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Friday, August 12, 2011


Below:  Aldon, Edythe & Miriam Johnson


Obtained from his daughter, Miriam

Taken from a Tape

My parents blessed me with the name of Allan Oscar Johnson and I was born in Murray, Utah, on April 20, 1905. I didn’t remember when we moved to Idaho but I was told that I was about a year and one half old when we moved to Idaho from Murray, Utah. We moved by means of team and wagon. This was in March when the weather was still quite cold. I rode the distance but I don’t remember any of that particular ride. My father managed to build a simple home and father farmed the place and did very well although he was very inexperienced.

One of the first things I remember was when I was about four years of age it was one of the first exciting things, Father was working in the field and mother wanted Gerda, my older sister, and I to take lunch out to father in the field because he was tending water and he couldn’t leave the water. We got about half way out to the field where father was and we saw what we thought was a big gray wolf and it scared us and so we ran back to the house. We dropped the lunch pail and spilled all the lunch and when we ran we were screaming all the way for mother and she came out and we told her there was a big gray wolf after us. She said no there couldn’t be. We said it was so. She went out with us and we happened to see this big gray animal and she said it wasn’t a wolf, but a big greyhound dog. It was so enormous we thought it was a big wolf. Any way, that scare left an impression on my life, as I was very young.

But the thing I remember was when I got a kiddy car for Christmas. It was homemade affair but it served the purpose.

I also remember when our family and the Olsen Family and the Anderson family decided to take a trip into the hills with us as a family unit and I remember Father making a whistle. I was whistling that for days. I do remember that trip. It was one of the exciting things of my life, something I will never forget.

And another exciting thing in my life was when I must have been around five and one half years old. Anyway, I was to start school and I needed a tablet and a pencil and my older sister said that she would get the tablet and pencil for me when she came home from school. We lived a mile and a half away from school and she had to walk all the way. When I decided it was about time she should be coming home, I decided to go meet her and I ran about a half-mile down to meet her just to get that tablet and pencil. That was one of the prizes of my life.

And also, when I reached the age of 8 years old, father bought me a bicycle, for me from Santa Claus. I learned later who Santa Claus was. Anyway, that was a wonderful gift. I really treasured that, and tried to take really good car of it.

There are several things that happened in my life, but some of them I would have to ponder on in order to put them in story form. I would like to tell you a little about my early chores that I had to do. I started going chores very young because I was the oldest boy in the family. We started thinning and hoeing beets when I was six year old. I remember too, I would help father cultivate beets. At that time we didn’t have modern tractor equipment like we do now. And we didn’t even have modern horse drawn equipment at that time. Father had a little two-row cultivator that had handles on it like a hand plow. It had bars underneath. It had a shaft under for a single horse. We hooked it up, too. Father couldn’t drive the horse and guide the cultivator too. So when I was very young, I would ride the horse and guide the horse and keep the horse from stepping on the rows of beets. I didn’t succeed and the horse stepped on the row. Whenever the horse would step on the row of beets then father would give me a little lecture. So I had to be very attentive of where the horse would put its feet. But anyway, we accomplished the job of cultivating the beets that way.

It was later that we got a larger cultivator that used two horses instead of one. And a person could drive the horses from a seat on this cultivator and guide the cultivator with his feet, up and down the rows. Now the younger people of today probably don’t even remember this machine. It was a modern machine at that time. I started plowing with a team when I was twelve years old. We had two horses. One was a fast horse and one a slow horse. I always had to hang on the fast one and hold it back so that the slow horse would do a little of the work. And that really put a drag on me and made me very tired. I would have to sit down in the furrow and rest occasionally. Well, I would like to give some more later but at the present time this should suffice.

New Tape

I’d probably like to start about the time I was called on my first mission. I didn’t hardly feel that I was ready to go on a mission yet. When I had my interview with my Bishop he felt that I should prepare to go on a mission. He said he would give me a month to think and pray about it. This frightened me as I didn’t think I was well enough versed in the Gospel. I talked it over with Father and Mother. They were thrilled to have me go. They suggest that I start studying more, so I consented.

I was ordained an Elder and in the Elders group meetings I received a lot of help. I questioned my testimony. I prayed for a testimony. This worried me quite a little so I decided that I would have to do a lot of praying to get an answer, some kind of assurance that was the thing I should do. So I did each night and then one time I happened to have a dream and I woke up at the close of this dream and I determined that this was in answer to my prayers. I dreamed that I was out in the filed watering potatoes and I had a stream of water coming down the ditch. And it necessitated working real fast to get the water set in as many rows as possible before the stream got there and so I was working real hard. And while I was working I noticed that the atmosphere was getting darker. So I looked up and saw heavy black clouds approaching. I thought it looked like we were going to have a heavy rainstorm and then I realized that it didn’t seem like rain clouds but smoke, I observed that it was fire. So I dropped my shovel and started running.

I felt impressed to go to the Church. I was closer there than I was home, so I ran as fast as I could. And as I ran I didn’t realize that I had heavy boots on and so by the time I got to the Church I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it or not. I was so tired. I didn’t know if I could make it at all. I soon became exhausted. I finally made it there. The Bishop was just ready to close the door. Just as I got there and before he closed the door I looked back and the trees across the street were bursting into flame one right after the other in sort of a chain reaction and the Bishop closed the door. We were in there for some time. I don’t know just how long we were in there. I don’t have any idea how long it was but we were pretty suffocating for the want of fresh air as the church was pretty well filled up and finally the Bishop said it was all right to open the door and we opened the door and all the landscape was black between our building and the 1st Ward Church which was the other side of town. Before the fire there was a lot of trees and buildings, we had no chance of seeing the other church and when we came out after the fire then we could see the other church standing there all alone. And I decided this was my answer, that I was representing the True Church. The lord was telling me hat those who are valiant in the church shall be saved when the earth will be destroyed.

I told the Bishop that I would go so we prepared the paper work and when the papers came back with my call, I was called to the Swedish Mission. So I went into the mission field with this dream on y mind. I went for a long time and never said anything to anyone. I believe I told Rula about it but I was afraid that I would be ridiculed for dreaming a dream, that really sounded foolish, when I mentioned the trees bursting into flame in a chain reaction. Several years later some scientists were reporting on the Atomic combustion and he mentioned in his report he feared that sometime in the future they would create some kind of explosion that would create a chain reaction of the atmosphere. With that in mind that went along with the dream I had, I felt like I could mention it without being ridiculed. That was the first experience I had that the lord does answer prayers. And the testimony that I would like to bear at this time is that the lord does answer our prayers if we are sincere and persistent in trying to receive an answer for a just cause.

Well, when the time came for me to leave on my mission. I got the call in December 1923 and I was to leave on the 2nd of February 1924. There was quite a lot of snow on the ground at the time when I went down to the train. When the train came, we exchanged farewell greetings. Mother had tears in her eyes when I boarded the train. The family was there and a few other people. At that time we didn’t have a Mission Training Center. We remained in Salt Lake long enough to go through the temple and be set apart for our mission, and receive our papers and instructions then we would take off. I tried to get a visa in my passport. I was called to the Swedish mission but the Swedish delegate there in Salt Lake City refused to sign my visa so I was told to stop at Chicago and try to get a visa there, but failed to get a visa there either for my passport, so I went on toe New York to try again to get a visa for my passport.

B. H. Roberts was the President of the Eastern States Mission and he tried very hard to encourage them to give me a visa. We learned that they had a campaign started in Sweden against the Mormon Missionaries. Anyone born out of the country was having difficulty and those born in the country were the ones who could go into the country and do missionary work.

Anyway, In New York, when I was refused there, they decided I should go on to Oslo, Norway because the boat was going to land there first and then from there on to Copenhagen, Denmark. That was the thing we did.

I would like to mention the experience I had with Dr. B. H. Roberts, one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had in my life. He was a great spiritual man and he did so much to encourage myself and other missionaries who were traveling to other missions in my same group. And I learned to really appreciate his great writings, the church history and other writings.

As we had to wait for two days for an appointment to the Swedish Consulate when we arrived in Oslo, Norway, we decided to go with some other missionaries to a ski resort and enjoy the World Skiing meet. That was a wonderful experience, watching the ski champions from around the world perform. We had a good viewing spot close to the king’s platform. Skiers would come down the run reaching speeds up to 80 miles per hour. When they left he ramp and would fly through the air several hundred feet before they came down to the runway again. Some would fail to remain upright on their skis. They would go on down the slick slope on their stomach, back, seat, or however. One skier broke a leg and had to be carried off on a stretcher. This experience helped to ease my concern about getting a visa.

The next day we went down to the Norwegian Embassy. We also learned about a new leader who had pledged to slop the work of the missionaries for the Mormon Church. A decision was made that I go to Denmark and try again. If that failed I could stay in the Danish Mission. An older missionary, who had boarded the ship at New York, left me at Oslo, Norway. He had received his visa. He was born in Sweden and had come back to visit his native land. He boarded the train at Oslo, which took him across the country to Stockholm, Sweden.

