Father was home, his family, wife and children, carefully nursed him. He soon began to
improve and it was not long until he seemed almost perfectly well again.
And oh, how I loved to go into his home and talk to him and to hear him joke with the grandchildren. How often have I heard him say, "Jane, what about having one of these children go to the cellar and get a bottle of beer?" (How I loved Aunt Jane's herb beer.) Father lived and enjoyed life for four more years.
OUR NEW HOME
It was in the year 1917 that we built our
new home in Charleston. It was the first home in Charleston fully equipped with hot water
The water for the house and yards was furnished by the installment of an air pressure pump. We had hot water for cooking, dish washing, and the bathroom, etc. And we pumped water to the cattle and horses in the yard. It was really up to date for those years and a country home.
SARAH AND I IN STRAWBERRY VALLEY TAKING CARE OF THE CATTLE
During the years of the Second World War,
1941 to 1945, Sarah and I went to Strawberry Valley to take care of the cattle. Nearly
always we went home for Sunday and she would do her washing on Monday morning.
Sarah liked to ride with me, and sometimes helped me to repair fence.
ADJUDICATION OF THE WATERS OF PROVO RIVER
Before I tell my story of our move to Woodland I think it proper that I tell about the part I took in the adjudication and protection of the water rights of the people of Wasatch County.
It was the year 1914 when all the people of
Summit, Wasatch and Utah Counties who used waters of Provo River or its tributaries were
summoned into court to prove their right to the use of such water.
At that time my family and I, either individually or together, were involved with interests in the Spring Creek Ditch Irrigation Co., the Sage Brush Irrigation Co., and the Charleston Irrigation Co., (both Upper and Lower Canals), and the Midway Irrigation Company. Also, in private water rights flowing through the Island Ditch of the Midway Irrigation Co., and private interest in springs and ditches along the river bottoms.
It was plainly told to us as water users that this was to be a friendly suit. The Provo Reservoir Co. did not want any water that belonged to the then present water users, but the suit was necessary that all the rights of the people would be placed on record so as to avoid trouble in the future.
I felt quite pleased that Joseph R. Murdock, the President of the Wasatch Stake of Zion, the man who had done so much in developing the water rights of the people of Wasatch County (both in building and enlarging canals) should be the one to instigate this pending suit because he had always been so interested in Wasatch County, As I then believed, he would do nothing to hurt the people of Wasatch County.
I remembered when, during the early days of the Charleston Lower Canal, when people of Provo came up to Charleston with the intention of shutting off the Lower Canal, it was Joseph R. Murdock who took those men along the lower benches of the valley where hundreds of springs were flowing large streams as a result of waters having been turned out from the river on the benches above, during the early season and high water time. Thus water had been held back for later flow down Provo Canyon. Joseph R. Murdock convinced those Provo men that the canals in Wasatch County, carrying water out onto the upper benches had proven to be a good thing for the people of Utah County because the water was held back in the underground flow for later use for the lower valley people.
It would appear that the people of Provo were so convinced of the value of lots of water being used in Summit and Wasatch County that I never heard of any of the old users of the water in Utah County ever giving the people of the upper valleys any trouble thereafter.
Times had changed. President Murdock was continually telling us that the old users in Provo would not stand for it if we claimed too much water. Joseph R. Murdock never changes his mind as to the value of lots of water being used as long as there was a surplus of high water. However, he wished the water to be so controlled that the receding waters would hold out as long as possible for the Provo Reservoir Co. Canal so the stored reservoir water could be held for later use.
As you should understand, the Provo Reservoir Company owned storage reservoirs near the head of Provo River, but they were not large enough to hold sufficient water for all needs of late summer use. For the above mentioned reasons he did all he could to get the people in the upper valleys to settle on a lower duty of water than they really needed.
I heard him say at Heber City one day, "When this water suit gets well started, all those old companies will be fighting each other and all the Provo Reservoir Company will have to do will be to sit back and look on." My reply to his statement was, "President Murdock! As long as I can do anything to keep them from fighting each other I will do it!"
His statement that day came to me almost as a revelation. I watched his tactics, and when I saw him trying to get one company of people to feel that they were being wronged by another class, I could understand his motives. The time had then come when his interest in Wasatch county had faded away.
It seems that all his schemes in the past had been quite well planned and successful. No one should say that his early development schemes in Wasatch County had not resulted in great benefits to the people of the county and no one else had been hurt. It was only, when he wanted to take from them the benefits he had formerly worked for, after having received his pay, that things didn't look just right to me.
I was well aware that he had been called and set apart by the authorities of the church to develop the water resources of Provo River and work to put to use all the surplus water that then ran to waste. I never did believe that his mission was to take from the people that which rightfully belonged to them and which they needed. It hurt my feelings very much when at church meetings, Stake conferences, etc., in Wasatch Stake, we would be told that anyone who opposed President Murdock in the settlement of our rights was wrong. The sentiment of many was very strong against me.
At that time, I held the office of one of the Seven Presidents of the 96 Quorum of Seventy. There is no question but what my name came up often before the High Council of the Stake and several times, members of the High Council and from my Seventies quorum were sent to visit me and try and persuade me to get back in the line of my duties. The fact was, I did not know that I was out of the line of my duty. That is what I told the visiting brethren.
