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Richard Blaine Anderson and Donna Williams interview part 2


Donna: ...built this house. He was a contractor, his own contractor. He built that house. He'd hire some people to do certain things. And then we moved away from here, and we rented the place to Jean Miller. You remember Jean Miller? [To Belinda]
Belinda: He sounds really familiar.

Donna: She. . .Her husband used to (something) and she was teaching school. She taught school- (Something. . . . . . . . . ) Then I had Gail which. . .I was thinking of the most. . .things that were the most important in my life, and I was thinking. . .Dust, you know they overgrazed around here when we had the drought. We used to have dust. I don't know if any of you remember the dust that blew.

R.B.: The wind. . .The south wind would blow for weeks and you couldn't see across the street.

Dr. Smith: Oh, really?

Donna: And then, after that. . .And then the wells, they had wells, and the wells went dry. And then they put pumps on them. And it was real. . .It was real difficult for that. I know my dad and mother. . .or my dad had let the lawn dry up because they just didn't have the water to keep the lawn green. And then...And that was really bad, and it was still going on when we met, and we got married we lived in that first. . .cabin because if they didn't rent the cabins, I had to go dust them the next day because the wind would just blow dust so bad. And I think since then they only allow them to put cattle on the. . . (land in South Willow) the-a...cattle and sheep... I think it was the sheep that really took so much...You know, sheep just...

R.B.: Well, the sheep produced a trail, and that's the old sheep lane that they spread out, and the sheep made a dust bowl out of it.

Belinda: And that's why they called it The Dust. (Donna:The Dust Bowl.)

Belinda: Well, I remember my grampa calling it The Dust. Let's take the cows out to the Dust, or bring them home from The Dust.

Donna: And that was real bad. And then the Depression. That was. . .And then World War II was really catas. . .You know, was really. . .made a big impression on me. And then the other thing that I really thought was great was the strides they made in open-heart surgery. Because I was a benefit of that. Because I had rheumatic fever when I was fifteen, and it injured the mitral valve in my heart, and I would've died.

Jerri: What year did you have your heart surgery?

Donna: I had it in 1973.

Jerri: I had mine in 1957. I was one of the first ones to survive an open-heart surgery in Oregon.

Dr. Smith: Hmm.

Donna: Well, I'm. ..That was one thing I was that they. . .One time I told my mother, I said: "I need a new heart." I think she knew it. I didn't get the whole new heart, but I did get the part. The part that was wore out. So, that. . .See, then I lost my brother in World War II. He was killed on Iwo. . .on Iwo Jima. He was twenty-four years old. So, I just hate this war. I think. . .And I wonder. It brings it all back, and I think. . .I don't know whether it's worth it or not. Maybe it is.

Dr. Smith: Well, I think we had the same feeling a couple of weeks ago that we had in 1941, December the Seventh. Same kind of feeling.

Jerri: Sick.

Dr. Smith: A sick feeling. And fear of the unknown.

R.B.: Yeah.

Jerri : Yeah, I can remember where I was when I heard that news. I 'd just finished a piano lesson, and got in my car, and they said: "We are at war." And that horrible feeling came with that knowledge.

Donna: I think at that time during World War II there were twelve million men in the reserves. They had that many men in the armed forces.

Dr. Smith: Is that right?

R.B.: Twelve million.

Belinda: In the American Army? Was that combined? Would there have been Marines then? The Marines, the Navy...

Donna: Oh, yes, They were on both sides. They had...They were fighting in Europe, and they were fighting in the Pacific, and that was the same time. And they started out with nothing, I mean they didn't have even. . .Well, they [the Japanese] shot so many of their ships. . .Bombed so many of their ships, you see, that they didn't have a navy after that. Lucky that they...I really was surprised that they didn't come in and invade us.

Jerri: Just keep coming. . .

Donna: That's what I thought, "Well, maybe they'll just keep coming and invade us." They didn't, they backed off, and let us build up, and then defeat them.

Jerri : So that later they could defeat us.

Donna: They tried to take Hawaii, and now they own it. A lot of the United States, too.

Jerri : Yea, everybody owns a Toyota. and that's about the size of it.

Dr. Smith: Well, I was wondering about Little Reno, there are some pretty wild stories. . .Strange happenings that go on in motels. You know. . .these old. . .You know, the vanishing Hitchhiker stories...

R.B.: They're all true. Every one.

