MEMORIES OF MY FATHER, ISAAC THOMAS PRICE
By Leslie L. Price - Feb. 1955
The earliest recollection of my association with my father, is going to Laketown in the big white top buggy to buy groceries and kerosene for the lamps, at Brother Irwin’s store. Another time, later, I went to town to buy candy on Old Maude [a horse], and told Brother Irwin father had sent me for the candy. Father found out about it, of course. That night when we went to bed, I was sleeping with him upstairs. He told me what I had done and how wrong it was to tell a fib like that; and I must always try to tell the truth.
Another trip we went on was to Randolph just before Christmas to Spencer’s store. We were in the store for awhile and on going out to the sleigh we found that the foot-warmer father used to keep his feet warm had caught fire on the quilts and it burned a little on the sleigh box. Mother and Myrtle were with us, too. We all got a little cold before we reached home. Father felt bad about burning the quilts. I remember seeing in the store some of the things we got for Christmas that year - a toy roller mill I always wanted.
I remember father building the kitchen on the north side of the house. Later he made a door in the north front room, and made a place for Grandfather Price to live in. When Grandfather moved up into the sheep-shed hospital room, father started a store in the north room. Later he built a new store building below the road. Father and Uncle Joseph were in business together.
Father went to Evanston to freight in things for the store, with the team, and I went with him on many trips. We stayed at Mr. Barney's bunkhouse just below Bear River Bridge in Evanston. We went to Beeman’s and Cashin’s Store; also Burdette’s store to load up the wagon. On one trip father bought me a nice bridle also one for Wilford. Mine was covered with shiny keepers and rosettes. Wilford's was more plain. We went to the Bon Ton Restaurant to eat a lot of times. They were wonderful meals.
On one trip we went to a gun store to buy Wilford a pistol, but they did not have what we wanted.
Sometimes we camped on Saleratus Creek in Woodruff. It was always awfully cold there and father coughed real hard in the early mornings when we were caring for the horses and getting started. Sometimes we stayed with the Tingey family in Woodruff. I was happy about that because I always had so much fun with Roy and Francis.
On one trip father bought me a dollar watch. I put it in a pocket in my overalls. After we loaded the coal I went to sleep on the load. I didn’t tell father I had lost my watch. When the coal was unloaded they asked me where my watch was. I said, "Up stairs." Then they gave me the watch. They (father and mother) really lectured me for telling a lie like that.
One trip father let me go with him to Paris to Conference. He sat up with the other bishops so he let me watch the man turn the crank to make the big organ play.
I do remember father preaching in Round Valley, and one sermon I can still remember was saying, "Straight is the gate that leads to life eternal, and broad is the way that leads men down to destruction," (making motions with right and left arms.
When I was eight years old I was baptized in the Price dam by my father. He waded out on the east side because it was about a third full of water. I waded out to him. There we stood, I looking up to him. With uplifted arm he gave the prayer. The next Sunday father and James Anderson confirmed me a member of the Church.
Father walked to the Church House a lot of the time. I used to go with him, running part of the time to keep up with him a-hold of his right hand.
I enjoyed the evening Priesthood meetings most, and the one song I liked best was, "Come, All Ye Sons of God, Who have Received the Priesthood".
Some afternoons they held a children's dance in the Church House. Father played the violin for us and sometimes "called" a few of the square dances. He said it was hard to play the violin because his fingers were so hard and dry.
One time I remember Joseph Moffatt coming over and claiming a horse father had just branded. We all knew the colt belonged to us. Father said, "If Brother Moffatt thinks it is his horse, he can have it," telling us, when we questioned it, "It is always better to lose than to cause trouble, even though you are in the right."
Father bought a red Durham bull and walked all the way from Laketown and led him with a halter. We children met him down by the dugway to help bring him home. Father was proud of the stock he raised.
I went with father to move John Struntz's sheep camp from Morley Canyon over to Otter Creek Flat. We had Old King and Queen[horses] and I rode Old Liz[horse] with a chain and singletree for a third horse, to pull up the steep places, At one place we could not pull it up the hill so we unloaded all the sawed wood that "Nicodemus" had under the bunk.. Mr. Struntz was mad because we left his wood. He liked me so he made me a pretzel and sent it down in a shoebox. We all called him "Nicodemus" but not to his face. Father always laughed when I said it.
Father made a derrick sweep and hued it by hand, with the axe. He was out in the road by the corral. The axe slipped and he cut his foot bad. He told me to run and find mother, he had cut his foot. I found mother and we got his shoe off. He sat on a chair out in the north dooryard while mother bathed it. I thought he looked awfully white, but he didn't cry, just mumbled a little.
In the mornings father always got up early to do the chores and milk the cows. I got up early, too, and went with him every time I could. One morning in the summer we were milking a cow and she wouldn’t stand still, so father just picked up the stool in his left hand and tapped the red cow on the horn and she dropped over dead. He looked so astonished He said, under his breath, "Well, I guess I let my temper run away with me that time." He always thought out loud, I called it. We had to drag the cow up the hollow.
All winter of 1912 father had not been feeling well. He went with some of the boys to bring in the doggie lambs he had bought from Chapman's Ranch above Woodruff. They slept in the white top buggy over on Otter Creek and he caught a heavy cold, and he did not go to bed soon enough. One afternoon he met me up by the old granary and gave me the keys and said, "I am sick and won't be able to get around for a few days. You take good care of things, won't you, my boy?" putting his arm around my neck. And the next few days we waited and hoped and prayed he would be better.
I will always remember the fine example he gave to all of us and hope we can always look back and say, "We have kept the faith true to the best we know how."
May the memory and faith of our father and mother ever bind us in family ties, for many generations.