad decided he wanted to go look. He got Claudie Bracken to take him out in his old Model A. They drove as far as Grassy Mt. Spring, where Budd was working for an old man (80 years) named Johnny Pymn. Johnny told Budd at the time that he had once seen dad so sick he thought he was going to die. Then Dad, Budd and Claudie started walking toward Molly's Nipple, which was 15 or so miles. That night they camped a mile or so away from Molly's Nipple. It turned cold, and they only had one blanket apiece. Dad became sick, and Budd stayed up to keep a fire going. It rained in the night. The next morning Budd walked over around Molly's Nipple looking to see some sign of the copper mine, but was unable to, so he returned to camp. Dad was so sick they decided to walk back to Pymn's boarded up tents. They stayed there that night. During the night it snowed 14-15 inches. Next morning they fired up the Model A but found that when they tried to go through the gullies, they were pushing snow with their bumper and it wasn't making very good progress. Then finally when they got to Agway Flats, they run out of gas. They were 15 miles away from the Pymn camp. They were not far from the South side of Poverty Mt. and on the east side a road went to an old Cornwall Homestead. They decided to hike to Cornwall. Perhaps they could stay warm that night and hike on into Bundyville the next morning. They wrapped their feet with gunnysacks and started. It snowed more as they walked. Budd went in front and broke trail for Dad. They would stop and rest every little while, and have to wait for Claudie to catch up. Budd would build a fire when ever he could find a old downed tree or something that would burn, so they could warm up. It finally cleared up then, and the temperature dropped. He says he was very impressed by the beauty of the snow covered country as they walked through the crisp, cold moonlit night. They stopped one last time to build a fire and warm themselves just before reaching Cornwall. When they reached there they were in hopes of finding warmth, shelter and some canned provisions. What they found was an old fireplace that smoked and all the heat went up the chimney. The few canned things they found were frozen rock solid. They shivered around there for a while, then went on the last 6 or 7 miles to Uncle Roy Whip's.(Roy and Annie Whipple) There they were taken in, warmed up, fed, and pretty well rejuvenated. Uncle Roy then found a couple of five gallon cans, filled them with gas, loaded them on a pack horse, and sent Meb (their son) with them back to the car on horse back. They got there about noon, put the gas in the car and started for home. They stopped at Parker's store and gased up (at Wolf Hole) and came on in to St. George.
Marie remembers: Daddy was a good Democrat and American and thought a lot about what the government was doing and what was happening in the world.
He knew Hitler was up to no good, when we first started hearing about him in the news. He was worried and afraid of another World War before it ever happened. Daddy would often voice his opinion on things happening in the world and wonder why people couldn't or wouldn't live in peace and love.
Of course he knew that Satan was the one behind it all and he would often talk about Satan and what he was trying to do. He said Hitler was like Satan and I'm sure he was right. That's why he wrote that song Yule Sue remembers him singing. ("Hitler's Poison Candy")
Archie remembers going camping at Welcome Springs with Dad. He was prospecting and working his claim. "He had built me a little stockade corral . We had found a desert Tortoise and I kept the Tortoise in the corral. We had horses with us. I would ride one and go prospecting with Dad. Sometimes at night we went out looking at rock with Dad's Ultra Violet light. Some of the minerals would shine lavender or turquoise. Scorpions also shined turquoise under the light."
Some time about this time, when Dad was searching for something to help his sickness he heard about the Mineral Water that comes from Sulferdale, Utah. He made several trips to Sulferdale to get the soil there to use for many purposes. He would put a little of this Mineral dirt into a bottle, cover it with water and let it settle. It could be reused and reused. It was very good for many ailments, but especially infections, slivers, insect bites etc. One Story Leoma tells is when Grant got bit by a Black Widow spider. She hurried and put his hand into some Mineral Water, and by the time the Dr. got there, the poison had all been drawn out. The Dr. told her she had done the best thing possible.
Grant tells about the Mineral water this way: Dad sold some mineral water he called "Zest". He would sell it by the 55 gallon barrel. He also sold the dirt. It sure was good for a lot of things. Ina and I have been using it ever since we have been married. We use it to draw out infection, slivers, or other foreign objects. But you have to keep it off your clothes as it will eat them just like acid.
Sharon's earliest memory of dad was when she was only a few months old. "I remember being playfully tossed into the air, but when I came down I watched the floor getting closer and closer. On one side of me was a hot stove, and a wash basin on the other. I sort of sailed out of control, but Dad managed to scoop me up just before I hit the floor.
I also remember Daddy butchering a pig we had there east of the temple. I was about two. I remember it was early in the morning and Dad and a couple of others (probably the boys) were doing it. I went to watch, but when they got that big old pig by his heels and started to raise him up in the air he started to squeal loud enough to wake the dead. I ran and hid in the ditch and every now and again I would peek over the ditch bank to see what was going on. I thought it was awful!
Home on the east side of St. George. Archie, Sharon, Leoma and Victor are on the porch
We moved to St. George Boulevard, 858 E. 300 North, just a day or two before my third birthday. When we lived here dad would often come home from work and while Mama was fixing supper, Daddy would take me for a walk up and down the street. I loved to have him do this and often I would ask him to when he came home. (for my birthday they gave me a brown-eyed doll I still have.)
