THE LIFE STORY OF EPHRAIM LAFAYETTE ALLRED
By: Thomas I. Allred & Amanda Allred Edwards
This History of Ephraim Lafayette Allred has been re-typed into Microsoft Word by Gary Dean Allred, a great grandson with only minor spelling changes.
Lineage: Gary Dean, James Ephraim, Louis Ephraim, Ephraim Lafayette, Reuben Warren, James Allred, William Allred, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 Lancashire, England
My father, Ephraim L. Allred is the son of Ruben Warren Allred and Lucy Ann Butler. He was born in Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah. He was the first male child born in that place. He was born October 1 1854. Father’s parents were permanently located in Spring City, San Pete County; but because of the trouble with the Indians they were called to gather to Ephraim. It being a fort at the time. It was then that Father was born, however, his childhood days were spent in Spring City.
I know very little of Father’s early life, though I have heard him tell of the trouble with the Indians. He stood picket guard many nights but never was in the battle with them. He suffered privation along with the others. He was asked many times to put in his name as a veteran and draw a pension, but he always refused, declaring it unjust. He contended that there were many deserving elder people who would get compensation if the younger men who had no real experience would not step in and take those oaths of service. I cannot help but admire father for this unselfish attitude, but I do know he rendered more service to his country than many men who have drawn a pension, and I have thought that he should be among them, but he would say “They are imposters and I don’t want that kind of money.”
In my father’s fathers home there were eight children whose names were as follows, according to age: Cynthia who married Joseph S. Black, Thomas Butler who married three wives, Francis Fretwell, Catheren Ann Clay and Hannah Stodard Barney. The third child was Caroline, who died in infancy. Lucy Ann married Sidney R. Allred, a distant relative. Reuben Warren, married Clara A. Robinson, Drucilla Emeline married Peter Lund, but died when her first child was born. Ephraim Lafayette, my father who married my mother Harriet Matilda Brunson, December 13, 1877 in the St. George Temple, Eliza Elvira married Redick R. Allred, John L. Allred is now 77 years old. Today is 8 August 1935. Aunt Elvira his wife and Aunt Clara, Uncle Reuben’s wife also are living.
Father has told many times how he paid wood, or hay or vegetables of any kind as a dance ticket, he says as a boy he danced on the ground bare-footed under a willow bowery and that girls with shoes on were very unpopular from the fact that they stepped on the bare toes, which was positively uncomfortable. For refreshments he with others, carried parched corn or wheat in his pockets and treated the girls.
Clothing at this time was hard to get and so grandmother made each of her boys a shirt front, which tied around the neck and under the arms at the back to keep it on. On one occasion, father danced so hard he was really too warm, so to get quick relief, he jerked off his coat and went on dancing, forgetting that what seemed to be a shirt was only a front, called a Dickey. The merrymakers began shouting and clapping, as soon as father found that he was the cause of the merriment, he left the room highly embarrassed. He went home, took off his Dickey and said to his mother: “You can do as you please with this old Tommy but I’ll never wear it again”, and he declares he didn’t. When father was in his late teens or early twenties, he went into Nevada to work. There he met with the roughest element in the west, but he testifies that not once was he temped to be sidetracked in unchastity or dishonesty. I have many times heard father tell how he was tested in his honesty. Father went to the owner of a big ranch and asked for work. The man said, “Yes, I have a ditch to be dug, when are you ready to go to work?” “I am ready this afternoon”, said father, it then being near noon. After dinner father was put on the job, and it was a real job. His heart nearly failed him at the sight, but father had asked for a job and now he had it. The man left him and his shovel with instructions to dig. Father said he shoveled with honest efforts till he was tired and then sat down to rest, while he sat there, his boss came up. He sat down and talked to his father for quite a while and when he was left alone he went to work. Again, after shoveling till he was tired, he sat down to rest. While resting he saw the boss coming the second time, this time from another direction so father could see him before he came upon him. Father’s first inclination was to jump up and begin working, when his boss came up. Then he decided, I have worked honest work, if he can’t see that I have, I don’t want to work for him. Mr. Isaac Irven came up and said “Resting again? It seems that you rest often”. “Yes Sir, my father trained me to do honest work, when I got tired, to rest and that is what I am doing”. Again they talked, when Mr. Irven left he told father that he could stay and work. Father worked there for a long time. One day Mr. Irven told father that he gave his new applicants time to do a reasonable piece of work and then came to see what they had accomplished, and if they were resting, he considered it a mark of judgment and I liked their ways. He then told Father that he could see when he sat down to rest a second
time and came over to test his honesty, and if father had jumped up and began working when he came up he would have hired him, for he would have considered him dishonest. Honesty was father’s life motto.
