29 March 2009

Justin Albert Skidmore Life Sketch

This brief biographical life summary was provided by David Skidmore and was transcribed by him. David reports that this document was found on the microfilmed journals of William Lobark Skidmore. He does not recall if what he transcribed was handwritten or type written, but thinks it was probably typewritten because he (David) bothered to note that the initials were signed.
Justin Albert Skidmore died in 1955, so this is an incomplete portrait of his life.

My mother has in her possession one of the medals won for butter making mentioned in this document. I'll try to take a picture of it next time I am home to add to this blog.

Delta Aug 27, 1941

I was born a twin (to Judson Alfred who died in infancy) May 6 1873, Richmond, Utah. Whooping cough left bad lung troubles for life, had to keep away from grain or hay dust. Among my first teachers were Maggie Thompson, Elmer Barrett, Joseph Campbell and Mrs. Fannie (Gibbs) Stoddard and C.Z. Harris and Thomas H. Merrill. (Also J.H. Paul and Wm W. Kerr at B.Y.C.).

In 1894 worked at saw mill on South Moody Creek, 22 miles from Rexburg Idaho, operated by Uncle Morgan Knapp and others. While there lost four toes in a circular saw, which laid me up from June 3rd to November but which healed in time without leaving me seriously crippled. (Strange that the large toe was not also cut off). It healed up finally while I getting out wood in the canyon and when there was snow on the ground.

Commenced working in the Union Creamery in Richmond the following holiday time. In the summer of 1896 became foreman. Remained in this and the Condensed Milk factory which bought it out, for a period of eleven years. Exhibited butter and cheese at the Utah Dairy Convention in Salt Lake City and took sweepstakes of both.

Next I sold out and became foreman of the Rush Valley Farming Co. in Vernon and Benmore, Toole Co., which had been organized by a number of B.Y. College instructors and other Cache Valley business men. I carried on a dry farm project and operated a Reeves steam engine, holding thousands of acres for a time. Remained here 14 years and then went to Delta. Charles and I owned the Jorgenson’s homestead.

Dry farming in Rush Valley did not prove very successful. The trying times of the valley need not be mentioned in the write-up. The Lord gave the best girl on earth for a companion. She, Emoret Stoddard Skidmore, bore me seven sons and two daughters. One son died April 11, 1918 and Emoret Apr. 19, 1918.

The Fall of 1920 moved all my belongings to the bank of the Sevier River, 1 mile west of Delta, Millard Co., Utah. Though certain reverses and failures followed here also with the years, yet I have never been sorry for coming here.

After rearing eight motherless children for nine years I married Rachel Ann Thompson Allen, Oct. 5 1927, in the Salt Lake Temple. She is the mother of four sons and seven daughters, all alive save one. All our living children are married but three sons, two of mine and one of hers. These three are away from home and making good. We two live by ourselves in a little humble cottage in Delta by the side of the way, happy and taking notice of things around us.

Baptized 1881, ordained teacher 1891, ordained Elder 1895, ordained Seventy 1905, ordained High Priest 1914, President of Benmore Branch 1914, 1st Counselor to Bp Israel Bennion of Benmore Ward 1915. Member of Deseret Stake Sunday School Board 1922 (2nd Assistant and later 1st Assistant) nine years on the board; Manager of Church Welfare Storehouse of Deseret Stake, Mar 20, 1940; 1st Counselor to Pres Eugene E. Gardiner of Deseret Stake High Priest Quorum, Mar 24 1940; these two positions and that of Ward Teacher I now hold.

(signed) J.A.S.

22 March 2009

William Lobark Skidmore wagon driver

This rememberance is excerpted from of William Lobark Skidmore Journals, page 222; September 10 1913. This is on the third reel of microfilmed journals available at the Church Historians Office. I love it for it's honest recollection of hardship, service and youthful judgement.

"Wed 10 Unloading fruit, Feeling very much under the weather. Not much doing. Morgan Knapp and wife called. 50 years ago today I returned to Richmond from a 5 months trip across the plains and mountains to Florence Nebraska and return. I drove a team of 4 yoke of Oxen. Was called by the Bishop Merrill. There were (p. 223) nine of us. 8 teamsters and 1 night guard. We joined a company of 60 wagons. W. B. Preston was our captain. Our mission was to bring Mormon emigrants to Utah. The emigrants came by steamboat, and landed at Florence where we received them. I had a man and wife and her mother. We were a jolly lot of young men. I was only 18 1/2 years of age and about the youngest and smallest one of the number. Our food was furnished by the people of the ward. About 3 weeks we had eggs molasses and salt pork. We were furnished with 5 gallons of whisky, to be used for sickness and special purposes. It was not needed for sickness, so we used it for special purpose which lasted about 2 weeks, and then the whisky was all gone. But my! there were some hilarous times while it lasted. Then our provisions simmered down to straight flour and pork. I was assistant cook. Eli Harris was the cook and I fried the pork, and Eli cooked the bread in the grease. When I had fried 8 frying pans full of bacon, and Eli had cooked 3 dozen flap jacks in the grease from the bacon our meal was ready. And that was our only & unchangeable fare morning noon and night for four months."

Justin Albert Skidmore & Children

This is a photo of Grandpa Justin Albert Skidmore taken about 1919.
Left to Right, Top: Robert Arland (Arland), Albert LeRoy (Albert), Evan
Justin (Evan), John Reed (Reed), Bottom Row: Agnes Emoret (Agnes), Meryl
Stoddard Meryl), Justin Albert Skidmore (Father), Relia Sarah (Relia),
William Kenneth (Kenneth).

This photograph was provided by David Skidmore a grandson of Justin Albert Skidmore.