Donna: Tell them about the time that Anderson. . .Calvin Anderson's boy. . .or was it Cal's. . .

R.B.: You know the story, you tell it.

Jerri : I haven't heard it. What story? What kind of a story is it?

Donna: They were hunting that guy that got out of jail and. . .

R.B.: I hate to admit this, but i'm the guy that opened up that Sunday morning, and he walked in and asked me something, and went back out on the high way, and he had just broken prison.

Dr. Smith: Oh my Gosh.

R.B.: You know, when you see so many people, you don't really look at them.

Donna: You don't look at their face.

R.B.: You don't look at them. And just a few minutes later this U.S. . . Elroy Hansen pulled up on Highway Patrol and picked him up, he was on his way to the State line.

Dr. Smith: Oh my gosh.

Donna: He had that happen. . .

R.B.: He wouldn't have done nothing bad on Sunday, would he?

Dr. Smith: Well, I don't know

Belinda: Well, you said you were robbed. What happened when you were?

R.B.: Some hitch-hikers broke in, and they'd taken a .22, and had a lot of stuff gathered up but he couldn't carry it with him. He didn't get away with very much. But I was robbed . . .

Donna: But you never were "stuck up." And, even though at night...

R.B.: No. . Many times they'd run off without paying the gas, and we'd just call Wendover, and they'd grab them. Or we'd call the cop in Tooele, and he'd call Wendover, and we'd have the number and a description, and. . .

Donna: But a lot of times, I'd think if he didn't come home, I'd wonder at one-thirty or two o'clock if somebody had hit him in the head, and if he was laying dead somewhere. But he'd always come home.

R.B.: Darn it. . .

Jerri: You were lucky.

R.B.: Well, my life's story is over. . .So what now? Are you next? Who's gonna tell their life's story? Yours would only take five minutes, you kid.

Donna: Well, she wanted to know about the Opera House.

Belinda: Tell me about. . .You know, I've heard so many stories about that Opera House, and I can never get a straight answer. You know, Morris Wrathall? He was just always hopping mad about that thing being torn down. Now, what's the scoop?

R.B.: Well, now look. . .If they hadn't tore it down, and you had bought it, your dad Jay had bought it, and just boarded it around to keep people out of it for a few years, and then repaired it now, and had shows on the stage, everybody would know about it, you know. Go to the little old Grantsville Opera House in the booths up there. There's no place like that, anymore.

Belinda: (Something) Why?

Donna: But it got. . .It was really run down, and it was getting in really awful, awful shape, and I. . .One time I was in it, we used to have movies in it, you know. And it got. . .Something got on fire, and they made us all go out. And I think they got kinda, you know, afraid. And it would have taken, I don't know how many dollars to fix it up. You know? It's really a shame that it was tore down.

R.B.: Stirl Halliday, who run the Bluebird for years just every time...I've talked to him, and he said: "If I'd have just bought that, it would cost you fifty cents to go look at it."

Dr. Smith: That's right.

R.B.: And there'd be a line every week.

Dr. Smith: Well, What was the opera house... What was it?

R.B.: It was a theater with a stage and a circular...with three stories and booths. It was the county...I just...Didn't it have a ballroom?

Donna: Oh, and that's where we danced.

Dr. Smith: My gosh, it was a regular opera house.

R.B.: A side for (something), and under that was the dance-hall.

Dr. Smith: No kidding. . .

Donna: And we just loved to dance there. It had (something. . . )

R.B.: James R. Williams [Donna's father] watched them build it, and then he watched them tear it down.

Jerri: (to Donna) Your father?

Dr. Smith: Oh my gosh.

Donna: But it was. . .It had one of those spring floors.

R.B.: I don't think it was "spring" but it had some spring to it. It was sure good to dance. . .

Donna: It was a wonderful dance floor, and they all...Everybody loved to dance.

R.B.: It had a pillar in the middle that sit and would hold up the whole works.

Dr. Smith: Oh my gosh.

Donna: And they had. . .and it was just beautiful the woodwork.

Dr. Smith: Yeah.

Jerri: And that's where the post office is now. . .Right? Or is that Academy Square?

Belinda: No, it's...um...

Donna: You know where Stirl's place is? Between Bob's and Stirl's.

Belinda and Jerri: Oh, across from the school. In the parking lot? Oh, that's where it was...

Donna: Right across...We used to grab...I remember graduating from there. We used to go across from there (the Grantsville Elementary School was once the Grantsville High School) and graduate.