As I have said before, father stayed at this ranch for a long time. His education was limited and his hand writing was poor, therefore he hated to write and seldom wrote to his mother and she soon lost track of him. One reason was that in those days mailing transportation was unsure and long between, and another was that he failed to write to them.
My father’s mother was told that an Allred was killed in Nevada, and she felt sure it was father and so she mourned him as dead. She went to Relief Society meeting one day and one of the sisters talked in tongues. The Interpreter said the message was given to comfort Grandmother over the boy she mourned as lost. She said: “Sister Allred your boy is alive and well and will before long come home to you. He will be the first one of your children to go through the temple and be married. He will live to be a joy to you”.
Instead of adding to Grandmother’s strength, she was so overcome with joy that she simply collapsed and was taken home and her life despaired. She had a serious illness and while in this condition father came home. The folks saw father coming before he got to the house, and he was met and told he couldn’t see grandmother until the news was broken gradually for she was in no condition to stand excitement. I have heard father say that he was no more heart broken at her death than he was at that time. Their meeting must have been pathetic, because father could never tell of it without shedding tears.
That prediction was fulfilled, for father was married in the St. George Temple on December 13, 1877. His brothers and sisters that had been married before him were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Father was introduced to mother by mother’s Cousin Matilda Zabriskie. Mother had just come from Fillmore, Millard County, to visit with her mother’s mother, Grandmother Matilda Wallace Stewart.
Before they reached home the wagon stopped in front of the Co-op Store, to greet some of the relatives and friends. Father was among the crowd, and before the wagon went on its way father had made a date with mother. That night in a joking way, father proposed to mother, and she jokingly perhaps said OK, at least she consented. It seems that they did not keep company steadily, but when mother was around, father would say, “She is to be my wife,” and walk off with her, if he could. Perhaps she would say the equivalent of what today would be “Oh Yeah” for she says she had no intentions of ever marrying him. He stayed on the job and finally won her. To his dying day, he said she was the finest wife any man ever had.
After father and mother were married they settled in Chester, San Pete County. It was there that the first child, a son, Louis Ephraim, was born, October 2, 1878. Also the second, myself Amanda Adaline, was born August 10, 1880. The following spring 1881 we moved to Deseret, Millard County. We settled upon the west bank of the Sevier River, east of Deseret, on a five acre plot of ground. John, fathers second brother also came with him, and there the two families lived in one log room with not floor, and one little peek hole for a window. They had very little of the worlds goods to begin with, but father was a worker and brought in a living.
Father could land a good job where trust was involved, he was a real farmer and in the memory of his life I cannot remember when there was not a year’s supply of flour in our house. If he did not raise it he got it through work.
The irrigation water was taken from the Sevier River and the dam put in the river was made of native soil. Cement was little known then and the soil melted like Powder. The stream was so large, that it was more powerful than the fighting strength of the handful of farmers. In order to make the dam secure, the farmers would tie bundles of hay, and straw to posts and poles and throw into the river. This was done to make secure the loads and loads of silt thrown in, and then the farmers would go to plowing and planting, with the hope to raise a crop. Each attempt to hold the water back proved fatal, for the dam would go out leaving the crops without water. This went on year after year, until the state came to their rescue and put in a cement dam.
Those years of drought and crop failing were tragic days for everyone, but as soon as the dam was made secure father began to prosper. He was a real farmer. He knew when to plant, and his crops grew like magic. His motto was, “Drive your work and never let your work drive you”. I well remember when the great stacks of hay and hundreds of bushels of grain were harvested and his cattle wealth multiplied under his care.
While we were living on the river bank (We called it the Lucerne Patch) Reuben Warren Allred was born, August 24, 1882. He was the third child in the family. He lived to the age of 12 years. He died the first year we moved to Emery County. He died November 20, 1894. This was a great shock in our home which sorrow we never overcame.
Shortly after Reuben was born we out grew our home on the river bank and we moved to a home in town, Deseret. The house was a two roomed log building; at least part of this house is still standing but is being used for some barn yard building.
The earliest recollections I have of mother was when Thomas was born August 21, 1884. I was then four years old. That morning, I went with a bunch of children to take the cows to the town herd, when I came back father came out and said, “Come and see what we have”. I went into the bedroom and there lay a squirming red faced baby, I loved him at first sight, and I have never gotten over that love. I shall never forget mother. There she lay smiling down upon him. Her hair hung nearly to her waist. It was dark brown, her skin was fair, to me she was the most beautiful woman on earth.
