GRANDMA SYLVIA ELIZABETH FLINT ADAMS
Her life story from an interview taken 5 April 1987 at her home on Oakridge Drive in Layton, Utah, by Linda Leavitt Cherry (her Great Granddaughter).
Question: Ok, why don't you tell us your name, and then when you were born.
Sylvia: Well, are you going to ask me questions?
Q: Yes, we'll both ask you questions. (Interviewer's husband, Brent)
Sylvia: Ok, I just get nervous! (About the taping of her voice.) Well, I was born in Hooper, South Hooper, and there was two Hoopers. Two wards. One was South Hooper, and one was North Hooper, and I was born in South Hooper. And then as years went on, they named South Hooper, "West Point", and that's what they call it now: West Point. And they still call the one Hooper, North Hooper.
Q: And how many brothers and sisters did you have?
Sylvia: There was eleven of us.
Q: Wow! Which one were you?
Sylvia: I was the third. We had seven girls, Father and Mother had seven girls and four boys.
Q: And what was your Mom and Dad's names?
Sylvia: Father's name was Fred. Fred Flint. (John Frederick Flint) And Mother's name was Eliza Webster. And we went to school at West Point and we had to walk. We didn't have school buses come pick us up like they do now. And we'd a have to walk about a mile to where we lived over south, and that was about a mile along that road, then we'd have to walk up quite a little ways east to come to our school house. And we didn't have bathrooms and toilets like we have now. We always had a outside toilet. And the boys, they'd be outside playing. When they'd see us girls run for the toilet, and we'd get there, then they'd throw clods and hit it. Purt' near scare us to come out! And then we used to have to go home, you know, from school. And we, Father and Mother, had quite a few chickens, laying hens, so we'd have to gather the eggs and feed the chickens and gather the eggs, and pack water in the water bucket to water the chickens.
Q: Even the girls had to?
Sylvia: Oh, us girls had to get out and help. Because Father and Mother, they had seven girls before they had any boys. And us girls would a have to get out up on the farm and harness horses and hook 'em to the plows or the harrows and help Father on the farm.
Q: How much land did your Father farm back then?
Sylvia: I don't know just how many acres but it was quite a nice size, and you had two places: out where we lived, and then out in, oh, he had all this other out in, uh, where we lived, I think Father got some of the ground off of his Father. Our Father had to buy it off of his Father. And it was in Hooper, like I said, they called it West Point.
(Aunt Ila, Sylvia's younger sister, says that their Father owned a 168-acre field where they lived in West Point. Then they bought the "Bowman Place" of about 30 acres when Brother Bowman died, which was just east of where they lived, and Aunt Ila said her Father lived on the north side of the road, and the Bowman place was on the south side of the road. She said it used to be in Weber County until they changed South Hooper to West Point, then they put it in Davis County.)
Q: So you had chickens and horses...
Sylvia: And pigs.
Q: Did you have any cows?
Sylvia: Oh, yes. And then they had that dairy just, oh, about a half mile from our place. And we'd a have to milk the cows, put 'em in ten gallon cans-- the milk-- strain it, put it in the can, and get in the, well they call it the ledlow buggy, you know, half a back, and just one horse'd pull it. And then this back, that's where we'd set the cans. Take it out to the dairy.
Q: So, you came home from school and you had to do chores a lot?
Sylvia: We had to do chores! Get coal kindlings in. And if we didn't get 'em in before dark, Father'd make us go out in the dark and get them. So that learned us kids a lesson. Because you could a hear the coyotes a howlin'. Oh, Lord, we were scared to death!!
Q: So you had to get up early in the morning, too?
Sylvia: Yes, to help before we went to school.
Q: So did you have much time for playing?
Sylvia: Well, not too much. But we'd always make a hopscotch. What we called a hopscotch. It'd be a kind of square, you know, all marked off. Hop from one to the other. Then on a Sunday, seemed like often the Baker kids would come to our place 'cuz we had a big swing. You know, rope. It was Father had used to kill a lot of pigs, and they had what they call a gallows. Well that was made out of poles, you know, then poles nailed from one to the other, and they'd hang the pigs. And then they'd do that like to eight, then in the morning, Father'd get up and hitch the horses on the wagon, and back the wagon under these poles where the pigs were on the gallows, they called it the gallows, and then he'd have to reach up, he'd have a stick, and he'd a have to get a hole in the pig's leg and then they'd run this through, and that's what would hold the pig up on the gallows.
(Aunt Ila says they would kill one or two pigs at a time, just enough for the family to use, and leave it hanging up to dry out all night. Then in the morning, their Father would pull the wagon underneath the gallows, making it possible for them to reach the high pole. Then he would pull down the pig, and bring it in onto their porch, and their Mother would cut it up into pieces, and cure it in the brine water, which would keep it from spoiling. Then they would put it in a dug out cellar, and whenever they needed the meat, they would go down there to get it. She said they did this to beef and sheep also.)
Q: And so you'd use the same thing to swing from (the gallows)?
Sylvia: Yes, we did! Uh-huh!
Q: So all the kids would come to swing with you?
Sylvia: Oh, yeah, I'll say!
Q: So how long did you live there, then?
Sylvia: Oh, all our lives, well, at the old home, we just used to have two rooms, a kitchen, and the bedroom. And a little room for the pantry. We always called it the pantry. That's where we'd keep the dishes and pots and pans.
Q: So all the kids slept in the same room then?
