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The Family File

Autobiography Of Edward B. Clark
Farming


As a boy, I used to drive two yoke of oxen to break up land for planting barley and alfalfa. Grain was cut by a cradle and bound by hand. Hay was mowed by a scythe and bunched by hand with a pitchfork. Some men became expert in the use of the scythe. Later, mowing machines were introduced and a revolving rake raked hay. I used to ride the horse for raking. Later I learned to run the rake. I remember when the improved rake was introduced. I think I was the first one to try it out. I was not old enough then to use the scythe or cradle. I have done some binding, but not much, until the reaper came in. There were two kinds of reapers---one a rake and the other a dropper. Other and more modern machines have now been invented and take the place of the binders.

The harvester, as now used, had gone through a great revolution of improvements. They were at first drawn by horses, but now by a tractor. They now cut, rake and thresh the grain, and yet require only two men to operate. I have seen the evolution step by step through the syether, rake, cradle, binder, etc, to the modern harvester.

On a trip to old Mexico in 1940, I saw the natives plowing with oxen, drawing wooden plows. When just over the United States and Mexican border, I saw a native cultivating with four heads of burros. It looked extremely primitive.

In my youthful days, I saw grain threshed out with a flail and then winnowed out by the wind. I have also ridden a horse to tramp the grain out on the barn floor. There has been a great development in the handling of grain since those early days, as there has been in many other things, including transportation. I had never ridden in an airplane until July 1951, when I flew to Boise, Idaho.

I remember the building of the Utah Central Railroad track from Salt Lake City to Ogden. Father had teams working on the grading when I was nine years old. I used to take things to the men at work and sometimes I drove a team and scraper. We used to haul hay up Weber Canyon when the Union Pacific was being built to Ogden. I also remember the stage line that used to go through Farmington. The company had a station about a mile and a half northeast of Bishop Secrist's farm. There they used to change horses. There were usually four horses on a stage. I remember the morresite war at Uinta, below the mouth of Weber Canyon.

As a boy I did a great variety of things on the farm. I helped herd the cattle and sheep on the bottoms and the mountains, and the cows in the fields. I helped the older boys with many of the chores. I helped with the milking, taking care of the horses and cows, working in the garden, riding the horse for cultivating the corn, raking the hay, carrying water to the men, binding grain and hauling hay. As I grew a little older, I loaded hay, helped with the threshing and many odd jobs on the farm. As we always had plenty of work at home, I never worked for anyone else, except as an exchange job.

I did very little canyon work, but did haul some lumber and slabs. I hauled but very little wood, even though in early days we used considerable wood, especially for fire in molasses making. Father owned a molasses mill and I used to feed the sugar cane into it while Jeremiah Jones boiled the juice to make the molasses. Our mill was located across the road west from the barn. It was run by waterpower and we made great barrels of molasses. When late peaches were ripe we used to boil them in the molasses vat and make preserves. There were several molasses mills in the town at different times.

I remember that father purchased two stands of bees when they were first introduced in the county. Under the able care of my brother, Timothy B., we soon had plenty of bees. He became quite a success as a bee handler.

Father started farming with the ten acres allotted to him by Bishop Joseph L. Robinson. Brother Robinson had reserved a parcel of land farther west of town, but Father said that if it were all right with him, he would settle farther east. Brother Robinson said that if he wanted that kind of land, he could have thirty acres. Father settled on thirty acres of choice land just west of where the railroad tracks are now situated. As the years went by, father bought several farms and when he died, he owned about 600 acres of land in Farmington. About 150 acres were irrigated and the rest was pasture and dry farm land.

We raised about 2,000 bushels of grain each year and had a great deal of hay, perhaps about 300 tons each year for the cattle and livestock and for sale in Salt Lake City.

In the early days, father was out with President Brigham Young on a trip in Bear Lake County in Idaho. There were a number of streams of water and President Young suggested to father that he get some other families and settle on the streams. He and uncle Joseph, with others, settled Georgetown, Idaho. He took up land and developed a good cattle ranch. Father paid about $500 for a Short Horn bull and developed a good herd of cattle. Later I took over the management of the farms and we developed a fine herd of registered Short Horn cattle.

We used to drive the cattle between Farmington and Georgetown. We had good ranges and pastureland in Idaho and had the cattle there in the summer and in the fall we drove them to Farmington to feed them hay and grain and market them. In the spring we drove them back to Bear Lake and this was usually my job.

At father's death the land was divided among the children. Wilford, Charles and I had the land in Georgetown. Father asked Joseph if he wanted land in Idaho, and he chose to have the land in Bear River Valley instead. He later turned this land over to his son Smith. Joseph also had some land in Farmington.

I had some good land in Farmington, as well as in Georgetown. Walter and Melvin have cleared off willows, developed the land and now operate good farms at Georgetown. We raised hay, grain and produce at Farmington and raised cattle and horse and later developed a dairy herd.






Edward B. Clark Autobiography

<Autobiography Main>< Introduction>< Early Childhood> < Boyhood> < Young Manhood> < Genealogy> < Summary of Church Activities> < Priesthood Activities> < Missionary Work> < Civic Service> < Positions in Civic Affairs> < Farming> < Water> < Traveling Experiences> < Children Born to Edward B. Clark> < Incidents in the Life of Wealthy Richards Clark> < Testimony By Mrs. Wealthy Richards Clark> < Incidents in the Life and Labors of Alice Randall Clark>< A Message to The Ezra T. Clark Association> < Faith Promotion Incidents of Edward B. Clark> < Another Faith Promoting Incident> < Another Case of Remarkable Healing> < Activities of My Family---My Great Achievement> < My Testimony> < Appendix>