Life Story of my Dad - Horace Rawlins
As he told it to me, Cora Hollingsworth
Daddy was 74 years of age at this time.
It was a cold frosty morning January 30, 1907. Cora and Alf Rawlins received notice that the stork was making a stop to their home that morn. So with Grandma Rawlins and old Doc Adams on from Richmond, on hand to greet the stork, a nine pound baby boy was born. The was the third child and the third son. They named me Horace Burbank Rawlins. Where the name of Horace came from I could never figure out but the name Burbank was my mothers maiden name.
With us three boys we got along fine together We always visited with Grandma Rawlins who lived in part of the house, she and grandpa. We enjoyed hearing of her experience of crossing the plains. And as I got older and was able to read, Grandmother used to ask me to come in and set to the side of her and read out of the Book of Mormon. Dad asked her why it was always me that she asked to come and read, and she said because he talks loud enough for me to hear I got to words that I couldn't pronounce Grandmother had me spell them and then she would tell what there were and some times to top it off with she 'd tell some special experience she had in crossing the plains. Like when they had the one baby and the were crossing the plains.
Grandpa was between 19 and 20 years old and Grandmother was slightly younger: They had two yoke of oxen and one cow. They would tie the cow behind the wagon and lead her in the day time. Then at night she would graze with the oxen. They would milk her night and morning put what little milk they got in a bucket with a tight lid and they'd hang it under the wagon in the daytime. It would sour and the bouncing and all of the wagon at night they'd have a little pat of butter and a little sour buttermilk to help stir up something to eat. It was my desire the time would come when I could cross the plains and follow the trail that they came.
After I had been the baby for about two years, there was another baby boy. He was named Howard Frost and then following his was the first girl of the family. She was named Mae. Boy what a thrill to have a baby sister in the family. Then next came Reed Legrande and there was another baby girl named Ruth. But to the great sorrow of all the family especially my parents when she was about three months old she got a high fever, the doctors didn't know what it was or how to treat it. And on November 11, 1918, the day that Armistice was signed our Father in Heaven called our dear sweet little sister Ruth home. This was a tragic event in our little home. A little later there came another boy to our family He was named Lindsay. He was the youngest in the family.
From then things to go along pretty good. Dad contacted what they called siatic rheumatism and he spent one winter in bed. It was up to mother and us older boys to do the chores and milk the cows. We milked about eight or nine cows. And we had to milk them by hand night and morning. That was before milking machines came about. We would race to see who could milk the best and the fastest, but I don't think we ever decided who won. Then in the spring Dad hired different ones to come and put the crops in. Finally he got so he could hobble around and do a little work And he had a beautiful bay team he'd raised and broke and he thought the world of that team. And one day he hooked them up to some thing, I don't remember what, and they ran away with him. He was crippled he couldn't handle them. So he sold one of them to Uncle Goudy Hogan and kept the other one and matched her up with a grey horse that he raised. We got along pretty good. Finally Dad decided he needed a good slow team that us boys could handle a lot easier so finally he was able to do it. He bought one that came from Logan and he bought an other from the next door neighbors. The team cost $450.00. In those days that was a lot of money. We got along fine with that team. We could do the work then and the team handled quite well. We could handle them and do the work that was required. The only trouble was, that they were big, and awkward to get the harness on.
A lot of times when the work got to stiff for us, Dad would get Albert Comish or Claude Faulton who lived in town to come and help. And they were mighty good to come and help when they were needed.
Then one winter it was decided that Dad should spend the winter up at Lava Hot Springs. They called it Dempsey Creek at that time. So he took a sheep camp wagon and Uncle Joe Rawlins from Cornish took it up for him and found a good spot for him. And then Hal Stocks who was also crippled up about like Dad. And they took Howard with them, and they spend the winter at Lava soaking in the hot mineral water. Every time Howard would catch a cold he would have phenomena, but after the winter at Lava and bathing in that hot water, it straighten him out and he was ok. Hal Stocks was able to come back in the spring and pick up his work and put his crops in. But it didn't do Dad any good. He came back very blue and discouraged. But he decided there was only one thing to do and that was to pick up the sf rings and do the best he could with us boys to help him. Dad was the best partner and good teacher to work with. I really enjoyed being with my Dad.
