Cleon Earl Jackson Would be 100 Today

My grandfather Cleon Earl Jackson was born to Robert Earl Jackson and Sarah (Judd) Jackson April 22, 1915 in Fredonia, Cleon Earl JacksonArizona. I write this from the nearby town of Hurricane, Utah. Cleon Jackson would marry Mildred Carpenter in 1939 in Kanab, Utah and eventually settle in the nearby town of Glendale, Utah. He worked at a number of trades but I always knew him as a heavy equipment (Caterpillar) operator. I don’t know  when he became a Caterpillar operator (or “cat skinner”, as it is sometimes called), but his enlistment papers in 1945 list heavy equipment operator as his occupation. You can see his road cuts all over southern Utah. I don’t quite have the eye, but my mother and her family can spot them instantly. Of course, his work was not limited to highway construction. According to family tradition (and someday I will have to document this) he pulled the first cable over Glen Canyon Dam.

He spent a lot of time outdoors and had an amazing eye. I still remember a time when my sister and I were in a pickup truck with him (heading for an area known as “the bench”) when he turned the truck around and stopped to show us a tarantula crossing the road. He had many skills, not the least of which was that he spoke fluent Navajo. That is one of the many things I would have loved to have heard more about, but it’s not something he talked about much, at least with us. One thing I always admired about him is that he would hunt to feed his family. I don’t remember him as being a typical sportsman, but someone who knew how to live off the land. He loved to read. I’m told he’d read the Old Testament for pleasure and laugh at many of the stories (which, let’s be honest can be funny at times). To me, that’s a great example of how to take scripture seriously, both as literature and a religious text. There is so much that we could learn from that example.

Unfortunately, he died fairly young, February 7, 1981. I miss him.

Remembrances part 2

[This is a continuation of Remembrances by Myra Jackson Cram, one in a series of first person histories.]

When Matlan was about eight or ten years old, he went out with Dad and a group from Fredonia to catch fawns on the Mountain. Matlan got lost. He was out all night before they found him. Mother was very upset. It made quite an impression on me.

Matlan was very kind, gentle, and patient. He loved animals. He was always taking care of some animal. Once he got a new puppy. He and the puppy went to the woodpile to chop wood. He accidentally hit the puppy in the head with the ax and killed it. It really upset him. It took him awhile to get over it.

Big poplar trees lined the street in front of Cecil’s and my house. One got blown over and it just missed our house. All the men were gone but Matlan, and he had a broken arm. We were afraid one would fall on our house, or Mom’s and Dad’s. Matlan said he would drive the truck to pull them down, but I would have to climb up to hook the chain around them. He sat in that truck, yelled up at me to higher, much higher, and laughed and laughed. But we got the trees pulled down.

Matlan died 25 Dec 1947. He was working near Evanston, Wyoming as a sheepherder. He and another herder were staying out together with the sheep. Matlan was shot in the head with a handgun. (The other herder said Matlan shot himself.) The coroner ruled it was a suicide. A Doctor at the hospital said there were no powder burns. When it happened, everyone went to Evanston. Mom and Dad stayed up there after everyone went home. When she got home Mom said she just wanted to let it drop. No matter what happened, Matlan was gone.

At Easter, the entire town would go out to Big Springs for an Easter picnic. It was a lot of fun. I don’t remember how we got there. Only that everyone went and we had a lot of fun.

Duard and I decided to go horseback riding. We started out early. We weren’t very old because we had go have something to stand on to get on the horses. We took a saddle from a horse named Felt and workhorse named Diamond. Diamond was one of a team. I can’t remember the name of the other half of the team. Billy Judd had a team named Dewey and Dolly at that time, but I can’t remember the name of the other half of our team. Duard and I decided we would like to go to the sheep herd and see Dad. I didn’t know the way but Duard said he did. We had gone quite a ways when I fell off my horse. Since there was nothing to stand on Duard decided to take my arm and pull me up on his horse. But when he tried, I was too heavy and pulled him off. Since we were both on foot, we headed back to town. It was after dark when we got home. Mom had the whole town looking for us. [Read more…]

Remembrances part 1

[This is another in a series of first person histories, in this case, a series of memories recorded by Myra Jackson Cram.]

