Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Driving Aunt Alice


Monday morning we were up bright and early for our adventure with Aunt Alice.  We were going to her childhood and adulthood home and were so excited to go with the best guide ever.  Alice had not been to Duchesne for three years and Glen and I had not been there for at least thirty years.  It was time to check things out.  Alice was most amazed that Duchesne had installed its first traffic light!

We drove up Provo Canyon and turned right in Heber onto the 40 passing by Strawberry Reservoir.  There was some pretty heavy fog at the reservoir.  My last trip to Duschesne was in late summer and it was hot, dry, and windy.  Spring time in Duschesne is just lovely and green and beautiful!


We took a little tour of town and places where Alice had lived.  She kept commenting on the things that had changed in just three years.  We then drove to the north side of town just under the ridge where Jesse Warren and Sarah Matilda Clement finally settled down after leaving Fairview for Talmage.  I tried to get pictures of family homes in this pretty little neighborhood which was once family owned.

This little home was built by Sarah Matilda and her sons, Lyle and Ted Clement, after the death of her husband from a burst appendix in 1933.


Next door to the east was the home of her daughter, Sarah Vail called Vail, and her husband Alfonzo Giles White.


This little white house is where Aunt Alice was born.  She turned 80 this year.  Her family had moved to this home after the Depression hit and they lost their beautiful home which Jesse Warren and George Jenson had built.  Alice feels that her parents never fully recovered financially after the Depression.


This was the home that they lost and is also the birth place of Glen's father, Jordan Clay Jensen.  The property was surrounded by American flags and so appropriate for our Memorial Day trip.  This view is facing north and the south side of the house.


And this view is of the house facing west and I am looking east.  There was a bit of green coming out on the tree.  Nearby to the south was a tiny, little brown house and that is where the George and Della Jenson family moved to after Alice's birth.  I gave the camera to Glen for that shot, but somehow he didn't get it.  I need to instruct him in the use of my camera.

Eleven people lived in that little house.  Alice's brothers, Aral and Jordan, built a little log slab cabin or room in the back to sleep in.  It had no heat and snow would blow through the cracks.


There were beautiful trees on the property but Alice said she just remembered them as little sticks.  In 1947/48, the family moved to West Jordan.  Alice came back and stayed with her sister, Julienne, and her grandmother, Sarah Matilda, to attend her senior year of high school in Duchesne and that is when she met her eternal sweetheart, Terry Halladay.  They married at age 19 and Alice misses Terry so much.  They loved to travel and explore together.  Julienne had remained in Duchesne to be a help to her grandmother.


Up the road to the north is this lot which used to be the location of Jesse Warren and Sarah Matilda's home.  Jesse Warren had built this home plus many others in Duchesne.


This is also part of that property.


This road runs north south on the west side of where the family homes were located and it once led to the top of the ridge which was called "The Bench."


Now we are facing east and looking at a row of cottonwood trees which marked the west edge of a huge garden.  Alice said it would take her all day to weed one row.


This giant old tree was on the northwest corner of the garden plot.


That tree is now on the right of the photo and the red truck sits on the south side of Jesse Warren's home lot.


Now I have turned and am looking southeast.  That red picket fence surrounds the lot that was initially George and Della Jensen's home lot.

Aunt Alice told us that the area behind these homes was called "The Alley" and it was where the men worked the sawmill.


Now we are up on The Bench behind these homes to the northeast.


Aunt Alice told about spending hours playing up here and about the bonfires they would have.


The town of Duchesne from The Bench.  Alice was able to pick out the roofs of homes she knew.  There were newer homes behind us as well as a beautiful LDS chapel.  Alice also said that a family whom she knew while growing used to live and farm on The Bench.  We turned back west and headed north on highway 87.


We were on our way to Talmage where the Clement and Jenson families had bought land in the early 1900's.  This is "main street" in Talmadge.


I loved this sign and the weathered buildings.


This was their church at the same intersection.  It has been turned into a home.


Another view of the church building from the south looking north.


We preceded down the road from this intersection going north and then turned west and south for about three miles to land where some Jensons still live and farm.  This a view of the land first cleared of sage brush by Ola Joseph and Nancy Morrell Jenson and their children and Jesse Warren and Sarah Matilda Brady Clement and their children.


They had a difficult time with getting water, but that does not seem to be a problem today.  The sprinklers were shooting out lots of water.


Alice wasn't sure where the Jenson land and the Clement land met, but she thought it would be about here.  These shots are from the road and looking east.


This older home was on the west side of the road on Jenson property.  There were children playing in the yard and they verified that they were Jensons.


An out building on the east side of the road.


And land which was definitely Clement land to the north of the Jenson land.


Now I am looking north with the Unitas in the background.  That is the ridge which plays a big part in a family tragedy.


Jesse Warren and Sarah Matilda experienced the tragic deaths of three young sons during their early years, two in Fairview and Gwendlin Clay near this ridge.  He had been sent to round up the horses so that they could go to the church for a 4th of July celebration.  He did not return in a timely fashion so his father went looking for him.


There is now a big home on the ridge near where there was a wooden tower which Jesse and family had built on the ridge.  It was from that tower that Jesse saw smoke rising from a cedar tree.  He hurried toward the smoke and found that lightening had struck the tree and Clay on his horse.  Clay was badly burnt and so was the horse. Both died on the 4th of July 1917.  It was a horrible thing for the family.  Glen's father Jordan Clay was named so in remembrance of this uncle.


Now we are on the road near the ridge looking south toward the Jenson and Clement properties and the cedar ridge to the south of their properties.  Della had gone to BYU for her first year.  That summer, she came home and married the boy next door.


