We would like to give special thanks to Clair Simmons, Oren
Simmons and Omni Winterton who with out their work
of recording these histories we would not have this today.

John Simmons

John Simmons at one time raised turkeys

Darrel, Erma holding Garth, Wayne, Weldon on chair, Phebe

Merlin, Lorna, LaVon and Elva Simmons

Grace while Merlin was on his mission

Grace & Merlin

LaVon, Grace & Oren

John & Ella Simmons

Merlin's mission

Parmenters farm family in mission

Missionary riding steer

Merlin D. Simmons Northern States Mission

Grace & Merlin

Merlin & Grace with two children

Merlin and LaVon

Grace Simmons and plane which flew her from Colorado when she was expecting Clair

Ranch at Riverton

Merlin Simmons

Merlin Simmons

Lorna & Merlin

Simmons Family - Merlin, Elva, John, Lorna, Phebe, LaVerl, LaVon
March 4, 1912

John Simmons

Florin, Wayne, Darrel, Weldon Simmons

First train to arrive in Heber Valley. Merlin rode the train to Provo to go to the hospital for his broken shoulder.

Note written by Phebe (Merlin's mother) when Merlin was in the Provo Hospital with his broken

John Simmons' family

John Simmons' first family and spouses

Jack & Oren

John Simmons & Merlene Thacker

Adam Ondi Omham

Merlin on mission

Grace and Merlin in Arizona

Merlin and Grace

Old Woodland Church

Woodland Store fire July 7, 1930

Clair Simmons & Clair Winterton

Merlin & Grace

Merlin, Grace and President Aldrege at East Millcreek Welfare farm

Grace Simmons - This chair, couch and another chair were Sarah Winterton's. Grace recovered them herself.

LaVon, Grace & Oren

Simmons reunion at Fairmont Park, Salt Lake - Douglas, Nellie, Wayne, Merlin, Grace, LaVon and Oren in front, Garth and Junior back of us. Edith Danner, Merrill and Alta Danner and three children in front. Launa probably in front of Merlin

John Simmons' sons and grandsons - Back - Weldon, Garth, Center - Douglas, Don, Verlin, LaVon, Oren, Junior, Farrell in front of LaVon Front - John Simmons holding Darwin and Baby Girl

Uncle Stephen & Aunt Thressa Simmons with LaGrande, Nedra and Kenneth

LaVon, Grace, Jack and Oren

Grace as a clown in Kamas parade

The Simmons - Kim, Oren, Merlin, Jack, LaVon, Dwayne, Mike, Tony, Janyce, Janet, Grace, Sharen holding Tom and John next to her, Colleen, Colette, Terecia

David Sharp 4-H Leader Summit County, Merlin Simmons 1931

Idaho trip 1945 - friend, Merlin & Darrel

Grace & Merlin in Kamas

Merlin, Clair and Grace

Oren, Jack, Grace, Merlin, LaVon while Clair was on his mission

Merlin at Roosevelt School

Merlin and Jack

Simmons group deer hunt

Grace and Merlin

Merlin & Grace went to school together - going from right to left on front row Merlin is second and Grace is right next to him

MERLIN D. SIMMONS HISTORY Recorded by his son Clair Simmons

Well, the family had tried to get Grandfather John Simmons to talk about his life an' things. His life in lots of ways was sad. Because he said, why do I want to go back into the things that hurt? He says I would like to forget that part of it. So I never forget him telling me anything or talk about it, but he did breakdown that day an' cry because he thought back to when Merlin's mother was alive an' his life with her and he said that's one thing I can not do. I can not think about Phebe as my life is now. That's one thing I can not do, an' big tears rolled down his face an' he kind of wept an' he said, what's the matter with me? Am I getting soft and then he kind of brushed back the tears and that was all he wouldn't say anymore after that.
Clair: Do you know where Grandpa John met Phebe?
Merlin: They was born an' raised both of them in Charleston.
Clair: Then, they grew up together as kids?
Merlin: They were in the same town. Grandpa was born in Bountiful an' when he was real young why then they moved to Wasatch, an' tried to get a homestead. But his Dad couldn't raise enough money to get a homestead at that time, and they tried to buy a piece of ground an' they couldn't raise enough money to buy a piece of ground an' that. An' so they worked for his father, George Simmons, worked for other people for some time an' somebody had a sick cow an' they told grandpa if he could save that cow he could have it, that's George Simmons, that's my Dad's Dad. He took this cow on an old piece of harrows an' drug her home an' doctored her back to health an' then after that why he sold the cow for enough money to make a down payment on the ranch. That's where they got started on the ranch Uncle Steve lived on in the last years, but Dad was there first, an' then after Grandpa had died, well, Grandpa George Simmons, my Dad's Dad was a cripple an' in a wheelchair for a long while. We always referred to him as Grandpa an' that there. Grandpa George Simmons why, they got that ground and the boys an' them lived at home until each one of them got married. Aunt Rose was the first one that got married an' an Uncle Joe Simmons he was married to Aunt Elsie an then Dad's sisters, Dora got married an', Maud, got married an' they left, 'fore Dad, so Dad was left home with the ranch to run after Grandpa, George Simmons was hurt an' after he was in the wheelchair for a good many years Dad run the ranch or the farm. He planted all the peas an' stuff like that there, an' Uncle Steve he was a lot younger than Dad was. So there was Uncle Steve an' Aunt Bertha and Heb Simmons an' Will Simmons all lived with Dad and his mother when she was alive. Dad took care of his mother after his Dad Grandpa George Edward Simmons died.
Clair: How did Grandpa George get into a wheelchair, do you know?
Merlin: They went to the timber to get a load of wood. They got a big load of wood an' it was late in the evening an' they started down the canyon with this load of wood on. The brakes locked, on the wagon, broke an' turned them loose an' his harses couldn't hold the load an' he was throwd off the wagon an' run over. One of the wheels ran over him an' hurt him, his back an' that there. He was paralyzed for a long, long while. He was a very religious man and he believed a lot in prayer. They had a lot of faith in prayer an' that there. Aunt Bertha an' Uncle Steve when they were real young, after he had been hurt an' laid for a long time they were determined to learn him to walk. Uncle Steve used to sleep with his bed right there because he couldn't get to him at night every time he needed him. They determined that he was going to walk again. An' so they'd get him balanced then one would push one leg an' one would push the other leg until they got him trained to where he could walk pretty good. But the last few years he was alive he was in a wheelchair an' he never got out of the wheelchair at tall. So the last years he was a cripple an' Dad being the oldest run the ranch, the farm. They planted peas, they had lots of peas, an' they planted them in rows an' they had to be cultivated. The farm was where Uncle Steve's farm is, that was the first farm. Instead of the home being where the home is now, over where Amos Mecham is now, ya know where the two canals come through an' the road came up in front of the place where Dad lived. The road came right up an' then ya hit the other road, well that was the new road that was put through it used to come up an' cross the first ditch an' follow up the ditch over to Wall Casper's an' then go up by Roy Casper's Dad's place to go to Daniels or ya had to go up around by Casper's around the river to get to Heber. Uncle Steve's place was back between the two canals over where the road went right up there that is where it was, just to the right of the road the canal above an' the canal below. An' they moved it from there back across dry creek over where it is today, were Ryans lived an' then they rebuilt it an that there.
Clair: The homestead where we were raised did Grandpa Simmons build the house?
Merlin: No. That was the old Johnny Bowers place. Dad after Grandpa died bought that place down there an' run the two places together. Then after Uncle Steve came home off his mission, Dad kept Uncle Steve on his mission for two years and when he came back an' got married. Why, he took the place up above an' Dad stayed down on the one below an' they combined the two ranches together to make the one farm which made about 90 acres all together that they were runnin'.
Janet: Did Grandpa John go on a mission?
Merlin: No, the reason Grandpa wouldn't go on a mission was because Grandpa George, you see, was in a wheelchair an there was no body to run the farm an' to keep him on the mission. Dad said that he would stay home an' when Uncle Steve got old enough he told Uncle Steve he would keep him on a mission if he wanted to go.
Clair: How old was Grandpa George when he died?
Merlin: Grandpa George was round about 80 years old when he died. He couldn't get around an' I think it was complications ya know from laying around. I think it was from breathing problems. But Father always had a family. He never knew what it was not to have a family to take care of. You see, from the time, I guess, he was about 14 he was running the ranch, the farm, taking care of it an' taking care of his crippled father an' his mother. Aunt Rose is oldest, Aunt Dora, then Uncle Joe, then Dad, Aunt Maud, then Steve and then Bertha. But anyway like I said, he always had a family. Uncle Steve always did depended a lot on Dad. Dad helped him out and that an' they worked their things together until the boys got big enough because we was doing most of the work. That there kind of bothered him they divided up Steve took the old homestead an Dad took the other, run the ground's as close to there, an' Uncle Steve run the other. An' then they rented quite a little ground all the time. 'Course about the first things that I could remember when I was real, real young an' that there we used to go up to Uncle Steve's quite a little bit an' over on the hill. 'Course LaVon an' I were always together, where one was the other was all the time. There was only a year an' six days between us, an' he was always the biggest. In those days we were like twins. Before I was born mother had tick fever an' they didn't expect her to live nor me either. But anyway we use to spent quite a little bit of time up to Steve's as kids an' that there, because with all the work an' that there. They had a big grainery, Uncle Steve had a big grainery up there an' that was where all the peas were stored, an' sometime after they were thrashed. They raised peas, grain an' hay.
Clair: One year they raised sugar beets too didn't you say?
Merlin: Well that was years after. There was a long time that peas, was the main thing (for seed). Ya see in the summer time they raised peas an' took care of their crop an' then thrashed it. For a long time they thrashed it on the big barn floor. After they were dry they would take them in an' spread them out on the floor an beat it to get the peas out of it an throw them in the wind to get the chaff out of the peas. I was a pretty good size kid when they-- cause I can remember when they, no, I can't remember when they got the first thrasher I remember when they got the second thrasher, the old seed thrasher. But as long as I can remember they had the old harse pow'r where they hooked harses on an' they went round the merry-go-round an' turned the thrashing machine. An' they didn't have a blower on the back they had what they called a carriage, the pea vines came out an' dropped over the end to a stack an' then they had a box in the middle that took the peas an' they sacked them up in sacks.
Clair: How many teams to run a thrasher?
Merlin: When we were out thrashing peas we done it with three teams. When they were thrashing grain they had five teams.
Clair: All hooked and tanted?
Merlin: In a circle there was the beam that came out like this here an' the harses hooked here an' there was a sleek out here that they were tied to. An' the other team was in front of them on a sleek and that brought them around in a circle. They would go around in a circle all day. Sometimes when they would pull that thrasher up to two big stacks an' we'd get through with that there the harses would have quite a path around there, beat down.
Janet: Did any of them get dizzy and fall down?
Group: Laughter.
Grace: His mother used to crack the whip.
Merlin: Mother used to get out an' sit up on the old harse pow'r an' drive the harses, keep them up to a certain speed. Ya had to keep the machine going if the harses slowed down why Dad would start waving an' Mother would whip the harses up.
Clair: Was Grandmother very big?
Merlin: She was about the same as Lorna about the same height, an' the same built. Phebe reminds me a lot of Mother. (Approximate height 5'2" about 100 lbs.)
Grace: She was a little taller than Phebe.
Merlin: I guess Lorna was about as close as Mother was in build. Mother was a littler darker than Lorna an' had real long hair, she could sit on her hair. Mother never left the bedroom, I never remember as a kid ever seein' Mother with out her hair combed unless she was in bed with a baby or something like that. She always combed her hair before she left the bedroom. She braided it up an' done it up around her head or if she braided it, it hung in two big braids down her back.
Clair: Mom what do you remember about Grandma Phebe?
Grace: I always remember since the time I was little in grade school why Merlin was my boyfriend. He didn't knew it, but then I always prided myself that he was the one, an' the only one, but Grandma, I used to remember mainly when LaVerl (Merlin's younger brother) died at the funeral why I remember going seeing LaVerl, he was seven an' he had a rose in his hand across his chest. Well, his mother used to come to my mothers place a lot we knew her as kids we knew the kids. I went to Sunday School I remember one Sunday morning an' it was right after LaVerl was buried an' we were all a little bit late an' when we were late in the old church house there was a place that was called, where the bell rings, an' we stood out in front an' ya have to wait 'til they let the doors open before ya could get in with the sacrament being passed or something like that. An' Merlin's mother was standing there an' my mother and us kids we were standing there an' they were singing inside an' they were singing "If ya knew the baby's fingers pressed against the window pane would be cold an' stiff tomorrow never trouble you again an' the bright eyes of our darling," and his mother stood there an' all at once she broke down an' cried an' she turned walked out the door an' walked home she didn't go to church for the rest of that day. That's not in the song books now but it was in the old gray song books. Scatter Seeds of Kindness it was.
Clair: How did LaVerl die?
Grace: With Pneumonia.
Merlin: You see how LaVerl got pneumonyer. We used to take wheat over to the gristmill, an' it was in the wintertime and LaVon an' I, Dad helped us load the wheat to take over to the mill to get some bran an' shorts an' some flour. An' anyway Dad said, well you take him an' go an' he said if ya get cold get out an' run, and don't chill. So when we left home it wasn't bad at tall, and we kind of ran. One would get out an' run for a ways or jump on the back on the runners and going over why he would take his turn with us an' run along behind an' warm up a little bit. On the way home after we had been over an' got the wheat ground, our load an' everything loaded back up why we started back home. I said now come on LaVerl lets get out here an' run he says I don't want ta. I said aw come on run so he got out an' run for a little ways an' then he crawled back up an' got up there to the front an' got hold of the lines an' says I'm not gonna to run anymore. So we changed off back an' tried to get him to an' he wouldn't, but anyway he must have chilled because that night when we got home why he went in the house an laid down behind the stove in that front room. Do ya remember the old heatrola? Well it wasn't a heatrola then it was a round black stove, these round belly stoves. He laid down between that an' the mantle piece on the back of the stove there. Long about 8:00 or 9:00 he started throwing up he had been eating some apple after he had got home an' that there; anyway he threw it up, it was not digesting at tall. An started to fever an the next morning he wasn't any better an' so Dad called the doctor an' he said oh, he's just got a cold an' told them what to do so they doctored him an' the next day that fever was just worst. He was a real sick kid. He called the doctor an' about the third time he called, the doctor said I don't make any house calls anymore. An' Dad said what am I going to do this boy is terribly sick? He said he's got to have a doctor an' he is to sick for me to bring up there. Well, He says w'll you'll just have to do the best ya can I am not making house calls anymore. So Dad called Doctor Aninger and he told him what had been done an' he says I would sure like ya to come down an' see what ya can do for the boy. I wouldn't blame ya if ya didn't come but he says I've got no other choice. So he came down an' doctored him they give him this hot and cold packs an' mustard packs an' everything but they never could break the fever. When it did break, why, it was broke, when he did, and he was too weak to stand. He was about seven.
Clair: How old were you then?
Merlin: Let see, he'd be older than Darrell an' Wayne he was just younger than Elva. Grace said well you would be about 13. Merlin said not when LaVerl died. (Merlin was 11)
Clair: He was just younger than Elva?
Merlin: Ya. So I'd have to look up but he was just younger than Elva. I tell ya he raved out of his head for two days. That kid would just scream an' haller out of his head from the fever an' that there. I still can remember.
Clair: You remember it at night?
No answer.
Clair: Do you think that is part of the sad things that Grandpa remembers started with his Dad getting hurt?
Merlin: Well like I say he had a hard life as far as that goes because he had to take over from the time he was so young and that there an' always had a family to support an' take care of. Part of it was from when LaVerl died an' then after Mother died an' after he sent me on my mission an' to send me an' have LaVon die three months later an' leave him alone with everything. Ya see we were doing practically all the work around an' that there, that is the chores an' things like that before I went on my mission, the two of us. In fact we get up and I would build fires an' LaVon would go feed the cows, an' I'd have the calves out there time he had them through an' then we would milk. Then we would come in an' separate the milk an' feed the calves an' then get ready for school. We would always walk to school over to the old school house.
Clair: The sandstone schoolhouse there?
Merlin: That is where we went in grade school an' it was the same thing when we went to high school only we had to catch the bus to go to school.
Clair: Where was the high school?
Merlin: In Heber, the old Wasatch High, where Jack an' LaVon an' Oren all went to school. That is where we went to high school an' junior high, they didn't have a junior high.