On our way to Copenhagen, Denmark we had sailed for a half-day breaking our way through rather thin ice up to six inches thick. We finally hit ice that stopped the ship. They would reverse the ship for 1000 feet or more, then make a run for it and hit the ice. This would jar the whole ship. It would grind the ice four or five hundred feet and stall. After the third try they decided to wire and have an icebreaker come to our aid. We waited for about 20 hours before the icebreaker arrived.

In the meantime the captain permitted some of the passengers to climb down a rope ladder to play on the ice and go out far enough to take pictures of the ship. When the icebreaker did arrive, it was interesting to see how the icebreaker did its job. The front of the ship was sledded back some distance. The force of the propellers would cause the front of the ship to sled up on the ice. Then the weight of the ship would break the ice down and the chunks of ice would pile up on the sides of the ship and allow it to pass through. Our ship followed in the path made by the icebreaker. We finally arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark after six days from Oslo, Norway. It was an interesting voyage. We saw a few other ships stalled in the ice waiting for help. But when we did get to Denmark, the visa was again refused.

After about a month’s effort they decided they would agree to sign my passport visa on condition that I should do no propaganda work about Mormonism B just visit with family and friends there. We contacted the mission president and asked him what we should do. We were told to sign the affidavit and they would try to correct the condition from inside Sweden. I received permission from the Mission President to go to Sweden. They though they could get it straightened out when I got in and so I proceeded to proselyte.

I proceeded in Stockholm. There I was again refused a visa but I was permitted to stay in the country to visit friends and relatives for two months. It was agreed that I could probably do some missionary work while visiting with friends and relatives, which we did. I was finally sent up to a district. I had been there about three months when I received worked from the mission president that the authorities knew where I was and they were on their way up to escort me out of the country. I had been in the country then three months beyond d the visa period that I had. When I learned that the authorities were coming to pick me up I was told to pack up and come to Stockholm, which I did. And when we got there the conference president went with me down to the police station and they gave me a six months jail sentence for remaining in the country without a visa, that didn’t set too well. One of the conference authorities said that I could try again and if I failed I could preach to the prisoners. I made the remark that I had been called to teach people and not to the prisoners.

We reported this to the American Embassy in Stockholm, also we notified Senator Smoot in Washington D. C. As a result of this I was released on condition that I would leave Sweden within ten days and they decided to send me to Denmark. There I learned that other missionaries who were born outside of Sweden also had similar difficulties.

I went to Denmark and served there for about six months waiting for a transfer. After waiting for some time in Denmark, waiting for a transfer to a permanent mission, I was having difficulty changing to the Danish Language to teach the Gospel. My mother and father were both born in Sweden so I was somewhat familiar with that Language. In the meantime President McKay who was serving as the Mission President of the European mission finished his mission and left shortly after I had gone to Denmark and Dr. James E. Talmage was the new mission president. And for some reason or other the records that I had been sent to Denmark had been lost and I continued working there thinking this is where I would be serving. I finally received a letter stating an apology for forgetting that I had never received an official transfer and the transfer said that I was to go to England. So I labored for 5 months in Sweden, 6 months in Denmark, and 14 months in England. I did have a lot of experiences in all three.

One time my companion and I decided to try going without purse or script. And so my companion, who was from Layton, Utah, went with me and we walked up north through the timber area. We walked the biggest part of the day to try and reach Farling, (Denmark) and when we got there we were very hungry and this was a place where there were a lot of berries. We ate these berries to relieve the hunger we felt and then we walked to try to find a family by the name of Lars Anderson. A short distance from Farling there was a timber cutting settlement. We located this Lars Anderson and he was so happy because we were the first missionaries he had seen for several years. And so he took us in and fed us, which we appreciated very much and then helped us arrange the use of this one room schoolhouse to hold meetings in. This was done and we advertised as best we could through talking to some of these men down at the lumber mill. And when we held the meeting there was only two people that came in and sat down. We noticed that there were a lot of people outside so we went out and tried to encourage them to come in and it didn’t seem that we had any influence on them. Finally after quite a bit of time and one of the fellows that had gone inside went out and talked to them a, about a dozen people came in and sat down and so we started.

We started the meeting with a short introduction then my companion who had a better command of the language was going to give the sermon. While I was talking another person sneaked in a just casually and he sat down in the back, and so we proceed with the meeting. After the meeting, we went back to visit with the group and get their response and several of the people rushed out as fast as they could, but we have a good meeting with some of them.

Then we were to locate Lars Anderson’s family and so we asked Brother Anderson where we could locate his family. He said one of them lives too far away to walk but another lived about 10 miles. We asked for directions to visit him but he said you wouldn’t’ find him by the name of Anderson. His name would be Larson. In as much as his first name was Lars, so the son would be Larson, so we ventured forth and found his son and his family and we had a fairly interesting conversation with him. But he was hesitant to take on any responsibility to further the work of the Church. That concludes that experience. We felt that the effort that we put forth in attempting to travel without purse or script to teach the Gospel was successful to a degree.

Experiences in the civic and general temporal field by Allan Oscar Johnson

In 1933, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt became President, he introduced the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) to improve the plight the farmers were in. This called for organizing the farmers so they could work towards bettering their condition. This organization extended from the grass roots, the Farmers themselves through to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary Wickard).

At the meeting of the farmers in Shelley, Idaho District, I was elected chairman. Three others were chosen to represent committees in the district. We met to discuss programs to help the farming industry. An allotment program was adopted to limit production to maintain fair prices to the farmers. The State committee was allotted so many acres, which was distributed to the counties. These allotments were distributed to the various committees. We in turn divided our acres to the farmers in our district.

We also had to police the farmers to see that they did not over plant. If they over planted, they were penalized. I was reelected chairman for each year for six years. At that time the county was reorganized. Philip Dance was made county chairman. I was made vice chairman. After one year Dance resigned and I was again elected chairman.

This is a part of the history that Dad wrote himself, so please excuse the duplications.

I am Allan Oscar Johnson, the second child born to my mother and father. I was born on April 20, 1905 in Murray, Utah. My father worked in the smelters there in Utah. When I was about one and a half years my parents moved to Shelley, Idaho to a farm there that Dad had bought. He was very new to farming and so he had to learn the hard way to farm. He had to learn the farming trade pretty much from scratch. As I got old enough and could understand a few things, I would follow father around and learned quite a bit in my early years of life.

One of the earliest things I remember about school was about 5, my older half sister was going to school in Shelley and my folks gave me a nickel and a penny. The nickel was to buy a tablet and the penny was to buy a penny pencil and it was very hard for me to wait for her to come home because she was going to buy them for me and bring them home to me. I remember how thrilled I was to receive it. I did a lot of practice writing, or course, most of it was scribbling. I learned how to scribble first then how to make a similitude of a house with windows in. You can imagine what they looked like though. But it was interesting to me to be able to create something like that on paper.

As I grew older my sister and I started working in the fields early. We were the two oldest children so we learned to thin beets early in life, as soon as we were able to learn to handle a hoe. That was my first experience with having a real job to do. I don’t recall receiving any money for it but it was something we were expected to do.

Life Sketch of Allan O. Johnson given at his Funeral in Wendell, Idaho

He was born in Murray, Utah to Carl Oscar Johnson and Gerda Theresia Hanson Johnson on April 20, 1905. He was raised in Shelley, Idaho on a farm just east of Shelley, on the Taylor Road.

He served a six month mission to Sweden and then was transferred to Denmark for five months and then to England for the balance of his mission time. The story of his mission is told in this history in another place.

When he returned home from his mission he decided that he wasn’t going to go into marriage without first making sure he had the right girl. He tells the story of how he happened to choose Rula Beck for his wife.
It seems that when he got home from his mission he began to date some girls. One in particular took his fancy and he dated her several times. But when things started to get serious, she made the comment that when they got married she would like him to buy her a roadster for her to drive around in and see her friends. This turned him off and they broke up.

Another girl with whom he got engaged asked him to dinner at her home. In the process of this meal the mother bragged a lot about her cooking and the father said that after they got married he would give them 40 acres to farm and help them to get started. This didn’t set too well as he had the feeling that they were trying to buy him for their daughter. This engagement soon broke off.

A girl friend soon introduced him to Rula at a dance and after a short courtship; he became serious and told her that he would be rather poor carrots because he didn’t have any money to start his married life on. They would have to start from scratch and in order to make a go of it, they would have to sacrifice and save money to buy the equipment he would need to pursue his farming occupation. The comment she made was, just remember this, I can take it if you can. This left the impression on him that she would be willing to sacrifice and he felt strongly that she was the one he was seeking to be his eternal companion.

Life History of Allan Oscar Johnson as remembered by Aldon, his son.