I remember one time before he was crippled up, he was out bunching hay in the field and us three older boys went out to see what we could do to help him. Ariel and Owen were older than me. When it came noon he took hold of Ariel's and Owen's hands and run a race with them to the house. That left me there. I felt pretty blue about it and I sat down on a bunch of hay and cried. Dad came back and got me and oh that seemed so good when Dad came back picked me up and hugged me and told me he loved me to.
And another time I know when we'd go to church in the summer time after noon meetings hot sultry, those hard benches in the church house. When we would go through the door they would hand each a little fan to fan us with by the door and then we would leave it by the door for next time. Dad would sit down I'd sit to the side of him on the inside. Pretty soon I'd stretch out on the bench and put my head in Dad's lap and go to sleep. That was the best sacrament meetings. I enjoyed these for a long time. When the meeting was over Dad would wake me up and we'd go home. Then on special days we called them "treat days," we would go across the street to the old drugstore "Lewiston Drug", and buy us an ice cream cone. And boy that was great. Those ice cream cones were the biggest and best I have ever seen or eaten. We didn't get much ice cream then. It was just one of those things that there was not much of and as time went on and we got a little older we did more of the work on the place. There there was a lot of sugar beets to thin in those days. You'd thin them with a short handle hoe bent over all day We thinned beets at home the four of us, Howard behind me. We'd thin our beets then we'd go around thinning beets for other neighbors. And when we would get paid, Dad would say to us, now you make the choice what you want to do. Do you want this money divided out among you boys or do you want to leave it with Mother and I. We will use it to pay debts and when you need things come to us and we'll help you with it And that's the way it was done and everything went very well.
Everything was really great and life was enjoyable. We got the things we could afford. And as we got older Dad rented a farm - the Mike Marvey place south of town. Delbert Bodily owns it now. And we farmed that. We did a lot with horses, and things worked we 11 for a few years.
Then Ariel went on a mission. That kinda handicapped us a little being short one. But we made out with the Lords help. Ariel completed his mission in Illinois and returned home.
I met the beautifrl girl I'd ever seen in my life. I'll have to tell you what led up to meeting her When I was going to grade school, I think I was about in the fourth or fifth grade, I'm not sure which. A bunch of kids one spring day decided it was more fun to play hook' than it would be to go to school. So one of the boy - Ace Whittle - pointed out the said "see way over there on the side of the hill is my Uncle Ben's farm. Lets go see Uncle Ben. So we took out to see his Uncle Ben. It took us the biggest share of the day to get there. When we got to Uncle Ben's place, -we were treated fine and I seen the prettiest girl in the world. She had dark hair and wore it in a long braid down her back She says I gave her a pretty marble that day, but I don't remember that. But I didn't get to see her again for a few years. Finally our trails crossed again and I started dating her I went with her a lot I enjoyed being with her and seem to like me. I went with her while Ariel was on his mission, and when he came home, I had proposed and she had excepted. We had set the date to get married. When Ariel got home the folks wanted Owen to go on a mission but he would not go. So Mother turned to me and said its your turn next. So I talked it over with my sweet heart and she said she would wait for me while I went for the Lord. And so I went to Texas.