As a young boy I used to drive harses, do lots of harrowing and I've even drove harses on the hand plow, plowed quite a few acres as a young boy with a team and a hand plow. A little later on why they got a riding plow it only went one way. It was not a two way plow. It was a one way plow. Ya plowed in circles or else ya started in the middle and went round an' round an' plowed out in to the fields. I used to run three harses on that a lot an' I remember one day I was real small an' I had three head of harses on the spring tooth. I had been spring toothing the ground an' I'd got a rock or something in the spring tooth an' it wouldn't come out an' I wasn't big enough to get it out. I wasn't big enough to lift the spring tooth on one end to get the rock out. It was digging a big furrow down in the field an Uncle Steve was off over in another field not too far away I had to go get him to come an' get the rock out an' then I finished harrowing the field. But I would anytime drather go drove a team of harses than I would to go to school. So if I got a chance to drive harses on the farm why I done it whenever I got a chance. But we always had work to do we worked hard as kids. I remember even in the spring of the year when we had a choice to do, we even had cattle to take upon the hill. In the spring of the year early we would get up in the morning early an' go up to Uncle Steve's an' get the cattle out of the corral that we kept them in. An' drive them up to chipmunk flats or up to the little bear spot an' then back an' go to school do that before 9:00 in the morning. I pulled weeds I guess all my life. I done nothing but pull weeds so I know how to pull weeds. 'Cause when we was kids what they didn't get with the cultivator, they had one man cultivators an' cultivated one row at a time with one harse on the cultivator and then we had to get the rest out by hand. We used to go up an' down rows. We used to run races to see who could get to the top first. Sometimes we even pulled weeds an' hit one another over the heads with them.
Clair: Grandpa really loved horses, didn't he?
Merlin: Grandpa, my Dad's father was one of the greatest harseman and ya never seen a harse that wasn't in tip-top shape, this is Grandpa George. Any harse he had it had to be slick an' pretty or else he didn't have it. And ya never went in his barn an' found hay in the manager. He only fed his harses regular an' they had to cleanup all their hay before they got anymore. He only fed what he figured the harses would cleanup an' if he was working them hard they always got grain, but when he was working them hard they got extra grain, an' his harses would do more work than anybody else's harses anywhere an' stay fat because of the way he fed them, in fact 'fore they came from England that was his business was feeding harses. He chopped hay. He chopped with a big knife, he'd chop hay for his harses and he always had fat harses, good harses. They had to be top harses or he wouldn't have them.
Clair: Do you know about how many teams he had?
Merlin: I don't know how many harses he fed over in England and that there: But when he came back here he only had about two teams. I've heard Grandpa George tell a lot a times about the harses that they used to feed all the time. An' they used to do about the same as we done when we was kids and haulin' rocks off the fields. When we'd got pretty loaded it was nothing to stick a rock under a wheel an' see, watch our harses pulling them loads off an' I've heard of Dad tell different times the little team he used to have. They used to pull them harses an' they liked to pull. Dad always had good harses. Dad always had a good team of harses, and his Dad always had good harses.
Clair: So he learned that trade from his Dad?
Merlin: He always had fat harses, ya never ever seen a skinny harse around.
Clair: When you were running teams like that, and working the ground like that how many teams did Grandpa have?
Merlin: Grandpa had three teams an' lot of times he put three harses on an outfit, or three on two outfits. Lots of times he only had five harses. He had two teams and an' extra harse. Then he would make a three harse team and a team. But until he quit farming he had two teams all the time. Uncle Steve always had a good team, three head of harses. Then he had an extra harse to go along when he had to have three to plow. When they was plowing they nearly always plowed with three head of harses. I remember different winters going to school; it seemed to me like we had more snow then than we do now. There's been a lot of times we would get a windy night an we would have drifts right over the fences you'd walk right over the fences to get to school. We never had to go around the road we just cut through on our sleighs. The wind would blow and make drifts an' they would kind of crust it. Then in the spring of the year when the snow would start to crust in the mornings we would walk across, an' go on up over around the hill and coast over down the hill on our hand sleighs right out over the fences an out into the fields. But like I say we always had work.

I guess one of the times I had my arm broke. I can remember that very plain. We got up early one morning. It was in the spring of the year. I and my brother LaVon, the train had just come up and went out into the shed and got the harse we called Claude. Dad had traded for him, had got him from Claude Murdock an' we called the harse Claude. He was a single footer, a real nice harse to ride. Dad had him in feeding him. He wasn't in too good of shape when he got him, he was putting him up into shape. So you just went out, you could handle him with a halter on him, we didn't stop to put the bridle on him. We just jumped on and LaVon jumped on behind me. I had a little trouble holding the harse and I wrapped the rope around my hand like this here. When we got down to the railroad tracks he was single footing right along you know an' as near as we can figure out he caught his foot under the rails as we went over the railroad tracks. An' it threw him an' when it threw him why it just threw us right out over because his foot was just kind of held it just through us right over his head an' I felt that rope pull out of my hand. But anyway the harse lit on me I was holding on to him enough that it stopped me an' the harse went over an' lit on me an' LaVon was thrown clear he was throwd clear down to the bottom of the railroad track there and he got up and said "ya hurt?" I can hear it right now an' I says, "I don't know? I'll have to wait and see". He said, "I'll see if I can catch the harse 'cause he was on his feet quicker than I was. I started to walkin' up toward home. That arm would just swing to the side of me ya couldn't hold it, and I looked down I could see the bone stickin' up through there an' it wouldn't hold an' I took hold of my front like this here to hold it to keep it from swinging. I hollered at LaVon an' I says I got a broken arm and he kept right on going he didn't catch the harse he kept right on going to home and the harse went into the yard an' LaVon got there about the same time as he did. Of course Mother came running out, Aunt Bertha she came out she was this side of there, she lived there in the old Elick (Alix) Davis place. I said let me alone. I knew how bad it hurt an' I said let me alone. I can hear her tonight an' Mother came running over an' I said I've got a broken arm. Of course she could see that. She got a hold of me an' took me into the house an' they called the doctor. She set me in a big rocker, a leather rocker she had. 'Course all that time that was running freely with blood, ya know. Mother tried to make me as comfortable as she could an' wrap it an' keep it from bleeding as much as she could. They called the Doctor an' the Doctor came down an' he told Dad he said I can't, the only thing I can do is to cut it off. He said, there is no way I can save that arm. They talked for quite a little while an' Dad said well no if there is any way in the world we could save that arm we'll save it. Anyway the Doctor pulled the bone back in. He said I'll do the best I can so they put me to sleep and pulled the bone back in and cleaned it up the best he could and he said ya'll have to go to the hospital. He said the only Doctor that could ever save that would be the Doctor in Provo.
Grace: Doctor Aird.
Merlin: Doctor Aird is the only Doctor that could save it, but the train had gone. An' there was a slide in the canyon so there was no way of getting down the canyon with a team of harses an' there was no cars going down so had to wait until the next morning to go to Provo. The next morning they got me dressed an' ready, tied my arm to my side an' that there. That's when I had my first real train ride was down to Provo. I remember the trip going down there, seeing the scenery an' some of the pines along the way. Anyway after I got down there Mother went with me to the Doctor an' he said well I can't do anything, wouldn't dare do anything right now until we see whether there is any infection, we'll have to wait. We'll keep him here an' we'll have to wait to see if there is any infection. He said if it don't have any infection in it then we can open it up an' set it. An' so I was there a week at the hospital 'fore, of course they didn't keep me in bed all the time. They let me run around. There were a few nurses there that they babied me along. I give them a great time. I'd pinch them an' chase them around from one place to another. Mother went home. She stayed the one night with me an' of course she had to get home for the rest of the kids were all there the young kids. She used to write. I still got a card that Mother wrote to me while I was in the hospital. Uncle John Price, they had moved down to Provo an' he used to come over an' see me at the hospital. An' mother made one other trip down to see me after the first time she was there an' then Wendell used to come over nearly every day an' talk to me. He was about the same age I was an' was down there in school. Then after they decided what they were going to do there was no infection they could go ahead with it. Why, they operated again on it an' opened it up an' when I came out of that it had a cast right over here an' held it over to my side for another three or four days an' when they got where they could take that cast off an' I was ready to come home why they put a cast around me this way and up over the shoulder an' made it solid. The whole thing was solid clear around here an' up over my shoulder. All that was out of my arm was about this much that wasn't in the cast.
Clair: Did they tie it here?
Merlin: A solid cast an' they tied it solid.
Clair: Was the cast so that it went right around here?
Merlin: Ya, right down across here, went around here an' came tied that elbow tight across there like that there an' a solid cast for oh, a couple of months with it that way.
Clair: What about your leg?
Merlin: Oh, it's sore. That's one thing ya can say.
Clair: They opened the leg up then and chipped the bone out didn't they?
Merlin: Well they took this an' cut it ya know how the scare runs there. I have a scar here where they made a slip with the saw when they were sawing in an' then chip that nail an' then they sawed it here an' then they took a splint so it would make a pretty good size pin out of it. About a 2 inch long splint out of it that they could make a nail to hold that together an' then they bored a hole like a brace and bit and they bored a hole from one bone right into the other bone, which was the socket. Ya see where it was broke from the socket was only about a half inch in the socket left. They bored it from this one up into the socket an' then they put that pin in there. After they got the pin in there then ya could move my hand like that there an' ya could hear the two bones grind together when it was first done. So it was just the pin that was holding it. 'Course I had to wear a pin until it healed an' started to knit. Don't think I didn't ever fell down lots with that arm tied up there and that around that there. I used to fall down quit a bit. 'Course if I fell down an' get up I would have to wiggle it to see if whether it had broke off again. But after I got home from the hospital, Mother came down and I remember the trip home from there. I used to milk cows with that healing, I never did loose the grip of my fingers. I could move my arm, I could move from my elbow, from here I couldn't even though when that was broke off like that there I could still move my fingers. It didn't stop the movement in my fingers but it stopped the movement of my arm, but I milked cows. Of course I had to get hold of the two close to me with this 'ne it made me get right up close to the cow. When they tried to kick sometimes spilled a bucket of milk.
Clair: But you went about three days with out; did they give ya anything for the pain?
Merlin: I never did have any pain. There is plenty of life in the arm now. The Doctor said he never promised me an arm I could get above my head. They said I would have an arm an' be able to use it like that, but I have had pretty good use out of it. When I get to lifting over my head it doesn't have too much strength that way. I've had a good arm out of it. It don't hurt too much anymore. It use to, but my shin if ya can imagine when ya get a skinned shin how sore they are an' then one like that there ya bump it on everything. I wore lace shoes, high top shoes for a good many years to protect it. Right after I did I got a pair of these leggings. They wore those knee pants an' kind of a leggings down to the top of your shoes. I wore that for protection over my shin for a long time. Because it just seemed like it was bumping into everything an' it was sore. I had a lot more pain with it than with my arm of course when I broke my leg that was different. I never had anything hurt like that did.
Clair: When you were about thirteen, or fourteen?
Merlin: No, I'd be around about twelve I guess (accident with broken arm), there about the time I was passing the sacrament. I remember it would be about that time. It would be 1919. Then after that ya see I had scarlet fever. That was after mother died when I had the scarlet fever (about fifteen).
Clair: Was your leg broke before Grandma died or after Grandma died?
Merlin: My leg wasn't broke until after I was married, Jack was a baby when my leg was broke that was a long time after. I can remember how sick I was when I had that an' how my Dad use to come in all the time. It was after I broke my arm that I had scarlet fever. I was what in the seventh or eighth grade when I had scarlet fever and in that place there all by myself.
Clair: Was there a lot of it in Charleston at that time?
Merlin: I guess I was the only one that had it there at that time. I don't remember anybody else having it. Wayne had what they call scarletena after an' he use to sleep in the main part an' I slept in the room just off there. An' I was sick I tell ya. My throat was so sore I couldn't swallow anything an' I couldn't eat anything. Dad used to come over. He'd come and see me at night. Sometimes he would come in the middle of the night an' he'd see me just at daylight in the morning as he would go to feed his harses. He had a coat that he would put on before he would come in to where I was an' he left it there in the next room when he'd leave. Then he would do his chores, he'd work an' then he'd come back. He was the only one that came in all the time I was sick. I remember the Doctor he used to come everyday for quite a little while he'd come. Then when I started getting better so I could sit up I read a few books. I remember the kids from the school would come see me and talk through the window an' that there.
Clair: You were in a house just across the road weren't you?
Merlin: Yes there was a house, ya know where Elick (Alix) Davis is? Well, just east of that on the same side of the road Ray Price moved in an old house in there, a two roomed house. There was nobody living in it at the time when I had the scarlet fever, and that's where they put me so I would be away from the rest of the family so that none of them would get it, scarlet fever.
Clair: Do you remember when you came home with it?
Merlin: I never did figure out where I got it from or how or what, only when I started with it I started with a high fever and a sore throat. Soon as the Doctor came down and that rash on me he said he's got scarlet fever. He said ya've got to get him away from here. Of course they kept the rest of them isolated. Lorna an' I forget if one of the Edward twins were there helping her to take care of the kids seems to me like it was then. Then I remember soon as I got back to where, after I had scarlet fever, I got back from that there it was in the spring and school was about out. So I didn't go back to school for the rest of that year because I helped Dad finish putting in his crops.
Clair: Mom, you used to go over and knock on his window and talk with him?
Grace: I used to talk with him through the window.
Clair: How long were you in there?
Merlin: I was there about three weeks, an' then after that they fumigated the place an' me along with it, stuck me in a big tub of hot water an' stuff that was supposed to kill the germs. I just pealed off like ya would pill off a harab. Just scales every bit of my body, just scaled from the fever an' that there the skin just scaled all off an' I had new skin my whole face an' even in my hair. It took quit a while before I got it all cleared out.
Clair: What did you think when you were that sick?
Merlin: I don't remember too much about it other than I knew I was sick an' I didn't appreciate being left alone, but there was nothing I could do about it an' so I, in those days ya done what ya had to do.
Grace: His Dad felt terrible about it. He said he would never again ever do that to a child.
End of tape



