of oats in one year. I put in most of the crops and did most of the irrigating myself.
I kept two teams and one saddle horse to use. I hired men to help haul the hay and grain.
Very few days I missed carrying the mail during those six and one half years. At the end of those years my brother Moroni and Fred and I were handling quite a nice bunch of cattle. Moroni and Fred had taken over Fathers farm to take care of. At that time my salary for carrying mail had raised to $72.00 per month but I knew I was working too hard, and if I kept going with such speed and long hours, I would ruin my health. I must quit one job or the other, and I felt I preferred to stay with the farm and cattle.
Carrying the mail in the day time, leaving the Post Office about 11 a.m. and returning to the Post Office about 3 p.m. after going around the mailroute, a distance of 22 miles, allowed me to have the cool hours of the day, both morning and night, in which to work on the farm. I would arise at the break of day, midnight often found me still at work. Often, I stayed out irrigating all night. I would take my bed out to the field so I could lay down between water changes. My alarm clock gave notice when it was about time to make another change. My children all liked to go out to the field to sleep with me, both the boys and the little girls, but they would only go in their turn about two at a time. They would carry my meals out to the field. Mother would put in extra lunch for the children.
When I moved over the river on the Henderson place, as we called it, the family moved over there to be with me. The old Henderson house was still there. After I quit carrying mail it was not uncommon for Sarah and the children to hitch the horse to the buggy and take my dinner to me, a distance of about three miles. Sarah would stay with the children all afternoon so they could roam the fields, ride horses or fall in the ditch trying to catch a fish. Sarah would busy herself with something she had taken with her to work at, some kind of fancy work, knitting or mending. It was not uncommon for her to say, "Hyrum, let me run the mowing machine."
Perhaps Luella made Grace tend the baby because she wanted to rake hay.
As I sit and ponder, and think of those happy days; the days when our children were all with us, when they loved to work and play with mother and I, I can only say: "Thank God for the memory of those days." Then, I must turn my thoughts to other happy moments lest the tears flow too freely down my more aged face. Many have been the times when the children have asked me to get down on the floor and play horse with them. I was supposed to be a bucking horse. They must all learn to ride and stick on my back. Every child had to have their turn. A time finally came when the older children were too large to ride such a small horse. Only the younger ones could ride. Again, I say: Oh, happy days.
After I quit carrying the mail, we had cattle upon the range and we generally figured out a week vacation for the family.
Back Table Of Contents Next