Life History of Blanche Matkin Bodily
(By Arlie Matkin Bodily Rawlins Matkin)
Blanche Matkin was born in Hyde Park, Utah on December 18, 1884. She was born to Samuel Matkin and Permelia Julia Drury. She was the 2nd child. The first being a boy (Orson) born in 1883 lived only a few months. George was born in 1887.
Their father was a polygamist and he left his family, he also left Aunt Sarah’s mother and children and went to Canada with another wife. Mom always had a bitter feeling about it. He didn’t leave them anything to live on and times were very hard.
When Mom was about 12, grandma left Hyde Park and went to Swan Lake, Idaho to homestead 160 acres. Uncle George stayed and worked for someone and earned enough money to buy a wagon which they needed very badly. When he got up there he helped plow and get the ground ready to plant. He also built the old log house with some help. (It still stands.) The ranch is on the west side of Swan Lake up on the side hills.
They had a few cows and would turn them out in the day time, and then would have to go hunt for them at night. Some times it took hours. Mom told about a few very bad storms that came up as they were out looking for them, or a new calf that the cow had hidden and they would have to find it. There were wild animals that would get the calf if they didn’t.
Mom had a pony called Stockings, she would ride her when ever she went to the store, to church and up Cottonwood to help her Uncle Al Talbot milk cows. It was while up there that she met my Dad, the Bodily’s had sheep up there and Dad stayed up there herding them. They went together 3 years before they got married. They wrote letters. They took the sheep to Wendover, Utah by trailing them there, they had to go where it was warmer, then in the spring after lambing, and shearing, they’d head north again.
Mom used to tell us about going to a party or some place and saving some of the treat to take home to her mother and how the kids would laugh and make fun of her. They had very hard times.
After her and Dad were married they lived in Fairview, Idaho. They were married January 27, 1915, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of seven children, a little boy died when he was 2 years old. At the time of this writing (1979) all the others are living. Their first home was 1 mile north of the old store and the Church was across the street. The old barn and machine shed are still there (1979).
Mom was active in the different organizations and especially liked working with the boys.
Mom had many trials and tribulations. She went to Preston in the buggy to do some shopping, she had a very uneasy feeling and something told her to go home NOW, she did go and when she got there Bardo had been run over with a load of sand, it hurt him very badly and he was sick for a long time, he had to be turned on sheets. It seems like Aunt Becky Oliverson came and helped nurse him.
Shortly after Little Ted died Dad sold the home without saying a word and Mom didn’t know anything about it until they brought her the papers to sign. She always felt bad about this dirty deal.
Mom always had a good supply of food on hand, she loved to have company, and they always enjoyed going there. She would bottle 20 - 25 bushel of beaches and other fruits, and lots of plumb preserves. She didn’t can vegetables until later, they didn’t have pressure cookers or any of doing them without taking a lot of risk of food poisoning.
Mom always made lots of plain sugar cookies and bread 8 loaves every other day besides biscuits in between. They always bought 25 sacks of apples every fall (25 cents a sack) they were put up stairs after we moved to Lewiston. They kept very good until spring and we really enjoyed them.
After we moved to Lewiston Mom worked very hard, we didn’t have electricity and so she had to wash on the board and pack the water in from outside by the house. There was the old coal oil lamps to keep filled and cleaned. I remember how she would polish the stove pipes, and how it would stink while it was burning off.
Mom loved to be outside working the garden. She always had a lot of chickens and turkeys, she would raise them, in fact hatch the eggs, feed and take care of them and then in the fall, dress them and sell them to different people. She bought the first radio with the money, it was great, it stood on legs and had a switch on the side to turn it off and on, we always listened to Amos & Andy, and many others along with Conference. I remember when George and Maggie Bright would come and listen too. One other time she bought the first phonograph, it was a beautiful piece of furniture and we all enjoyed it very much. I think she bought the first old refrigerator, it had the motor on the top, but it worked good, up until then it was very hard to keep things cool.
Mom used to take us kids to and usually others to the circus usually in Logan and to the 4th of July parades and we never missed going to the celebrations over to Franklin, Idaho on the 15th of June, we’d spend nearly all day over there, that would be when you met and visited with old friends and family.
Mom always got up in the morning and made the fires I think she liked to. They would put a big piece of coal in the front room stove that would burn all night, then she would pack a few hot coals to the kitchen stove. There was always coal to bring in and ashes to carry out and soot to clean out of the kitchen stove.
Mom was about 5ft 5 and had brown hair and eyes. She was a beautiful woman. She was on the heavier side and her hair was getting grey but was pretty. When we lived down to Heber, Utah, her health began to fail, we would go up when we could. I went up to Ardell’s and stayed 3 weeks once when she was sick, she got over that sick spell and went home again. She lived in the south room and the south bedroom, Vertis and Norma lived in the rest and helped her. She had another very bad sick spell and was in the Logan Hospital for 3 weeks and she got over that and came home, we didn’t expect her to come out of there, she came and lived with us. We had moved back from Heber, we bought a T. V. so she could enjoy it and she did. She had a very bad time but she lived another year and we enjoyed her so much. Then she got sick again and she didn’t want to go to the Hospital again so I promised her she wouldn’t have to. She passed away at my house on March 26, 1957. She lived a long hard struggle with cancer, but endured to the end. She was 72 years ol