While we were living on the river bank father got a dog (Fannie) she was so well trained when she was told to gather the cows; off she would go and get them, put them in the corral and lay by the gate till someone came to lock the gate. She was faithful and true and with her help mother could care for the chores otherwise she could not have done so. Our home in town of Deseret was just over the fence to the south of Uncle John L’s and there was quite a bunch of children when the two families of children were together plus children from the neighborhood, there was quite a group. One morning after father and Uncle John had gone to work on the road we found Fannie dead. We set up a wild scream and an old man thought it was one of the children and so when he got on the road where the men were working he told father and Uncle John that one of their girls were dead he didn’t know out of which family but it’s one or the other. There was no time lost in getting home. Father drove the horses and Uncle John whipped them every jump. When they got home, what a relief to know it just Fannie the dog.
Thomas was born in August. The next December grandfather and grandmother Allred came to make us a visit. They lived in Spring City, Sanpete County, and we in Deseret. They came by team in a little spring wagon. The weather was cold and the winter a hard one. It was too much for grandmother and the next morning after she came she took a chill and was unconscious with a high fever, in a few hours. She died December 18, 1884. Grandfather was so broken hearted and lonesome he scarcely know how to carry on, so he persuaded father and mother to go back with him to stay for awhile. They stayed with him for over a year. They left their home and everything they had and on their return it was almost like beginning all over, but with determination and a pioneer spirit they began to gain.
During this time there was good money for freighters who went into Nevada to the silver mines. Father worked on the road for a number of years. He made good money.
HISTORY OF ANTONE POTAGO (by Thomas L. Allred)
My father was a very hospitable and kind hearted man as is shown by many incidents in his life. I shall attempt to give one in order of such. One day about the year of 1882, a team and wagon apparently without a driver came slowly down the main street of Deseret, Millard County, Utah and stopped at the gate of my father’s home. Father went out to the wagon and upon investigation found that the owner of the outfit was laying in the wagon seriously ill. Father put the team in the barn and took the stranger into his house and nursed him back to health again. The stranger claimed to be of Spanish origin and gave his name as Antone Potago. Although it was quite evident that he had a considerable amount of Indian blood. After recovering from his illness the stranger seemed to have no desire or inclination to leave for he stayed almost continuously at my father’s home until we moved to Ferron, Utah in 1894. During these years he did a considerable amount of work besides paying money for his board and room he not only had a band of fairly good blooded horses but owned mining property in Pioche, Nevada. He seldom spoke of his parents or early life. About all we know was that he came from Old Mexico. Sometime about the year of 1892 I, Thomas L. Allred, remember my father and mother and Antone coming from Sacrament Meeting one Sunday afternoon, in Hinckley, and saying that Antone was baptized. I have spent considerable time trying to find the record of the baptism in the church records, but have not been successful. My first remembrance of Antone was when he locked me in a log grainery and poked candy through the cracks to me. I also remember him giving me a horse named Salilor. He died in Fillmore, Utah some few years after we moved from Hinckley to Ferron at the home of Hans Hansen, mother’s sister’s husband.
Antone came in the fall of the year and that winter he was confined to the house. He was lonesome and wanted to talk to someone and so mother was his prey. He talked and talked and unless mother paid strict attention she did not know what he was saying and so she would say yes, yes, and so on and nod her head in approval. One day he talked on and on and mother said yes, yes, etc., finally he said “Hat, you don’t know a son a bitching I say, you say yes, yes, yes, and times you should say no.
We all thought a great deal of Antone and he in return thought much of father’s family, and for years he spent money for fathers family and he had no other interests. One day he said to father “Lordy Eph’ I do love Hat’. She is one of the best women on earth and she is true blue to you”. Father knew he spoke the truth.
Harriet was born the winter Antone came to live with us. February, 1887. The day she was born father began to call her Betsie Baker. I don’t know the significance of it. I guess just a pet name, for she was christened Harriet Cynthia. One day a gentleman asked her what her name was and she looked thoughtful for a few seconds and said “I don’t know whether it is Harriet Cynthia or Betsie Baker”, father called her Betsie all his life. Betty Olsen, Harriet’s daughter is named Betty in remembrance of that name.
Louisa Elvira was the ninth child in the family and she was born August 10, 1889 and died September 8, 1889.