I had spent much time in the court room year after year. I knew what was being said and done in the court room. These were the things that counted and not the things that were unanimously agreed upon in public meetings held at Heber on Saturdays, unless those agreements were made record of in court. Too many things were agreed to in public meetings just to keep the people contented and thinking all was going along smoothly. But very few ever attended court. I think I am safe in saying: none of the counselors of the Stake President; none of the High Council; none of the Presidents of Seventy, except myself.
The duty to represent the people of Wasatch County largely fell upon John Clegg who represented the interests of the Wasatch Canal and the North Field, the Timpanogos and the Wasatch Extension. Wilford Van Wagoner was president of the Midway Irrigation Co.
Clegg and Van Wagoner did not worry about the lower interests such as the Spring Creek Ditch, the Sage Brush Canal, the Charleston Canals, (Upper and Lower) the Island Ditch, as part of the Midway Irrigation system and the many private interests below the Island ditch. I soon learned they were my babies if they were taken care of properly in the suit.
It was from those lower interests and especially the meadow bottoms, as we called them, that President Murdock hoped to get a lot of water.
Early in the case as proposed, stipulations were gradually written up and agreed to. President Murdock had succeeded in convincing his old time friends in Charleston that they would be well taken care of with a second foot of water to sixty acres, without any extra high water. All other interests above had stood solid together for a duty of one second foot to forty acres during high water time and up to August 10th.
When he had already succeeded in getting the people of Charleston to agree to accept a lower duty of water for their lands than had the upper river people, it took me a long time and much experience to understand what he meant one day when he said to me, "Before this water suit is settled, I am going to get a lot more water from the lower part of the valley."
The scheme he tried to work out, to change the whole set of stipulations and agreements that everybody else thought was permanently agreed upon and settled, must have been upon his mind for a long time as we can believe by his statement to me as written above.
In order to make his scheme work, it would be necessary that none should be at the last court hearing, who understood the situation, the agreements and stipulations, etc. Winterton and the attorney, J.H. McDonald must be disposed of. I will later show how he worked his scheme and what were the results.
President Murdock had succeeded in getting the people having water rights under the Lower of 3rd Division of the Wasatch Division to hire W.S. Willis as their attorney. I soon learned the reason. W. S. Willis would never do anything for his clients until he had first consulted Joseph R. Murdock.
One day, attorney Willis approached me. Said he, "You have made President Murdock mad at you. You have been talking too much. It is reported you have called him a thief and a liar. Because of your actions you have made him very angry. He has been over your personal owned lands and the lands of your brothers. He is going to take from you much of your water rights, or in other words, the waters you have been using, if you do not apologize and make right the wrongs you have done him. I have written up a proposal for settlement. President Murdock has agreed to my proposal if you are willing." He gave it to me. I commenced and read about as follows:
This is to certify that I, Hyrum S. Winterton, has, on different occasions, made the assertion that Joseph R. Murdock is a liar and a thief.
I now declare that those statements were false and without foundation and that I am sorry that I made such statements.
Now in order that I might right the wrongs I have done to the said Joseph R. Murdock, I agree to select a man, Joseph R. Murdock shall select a man. These two men selected shall select a third man. The three men selected shall decide what I, Hyrum S. Winterton, shall do to make right the wrongs I have done to the name and character of Joseph R. Murdock.
Place for my signature.
The rest of
the proposals I do not remember. After I read the paper handed to me, he said, "Now
Hyrum, for your best good you had better sign that agreement, or Murdock will repudiate
the stipulations he has signed with you. Murdock says you have fraudulently gotten him to
sign those stipulations."
By that time, I was as angry as I ever get, I said to him, "Willis, you dirty, low-down, sneaking son-of-a-_ _ _ _ _. You are fired as far as being my attorney. You're not fit to represent or give advice to anybody." I'm not as angry now as I was when talking to Judge Willis and I think it not advisable to repeat all I said to him. However, I made it plain to him that he and I were no longer working together. I told him to go and help President Murdock take my water rights from me. I said, "Take from me everything I have, if you can. I will still fight to retain the good name my parents gave to me. That you cannot take from me, unless I comply with your request and sign my name to a lie."
President Murdock was quite confident he could humble me. I have often heard him say he had never been beaten in court. He summoned me to appear in court. I hired Harvey Cluff of Provo to plead my case. President Murdock went on the witness stand to testify to my fraud. John Van Wagoner was his next witness. He understood well what our dealings together had been and J.R. Murdock's attorneys could not make him deny or change any of his testimony.
When John Van Wagoner left the witness chair the judge asked; "Has the defendant any more evidence to offer?" Harvey Cluff replied, "The defense has not offered any evidence yet. The last witness on the stand was put there by the prosecution." Laughter followed!
It was not hard for me that day to prove that President Murdock did not know what he was talking about, and up to that time, I had never seen him show more nervousness. After the trial was over, he said to me, "Hyrum, if I had understood, we would not have had that trial today." I replied, "I would have told you the facts had you have asked me."
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