Jerri : My gosh.

Dr. Smith: Well , was it built by the Mormons? Or...Did it look like the Tabernacle or something like that? Was it like-a...

R .B. The front of it was teired like that, and it was brick. Red brick. It should've lasted two hundred years.

Dr. Smith : Right.

R.B.: Now the Academy, up here on the corner, was adobe brick.

Donna : Adobe. And that's where they [pioneer children] went to school before they built this high school...or the school across the street from me. That's where my dad, and probably their grampa and grandma...where everybody went...That's where they went to school...The Academy. I remember that I did go to Seminary, at the Academy. I can't exactly remember when they tore that down, but...it probably wasn't...it probably couldn't have stood it. The time...I don't think it could've, do you? The Academy...

Jerri : I know somebody who has pictures...um...Edna Knowlton. You know Edna? She and...Oh there are about four women who graduated the same year. From high school...out of the opera house, and they had their class picture taken in front of it. They made a book not too long ago, at their fiftieth reunion, and they all got a book that had pictures of old Grantsville in it. That was the most interesting book I'd ever read. It was really interesting.

Donna : Now, my mother...That chair right there...My mother won that chair (something) when she was sixteen-years-old.

Jerri : Oh my gosh.

Dr. Smith: Beautiful chair.

Donna: And she won it at some drawing. And they used to have people come and put on shows from out of...of...shows that went around. Besides it's like my dad wrote about it. (I think he wrote about it. ) And he said that most of it was...was the amateur. They had plays.

R.B.: I think if you were to see the stage now, it would be a little, tiny stage.

Belinda: That's what I picture it as.

R.B.: But the stage was probably no bigger than this. [Their front room.]

Donna: But they had...they had a couple-a curtains, and plenty of room in the back that you could get dressed in, and come in and you know what to do in the stages. And they could have...

Dr. Smith: Well, you know, I was just over in the Uintah Basin last summer, and the Tabernacle there belongs to the Mormon church. It was built in 1904, and it's a great building. And it is a beautiful building. They're trying to get rid of it. They want to tear it down. They don't want to fix it. But it is gorgeous, a gorgeous Tabernacle. It is just crazy to think that they would destroy something historical like that. It's on the register of...the historical register, but they still want to. Townspeople are trying to hang on to it, and restore it, but...

Donna: Well, it would have cost a lot of money to have restored that, but. ...Made it safe. They did make them put...a way to get out of it from upstairs...you know...outside. I think if it had got on fire...I don't know but, it's too bad they tore it down. I gave some pictures to Lucy Sandberg...some pictures...some papers that I had that she was gonna hang in the Hostess Ring during the Sociable, and it had the boxes, the loges in it. Pictures of the Opera House inside. If I'd've had that now, I could've showed you how it was inside. I just gave that to her this afternoon. She wanted these classic old newspapers, and she wanted (something unintelligible).

Jerri : Yea, every year, here, they have what they call: The Old Folks Sociable, and they used to put on a show just before or they used to start practicing a show through a theater company called: The Grantsville Opera House company.

Belinda and Donna: Memorial company. That's what it is.

Jerri : And they put on a show, but they haven't put it on for a couple of years.

Belinda: Well, the Old Folks Sociable it's been around for a hundred years.

Jerri and Donna: Or more.

Belinda: It's just an institution around here. It happens every year, regardless of whether you want to go or not. It's gonna happen.

Jerri : Yea, they assign people certain jobs in the city. You don't have any say so, if they assign you--you do it! Or go to jail!

Donna: I asked my grandmother, I says: "How come they started the Sociable?" And she said: "Well, they have to stay indoors so much,...you know...and winters were so cold, and so when it started to kind of breaking up they would all get together, and have this,...that they called: Sociable." And they'd all get together and they'd dance. And they loved to dance, and they'd have a dinner, and they would dance, and have a program.

Belinda: usually.

Donna: And it's just kind of to get over the winter, and it (the Sociable) used to be so big, not like now, but then at that time they used to...When I was a teenager, and a girl, why we used to have dinner for the kids. You know, we didn't use have lunch in the lunchroom, so they would furnish a meal on Friday for us, and then the teenagers would have a dance on Friday evening, and a dinner, and usually...I think Thursday night or whatever it was they had the Old Folks...They used to have what they called the merry members. I don' t know if you remember those or not. We used to go to those dances, too. They use to love to dance. People would square dance, people would all dance. We used to go up to Mirror Windows, and Dad and Mother used to look at us.