Sylvia: Yes, well, we didn't have any boys, brothers 'til we got older. This is when we were kids. There were seven girls.
Uncle Ken: So you never did learn how to work. (Laughter)
Sylvia: I guess that's right! I've never learned yet!
Uncle Ken: We were trimming some of the trees out here, and Lynn came with the truck during the day, and put the limbs in it, to take them up to the dump. She's out there dragging limbs, putting them in the driveway at eighty years old! And then she decides she's going to go to the dump with him in the farm truck. She tried and tried, and she told me, she says, "I won't let that truck get the best of me" so she crawled on her hands and knees to get in that truck! I wonder how many of the rest of us at eighty-eight or whatever age would be able to do that. But she's a great gal.
(Talking about school again)
Q: Did everybody walk to school then?
Sylvia: Well, them that lived, like Simpsons and Stoddards, on the lower road out west of us, they'd have a team and a school bus, a wagon, a wagon, they'd go pick up the kids.
Q: So how far did you walk?
Sylvia: Oh, a mile! Well, it was, take we lived on this street, then a mile over again, other street. And then we had to go back over and walk east to west of the school. Then we got so we'd cut through Singleton's, Mr. Singleton's field. So, I can see where he wouldn't like it, but he told us there was us and more kids, children who lived along that road, we'd all go together. So Mr. Singleton, that's the one lived on the corner that we'd cut across for school, he told us that if we'd just make one path, and just go one at a time, so it wasn't all tracks, and then he would let us go through. So wasn't that nice? So that tickled us. See, that cut off a big corner to get to the school.
Q: What were your favorite subjects in school?
Sylvia: Well, none! Well, we had to learn, you know, learn to read. I always was a poor writer, and I still am.
Q: How did you meet Hazen?
Sylvia: Oh, well, how we met Hazen, I used to live down to.... My mother's sister, Aunt Rose Sill, she lived in Layton, and Aunt Rose, that's Mother's sister, she got sick and she had a lot of little children. So, uh, they wanted to know if I'd come in to help, you know, while Aunt Rose was so sick and watch the children.
Q: Now Sill was her married name?
Sylvia: Yes. Aunt Rose married Dave Sill. And he packed the mail. So he had to take the mail and after that Aunt Rose Sill, over the children, and so I went there to help. And so one day, one morning, Mabel Sill, that was Uncle Dave's brother's girl, see Mabel, she came down all spiffed up, she says "Well come on over to the post office with me", and so I asked Aunt Rose if I could just go with Mabel just a little while. She said "Yeah, that'd be fine." So we walked over to the post office, and while we's in the post office, Hazen came in to get their mail, you know, and so Mabel told that, made me acquainted with Hazen.
Q: How old were you when you met him?
Sylvia: I just can't remember, about sixteen, seventeen or something, just young, just kids. And so, but Hazen 'n them used to play for dances all over. Hill, Syracuse, Layton and Kaysville. And, him and his Father and cousin, one or two other guys, they had a orchestra. So, Mabel asked Hazen, Mabel Sill my cousin, if we could ride out to Syracuse in the hansom, in the bob-sleigh, with them. So Hazen said yes. And of course Aunt Rose lived quite a little ways from the corner, and there wasn't no road, much, just for the private folks that lived by there. So Mabel and I walked over on the store corner. Adams had a store. That's Grandpa Andy's father and Grandpa's two brothers worked there. So we walked over there, and here come a Hazen and Dan. They all played, and Hazen's Father and Sister. We got the Bob sleigh out to Hazen's, you know. So we just went out to the dance and back. When we come back, they let us out to the corner and bobsleigh stuck there over the railroad track. I was kinda scared. You know, for the little travelers, stuck in the middle of the tracks. But we walked over to Uncle Dave's, went in, and Mabel stayed all night. And then, I don't know, I think Hazen called me in a few days and wanted to know if we'd like to go back out to the dance. So we started off like that.
Q: So you just used to go to the dances a lot together?
Sylvia: Well yeah, but he could never dance 'cause he played the violin, see.
Q: So what would you do?
Sylvia: Well, I'd go up on the stand and sit with him.
Q: So when did you guys get married?
Sylvia: We got married in March the sixth, 1918.
Q: How long had you known him?
Sylvia: Well, just when I met him in the post office. Oh, you mean before we got married? Oh, I, gosh I don't know, maybe about six months, if, you know, that long. We didn't go together too long.
Q: So did he used to come out to your house a lot to visit?
Sylvia: Well, see, I stayed with Aunt Rose, then when I left Aunt Rose's, I went down to my Grandpa Flint's place, and that was just down to Kaysville. That was such a short ways from Aunt Rose to down to Grandpa's. There was quite a space down the road.
Q: Now if you got married around 1918, that was right around the end of the Great War, wasn't it?
Sylvia: Yes, the war was on, you bet!
Q: It was still on.
Sylvia: You bet! And Hazen was scared he'd get drafted. You bet! But he didn't. Well he went, but he was too light. Wasn't heavy enough. They turned him down. He was thin.
Q: So how did he ask you to marry him?
Sylvia: Well, he just asked me if he could give me a ring. There's the ring!
Q: Isn't that so pretty?
Sylvia: Now, he said that's a REAL diamond, that.
Q: Did he ask your Father?
Sylvia: No. I can't remember. I think we just set the date. See, I was at Grandma's and, uh, she didn't like it.
Q: Your Grandma Flint?