I should be able to remember a lot more than Ido, but will give what I can. Dad was born 20 April 1905 in Murray, Utah. Soon after his birth, his father homesteaded a farm in Shelley, Idaho. This was located about a mile and three quarters from town on the Taylor Road. (Note by CJC: It was told to me that Carl first homesteaded the farm of Hollis Harker on the southwest side of the butte, but traded for what is now the farm on the Taylor Road.) His father ordered a home from the Montgomery Ward catalog and they put it together on the property. It was a very nice home and is still standing and in use today. (Note from CJC: This home in 2006 is in use by Carl’s Granddaughter, Kristen Nelson and Maurice’s wife, Doris Kirkham Johnson.)

As a youth, dad had a dream. He dreamed that he was working on the farm and had a premonition that something was not right. He looked up and saw a very dark ominous cloud in the distance and he started running toward town. He arrived at the church just as the doors were being closed. He said that there were a lot of people there and that if felt very warm. After a time, when things began to feel better, they opened the doors. When dad looked out and the town was about all gone. He could see the other ward chapel across the tracks and it was still there and people were beginning to come out of it. This dream made a great impression on him that he must stay close to the Church at all times.

As young man he was called on a mission to Sweden, where his father had already filed three missions, one of them was during dad’s lifetime. He got as far as Denmark and could not get a vis to enter Sweden. As a result, he spent some time in Denmark doing missionary work. Finally the European mission president contacted him and suggested that he get a tourist visa to enter and that they would take care of the rest after he was there. This he did. He was serving somewhere in the Northern part of the country when the President contacted him that they could not get things changed, that there were two officers on their way to get him and that he should come to Stockholm immediately and report. He went once again to Denmark where he served for some months until he was reassigned to England where he finished his mission. At that time James E. Talmage was the President of the European mission and dad reported to his office. Dad, while waiting, was absorbed in some reading material and when President Talmage came out, he addressed him as Mr. Talmage. The President countered, Elder Johnson, I have joined the Church.

After his return home, he met and marry Rula Beck, my mother, from Rexburg, Idaho. She was born October 31, 1906. He told the story that soon after the marriage they attended a dance at Ricks College, I am not sure that it was Ricks College or Ricks Academy, but he was standing with a group of young people when mother came up and a young man who was there said, Allan, I would like you to meet Rula Beck. They looked at each other and the man said, Do you know one another? Dad said , Yes, we are married. I later met this man and he told me that he had introduced my parents just after they were married.

Soon after I was born, Dad got a farm in Lavaside, which is just out of Firth, Idaho. He just farmed that place for two years then he bought a 50 acre piece of ground just one mile east of Shelley, Idaho. He dug a hole for a basement, poured the forms for the walls and started to build a home. This is where I grew up; I just remember when Edythe was born. It was at home. Dad had a Model A Ford car but there was no electricity for the home yet. Dad removed a headlamp from the car and used some electric wire so the headlamp could be used for light for the birth. We used to haul drinking water in a toy wagon from Gutkey’s, a neighbor across the road. We hauled water for washing in a barrel on a wooden sledge from the canal about an eight of a mile away. I remember the man coming with a well drilling rig powered by a stationary steam engine, and we finally got running water into the kitchen. We never had indoor bath or toilet facilities until after we sold that farm and moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho.

About 1939, dad contracted tuberculosis. He became very sick. The doctors wanted him to go to a sanitarium, and the nearest one was in Ogden, Utah. He was there several months and didn’t seem to be getting any better and he was away from his family, so it was decided to bring him home. I drove the car to Ogden with mother to bring him home. At home he as kept in their bedroom in isolation and mother washed everything that came out of the room. I remember a time when he started coughing so that he could hardly get a breath. Mother called the Bishop and he came as fast as he could with another brother and they administered to him. He was able to rest and started to heal. It was a slow process. During this time we had another little home built next to ours for a hired man to assist with the farming. Also during this time dad rented another farm and the owner of the farm had just purchased a new Ford Ferguson tractor the year before. Dad bought the tractor from him and I used to do custom farming for our neighbors. Dad was a very good and successful farmer. He was in my estimation an artist when it came to irrigation.

During the time that dad was bedfast, he dreamed up a mechanical potato harvester. He sketched out his ideas and under his supervision, I built the machine. He had a blacksmith convert a horse drawn potato digger to a PTO tractor drawn digger. He had a push horse drawn potato digger which we dismantled and used the parts to build our new machine. I remember the first fall that we had it. We harvested all our potatoes and were topping our beets when a neighbor, Carl Anderson, came over. We had had some rain and he was having trouble getting the dirt through and the potatoes out so his hand pickers could get them. He wanted to try our machine. It was nearly 10 o’clock by the time we could get finished and hooked up and over there. It happened that his soil conditions were just right for our machine and about 11 o’clock, he hired a neighbor to come help haul the crop to the storage cellar. About 4’oclock he came to us and said, APlease stop now so we can get these in by midnight. The n ext year we put on some improvements and built another machine with these improvements and this neighbor bought the old original machine and used it for many years.

Our family consisted of myself, Carl Aldon Johnson, born 28 Jan 1928 in my grandfather’s home almost across the street from the second ward church building in Shelley, Bingham, Idaho. Miriam Louise Johnson was born 4 Dec 1929 in Lavaside, Blackfoot, Bingham, Idaho. Edythe Rula Johnson was born 29 Aug 1931 in Shelley, Bingham, Idaho. Earl Allan Johnson was born 9 September 1938 in the hospital in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho.

When Earl was born, the doctor who had been attending mother had to be out of town and left another doctor in charge of his patients. When it came time for the delivery, he was very drunk and as a result, Earl lost his hearing and has had many other health problems through out his life. Otherwise he is a very brilliant man and accomplished a great deal through his life. He learned to read lips and communicate very well.

In the fall of 1943, dad sold the farm in Shelley, and bought a farm made up of two 40 acre pieces of land in Idaho Falls, Idaho. We made the move in the middle of my sophomore year in high School. This farm was well developed, had a good home and out buildings. He served as Bishop in the Idaho Falls third ward for a time but had to be released for health reasons. He built a cinder block shop and that is where we repaired our own and neighborhood machinery and built potato harvesters, and various types of trailers for resale. I think that we built and sold 21 of our potato harvesters. In 1949, Dad sold his farm and as it was near enough to the city, he was able to sell it for home building lots. He also wanted to be nearer to the School for the Deaf and Blind, which was in Gooding, Gooding, Idaho. The farm in Gooding had an almost new home but no other buildings. Dad had to first build a milking barn and corrals and then a very nice larger shop. Dad’s health continued to decline. As a result of his earlier illness, allergies became a very large problem. He was very allergic to anything with wheat. If he walked across a wheat stubble field after harvest, his legs would break out in sores. Like I said, dad was a very good farmer, but due to health problems, he decided to go into something a bit different. He took on the dealership for Massey Harris farm equipment in 1956. He had looked into Allis Chalmers and was about to sign as a dealer for that company, as he had purchased an Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor. He did make some changes to put on a three-point hitch similar to the Ferguson 3 point. Then Massey Harris got wind of what he was doing and came to present their program. When they told him that their company had bought the Ferguson Company, 2 years earlier and that they were coming out with a line of tractors using the Ferguson hydraulic system, he signed with that company.

He kept the dealership on the farm until about 1960 when he went into a partnership with Fred Zitlau, who owned Zitlau Motors in Wendell, Gooding, Idaho. Fred was a dairy farmer out of Idaho Falls and had been hiring managers for his company, which sold GMC trucks, Plymouth and DeSoto cars and xome appliances. Dad moved his business into his facility, which had plenty of room. He got rid of the appliances quick. He soon found that the Auto Business was not for him and he made a success of the equipment business.

About 1976 he sold the business and retired. During the Second World War, he had served on the count y board of AAA, which was an agriculture government program. He served on the Bingham county Ration Board. Je joined the Farm Bureau Organization while he was living in Shelley and so when he moved to Idaho Falls, he was the first member of the Farm Bureau in Bonneville County. He served on the County and State boards of Farm bureau and was on the State Board when they started Farm Bureau Insurance Company. I also remember a time when Ezra Taft Benson was coming to speak to the Bonneville County Members. When he got to town, he was coming down with a very severe cold and could not attend, so he gave his written speech to dad to read in his stead. He stayed at our home and went to sleep and rested.

Dad was always active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served in many positions in the Church including Ward and later, home teaching, bishop and Stake High Council. He and mother served a full time mission in the Tulsa Oklahoma mission where they spent most of their time in South Eastern Missouri.

Testimony of Allan O. Johnson in Meeting before leaving on mission with Rula.

I would like to let you know that I know that the Gospel is true. I know that God lives as also Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I know that God the Father and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone. We have a saying, AAs man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become, through obedience to the principles of the Gospel. So we have a Heavenly Father waiting for us in heaven just as I have a father and mother waiting for me there. I would like to ask the blessings of the Lord to be with each and every one of you. I know we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father, and that much good can come from your strength. I express appreciation for our Presidents of the Church. I have much respect for them and they have meant quite a bit to me. BY the way, I have made the effort to have my Line of Authority here and I would like to read that to you at this time.

