Saturday, December 8, 2012

Neils Anderson

Excerpts from Neils Anderson Family History and Reminiscences

By Mary Joyce Scherbel as related by her father George Anderson

Neils Anderson moved to the corner of Wilson and Thomas roads with his parents Anders and Ingrid Nilsson Anderson and his brothers and sisters.  The farm was 160 acres, ½ mile by ½ mile.  This was divided and given in sections to the children for their own farms.  All Anders’ and Ingrid’s children were living in this 160 acre square except Carrie, who owned land there but lived further down Wilson Road with the rest of the Goodwins and Turpins.  The section Neils chose was a terrible site.  It looked like river bottom land.  There were sand bars and swales.  It was a natural waterway for floods and high water.  I’m not sure how much ground he started out with; he got a little more than some of the other family members because his ground was undeveloped and theirs was good farm ground.

When Neils and Mary went to the property to see where to put their house, the sand was so thick that one horse couldn’t pull the buggy with Mary in it.  Neils built a two-room house; the original house consisted of what are now the two end bedrooms (the west gable).  The door went out of the kitchen on the back side of the house. 

Neils worked for Swan Berg drilling wells as far away as Groveland.  He drilled many wells in the area.  He walked to and from work and sometimes he would stay there for several days at a time.  He would walk sometimes clear to Lavaside and Groveland.  Grandmother would be home alone with the children and milking the cows.  This was how he would earn his living while he slowly leveled his ground and made it farmable.  It was not fit to raise crops or support a family until he finished leveling it and making ditches.  Little by little, grandfather got more and more ground ready and his farm started to be productive and help support the family.

Grandfather hand sorted his potatoes.  He would take baskets and sort them according to size and sack them.  A potato inspector would spot check them.  After they were graded and sacked and the tops of the sacks sewn shut, grandfather would back his wagon to the cellar doors and put a plank from the ground to the wagon and you would walk up the plank and put the potatoes in the wagon.  The wagon held about 50 sacks (2 ½ tons) and with a team of horses, they would take it to Moreland to the warehouse for sale.

Grandfather raised beets and hauled them to the beet dump on Taylor Road, where the gravel pit is now.  All the manure was put on the beets because they were called the “mortgage payer”.  Nothing else got fertilizer; it all went to the beets.  He also raised hay and grain along with cows, work horses, pigs and chickens.  They milked approximately 10 head of cows and had usually around 200 hens.  There were lots of pigs.

Mary always tried to get Neils to pay his tithing.  He never would.  When she started selling cream and eggs, she paid her tithing faithfully.  Grandfather was losing some cattle.  They got sick and died.  Grandmother was so mad at him because he would never pay his tithing and she really told him off (and she could really do it!).  She told him that if he would pay his tithing he wouldn’t be losing these animals.  He finally did pay and he stopped losing his animals.  Our sweet little grandmother had a fierce determination and she and grandfather had quite a battle-of-the-wills in their marriage.

Grandfather’s first car was a black 1924 Model T Ford.  It had two seats and side curtains you could hook on for stormy weather since it had no windows.  His 2nd car (bought new) was a 1934 Dodge cream color 4-door sedan.  Grandfather next bought a 1932 Chevrolet.  It was a green 4-door sedan and had a spare tire on each side of the front with silver covers.  It was really fancy.  Then he bought a 1935 Chevrolet new 4-door sedan, a standard size Chevrolet and a Master, which was larger.  It had a carry king trunk on the back and it would hold a 55-gallon drum plus cans of oil and grease guns, etc.  This car was used to carry fuel to the first 1935 farm tractor they bought.

The tractor was used for a lot of custom work and the car had to carry all the fuel and oil, etc, for the tractor.  The tractor was bought to run the Case thresher, but it was also used to do custom plowing.  When the tractor came, it had four working gears.  They took it in and took out the fourth and put in a road gear.  It would go 11 mph at top speed to pull the thresher from place to place.  The old steam engine would only go 2 or 3 miles per hour.  The thresher was bought first and then the tractor.  They threshed all over the valley.  It was even pulled out to Mackay at 11 mph to do some work.  This custom work was done for $.05 a bushel.  It threshed grain and clover seed and beans.  It would thresh peas, but not many people raised peas.

When Neils was small, he fell out of a swing and broke his collar bone.  He was never taken to a doctor and he healed wrong.  He had one shoulder higher than the other, so that when he bought a suit he had to have it special-made to fit him.  This caused him a lot of discomfort.  It caused the ribs on one side to crowd and push the lungs over, which in turn put a lot of pressure on the heart.  He would get out of breath quite easily because of this stress on the lungs and then, in later years, it really started bothering his heart.  When it was cold in the winter he couldn’t breathe very easily.  This is when he started going to Arizona for the winter.

When the Riverside-Thomas cemetery was laid out in plots with roads, they dug up all the graves (every one, none was missed) and put them in new rows.  Most had new wooden boxes built for the caskets to be reburied in as a lot of the old caskets needed this support.  When this cemetery was first used, it was just a hill and people were buried anywhere and everywhere.  There was no order to this at all and it was impossible to dig a new grave because you weren’t sure where the caskets were.  Grandfather worked with others to organize this and set it up as it is today.




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