Age When
Mother Died














died 1918
at 7yr











LaVerl died

11 yr
Broken arm

abt 13 yr
Mother died

14 yr
Scarlet Fever

abt 15 yr
Father married Mary

18 yr
LaVon died

20 yr

22 yr

Merlin & Grace Simmons History
Recorded by their sons Oren & Clair
Oren: I am Oren Simmons and Clair and Janet and Jan are sitting here. Going back when I was a little boy some of the things I remember with Mom and Dad. First things I remember is when we lived on the old Whiting place and at the old Whiting place I remember a beet deep hole that we used to take our wagon in and ride down the beet deep hole. I can remember walking down the train tracks with Mom to go get the cows and we would go down and get the cows and bring them back to be milked. We only had two and I can remember going up on the mountain in Wallsburg there and looking down in the creek bottom there at the Wallsburg turnoff where we lived that is under water now. We lived right where you crossed the river bridge, across the river bridge and our house set kind of on the hill and the house was on the south side of the road, the barn was on the north side, where you turn up to Wallsburg, down in that ravine down in through there. Deer Creek Reservoir the bay goes clear up in and right at that point of the mountain where it comes out there is where the river crossed, where you crossed the river.
Clair: Okay, down where the gulf comes and the boats, right down kind of were that point was and so it was right in there.
Oren: Right, in the base of them mountains I can remember as a little boy going up on the hill. We got a brand new tricycle and we only rode it a couple of days. And that night we go of from it and pulled it up by the house and the next morning it was gone. Somebody just stole it.
Clair: Do you remember what you got the tricycle for?
Oren: I don't remember. The other thing I can remember down there is I remember I went wading in the water one day and got my shoes all wet. And I was scared to death that I was going to get a paddling so I went and kicked my feet in the dust and I dried my shoes by kicking my feet in the dust and Mom couldn't tell my shoes was wet. I remember one time when we were moving and Deloy Winterton came down with a truck. They had some cattle in the truck and Deloy and Dad and me were all in the front of the truck. It was on kind of a steep place and we went to move and the cattle all shifted to one side and the truck tipped over, and I remember crawling out the window at the top of the truck.
Oren: And from there we moved to Woodland.
Clair: Do you remember, did Daddy farm on the Whiting place? Did he have farmland? Or was it a dairy farm?
Oren: All he had were two cows down there and I don't know.
Jan: Where did he work, do you know?
Oren: I don't know what he did down there. I don't remember any machinery; let's see I was trying to think.
Jan: Dad would know.
Oren: I was trying to think what he did down there. From there we moved up to Woodland, and I remember we lived up on the old Whiting place up on the bench.
Clair: Now, you know where the church house was, did you go up that road? Up on the dug way?
Oren: Well, we lived clear up there by, oh; I was trying to think of the names of places. The people's names clear on past on the bench and clear on up we called it the old Whiting place.
Clair: So it was further to the east?
Oren: Right. Near where the road went clear around and cross the Provo River again, because we used to walk to school from that house. We used to walk clear over and catch the bus over across the river bridge. We used to walk clear over; we'd run on this road and catch the bus.
Oren: That was on the old Whiting place and I know Mom went over and helped with chores across the road and there's a farm across the road and they had a mean bull because I was just a boy. Mom was over milking cows over there and this bull came down the road and I was in the car. He put his nose right up to the car window and I was scared to death.
Clair: The question was what did Mom and Dad do on the Whiting ranch, right?
Oren: Also they lived right next to Deloy but in sequence they lived in that house just south of Deloy Winterton, Ralph Winterton.
Clair: Let me go back to the Whiting place because I remember one thing that I think to see if it falls in line with what Mother has told you. As I remember didn't Dad take the team and go to work on the road between Hailstone Junction and Kamas then?
Oren: He could have, because we didn't have enough to farm and we weren't actually living on a farm. We were living in this house and he was working somewhere.
Clair: I think if I remember right that is what they did because that's the story behind the Tithing that Mother used to always tell us. Mother used to say that she and Dad were married and Dad didn't have anything to do and they didn't have any money and it was really kind of the time during the depression and they didn't know what they were going to do. Mother and Dad had fifty cents and Dad said what do you think we ought to do? And Mother said well I think we ought to pay it as tithing. And they took the fifty cents and gave it to the bishop for tithing and the next day Daddy went to look for work and he go the job running a grader up there and he took his team and went to work on that road.
Oren: While I was still young apparently we lived down below, but he had broken his leg. He was riding that pinto pony, Shetland pony, he had left Kamas and gone to Charleston and they were herding some cattle along the road that Wintertons had down there. Clair was there and he went to herd a cow and the little pony fell and broke his leg. Clair came up to him and said "you hurt?" Dad said, "Yes, I broke my leg". Clair said well get up and let see if it is broke and Dad said I don't have to get up to tell it's broke I know it's broke. We had some real tuff times because Dad didn't have any insurance, about six months before his insurance had lapsed or so many months before and so I remember they got their groceries from Mont and LuElla and they carried them for a while, until Dad was able to go back to work again. This was up in Kamas. I remember going to the Woodland store. So that was when you were on the bench. No. We lived in the Whiting place two times and I would have been older at the time we lived up there and younger when we lived down there and his leg was broken because I can remember him with crutches and so it had to be a short time after he left Wallsburg and I think we was probably living closer to Deloy. See we lived there by Deloy, we lived in the house by the store, Mont's Store and we also lived up by Turnbows. We lived all up and down there. And we moved in all those places, four or five places up and down there. So it was during that time and I was just a little boy, that was before they moved up on the ranch and took over the ranch up on the bench. They took over Wintertons. But I remember Dad worked for Wintertons at one time, well when we lived next to Deloy I am sure he was working for Wintertons.
Clair: Uncle Omni said when I was out there that Dad and Grandpa had a discussion and it was decided that him and mother would go up there and become part of the business and be treated as one of the boys. And in that he discussed, that I think, that's when you moved up on the Whiting, the bench, was that the Whiting place too?
Oren: No. It's a stake farm now.
Clair: When you moved up there Daddy started to set up a milking operation and that was part of the business and Grandpa helped him get started in that milking operation.
Oren: Right. Dad leased that property from them. He didn't buy it. He rented that property from and it was actually their farm. And he run it for them. Wintertons got half of the hay, I don't know what kind of a set up it was, but Wintertons got half of the hay. I know we milked about 20 head of cows while we were there, Holstein cows. When we first went up there we didn't have milking machines and right after we got the old Delavalve milking machine. We weren't there too long before we got the milking machines. Rather than the surge milkers like we had in Charleston we had the old Delavalve that was our first milking machines that we had.
Clair: You were going to school then and you and LaVon used to build kites and you used to build big kites, 4'X6'. The kites were so big that you would put them up with bailing twine.
Oren: No, binder twine that you use for chopping grain, comes in a roll about 8 inches wide, binder twine.
Clair: Mother says that you guys would take and put those kites up in the morning when you left and at sometimes they would still be up when you would come home from school.
Oren: Yes, you could see them when we come from school down in the river bottoms, we could sometimes still see them flying above the top of the hill. And one day coming home, we couldn't see the kite and we go home we started running down through the field to where the string was and the board had broke. We were using lath. The board had broke and it had came down, and sometimes the tail would get tangled it would do lots of dives by the time we'd get home. The paper we would put on them was wall paper, like you paper the walls with. We'd take two or three rolls of wall paper and glue them together with the old glue like you make out of flour and water. And that is how we made the kites and we would make big long tails on them and then we would put them up.
Clair: Did you live in Kamas?
Oren: Well yes, but when we lived in Kamas, we traded with Guy Bronson. Guy Bronson decided that he would milk cows and come run the farm for a while; and Dad moved to Kamas in Guy Bronson's and we lived in Guy Bronson's and he took over Guy Bronson's milk route.
Clair: That is when he started driving the milk route?
Oren: Yes. If you remember some of the history there one Christmas Eve he didn't get back and we waited, and waited and waited and he had tipped the milk truck over. Maybe it hadn't tipped clear over but it had run off the road, and he had a tuff time getting home. He was way late getting home.
Clair: I remember Dad at one time I think he lost his brakes going down that canyon. I think he geared it down and finally got it stopped.
Oren: While we were there I think we got that small saddle, while we lived in Guy Bronson's house. Then we moved to where Erma Simmons Odrisco lives. Because Guy moved back to his house and it was a while before we went back to the farm and we lived there for a while. I remember we had a collie dog that we taught to pull and we used to hook the dog up to carts in the summer time with shaves, we bought from a guy, and he had a replica of an iron tired wagon. It looked just like the ones the pioneers used to come across the plains. It had big tires in back with the wood spokes and the iron around, the tongue in it and a canvas over it and a place for two kids to sit up front and me and Pete Crystal used to hook our dogs up in teams and we'd go down Main Street with this wagon or else we would take our carts and would run up and down the streets. We had a parade and I dressed up like a girl and mother was a clown in the parade and she had that pinto pony of Grandpa's. She rode the parade and she'd fall off of it and she'd jump on one side and off the other side. Pete Crystal was the kid that had the black dog that went with us and he dressed up like a girl too. Mother did all kinds of crazy things. You know how Mother did all kinds of crazy things. She was really a clown. She rode the pony and she'd fall off and different things. The parade was going down Main Street in Kamas. I remember Mother working at Doug Simpson's Café while we lived at the house that Odriscos live now. It was just above the Kings store. Mother was working during the day time and so every day we'd come down, LaVon and I would come down from school and eat a hamburger and a malt for lunch, and boy, we thought we were on cloud nine. I think Dad was working the mine when we lived there. We got the mumps at that time and Dad got the mumps, I and LaVon got them and then Dad got them and he had never had them and Dad really got sick. Then we moved back over on Bench Creek and took over the farm again. We were older then and so we were able to do all the chores and Dad worked in the mine in the wintertime, in the summertime Wintertons would send someone to help us with the hay. We had quite a hay crew and a grain crew. See we had 100 acres. I remember Dad irrigating all hours of the night and I can remember Dad started taking shots for hay fever at that time and it was so hard for him to go to Kamas to get his shots that Mom would give him his shots. I can remember Dad coming in with hay fever so bad that his eyes were swelled up that he could hardly see. Later on they got that Case bailer. Dad tried to stay away from the bailer as much as possible, he try to get somebody to thread the needles and somebody to tie. The first tractor we had when we were first on the ranch was an old iron tire tractor. I tied that calf to that wagon the first time we lived there. I'll tell you a few things that happened when we first lived on the ranch when I was a little boy before I was old enough to do a lot of things. Dad would get us up at 4:00 in the morning. Because we had to have the cows milked and the milk in the vat and cooled by 6:00 when Guy Bronson came to pick up the milk and I remember one morning we were breaking, that Shetland had a colt and he had given it to Van's boy, Eldon, but I was breaking it, it was almost white. I remember one morning Dad put me on it and I started down the hill getting the cows at 4:00 in the morning and boy that pony took that bit in his mouth and took me right back to the house. Dad met me at the gate with a willow and he grabbed that pony by the bit and smacked it three or four times with that willow and back down the road I went and we got the cows that time. It was just like Christmas because that was the times we got to sleep-in in the morning, because we were used to getting up at 4:00 in the morning. In the wintertime it was cold. We slept up stairs in the attic of that house. We had about 14 quilts on us we had an old oil stove down stairs. They would leave a faucet dripping because we had a spring and we were piping the water down from the top of the spring. Every once and a while the pipe would come out of the water and we would have to have it running in the wintertime or it would freeze up and sometimes something would happen and it would still freeze up and Dad would have to get the torch out, the old pump up torch. He'd work for hours to get that line thawed out so we could have water again. One time it got really froze and we had to have like a welder come in and hook on to it to get it thawed out.
Clair: The only thing I really remember about the bench is Mother telling a story about the time she was doing dishes and the lightning came down through right where she was standing. She was standing at the sink doing the dishes and things and for some reason she picked up and walked over to the table to get more dishes and the lightning went right straight down through and right through the sink where she was standing.
Oren: I was taking the cows to the pasture. I was going down the road and the lightning hit the wire and I saw this ball of flame go up the wire and hit this transformer. And I took the cows on to the pasture and when I came back well here this electricity had followed this wire in and come in the house and burned a place on the side of the fridge.
Jan: Your Mother had an awful hard time, all the time that all these things were going on. Oren remembers it as fun times with him and LaVon doing things you know like their sledding and this type of thing. Your Mother was having a real hard time with her health. She wasn't very well, and she and her sisters did all practically the music that was done there in Woodland. And they were all so hurt when Harold was killed. They hadn't been accepted when they moved up there at all. They were a musical people and when they went to sing and do things together they had a good time together, when the sisters would get together. When did she loose Lauana, where did you live when you lost Lauana?
Oren: I don't even remember.
Jan: Well, Luana is the same age as I am. Except she was born in June and I was born in November. So that would be in 1934.
Oren: Well I was only born in 1931. Well she would still be down in the Whiting place. I remember Mother in the summertime she got out there mowing hay, rode the hayfork horse. She did everything that a man could do. Dad was working for Wintertons when he broke his leg because he would still be working for Wintertons; he was driving cattle for them. So that was when he broke his leg. And up on the ranch see that was when I turned the calf loose with my wagon.
Clair: And it got spread all over the place?
Oren: Yes, I took a lariat to this tame steer that we had that I rode all over. I made some tugs to the back and I tied it to the wagon and I got in the wagon and I yelled at him to go and he didn't go and I yelled at him again and he looked at me and started to move. He took one step and he felt that wagon behind him and he left a piece of that wagon in every corner of the field. A bran new wagon and the biggest one they made. It just tore the wheels off and then it tore the tongue off the bolster where it goes through and where the wheels attach. Dad came running out and there that calf was running with that lariat around its neck and that wagon and he looked at me and he said don't you think you ought to go to bed? And I said yes. So I went to bed. I can remember we had a whole bunch of chickens up there. We had two chicken coops full of chickens, and we had to feed those chickens. We always had a bunch of fryers. Mother had a chicken that kept chasing her. She would go out and it would just give her a bad time, it was a rooster. Finally one day she caught it and chopped its head off and we had it for dinner. I used to give Mother a bad time cause she had a tough time getting a chicken ready for dinner because they would move around so much that she would have to hit them four or five time to get the head off. And I used to tell her that she cut it off a little bit at a time so it didn't hurt.
Clair: Laughter.
Clair: I remember Mother talked about I think the bench was the only time that Mother put a pair of skis on. They had the horse in the wintertime and Dad used to always put a pair of skis on and throw the rope to Mother and she would put it on the horn and down away they would go. They would travel over to Wintertons that way and finally Dad talked her in to one time putting the skis on. She put the skis on and Dad started off with that rope. And when those skis started Mother fell down and Dad said that she went all the way down and hit her head on the ground and bounced back up and never even bent her knees. And she let go of the rope and took the skis off and that was the last time she ever tried a pair of skis.
Oren: I remember that first part where we lived over there going up with Dad above the farm almost where you could see down into Heber. And spending all day cutting Quaking Asp trees and loading up the wagon and then riding out. And I remember one time we run out and did the chores early; and another time we hung on his leg, because he didn't believe in anything as sissy as putting a chain around the wheel to slow you down, like ruff locking. Like Fred Peterson did. He ruined their sleighing because every time he would go down the sleigh riding hill he would put the ruff locks on the sleigh, but Dad when he would go down with a load of hay he would have those horses running just as hard as they could run. Sometimes we would take a load of hay down to Wintertons off the bench. I remember the day we went down and Grandpa gave us our pony. We named it old Tune. It was about a yearling and we went down on the sleigh and when we came back it didn't want to come back. It was stubborn and we drug it half the way home behind the sleigh. As it grew older and we got ready to break it Dad took it out and put the saddle on and left it all day and it laid down and she wouldn't get up and we finally got her up took a strap to her and finally got her up. She really made a nice horse; LaVon broke her driving the cattle from Roosevelt to Strawberry. She ended up to be a super horse. You could put canvas dams on her and you could walk up to her anywhere in the field and catch her any time you wanted to catch her and yet she could out run any horse around because I took her to school one time and they had "S" day over to Kamas and that is when they white washed the "S", "S" for South Summit. They would white the school teachers and everything, but Dad told me never to race her. This Dick Gines he had a little horse that would prance this way and prance that way. He kept wanting to race me, finally we were out on the track around the football field and I said Okay and we took off and Tuney left him so far behind he wasn't even in the race. That is the last time he ever wanted to race me.
Clair: Was it you or LaVon that had the problem at school with kids that always wanted to fight all the time?
Oren: That was me. The time in the fourth grade that I finally took so much at recess or noon me and this other kid got into it. When the dust settled I was on top and the principal came out and made us stop and come in his office, but at least they didn't bother me after that.
Clair: Mother said that they called her and the Principal was smiling and said I had to call you in because your son was fighting but I was proud as punch because he licked the kid but I had to call you in because he was fighting.
Oren: That was when we lived in Kamas at the Odrisco house.
Clair: Mother went over and had to go to the Principals office and he said I have to say this but I was glad that he did it now it is over with, now maybe he can go on. Mother said that your grades improved after that.
Oren: Yes, they gave me a pretty rough time.
Oren: After I was older and able to work I can remember hauling hay and one day we had two skids and one would drive and the other would pick up the bails. We'd drive right close to the bail and we would stand and drag it on and put them one high and we would fill that skid and take it in and Dad would unload it. We loaded 800 bails that day the three of us. Then I remember one time we were hauling fertilizer. I think we hauled about 30 loads or something in one day we really hauled a lot. See we had two spreaders going and they would go down into the field while we were loading the other one. See Dad used to walk from one end of that field to the other irrigating. In fact I can remember him going up and in the spring and going with him and cleaning the ditch and we would go up and clean all the brush out of the ditch and get the water coming down. We turned it out of it in the wintertime. While I was living in Kamas, Bob Thacker had a daughter that was the same age as we were and we were in school, about when I was in the 8th grade. They went playing up on the hill and there was a rock slide up there the rock started to slide and this one girl got underneath the rock, the rock landed on top of her. The rock was about three feet high by about 4 feet wide. Two men were able to lift that rock off of her. After it took 8 men to lift that rock. The girl was killed.
Jan: Your Mother and Dad went and got the babies and took care of them until after the funeral and then when your Mother had that problem she did the same thing for her. It was Claude Thacker's wife, it had to be the one they lost, it had to be LaVel. Your Mother was right down, flat down with those babies. Now was it you that they flew in from Colorado?
Clair: I understand it was.
Jan: That is what I thought.
Oren: Yes, it was Clair. Because we had LaVon and I and Jack, was Jack out there in Colorado?
Jan: He would have had to be.
Oren: Well, you see I would have been a sophomore so he would have had to be. I came back my freshman year. Dad run that farm out there for about a year. We went out there in the summer time and all they had was a little beaver slide. We had 1,000 acres of hay to put up and so Dad went and took the truck and went back to Woodland and bought an over shot, a stacker. He brought it back in the truck. They had an old truck that they fixed on reverse that we used as a push rake and then they had two push rakes and they had a rake, well a side delivery rake. I did a lot of side delivery raking with a team. They had an old John Deere tractor, but you had to get off and crank it by turning the fly wheel. Dad took care of the one farm and Clair Winterton took care of the other. They were five miles apart. We used to ride from one to the other. We had a buggy, we would hook one horse up to this buggy and everybody had their own horses. We hired all the help from back home. We got Wayne Thacker, Weldon Simmons, and Eldon Rasbend and worked there during the summer time. Then we came back to school Dad stayed there and worked that winter and also Weldon stayed and worked that winter. It got around 50 below that winter and they were feeding the cows. When they took the cattle to the mountains I got to go with them and help.
Clair: Do you remember why they went to Colorado?
Jan: Financial.
Clair: They felt that they could make some money by going there?
Oren: Well Clair Winterton left Winterton Brothers. He said he wasn't going to be with them anymore and he went out there and went to work for this millionaire actually it was a bank. This 21 year old kid when he came of age was supposed to take it over but the bank was taking care of it and they were looking for a foreman so they hired Clair. Clair took the job and then Clair got Dad to run the farm. See that was when we were living on the bench because I stayed for 3 or 4 months to finish school and I stayed and lived with Ranks and LaVon lived with Aunt Ruth and Jack lived with Aunt LuElla. I showed him how to run the farm. I milked the cows and showed them how to milk the cows and how to irrigate and do everything that they needed to do on the farm.
Clair: So I think that is when Daddy also decided to leave Wintertons.
Oren: That's when he decided to leave Wintertons. Wintertons decided they were going to sell the farm, but they didn't give Dad the chance to buy the farm. They told him that they didn't want to sell it to a relative and take it a little bit at a time. They wanted to out right sell the farm and they didn't want to carry it and they knew that Dad didn't have the money to buy it so they didn't sell it to Dad. So they listed it for I think $40,000.00 somewhere around there and that is when Rank bought the farm. Dad was without a job when he got a chance he went out to Colorado and worked for a couple of years and then he came back and we lived in Grandpa's house for a while before we bought the farm. We lived there for a couple of years or a year or something, Grandpa's (John Simmons') house in Heber.
Clair: Then you swapped houses?
Oren: Right. Then we traded the house for the farm and Dad gave him so much money for the farm and we moved down there on the farm and Grandpa moved up to that little house where we lived.
Clair: Do you remember Mom being pregnant in Colorado then?
Oren: I remember she got so sick. They brought Marie Draper out to help cook the meal for the crew and she helped cooked and Mother got sick and I don't remember when but I remember Mom would go into town once in awhile and get groceries. I remember one time it was the 4th of July or something because I got in the walk, trot and run race there in Gramby Colorado with Olli Hansen and my horse and I won first place. Mother left and was flown home, later on. That is when they landed her in that alfalfa-field in Coalville. (When Mom and Dad were working in Colorado Mom became pregnant with Clair and while Mom and Dad were deciding what to do. You see everyone knew Mom could not carry a baby through a pregnancy. The Winterton girls told Doctor Wright in Kamas and he said well she will never carry the baby. While they were deciding what to do Uncle Clair Winterton hired a pilot and plane to fly Mom from Grandby to Coalville, Utah. When they got there the runway was gone. The Pilot flew around a few times and then said there is where the runway used to be because there is where the weather sock hung. Well, he circled and landed right there in the alfalfa field. The farmer came and was right bent out of shape, but they convinced him that they couldn't unland and that anyway it was an emergency. They took Mom to one of the cars then Ruth and Luella ran down some gas for the plane. They then pushed the plane up to the highway and Ruth went up the highway and Luella went the other way. They then blocked the highway and the pilot took off and went back to Colorado. Mom went to Woodland with the girls. Mom then proceeded to carry the baby, Clair, contrary to what everybody believed and he was born on the 23rd of January in the Heber hospital. And that is one of the ways that Uncle Clair became a hero.)