Spencer W. Kimball, 29 Sep 1926 ordained me a High Priest

President Kimball was ordained an apostle by Heber J. Grant, 7 Oct 1923.

Heber J. Grant was ordained an apostle by George Q. Cannon on 16 Oct 1918

George Q Cannon was ordained an apostle by Brigham Young on 26 Au 1860

Brigham Young was ordained an apostle by the three witnesses, 14 Feb 1835.

The Three Witnesses were ordained by Prophet Joseph Smith

Who was ordained by Peter, James and John, who were called and ordained by our savior,Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t take very many names to trace our authority back to Jesus Christ. In as much as I was called as a Bishop and they follow that line for my authority. SO I would like to give you that line.

I was ordained a Bishop by Ezra Taft Benson, 18 May 1945

Ezra Taft Benson was ordained ban apostle by Heber J. Grant on 7 Oct 1923

Heber J. Grant was ordained an apostle by George Q. Cannon on 16 Oct 1918

George Q Cannon was ordained an apostle by Brigham Young on 26 Au 1860

Brigham Young was ordained an apostle by the three witnesses, 14 Feb 1835.

The Three Witnesses were ordained by Prophet Joseph Smith

Who was ordained by Peter, James and John, who were called and ordained by our savior, Jesus Christ.

I would like to bear this testimony and leave with you all the best wishes for your lives and especially I would like to ask a blessing on all. May the Lord bless you all. I do this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Info from Shelley 2nd Ward Records

#365 Allen Oscar (Deacon)

Born 1903, 28 Apr (20 Apr 1905?)

Blessed 2 July 1905

Bapt 5 July 1913 by J. E. Kelley

Conf 6 July 1913 by Soren Yorgensen

Teacher 13 Feb 1922 by Warren Mallory

Priest 13 Feb 1922 by Andrus Walquist

Left for mission on 2 Feb 1924 - Scandinavian

Elder 27 Jan 1924 by Wilford Christensen

Marr age 22 on 7 Apr 1927 – temple to Rula Beck

Carl Alden

Born 28 Jan 1928

Bapt 29 Feb 1936 by Grant Haolland

Conf 1 Mar 1936 by Allen Oscar Johnson

Deacon 19 May 1940 by Allen Oscar

Teacher 14 Feb 1943 by F. G. Kelly

Miriam Louise

Born 4 Dec 1929

Bapt 4 Dec 1937 by Marian Sorensen

Conf 5 Dec 1937 by Allen Oscar Johnson

Gerda Louise Wilcox

Born 26 Nov 1930 in Woodland CA

Blessed 2 Aug 1931 by Carl Oscar Johnson

Edythe Rula

Born 29 Aug 1931

Blessed 4 Oct 1931 by oliver Humphries

Bapt 4 Nov 1939 by Walter Bowler

Conf 5 Nov by Allen Johnson

Earl Allen

Born 9 Sep 1938 in Idaho Falls

Blessed 2 Oct 1938


(Note-CJC:  I retyped this history from a copy that was sent to me.  It was so
enjoyable to read and ponder the lives of this wonderful family. )



Typed and edited by Edythe Rula Johnson Lloyd

We have bits and pieces of this history so it will not be in any order of her life. But with the help of Aldon and Del Ora and all the tapes that they used to record mothers history, I thank them and all others that may have helped with this history.


The first thing I remember in my life was when I was about three years of age and because it was the year before my sister was born, I remember waking up on Christmas morning and seeing a small rocking chair across the room. It had cushions in it made of a red color material and it had a doll sitting in it. I remember saying, “Oh, he did come”. I must have been very skeptical. Then only a short time later on the 1st of January my sister Thelma was born. Of course they had to put my mother to bed. I was very angry because she didn’t help me dress. My father had to help me dress and he didn’t know how and so I was very cross about it. I don’t know how it turned out. That’s all I remember about it.

I remember when we went out north of Rexburg to what we call the Egen Bench and that we had a large cat and he went out and brought in, as I remember it, an enormous squirre,l probably about six or seven inches long and my mother took it away from him and hung it on the wall, so we could find out what it was. When my father came home, he said it was a kangaroo rat. It had long back legs and it had a pouch to carry its babies in. We never saw one again while we were living on this ranch.

Then when we were still living on this ranch my mother was going to town. She harnessed up the horse and put me in the buggy and then I suppose she went around to untie the horse and the horse decided to go and started to run and he tried to go into the barn and of course the buggy shaft wouldn’t let him go in and mother was very frightened. She thought sure I would be hurt. He didn’t run fast, he just walked fast to the barn. He broke the buggy shaft so of course mother wasn’t able to go to town. We didn’t have cars or automobiles or anything like that so we had to use the buggy.

Then later I remember when we moved up east of canyon Creek on a farm. One of the early memories while we were there was we went up and cut huge blocks of snow out of big drifts and we put them in wash tubs and boilers and took them home and boiled them and that was what we used for drinking water and our water to wash with. Later my father built a huge tank out of lumber and it would hold about 500 gallons of water and mounted it upon and wagon and he would take it up to a spring. The spring was up on the side of the mountain and they would run this tank under the trough that ran from the spring and that pretty clear water would run from the spring into this tank and we took it home. It had a plug in the back that we could open. We would have a tub there for watering the cows and then we would run it into our buckets and take it into the house to use for our water in the kitchen.

Then another incident that I remember when we were out on the ranch was that my father came home with three horses hitched to the wagon. The one horse was frightened some way and he started to run and the others went with him. As they went up running across the prairie, the one horse stepped into a hole and broke his leg. My father said he could not afford to shoot the horse which was what they usually did when a horse broke his leg. And so he got him into the barn some way and he made a hammock and put it under the horse’s stomach and hung the horse so that his back legs didn’t touch the ground and the front leg touched the ground, the horse didn’t seem to be very uncomfortable. Then he put a splint on his leg and wrapped it with strips of sheet. He kept the horse hanging there for several weeks while that bone healed. He called the horse Nibs. Where he got the name from I will never know. He lived for many many years and worked pulling our plows and our harrows.

Then east of this place about a quarter of a mile was a canyon and one morning my sister and I were playing at the side of the house. At the time we had only one room and we were playing out there and I came running into the house and said, “Mother, there is a bear out there.” Mother said, “There is not a bear out there.” I said, “There is a bear,” and she said, “it must be a big dog.” So we went out there and as we went out towards the prairie, we saw this old bear lumbering up the side of the mountain and mother became frightened and she made us all go into the house. And just an hour or so later a man came riding up and said to come up to his place. He said he had shot a bear. I remember going up and he had shot this bear. I don’t know whether it was as big as I remember but it seemed like it was huge. It must have been about 8 feet lying down and I remember watching the men skin the bear and then they hung the skin on the side of a building and rubbed salt into the skin to make a bear rug out of it. I don’t know what else they did to it.

Then on the edge of this canyon there were quaking aspen trees and during the summer we used to go out to those trees with our dolls and play for hours and hours. At that time we had no way of keeping things cool, we had no refrigerators, we had no way of keeping our water very cool. We kept our water in this wooden tank. Early in the spring my father would take a load of straw out and cover a snowdrift. They were often times 8 to 10 feet deep. And so this snowdrift covered with straw would last all during the summer; in fact sometimes clear up until the snow came again. We would have this snow. And it was just beautifully clean; of course we didn’t have any smoke or anything in the air. That snow was just as white and beautiful and we would scrape the straw away and cut it into chunks and put it in our drinking water to cool it. And (we would) put it down in our cellar and put it into a box to keep our milk and butter cool with it. There was no other way of keeping it cool.

Another incident was sometime in my youth I was given a baby pig to raise as my own. I made a pet out of it and it would follow me around when I would be outdoors. One day my mother and I hooked up the buggy and started to go into town. After we had traveled a ways, mother happened to look back and saw that the pig was following us. Of course, the pig was getting very tired and so we turned around and picked up the pig and took him back home.

Another incident was when my parents sent me to a neighbor’s house to borrow and ax. On the way home from the neighbor’s house, I was playing with the ax and I saw what I thought was a stick of wood laying across the path. I hit this piece of wood with the ax and chopped it in half and the head and tail of a snake came together. I had chopped a rattlesnake in half.

This next section was recorded in Nevada while Mother was staying with Aldon and Del Ora there. Del Ora would ask questions and mother would answer them.

When were you born? October 31, 1906 and mother said I came about 4:30 in the morning and weighed about 4 ½ lbs.

And where were you born? In my grandmother’s house in Hibbard, Idaho, which was on a Rexburg mail route.

Do you know why you were named Rula? My father named me and my whole name only has eight letters in it. Rula Beck.

Who delivered you, did you have a doctor? Well, I don’t think I remember that. Either from when it happened or being told. I’m sure there was a doctor there and my grandmother was there.