Sylvia: My Grandma (Martha Jane Brough Flint). Because she was getting old, you know. 'Bout like I am. And uh, they had quite a few hired men and she had to cook for them. And she had a Sister, and her name was Emily. Emily Brough. She'd got married though. So she stayed with Grandma, and she used to be a nurse. Go out and nurse people.
Q: Your Grandma was afraid that by you getting married, that she wouldn't have someone to take care of her?
Sylvia: Yes! To help her with all these, and they had quite a family of boys! Grandpa and Grandma. Well, and girls. 'Course the girls all married. So Grandma had to have a hired girl to help her.
Q: So how old were you when you got married?
Sylvia: Uh, sixteen, I believe.
Q: Sixteen? You were married young!
Q: That was pretty common in those days, though, wasn't it? Get married young?
Sylvia: Yeah. Uh-huh.
Q: How old was Hazen?
Sylvia: Well, Hazen's five years older'n I am.
Q: So he was 21 and you were 16? Right?
Q: So then what did he do, when you got married? Did he have his own farm? Or where did you go live?
Sylvia: No. He lived down home with Grandpa and Grandma. You know, his Father and Mother and two Sisters. (Andy Wright Adams & Harriet Ellen Forbes Adams)
Q: Is that the house that's down the hill a little bit?
Sylvia: Yeah, that big old one. Uh-huh. And then, uh, we lived there with Grandpa and Grandma. And anyway, oh I, Nora was born there. Grandpa was renting this place (out to other people). It didn't have the kitchen. It just had these two rooms. And the bathroom was our pantry. And this was a door right here.
Q: Your Grandpa owned the house, but he was renting it out to other people?
Sylvia: Yeah. And then, so he'd want that, you know, we'd kind of want to move in. So he told these guys that they gonna have to go.
Q: And that gave you a place for you and Hazen and Nora to come?
Q: Now I understand that this ceiling used to be 14 feet high?
Sylvia: It was high, you bet!
Q: When was that lowered down?
Sylvia: Oh, I'm not sure when we'd gotten it, but we lowered it down.
Q: How did you heat the house originally?
Sylvia: Well, we had a, can you see that? That was our chimney. And we put a great big heater, no, we had our cook stove. That was our kitchen. That was right there.
Q: So your cook stove served to heat the house as well as to cook food.
Sylvia: Anyway, well we had Lynn, see we'd had all three of the girls, and Lynn, he got so he couldn't hardly walk. He'd be kind of crippled. So we thought it was a cold that he'd caught, you know, in his leg. 'Course, we was crazy over him, worrying about him, afraid something was going to happen to him, didn't know what. So, uh, Hazen and Grandpa, they got a heaterola. It was nice. And put it right over there in that corner. And they run a stovepipe, you know, that was what they used to call it, a stovepipe, back to the smoke. And hooked it right into this here stove pipe that we have here, at my elbow, and cut a hole, and put this pipe in that, then that chimney took care of the stove.
Q: Well, now the heaterola, did that burn kerosene instead of wood?
Sylvia: Oh, no, wood. Wood or lumps (of coal), that's one with the bumps and big lumps (of coal). And put a lump of coal in at night when we'd go to bed, shut it all out and that'd burn all night, and in the morning, shake the ashes for the whole thing.
Q: Well, did you have both of the stoves in the same room then?
Sylvia: Oh, yes! We had our cook stove right here (right in the middle of the room) and our heaterola right over in that corner.
Q: Did you ever have a problem with a chimney fire?
Sylvia: No, see our chimney outside was tall and big, so it drawed real well.
Q: So you had your first baby, Nora, right soon after you were married?
Sylvia: Well, let's see, we's married in March the 6th in 1918, and December the 16th.
Q: This attic up here, did any of the kids ever live up there, sleep up here?
Sylvia: Oh, sleep? I'll say. You bet.
Q: So you had the sleeping up stairs for the kids, and you had this bedroom back here?
Sylvia: But, that's when they got older. See, we had our family fast. We had Nora and Rhea, it seemed like it was less than a year. It was close. And then Faye was, and she came right after Rhea. And then I went seven years between Faye and Lynn. And then there was a little over seven between Lynn and Ken. And that's why I say, Lynn and Ken was no companions at all. Too much difference. And, um, Ken thought he was just big as Lynn. And, uh, Lynn'd run with Darrell, Vida's boy. Vida's Hazen's sister, you know. And Darrell had a bicycle and Lynn had a bicycle, and poor ol' Ken'd want to go with them, and they didn't want him.
Q: Didn't want little brother to tag along?
Sylvia: That's right. Oh, it was hell. And so they'd get on their bike and go up the road and poor ol' Ken, he'd run and try to catch 'em. It was sad, it was sad. But they, uh, didn't want him. Is that ok? (About the tape.)
Q: Yeah! Did you ever find any rattlesnakes down in this area?
Sylvia: Ooh, well no, now tell the truth, we never did see a rattlesnake, but there was a blow (snake) whenever I searched. And what was the other, just a snake, a garter snake. But we never did see a rattlesnake, which I'm glad!
(Ken says she was terrified of any kind of snake or if anyone even said "snake", but there weren't too many around.)
Q: Did you ever have the deers come down out of the mountains this far down?
Sylvia: Oh, yes! And we do now!
Q: They still come down?
Sylvia: There was about, I guess about a year or so ago, why, we had this all in grain down by Lynn's, and the deers'd come I guess through the fields somewhere, and lay in our grain field right down here by the corner of the road.