I remember going "Ward Teaching " with him and also to Priesthood a couple of times. Then when it was over we would walk down to Grandpa and Grandma McCain's about 4 blocks of the Woodward school. Dad would carry me quite a bit.
One Easter, Dad had been gone somewhere, so Mama, Archie and I took a picnic upon the Red Hill just north of our place. There was a nice grassy spot with a shade tree, a waterfall and a little creek running down the hill. We were having a good time up there when we saw Dad's old blue pickup drive in. He went inside and came out again (not finding us there) and started to back out. Archie ran down the hill as fast as he could go and caught him just in time.
I also remember going to Dad's mine: On the way one day we found a good card table laying beside the road. Another time I took my kitten with me out there, but just before we came home, something scared my kitten and it climbed up inside the exhaust pipe (it seems) and would not come out. That was the last time I saw my kitten.
Dad was working, fixing a road from camp to the diggings one day and I remember I got mad at mama for some reason. I told her to go away. So she did! Soon I was scared all by my self, so I climbed into the pick-up and laid down on the seat and played with my doll. All of a sudden something started scratching on the door of the Pickup. I was scared to death! I thought sure it was a cougar. I held as still as I could and suddenly the door flew open and there stood Mama laughing. Some of Daddy's love of pranks must have rubbed off!
Keith remembers, "Dad told me if I aver started a job to do it good, the best I could. If I ever wanted to quit to do so but never slack off on the quality of work until the job was finished. Dad talked to me several times about what I was going to do for a livelihood. He knew Budd and I had ta1ked about trying to get into ranching. He said since my sister, Marie lived in Idaho, he wished us boys would do something so we could be near Mom and him. Some time later I went to work herding sheep and didn't see Dad very often. Once when I was herding in Lydia's Canyon he came to see me and said Budd was coming home on leave from the navy. Verla (future wife) had showed Dad where my camp was and he told me what a good catch he thought she'd be. I then took some time off and went home with Dad. That was the first time I went through the tunnel at the Zion's switchback.
Dad and Mom saw all three of their oldest sons off to war, wondering if they would ever return . Budd and Grant were both in the South Pacific and Keith was on a troop Transport Ship.
Keith Remembers: "Dad and Mom, Archie and Sharon was then living on St. George Boulevard where the Frost Top now stands. After a little visit and a trip to Glendale and back with Budd, I went back to the herd, until fall when I went to the Navy. Dad come to see me off on the bus as did Verla. I returned home from boot camp on a 5 day leave. When I left home I told Mom and Dad good-by not knowing that was the very last time I'd see Dad in this life."
Leoma and Sharon Recalls: About a year before Dad died he was out to the Shelite mine working. When he arrived there, his pickup was working fine, but when he went to leave, as he started down the dugway he found he had no brakes. He had no way to slow down or stop. He kept steering into the steep bank trying to slow it and finally it rolled onto its top on the very edge of the dugway, rocking on its top back and forth almost ready to go over the edge. Owen Atkin and 2 or 3 other men were working there and they found him, pulled him out and brought him home.
Sharon: "I remember them almost carrying him into the house. He looked in very bad condition. The men helped him into the bedroom and laid him on the bed."
The Doctor was called, and it was found that he was injured on his right side and he had possible head injuries. Dad said after that to Mom, "Some day I will go paralyzed on my right side, and if I do I don't want to live."
Leoma: "He mentioned to me a few times that he felt someone may have tampered with the breaks on his pickup, because he knew they were in good working order when he went out there. ,
Sharon remembers a couple more incidents that show what a loving, patient man Daddy was. "I'm not sure if these occurred before or after his accident, but probably before. Daddy and Mama took Archie and I and walked down town to the picture show. Daddy got laughing so hard he rocked forward and banged his head real hard on the back of the seat in front. I think it gave him quite a headache. After the show was out I had gone to sleep, and he carried me the whole mile home.
One day Daddy was leaving to walk to work. I'm not sure but maybe it was after the accident. He was working at Clarence Forces' store. Anyway, he kissed Mama good-by and started to go, and because he hadn't kissed me too I started to cry. He stopped and held open his arms but I was stubborn and ornery and said No! So he turned around to go again and I started to bawl again. This happened 3 or 4 times and finally he had worked himself down the block about half way. I was really bellowing and patiently once more he stopped and offered me a hug. That time I went and got it. I was afraid if he got much further that I wouldn't get it at all. Now I wonder why he didn't tan my hide!"
After Daddy couldn't get backing for his Gyp products, he started prospecting in earnest, looking for ore, especially that was needed in the war effort. He had always been interested in mineralogy. He went all over the country round about southern Utah and Northern Arizona, looking for good veins of ore. He hauled in rock samples nearly every time he went out. He also found a picture rock mine that he later sold to Clarence Force. They are still mining rock out of it. There has been tons of beautiful picture rock taken out of it and many beautiful fireplaces and other things built from it.
When my husband, Rodney was drafted into the service in 1944, I didn't think I could bear to stay alone with my two little boys and another one on the way, so Daddy rode the bus north to Idaho to help drive us back to Southern Utah until the war would end.
The night after his arrival in Idaho he was very ill and delirious. He had such a sick bad headache and so nauseated also. By morning he felt better, though. He said riding on the bus always made him sick. That was the last time I was around him during such a bad sick spell.