What were your parents names? My mother was Mary Tressa McNeil from Scottish stock and my father was Alma Edward Beck from Scottish stock and English. My grandmother was Emma McNeil Evans and she married George McNeil but he died before I was born in a train accident when mother was about 7 years old and my grandmother remarried. I knew her as Emma Evans who was married to George Evans. My Father’s parents were Martha Sugden and Jonas Nuttal Beck. I am the oldest child, then Thelma who was about 2 ½ years younger than me. Then there was Martha who died when she was about 13 months old, my only brother, Edward Beck and another sister Maurine and then Emma who died, when she was just 6 years old.

Why did she die? Appendicitis.

Did you go ice-skating? We played on the ice a lot. I never skated until I was in High School. But not far from our home was a large slow running canal and there was always skating on it. We had lots of snow and ice.

What kind of games did you play when you were a child? As soon as I learned to read, I didn’t play any games. I guess I was a different type of child. I spent all the time I could reading. I read every book I could get my hands on. My father began teaching me to read when I was just 3 years old.

Did your mother ever spank you? Not that I can remember. I remember once when my father took a hold of my shoulders and gave me a little shake. I could tell that he was angry and cross. But that’s about the nearest I came to a spanking that I can remember.

Did you ever have any birthday parties when you ere a child? Well, I had lots of parties but since I was born on Halloween they usually turned into Halloween parties. When I was 80 years old, I was still getting Halloween cakes for my birthday. I said I had never had a birthday cake. No, I hadn’t but I didn’t miss them. The whole world celebrated my birthday.

Did you have a bicycle as a child? No, but I had several horses. I loved to ride and rode horses for many years. From the time I was quite young. I got my first horse when I was about 7 years old.

Tell how you went to school. When we were living up on the dry farm I would take a horse to school and tie the reins up around the neck and she would go back home and then my father would bring all the horses down to the creek, he farmed with horses, to drink and I would walk down the hill and get back on my horse and ride home. I did that for several years. I had a gray or sort of a dapple-gray horse at the time. Her name was Kate.

What kind of pets did you have? Cats. I have always had cats. I still have a pretty white one; she is up at Edythe’s home.

I didn’t have a brother for several years, but I had cousins. Edward was born when I was nine years old. My cousins would try to tease me but I was about as good at teasing as they were. They met their match.

Who was your best friend? When I was in the sixth grade we moved to Rexburg and I had a friend whose name was Sarah Troust. Her parents came from Germany, she was born in the United States and she had the most beautiful almost black hair. It was so shiny. Of course she had long hair and lots of it.

Did you ever go on train rides? When I was about seven years old my father and I got on the train at Rexburg and went down to Cache Junction where I had an uncle who was there to meet us and he took us from Cache Junction over to Newton which is a little town just outside of Logan. We went to Logan a number of times. I remember staying there for quite some time. I don’t remember why or for how long. We went to Logan when my grandmother Beck died.

Do you remember some of the first automobiles? Yes, I must have been about eight years old when one of my mother’s uncles, his name was Thomas E. Ricks, got an automobile and it was made by Studebaker and it was interesting to me because our wagon that we used to haul grain and wood was made by Studebaker. Always that name fascinated me.

Did you have ice cream when you were a child? Yes, lots of it. How they made it. First we would cover a snowdrift with straw and then in the summer we could go out and get this snow. It was very nearly ice and that would be cracked up and put in a tub and then this bucket had a bale on and we would turn that bucket back and forth with our hands rather than turning an ice cream bucket. And that would be our ice cream freezer. I think I must have been about fourteen before I ever saw an ice cream freezer. I remember we used to make a lot of ice cream in the refrigerator.

Where did you go swimming when you were a child? Everywhere there was a puddle of water. I never got into the rivers but we had a canal and we would run water from the canal into a pond for the horses to drink. That was a fun place to swim in. But it got so muddy; I don’t know how the horses could drink it. Children always like water.

Did you break any bones when you were a child? No, not until I grew up and then I broke my wrist many years later.

What kind of houses did you live in? Quite a number of houses. The house that I remember my grandmother living in a big rock house. The rocks had not been trimmed. They just fit in around one another and plastered in between. My Grandmother lived with us until she died. That was the big house. The house that I was born in was made of wood. My step grandfather was a very fine carpenter. And they had some of the first homemade kitchen cabinets. I remember the tables that he had made. My mother had one of the tables that he had made. He made beautiful furniture.

Did you have hiding places when you were a child? Only as I got older and wanted to get away from my younger brothers and sisters.

Is that why you spent so much time on your horse? One of the reasons, I guess. I was kind of independent, probably a little ornery child.

Did you have fireplaces in your homes? No we didn’t have fireplaces. I remember the little old stove that we had that had a hearth and we could open it up and watch the fire. And the reason I remember it so clearly was that my mother was teaching me to crochet and I was making booties for my doll and I somehow got the doll tangled up in the yarn and when I stood up she fell and broke her head. I wept bitterly. Dolls were not easy to come by.

Did you have your own bedroom? My sister and I had a place to sleep. I remember at one time that we had our bed in the attic; it was rather an unfinished room, and at other times we had a bedroom with all the children in one bedroom and my mother and father in another and their room was our living room as well. Then the bathroom was out back wasn’t it? Usually.

Did you have soda pop? I don’t remember soda until I was in the sixth grade when we moved into Rexburg. And then I remember soda pop. We probably had it before. Mother would make some kind of drinks and also made the homemade root beer.

What kind of lights did you have in your houses? Most of the time we had coal oil lamps and you had to wash and shine the chimneys almost every day and then at a later date we had gasoline that you had to put into the lamp and pump air in to make it so it would burn. And it came up and was in a cloth mantel and if that mantel was touched it broke. It was almost like ash and you had to be very careful with it.

Did you have jobs to do when you were a girl? Yes, I always had jobs. I learned to do almost everything but I spent more time with my father than I did with my mother. I had a younger sister that was three years younger than I who was a much more docile child than I and she got along better with my mother. I spent lots of time with my father out in the fields. I drove horses, wrangled horses and I remember even when I was in High School and we were running the grain combines and we would put 12 horses on it. We would bring the horses in the barn and feed them their oats and father would throw the harnesses over the horses back and I would fasten them. And then we would let them eat while we ate our breakfast. Then we would go out and put bridles on them and I used to have to stand on the manger to bridle the horses. I loved horses.

How did you keep cool in the summer? Play in the mud and the water.

Did you have a basement or an attic in your house? Well, we had an attic in the first house that I remember and then we built a house on the ranch and we had a basement and then Thelma and I slept in that basement. That basement was lovely and cool. And then when we went down to Rexburg to go to school, we had the upstairs that you remember the windows. We would have to go down kind of long hallways to get to the windows.

Do you remember your grandmothers? I lived with my grandmother Evans one year and went to school, when they didn’t have a teacher for my grade out on the ranch. And then my other grandmother lived with us for a couple of winters when I was in High School. She didn’t approve of me. I was not enough of a lady. That was my grandmother Beck. And I always thought it was funny because she was a little short lady and quite fat and she didn’t have any lap. She was English.

Did the fireman ever come to your house? No, I don’t remember any fires.

What about Christmases? I remember we always hung our stockings and there was always candy and nuts. I remember one Christmas when I got the most beautiful doll that any girl ever had. I had her for several years until I finally broke her. I was trying to crochet some booties for her and got her tangled up in the yarn and broke her myself.

Did you make cookies and candy when you were a girl? No, I didn’t. I didn’t do much cooking until I was in High School then mother used to stay in town and I would go out to the farm and cook for the men and I kind of taught myself how to cook. I wasn’t very good at letting my mother teach me.

What about Thanksgiving at your house? It seems like we always had relatives at our house or went to Aunt Mary’s or to Grandmother’s or I don’t remember a lot about Thanksgivings. They were never very much family traditions, other than for the larger families.

What did you do on the Fourth of July? Was there anything special? It seems like we always had little ward celebrations and I remember running races. I could always out-run the other kids my age and getting a nickel or an all day sucker or something. I had long legs and could run.

What about family traditions, did you have any? My grandmother made the most heavenly Yorkshire pudding and I tried but I couldn’t make it. I always remember my mother’s fresh bread. She was quite a bread maker and everyone praised her bread. Well, I had her recipe and it never turned out the same.

Did the boys send you valentines? O yes.

I was reading what I had written about my baptism. It was on the second of January when I was baptized, my birthday of course was on Halloween day. I remember a fellow by the name of Grant Zitting and his sister – they had not been baptized so they took us up to a hot spring and baptized us. For many many years, he and I were very good friends, never serious sweethearts, but just very good friends. My mother’s sister just older than she had three boys, the Remmingtons, Afton and Lowell and one was older and one just younger than me. We were very close.