Sarah Matilda Brady Clement owned a lot of land north of Duchense and south of Talmage.  She had also purchased for 5 cents an acre the mineral rights.  Today, there are oil derricks dotted across this area.  Royalties are sent each year to her many, many descendants from this well.  Alice took us to the top of the ridge where the oil well is located.


So now the family knows where that little check you receive each year that you have to add to your tax return comes from.


Next stop was a right off the 87 onto highway 35 and the Utahn Cemetery.  It was here that George Jenson bought a plot (which included space for eight burials) when his son Clive, died of spinal meningitis at age 10.


George and Della are also buried here. . .


as is their oldest daughter, Hazel.


Here is a close up of the names and dates on the main Jenson marker.


The cemetery is east of the Duchesne River on a sandy hill top.


The Jenson plot is just inside the east gate and south of the flag pole.  Julienne has the original certificates for this plot that were given to George in 1929.  There would be room for four more if needed.  It appears that one could not buy just one spot but had to buy a block of eight.


This gives you a good idea of the plot.  I am facing east from the west gate and Glen and Alice are standing at the plot.


Also was happy to see that the local DUP unit had black topped the sandy roads between the plots.


But she was distressed at the condition of the graves.  She and Terry had gone through a series of steps to beautify this place including rail road ties, wooden board dividers, and finally these rocks.


No matter what is used, the bunch grass and tumble weeds return.


She came with gloves to do her part.  We had not even considered that there would be some needed care.  Glen helped her pull and I took it to the trash.


As you can see, the rocked outlines have encroached on what could be additional burial sites.


We continued on the 35 west along the Duchesne River toward Tabiona and the mountain pass to Kamas and Peoa.  It was a beautiful drive on a nicely paved road with passing lanes.  On our trip to Duchesne those many, many years ago this was a dirt road and we said, "Never again."  It always was a beautiful drive and now it is an easy drive.  At the top of the mountains we were at 9500 feet.

Driving Aunt Alice was so fun because on this part she pointed out all the places where George had herded sheep.  She told how they would tell others that in the summer they always went to their summer cabin but not telling them that it was a sheep herder wagon.  She loved those times in the beautiful Utah mountain meadows with her family where they would help by hand feeding the orphan lambs.  She also told us that sheep dogs are not dogs you are allowed to play with.


The corrals and loading ramp shown above are just to the south of highway 35 and it is just to the east in a grassy meadow that George Jenson died of a heart attack while herding sheep on October 15, 1963 at 69 years of age.  They would check in on their herders a couple of times a week and he was found dead in his wagon, but he died doing what he liked best and while being in his beloved mountains.


We soon found ourselves in the lower valleys and towns of Kamas and Peoa.  George was born in Peoa on George Washington's birthday in 1894, thus his name.


 The Peoa Cemetery is the resting place of several ancestors of George, Alice and Glen.


Ola Jenson came from Sweden to Utah in 1869 with his wife and a daughter, Anna.  He was sent by Brigham Young to this eastern mountain valley where he lived and is buried.


This is the grave marker of Ola Jensen and his second wife, Christena, whom he married two years after the death of his first wife.  It is located to the right of the main gate.


His first wife, Anna Carlson, whom he married in Sweden and who traveled with him to Utah along with their baby girl, Anna, is buried to the left or north of the main gate.  Baby Anna died soon after arriving in Utah and she is buried near her mother.  Anna Carlson gave birth to five sons before passing away at a young age of 37 at the birth of a baby girl who also died.  The oldest of her sons, Ola Joseph, was George's father.


Ola Joseph Jenson and Nancy Morrell are also buried in this cemetery.


We so enjoyed our day with Aunt Alice.  I hope she enjoyed it, too, even though we didn't stop for lunch until mid-afternoon.  We went to Kneaders in Heber for soup and bread AND bread pudding,  Bread pudding it turns out, is a favorite of both Alice and myself.  We also drove by our favorite spots in Midway including Memorial Hill and the new cheese store before heading back down Provo Canyon.  We picked up Alice at 7:30 am and delivered her to her door at about 4:30 pm, so it was a long day but a great day. We learned so much about Glen's Jenson/Jensen side while driving Aunt Alice.

8 comments:

RoeH said...

History! Love it. And I love trips like this.

Peggy Jensen cappo said...

That is so neat to read and see the pictures! I really enjoyed it! Thanks!

Lexington Ward Teachers Improvement Course said...
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Terrilyn Halladay Stout said...

Thank you Laurel and Glen for taking my Mom back home. I am sure it meant the world to her. Just to help you with the comments, the ridge over Duchesne is known as the Bench. My Mom (Alice) sure told you guys more about the old houses then she did Ranae and I... So glad you could get the stories. I am very grateful to you for being such an important part of my Mom's life. Thank you! Terrilyn Halladay Stout. :-)

Laurel said...

Terrilyn, Thank you for your sweet comments. I went back to the post and edited Halliday to Halladay and changed "the ridge" for "The Bench." Thank you for your help! Glen and I really love being with your mom. It is a gift for us parentless people! And yes, I just created "parentless" because it is better than orphans :)

Emilia said...

Laurel, I had forgotten about your blog. It was great to read all the history and seeing the pictures.

Emilia said...

Laurel, I had forgotten about your blog. It was great to read all the history and seeing the pictures.

TwofromTalmage said...

Hello Laurel, my husband Dallas is one of the younger sons of Calvin Jensen (George's youngest brother) and we live in Talmage, but not where the old homestead is. When you plan another trip out, please let us know and we can show you where some of the old homes and property used to be. We can also show you where the grave is of the young boy and his horse that was hit with lightening. Jesse's Knoll is a little further to the West than where you are showing it in your picture. We would love to meet with any of your family that comes out this way.

ijensen@ubtanet.com