There's one thing that happened that didn't surface for a few years. When I got ready to go on my mission I went to ole Brother Williams there in Lewiston and got my patrirtical blessing. After I had left Arvilla who is my sweetheart went and got her "P" blessing. And she was told that the time would come when she would fill a mission in a foreign land. We were married shortly after I got home. Times were rough for a few years. Melna our eldest and then a baby boy Clive Ben, he lived only a few months when Our Heavenly Father called him home. Then along came Erma, and then another baby girl Iris and she too only lived awhile and she was called home by Heavenly Father. Then came Cora and we were so grateful for the blessings of three daughters. Next came another baby boy we named Hazen B. and he to was called home to join the others in our Heavenly Fathers home. We then had a baby girl Leah and when too went to be in the care of Heavenly parents. This was a very hard trial for parents to deal with. It was so hard to see my sweet young wife deal with this. But she has a testimony that did not waver: These children are very dear and precious to us.
While we lived in Lewiston, Arvilla and I bought us a little home. It was not much but it was ours. Arvilla could make any house a home. We had a happy home It was a little log home with a shanty like built on the back of it. After we had it for a while we moved another room on to the front of it and made us a nice two room home. I built in some cupboards which made it nicer. I worked for day wage. Things were really rough at this time. I went to work for the sugar company. Twelve hour shifts seven days a week for 27 cents an hour. That is lot different from what it is to day. At the end of the year we figured it and I had made one dollar a day for the whole year. That is not much to live on when you have a family to keep. Some of the people I worked for had money to pay others did not. They would give me flour, vegetables from the garden. But we did eat pretty well. And food was on the table.
Finally we rented a little farm over in Dayton by Fred and Hazel (Fred is Arvilla's brother) We want there two years and done a little better. Then some of the people got the idea of going up to the state of Washington and buying land under the Coolidge project. So we went with them we sold our little home took what money I had got from the Rawlins estate, and we started a new life. Things were rough, while living there we had sorrow in our lives. We had only been there a while and a baby boy Hazen was born and he had mastoid infection and one thing let to another. We finally decided the doctors there were doing any good. So Arvilla and the baby went back to Lewiston to her mothers and to the doctor there. But they were not able to save him. I went down and we had his funeral and we buried him in Lewiston. After awhile we went back to Washington. And tried it once more.
As time went on we had another baby girl and she passed away at birth and I nearly lost the dear sweet mother of my children. We buried the baby girl in Washington and she is still there. We stayed there a few more years until they started building the atom-bomb plant. I got work things were pretty good. Good wages and like that. We got ahead a little. Reed (my younger brother) and Ethel his wife and family came up. He worked with me at the plant and they lived in our home with us. Then they started moving the people out closing the buildiing of the plant down ready to start to operate. Arvilla health was poor and life had been hard for her. She wanted to go back to Utah. So we took what money we could acquire from our property (the government came and took it over and paid us what they wanted us to have) and we moved back to Utah.
We bought the Don Titensor place in Cove and started again from there. We were doing fair but nothing to brag about. It was not a good farm, mostly dry farm side hill. I finally got work in Ogden at the sugar factory company We had to drive back and forth a group of men and I. Finally we got the farm paid for. Then I got the job of driving the school bus (I drove for twenty-five years.) Things seemed to go in our favor.
The three girls - Melina, Erma and Cora grew up and married and was on their own. And that left Arvilla and I on the hill side alone. The church brought the foster Indian children in to focus. We had different children. There was the John children, Mattie, Phillip, Lester Helen, Katie and May Lou. They were good children, their parents did not speak English. There was something about when we visited we could understand what they said. Their mother was forever thankful for what we did for her children. The children have gone on with their life, but now again we hear from them. Mattie called us from Arizona on Mothers day once and thanked us for all we had done for her And she said "you know my children are different from the other Indian children- -they have a white grandma and grandpa.
I want to go back several years quite a few in fact. Fuel was so hard to get, my brothers and hauled wood from the canyons in the fall to burn during the winter months. That was hard tiring work But we enjoyed being together I did enjoy working with my brothers. We would go to Franklin basin, leave early in the morning with the teams long before daylight. Get in and cut our load. Spend the night load up next morning and come home late at night. We went in and one summer and logged green lumber We build us a fine chicken coop. And a cow barn. There on the place in Cove. I loved to do carpenter work I got to be pretty good. We had chickens and sold the eggs to a hatchery in Preston. The eggs had to be cleaned with sandpaper; and stored where it was cool. And we took the eggs to Preston once a week. This gave us money to live on and the girls helped their mother and we did enjoy being a family together.