Where did you go to school? I would have been 8 the last of October and I started school the 1st of September up in a little one room school in Clementsville was the name of it and I walked about 1 ½ miles to school. I had a black dog. I’m sure, he was part collie and part something else and he would go to school with me and the teacher let him lay up in the front of the room. He would go out and play with us at recess and then go back and lay there and take me back home. When I went there, because the winters were so severe, we had school, I imagine, about March through May and then school closed for the summer. And I didn’t get back to school until we moved to Rexburg the next fall. But I was able to finish the first grade that year and the next year I was able to catch up by going through two grades, with my age group. My father taught me to read.

You had a special teacher that helped you didn’t you? I had several very special teachers. The first one I had was a Miss Balentine and she took such an interest in me and helped me so very much.

Did you do sports or anything like that in school? I used to play run my sheepo, run. In school, no, school was pretty much studying.

Did they play football? No I didn’t know anything about football until I was going to High School.

Did you have a lot of homework? Yes, and I read everything I could get my hands on because I always loved to read. And my father would get books because he liked to read. I read them much beyond my age group. I remember reading Jesus the Christ when I was very young.

Did you go on vacations? We would go down to my grandmother’s when I was very young. She lived in Logan, or Newton. I can’t remember how old I was when we got our first car. And then we got a Ford Touring car. And then we were able to go when we could all get away. No one in the family could drive. My mother never did learn to drive. When I was old enough and I learned to drive, then I could take her places.

Did you ever go to a World’s Fair? Yes, after we were married we took the children and went to San Francisco to the World’s Fair on Treasure Island in the Bay. We stayed with my sister Thelma, who was living in San Francisco at the time.

When did you start dating? I don’t ever remember many dates until I must have been a Junior in High School. It seems like we would get together and play a lot. But as far as a formal date, not until I was a junior in High School and then I had a friend that I would see some. My husband was my favorite boy friend. When I met my husband to be, I was on a date with another fellow. I went out with both of them off and on for quite awhile.

Where did you meet? I was working in Blackfoot and I went up close to Rexburg to a dance and Allan, who was from Shelley, was with another girl and she introduced him to me. And that night he asked me if he could have a date and I said I was kind of busy. But he came up that Sunday evening and I canceled something else I was going to do and we just sat in the car and talked so I don’t know whether that could be called a date or not. I had danced with him a number of times.

What did your folks thing of Allan? Well, it was quite a blow to my father. He had just met Allan. He had been out on the farm working when we had decided to be married. My mother had met him and also my brother.

When did he ask you to marry him? We had only been out a few times and he asked me to marry him and I told him I’d have to think about it. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again or not. But the next time he came, I had to work. I was working in a store and he came and sat there and watched me for quite awhile and it was a little after that that he asked me if I was going to marry him.

Where were you married? In the Salt Lake Temple on April 7, 1927

How did you get down there? Well, my father took my mother and I to Shelley and then we drove to Salt Lake in Allan’s father’s old Blue Nash automobile.

Did you have a reception? No, Allan’s mother invited a few friends in and also many of my school friends came. It was very informal. Some brought gifts but not all. When you are going to college there is not much gift giving and I had to go back to college to take my finals in all of the subjects.

Did you have a honeymoon? We came back from Salt Lake to Rexburg and back to Shelley. I guess that could be called a honeymoon.

Did you have a nickname? When I got older and started college the teachers used to call us by our last names and so I was called Beck quite a bit.

What used to make you angry when you were growing up? My little sister because she was always following me. A neighbor was annoyed at me sometimes.

Where was your first baby born? Aldon was our first. When he was born my mother came down and stayed with me for a few days and Allan called and told my father that we had a red flannel baby with silver hair. We rented an apartment from Allen’s parents somewhere by the High School there in Shelley and that is where Carl Aldon Johnson was born on January 28, 1928.

Miriam Louise Johnson was born December 4, 1929, in a little community called Lavaside just about five and one half miles west of Firth, ID. She was born in our home there and Dr. Roberts came down and helped deliver her.

Edythe Rula Johnson was born August 29, 1931 in our new, unfinished home in Shelley, Idaho. She wasn’t supposed to come for another three weeks. As a result we didn’t have any lights in the house yet. When the doctor came, he told Allan that he would need light to be able to see to bring her into the world. So Allan went out and got the lights from the car and wired them into the house, set it up on the chest of drawers and we had good light.

Earl Allan Johnson was born on 9 September 1938 in the Hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Did you have garden? We had a garden of some kind, sometimes good, sometimes poor ones, and sometimes mediocre. But we always had a garden.

What was your favorite meal to fix to eat? Just good meals. Meat, potatoes and gravy and vegetables and sometimes, even desserts.

Did you ever have your own radio or stereo? We had radios for many years. We have had a good stereo for many years.

What were your favorite songs when you were growing up? I played in a dance orchestra for quite a few years so I liked all the music. (Saxophone)

What were some of the songs that you played, do you remember? ”It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More, No More” and “When Johnnie comes Marching Home” and lots more.

Did you ever take piano? I took enough to play for our little community when we lived at the ranch. We had a nice organ up at the ranch and when we moved to Rexburg, we got a nice piano.

Do you remember going to your first dance? I don’t suppose that I ever danced until I was a sophomore in high School. We had dances for just girls at first.

Mother had a very good voice but she wouldn’t sing much. We used to sing at home a lot but that’s about all.

Did you work other than at home? During my junior year in High School I worked for a neighbor cleaning house and helping her with her work. And then when my folks moved out to the ranch I moved in with her and helped her with her work and canning etc. I worked in the Liberty Dept. Store and in Young’ Confectionery when I met my husband and he had to sit in the store and wait until I got off work before we could do anything together. But he hadn’t told me that he was coming.

Aldon breaks in at this point and wants mother to tell about Dad when he built the first wagon with rubber tires.

Rula. He went to town and bought an old car. It had been wrecked. We dragged it home to his makeshift shop. Everyone thought he was nuts. People would ask him what he was going to do with that old car. He said he was going to make a wagon. People thought it was ridiculous. But he tore all the old body off. He got a good battery out of it but he especially got some good tires from it. He cleared everything off from it down to the frame, and then he ran stringers from the back to the front of the frame. Then he made a flat bed on it. He put in a tongue from the front to steer it with and then he hitched the horses to it. He did go out and haul some hay with it. He found quite a few things he needed for this behind his dad’s potato cellar. He had a lot of old junk there. I don’t remember how much but it was really only a few few dollars, probably for some bolts and maybe for the stringers under the bed. Then he hitched it behind the tractor and hauled potatoes. I remember the kids came out and followed him and neighbors followed him to see how it was doing. Later one of the blacksmith’s started making them and they called them Hoover wagons because of the fact when President Hoover was president he was encouraging people to be very economical and save and use all of the things that were being thrown away. His main political thing was to use instead of throwing away and of course this was all made from thrown away things other than a few bolts and nuts. I think that he did have to buy a larger bit to fasten the stringers and the floorboards to them. And that was about the only thing that was put in it that cost any money to get. That was after Aldon was born.

Aldon asks her to tell about Dad’s Tuberculosis. How did it start? When did you first realize that was a problem?

Rula.  He just simply had a string of real bad colds. It turned into Pneumonia and he was in and out of the hospital. Then finally the doctor there in Shelley sent him to see another doctor. They thought because he was having pneumonia so often that they sent him down to Salt Lake to the hospital. The doctor there found Tuberculosis germs in the lungs, so that meant he would have to be hospitalized. The only thing they knew was bed rest for treatment at the time. Then in later years when they had penicillin, it probably would have been treated and taken care of rapidly. But such a thing had never been thought of, at that time. So we put him in a Tuberculosis Sanitarium for a time. I think it was about 6 months. Then Aldon and I went down and brought him home. Of course then Aldon and I took over the responsibility of the farm and we had neighbors and friends who helped us a lot. Something I probably shouldn’t write and put in here was that Allan’s brothers and his parents just never came to be of service or help to us. My parents, mother and father, came down and helped all they could. I think that Allan’s mother was just terribly afraid. While we lived very close to Allan’s parents we hardly saw them. The neighbors were very supportive. All of them. But I think Allan’s mother was just horribly afraid. We were so close but just like strangers. And I guess I have always held that against them but I know I shouldn’t have done. I probably made no effort to let them know the situation. When we brought him home, the doctors assured me that there was no danger of anyone else getting it. As long as he rested and things were kept sanitary and that he would not over tax himself, there was no danger of anyone else getting it. The Tuberculosis germ got into his damaged lung and he just wasn’t able to fight them off.

Aldon. I remember one time when he got terribly sick you called the bishop to have him administered to. I forgotten the detail of it now.

Rula. The word tuberculosis made people become very nervous.

Aldon. Tell us about that first Potato harvester.