I had a red Studebaker touring car to move to St. George in, and we made the trip all right. I stored all our furniture and most of our things with Rodney's two brothers who lived in Idaho.
By this time, Daddy and Mama had sold their little place, just east of the temple and bought a small home up along the main high way coming into St. George from the east. This was a nicer house and had indoor plumbing, which I don't think they had ever had before, except for the little Sullivan place which they rented, where the temple parking lot is now.
I know it seemed so very good to them to have indoor plumbing. They also had more room here.
This house was gray stucco on the outside with white woodwork. There was a large cement porch along the front (north)side that was nice. A few years later after Victor passed away, Budd built a beautiful large fireplace using some of the picture rock .
They had some shade trees and planted others and they planted lawn and roses in front.
Being by the highway wasn't so pleasant with all the noise, pollution and steady hobo traffic, that stopped in quite often for a handout. The folks shared what they had, with many a weary traveler.
I and my two boy's, Laron and Gary, lived with the folks for a while, but I was so restless and dissatisfied, no matter where I was at, missing Rodney so much and not feeling good with my pregnancy. We were all so worried about the war and our family members who were in it that I think everyone was on edge.
Daddy and I just couldn't seem to get along. So I moved to Bunkerville into a small nice house that I rented, near Rodney's folks.
When my confinement time arrived I left the boys with Rodney's folks and I went back and stayed with the folks again for a week or so until I went I went into the hospital. I had a very difficult delivery and felt so alone with no one there with me from either side of the family, but with Dr. Reichmand, our old beloved family doctor helping me Richard arrived on Feb. 23, 1945.
The next day I was very pleased to have Daddy walk into my room and ask me how I was doing. He sat for quite a while and we had a real good visit. He said Sharon had a bad cold, so Mama couldn't come. I really appreciated him coming in to see me and the baby. This was the last time we just talked and visited for a while.
Dad was working quite a bit for Clarence Force, who operated a Western Clothing Store in St. George and also sold western belt buckles and jewelry made with stone settings cut from some of the native stones found in the area. Daddy was cutting, polishing, and setting the stones.
Daddy also had his mining claims that he spent quite a lot of time working. He was often in the hills prospecting. He would write to his sons in the service telling them about what he was doing and about his future plans, hopes and dreams, when the war was over and they could come back and help him.
In May after Richard was born, I decided to go back to Idaho. Rodney's brother Dan and his wife, Fern, drove with us up to see Lee and family and Denzel and family, then they went back home by bus.
That was the last time I saw Daddy alive.
Rodney returned home the day before Christmas, 1945. On January 3rd, 1946 we received a telegram saying that Daddy had passed away. I still remember the shock and feeling of disbelief. I cried until Rodney told me I just had to stop.
On January 3rd, Victor had let Budd and his girl (Haroldean) take his pickup. Budd had just got home from the Navy.
Victor had gone to work at Clarence's store, and it was afternoon when he started feeling poorly. He knew something was dreadfully wrong, so he left work early and started to walk home. He was so bad he couldn't walk well and someone picked him up and hauled him home.
Daddy and his Nephew George Iverson were set apart as Stake Missionary Companions, then George was called off to war and was killed. Just a few nights before Daddy died, Mama saw George. She had just had her teeth pulled and her mouth was bleeding so she had to sit up and spit blood occasionally. Therefore she stayed by the fire in the living room on a little day bed that they used in place of a sofa. Mama had just got through spitting and lain back when she looked up and saw someone standing there, grinning at her. She thought to herself , "Who is that? It must be Grant come home from the Navy." Then she thought, "No, that's not Grant, who---?" Then it came to her "Why. that's George Iverson. He's dead!" When this thought came to her, she sat up abruptly, and as she did so he was gone.
This experience worried her and the next morning she said to Daddy, "I wonder if I'm going to die." Daddy assured her he didn't think she was. In fact he started to tell her something but then decided not to because he was afraid it would worry her.
In a few days Daddy died. Later, as Mama thought about it, she felt sure George had come to prepare her, that he needed Daddy to help him preach the Gospel on the other side.
On several occasions after his wreck, he told Mama that he was going to go paralyzed on his right side at some time in the future and if he did, he didn't want to live. He repeated this to Mom the day he died, and later after it was over the Dr. told her that if he had lived he would have been paralyzed for the rest of his life on the right side.
On one occasion some time after his death, Mama had just got in bed one night when she suddenly realized that Victor had came in and he lay down beside her. She asked him how he was, and he said that he was happy and busy. He then told her "Study Mama, Study!" Presently he arose, and was gone.He was continually in poor health, but kept pushing himself to keep going and trying to do what he could.
Sharon remembers him coming into the house and sitting down in their old wooden rocking chair. She ran and climbed into him lap and asked, "What's the matter Daddy?" He said "I'm sick." Leoma came in and talked with him briefly then helped him to a bed in the dining room. Here he lay until Budd came home. Budd went for Dr. Reichmand, who responded as quickly as he could. He checked Victor over and said they should give him a certain medication, which he prescribed. Leoma went to the bathroom to look and see if they had some of it. Budd was preparing to go to the drug store and Haroldean stepped briefly into the bathroom to assist Leoma. Sharon was standing beside the bed when she heard a child's voice call "Daddy". That was all. Then Haroldean came back and suddenly Victor took another attack. They hurried and called the Dr. back,(he was just pulling out) and again he checked him over. He then told them not to bother getting the medicine, that it was too late.