Q: And it would ruin the grain.
Sylvia: The grain lay right down then.
Q: So then, your children got to help you with your farm here then, right?
Sylvia: The boys?
Q: Did all the kids get to help with chores like you did?
Sylvia: Uh-huh, yeah. Faye, Faye wasn't much for ever working outside. But Nora and Rhea they sure, was you know, had to run hay rakes, and help.
Q: Well, they were the oldest and they were all girls, and you didn't have any older boys.
Sylvia: We didn't.
Q: Did you always have irrigation here?
Sylvia: Uh-huh. We had it right out here. It went down, just down where, just about Lynn's house. And then the ditch cut right through and went right down and the water filled the pond, reservoir. Uh-huh.
Q: Well, what would you do with the ditch water, would you try to turn it into your fields and try to spread it out? I would think the way that it's all kind of hilly that it would be difficult to get water.
Sylvia: Oh, yes. It was, it was.
Q: Took a lot of work probably with shovels, to keep the water going.
Sylvia: Now, but where Lynn lives, that belonged to Mr. Green, Dave Green. Uh-huh. And then in a few years and then Grandpa Andy, they, Mr. Green was going to sell it, so Grandpa wanted to buy it, you know, keep anyone else out, so Mr. Green sold it to Grandpa Andy. And then that's where Lynn's home is now.
Q: About when did Grandpa Andy buy that property?
Sylvia: Well, I think it was after we was, no I think he had it before we was married. Or just after. (whispers) Now, is that it? (Talking about the tape.)
Q: (laughs) I'm just trying to think....Brent didn't ever hear about how Grandpa had an accident on his tractor a few years back. Remember that?
Sylvia: You mean Grandpa Hazen? Well, he was up in the field working, and right up by Ken's, there's a great big water tank. Just out south of Ken's house. 'Course, that was just a cave then, and that's where the town put this water tank. And Hazen was up there disking, 'course he'd a had his eyes operated on. And I don't think he could see too good, and he got too close to our pond. We had a little pond up there, when we'd take our water turn. And then we'd run in this pond, it was a reservoir, and it'd have a head gate on it, and when Grandpa'd want to water, he'd shut this head gate down. And when he'd want to had our water for, you know, wanted to water this field out here, and then he could bring it down and water the garden and stuff down here, too. And so Grandpa was disking up there one day, and I guess he just got too close, you know, tipped on, tipped the tractor over.
(Ken says that they weren't using the reservoir anymore since it didn't work too well, with the new pressure system, but it was too hard to fill in the pond, and Grandpa Hazen couldn't see well on the peripheral (side) vision. He was going over the area close to the pond, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw the willows growing in the water, and thought that they were weeds in the ground, and so went closer to get them, which made the wheel actually go in the pond, and since the pond went pretty much straight down, it turned over the tractor and the disk came right down on Grandpa's head. Ken's family was supposed to have left much earlier to go camping, but for some reason, they just couldn't seem to get ready and leave, almost like something was keeping them back. Ken heard that awful, awful noise of the tractor turning over onto Grandpa, and ran down there while his wife Linda called the ambulance, and they saved his life. If they had gone camping when they had meant to, Grandma wouldn't have heard the tractor tip over, and nobody would've been able to go get him. It must not have been his time. The disk broke his back, hit his head, broke his skull from his eye sockets to where the jaw attaches, and the bone hung down. The doctors said that with the severity of all his injuries, they weren't sure he would live through the night. He had surgery to bring his bones back together with pins by his cheek area, a pin in his nose that had been shattered, and had cotton in his nose for weeks. He also had to wear a back brace for many months because of his broken back.)
Q: So he fell off, but the tractor kept going?
Sylvia: Yes, and they had to take Grandpa, No, it was stopped, see it was tipped over. And they had to take Grandpa to the hospital, take about a hundred stitches in his forehead.
Q: I had heard that somehow he got cut by the disks themselves.
Sylvia: Yeah, well, I don't know if it was the disks. But he was cut, and Dr. Bittner, I don't know if you know him, he's our family doctor. He took a hundred stitches, and you couldn't see where he had a stitch.
Q: Yeah, he healed perfectly, fantastically, I'd never seen anything like it.
Sylvia: Uh-huh. And after that, Grandpa was NEVER the same! Hazen. And so I guess it just scared him or something.
Q: Scared to ride the tractor, you mean?
Sylvia: Well, or you know, just kinda scared him or something. Never felt free or something, like going out and just jumping on the tractor.
(Ken said that the very next spring, Grandpa Hazen asked Ken to hook the disk up so he could do some disking. Faye was real worried, but they did it and Ken watched him in the field for about a half hour while he disked. Then Grandpa asked to have someone finish up for him since the jarring of the tractor was hurting him. So he never rode a tractor again because of the pain from the jarring motion. Also, he lost his vision and was blind for the last two to three years of his life.)
Q: How long ago was that?
Sylvia: Not too long ago.
(Uncle Lynn says it was the first week of August, 1976. They didn't build the hospital in Layton until about 1978 or 1979, and the ambulance had to take Grandpa to McKay Dee hospital in Ogden, across from Weber State University.
Q: Did you tell them how you worked for the school?