They landed her there and she stayed there I don't know for how long. I guess until we went back because we left and went back for school. We were late for school. Wayne Thacker he was in our same grade so he took us and introduced us to everybody. While we were there is when Dad came back and he worked in the mines while we were living in Heber. Wayne apparently got him on. He worked in the mines until he went down on the ranch, in Charleston.
Clair: You were born on the Whiting place?
Oren: No, I was born in a little house next to Deloy Wintertons. So they had to have lived there before they went to Charleston.
Clair: Mother says as I remember it, they lived close to Deloy's. Mother found the place.
Oren: It was an old house and hadn't been painted.
Clair: That's right. Mother found the place and when Dad came home off the show circuit, he was working for Wintertons and traveling the show circuits all around the country. And I think that Mother and Dad lived with Deloy and Elma for a little while. And then while they were doing the show circuit then she started looking around and she found this place and then she cleaned it up and got it ready and that is where they lived I think for a period of time.
Oren: An old place. They had to live there before they moved down there because I was born in Woodland. I was born right there in that house. I was trying to think of some of the things about Dad we might have had on the ranch. I remember the Christmas we decided we knew about Santa Claus. Dad got on a roll Christmas Eve and headed down to go to the store. LaVon and I we never told Mom and Dad. They never knew when we found out. We used to get up in the morning while we were up there and do chores before we would even look under the Christmas tree. Because we wanted to get our chores done in a hurry and then run into the Christmas tree and then have the day to do what we wanted to, and we knew if we looked under the Christmas tree we wouldn't want to go out and do chores.

Then there was those times when we went up and got the logs out, 10,000 feet of lumber, Dad and I went up the night before and stayed over night and had the old cross cut, the old hand saw that we cut down thirteen trees. We went to Silver Meadows, you turn left at the Jap monument, it is above Woodland, and it was North East of the Jap monument. We went back up in there and we cut these 13 trees down we stayed over night and I can remember just like it was yesterday. We each had one of those fold out canvas cots and we rolled out the sleeping bag and we got up early the next morning. Dad gave us something to eat. We went out and cut all day. We were so tired that night we stayed that night and the next day we went down and the next thing I remember LaVon came up with a tractor and we skidded them down to the saw mill where they were cut up and they hauled them. There was a guy that had a sawmill there in the area and he cut them for us. Dad contracted with him and paid him so much to cut up the lumber for him and that is what he built the barns out of. The calving sheds that was on back of the barn. All those lodge poles for the fences we took the tractor and wagon and went up just above Soapstone where the Duchesne tunnel came through. We had a permit and one day we cut all the trees that ware marked, and loaded them on. I think we had a car with us and so some of us went back to do chores and I think that LaVon came with the tractor and the wagon and we, the two of us, went on back home and he brought them on down.

Down by the Pole camp (hail stone junction) and toward Heber, it was snowing, really sleet and we had this old Plymouth and the windshield wipers wouldn't work. Mom couldn't see the road and she was trying to see so LaVon and I tied our shoelaces together and we put our shoelaces out both sides of the window and we were running the windshield wipers with our shoelaces so she could see.
Group: Laughter.
Clair: Why did they call it the pole camp?
Oren: That is where they used to make all their utility poles and they dipped them in oil and everything there, on the North East side of the highway in the "V".
End of tape

Merlin and Grace Simmons' History as told by Omni Winterton, interviewed by Clair Simmons (July 25, 1982)