I didn’t realize I was the oldest Grandchild, until Val reminded me.

I remember mostly, Grandma Jackson was a stately lady, and her house always had a good smell to it and was very clean all the time.

They didn’t always have a furnace. They had a big pot-bellied stove in the corner of the dining room. Before they built the furnace room.

I remember when Laree had rheumatic fever and Grandma Jackson came down to help swab her throat with soda.

Grandma Jackson always wore a tan sweater around the house to keep warm.

She told me they lived in the little red wash house when Earl (Dad) was born. They were getting ready to go down to Grandma Pratt’s for dinner and she got Earl all cleaned up and told Grandpa to watch him while she got ready. Grandpa let him get in the dirt and she was upset at him. So she got clean clothes for Earl and she threw them at Grandpa to put on Earl. They lit it in the bathtub where she had bathed. It was the last clean ones Earl had.

Grandpa Jackson used to walk down to check on us. I remember him playing with Delma and her doll. He would sing with Delma and rock her in the chair with the doll. When Grandpa died Delma buried her doll with him.

I rode in Grandpa Jackson’s car. I think Uncle Harold was driving. Anyway, Uncle Asa always had a lot of cows in the street by his corral and the road was slick. We were going slow and hit a calf. We dragged it clear to Pop wash before we realized we were dragging it.

When Grandma Jackson got older, Aunt Leone came down every week and went through the house to keep it clean. I remember going over to Grandma Pratt’s for butter and milk when our cows were dry. Grandpa Pratt would meet us at the door and kiss us hello. Then he’d play “Silver Threads Among the Gold” on the piano and kiss us good-by. He had a broom stick mustache. He had a new green Chevrolet car he would drive in low gear all the way to Kanab.

When Grandpa Jackson died, I don’t know who, but someone, got to the sheep camp to take word of his death. When Earl (Dad) got home he was almost frozen. I remember he had frost in his ears. We all rubbed his feet and hands to get the circulation going. He rode an old mule to town. He said the snow was so deep the mule would get stuck and he would have to get off and tromp the snow down to get the mule out. I think that was the winter that someone’s team dropped into one of those old blow holes out there. They had to haul water and feed to them until they could get them out.

When Grandma Jackson was sick, Grandpa Jackson mopped the floor, on his hands and knees, for her.

Grandma Jackson told me Lindy got a BB gun for Christmas. Carol Jean had a little friend come to play and Lindy shot them with his BB gun. Grandma said she went out, got that BB gun and wrapped it around a tree.

After we moved back from Phoenix, I went up each week and did Grandma’s hair for Sunday. One week she had a little package for my birthday. She said Cecil’s Dad (Alexander Cram) gave it to her and Grandpa for a wedding present. It was a little pitcher minus the handle. She said it was a bread and milk  set. It had a dish with it when it was new. But it was minus the dish when I got it. It is a beautiful little pitcher.

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We got to eat red mush (cereal) at the sheep herd. Dad always got his water from the reservoir. There was so much red sand in it that it turned the mush red.

There was only one ointment at the sheep herd. Dad put Vicks on you, no matter what the ailment. One time I got sore from riding a horse bareback all day. Out came the Vicks. It didn’t feel very good. Another time Dad gave Gwen his pocketknife to use and told me not to use the big butcher knife. Of course I did anyway. I cut right down through my thumbnail. Dad put Vicks on it and wrapped it up. Boy did I bawl.

Dad and Mother took Eris, Duard and I to Kane Ranch in House Rock, about 60 miles from Fredonia. The car we were in looked like a race car. It had only one seat and was pointed at the front and the back. Since there was no rumble seat, Dad put me on the back to ride. He tied me on so I wouldn’t fall off. I guess Eris and Duard rode up front with Mom and Dad, I don’t remember. The car had more power in reverse, so every time we came to a steep hill, Dad would have to back up all the way to the top.