Sylvia: Well, I just, after I'd kinda raised my family, you know, got them so they's kinda on their own, Ken was the youngest, and then uh, oh, a quite a lot of the mothers was working in the school lunch, so I just got me a job. So I worked all, oh, I worked there quite a while. I worked out to Clearfield. And Clearfield school. Have to go to Layton, catch the school bus, and ride down to school, and go get on another school bus, and walk to Clearfield and cook and then when school was out, catch the bus and come into Layton, get off that bus and go catch my bus. When we got down to this corner, I'd a have to walk home, cause the school bus didn't go past here, then. But I'm glad I did.
Q: How many years did you work for the school? Do you remember?
Sylvia: Oh, about 17, I think. And at last I was supervisor down here.
Q: At Layton?
Q: So you worked some in Clearfield and some in Layton?
Q: And didn't you work for the Red Cross, too, I think, or volunteer or something? At one time I saw your picture in the paper as a Red Cross volunteer or something.
Sylvia: Oh? I don't remember that. Oh, I've kinda worked all my life.
Q: How did you raise your kids when they gave you problems? If they didn't feel like working, how did you handle them?
Sylvia: Oh, if they didn't what?
Q: Did your kids give you problems when you wanted them to do their chores and work?
Sylvia: Oh, no. They know they had to get in and do their share. Faye was always good. Oh! Faye was always such a good worker! Now, Faye never'd go out and work the field like Rhea and Nora. Faye was more of a house....
Q: Stayed in the house and helped you out.
Sylvia: You betcha. Uh-huh.
Q: So you never had any discipline problems with your kids?
Sylvia: Oh, I had problems!! (laughter) Yeah, I had problems!
Q: Did you tell them how Grandpa drove a school bus? Grandpa Hazen?
Sylvia: Oh, yeah!
Q: My mother was telling me this one time how he'd throw peanuts to the kids on the bus.
Sylvia: Oh, that'd be on Christmas. Uh-huh. When they was coming home, 'bout down to the, it'd be the last, or the first place, see, he's a coming up to let the children off, and uh, just before they thought they were, Hazen'd stop the bus, and then he'd brought his sack of peanuts, and he had a big sack, and he just took a handful and a throw them. And the kids, they's a scramblin'! Oh, he enjoyed that school bus driving.
Q: Did he keep playing in his orchestra after you got married?
Sylvia: In the orchestra? Yeah, some. That's what kept us. That and driving the school bus.
Q: Which of your children was the easiest to raise?
Sylvia: The easiest? They'd all get in their little fights, you know. I think Faye was. Uh, we babied her.
Q: Which was the hardest to raise then?
Sylvia: My gosh. I guess it just come naturally. When we got them, we'd a have to take care of them, you know. And do what we had to do.
Q: So, you talked about Ken having a cold in his legs. He was having a hard time walking when he was little?
Sylvia: Well, I think that's when he'd run, you know, trying to keep up with Lynn and Darrell. He'd kinda limp, you know.
Q: Did those go away after awhile?
Sylvia: Well, I think.
Q: So you never had to call a doctor out much?
Sylvia: Oh, no. Not too much. And when we had the babies, we had 'em at home. We didn't go to the hospital. We didn't know what that was. We just had our doctor come right here. Doctor A. C. Hamner. Had them all at home. And Hazen's mother, Grandma, she'd come up, like for Faye and them, and wash them and take care of them, help us. 'Cause we didn't have enough money to have a hired girl come in, you know, to help. In those days seemed like the neighbors would help one another.
Q: So was it pretty hard to get back to doing your chores after you had a baby? Did it take very long after you had the babies?
Sylvia: Well, it didn't take too long.
(Aunt Faye said that Grandma Sylvia had the hardest time birthing Ken since he was in the breach position. Back in those days, the women were lucky that they didn't die if they had a breach baby.)
Q: About how long?
Sylvia: Oh, I don't know, I'd run out and feed chickens. I didn't take any too long. Just kinda, I guess we knew we had to do it. So....
Q: When the Second World War came along did it have much effect on your life here? Did you have a lot of friends leave for the army or anything?
Sylvia: Oh, we had some of the guys leave. Hazen was too light. We didn't have, you know...
Q: Your boys were still too young by then?
Sylvia: Yes. (Whispering about the tape) Is that ok?
Q: Yes. Thanks for doing that, Grandma.
Sylvia: Oh, your welcome. I hope that you can understand.
(We turned off the tape and then turned it back on later since Grandma was still talking about old times.)
Q: When did you get electricity in the house?
Sylvia: Oh, we used to have gas lights. And that was scary. 'Cause see, when we had that kind, we coulda been blowed to...hell! (Laughter) That's before we ever had our upstairs rooms finished, and when we were married. They had the, what would you call 'em, scaffolds, or two by fours, or...rafters! Rafters!
Q: So you had to later come in and take out the rafters?
Sylvia: Oh, no, you'd a have to leave them to nail your boards to. But Grandpa, I don't know who built this house, but they didn't finish the stairs. So after we had, see, the girls and then when Lynn and Ken come, we had no place for the girls to sleep, so we had to finish it upstairs.
Q: So it was when the boys were born that you finished the upstairs for the girls?
Sylvia: Uh-huh. That's when we finished the upstairs.
Q: So how long did you have the gas lighting?
Sylvia: Oh, we had that in quite a while, uh-huh. Then the tank was upstairs when we'd fill the tank, it'd, oh, they'd a have to fill it, you know just like you'd fill your car.
Q: This was like a propane tank or something?
Sylvia: I think. Uh-huh.
Q: So you didn't have like a pipe from the city coming up?
Sylvia: Oh, no. Oh, no.
Q: O.K., you had a gas tank that filled all your lights.