Belinda: Where did they have that at?

Donna: They'd have them in the Opera House, and then we got so that we, we would hold them in the old gym, and then they tore that down, too. The old gym at the back of the high school. But mostly I think they just were stuck here, and they didn't...It was hard to get to Salt Lake...It almost took two days, didn't it? To go to Salt Lake by horse and buggy... just getting to Salt Lake. And Grantsville's been much the same as it is now.. .I think. You can't buy...I guess you can buy a pair of shoes here now. I don't know whether you can or not.

Jerri: Yeah, you can from Williams...Tennis shoes.

Donna: We've always been just close enough to Tooele or Salt Lake that they just went to Tooele or they went to Salt Lake to shop. And, consequently, they never did really build up their businesses that much in clothing and some other businesses. And the grocery store is the biggest it's ever... and that's Soelberg's Grocery Store.

Belinda: Oh, but we used to have three grocery stores, because we had McCoy's and then we had Lee Anderson. Now were you related to Lee?

Donna: Um-hum...No, he's not one Of them. [Donna's husband--R.B.]

Belinda: How are you related to Lee? Was it because of. ..because he was a Clark? Are you related to the Clark's?

R.B.: AND Donna: (Pointing at two pictures of a man and a Woman on their living-room wall.) See those two people right there?

Dr. Smith: Who are they?

R.B.: They started the whole county.

Donna: Well, they started the whole town.

R.B.: If you look at it from far enough, everybody...this town is inbred.

Dr. Smith: Well, who are they?

Donna: They are: Thomas Henry Clark and Charlotte Gable Clark. (R.B. John Clark) And she was the first one in my family to join the church. [The LDS church] And she joined the church when Wilford Woodruff went to England, and he got the six hundred, - whole big bunch of them to join the church- And these people joined the church. They were in another church. They had to have a license to have a church at that time. They had left their church in England, and they had their own little church, and when he went there they just all joined the church...joined the Mormon church. And he... [John Clark] he was older. He had a son which was my grandmother's father. And he was old enough to be baptized, too. And he...So they stayed there for awhile, and they all immigrated. And when they came here...they came to Grantsville. And one of his sons ( ? ) was Lee Anderson's grandfather. And one of his sons, was one of my grandfathers.

R.B.: (To Belinda) How did the Worthington's come to this country?

Belinda: Well, they came from England.

Donna: Most of them came from England, didn't they?

Belinda: Um-hum.

R.B.: Old Englishmen.

Belinda: Gosh, I'd have to get out my spread-sheet and show you. I've got all those like that. But...um...they came, you know with some of the first land-ships to settle, and then when the indians were harassing them, then they headed on over to Pine Canyon, and spent a winter over there, but one of them went to California when they struck gold...out there. And then he came back and then...Was it Jethro? He...um...went up to Skull Valley, and stayed out there. That's what Ma's Creek, and Dad's Creek...all those are named after them.

R.B.: The Worthington's have got a history, sure puts them in a better light.

Belinda: Yea, they do.

Donna: Well, they did have a(n) indian fort here. They had that little one up there around where the First Ward church is now. They had that fort, and the indians, I guess, bothered them quite a bit, and then they kind of liked them. And the indians were the...Where the trailer court is now, the indians used to camp there.

Jerri: Which trailer court?

Belinda: The Indian Hills.

Jerri: Oh, of course. Duh...

Donna: The indians used to camp there, and I remember when they were...when I was really young they used to come around, and my grandmother always said: "It's better to feed them than to fight them." They'd come and knock on our door, and she'd usually give them a loaf of bread or give them something to eat, and then they would... And even when I was...we were married, they were there, [The indians living where the Indian Hill trailer court is now.] living with us. They'd come in there, and they'd live part of each year in the trailer court.

Belinda: Well,, I remember when the gypsies came to town. Do you remember that? An entire caravan of gypsies moved in here, and lived in Indian Hills.

R.B.: Well, didn't they make tables and chairs.

Belinda: They were happy to help themselves.

Jerri: I've always heard gypsies were light-fingered.

Belinda: Did they ever come up to Little Reno? Did you have Little Reno then?

R. B. I don't remember. Huh-uh.

Dr. Smith: Did they come from Nevada?

Donna: They just went around all over. From one place to another.