On our way home from church, Mother and I saw Cleon and Matlan drilling a well. They had a pipe attached to a board. The board went through the fence for leverage. They would push down on the board to raise the pipe. They let go and the pipe would hit the ground, making a hole. When they raised the pipe, I leaned down to peer in the hole. They let go of the pipe. It split my nose and I got blood all over my Sunday dress, made from tan pongee. I was six years old at the time.

One time, I put Norma down for a nap while we at Mother’s. When I went in to check on her, she was gone. We searched everywhere. When we finally found her, she was several blocks away, in the church, sitting on the front row, cracking and eating pine nuts, listening to the speaker. I had to go in, get her and haul her out.

I learned to drive in a Model T Ford. Dad would let me take it out past Fannie Ellis’ and to the cemetery. There were no fences, so I could drive all over the hills and not get into too much trouble.

We did have a few mishaps with the car. Matlan and Cleon took the old V8 Ford while Mother was in Church. They were just going to go to Red Point and back. They rolled it and Cleon broke his leg. When they took him up to Old Doc Norris to have it set, he told Mother she should be able to set bones without him. Her family had enough of them. Matlan broke both arms one time, then broke one of them again later. I was washing windows on the outside of Mom’s and Dad’s house. As I didn’t have a ladder, I was standing on the ledge in the siding. When I finished, I jumped down and broke my arm. I wasn’t very old.

I was coming home from play practice once in the V8 Ford when I passed out and hit a light pole on Main Street, just west of our house. I was coming down with the measles, or chicken pox, or something. Anyway, I wasn’t feeling too well.

I was backing the same V8 Ford out of the garage and knocked the door off. I opened the door to look behind me so I wouldn’t hit anything. The door got caught on the door jam and came right off.

Matlan and Cleon fought all the time. They enjoyed fighting and wrestling with each other. Matlan bought a pair of boxing gloves for them to use. Cleon enjoyed singing. I wish I had a tape of him yodeling. He sang all the time. Matlan and Cleon were sleeping in the old blue three-quarter bed in the living room. Mom, Gwen and I were up late, sitting at the dining room table, making flowers for Memorial Day. All at once, Cleon sat up in bed and started singing. Then Matlan got out of bed and started shadow boxing. Just as suddenly, Cleon stopped singing, and then Matlan went back to bed, and everything was quiet again. Neither one remembered anything about it the next morning. They accused us of telling stories.

Autobiographical notes of Sarah Judd Jackson

Sarah JuddI was born at Fredonia, Arizona March 22, 1895 in a little two room lumber house in the western  side of town, next to the creek where Barney B. home now stands. My father’s name was Ira Judd, son of Hiram Judd and Lisiana Fuller. My mother’s name was Hannah Louise Lewis Judd, daughter of Dr. Aaron Lewis and Sarah Ann Weeks. I was the fourth child, my parents having 2 boys and 1 girl older than I. My father was a polygamist and owned two lots which run back to the creek. Also cattle and horses.

When I was a year old, my father sold our home to Levi Seth Dunham (another polygamist) and moved to Ogden, Utah. He had planned to go to Idaho, but by the time we reached Ogden it was cold – our family large and supplies running low. [A friend, Ike Cooper who had previously moved to Idaho, begged my father to sell out and move up there. My mother did not want to go and plead with him to take his other wife and leave her in Arizona, but his mind was made up and he disposed of all he had, which about broke her heart.] The winter spent at Ogden was quite an eventful year, my mother gave birth to son Parley Wilford Dec. 12, 1896. My half sister Rebecca Judd who had married Abia William Lee Brown before leaving Fredonia had separated and in spring May 17, 1897 gave birth to a daughter Dezzie Delores Brown. Father decided to head back south, so with his first wife Nancy Ann Norton, her daughter Rebecca and her baby, together with my mother and her five children, we crippled back to our old home town where we were once happy and may father well to do. Now broke and his two hands to make a living for his two families.

