could play the organ, at least he could play cords and accompany the singers. Father
arranged with Taylor Brothers of Provo to deliver an organ. Our cousin, Fred Brewster was
living with us when Mother died. He and Brother Will were out hitching up the horses to
take most of us children to a show. The show as I remember was put on by a traveling
troop. Brother Will was left with the team. After getting tired, he also went to the house
only to learn the sad news of his mothers death. Sisters Sarah and Eliza were ready
to go to the show. Sarah was to go with Alfred Wilson. Alfred, on entering the room and
seeing that Mother had passed away, rushed back to Charleston, so he said, as fast as his
horse could carry him, to report the sad news to Bishop N.C. Murdock. Father was still out
doing chores. He was called for, but Mother was gone before the time he reached the house.
When Mother started to choke, she cried, "William." That was all she could say.
The goiter in her throat had choked her. The experience of that night I can never forget.
It was a happy house so quickly changed to sadness.
The organ that Father ordered arrived in Charleston the day after Mothers death, so that one was sold to Geo. T. Baker and another organ was delivered to our home about one week later. When it came, it was delivered in the evening near chore time. The salesman sat down at the organ and began to play. I think that was the first time I had ever heard the sound of an organ. How thrilled I was at the sound of that music, but my heart was soon turned to sadness when Brother Will turned to me and said, "Hyrum, we must now go and milk the cows." I plead with him to wait a little longer, I so longed to hear the music. To me it was so inspiring. Brother Will said, "If we hurry and do our chores, we can listen to the music the rest of the night." On the way out to do the chores, I did not walk very fast until I could no longer hear the strains of the music. We hurried and did the chores and returned to the house, but the organ was silent. The sun had gone behind the western hills and the musician had left our home.
The next three years were sad and trying years, especially for Father and our two older sisters. The girls seemed to realize their responsibility. Uncle Will and Aunt Julia Widdison stayed with us for a few months so Sister Malissa, seven months of age could be nursed along with little Nellie Widdison. It was wonderful how much sunshine seemed to come into our home by the young boys and girls that flocked to our home and the long evenings would be spent in singing, reciting, or playing games, etc. As I have said, Fred Brewster could play cords to harmonize with most any song and he loved to do it. Father, though not taking much part, was always interested. He liked the young people to visit us. They were not boisterous.
In my younger days the main road from Provo Canyon to Heber passed our home. The road to Midway separated from the Heber-Provo Canyon road on the line between the Edwards and Fowers farms, then went due west and crossed the Provo River, then turned northward and around the foot of the mountains past the white slide and continued northward through Stringtown to Midway. I understand that in early days and especially during high-water time, the people of Midway traveling to Provo transferred over the west Midway bench (southwest) to the low pass at the head of Deckers Canyon, thence down Decker Canyon past them, Bagley, George Brown and Enoch Richins ranches, and thus connecting up with the Heber road near what is now known as the Wallsburg Switch. In high water time, Provo Canyon was very dangerous to travel. One time my father and mother and Billy Hartle were driving up Provo Canyon. The water was so deep in the road it ran into the wagon box. It was hard to tell where the road was. Billy Hartle nearly drowned. Father could not swim, but he pulled Hartle back into the wagon. Mother had her baby in her arms. Father tried to get mother to walk around the side of the mountain, and avoid riding through the worst places. This Mother refused to do. She said, "If you are drowned, I would rather go with you. I would be left helpless with out you."
MIDWAY CHARLESTON ROAD
The road which now runs on the line between
Charleston and Midway was not built before the year 1895. For years we herded cows on the
Midway side and Father bought ten acres of land from John Watkins which we farmed many
years before the main road was built; so we had to ford the river. Father kept good horses
and he was expert in handling a team in the water. Father learned how to drive across the
river and the river seldom got so high that he was afraid to cross it if he had work to do
on the opposite side. He would start in the river at a reasonable distance above where he
would land on the opposite side. When he got out into the deep swift water, he would be
going down stream. The water pushed the wagon and team downstream, but the horses kept
their footing and made for the landing point. When near the landing point, Father would
speed up the horses so the water would not swing the wagon around too fast. We children
often went down to the river to watch Father drive across. Mother was glad to let us go so
we could report that he had crossed in safety. The river was not so high at night as in
the morning. As I remember, Father would tie down the wagon box to the bolsters or axles
so the box would not float off the wagon.
Now back with my story to the main road, and back to the Edward and Fowers corner. Leaving that point, the road to Heber gradually turned a little eastward and passed the old dirt roof Walkers (Fowers) house where Mother and Aunt Ann spent their first night in Charleston. Then the road ran nearly east and up past the old Calvin Murdock home, continuing on past the old William Winterton home and just a few rods north of where the new home still stands. It crossed Daniels Creek just past the big cottonwood tree which still stands. In early days the people of Wasatch built a pole worm fence from Charleston to Heber, and it was built along about one fourth miles south of where George T. Giles built his home out southwest of Heber. I remember traveling that road when it entered the Heber-Daniels road about where Bill Mangums service station now stands.
The road I have here explained was discontinued after the new road between Charleston and Heber, which we called the country road, was opened up to travel. Part of the fence which traversed the old road remained standing for many years until it rotted away. That fence had been built so the cattle and horses of the valley might run at large in the summer time south of the fence, but kept out of the fields northward while crops were growing.
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