Sylvia: Just out in the fields they had the pump. And then Hazen would...
Q: Oh, you'd pressurize the tank? Is that right? That's interesting, I never knew that.
Sylvia: Oh? Yeah, that's how we done it. And when our lights got dim, Hazen'd come out and pump it. But if he'd a ever spilled any gas and then lit a match, we'd... It was dangerous!
Q: So when did Grandpa Hazen get this house? Did he get it before you were married?
Sylvia: No. See, I think, now, it uh, when Grandma, when Hazen's Mother, when her folks died, and then they did that through the field here, and when they died, and then they shared, you know like you do now, give your belongings to your children, and Grandma got some money for they to have some ground out on that hill, where Hill Field is now. Grandma's folks had all that. And then she took what money she got and built these two rooms here, this room and the pantry. The bathroom was the pantry.
Q: So it was actually Hazen's mother's house then?
Sylvia: Yes, that's right, that built it.
Q: Then she gave it to him when you got married?
Q: Now that was Forbes, Grandma? The Forbes family?
Sylvia: Yeah, uh-huh.
Q: When did you build this kitchen on out here?
Sylvia: Oh, I imagine Lynn was four.
Q: (Ora) Grandma, when I, I can remember coming here when, during the war when Dad was stationed in Oklahoma and I was just tiny, and it seems like you had, you were, you know like, this was kind of a new room, and you had, I remember stepping up on a step to get up to the sink or something?
Sylvia: To get in here?
Q: In the sink or something. Was it out there where your sink is now, you had a step, step on or something, or was that just something I....?
Sylvia: I used to have a little sink, well just a little basin like, in the pantry.
Q: Oh, is that where it was? Do I remember that?
Sylvia: In that corner. That's before we had our bathroom or the kitchen. Uh-huh, or the furnace room.
Q: I can just barely remember stepping on a step and up to the sink, but I thought it was, I thought this was out here.
Sylvia: Well, maybe it was.
Q: I can't remember too much, but I think it was kind of in there, but I was so small.
Q: Well, early on, did you have to bring water in from a well to your house?
Sylvia: We had to pack water in, out of a well we had, it was a good well, and cool! The water was so cool! It was good.
Q: Where was that well?
Sylvia: Oh, just right out here, 'bout where that little ol' tree is. Where that pipe is. About right there. I'd have a coal house out there. Uh-huh. And this well, have to haul water out all the way, filled the reservoirs, and water the horses.
Q: Ooh, that same water? You had to haul a lot of water up there, then.
Sylvia: Well, we had a lot of water in that well. And it was cool and good. It was good.
Q: Did you ever have a family dog?
Sylvia: Fam...? Oh, yes. Lynn liked the dogs.
Q: When did you get water piped into the house?
Sylvia: Well, when they hooked the water up for the town. When the town, uh-huh.
Q: And when was that?
Sylvia: Gosh, I don't know, just about a year. And, uh, everybody'd a have to dig their trenches, to bring their pipe....
Q: Was it out there at the street?
Sylvia: Yes, uh-huh.
Q: I bet that was nice to get the water straight into your house.
Sylvia: Oh, gosh, I should say. We used to have to bath in the tub, and washtub.
(Aunt Faye says that when they were kids, they didn't have the indoors water, and Rhea's job was to draw the water bucket up out of the well with a pulley, and fill the reservoir on the coal stove, and Faye's job was to bring in the coal and kindlings for the stove. She says Nora was pretty much raised by their Grandparents, Andy Wright Adams and Harriet Ellen Forbes, and so Faye and Rhea were closer, since they lived there together. She says she remembers the outhouse, too. They had to use the Montgomery Ward catalog and everything. Boy, have things changed!)
Q: So back then, did you have a lot of neighbors that would come help you do things, or did you pretty much stay apart of, from everybody else?
Sylvia: Well, we didn't have too close neighbors. We had these right up here, right, you know, this. Us, and then, uh, we didn't have anybody until Mable Green down here. That's all the neighbors. We didn't have any of these neighbors here. Uh-huh. And Mable and I had the boys. She came up as a mid-wife to help the doctor. Vida came. And they fetched, we had to have hot water, and so Vida fetched her tea kettle. So we'd a have a way to get hot water.
Q: Put tea kettles on your stove to keep the water hot, huh?
Sylvia: Yeah, uh-huh. Yeah, we went through some hard times, but I'm glad. You know, I'm glad that that's what we had.
Q: I guess this road out here was dirt for awhile, wasn't it?
Sylvia: Oh, yes. Uh-huh. And you wouldn't believe the cars that goes up and down. Somebody, the top has field, up and on down to the town hall, you know, right here on the corner, and take the road up past the park, and take it clear up the mountain road. So.
(Aunt Faye said that when she was young, she and Rhea used to watch for the cars that came up and down the road, and that they knew everybody's car, and even everybody's cat or dog that came up the road! Now you have all kinds of cars whizzing by that you don't have any idea whose they are!)
Q: When did you and Hazen get your first car?
Sylvia: Well, it was a little Model T Ford. And so before we was married, Grandpa Hazen and Grandpa Andy and them had a little pond. Maybe you can see, it's big tank at Ken's. That big tank. That's where these folks all get their water. And that was just a dirt cave. And Grandpa and Hazen put a dam in it, and then a headgate, and then this water'd come down a ditch, run this way, when they'd want water, they could go and raise this head gate, that'd let water come down there, water all down where the park is. Water the gardens.