Rula. He was in the hospital about 5 ½ months. I just couldn’t manage it so I brought him home. He stayed pretty close to the bed while he rested. From this his mind started thinking about an easier way to harvest potatoes. Out on his dad’s farm there was an old “PUGH” potato digger. And so he pictured that and he was going to put it behind the regular potato digger so that the potatoes run from the digger over another chain and then he put a bagger on the back of that. There would be two baggers on the back of that and he had a guide that he place on the back of the chain. This second digger had a chain, like the regular digger and it continued to shake the dirt off and then you had a divider that would send the potatoes into one of the sacks and then the divider would be changed to the other side and the first bag of potatoes would be taken off and set along the row while the second bag would fill. I think that about describes it. Then the bags would be picked up and taken into the cellar.

Aldon. Aldon says dad would decide and then he (Aldon) would go out and put it together. We took that old digger and took it apart and turned the frame upside down on it and we spent about 15 dollars for additional parts that he had bought. Mainly the boards that we put on the sides. The frame was turned over and the frame would go up high on the back. There was platforms on the sides for people to stand on to take the vines and rock and dirt off so the clean potatoes would go on up and into the sacks. We had literally hundreds of people came out to watch. They said it would never work. But they decided to try to make their own using dad’s ideas. Later they made some that were much more elaborate.

Aldon.  What did you do while dad was sick?

Rula.  I tried to keep things going. I had some cows. I had another cow that Allan’s father had given us but she was so stubborn that he couldn’t manage it. Remember the old red cow. She was very stubborn and very annoying but she gave lots of milk. We sold the milk, put it into cans and it went to the dairy and was made into butter. Allan’s father had raised her and he said that she couldn’t be held in a fence. She would break through any fence. I think fences must have been very poor. Allan’s father was not the best farmer, he had been raised in a city and he was a good man and good provider but he was very different from anyone I had ever known. If you could get him to talk about himself then he would be friendly. Otherwise he was quite standoffish.

Aldon. I remember separating quite a bit of milk. I remember you had a butter mold. Didn’t you make quite a bit of butter?

Rula. Yes, I would separate the milk and churned the butter. Most of the time I didn’t have a churn early in the process and so I used an eggbeater and then a wooden paddle to work the butter. Then we would put it in the basement to cool it, and we did have a good cool quite damp basement. The mold that we used would make one pound. It was made of wood. The butter would stick to it so we put this mold into water and boiled it. It seemed to temper it some and we also boiled the butter paddle. And then when the butter came in the churn and we would push the butter into the mold and then when it came time to get it out, we would push it out by the hole that was in the mold and it would come out in one-pound bars. We had the basement. It was not finished so I would keep the cream in the cool basement and some of the neighbors were very happy to get some butter. I think we were milking 4 or 5 cows. The old red cow was a very picky animal and she would come into the barn and she would go into someone else’s stall and grab an extra bite of grain before she would go to her own stall. We called this cow Bossy. We had an old cream separator and would put the milk into the large bowl on top and it would run through some separator plates spinning with centrifugal force and the cream would come out one side and the milk would come out the other. We didn’t separate all the milk. We always drank whole milk. But the pigs got some of it, and usually we would buy wiener pigs to start with and then we had a few sows and they would have baby pigs. And we would feed the milk from the five or six cows to the pigs after we separated it and the cream would be taken off. We would make butter out of the cream and quite a few of the neighbors really clamored for the homemade butter and several people from town would come out to buy the butter. It was quite a problem to make it without refrigeration but we did have our cool basement and we could keep it in pretty good shape.

Aldon. Tell us about building your home in Shelley.

(Note-CJC 2011: I grew up thinking Allan once owned the “Miller” farm which is the first farm on the left side of the road going east from Shelley to Taylor. However, Rula mentions their farm being next door west of Samuelson’s, which in my memory, would make it the “Fielding Farm” or the one just west of the canal on that same road.)

Rula. We bought the farm in Shelley but there was nothing on it. It was done up in several fields and out towards the road the soil was quite gravely and so we dug a basement and put a foundation around it and then we built a shell over the top. And we did plaster the last two rooms. And we lived in those two rooms. However the basement was just a gravel floor and when it got hot in the summer we put beds in the basement and I believe you children slept down there. It had rough cement walls but no floor for that first summer. Then that fall, we were able to put a floor in it and made two bedrooms and a storeroom and a place to do the washing. And so it was sort of a place to move onto the farm and build under and over and around us. But we enjoyed our life. We never felt sorry for ourselves. We were always happy. I don’t know if you felt under-privileged or not. (Aldon said he didn’t). Or of you resenting the work. I have known children who have been quite resentful of the work. The Lord sent me such fine spirits that they worked with us always. They never had all of the comforts and conveniences. I have always appreciated you children for that reason.

Aldon. I remember some things about that. I remember when the back two room, the bedroom and the kitchen were plastered.

Rula. There was still no plaster in the front, which was the dining room and living room. I remember the electricity coming into it. And it came in about that same condition.

Aldon. I remember later getting the other two rooms finished and if my memory serves me correct the finishing of the two bedrooms downstairs and then later built the back porch area. I remember the well driller with a steam powered drilling machine coming and drilling the well.

Rula. Yes, he was a relative to Mrs. Samuelson our neighbor to the east. He was a Swedish fellow. I remember having difficulty understanding him but I remember one morning, he came to our house for breakfast. I made him breakfast with biscuits. And he said you should always make biscuits. He surely ate a lot of them.

Aldon. With that we had running water. At least cold water.

Rula. It was a while before we got a water heater. We built a barn to harness the horses in and an extension where we milked the cows.

Aldon. I remember the barn very well. I remember having cows so stubborn they didn’t want to go into the barn. We hooked a rope on a tractor and pulled the cow in with the tractor. Of course, this was later when we had our first tractor.

Rula. And she plowed furrows with her feet. It was one stubborn cow. After that we couldn’t keep her out after she got a taste of the grain. She would try to get a mouth full of grain from the other stalls before she would go into her own stall. I don’t remember what we called her. She was a big red cow.

Aldon. We had two or three like that. I remember milking in that barn many times. We got our first surge automatic milker after we moved to Idaho Falls on another farm. When we got to Idaho Falls we even had an indoor bathroom, which we didn’t have in Shelley.

Rula. Yes and the funny part of it was we had the bathroom fixtures for about a year in Shelley but didn’t have the money to build a room to put them in.

Del Ora. Can you tell us about the first car that you had?

Rula. It might be interesting that when we first married we had been renting an apartment in Allen’s mother’s house. A downstairs kitchen and living room and an upstairs bedroom that had nice big closets in it and so we rented that apartment and moved in. Allan had been trucking and he had a 1926 Chevrolet truck to haul farm products to market and later after we were married he traded that in on a newer model and he did trucking for farmers. He put a beet bed on it so he could haul beets in the fall. The farmers didn’t get all their beets out in the fall and many of them were piled in the field so he had trucking until almost Thanksgiving from the beet fields.

Del Ora. I think I remember about one of your uncles or someone who had a car and he went to the bank to get the money. Mother, I don’t remember who that was but when he got to the bank he pulled back on the steering wheel and hollered, Whoa, Whoa. And it went up on to the sidewalk and went into the bank. I can’t remember who it was. Tell us how you acquired the Zitlaw Motors.

Rula. Someone from the factory came out and asked us if we would take the Zitlaw Motors dealership. We had a large shop out on the farm so we had started business out on the farm, and started selling tractors, then he hired a mechanic, Elmer Robinson and we were out there for about two years. After that, the Massey Ferguson people came and thought we could run the business. The Zitlaws had built the building in Wendell. They were living in Idaho Falls, Idaho as the time. They were in the throws of going broke and the building was going to go into bankruptcy. They wanted too much rent on the building and we couldn’t afford that much rent, I think they were asking about 800 dollars so the Zitlaws lowered their rent so that we could afford to get started in the business there. And we moved into the building. Elmo Short had been with us out on the farm with our business there and he went with us to run the shop part of it. When we had our grand opening which wasn’t very grand, many of the farmers were quite disenchanted with the former car dealerships that was in the building, and we were trying to sell tractors and our repairs already had received very high marks on the farm because Elmo was so conscientious and was such a fine mechanic and really a fine man. It went off and started off much better than we had hoped. We were about 8 years. We had hired a couple of parts men and one man was ordering too much and we couldn’t afford to pay the bills so we had to let them go and I went into the parts dept. I stayed there doing that until we sold the business. People kind of laughed at first but our parts made money for us. We made a lot of fine friends. We sold the business but the people who bought the business didn’t last very long and it finally went out of business. The people who owned the dry goods store moved into the front and some other people run a shop in the back and the far back had been torn off.

Del Ora. They made it into a mini mall. How many years all together did you run the business?

Rula. About 8 years and then Allan’s health was failing and he just gardened. He really enjoyed gardening. We went on a mission after that for 18 months to Tulsa, Oklahoma Mission. We started our mission in Missouri and then moved over to Pittsburg, Kansas. We thoroughly enjoyed it while we were out. We learned a lot about people. We missed our family but that was to be expected. Allan passed away not too long after we got back from this mission on December 26, 1981. He had been quite sick with Aneurysms. This left such a large vacancy in my life. At least he didn’t have to lay and suffer for a long time.