Marie says: We went to the funeral. They brought Daddy's casket to their home the day of the funeral and he lay in his own living room and friends and relatives came to grieve and give comfort to the family. All of us children came home except Keith, who was on a ship at sea and couldn't come.
That was a hard time for us all, especially our dear Mother. Archie Ray also took his Daddy's death very hard. He was only eleven, and needed his father so badly. Little Sharon also cried for her dear Daddy, as we all did.
They held his large funeral on Jan. 9th, 1946 in the St. George Tabernacle where he had attended church and conferences so many times during his life. He was buried in the St. George Cemetery, toward the South-East corner.
Daddy was only 54 years old when he passed away of a "Cerebral Hemorrhage" or Stroke. It was so hard for us, his family, to know we would never see him alive again in this life, so our lives were changed forever, but his goodness, his faith and example, his perseverance and strength can ever stand as an example for all of us, his family to follow.
We hope and pray we, his children can be strong and dedicated and determined, in spite of what trials and difficulties we might have in our lives, that we may meet him beyond the veil one day, and he will be proud of us.
We have included his Patriarchal Blessing that we feel he is still fulfilling on the other side.
A blessing given by Patriarch Joseph I. Earl, 16th June 1922 at Kaolin, Clark County, Nevada upon the head of Victor Moses Iverson, son of Hans Peter and Hannah D. Christensen Iverson, born June 24th, 1891 at Littlefield, Mohave County, Arizona.
Brother Iverson, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the authority of the Holy Priesthood, I lay my hands upon your head and seal upon you a blessing. You have long desired to know the will of the Lord concerning your future course in life and what the Lord desires at your hands.
Your faith and works in the Gospel is accepted of the Lord and he desires his blessings to be with you, and the outpouring of his Holy Spirit shall be manifested from time to time, if you will put your trust in him.
You will have dreams by night and visions in the day, so you shall not be at a loss to know what course to pursue.
You will yet be able to preach the Gospel with power and as you lift up your voice in the defense of the principles of eternal truths before many people of different tongues and languages and it will be the joy of your heart to preach the gospel to the knowledge of the truth; who will rejoice and rise up and call you blessed. Your tongue shall be loosened so you will never lack for words to defend the truth.
The Lord will bless your labor so you shall have an abundance to feed your family and the strangers within your gates.
Lift up your voice and praise the Lord in song and prayer and he will hear you and answer you according to the righteous desires of your heart.
Be humble, faithful and obedient and you shall reap the reward of the righteous and be crowned with blessings not a few, and the Lord will be with you in the hour of your affliction and that to comfort and bless.
I seal upon you a crown of Eternal Life, to come forth in the resurrection of the just, to meet your parents and dear ones, that you have associated with in this life, your wife and children and all that are dear to you, and with them you shall go onward and upward, to your Eternal reward, in the missions of our rather.
I seal these blessings upon your head, through your faithfulness and in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen
Below are some of Daddy's songs, writings, poems and letters that he wrote during his life. His writings show how poetic he was and how he studied and pondered the great mysteries of life. His greatest wish was for all men to live in love and peace with each other, and keep all of God's commandments. He truly tried to do unto others as he wished to be done by and love his neighbor as himself.
Dear One: A poem written for his wife Leoma just before he died
Many, Many years have gone by,
And my love for you I cannot hide.
Oh, your face I saw and your reddish hair,
Just from heaven, you were standing there.
From the angels, came one of their kind,
Yes my darling, so gentle all the time.
Many, Many years have now gone by,
I cannot forget, even if I tried.
Sweetheart dear, we now are growing old,
And I Still have your heart of gold.
Forever, love is just as sweetly true,
As it was, so many years ago.
Perfect love, sweet one, you are so dear,
My only wish is to have you near,
Many, Many years have now gone by,
And I just couldn't forget, even if I tried.
Questions Of Life
Oh Life, where did thou commence?
Why art thou here and where wilt thou go?
Thou hast been with me,
As long as I can remember.
When thou art gone,
Then they will lie me in the grave,
For without thee, I am helpless
Just a worthless piece of clay
Wert thou here for my benefit?
If so, did I use thee right?
Have I learned from thee all I should have?
Or have I lost much I could have had?
Thy lessons have been impressive,
But I am slow at school,
My learning seems to hesitate,
And I grope in darkness.
Yearning Of The Soul
This evening as I sat in thought looking back
upon life and the changes that it wrought,
I felt that life's hardships from day to day
Had picked me out and dragged me along it's way.
I thought of the failures of many efforts I had made,
Such as getting a nice home for my family,
And giving them plenty and fixing
so our bills could be paid.
Oh, where is the value of this misery and
hapless way of living?
Why can't fortune smile our way now and then.
So instead of receiving, we could sometimes be giving.
I have never desired wealth untold,
Nor have I teen one of grasping greed,
That I wanted other people's land and gold.
But I have often wished through honest effort,
My bins I could fill, and also have some
to spare my neighbor in his need,
Thus doing God's will.
Oh, that I had a million,
during this time of want and woe.
Look at the comfort I could give,
and the blessings I could bestow.