Omni: Clair Simmons who's the son of Merlin D. Simmons and Grace Winterton Simmons has asked me to tell me a few thing that I remember, a few things about their lives. Merlin Simmons is a few years older than myself, of course this is Omni Winterton speaking. I have known Merlin Simmons all of my life, and I knew his father John Simmons and Phebe Simmons. We always regarded the Simmons family as an outstanding family and so it was when Merlin came into the family there was no questions about it we accepted this union with enthusiasm. I remember Merlin first in school and at church. The Simmons' home was the place of real activity for the young people. I remember the black saddle horse that they rode. You'd see Merlin and LaVon heading down the road after the cows and I remember on one occasion they were really wheeling and the horse stepped on the shiny rail of the Denver, Rio Grande Branch line and spilled them. Merlin's shoulder was broken and he was taken to Dr. Aird where the shoulder was set and a piece of bone was taken from his leg and fit into a drilled whole in the shoulder bone.
Clair: Do you remember who was with Daddy?
Omni: LaVon was the one that was with him.
Clair: That was in the wintertime wasn't it?
Omni: Yes, I was in the wintertime, and that was one of the first recollections I remember of them. I remembered his brother LaVon who was my scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster. He passed away while Merlin was on his mission. I've heard Merlin speak many a time about his mission and it seems that they had friends and I believe they called them the Parmenters at Council Bluffs, Iowa or near there where they used to go and they would ride big calves. I remember years later up in Strawberry Valley Merlin would say let's get some of those calves in and lets ride them. So I remember they got one all synched up and told me where to hang on and I went out and I remember the calf a bucking and I remember Merlin say, say, you're a pretty good rider. The calf never did loose me. We'd go to the Simmons home and we would go out into the barn and Merlin and LaVon would walk across the top of the beams in the barn. The object was to walk them beams from one side of the roof to the other side, the rafters.
Clair: Was this the big hay barn there?
Omni: That was at the old home place, your father's place. I used to think how brave they were, and I would look at it but I thought if I toppled, lost my balance it was quite a ways down to the ground and I didn't know that I could stand that kind of a stop. Well, another thing they did, they had this saddle horse and this saddle horse was trained to pull a toboggan like, they called it a tin. It was rounded on the front and both side edges were rounded. They had a two by four framework built into it. The rule was jump in headfirst but lay low and don't raise up because we'll loose ya. And down the street they'd come before mutual, after mutual and I remember on the corner below where the old chapel was the horse was trained, right on the last that it'd make a turn, and that tin would swing way around. Then they would get the horse in the center and that tin would go round and round and round and that horse know just how to handle that tin to throw it. Well, many a young person had a ride, but lay low; we'll loose ya. The centrifugal force will dump ya. I remember they would put two in one on the right hand side, they'd put the left hand over the top of the other ones body and hang on to a rope. The one on the left side would put their right hand over to opposite side and get a purchase. In other words you might say they had a double purchase. Each one had the free arm that hung right at their side. As if that wasn't thrilling enough they had a post set in the ground. Sort of a square post sawed off square, drilled in the top, a bolt and a big lag screw and washer to stop from cutting it loose, and then they would tie to a bob and on about 15 to 20 feet of rope. Then they would put the horse on the inside on the lead and had the rope fastened to that, close in and tied to the horn of the saddle. Then that horse would go round in a circle and again it was don't raise up, lay low and that horse would take that around with such force that the tin out on the end would almost become (air borne). Well, they had ways of giving us a thrill. Then we would go coasting and the object was to get the biggest coasters we had. And those that had smaller coasters would go over little raise would be in sometimes pulled by the heavier sleighs. We'd tie them all together in a train. The object was to go to the highest point and on a grade follow this tract that was preformed down. As far as the highway and I remember the object was to get the longest ride and keep going. So we would tie them together and Merlin and LaVon were two of the main ones that engineered the whole feat.
The time came that Grace and Merlin were married as I remember it was sometime in June.
Clair: Didn't Mom and Daddy talk about getting married before he went on his mission?
Omni: Yes. They had you might say an engagement before Merlin went on his mission, but after he came home they were married, but one of the things that I would like to mention specifically. In those days everybody was out to shivery and if they could get them separated take the girl one way and take the boy the other that is what they wanted to do. Well, Grace was working in the store, the Winterton Store at Woodland and of course the towns people, some of them was laying for them. They figured on coming in and grabbing them, but Grace and Merlin said what will we do, what will we do? I said, I'll tell you what you'll do. I said, we've got this big pile of cottonwood stove wood, it's all split up. One hundred and twenty cord all in one pile out there. I said, Fryer and I have got a bed out in there and I said you come and go in there, and sleep in our bed. I'll cover the end over. I said, I'll possible have to come and get you out in the morning. Well, in a pinch they could have got the wood out and set it back themselves. Anyway quick as a flash Grace and Merlin became suspicious that they were after them. They slipped out in a hurry and I'd pile the wood over the end. You couldn't tell where the entrance was. People came, they hunted and they hunted and they went over into James P. Sharp's place and all over. Out through the back and the barn and through the sheds, but there was no Grace and there was no Merlin. I was getting as big a kick out of keeping them from being caught as they were being able to stay uncaught for several nights that went on. People said I can't figure out how they could disappear so quickly and leave such a little trace. I can't figure out where they'd go. They just scoured that area trying to find Grace and Merlin. Grace was quite a cutup and I remember on one occasion, this was before her marriage she went with a group of young girls to Oren to pick strawberries. After picking strawberries all day they were all sticky and so on and perspiration all over them so they would go into a little improvised shower, a small shed like structure. Grace and her friend decided to have some fun. So there was another girl by the name of Dora Danner, I think she was a cousin of Merlin's. They were back in there showering and it was pitch dark, there were no electric lights in there. Ya, but it was just pitch dark and Grace had borrowed some boys clothing and gum boots and she goes wheeling in there. She finds out where Dora is and she throws her arms around her and Dora just screamed and Grace said her fists went so fast I had to hang tight or I'd got knocked out. Dora rushes out and she goes to the bunk where she stayed and Grace slips out and she gets back in her regular clothes. She meanders in and Dora has this terrifying tale of how this man had come in to the shower and how he had thrown his arms around her. Of course, that was super with Grace. She was getting the biggest kick out of it. Another time she was in a parade. I think this was after she was married. They asked her to be the clown. There was some fellow that came along and thought he was just having so much fun with Grace. He was trying to taunt her and tantalize her and he came up right close and Grace quickly stepped aside she kissed him on the cheek and left this greasy imprint from the makeup and this red lip mark on his cheek. He was so embarrassed. He said you know that blanked, blank clown girl, girl clown she left that nasty lipstick on me. Well, he didn't bother her any more. So much for Grace up to this point I'd like to go on a bit with Merlin. When Merlin married in to the family, of course Grandpa with his policy, he married on he never married off. So he offered Merlin a chance to be a partner in the Winterton Brothers Cattle business ranching. So Merlin worked with us for years. One thing I remembered specifically about Merlin was his organization. I've heard him many a time say we'll go up to the meadows and we'll cut wood and we'll snake it out that is saw timber and then we can go up later with the trucks and haul the logs out. But winter came and lots of saw timber still up on the Silver Meadows and so he said we'll go in with a team and sleigh and we'll sled it out. And I can remember that he liked Clair, my brother Clair because Clair was a good with horses. Then he'd say now we will take the team on the two sleighs then he would say then we will lead that team and when we get to the Jap' monument we'll unhook the team that has been hooked up. We'll put the fresh team on. We'll feed the horses there enough hay to take care of them till we get back. Then instead of going up the draw where the snow is going to be real heavy on that North slope. He said, we'll head for the ridge, We'll follow that ridge clear to the Silver Meadows. When we come out of course we will have to use quite of lot of ruff lock ( that's wrapping chains around the runners). He said we'll feed the horses when we get up there. So as they have something to eat. Then when we get back to the Jap' monument we'll switch horses, we'll put the team that we left there in the morning. Hook them on and leave the team that has been to the top of the mountain. But everything was planned in detail. Time was estimated it will take us so long to travel from the home to the Jap' monument. We'll have to leave before daylight, maybe five o'clock in the morning. We'll figure on getting to the top of the mountain by say eleven o'clock. We'll get back to the Jap' Monument by about four in the afternoon with the two loads of logs. By the time we switch animals, the teams, it will be after dark when we get home. Merlin hundreds and hundreds of time it seems like it those years he would plan his work ahead. If we were hauling hay from say a neighboring town. We'll leave here a such and such a time, we'll get over there, we'll throw our load on and we'll be back here by such and such a time. By that time it will be breakfast or it will be dinner whatever the time was. Then we can go on and get the cattle feed, but it was that way all the time. Merlin traveled quite extensively with my brother Harold with the show cattle on the railroad. Harold always said I won't take a boy with me that drinks or smokes or profanes. My business in life isn't just to show cattle. It's to show off the people of Utah. I'm a representative of the people of Utah, and I aim to live and take young men with me that will live an exemplary life and it will be a missionary tool for our missionaries that go out. Well, I knew so and so and it will be a good example for them. Anyhow, I remember on one occasion one young fellow didn't live up to the rules and Harold caught him smoking on the sly, he caught him stepping this girl that's character was in question. So he told him when they got back to Elko, Nevada he would be released and so he was released and Merlin came and took his place. Well, he had no worries about Merlin; Merlin was always a good example. He had been on a mission; he had filled church duties. I remember Merlin was always out for fun. He was out to do a little jesting he said I walked into the barn just in time to see a calf go sailing across the drive way. He said I got over there. He said it was Omni this calf wasn't supposed to be going in there and he caught the calf and threw him across the driveway and he always made quite a point of it. I ate with Grace and Merlin quite a bit when I was at Woodland. Mother and Dad lived at the store after Harold's passing, and Merlin used to say I said to Omni at breakfast Omni you know that's your twenty fifth pancake? And he said it made me so mad I left the house with out eating my breakfast. Well, Merlin would always make humor out of something like that. Merlin of course when Harold was put in as Bishop of the Woodland ward. Merlin was chosen as his first counselor and Harold had to leave quite often with the cattle maybe for a week, ten days. He wanted somebody he could rely on that had ability and good public relations and so he chose Merlin as his first counselor and A. D. Clark as his second. Well, as time went on Merlin wanted challenge of operating the Woodland Ranch on his own. And so he got into the dairy business and Dad backed him in it and he stayed there until he saw what was possibly a more opportune business. He had a chance to go and work with Ike Smith in Kamas so he turned the cow more or less, Dad and Merlin settled. I remember as far as the ranching business was concerned there was one other thing shows Graces true nature. There were lots of fishermen down below Charleston on what we called the Whitting Ranch and they were operating that one summer. The fishermen often wanted to leave a trailer or car or pickup in their yard. One time when they left, they left a bottle of, what they call home brew on the back of Merlin's trailer with a little note underneath it, and it said in appreciation for you letting us park our car in your yard. Grace said, Merlin what are we going to do with it? And Merlin said I don't know what do you think we better do with it? Grace said well, the note was a nice note and it says I hope you enjoy it. She said I think we could enjoy it all right. But let's keep it for a while until it gets real stout. So it was in the heat of the summer and the backroom wasn't exactly air-conditioned. See that glass beer bottle just bubbling and bubbling and Grace would say Merlin when are we going to drink our beer? And another day she would say, Merlin when are we going to drink our beer? Finally they were eating one day and BAM! Grace said oh Merlin now we'll never be able to drink that beer because it's blown up. Well, it worked the pressure got greater and greater and finally it did. It blew up. Then there was the story of Grace, she was helping to paint the old canvas covered sheep camp. It was at the SIMM's place in Charleston when they got everything painted or during the process of painting the woodwork in it. It was quite a bright blue paint they were using why they found a water snake and Grace carries it over and she paints it good and she turns it down the irrigation ditch. In a little while Grandpa Winterton comes carrying it up on the shovel. Well sir, I am really puzzled. I have lived in this country all my life and I never seen a snake like that and it seems harmless I don't think it is poisonous. Well, Grace and Luella busted out laughing and said Daddy that is a water snake and we painted it here an hour or so ago and we turned it down the ditch. Well, another time I was upon the hillside and Lavor David and I had been on the picnic with the school and we took a little side run the girls wanted to go up by a cliff of rock east of Patriarch Daybell's home and the Frank Webster's home. We went up there and we sat down and just visited a while. We finally went down over the mountain and headed for home and the girl for home and Grace said you know I've been watching you kids today with field glasses she said your were sure good kids. Ha, Ha, Ha. Whenever Merlin came to Roosevelt to see Grandpa and he brought Grace with him. They spent quite a bit of time. Merlin had his health problems, as I recall he had some heart murmur and one thing and other. We were quite concerned about Merlin and the last day that I saw Merlin he was to a family reunion. I got there ahead of Carma and our kids, I got a head of Arvin and Bonnie and their children and they were to bring part of the lunch. Well, Merlin and Grace kept saying why don't you dive in to that food. Why don't you dive in and eat what you want to eat. They said it's potluck, you just as well eat no sense in you waiting for them. They'll eat when they get here so I got my plate loaded and they said come over by us. So I went over and sat by Merlin and I visited with him and everything seemed normal. He didn't complain. Some of them as the day wore on left and went home. Among them were myself, Carma and the family. It was in the late evening that we got the telephone call that Merlin was in the Hospital. That he had a heart problem. That he would likely be in the hospital for some time. But then we all had high hopes that it would be a temporary thing. That he would soon be going again. Merlin wasn't concerned about himself. He wasn't concerned about his own problem. But several times he asked about Grace. He was concerned about Grace. He said I worry about Grace and it was that worry that stayed with him to the very last. Merlin was a person that we dearly loved. We thought enough of Merlin and Merlin was close enough to his family that I always felt a kinship to the whole family. There were Erma and Elva, there was Lorna and then there was Darrell and LaVon and Merlin and Wayne. Of course in my youth I used to mess with Wayne a little bit. He was always just a little bit too much for me. Like I said he was just about the only one that I ever remember threw me. But I couldn't quite handle Wayne. Wayne and all of his brothers were all real good friends all through life. Merlin spent lots of time up at Strawberry and different places and I've been with him and we've worked cattle. We've shown cattle. We've worked on fence lines and been on building construction, always the same thing organization. He planned his work and he worked his plan. I don't know that I say a lot more. His life was one of every day routine, breakfast, dinner and supper. I guess if we ate all of our meals at once in the morning so we didn't have to stop for dinner and supper; we could say, well I'll just go to bed right after supper and we wouldn't get anything done. I hope that what I've been able to say here is something that you wanted.
I remember one thing further about Grace; she sang a song for me. They ask her to be in charge of a campaign to raise funds for the ward. It was typical of Grace. I have that recording. She sang the song for us and then Mom Winterton she sang Meet Waving Pines Of Maine.
Clair: So that had to be when Grandma was still alive.
Omni: Yes and that would have been when they were living in the old John Simmons home, Merlin's father's home in Charleston.
Clair: I don't remember much about Grandma Winterton. Mom and Dad were living in Charleston when Grandma died.
Omni: I want to get those recordings that are on wire. I want to get them transposed. I'd kind of liked to have a cord do it magnetically, but I'll have that right shortly now I think.
Clair: Did Mom come up quite often as Grandma got worse?
Omni: Yes, but it was Luella that was handy there and Luella is tops when it comes to sickness, and she was with Dad when he finally passed out of the picture. Luella is trained to handle sick people. She knows how to handle them you know. Moving them from the wheelchair to the bed or from the bed to the wheelchair.
Clair: Is the old home still there in Charleston where they used to live?
Omni: Ya.
Clair: I'd like to get a picture of it, do you know on the streets where it is, or anything, the address?
Omni: Do you know where Sharon Winterton lived?
Clair: I think so?
Omni: You know where Leo Winterton lives? Leo and Gladys lived, Grandfather Winterton's old home. It's Wintertonville. There was Will then there was Grandfather's place that's the old homestead. There were Moroni and Fred. There were Dad, Moroni and Fred that were the original Winterton Brothers. Dad brought them out and then after Dad bought them out why then they sold their homes and Merlin and I went to Magna, Salt Lake area and Fred died, but Fred was ailing and they both died as we would say today relatively young.
Clair: Did Daddy talk any about his grandpa?
Omni: Quite a bit. He spoke of Grandpa Daybell quite a lot.
Clair: Grandpa Winterton had one of the first cars in the valley didn't he?
Omni: Yes, An old Buick Four.
Omni: I remember in Strawberry once Grace was staying with us, with me and my brothers and we went over to the east fertile, and of course we was riding this one horse double and Grace was in the saddle and I was behind. I remember somewhere after we had left the ranch for the ranger station they threw those horses into a dead run and the horse we were on wanted to run. I remember that I was just gradually loosing hold on those straps. I was holding on to those straps finally I started to go and Grace reached over and grabbed me and of course I was pretty young then. We got the horses stopped and got straightened up I guess. I remember that incident.
Clair: Mother, it seems when I talked with her. Mother seems to indicate that as she grew up, that the majority of the time that she stayed home doing most of the things or helping with the things in the house. She never ever went with the family on the trips and things because she was always pretty much needed at home.
Omni: Could have been.
Clair: Do you remember about when Grandpa left and moved to Woodland?
Omni: In the summer of 1927 or spring we went to Woodland and we rented the old White home where Deloy Bysol lives now. In order to have a place Dave offered us a chance to buy his store and his home. They were together; of course we bought the store. In the mean time Mothers niece, Stella Palmer Gardner died with childbirth at the time that Stella was born. Stella of course married Malin Lewis in years later, but a lot of people in the town thought that Stella was Grace's baby. Well, that theory was soon squelched.
Omni: When we had the big fire in 1930.
Clair: What caused the fire, do you know?
Omni: We figured it was over heated lines. Over loaded wiring in the store. They put a bunch of new refrigeration in and all those big motors were running. The wiring was in a heat. Actually in the time create a magnetic field there and any way when this fire hit. One of the things that Grace did she went to Mothers bedroom window. And Stella was asleep in there and Grace said Stella come to Aunt Grace come on through the window. She said, Mama's picture, Mama's picture. Well, we will have to worry about that later dear. Come on come to Aunt Grace. And she came over and Grace lifted her out and kept her from getting burned. That was one that Grace felt that concern and realized what was happening. She was calm and she knew that the first things was save anybody that was in the house.
Clair: Wasn't LaVon a new baby too, she had?
Omni: I think he might have been. I think she got all the babies out though. I was trying to take care of Van's tools while he was on a mission in New Zealand. I had all his tool in a big toolbox in the house. It was a box that I'd built and I had put his tools in it. To take care of them for him while he was gone. They had been, he left them out in the garage, but that garage without any doors on it was too public. There was too many people. I went in there and I figured they will steal his taps and dies and all that sort of stuff so I took it in. I took care of them for him.
Clair: The fire took care of them for him.
Omni: I know there is one tap that is up here in the shop yet out of that set. Little giant set, I think. Hours and hours, night after night Grace and Ted Whitting would get together at the piano and Luella would generally accompany them at the piano. She would sing along with them, but I remember they used to sing Oh how I miss you tonight, Miss you when lights are low, Oh how I need you tonight, More than you'll ever know. I made believe for a while. Hiding each tear with a smile. They would go through that one and then they would start to sing in the valley of the wind where I met her one night in June. As I passed her by, thought I heard a sigh, when the night birds were in tune. Then they would sing all the popular songs of the day. Grace and the girls were beautiful singers. I just loved to hear my sisters sing.
Clair: Mother liked to be in the plays too, and Grandpa John Simmons used to conduct a lot the plays. I gathered from Mother for some reason Grandpa John didn't like Mother to be in the plays very much. So she didn't get to play as much as she would like to have done.
Omni: Well, John Simmons was one of the best. He was really a drama director, and Frank Webster was a prop man, he was good with properties and anything like that. It was really well organized. I remember in the days when Dad was having water problems. All the town voted against Dad and the voted to go with Murdock. There was nobody in that town that knew what the problem was. They didn't realize that J. R. Murdock was selling their water out from under them. Well, they had these agreements. He was given a job by the church to adjudicate the waters of the Provo River, and to look after our people's interest. J. R. wasn't doing it. Dad found out what he was trying to do and he even said to Dad one day, Hyrum I have a chance to make a lot of money on appropriating this water. He said if you'll cooperate with me, he says I cut you in and we will both make the money. Dad wouldn't be bought over. Dad had really gotten a search here you know from the ward. It was Dad's meeting, Dad had called the meeting and Dad told them what was carrying on and Murdock yelled you're a liar and Dad said and so are you. He told his stake president the same thing. Here, here somebody yelled. We'll not have any of that. Dad said well let him stop judging me then. He said if he wants to judge me I'll judge him. Your granddad was one of those that was bought over and he voted to go along with the group and in the still of the night Dad prayed about it and Dad, he laid there and sobbed. He was so hurt. Only his own father and brothers were the only ones that stood by him. They told his attorney that he was dismissed and Dad went back and said well you're not dismissed and Dad took his attorney to Provo, but in the still of the night he said a voice said to him. Hyrum you go to Provo you will find out why this fight has been made against ya. Dad went down and he found out where there was to be this meeting and they were to put everything legally in documents. Dad went down and he got a hold of your Granddad and he said John, you've got to go to Provo with me. I want to show you where he is taking advantage of us. So your Granddad went to Provo with Dad and your Granddad got his eyes opened. Of course John Simmons was one of Dad's main supporters after that. John said well, Hyrum's right. He says there was some skullduggery going on and it came right to court. In the court he tries to put over his play going against what he had agreed with the people. Dad said no that this is not the way it was and John stood by him and said that is not the way it was. It has got to be this way. They agreed this was and that is the way it went down. They were trying to take 30 or 40 feet of water and bypass the valley with it. Now the people in those days with no reservoirs didn't want that water, the high water, see? This was high water. They said we want you people up there to use all the water you can in that pores prairies and it will come to us later, it will slow it up and it will come out in the springs. You go under Grandfathers place all around the hill there above the Deer Creek and the water just pours out of them great big springs. It does right today. When they get through irrigation why here comes the water. In fact it's so pores underneath that they had a pea line stack up above Grandfather's and up above Bill Simmons' and although it was a half or three quarters of a mile down to Grandfathers place it came out in his well. And the well water turned brown. It is believed that your Uncle LaVon died from a germ that he possibly got from the open well Typhoid fever germ that had polluted that upper area.
Clair: Oh ya, and then it had come down through in to their well?
Omni: Ya. John Winterton, Dad's uncle was a great well digger. He could just lay those just as purty and straight. It didn't matter what kind of rock he laid cobble rock so it would stay. When he got through with cobble rock why it was there. If you would open those old wells up many of those wells are still open. Most of them were John Winterton's work and you would look down them and boy they were good.
Clair: Did Daddy have a well on the old farm there, on the John Simmons farm?
Omni: Yes. It is still there. He would have survived except LaVon was on the high school basketball team and the night when he was running a high fever he felt obligated to play on that team. He never complained but he played that game from start to finish for the championship tie off, and they won the game, but at what a cost. LaVon was so weakened from all of that energy lost that he never survived.
Clair: It was at Park City wasn't it?
Omni: It could have been.
Clair: I think it was at Park City. Daddy was on his mission.
Omni: Well anyway, Charleston had the name for Drama. They put on Drama, pageants that had been put on in Salt Lake and people that saw it said that it was as good as the Salt Lake pageantry. Well that was our main entertainment in those days. Charleston have a play, Midway first and second each have a play, Heber first, second and third ward, I think they had three wards in Heber at that time. They would each have a play Center creek, Daniels and Wallsburg I think that was the wards at that time. They would all put their play on first in their home ward. Then Charleston would go to Midway second and Midway second would to say Heber first, Heber first would go over to Center, Center would go over to Daniels and they would rotate those shows until everybody had seen every ones play. In the meantime they would be working up another one. Frank Whitting fell in love with drama. He become so well versed in drama and so well liked, well he had the credentials to take with him, but he was the head of the speech and drama department of the University of Minneapolis, Minnesota for years. In fact I talk to people in the Twin Cities that say oh, we've been over to Whitting's play. Ya, we know about Frank Whitting. When Frank retired they had constructed a new theater on the campus, and they named it the Whitting Theater and that is what it is called even today. Frank retired so to speak came back to Salt Lake, but they said Frank wasn't retired he was spending more time up to the University of Utah for the playhouse than anywhere. But Frank was real good. Here is the point. Frank gave credit for his knowledge, training, enthusiasm for Drama to the church ward and to men like John Simmons, Frank Webster and Eva Williams, Eva Thacker it was at that time, Dave Thacker, and there was Fred Price. Oh there were quite a few and even my Dad you see he belonged to the ward Drama Association. They had a good stage in the chapel and they had some good background and scenery. Your Grandfather fit in well there. He was very instrumental; he was noted in the county as being one of the best.
Clair: Daddy hadn't received his mission call and they were talking about getting married and I guess Grandpa Simmons went to Grandpa Winterton and had a talk about what was happening.
Omni: He said he didn't want his son to marry Grace.
Clair: For some reason and I don't why, but for some reason Grandpa Simmons didn't really care for Mother.
Omni: No.
Clair: Cause it was right after that that Dad got his mission call and they sent him off on his mission.
Omni: They thought that would end it.
Clair: Ya. Then Daddy came home and it wasn't too long after he came home and they got married.
Omni: Grace waited for him. But I think John got to like Grace before.
Clair: I think, as I understand it, when Grandpa was in his later years requested, I don't think he was doing real well and whenever he got a chance to have Mother around to help that who he wanted. I think that changed somewhat. Grandpa Simmons had a pretty tuff life I think and he wasn't really, really strong in the church. Was he really strong in the church?
Omni: I don't believe he was as strong as he might have been. He would say yes I believe it, but he was like J. Golden said how many love the Lord and the people held up their hands and how many would die for the church and there was a few less held up their hands, but pretty much all of them. Then he said how many of you would give $5.00 for the quorum dues? Only one or two held up their hands. They loved the Lord, they believed the church was true buy yet they would not give $5.00.
Both: Laughter.
Omni: I think that's the way it works sometimes.
Clair: I think that at one time that Grandpa Simmons smoked for a while.
Omni: I remember when your Grandfather and as your Dad would say, Uncle Steve had the old horse power thrasher. It was purchased by Nokes, George Nokes I think to start with from the Charleston Co-op and I think that Murdocks' possibly was renting the Co-op at that time and sold the machine and everything. Well a few years ago. It hasn't been so terrible long ago I was up there to Alvin Murdock's at Currant Creek and out in the draw was the old thrasher that old horsepower. So Al Mure told me he used to drive the horses on the sweet grade. Sit in the middle and speak to it. The horse and keep them moving. He said that old thrasher is over there so I went over and checked on it and they told me I could have it if I wanted and if it hadn't been so far away and on old steal wheels I would have probably pulled it out as a relic.
Clair: How long ago was that?
Omni: It has been possibly in the 50's.
Clair: That has been a while.
Omni: But they said the old tally is in the barn you can have it if you want, and I've got it down here. Have you ever seen the old tally?
Clair: What's the tally?
Omni: They didn't have automatic weighing devices. The grain came out of the shoe and into an ogger in the bottom and that poured out into half bushels measures. And then they'd pull that through and a little lever would trip and it would measure half a bushel them they would pull one under and one out. When it was full they would put one under that was empty and pull it through. Each time it would work on that little lever and I would count another half bushel, half a bushel, one bushel, one and a half bushel, two, two and a half, three, three and a half, four, four and a half, five. Even the modern ones are that way, the later ones. They were all mechanically operated. I remember when you Granddad and Steve run that old horsepower. I sat upon it a many a time, day after day and listen to them old tumblers going roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun, roun. See it was executrix. The gears were executrixes and they would go roun, roun, roun, roun but your Dad used to help set that up. He said I used to help stake those old standards where the bumbley bobs went through and the barrings. He said I've helped stake them down many a time. I remember that he did.
Clair: Mother talks about all the work they would go through, the thrashers, they would bring the people in to thrash and then the meals they had to prepare all day long.
Omni: They have got Fred Price he had 425 bushels of oats, a 175 bushels of barley. That's just 600 bushels. Frank Webster had 14 ˝ bushels of oats wheat 41 ˝. bushels and barley 36, total of 80. Now I copied this just they way it was on that machine. They would write the amount down with a lead pencil on the side of the horsepower. Lead pencil shows up good and bright. I remember when that was sold in 1921 I think it was. Your Granddad pulled it out to Currant Creek. Wm., that's Will Winterton he had 1085 of oats and 67 bushels of wheat. Now the Wintertons' were the biggest producers of grain. H. S. Winterton, that's my Dad and that was interesting, after all those years to come along and see my Dad's name written on the side of that old horsepower, 1980 bushels of wheat. Now that was a pretty good thrashing, and 417 bushels of oats that's a little over 2000 bushels, about 2100 bushels of Oats. Then John Simmons, your Grandfather, he had 136 bushels of wheat, 189 bushels of oats, and 191 bushels of barley. Clyde Bonner and I don't see anything on there. Then there is Ed Simmons, and I remembered this. I remembered when they pulled from our place up to Ed Simmons, that's up at George Simmons' he had 127 bushels of seed peas. Parley Edwards had 106 bushel and it doesn't say what it was. George Price now I think he is the father of the Price's that went to Arizona. George Price and it doesn't say how much grain. Tom Allen had 142 bushel of barley and 642 bushel of oats. He had 48 bushels of wheat and then possible in one setting and then he had a 160 bushels of wheat. Harry Watson he had 107 bushels of wheat, 136 bushels of barley and 22 bushels of oats. Well, that 22 bushels of oats is going to feed my bulls down here about one feed and that's a years supply of oats, but those oats were very valuable for the horses. They raised a few oats, you know, for horsepower the same as you'd buy diesel. Then there is the stacker August the eighth barley 95 ˝. Wagstaff now that Wagstaff would be the old postmaster had 89 bushels of wheat. 27 August 1918 now that is an important date. It showed that machine was running in 1918. That would be just a few days before the end of World War I. Then Widdison that would be Uncle Will I think had 201 ˝. J. W. S., that would be your Grandfather again, this would be a different year oats 553 and 135 and 197 and 28 bushels of wheat John Simmons in 1920. I think this was the last year they run it. I think they bought the old steam thrasher about 1921. It was in the fall of 1920 that I think that your Grandfather pulled that old separator into Currant Creek. John Simmons in 1920 had it says all 892. What they have done is added and put the total up on top oats 694 bushels and wheat 198. That is a pretty good thrashing all 892 bushels. I did very thing just the way it showed on the out side of the thrasher.
Clair: So you took this right off the outside of the thrasher? So it stayed on the outside of the thrashers?
Omni: Ya, all through the years.
Clair: And you took that about thirty years ago.
Omni: I was out selling farm machinery at the time. I took the old blanks; I wanted to give this to you. You got the dope here today. I took it over I think it was when your Dad was over there I think that last day. I brought that out and your Dad was there, I brought that old tally out. He was interested in it. I told this story. Your Granddad Winterton said you know when I was a boy I would always leave the thrasher over the weekend at whose ever place they happen to quit on Saturday night. He said it stayed a fathers place one time he said on a Sunday afternoon I went out he said all that stuff I was so curious about so I got down studying that old tally so I flipped the lever and the number jumped. I thought that was interesting so I flipped it again and it jumped again so I took that lever and I went flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip and he said that old number went jump, jump, jump. And he said it was amazing to me that it counted so perfect. Then he thought oh my goodness that's the tally. So I didn't know when it started in at and so I got out of there. He said Monday morning when they came to work. They said it looks to me like somebody has been messing with the tally. He said that he thought that some body was trying to put something over on him and he said he was mad. He said believe me I kept my mouth shut. I said, what machine was that. He said the old Nokes machine. You mean the one that John Simmons and Steve used to run. The very same. I said Dad that tally that you went flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip is up there in the shed. He said where did you get it. I told him how I was over there and further I copied all those names. Well, I wanted this for my life history someday and I kind of been hanging on to it. I've got it stored away.
Clair: What can you tell me about how Mom and Dad acquired the property in Ora?
Omni: Dad dispersed his cattle and signed his property over to the boys but I guess in the late forties or early fifties had a big dispersion sale up here at the auction yard. And Dad wanted to give some of his property to his daughters and sons-in-laws and so I was interested in some of that land down there and I never thought of it in that light. I said this land is so cheap I' buy some of it so Dad goes down and looks at it. And Austin Warden wanted us to buy some of that land and he kept preaching to me about what a good thing it was. And that it was available so we found out where to go and we bought from B. O. Colton he was kind of a big shot and it was our money that developed Pelican Lake, put the damn in and the gates and so on. And Dad bought the land and he gave some to your Dad and Mom with Monte and LuElla, he gave one place to Vern and Ruth and he bought another place and he gave it to Elmer and Eva. It wasn't long until the bird refuge wanted Elmer's and Eva's and Elmer was in New Zealand you know on church business so they conferred with him by letter and he sold out to them. Then Merlin and Monte decided to sell theirs because Monte said he didn't have time to run a store. Merlin said he didn't have time to go down and didn't feel like working it alone.
Clair: We spent some time. I don't know how long. We spent there but we spent some time there. Cause Daddy bought that Minneapolis Moline Tractor from him. Dad tried to farm it, but I guess the location of the farm made it so that he'd get seed planted and just coming and the wind would come along and the sandy soil would just.
Omni: Ya. Not only that but I think that it was kind of in the low area and I think it might have been had too much mineral to take off too quick. You'd never believe that is the same country today. You go down there, and there is these big long wheel lines and that country is just farms as far as you can see. It is loaded with alfalfa. Lots of alfalfa raised there. I think they are raising beans now.
Clair: I wonder if the old Quonset is still there?
Omni: The Quonset is still there.
Clair: I'd like to go take a picture of that sometime.
Omni: The last time I was down there I could see the Quonset down there. Ya, that was part of Grandpa's estate he gave them. Of course they sold out. Vern didn't get much out of his. It was one of those quick force sales. But he was smart enough to keep his oil rights. And I don't know if the other had oil rights? I believe it did. If your Dad and LaMont didn't keep their oil rights then they lost those.
Clair: As I understood it I didn't think that Dad ever had the oil rights.
Omni: I doubt he ever did.
Clair: I think that was the problem. In fact we drilled a well on it and they drilled and they hit natural gas on the well, but I don't think they had the oil right. I think the oil rights are still with the Indians or what ever. I didn't know that Mom and Dad ever had them.
Omni: Well, I don't know. I don't even remember the history of titles, what do they call it? Abstract. I don't know what the abstract says about it.
Clair: Cause I remember when they hit natural gas out there Daddy said it doesn't do us any good because we don't own the oil rights. So they just locked it up and that was it.
End of Tape
(While there was other information on the tapes it did not apply here. We would like to give a special thank you to Omni Winterton and Clair Simmons for recording this information. With out their effort we would not have much of this information.)