Q: I guess the tall wheels on the Model T would help it when the road when it would get real muddy, huh?
Sylvia: You mean in the car?
Q: Yeah. They used to have big, great big wheels on the cars back in those days, and I understand it's because the roads would get so muddy, you'd get ruts in them, that the tall wheels could make it, and the cars nowadays would bottom out before they'd could ever....
Sylvia: Oh. Well, as near as I could tell, they'd just stop, was a tire. Well, we got tractors you know, and that they would....
Q: (Ora) Grandma, when, uh, when my Dad, when the war broke out, and we were going to get out of the service, you know, and I was a baby, and I remember Mom told me that Grandpa, Grandpa Hazen, came out to California and got Mom and myself and brought us here. While Dad was in the service. How long were we here before we went back to California to where Dad was, do you remember?
Sylvia: No, I don't.
Q: (Ora) I never did get that straight from Mom how long we had to stay here until Dad, 'cause we didn't know where he was going, and it was just after Pearl Harbor, and I remember she said Grandpa came and got...
Sylvia: ...your mom.
Q: Yeah, me and her and helped us drive out here. I didn't ask, I was wondering how long we were here?
Sylvia: I imagine your Mom would know more about that.
Q: Would Hazen ever go up in the mountains and hunt deer?
Sylvia: Uh, just once in a great while.
Q: Get any?
Sylvia: Yeah, oh, and they had a, what'd they call that, pre-hunt. They hunt at deer time, you know, when it was time in the fall, then later on, they had another hunt, I think they called it a pre-hunt. And so Mike and Lynn and Hazen, they all went in the big old truck we had, filled the bed with grub and stuff, and went up. And Hazen, he wanted to get the big one, the big deer. Well, he got one. And so, he fetched it down, we had you know these trees out here, and they fixed a gallows to pull this deer up so they could skin it. And, ugh!! You never smelled such ROT!!! (laughter) Oh! It was, you know, in the spring of the year, uh-huh. Mating, and ugh!
(Uncle Lynn says that they had a one and a half ton truck that they used on the farm for hauling hay and when they went hunting, they would load up the bed of that truck with tents and grub boxes of food and a coal stove, and went up Weber Canyon to a place called Kamas where they got that big stinky deer!)
Q: Yeah, all the musk.
Sylvia: And we, they killed it. Hazen wanted a big one, and they cut a roast off, so we cut it. Oh!! The house!! You could a hardly stay in here!! Oh!! Talk about...he got the big deer!! Everyone around us were all laughing.
Q: Did it taste good?
Sylvia: Oh, gosh, you couldn't eat it, it was so strong, you know.
Q: The musk smell permeates the whole meat?
Sylvia: Yeah, uh-huh.
Q: Well, Grandma, um, let's ask you one more question, and then we can go. But, um, I was just wondering, like, I know Grandpa played the violin a lot, did you bring the kids in during the evening, and play music or sing songs or anything like that, here in the house? Just before bedtime or anything like that?
Sylvia: That's about the time the t.v.'s first started, radios. Uh-huh, radios. Battery, battery radio.
Q: So you'd play the radio at night?
Sylvia: Oh, yes!
Q: What was your favorite programs?
Sylvia: Well, I don't know.
Q: Did you ever listen to Amos and Andy?
Sylvia: Oh, yes, yeah, Amos and Andy, uh-huh, yeah! We liked stuff like that. Hazen was more crazy for the music than I was.
Q: That was the big band era, I guess, with Glenn Miller and all those? Hazen liked that, huh?
Sylvia: Yeah, uh-huh. And that's when the neighbors'd all come in.
Q: They'd come in to listen to the radio?
Sylvia: They'd listen, uh-huh.
(Aunt Faye remembers lots of people coming by every Saturday night for social visits, with lunch and card game parties called "High Five" with neighbors and family gathering each week. Even in the winter, they would come out in the bobsleighs through big drifts of snow, just to be able to socialize together like that. She said neighbors were closer and took time to help each other to bring in crops and such, even using that instead of cash. She said they all had to be close and help each other, just to survive, so they got so close. Nowadays nobody has time to get to know neighbors and it's just "me for me".)
Q: (Ora) Well, Grandma, didn't my Mom tell me once that Grandpa at one time had an opportunity to go back East, when he was young to study violin or something?
Sylvia: I think so. But oh, he liked to play.
Q: He was good!
Sylvia: Uh-huh. And Grandpa Andy and Aunt Zilla. She played the organ, the piano in Adam's orchestra.
Q: Now, Zilla was Hazen's sister?
Sylvia: Yeah, there's Hazen, Zilla and Vida.
Q: And Grandpa Andy played the violin?
Sylvia: Grandpa, no he played the horn. Grandpa Andy.
Q: He could play the violin though, couldn't he?
Sylvia: Yeah, some. And Grandpa played violin. Dan, he played a horn. Shirley Heywood, clarinet. They had the Adams' orchestra.
Q: Is that what they called it?
Sylvia: Yeah, Adams' Orchestra. And Gib Nance, and Bill Nance, and Hazen. They'd go to all these little towns, like Layton, Kaysville, Syracuse, Clearfield, and Clinton. And play. Then in the winter they'd go in the sleigh.
Q: Did he ever get a chance to record while they were playing? Anybody record them while they were playing?