The poor, it seems are deprived of anything to give,
While the wealthy are deprived of the wish for giving.
But since my thoughts are running so free
I realize that although wealth and gold, I have none,
And yet so many in need and so much to be done,
And much of this I still can do,
If I will just but SEE.
For our Savior had not even a pillow,
To put under his head,
But all his life he gave to those
Who'd follow, and his gospel they'd wed.
For all the life and love we have, he gave
As he lay down his life, in a three day grave,
So dear Master, please direct me on my way,
That I may always scatter sunshine and blessings
From day to day.
Did you ever go to the Temple?
That beautiful house of God,
Where all are so kind and humble,
You just beam with joy and love.
Oh, such a beautiful place to be,
It fills my soul with joy eternal,
Light shines forth so I can see,
The wonderful love of God.
Such joy to mingle with the workers there,
Surely they are angels from above,
To teach us the value of prayer.
How our hearts swell with Eternal love.
A sweet spirit each time I go,
Draws from mine eyes a happy tear,
My rest is perfect for I know,
My Lord, our Master is near.
On The Pages Of The Past
As I look back on the pages of life,
Again seem to live on the dear memories of long ago,
On the first page I see a face,
That has always been so dear to me.
As I toddled at your side, I can still see,
The gleam of love in your clear sparkling eyes,
No one can ever know the strength,
That love has given me.
No one can ever count the times,
It has led me by pitfalls,
Where I would have fallen,
No one will know the gratitude,
That has been in my heart, because of that love.
She never let me feel that I must go alone,
She always stood and beckoned me onward,
To things more grand.
She never said I couldn't make good.
There is only one like her, to me.
There is only one name worthy of her,
So by that I'll call her just Mother.
I pray God to always bless you the rest of your life.
We send our love to you and all the rest.
Traites And Hopes
When I was a young man, I used to get myself in much extra trouble and strife, taking the part of some unfortunate, that was getting the worst of a deal.
No matter if it was an animal of low understanding or a human with high intellect.
I used to wonder why my Mother, after working so faithfully day by day and year by year and still condemned to live in a most unfortunate existence, while others who had labored only a small fraction, could and was allowed to enjoy the best the earth was producing.
While growing up to manhood, my dream of life was to write great themes, compose and sing beautiful songs and become a master in lecturing on the ideas of human culture and the love of God.
In later years, my wife and I started out in life, with less than nothing, except an undying love for each other. Even poverty, ill health and the terrible disappointments of life did not have the power to destroy that.
As time went on nothing seemed to cling to us as well as poverty, ill health, broken hopes and discouragement.
What was wrong? Where was the mismanagement? I seemed to work as hard as possible. My habits were not extreme, and it seemed the worst that I did, was to wish that all the world could be full of love, joy and plenty for all mankind.
By Victor M. Iverson
A letter to Mrs. Hannah Iverson, Mount Trumbull, Arizona, mailed from Washington Utah, 1923.
We received your dear letter and was very glad to hear from you again. We feel all pretty well and sure wish this would find you all the same. We sure sorrow for Annie and you. You can rest assured that our prayers carry a petition to our great and good Father in her behalf. And I am moved upon to make this promise, that if she will promise her's and our Father in Heaven, that she will do all in her power to get her Temple work done and also work there-in, as soon as she is strong enough, that her strength will a11 come back to her, so she can finish her work here on earth.
I do make this promise under the direction of our Father in Heaven and I ask it, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Can you not see this sickness is a blessing to her and Roy, if they will only heed. Oh Roy, please get down on your knees and pray for guidance, if you don't God will hold you accountable. Pray always.
May God Bless You All.
We send our love and sympathy . Your loving son and Bro. and Family
Please write soon. V.M. Iverson
Letters to Bud and Grant from 1942 to 1945
Las Vegas, Nev.
Your letter of May 30, 1942 was relayed to me. I am very glad to find that you are well and doing O.K. Most anyone who reads your letters from time to time could easy see that you are progressing very rapidly and I am very glad to know these things. Keith went home and I am sorry because if he would have worked with me; that is done as I wanted him to I could have gotten him a $125.00 job by now but he wouldn't let me help him at all. He never even said good bye as he left and my heart sure pained but I still will carry on and do the best I can until the last call comes, which may or may not be long.
Every one always seems to think dad is always making mistakes but this is once that the old man made his own decision and I am sticking right here until they take me out for the last time unless I can sell my mine.
Well I wish you the best of everything that is good and tends to make you happy.
I wonder a lot about Grant and hope he is happy and his walks are always up grade. It seems as tho you boys have grown a long ways away from me and that I must have been a very poor parent and I am almost sorry for your sakes that your father wasn't some one else; that is, some one finer, better, more able to have provided for you, with more aptness in teaching you the worth while things of life; making the efforts of life more interesting and having more ability of instilling in you the great desire bucking the raw things of life. Giving you that great desire of being master over one's self, with that feeling of facing the wind head on, never turning back tho the climb is hard and things ahead look black and cold; even tho it seems that death is sure to come most any time, and terrible depressive feeling of what is the use comes over you. But, don't you know son, with all your handycapps I can't help but feel in my very soul, that is the very kind of man you are and you'll succeed against all odds. May the Great One look after my Boys.