A carpenter by trade and a pretty good barber and blacksmith, he used to say he was a Jack of all Trades and a master of none. Lived here and there until he could buy and build two homes.

One of my earliest recollections was when I was taken by my mother to visit Aunt Alice Judd, wife of my father’s cousin Asa W. Judd and Walters mother who lived in a one room shanty where the Jensen’s home now stands. We then lived in a lean to of the house that is now Uncle Asa Judd’s home but then belonged to McCallister of Kanab. It was there that my mother – later – gave birth to another son Roy June 24, 189-. Mother was attended by an old Danish lady, Caroline Foremaster. Soon after that Uncle Asa bought the home from McCallister, also a polygamist. He moved his second wife Angie Brown back to Kanab and my father bought a one room log cabin out east of town from Joe Carpenter. This was my mother’s home until I was nine years old. Father built a lumber two room house for his first wife. I was taught to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ from my infancy. Before I was old enough to go to school, I saw the first manifestation of the laying on of hands, to heal the sick. This gave me a testimony that still remains with me and has grown strong through the years.It was living at the little log house; my father had dug a cellar on the north side of the house, where it would be cool. While we were playing, we heard a peculiar noise that sounded more like the squeak of a baby rabbit in distress, we followed the sound the cellar and found that my brother Parley next younger than me had been looking from the peek or top of the cellar and had fallen over and lay at the bottom of the steps. I ran for my mother while my sister Vida, four years older than I, went down the steps to the aid of my brother. He was carried in the house unconscious, everything possible was done to revive him but to no avail. All members of the family had been called in, including my father’s first wife who was a practical nurse. My brother had ceased making any sound and I heard the grownups of the family say there is just a faint sign of life – it looks like he will not last long. Here my mother asked my older brother to go for the elders to administer to him. (Elders of the Church) It seemed like the elders were at a long time coming – and by the time they arrived, it seemed like he was going despite everything. (Uncle Asa Judd and Eli Cox were the elders who came) Wile we were still praying for him as they were sealing the anointing he brought his hands up and laid them on their hands. By the time they were through, he opened his eyes. He was weak and shaken – but by evening was around the house. The next morning at Sunday School Uncle Asa told the story of his healing and asked if anyone knew who it was. I was happy to say it was my brother.

That fall, father took us to visit my mother’s sister who lived in Tropic, Garfield County, Utah. The road went by Johnson Town and up Johnson Canyon. We went by way of Pahreah, the town where my father hand lived with his two wives before coming to and making his home in Fredonia. I was still not old enough to go to school. On the way, we passed an Indian camp, and they waved and shouted to my mother and father. They were acquainted with the span of horses my father drove, two white mares – Doll and her colt Bess. We camped that night at Pahreah and I was so thrilled to see the great gorge and the high rock walls of Pahreah canyon, a creek with water in it. Father and my oldest brother took the horses to a pasture my father had owned, while mother prepared our evening meal. They did not check all the fence. Our blankets were soon spread down for the night and after saying our prayers, for we seemed even closer to the Lord than usual, we were snuggled in our beds – where we enjoyed counting the stars and singing ourselves to sleep. Morning came and we were up and dressed, not wanting to miss any of those wonderful sights. After making the fire, father went to get the horses while mother prepared breakfast. Once at the pasture he found tracks and a hole in the fence. Horses gone. And although they were hobbled they had headed for home. Father ate a hurried breakfast and started down the road, telling my mother that he would be back as soon as possible. He expected to trail the horses home – for they had such a long start ahead of him. After walking several miles, he heard shouts and soon came in sight of several Indians bringing his horses to him. I heard him say many times “be good to the Indians, once a friend they will never forget you.”. The trip on on up Pahreah Canyon to Tropic, Utah was a nice trip, one I shall never forget. My mother was so happy to see her sister and family Mr. and Mrs. Alva Tippets and family 3 children.

Grandmother Lewis and son Martin N. Lewis were also living at the Tippetts home my grandfather Lewis having died a few years before We visited with them several days before heading home.

[Date unknown – copied from one of Sarah’s many notepads.]