Soon after Louisa Elvira was born we sold our home in Deseret and moved put to the farm in a Ward called Hinckley. By this time father was a well to do farmer owning a lot of land well cultivated and many head of cattle. We had a well finished house and we were comfortable. It was at that time that father gave mother a horse named Prim. She was a prize horse and was much sought after and so mother sold her for $100.00 quite a price for a horse in those days. Furniture was bought with this money to furnish the home. Sure this was a splendid home for those early days. This home furnishing was completed in autumn of 1891. That year September 18, my sister Alta was born. She was seriously ill with pneumonia. It was then that father showed his deep love and sympathy. Mother with him at her side worked and watched over day and night. One Sunday morning father came to me and said chocking with sobs, “Our baby is dying unless she can be saved by the power o God”. She was administered to and made well after careful nursing. She got that, for father and mother hovered over her and brought her back to health.
The fall of 1892, Thanksgiving morning about 2 o’clock this home of ours blew to the ground. (The details of this I have written in my history.) After this father was not satisfied in Millard County, so he sold his property there and moved to Ferron Emery County. There he met with many adverse circumstances. My brother Ruben just younger than I, took typhoid the very fall we came to our new home. He died November 20, 1894. This was a shock to father and mother that they never overcame. Father was never the same, he was a high spirited man and after said (in his anger) things he was sorry over but he never failed to ask forgiveness and make wrongs right. Had he not had this characteristic I am sure he would have failed but his humble attitude brought him over the top and encircled his family around him.
When father and mother buried their little girl Elvira in 1889 they thought that was hard, but now to bury a big, healthy boy of 12 years was a sorrow. Two years after Ruben died, baby Catherene died September 1896 and within a month, James a beautiful golden haired boy of four years contracted diphtheria and died in 1898.
Sickness, sadness, expense and hardships seemed to come upon us in storms. Father and mother seldom wore a smile. Cares cannot fail to mellow the most high spirited character, and father was that. Mother’s health was failing and father carried a double load.
Our home surroundings were vastly different in Emery County than Millard county, Deseret County was loam soil in fact it was soil washed n by the Sevier River and not a rock could be found for miles around. Cattle like people are a product of the country they are in so the cattle father took to Castle Valley were trailed over rocky soil and mountain trails. Our cattle’s feet were broken and bleeding before they reached their destination. It took about four weeks to make the drive. At night the cattle would groan and shift uneasily from being foot sore and traveling. So in this rough rocky home many losses were met with. This was at the time of Grover Cleveland and the price of cattle dropped from 40 to 55 down to $10 and $8. Father hated debts and rather than be in bondage as he called it he sold his cattle at a great sacrifice.
Soon after moving to Ferron 1894 a number of leading farmers living in Ferron and vicinity undertook the problem of building an irrigation ditch out of Ferron Creek in a north easterly direction about 12 or 15 miles to a beautiful fertile tract of land, later called Clawson. My father was leader of these men in this undertaking and he never did make a permanent home in Clawson, but lived in Ferron and went to and from Clawson during the farming season, a distance of about six miles. This fertile tract of land was first called Silver Dell because of the millions of red and yellow flowers growing there, the town later was changed to Clawson after the Apostle Rudger Clawson.
Sadness and disappointment does not always travel in a household, and nine years later March 15, 1900 a fine healthy baby boy was born which brought much joy and happiness to our home. This child was christened Juston Peter Allred. Since losing so many children and not have babies for so many years you can imagine our joy and happiness at the arrival of a boy. It is said there never was a night that mother did not rock him to sleep until the twins were born. After that she would scratch his back as a substitute for rocking him to sleep as her arms were full of babies. He was a healthy vigorous boy and grew to early manhood in Ferron. At the time of World War 1, J.P. Allred was among the first to volunteer.
A few days before June 7, 1903 my father said to me “Now Tommy boy I want you to tie your saddle pony here in the stable with the sadly ready for an emergency”. Sometime between 12 and 1 o’clock P.M. June 7, I was awakened by father and told I must go to Castel Dale 12 miles distance for Dr. Winters as mother was ill. He said “Do not spare horse flesh but be careful not to ride to fast on the start”. I found the Dr. and he was soon on his way for Ferron by team and a few hours before the birth of Clement and Clemont were born Aunt Elvira Allred said to mother “Hattie if you have two babies can I have one of them”? Mother said “yes”. When Dr. Winters said there were two babies Aunt Vie said “I’m to have one” but mother said “oh no you don’t, you have your own babies”. When our twins were born mother’s health completely broke and after poor health for three years of caring for the babies, mother was stricken with death. She died February 16, 1906 leaving father to take the place of father and mother. He never for one minute shirked his duty. Kind and mellowed to the tenderness of a child he carried his load without complaint.