Address: Gen. Del. Las Vegas
SPECIAL DELIVERY POST CARD, Dated July 26,1942
I got your letters but won't be able to send answer untill tomorrow. But please do not join any branch of service untill you hear from me. I'll get all the help and information that is possible so you will get in the place you are prepared for.
Post marked July 4, 1942
Las Vegas Nev. July 2, 1942
Mr. Alvin Iverson
My Dear Boy,
We just received your last two letters tonight. I have a dull ache in my heart tonight and my soul is very heavy with sadness, but I am full of pride; altho I have always known my son would never be satisfied as a second rater no matter what the requirements.
0, may the "Great One," always have you in remembrance and please my boy, don't ever stop seeking after Him.
Mom and Dad and the two little ones are here at Marie's but we can find nothing in which to live so mom at least will have to go back home altho she is hardly able to resume the tasks which it will incure. I would go with her but if I did our income would stop. The Dr. down at the plant says I will not last long but I am still standing up under it as long as I continue to take his dope although I still have quite bad spells now and then. I sure wish Mom felt better than she does. I would sure like to go out to the mine and work this winter for I feel sure there is a great body of rich ore there.
We haven't heard from Keith for a long time and have wondered and worried about him very much and hope he is O.K.
We have hoped to hear more often from Grant than we have, please tell him we would like to hear. There is sure a nice place to run some cows at the mine, lots of water and good feed with very few cattle in the district.
The army talks of taking over this plant and several others around here in order to step up production.
I am working from 4:30 AM to 12:30 PM
We will do with that letter as you say as soon as it comes, no matter what the cost. I must go to bed now so I can get some sleep and rest.
Your Loving Dad
St.George Utah July 11, 1942
Mr. A.L. Iverson
We got your letter last night, we are sending an answer this morning. In a way we are sorry, because we do not delight in your affliction, while we still feel that as a mechanic you can and will serve this Great Country, Yours and Ours.
Please remember that we are proud of our boy and know he will make good where ever or what ever branch he takes hold of. I know Mom seems much more light-hearted than she has been for the last ten days or so, and the chances are much better now of her getting well. We are now over home and I am fixing to go out to the mine in the next few days; I have had several offers for backing from men at the Vegas but have been putting them off for some reason. So now if you would care to help me a little I might not need their healp, and when you come home you would have something worth while. I feel sure I could really develop it if you and Grant could send me help so I could get the few things that I will need. I wish you and Grant would talk it over and write me a letter in a few days; you see one of the veins is very easy to develop because it slopes with the hill. There is little on top of it except soft: dirt and it increases in value very rapidly as it goes down. I can trace it along the side of the mountain for over a thousand feet.
I will send you a small map of the claims with this letter. (Map hand drawn on next page). Sharon walks pretty all around now. Archie Ray is going to Cedar City in a few days for an eye test so we can know just what to do for him to help his eyes.
Map of claims: lines indicate veins which I have found on claims, they contain copper, gold and silver according to tests. I feel it to be a very good ore district and I can hardly wait to get back to work on it but of course my health seems always to stand in the way of me doing much myself; but I would like to have something to turn over to you boys by the time you come home.
We send our love to our boys of whom we are justly proud; please write.
Your loving Mom and Dad.
St.George Utah July 17, 1942
Mr. Alvin L Iverson
We receive you boys letters a day or so ago and I can say we were glad to hear from you both. You shall never know our appreciation for your kindness to us and I will say I'll try with all I can to make it worth while that you sent us help.
I am going out to the claim tomorrow for a day or so and then I am coming home and fix or get ready and make a camp out there and work there most of the winter, unless I sell in the mean time, but I'll not sell unless I let you boys know all about it and just what the deal is.
I am sending you boys some samples in a few days so you can see what kind of ore we really have.
Say Bud, Brigham Young said "this is the place" because the country at that time was so uninviting to most all classes of people except Mormons, who were at that time looking for some kind of haven of rest and peace from mobings and persecution of the vilest kind so the place could not be enticing to all kind of people, or else persecution would again commence; in fact it must needs be so uninviting so most people would not stop there. For at that time there were many emigrants crossing the plains for Oregon country. But the country was to improve by the efforts of labor which is proving to be the case. The State of Utah is at present one of the most self supporting states in the union; that is it produces and can produce more of the raw products that will sustain the life and happiness of man than any other state in the Union. Please study and read about the church and what it stands for and you will be very happy.
Your loving Dad.
Keith hasn't written us for a quite a while but we have heard about him several times he seems to have found most all of his horses. We wrote to have him come home about the first of August if he could.
I am making a camp at the mine the next few days. Will write you every time I can. I sure am proud of my two boys. I have a lot of faith in these claims.
Well, bye bye, write soon. Your loving Dad
July 18, 1942
Mr. H Grant Iverson
It has been a quite a while since we heard from you, and are sure glad to hear from you again; It seems a long time since I have known much of you and have wished much to see you. I now realize that I didn't go at things in the right way in order to make my boys love me; I used to think it was a weakness in me to talk kind to you like I wanted to. Many has been the time after licking you or Bud or both of you, I've went where you couldn't see me and sat down and cried. You will never know how my heart has hurt when I knew you boys were unhappy even tho I thot blindly it was best to be harsh with you. It seems that too many Dads make this same mistake and then their boys are, much of the time, unable to see the best path in life's travels. But even with all my mistakes I am still so proud of my boys accomplishments that I can very seldom speak about them to others without tears coming to my eyes. Write me often Son and we'll get acquainted like we should always have been.