Sylvia: Oh, I don't know.... (Later) Would ya like somethin' to eat? (laughter)
(The reason everyone laughed was that we had just eaten a big meal, and it was really common for Grandma Sylvia to ask anyone who ever came to her house if they'd like something to eat. Even when nobody was really hungry, she would insist on feeding everyone until they were stuffed, before they could leave. When I [Linda] was a child we were told not to let Grandma Sylvia feed us since she didn't have too much, but you just couldn't tell her no. My Mother, Ora, said it was because when Grandma Sylvia was growing up, nobody ever had much, so she couldn't bear the thought of anyone going hungry. I was told she would never turn away the tramps or hungry work men that would come to the door looking for something to eat, even if they were scary-looking.)
Q: No, after that dinner, we're all quite full, thanks. That was sweet of you to do that. We didn't know you were going to fix a dinner, bless your heart. You didn't have to do that.
Sylvia: Well, Faye wanted to see you so bad. Faye fixed it up.
(Everyone was fussing over Bethany, Linda's oldest daughter, who was just a baby at the time).
Q: Well, all your children learned to walk here, and some of us learned to walk here, and now this is your fifth generation learning to walk in this house.
Sylvia: Yes, isn't that something? Now, Ora, you're staying overnight, huh?
Q: Yeah, we're going to take Becky. Is Faye going to be able to go in the morning?
(Becky was just going into the Mission Training Center to begin her mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina.)
Sylvia: No, she said, now you guys, if you hadn't been able, she would've. 'Cause she didn't want Becky down there alone. You know, and not know anybody. (Baby Bethany squealed, Grandma Sylvia said to the baby, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!")
Ora: I think it would be the cutest picture of her and Bethany.
Linda: Of Grandma and Bethany? You mean today?
(We did take a good picture that day of Grandma Sylvia and Baby Bethany, sitting in Grandma's favorite chair.)
Sylvia: Ora, wouldn't ya like something to eat?
Q: Oh, we had such a nice meal, Grandma, we're full. Thank you!
Sylvia: Well, I'm glad you could come. (End of tape)
I called and talked to Aunt Ila Forbes on November 4, 1995. She told me the names of all the brothers and sisters in order:
1. Menita Flint Suiter (People called her Beatrice, but she didn't like that name, and went by Menita.)
2. May Flint King
3. Sylvia Flint Adams
4. Lillie Flint Stoddard
5. Ivey Lavon Flint (died when she was about 2 years old)
6. Myrtle Flint Kirkman
7. Ila Flint Forbes
8. John Virgil Flint
9. Wilford Flint
10. Clifford Flint
11. Golden Flint
Of those that are still living, these are the ages and birthdays:
Lillie Flint Stoddard, just turned 95 yrs. on Nov. 1, 1995
Myrtle Flint Kirkman, will be 91 yrs. on Nov. 5, 1995
Ila Flint Forbes, 88 yrs., birthday Dec. 19th.
Wilford Flint, 83 yrs., birthday July 18th.
Aunt Ila said that she didn't really know Sylvia all that well, as Ila was so much younger than Sylvia. She did remember Sylvia staying with her Grandpa and Grandma Flint to help take care of Grandma up until she married Hazen. Aunt Ila remembers working on the farm, and walking a mile or so to the school. At that time, they called it the West Point Elementary school, and when she was there, they had two grades together in one class, like maybe 2nd and 3rd grades together. She said it was better then, since everyone had to line up outside before they could go in to the school, and they pledged allegiance to the Flag outside, then marched orderly inside the school. She says today, the kids run all around inside. Once inside, they said a prayer to begin the day. She said pretty much everyone was Mormon in the school. Just once in awhile you'd get one child that wasn't. She also remembers cutting through Mr. Singleton's field, as Sylvia had said. She also remembers playing with other friends than the ones Sylvia recalled, since there was such an age difference between the two sisters. Aunt Ila said that even though they weren't related, the neighbor kids were all close enough to call each other's parents "Aunt and Uncle". She is so amazed at the difference she has seen in the world. She said she's gone from horse and buggy to rocket ships, and back when they used to have to scrub all day on the old washboards, to just flipping the laundry in the washing machine and turning it on. She says she has many different pictures, even of her parents, that she can share. I'll try to get copies as soon as I can, and maybe we can share them around the family.)
Uncle Ken says that when Rhea died, it really hurt Grandma Sylvia that she would lose her own daughter before she herself died. She took it really hard. She kept saying, "Why couldn't it be me, instead?" She said to Ken's wife Linda, "When will this race ever end?" She saw life as a kind of race, with all the work that needed to be done. Then, just prior to her own death, she had asked Lynn to take her to the bank to cash her social security check, and when they were done, she asked him if he had time to take her up to the cemetery where Grandpa Hazen's head marker was, close to the road. Lynn did, and she sat there for a couple of minutes, and then said, "It won't be too long, I'll be there with your Dad." This was on April 2nd or 3rd, and she died May 8th. Ken says she had fallen a couple of times, and they had her in the convalescent center, where so many of the people there would be grumpy and give the workers a hard time, but that just wasn't the way Grandma was. She kept thanking everyone for every little thing they'd do for her. She said she knew it was her time, and that she was ready to go. She would name off all the people she wanted to be with who had passed on before, and said she wasn't afraid at all. Then ten days after she was able to go back home, she passed away really peacefully in Faye's arms. Ken says that it's always hard when someone we love passes away, yet knowing she was ready, and not afraid at all, and knowing that there were so many loved ones to meet her on the other side really helped. What a wonderful reunion we can all have to look forward to someday!!
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