Prayer at the casket: Oren Simmons

Prelude Music: I Know That My Redeemer Lives & other songs

Bishop Edwards: Good morning brothers and sisters. It's a privilege and an honor for me to be here with you this morning. Maybe I should introduce myself to you. I'm Bishop Edwards and I'm from Tempe, Arizona and I've had the blessing of being the bishop to Brother and Sister Simmons ward at least three years and I was in the bishopric for eight years more I have known them for that long. As we were driving up through the canyon this morning, as Margaret and I and the children were talking, we hadn't been to an area that had been so beautiful. And I couldn't help believe and feel that Brother Simmons would want to come home to such a beautiful, beautiful area, in the world really. I want to express my love to the family and to Brother Jack Simmons for allowing me to have this opportunity. He was going to officiate this morning but I really couldn't say anything to the family about me coming up because I didn't know if I was going to make it or not. We had another High Priest in our ward that died Sunday also and I didn't know how those arrangements were going to go so I had to wait to see how things worked out. In brother Ralph's hands he helped build the Tempe along with one other brother who were killed in an accident Sunday so any way it worked out so I could get here. I am very honored about that.

Our prelude music has been played by Sister Colleen Sunstrom, Merlin's niece. And we would like to open our services this day with an invocation given by a grandson Brother Dwayne Simmons, if we could have that invocation at this time please?