Your loving Dad.
Dear Son Bud & Grant
We recd. Your letters also the money order and box. Thanks a lot for everything dear sons. I hope it won't make it too hard on you boys sending that money, it will help us out a lot and we will be able to stay home, or at least I will, guess Daddy is going to prospect. I hope you'll be able to get cured of that hay fever dear son Bud, but I hope you'll never have go across the waters to fight the japs or Germans.
Dear Son Grant, I sure wish you could get a layoff so you could come home for a while. We was sure glad to get your letter, you hadn't wrote since before we went to LasVegas, until now.
I sure wish you could come home again Bud. What about those clothes you sent down? We washed them today. What kind of a corresponding course are you taking Bud? Be sure and keep what money you need, for we don't want you boys to go with out things you need, you don't know how thankful and proud we are of you boys.
We never did get that letter you said you sent to Las Vegas to us. I guess you got the papers we signed and sent back to you didn't you Bud?
Aunt Belle is charging us $1.50 a day for what time she had Sharon, she won't let us have old Blackie until we pay it, she also wants us to pay for the hay the cow has eat since whe took her over there.
We haven't heard from Keith since before we went to Las Vegas, but Helen Bundy was here and she said he was with Newell on top the mountain, helping to take care of their cows. We wrote him a letter the other day, I heard they had got water out there this week so guess every body out there will be glad.
Victor Peterson and Jenny his wife was here and stayed all night, then went on to Mt. Trumbull for a visit. They live in Salt Lake City you know. The said they wanted your address so they could write to you and have you come vist them They are going back in a few days.
Well it will soon be your birthday, Bud, I'll send you a little something in a few days. Excuse us for writing you boys together but we save a stamp doing it this way. Well, good night dear sons,
With Love, your Mother.
This ends the letters that Budd kept from the 1942 period. The next letter is dated in 1945. This indicates that the letters written while Budd was in the Navy during World War II have not survived.
St George, Utah Jan 10, 1945
I should have written this letter several days ago, but I just didn't feel that way. I don't know just how to write this letter but here goes. Keith is back from S.L. and I talked to him about what you said in an earlier letter; that you and he might like to invest some in the mine. So we talked it over and decided that three claims on the north side of the highway 91 were worth investing in as we have already been and found on these three claims, more than twelve small and large veins of ore. Mom and I have a large tent on these claims also a road made up to the camp, also several cuts made where veins are showing up very nicely. One quite large vein is showing up in one cut and good ore is appearing. Mom and I worked on this layout before I got so sice, I am going back to develop the claims all I can while you boys are gone. Tungsten will be in demand as long as the U.S. stands.
If you could only come home we could sure develop the right spots, and soon have something that would really sell. There are other outfits developing their properties out in the Welcome District. The way it is at present I am hardly able to hold on to the property without getting much done in the way of developing. But on thing good; I believe we have some good property, if only developed. Mom and I will do all we can along that line, that is, cutting the veins in the most likely places. I can give all I have, as long as I have and that is about all; but I'll gladly do it. We said we would cut these claims three ways; you a third, Keith one third and us a third. Keith is leaving with me $275.00 and will send me some each month, when he gets straightened out so he can, and I'll use it for expenses, working these claims. Do you still care to help us develop these claims? If you do please write about it next letter. We are having a deed made out to that effect.
Note: This letter has a map drawn on the back page, also an enclosed map with names of all claims.
We are all quite well at present. I drew a map of our tungsten claims on the highway district, I have only one more other tungsten claim at present, but it should turn out to be one of the best deposits; but it lies in the Welcome Springs District. We could start out with the three claims but when you boys would care to; I would be glad to let you have the same kind of interest on all claims. We could really make something out of it. I am feeling better lately and hope to uncover something worth while. There are other kinds of shopping material on these claims, such as very high grade felspar, fire clay, and phosfate, etc.
We sure hope you are well and happy. Please don't forget the real important things of life, that tend to joy of the ever after, they are very important you know. We all send you our love.
Very Kindly, Dad.
The last item in this document covers a week in 1945 while Victor was at his mining claims near Welcome Springs. He was taken to the mine by someone named Jensen and dropped off. There is no indication as to what part of 1945 it was.
MY DIARY AT THE MINE: Victor M. Iverson (1945)
The basic tenor of the diary is dspondency due to a loss of hope for a stable financial situaton. He is ill most of the week and lacks energy to work. This week is just a few months before he suffers a stroke and dies in January 1946.
Laron Waite - 2017
Sunday Morning, Left home this morning at about 10 o'clock A.M. Got out here at camp about 12 o'clock noon. Jensen started back a little after one o'clock. Ate dinner and then went up to the mine, prospected around some in afternoon. A sick headache came on to me so I went to camp; bringing some samples back with me. I feel pretty bad, I am trying to dope up but I am not having much success. A sick headache always gets me down, and makes me discouraged. --- Sunday in the night, still sick, just woke up. I am trying to doctor up some more. Not much joy in life this way, my hand shakes so can hardly write.