After mother’s death, father thought if he were to marry some good woman the boys would be better off so he married Martha P. Thomas. A good fine woman, but it did not prove satisfactory for them. Father could see that he was either to allow his sons to leave him or give up his wife and to go with them. It was a tragic time in my life. I could not tell which action he would choose. It seemed no question with father. Without faltering he chose the boys. He left home and went with the three of them, Juston Peter, Clement, Clemont, the rest of fathers family were married. He went where they went, was their guide and companion and slept with them. I have seen him lay in bed with one twin on one side and one on the other lying on his arms. He was never too tired to hold them. Greater love had no mother and father than father for his children.
When Juston went to the world war father gave his consent because it seemed that there was no other way, he was determined to go, but his heart was both mother and father, a double load o love. One day after Juston had been away a few months, a telegram came telling father that Juston was dying and for father to come at once. Father was working with a road gang when this message came. The men gathered what change was in camp at once. Father in his work cloths without so much as lunch he flagged a train and started for this boy. Juston was in a training camp, Camp Riley, Kansas. Father entered the camp and asked one of the guards if Juston P. Allred was in camp. The guard said “yes but you can’t go in till visiting hours”. Father said “To hell with visiting hours”, and he walked in. Father tells how he went from on bed to another but couldn’t find him. Father went to the Cap. And told him he could not find his boy. It was at this time so many were dying with flu. The Capt. Said “I’ll take a look over the death list and see if he is there”. He was not on that list. So he must be somewhere with the living. He was almost in despair when a weak voice along the line said “Here I am Pa”. He was so poor and haggard looking father could not recognize him, but Juston knew father. Father made a wild bounce and had him in his arms covering him with kisses. The nurse came and said Juston was too sick to stand excitement and said the President would see that he was not to be in the room for Juston was under military discipline. Father said, “I gave my boy to Uncle Sam and I’m his father and I’ll stay with him till the last”, and father stayed right there till he was out of all danger. When the nurse asked father where he would sleep, father said, “ l’ll sleep on the floor, just so I am with him”. So the superintendant at the hospital ordered a cot brought in and there father stayed. From that time on Juston began to improve. In the hospital was a group of homesick boys and they told father his presence was like being home more than anything they had known. He was kind cheerful and helpful. They bless his presence.
In December of 1919 we were living in Idaho. There was a heavy snow storm on. The snow was so deep the children could not go to school. I set looking out of the window when I saw a little cutter sleigh turn from the highway down our road. Just as soon as I saw the driver reach over and tap his horses I knew it was father. I said nothing to Louis and the children but I slipped out of the house and ran to meet him. I knew if I took Louis he’d be opposed to me floundering in the unbroken road. If I told the children they’d want to too, so I went along, I went as fast as I could in the deep snow. Then I came to father, he gathered me in his arms and wept for joy. He said, ‘My girl, who told you I was coming”? I said, “no one I just knew it was you when you tapped your horses over on fourth mile away, I have seen you do that a hundred times and not one does it just like you”.
Through father’s life he was a lover of horses, no one could handle a horse better than he. Many people hired him to break their wild horses and when he did he always turned out a horse true blue to their work if the owner knew his business.
We had a wonderful visit. He was quite taken up with the country and the next spring he came to Idaho to live. They rented a farm in the little town of Menan. We lived in the Grand Ward. What a joy it was to know he and the three boys would come and spend a Sunday. It was just like a holiday each time they came. That summer I could see that he was failing. His step was just a little slower and he was tender and more sympathetic. He often talked of mother and said he longed to see her and his children who were with her. It was so sad to see the longing in his heart. One day that fall Juston came and said father had had a heart attack and they thought he was dying. We brought him home with us and his health failed fast. We took him to a chiropractor and had him treated for high blood pressure. He was better for a while. He stayed with us and was such a comfort.
The next spring 1920 he went back to Utah to stay a while with Harriet and Alta in Vernon, Tooele County. Because he was too frail to do for himself. He stayed there a summer. That fall he went into Duchesne County, and visited with all his children and had visits in his home town Ferron, and then back to Vernon to stay the winter with Harriet and Alta, as the altitude was too high for him in Duchesne where Louis and Thomas lived.
That October Conference in Salt Lake City, he attended. He visited with friends and relatives went to conference and attended the State Fair and was just ready to go home. He went into the cafeteria to eat breakfast with Juston. While at the breakfast table with no suffering and no warning he passed into his rest to be reunited with the mate of his life and the children who had gone before him. His life was beautifully ended and he died October 12, 1921.
Father was a High Priest in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood. He was a Ward Teacher as far back as I can remember. He held many offices in his quorums. Where trust and honesty was involved he held civic offices. No man could ever say of father that he was dishonest for he met every obligation with honor. His work was his bond. Thus ended the live of a man to be honored. He leaves us that heritage.