Prayer by Dwayne Simmons

Bishop Edwards: I appreciate the beautiful prayer that has been offered. You know as we drove up to the chapel here I felt the very warm comfortable feeling, as it would be home. I was always kind of jealous in the summer time. When summer time came around and Grace and Merlin would be leaving me from my ward I couldn't understand why they couldn't stay in our ward where we had the warmth and comfort there too. So it really made me kind jealous to have them leave me, but as we drove up here that jealousy isn't anymore I'm telling you I can understand why they chose so often to come home here. What a beautiful place to come home to. We will be favored to hear a musical number selection sung by Tony Oren Simmons a grandson and he will sing Golden Gate Open To Me he will be accompanied by Kim Simmons a grandson. After the musical number our first speaker will be LaVon Simmons, Brother Simmons son, and then Oren Simmons his other son and then we will hear from Jack Simmons his son too. Then we will have a musical selection a medley of favorites by Kim Simmons. We'll go with our program thus far.

Tony Oren Simmons sings: Golden Gate Open To Me

LaVon Simmons: Therefore, talked someone, in all the learnings of my father. I think I had such a heritage and my brothers. And I hope that through learning obedience to the gospel that we can continue on with the name, which my father has left. I would like to share with you some of those things and experiences, which have brought me and my father so close. Being the first of four children I had the opportunity to be with father I used to say that I was a year older than my youngest brother was. I just found out the other day that he is fourteen months younger than I am. He wanted to be as young as he could be. I always wanted to stay as close to him as possible. I can remember my first horse back ride with my father. I was very small. I must have been very small because my legs stuck out like this. And as I was hanging on to him he said son you don't need to pop my buttons off. I guess buttons were expensive in that time during the depression. I don't remember too much about it, my parents could take care of me. I can remember growing up and beginning school and my father being industrious, not wanting to waste water, needed to irrigate at night took me at times to carry the lantern beside of him so he could see. And I remember one particular night when the water was not quite completed he said well we will just lay down here and rest for a moment. Till it gets here and he said if you will just keep you hands up to the front of you, you'll feel when the water gets here so you can go to sleep. And I did so and it worked.

He was a man of the priesthood, he believed in honoring it. He also believed in the laying on of hands. My brothers can testify to that. As I got older an my last brother came home I used to reprimand my father now and them, and tell him that his last son would probably go to hell if he did not use the same tactics he used on us. But you know the power of example is very strong through kindness, love and consideration he raised the younger son. I think he will far out go the rest of us. He was a good example to us. I had the opportunity of working at different times with my father and one of these times as he was working for the church, on the church farm, we had many good experiences there and he taught me many things. And after a while because of allergies I felt it was necessary to get away from the farm and I moved to Arizona. My father after a while, had allergies also, felt that he needed to get away from agriculture and he went to become the custodian for the school, of the Granite school district. And as we would come up here on vacation and visited the people they would tell us how well they loved and appreciated my father and how children loved and appreciated them. And a few years later my parents were in Tempe Arizona with me visiting at Christmas time. Down there at Christmas time you can run around in your shirtsleeves and still be a little bit warm. And we were just finishing up one of the chapels down there. And one of the good bishops there was kind enough to interview my father and tell him about the position that was coming for custodian. And Dad at the time didn't know if he would accept it or take it or anything. But he came back up here for a while but when that building was completed they call him and ask him. They decided to come down. It was a blessing for us. Dad was well liked and Mom wherever they went. Dad worked up until the time, and in fact they asked for mandatory retirement for custodians for the church unless they were asked to stay on again. And for three years after he was supposed to retire he was asked and he did stay and then due to health My father said when I can't do the job in the way I see fit I won't work. He said I feel it best I don't take it any longer and he gave it up. I'd like to relate a little experience to you. One of the last opportunities I had of working with my father, he being retired. A little over a year ago I was superintendent over a construction of a junior high school which was being built in the mountains down there, eighty miles from where I lived. It was a little bit too far to travel back and forth and so I was staying up there but later on in the job I needed somebody to labor for me and to help out. Well, Dad's health wasn't good at that time either. He couldn't handle a whole days work. Yet he did desire to be doing something so I went to my employer and I said to him my father has agreed to go work for me if he can work two hours and turn in one hours time. Now that must be against the law of the land I don't know. Many people would look down upon that and say that's not right. But my father wanted to have something to do and he knew that he wasn't capable of doing what he had done before. And they wanted to have him and so I had the privilege of having both Mom and Dad with me for a time. And we could talk and chat about old times. Dad loves to listen to cassette tapes. He loves music but he also loves the gospel. And he had tapes and I just loved to listen to. He had all the tapes from the conferences. And all the tapes he could get hold of, of the devotional talks given at BYU. To those who are seeking for a way in life and he would listen to those things. One of those tapes was on repentance and forgiveness and we would listen to that one over and over again. Weeding families brothers and sisters. I think this is one of the greatest things in life is the gospel and if there were a message that my father would like to leave with you here today and I am sure there is. He being with a quorum with others would say this all of us need to consider perfecting our own lives. For it is only through perfecting our lives and being obedient to the gospel that we can in one time again be reunited together. And I think too often we fail to comprehend what obedience means. It means to be obedient to the will of our Father in Heaven to his laws, rules and regulations. This tape that we would listened to in the 64 section of the Doctrine and Covenant there are about three verses I would like to read at this time. And he would read these over: My disciples in days of old sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another their sins. And forgave not one another in their hearts. And for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened wherefore I say unto you, ye ought to forgive one another for he that forgive not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord, for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. Dad and I would read this and he would contemplate upon that. And he would try and say if I understand the fullness of that. He would say son, forgiveness isn't in waiting for the other one to come and ask you for forgiveness. It's going to that individual and seeking forgiveness because one who's been wronged it doesn't mean waiting for the other one to come into our path. That last line says the one who will not seek forgiveness has the greater sin. And I know I've been guilty of that many times. We're family and the turn out and the people who have come by here have represented that. Friends, relatives we go back far enough and we are all connected. I leave this testimony with you, saying that I love my Mom and my father and I want do all I can to sustain her and to support her in those things she desires to do. And I say this in the name of thy son Jesus Christ, Amen.

Oren Simmons: The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away blessed be the name of the Lord. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity as I have many times as people come into our state who are not members of the church and after the convention is over I spend and hour or two at the temple grounds with them. To let them know a little bit about we people that they call Mormons. Where many have heard different things and over the eight years as many of these people have come in the majority of them have all spent their time if they have liked it or not. They have spent their time at the temple grounds. I remember one guy said, what a thrill, he said generally I fly into a town all I see is the road on the way to the motel and then the motel and then the show, hair show, and then back out and I never see anything, what a thrill. I had one of the gentlemen that was hair stylist of the year that came in and it was his first show that he did after he was put in as hair stylist of the year and he said. After it was all over and we went through the tour and seen all the films. I'd been through them forward and back and if I couldn't get one I'd take him to another one because I didn't want to loose any time. But he said you know, and he told me about a year ago I saw him in Florida and he said you know that evening in Salt Lake City set the stage for me. For my tour of duty that year and a while later I saw him and he introduced me to his wife and he said this is the guy I was telling you about. I want to relate back to this film I keep seeing all the time. Mans Search For Happiness and as I sit there by these gentlemen and look at them and then you hope they are taking it all in because you want them to believe the same as we believe and all and ya take a lot of things for granted. The great plan, we are born, we live and we must die. What we do in this life, is our decision to make based on base desires, greed, lust, vanity, or whether we choose the way of our Heavenly Father. In righteous living in obeying the commandments of God. What we do we have our own choice, but God, our Father, will have the final say about our actions here on earth. Families are forever. Dad, Families are forever! Mom we're forever.

'Remember that as a small boy we got a brand new wagon it was the largest wagon that they built in those days. You can get them in different sizes now day anywhere from little tiny ones the size of this truck on up. But I had a steer that was the tamest steer you ever saw and I could crawl on it and ride it and I could pat it 'the side of the head and it would go one way and it would go the other way. I decided I was gonna to break it to pull. So I got my lariat, or Dad's lariat, and I put a whip around its neck and fixed it so it wouldn't slide then I put a couple of tugs back to this wagon. Dad was out milking cows and LaVon. Of course, I couldn't find anything else to do but try and break that calf. Well I did, that calf looked back there and I nudged a little bit and then I'd move and I kind of lifted the rope a little bit and didn't move all at once he took one step and he felt that wagon move. You know there was a piece of that wagon in every corner of that pasture. But I got right out. Dad came running out, Mother came running out. Dad looked at me and didn't have to say anything. He said, I think probably it would be a good idea if you went to your room without your supper. And I said, I think probably it would. We learned to work together with Dad seemed like when you were working with Dad you never got tired. Mother worked for hours and hours with us mowing right out in the fields, milking cows, mowing hay. I have to share a little story about Dad, I guess he can't remember it, but I'll bet he can now, but Mother can remember it. It was down on the Whitting place and Mother was complaining about all the housework and Dad said well I'll do the housework and you milk the cow Mother. You take care of the cows and do the chores. We only had a couple of cows. I can remember running up and down the railroad tracks picking up now and them. So Mother could hear Dad pumping water, we had a pump there, and she was down there getting her chores done she thought boy, he's busy he's cleaning up the house. Everything will be spotless when I get there. So she finished her job and went across the road, the barn was across the road. We were just little tikes at the time. Dad drew some water, heated it up, taking a bath, shaved. Man, he looked great. Dad also taught us by example. He lived a good life, he believed, he taught us not only to work, but to the best of his ability he taught us what we should do, honor our father and our mother, our Heavenly Father. I remember one time I got, LaVon calls it laying on of hands, just because I sassed my mother a little bit, and I appreciate him for that. Because it seems like when you are working together like that, when you are working as a family, everybody has fun. Everybody working together the load is light the work is easy and much is accomplished. You know, by the time I was twenty years old Mom and Dad had moved about eighteen times. But us boys we found them every time. They couldn't loose us. I guess, I would like to say a few words when I heard this news about Dad, this shock, we rushed to the hospital to comfort, to find out how serious, which we didn't know. I met Darrell and Merleen as we were going in-----. And I never thought too much, I thought well, Dad really hadn't talked to me very much about his problems. May any of us, maybe any of us, maybe LaVon more than any of us. And not any of us really realized that he wasn't as well as we would liked to have had him. But as we went in that night he was given a blessing by his sons. Everything seemed to be fine. Dad was doing good. And we decided we would kind of take turns. Me, kind of pushy I guess said I'll stay the night and Jack said well I'll come back in the morning. Well, I went back in with Dad and I kept looking over at him they gave him a shot to ease the pain a little bit. He said I sure worry about Mother. You know with all the pain that Dad had uncomfortableness the things that he worried most about was Mother. He looked over at me and said that bench is sure getting hard isn't it. I was sitting in a chair and I said you just rest. I could tell he was a little uneasy. And I went up and I put my hand on his forehead and I said I love you Dad. All your boys love you and your wife loves you. And then in a small way I said a few words apologizing maybe for not being able to do more than I had for him. And he said everybody has helped me and I appreciate all these things. I appreciate my family and I love them. Shortly after that is when he had, all of a sudden his second attack. Shortly they ask me to leave the room and I found a little room that was vacant and I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father. And I said that I was sorry for a lot of my lack of being able to do maybe the things I was supposed to and asked for help and support, forgiveness. But asked Jan to bless my father that if it was his will and that he could be with us then it would be so and if it were his will that he should leave then like it says the Lord is the one who will make that final choice. And Dad was needed home. I am thankful I had the opportunity to spend the few hours with him. I'll remember it the rest of my life until I embrace again in the eternities. What a thrill it is that families, to be families, to be together to be able to work together. To love each other sure we had problems. Everybody has problems. I guess that is why we have, like LaVon says, forgiveness and repentance, but we've all got a long ways to go, and I know, I've got a long ways to go. I want my Mother to know that I support her in all she does and in all her decisions. And whatever me, or my family can do and I'm sure the boys feel the same way to make her more comfortable this is our goal, and to be able to return together as a family. Families are forever. I thank Dad for the chance of being able to talk because I didn't think I could. I do this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Jack Simmons: I pray for strength, for help, I tell you I am grateful that strength finally came in the form of a Bishop from Arizona. You know my Dad loved life, he loved people, and he enjoyed things. And he'd be awfully unhappy if everything was done on a serious note. If you really knew my Dad he wasn't always serious except if you did something wrong. But you know after Dad passed away and the other day we were trying to get the program together and make all the decisions and things and we were over to Oren's and the family was all gathered around. And you know some times things get a little bit hectic and you are trying to make decisions and everything doesn't go just right all the time. But anyway I sat there, I guess I made a little bit light once or twice and I just kind of sat back and look at my brothers and family and I thought gall, what great wonderful guys. What a privilege to be a part with this group. You know and they were busy and they weren't listening too close and I said you know I'm just kind of proud of you guys, and they said and we're getting kind of tired of you too. (This was not an actual thing which happened to Merlin and Grace but a parable which showed how Merlin changed.) Let me tell you a little story that kind of exemplifies my Dad a year or so ago why my Dad had been doing quite a bit of studying. Thinking he came home and met Mom in the doorway, He said you know Mom he says don't you kind of think that since I hold the priesthood that I'm the man of the house that you kind of ought to honor me. Mom said yeah, I think so. That went well. He said, when I come home at night maybe you could meet me at the door and give me a big hug and a squeeze, usher me in the living room, find my slippers for me; get the paper, get the footstool, make me comfortable. And then maybe you could just top it off with a nice tall cool lemonade. Mom said I think that would be nice. So the next day Dad comes home; he opens the door and stands, Mom didn't show up. He said, well I guess she just forgot. He went in the other room and got his things. Then he went out to get him a glass of water and he said, well I thought we decided we were going to honor me and Mom said oh yeah, I think it is a good idea. So the next day he came home and she still didn't meet him and he thought we I guess I just have to love Mom into it. So Saturday came and Mom was going shopping she was getting ready to go and Dad changed his clothes got all ready to go with Mom and he said is it all right if I go shopping with you? And Mom said yeah after she got over the shock. So they went out and did the shopping and she went around picking up their things. Mom kind of thought Dad would fill up the cart with candy and rolls, but he didn't. They went on and she thought he is going to growl about the things I'm buying, but he didn't. They go to the check stand; well, he'll really blow his stack when he has to make out the check. Well, Dad was a perfect gentleman. Then next several weeks he just really mothered Mom. He did the dishes; he vacuumed the floor, he cleaned up. In the bedroom he even gathered up his dirty clothes and put them in the hamper; you know, not on it or next to it but in it. Even squeezed the toothpaste out the last drop. You know, and then it finally happened, home, meet in the doorway, big hug and a squeeze, ushered into the living room, and sat down into the chair, slippers fetched and the paper got. And just to top the whole thing off a tall glass of lemonade. Only instead of Dad in the chair it was Mom. But you know that's the way Dad wanted it. And as I've watched Dad through his life, he is like the rest of us. He wasn't perfect, but I watched him over come his problems and I watched him grow and become a great man. He has always been a great man, but the thing that really makes a person great and special is the fact to be able to change and I watched my Dad change continually.

