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The Family File

Hyrum Don Carlos Clark

My First Train Ride With Father

By Hazel Clark Spencer (written 11/28/80)

It was frightening to me when father announced that just he and I were going to take a trip "down below," as he always called the Farmington and Salt Lake area.
Hazel is shown in this 1922 photo from Star Valley

After numerous complaints from my school teachers that I was unable to see the chalkboards, father was getting me some glasses. Since eye doctors and eyeglasses were scarce in Afton, Wyoming in those days, father was taking me to the very best doctor he knew, Dr. Stookey, in Salt Lake City.

The two day trip from Afton to Montpelier, Idaho in the horse-drawn wagon was uneventful. But after staying with father at the hotel in Montpelier and listening to the trains, a noise which I had never heard before, the anticipation of actually riding a train the very next morning became almost unbearable.

During our train ride, father talked to me a lot and I wonder if he realized that I was just ten years old. Father would say, "Now daughter, remember as I have said before and taught you." But I didn't remember any "before." I suppose after eighteen children, when it got down to me, the baby and youngest, all this was old and tiresome to father. But, I do remember father telling me I was born of goodly parents and that faith and truth of the Gospel was uppermost in their minds. During this train ride, father told me for the first time, that I would meet some of my brothers and sisters. Also, I would meet Aunt Liza at Farmington where we would stay a few days before going on to Salt Lake to visit my sister, Herma, and see the doctor.

This time alone with father on the train in early 1924 remains one of my many fond memories of him. And, I am truly thankful to be born of goodly parents.


(A Tribute - Summer 1983)

As we pay honor to our Father, Hyrum Don Carlos Clark on this, the occasion of our H.D. Clark family reunion, I feel it a privilege to add my remarks in his honor and show my respect as his youngest child. I grew to know Father more intimately in his later years of life. When as a family living in Farmington he showed love and compassion for his family. Losing most of his financial means for one reason or another was a trial for Father. But he and Mother kept their faith and made a happy home. Those teenage years were pleasant years. Carlos, his youngest son, stayed by Father and helped him with the farm during those troubled times. I have great love and respect for my worthy parents, who lived their lives according to the teaching of our Father in Heaven by obeying and living the principles of the church. By reading Mother's (Mary R. Clark) own life history we realize the tremendous faith and courage they had.

I feel that Father is truly a great man. And I am pleased to have a part in honoring him today.

Hazel Clark Spencer

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