Early Monday morning, feel some better, getting ready to leave camp at good daylight, still shakey, headache some, taken dope enough for a mule. --- later, I am running a cut into mountain side cutting across vein found some very rich ore. Monday about 10 0' clock, more headache, will soon have to quite work. ---
Later, took some more dope, I am very shakey, sick, had to quit work. Got some very fine looking ore from another of my claims on my way toward camp Monday evening, still miserable, and very homesick. I guess one like me has no business being out this way. Always wanted to get something for ourselves, but everything always seems to fail. I never seem strong enough to succeed.
Tuesday morning, had a not too good of night, got up not so early as yesterday, more miserable this morning, can hardly force myself to go to the mine; but I have to do it, just drank cherry juice for breakfast, eaten very little since I came out. later, came back to camp early today, got so miserable I thought I better come in before I get too sick. I wonder what people feel like who are well most of the time, they sure must be very happy and thankful to the "Great Master" for his kindness. I am grateful to feel good now and then for a few hours. I don't know when I have felt well for 24 whole hours at one time, it has been years ago.
Just ate the last of the cherry juice, wish I had brought along more, they seem to sit better on my stomach, better than most what I have to eat.
I wonder how Mom and the children are? I am very lonesome for them -- and the rest of Our children, sure proud of my boys, just to think of them makes my eyes misty for the joy of them, sure hope they will always seek after the "Great Master" who brings joy and peace to all those who do. I have quite a pain in the pit of my stomach, hope it doesn't get too painful. I don't seem able to do very much out here so I just about as well be home, but Jensen doesn't come back until Friday afternoon and this is only Tuesday afternoon, hope I get able to do more.
Wednesday about 10 o'clock A.M., had a very sleepless night, but not so painful, but when morning finally came I could hardly make myself get up I felt so weak and shakey. Clide forgot to put in some of the groceries so there is very little I can eat and nothing that I want. There were some clouds in the sky thru the night so I stayed in camp and fixed me somewhat of a tent so if rain comes I will have some protection from the storms; have about finished and I am very tired and shakey. After I am rested if I can find something I can force myself to eat I'll try and got out and look over some flourispar I ran across yesterday going up to the mine, if it turns out to be a large deposit I will feel well paid, for flourispar is in demand at present. I also think I have found a vein of manganese coming home from work yesterday, it seems to be a fairly nice deposit.
Always wanted to produce something of worth that would better the living standard of the less fortunate, but instead I seem doomed to be one of the unfortunates, a lot of difference in those two positions. --- About noon Wednesday, still in camp but am leaving soon to try and find that flourispar' deposit, hope I succeed. I wonder how Mom and Archie Ray and little Sherry are? Sure hope they are well; I have three lady friends that I love with all that I am and hope to be. I wonder a lot about Rodny and Marie lately, hope all goes well with them and their babies --- later, I have found the flourite, it seems very pure but very small vein, I also found some that was mixed with feldspar or quartz. I came by the spring as usual on returning to camp and filled the water bag. It tried to rain this afternoon but just blowed up a dust and was very hot. The sun is going behind the hill now so I hope it soon will cool off. Somehow I wonder why I am out here. would be much happier if I could only make a living and work in the temple. Maybe the Lord would like it better too. I wonder why we don't believe more what the Lord tells us. It would astound the whole world if they would only believe what he said about this war. I feel better tonight, didn't work so hard today. Wish I was home, I am very lonesome tonight it seems very hard for me to stay alone I am too much of a baby. Think I'll got to the mine ~arly tomorrow I want some extra good samples from the upper claim, I think it will turn out to be the best mine after all. My samples sure look good from there. Those from the lower cut are also very fine. Well good nigh everybody.
Thursday morning, well I did not go up to the mine as I intended, I pain so much thru my back, stomach, and chest, so I hardly dare to try it. I sure ought to make this last trip if possible in order to make a better report than I am now able to do. The sun is about up and it soon will be hot a maybe rain later and I am plenty miserable but there is only one way and that is, take it as it comes, so here is wishing for the best and maybe getting the worst --- later, I guess there is very little energy left as far as I am concerned. I have had to rest several times trying to make up my bed, my hands, arms, and legs are just too tired, my heart always pounds hard and loud like a sledge hammer. I ought to try and go to the mine, we'll see.
Afternoon of Thursday -- I did not get to the mine today but must be sure and go early in morning in order to be back when Jensen comes in afternoon. It looks like it might rain this evening, hope the wind does not blow also, sure will be glad to get home again. If I could do any work I would stick it out this winter, but just to stick around out here don't help much that I can se; the wind sureis getting here, at spells anyway, but no rain yet. I feel some better a present, hope it lasts. There sure are a lot of quail out here if I only had some traps I wouldn"t have to starve. -
Well night is past and I had an early breakfast and made the trip to the upper diggings what was known as the Big Kick claim here is where I found some fine copper ore the other day. I must get some good samples and hurry back to camp, the sun hasn't hit this place yet this morning. I feel pretty good right now, only tired from my climb, and a bit shakey.
About 10 0' clock Friday morning, just got thru digging and mst hurry to camp; got some very fine ore this morning hope some good comes of it --- I am resting under a shady tree down the trail about a mile from the Red Copper claim, feel pretty good only tired with this big load of samples and the shovel and large pick, soon I'll be at the spring then I'll have to carry a bag .