End of this tape.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Edythe Johnson Lloyd. I found another tape of mother’s life that I will insert here.


Ricks College was started when my mother was in the fourth grade and it was called Ricks Academy. And the very first year she went to it when it was started. Then she, Mary Tressa Beck and her family moved back to Ogden and she never did complete the eighth grade. Then I went to it and completed my High School there and then took two years of college. Then Aldon went there as a two year college. First it was a grade school then a High School and then a College. BYU was started the same way. My father went there when it was in Logan. Provo was also started as a grade school and High School and then a college, which later became a University. One of the finest Universities there was. I thought that might be interesting to all who read this. Some of mother’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren also went to Ricks College. Five generations. During the years that I went to School in Rexburg, I took four years of high School at Ricks. And then the last year that I was in High School, my father bought me a Saxophone. I had been wanting one for years because the group that I associated with all played and so I played in the school orchestra and then a dance band. Then we played around the valley. We had some real good times playing for dances. Finally I had to quit because it was a bone of contention with my mother because I was spending too much time out late at night. We would go and work hard and we always were hungry so we would stop and eat somewhere, and it really got to be a hard situation at home. At that particular time I was at least sleeping at home.

In the summer of 1926, I had a job in Rexburg, but I could see that it would not pay enough to be able to go to school the following year. I had just finished my first year of college and I wanted to get one more year. My father received a call from his brother in Blackfoot that his wife had to go to the hospital and have some surgery and wondered if I would be available to come down and help keep their house running and be with the boys while their mother was away. As I really loved Aunt Emma and Uncle Wilford as well as their three sons, I decided to go. When I got there, they introduced me to a number of fine young people and I already knew a lot of people who had been up at school with me. So I did not lack for dates and opportunities to go out and have a good time.

At this time there was a dance hall about 14 miles north of Blackfoot that had dances once or twice a week. We almost always went out there on Saturday evenings. One night about the last part of June, as I remember it now, a girl friend introduced me to Allan Johnson, who seemed to be going steady with her. Allan asked me to dance and we visited a while, talking about the desert around the hall and he told me that there were sun flowers growing in the desert, and I guess I acted as if I doubted him so he wanted me to go out with him to see the sun flowers. I was not impressed so after we danced again, I promptly forgot him.

I finished the summer and moved back to Rexburg and started to school. A I was having a hard time making ends meet financially so I took a job. I went to school from seven in the morning until eleven then I went to work. I was working in a small confectionery store, so I stayed there until 2:00 while the owner had lunch and rested, then I went back to school for two hours then worked until 10:00 at night. I had some time to study for the evenings at the store.

One night during October some of my friends came as we closed the store and wanted me to go with them to Idaho Falls, Idaho, to a dance that was held after a party for a friend, who was leaving for a mission. There I was again introduced to Allan. We remembered having met before and danced again and really enjoyed one another. This time he gave me a ring that he was wearing and asked if he could come up the following Saturday evening to pick up the ring. I told him that he could come but that I would be working and would not get off until ten. I really did not expect him to come, but he did at about eight o’clock. I went on working and about nine, Ed, the boss came and seeing that I had company said that he would take over and close the store, so we went out on our first date together. We spent most of our time just driving as we went clear to Blackfoot and danced a time or two. On our way home, he asked me what kind of a honeymoon I would want, if I decided to marry, so we planned a lavish honeymoon. As it was Halloween night and my twentieth birthday, he bought me a box of candy. As we got back in front of my home which was on a tree lined street, a policeman came by and shined his flash light in the car and called that it was time to go home. I answered that I was at home and he apologized and said that he did not recognize me and went on his way.

A week or so later Allan called and asked me if I would come down to meet his family, if he would send a train ticket up to me. So I got the weekend off and he met me at the depot in Shelley and took me to his home to meet his mother and father. I found out later that they were not a bit impressed with me because they had a girl all picked out for him. I really enjoyed his younger brothers and sister. Their mother tried to keep them out of the living room, but with me inviting them in and playing with them, she fought a losing battle. Allan did not have a car, so we had to use his dad’s when we went anywhere. Allan took me back to Rexburg on Sunday evening. I don’t remember feeling anything more than a passing interest at this time because I had all the friends and dates that I could manage with my work and school.

At Christmas time, I again had some time off from work, so I went to Blackfoot to spend a few says with some friends there, and on New Year’s Eve, I had another date with Allan. Each time we went out, we seemed to enjoy one another a bit more. Again he asked what I planned to do about getting married and I just said that I had not thought about it yet and laughed at him thinking that he was just making conversation.

Along about the middle of January, Allan again had me come down to Shelley on the train and we went to a party out east of Shelley and after a good time we started back to town. The roads were icy and we had not gone far when we began to slide and as we could not stop sliding, Allan headed the car straight into the barrow pit so as to avoid turning over. Now we had to figure how to get out of this. Another carload of friends came along and thought that they could pull us out, but they could not get the footing and also began to slide off the road so we all pushed that car to keep it from going in with ours. We finally maneuvered Allan’s car straight in the barrow pit and by all pushing, we were able to get it to a place where the bank was shallow and get it back on the road. I was wearing a new long dress and by now it was wet to my knees and looked like a rag. We were nervous about driving back to Rexburg, but I had a midterm exam the next morning and felt that I had to get back. We got into a blizzard on the way and I arrived home in time to take a bath and a couple aspirin and go take the test. By this time both Allan and I had decided that we liked each other more than a little. We soon decided that we would like to be married but neither of us had any money, so we decided to think about it and see what we should do. Allan said that we would have almost nothing to start out with, and I told him that I could take it, if he could.

My mother had met Allan but my father had always been out on the farm when he was around, so had not met him when I told them I had decided to get married.

Because of the distance and the lack of transportation and no money we were not able to spend as much time together as we would have liked, but we learned to make the most of the time that we could be together and we stayed out much later than our parents would have liked. We decided that we could not be married outside of the temple, so about the first of April, my father took my mother and I to Shelley and we started for Salt Lake. Allan’s older sister Gerda was living in Salt Lake at that time, so he wrote a letter to her telling her that we were coming down to be married and asking if we could stay in her home. He did not tell her who he was bringing or any details so when we arrived there on Saturday and it was the time when the temple was closed because of conference, so we could not be married until Thursday morning. My mother went through the temple with us for which I have always been very grateful. I had no knowledge of what it was all about, but when I felt most afraid, I had only to look across the aisle and Allan was there and I felt reassured.

When it was time for the marriage ceremony, the man who married us was very matter of fact. All he asked us was how to pronounce our names. Then he went through the ceremony in very broken English. I had a hard time understanding him. I did understand when he told us that we were man and wife and told Allan that he could kiss his wife over the alter.

After the ceremony we started back to Shelley. Allan's sister and her two children went with us. (By the way, Gerda and I learned that we had a great deal in common and became fast friends as well as sisters in-law).

We rented an apartment in Allan’s parents home. A kitchen, a living room down stairs and a bedroom upstairs and furnished it with a few new things, some wedding presents and any cast-off that we could find. I guess I should say that we lived happily ever after but instead it was just the beginning. Allan and I are both independent people with minds of our own, so life has not always been smooth. We have argued and fought (not physically) and made up, always knowing that we loved one another and that we had made commitments that were more valuable and lasting than we were.

Memories of Mother

By Edythe Rula Johnson Lloyd

Mother spent four years with me and my family after dad had died in 1981. She came to live there after having a heart attack as a result of her blood sugar going too high. She had two of these heart attacks but after the second one, I knew that she would not be able to live alone because she had to have insulin shots and her hands had become so shaky that she could not fill the needles and give herself her shots. While she lived with us, she convinced my husband, Richard that he should try his hand at painting pictures. This is what she had to say about this. “Richard is trying his hand at painting. He is doing well. The only thing he needs to do is go a little slower and see a little more detail. He has a good eye for color. I enjoy painting with him. Right now my hand is very shaky. It usually gets a lot better in a few days.”

Mother also enjoyed making quilts and she had almost enough blocks cut to make another one. She also enjoyed crocheting afghans to help her hands. We were forced to sell her home in Wendell after she had been with us for a year or two. She knew she would not be able to live alone at that time but always held out hope that someday she could get an apartment and live alone again. But she was never able to. She died in 1994 at the age of 89. She had been staying with my sister Miriam and her husband and then went into a care center when she broke her hip. Mother lived a good life and served as a teacher in many capacities, especially in Seminary in Gooding. She is survived by her four children, and 23 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. she was also called to the Stake Relief Society Board in Gooding. She also had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. She loved her heavenly father and served him faithfully most of her life. I learned my love for the Gospel from my parents in my growing up years.

Note: CJC.  Although this picture appears elsewhere on the blog, I added it here as I believe this was taken at a farewell party for Allan's family when there were moving to Wendell or Gooding Idaho.