Dad, you know he came from the old school, from the old times, and he went through a lot of things that we don't know. And there are two or three stories I want to tell you about Dad so you can kind of know Dad. When he was about eleven or twelve he and his Dad, they went out and hitched up the team. And his younger brother went with him and Dad went to the mountains with his little brother to cut a load of wood and they stayed over night. They cut out the load of wood and came home the next day. When he was about fourteen or so they were over across Deer Creek up in the mountains over here and he and his brother were alone and many times he has told me this story. As they were there to cut the wood for firewood why the horses began to winnie and to fight and finally broke the ropes and ran. Of course the road traveled quite a ways around and he and his brother realized what had happened and broke and took a short cut down through the trees and the brush and caught them on the bend down below. They were able to cut the horses off and stop them. The next morning they found big bear tracks where a bear had come through camp. You know I used to cut wood with Dad, cut firewood, and he used to tell me these stories by the hours. You know my Dad didn't have to have a lot of money to have a good time. Back in those days they didn't have a lot of money, but some of you know his story and maybe some of you don't. When Mom and Dad got married they lived up in Woodland and Grandpa Winterton had a store up there and some people maybe had a hard time paying off the bill why, Grandpa Winterton let them go out behind the store and chop wood. They had a big pile of wood out behind the store. So when Dad and Mom got married, back in them days they used too shivery a lot, they would separate the new husband and wife and they might keep them a part for a week. So Uncle Omni goes out in the woodpile and he stacks up the wood and he built a little one-room house right in the middle of the woodpile. When they came to get my Mom and Dad that night why they just slipped into this little house. Uncle Omni had put a bed in there and a light and so on and then they threw wood over the doorway and when they came they couldn't find them. And the next day why the same thing happened about evening time why all of a sudden my folks would disappear. So you might say in order to save a lot of money my folks spent the first week honeymooning in the woodpile. You know my Dad wasn't a nansy pansy and he told me a story several times that I just thrilled in. He and Uncle Clair, you know, they were the best of buddies, and I don't look at Uncle Clair, cause it is pretty hard to talk when you look at Uncle Clair. He breaks down more than the rest of us. But anyway, they were up in the Silver Meadows up above Woodland cutting firewood again. I think they spent a lot of their time cutting firewood. They each had a team and they had been up and had loaded up their loads together and as they came over and headed down the hill, this was in the wintertime, the roads were icy and it was cold that morning. Being an adventuresome type, sometimes they wouldn't put on a ruff lock, and what a ruff lock was is where you have a steep area to traverse you would wrap chains around the runners and tie them up that would slow you down. Well, he wasn't one to waste time so they came to the top of the hill. Uncle Clair said I'm not going to put my ruff lock on today, Dad said well, if your not I'm not. They came to the top of the hill and Uncle Clair was first and kicked the team over he said put your ruff lock on. Well about the time he was out of the sound of his voice Dad kicked his over and down to the bottom of the hill they went. My Dad said them horses, as they would come forward they would try to hold the sleigh back and they would leap and they were going the length of the sleigh every time their feet came off the ground. And then of course Uncle Clair being out in front they broke the neck yoke and they lost a sleigh out in the snow. Several times they did this. My Dad would tell me when you get to the end then you've got to kick the horses and get them going because it they don't run faster than the sleigh then you don't make the bend and then the sleigh pushes the horse out in the snow. Several times they didn't make the bends and then they'd have to unhook the teams and unload the wood and pull the sleighs back out on the road and then reload the wood.

My Dad was a great teacher, never taught school, but he had the ability to put things across to the youth and to people. I see many individuals here that spent time in Colorado. Dad and Uncle Clair went to Colorado to manage a multi thousand-acre ranch, it was kind of a two-ranch affair and Dad took one and Uncle Clair took the other. But they had acres and acres of meadow hay and the talk was that no one had ever been able to put up all the hay that they couldn't get the help to do it and they couldn't accomplish the task. My Dad took a bunch of high school boys Juniors and seniors and some just out of high school and took them out there and they mowed the hay and they put it up loose, and many a day they put up four stacks of hay. Which necessitated setting up a stacker, fastening it down, and building a stack. Then they would move the stacker to another place. If something had to be done Dad could do it. He would stick to the task mentions of the church farm I spent quit a bit of time with my Dad on the church farm. We had a field of peas some fifteen, twenty acres I don't remember just how many, there about. We had a piece of ground and the piece of ground had always been watered from west to east and as you looked at that piece of ground it looked just perfect to water it from north to south. That was the way it was laid out, we talked it over, Dad said I think we ought to change that we ought to mark that the other way and so we marked it off. It came time to water them peas and we put the water out, but not having the fine instruments we found out all of a sudden for some distant across them peas even though it looked like it was down hill it was about a ten inch rise. There we were, we had twenty-four hour water turn and them peas had to be watered or we would loose them. He said boy we've got a job to do, I said yeah. He said we got to do it. Yeah and we went to work. We got the shovels and we got sticks and we got bails of hay and we dug and we shoveled and twenty four hours later that field was watered and we left. I remember we had a field and when it came up in the spring it was just June grass and we cut one crop of and this crop turned out to be pretty good and Dad said we're not going to get anything else off that. He said I think we better plow it up and plant some corn in there and it was late in the year and tuff to plow too. So we decided we would plow it and all the local farmers went by and they'd shake their heads it would never work. We went ahead and plowed it and worked the ground and we planted it and we crossed our fingers. Finally the corn started to show a little bit and we were able to mark it off and water it up and we had a beautiful field of corn there. It was because he knew he could do it. Things didn't shake Dad up too much he and I were in the firewood business for a while raising some extra money to put my little brother on his mission, and we needed some extra cash. We though one of the ways of accomplishing this was to sell firewood. We got wood up above Kamas and every time we would go we would manage to get a load, nothing ever stopped us. We even fell a tree across the truck and smashed the cab to the flooring and jacked the cab back up and we still got our load. One time in particular, I remember we were going up and it was just breaking daylight, the sun was just coming up and we were doing about fifty miles an hour up around a bend. All of a sudden here come a young heifer of the mountain and she was running just as hard as she could go and I knew we were in trouble. All of a sudden there she was. I applied the brakes and this heifer run like mad and she got there the same time we did and she just barely got her head and shoulder past the front of the truck. Here we are doing about forty miles an hour and with that four hundred pounds or so hit the front of that truck, that truck turned sideways and down over the embankment we went and the boulders were twelve, fourteen inches in diameter. The door flew open and I can remember and I was hanging on to that steering wheel for everything I had. Course there was nothing for Dad to hang on to I was all that was keeping Dad in the truck. And I knew that I couldn't hanging on to that wheel and I just hung for all I was worth because of the force going sideways I just knew any second I was going out that door. But I hung on and finally with the help of the Lord we came out of that and went over the top of a couple of trees and through a fence. We stretched that fence way out into the field. It looked like a bow and arrow. My Dad said boy you didn't even kill the engine. I'd like to say this year that Dad had a great desire to come back. He left a little sooner than usual, had lots of things to do. But I know that if he had written the end of his life this is the way he'd wrote it. Other than the fact that it would be hard for Mom for a while, but I know he loves you and that he is there waiting. That he is preparing a place for you and for us. I'd like to pay a tribute to my Dad. That I heard paid to him in a stake conference by Apostle Gordon B. Hinkley at that time Dad was working on a stake ranch and President Hinkley said in conference Brother Simmons takes care of that church ranch as if it were his own. I pray that I might live up to the example that my father has set for me; that I might have the strength and courage to put my life in order and to keep it there. And I might just say that this time Dad's laid down the ball, you might say, that we as a family we intend to pick that ball up. And we're going to take it weather it is in the capacity of running interference or carrying the ball or calling the signal we're going to do our best. And we're going to do it and we're going to put that ball in the end zone. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Musical Number by Kim Simmons: Somewhere My Love, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Memories, Somewhere My Love

Bishop Edwards: I would hope that as Tony or Kim would visit Tempe, Arizona that they would allow us to have the joy of hearing their talent. For they are truly invited to participate in our ward as they would ever come down to Tempe. We would now like to hear a tribute to Brother Simmons by his son Clair. We'll hear from Clair at this time.

Clair Simmons: I'm the baby of the family. Daddy had me last because I bawled the most. But I hope that you feel the spirit that is here. Short time ago I had a chance to spend time with Father and I wrote some things down. In the tribute to my Father, the tribute is from all the boys. For it would have been the things that he would have said, that they would have said to him in the times of their lives and have so many times.
Today is your day to be remembered, but I want you to know that in our lives you are remembered everyday. Everyday we are blessed by your love, and the council that you give to each of us. Even though we are older and married you are a special father in every sense of the word. We love and honor and cherish the name that you and mother have blessed us with. And grateful that my children and the children of all my brothers have known you. I sit on the porch and Janet is playing the piano the line of the first song says where love is there is God also. But I say where my father is there is love also. No father, it is not all the games we played as we went on fishing trips which we never went on, or the things that we did as a child, it's the way that you taught me to succeed as a man. How you pick me up and carried me in all the times of need. Your faith and trust that you placed in us whatever we did in our lives. You can not remain on earth forever,
but in spirit you are with us and all of our children. You will never be forgotten, but shall remain forever, the most wonderful father who loves his sons. Here seated on the stand and front rows of this chapel is the product of your love and years, your sons from short to tall, your grandchildren and great grandchildren both big and small. Who love you and will miss your smile and soft white hair. Your life has been our light, your example, our strength. You gave us the most special gift which I didn't recognize until I was twenty eight years of age. This gift I now cherish, along with my brothers more than anything in this world. Let me tell you how you gave this worth while gift to us. It was November and it was a cloudy day as I drove down the canyon. I was coming from Houston, Texas home to visit the family. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon as I drove across Strawberry I thought of all the good things and as we went down past Center canyon and thought of all the deer hunts we spent together. I enjoyed all the memories and drove into Heber, City and I had to stop for gas. So I stopped at the little gas station up here the Phillip's 66 Mangum's gas station. Filled my car with gas and went inside to pay for it.
I took my checkbook wrote out a check and gave it to Mrs. Mangum and reached in for my wallet to get my identification. She looked at the upper left-hand corner and saw the name Clair Simmons. She said whose boy are you? I said I'm Merlin Simmons' boy.
She pushed my wallet back she said keep you wallet in your pocket, you'd don't need any identification Simmons is all I need. (LaVon will you come up here, the littlest one on the end, Oren, Jack, from short to tall) Yes father the greatest gift you gave us boys
was the day you held us in your arms and gave us you name and a blessing. You got it from your father it's all he had to give. So it's yours to use and cherish for as long as you may live. If you loose the watch he gave you that can always be replaced. But a black mark on your name son can never be erased. It was clean the day you got it and a worth name it was. When he got it from his father there was no dishonor there. So make sure you guard it wisely after all is said and done. You'll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your son. We boys are proud to bare your name just as proud as we can be.
We will keep it bright and shiny through out all eternity. Just like the strong example we gave it to our sons. And we ask that you remember boys how it sparkles in the sun. Yes, we'll keep the name you gave us and live the gospel plan. Till our time has come just as yours and we return to you again. We love you father we will do your last request. And take care of our mother that we love.

Bishop Edwards: Much has been said this day about a very strong honorable man and I don't believe all that could have been said has been said about Merlin. As I have known Brother Simmons for the few years that I have there hasn't been any boasting in anything that has been said today. Everything that has been said is true. I remember just a few months ago as I sat with Brother Simmons as I interview him for, as it turns out now to be his last temple recommend which turns out to be his permanent one. He won't need to renew it any more. Because it will be his forever. I was always impressed with him to be a teacher to me who was a Bishop who sat at his feet. I've been a member of the church for a short time. And I need to learn by example and as we all are, we are pretty proud, we don't want to look dumb or stupid so we kind of like to reap from those who know and are bright and we attach ourselves to them and we learn from their example. As I would ask Brother Simmons the particular questions he would sit there and search out his mind and to me, it seemed like it would be a formality of me signing my name and him signing his name and me giving him his temple recommend. But that wasn't good enough for him. He need to search out his mind to make sure that everything was in order. And I would ask him the question each time that it was him. I knew what the answer would be but I wanted to sit there at his feet and hear him explain to me and I would ask him do you love your wife. Even though I made him cry I ask him anyway. Because I knew what was going to happen after I ask him that question. He would sit there and talk with me for a long time after. And I know I would always interview Sister Simmons first and she would go out in the forier and wait and Brother Simmons would take forever to come out. But it was just because he was teaching me and I was talking with him and learning about he and Sister Simmons. But he would sit there with the biggest tears in his eyes and explain how much he loved his wife. But he didn't think that he was worthy to have such an honorable woman to be his wife. And he was still striving and trying to do those things that were necessary to prove his love to his bride. And that is something I thought was a great example to me. I refer, as I mean a young man and his wife as they come into the ward I would always ask him about his bride. And he would say I didn't just get married I've been married for four years. Well, when did she stop being your bride? Then he would stop and listen a moment, but I've learned it from Brother Simmons he felt that Grace was his bride. The day he married and she would be his bride forever. That is the way he felt about her and I always remembered that. You grandchildren a lot of things have been said today. Clair had mentioned some pretty and straightforward strong direction not only as a tribute to his father but as words to you grandchildren. It's a privilege I feel in your case that the patriarch of your family has gone on to prepare that mansion before you and he is there waiting for you. You have got a tremendous job to do a head of yourselves. For you have to live worthy to be with this honorable man. And I am sure as your Grandfather sat beside me in my office that he is standing right here beside me trying to keep me from being nervous. And encouraging me to have the strength to stand here before family who I feel that I know very much even though I have just met you today. Grandchildren be strong remember your heritage remember the blood that flows in your veins remember what you must do and what you must continue to do. To be able to walk into a community no matter where it is all over this world and as they would know that you are from the Simmons heritage that would be good enough for whoever would be talking with you. Brother Simmons when he was baptized he made a covenant with Heavenly Father that he would be a witness, an example of our elder brother Jesus Christ. Unfortunately there are a lot of us that we agree to that when we are baptized and there are some years in between there, where we kind of forget what we are supposed to be doing. I feel that Merlin has lived his life as an example and as a Mosiah who tells us what fear do we have to be baptized and we are to be baptized to live the example of Jesus Christ. No matter where we're at and what we're doing even until death. And I know that Heavenly Father is proud this day that his son, Merlin Simmons lived his life, all of his life that he was an example. Not only to his grandchildren, to his sons, to his brothers, to his--------------------------_______________________________________________and I look forward to the day that I will be able to be with him again in the spirit world. And I am sure that just as much fun and hard work as he has preformed here that he will be inclined to do the same thing to prepare his way for all of us. I want you to know that I know that this church is true, ____________________________________My mother died and my brothers called me and ask me if I would come back to Pennsylvania to handle the funeral services for my mother they didn't want to have the Catholic service. It was quite an honor to me for them to feel that way, even though as yet none of them are baptized, but I feel that it will be that way. But as we were in the funeral home friends of the family were sitting there this one lady didn't know who I was, but I was standing by the casket watching my mother. My mother was very forward in what she would say and very frank. She liked to have fun too. This lady said I wonder, I bet Sofi is kind of laughing and having a good time, and here we are sad of her passing. And I turned around to this lady and said, you know it is the responsibility of the spirit of the body to remain with the body until it is buried and to see that everything goes well. She said you ought to be a preacher. I said it just so happens I'm a bishop in a Mormon Church. We got to talking and she had mentioned wanted to know if there was life after death. I had the opportunity to teach her. I feel good because of the testimony that I have you know the plan of salvation, that we have a living God and our elder brother Jesus Christ lives. That they are waiting with open arms of us along with our family and loved ones and Brother Simmons will be waiting for all of us. I bear testimony that this is all real and true and Sister Simmons I would not have missed this day for anything I was glad that things could work out proper in Arizona that I could be here with you. I didn't seek to officiate this day. I'm honored for this. All I wanted to do is to be beside you. You know Margaret and our children as we were coming up they wanted to be with you too. You've been grandparents to the children in our ward. They love you, the ward members in Tempe, Arizona Stake are tremendously shocked and grieved of the passing of Brother Simmons, but they wanted me to express to you their love and their thoughts and prayers will be with you as you are here. And if it would be if you would come home with us for a time we'll look forward to having you with us again. I bear this testimony and close this testimony to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

End of Tape