A great love of my lift was horses. I always had a horse and some times quite a few. Arvilla and I would saddle up a couple and we would go for a ride in the hills. I never got Arvilla to like horses, but she went with me because she always did things to make lives happier for others. Arvilla was truly a queen in my life.
Arvilla did want to go a mission. That was a dream of her life time, she did want to serve the Lord She always did what the Lord ask of her. So we put in for a mission and the call came to go to England. Erma and Arron came and lived in our home. (Aaron was out of work and they needed a place to live). We took what retirement money and what other money we had. I got some money from retirement from the bus and that money is what we used to see us through on a mission. Arvilla was never happier in her life than she was serving the Lord. She loved the people of England and they loved her It was a wonderful time, we learned a greater love of the gospel, seeing the hand of the Lord among the people. And if there is any thing true in the world today it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It gives more to live for, a greater hope more service and charity than any other religion. Many people of the world say "oh I have been saved", but what have they been saved from. They don't know. Some ministers have told them if they confess in Christ as their Savior they would be saved. If we read the bible it says all mankind will be saved. Saved from what-depends on us. There are three degrees of Glory in Heaven, then there on degree up there or somewhere with no glory at all. Now which one of them are you going to end up in. That again depends on you. It is a free gift from Christ to all mankind that they will receive a resurrection and come forth. But to what degree of glory depends upon the individual person. How he lives, how he treats his life here. I have been told I don't know how true it is but I like to think it is true that when we die and and we meet the Lord, he will not ask us how many offices we have held in the church or even which ones. He will not ask how much money we made or even what kind of a home did we live in. But He is going to say what have you done to help your neighbor So as the scriptures says "love your neighbor as I have loved you." Now if you have loved your neighbor you will want to them. It may not be the one across the street but every one is your neighbor It is wonderful to have a testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel. To know that the redeemer lives and He has promised us a lift here after But the rating we get in the life hereafter depends upon us not what some minister has told us.
After we returned from England from our mission, we found Erma and Arron was in the process of selling the farm in Cove and wanted to move back to Holbrook. Take part of his Fathers old farm which was dear to him. Where he had been raised and it was a life he loved. They told us you leave this little home here and come and live by us. Arvilla and I talked it over, prayed about it. We could stay there - Melna was in one direction, Cora in another and Erma would be away over in Holbrook We would be there all soul alone you might say. Depending up on friends and neighbors. But our family means a lot to us and we appreciate it. So we decided to go to Holbrook and be by Erma and her family. We learned to love the people there. They are good neighbors, and we love the life.
Some of our old friends we had in Cove would say when we would meet "oh why don't you come back and be our neighbors again?" Well we are getting old same as you are. We are getting to the age where we have to depend upon our loved ones. So Arvilla and I decided to be where our loved ones are. So here we are with Erma and Aaron and their little family. Erma and Arron build them a new home and we lived in the double wide home. Just a stone throw from their door. If you don't throw to hard. It is wonderful to be here. The last two summers I have worked for farmers here. For Ferrel Neil, I dove the grain truck from the combine to the bins. I loved the work I have worked for Bakers in the potatoes. Now it is gardening time and I love to garden it brings back the memories of the gardens Arvilla and I used to put in back in our lives-always big ones but through the years they have grown some what smaller: We have had some good rain and is wonderful. The moisture is always welcome.
My Dad ends here with his life story...Jauary 24, 1984 his life time sweetheart and the sunshine of his life passed away at the home of their daughter Cora in Bancroft.
Daddy's heart was broken. All the life of him was gone. He died of a broken heart on June 2 1985, at the home of his brother Lindsay Rawlins in Lewiston in the very home and room he was born in 78 years earlier.