R.B.: Well, they had this migration route through here.

Donna: Stop off for a laugh.

R.B.: And I think they came through here to go clear to California. [There was more said on this subject, but I couldn't make it out.]

Jerri: Who else are you guys related to then? I mean, I know there is a lot of inbreeding here.

Belinda: Oh, it's not inbreeding. We're just all related.

Jerri: Sneeze on one person in Grantsville, all the relatives say, "Achoo." I Mean, all of them. They all say, "Excuse me." You know, I've run into Judds who I didn't know was a Judd until I was told later. I mean there are Judds all through this place. Williams all through this place. Clark's all over the place.

Donna: Clarks are all over the place.

R.B.: Just donned on me why all of us Tooele guys done so well down here.

Belinda: When everybody was somebody's cousin.

R.B.: You were related.

Dr. Smith: Yea, right.

Donna: I don't think the Grantsville guys went up there much, but there sure were a lot of Tooele guys married Grantsville girls around that time. A lot of the girls around here are in Tooele living.

Jerri: So, are you related to any of the other long lines...l mean, that are here besides the Williamses and Clarks?

Donna: Yes, I'm related to the Judds.

Jerri: See??

Donna: No, I'm not related to the Judds.

Belinda: Do you know anything about the story about the McBride brothers that shot the Doctor? Because he was being very familiar with their wife and sister? Do you know anything about that? No? Okay. I'll have to find someone else with that story.

R.B.: Is it true they used to have tunnels from house to house out there? (Out where Belinda is building her new home.)

Belinda: I've heard that.

R.B.: For the polygamists to their wives?

Belinda: You mean on our ranch?

R.B.: and Donna: Yes. Um-hmm.

Belinda: Well, that's been discussed. No. Really, we think we've found the opening. Bart McBride came out and he said, "This is where it is, and I have been down in that tunnel." And so, our tunnel went to another polygamist family. And here we're supposed to be talking to them, and you're not...you're talking to me.

Donna: But the Wooley's...see it was the Wooley's, wasn't it? Belinda: Um-hmm. But in all of these years there was this great, big hole in the ground, and it had rocks on each side of it. Really good Masonry. Well, my mom and dad would say, "You kids are gonna fall in it." So, we'd throw rocks in it. And we were told when we went for our walk, when we were herding cows or something, that we were to throw rocks in this hole. "Just throw a rock in it. Then get away from it." So, we've spent all these years throwing rocks in this hole, and it's supposed to hook to the tunnels... But about this time of year, if we've had a really good snow Storm, there is an area where the snow melts first and it leads down.

R.B.: [In a whisper] There's (Something) buried there.

Dr. Smith: I'll bet there are.

Belinda: We've heard there's buried treasure.

Jerri: Oh, boy.

Donna: I don't think there's any...be any skeletons, but you see they didn't like to give up...This property right here, there was a(n) adobe house here. And it was facing north, and there was a lady here...that lived here that was the polygamist wife of Hazel Johnson's father. She had four sons, and she was cousin to my grandmother. And when they banished the polygamy, you see, and there was no more polygamy, she just gathered up her fortune and went to Salt Lake and began to teach school, and raised her own children and gave it up. But the Wooley's...now the way I understand it...I was just very, very young at the time, but they. ..course they didn't want to give up their wife and their children, and I guess maybe, they didn't. I don't know. They could've tried to carry it on without being arrested. Because they were arrested, and they were harassed, and they were everything else for polygamy.

Belinda: Well, you know J. Reuben Clark was born...or it was his mother.. No, he was born on the ranch down one of the Clark family houses. And we Clark family come out...oh, every three years, five years. Some of them want to look. And he has the ranch thing out there. He was the ambassador to Mexico.

Belinda: And he had this great big fleur-de-lis on his buildings on most of it, and that was the deed that was given my grandfather when he bought the Wooley place.

Dr. Smith: Sounds exciting.

Belinda: But I hear there is another tunnel in this town.

Jerri: Tell us where.

Belinda: Up on Plum street inbetween two houses. Have you heard of that one? Where have you guys been you don't know any of these good stories?

R.B.: Is it up by the old McBride place? Anything can happen there.

Belinda: Did you hear that they found a still in the old green house?

R.B.: Yes.

Belinda: I couldn't believe that.

Donna: In the where?

***************************End of Side Two*****************************

Richard Blaine Anderson and Donna Williams interview part 2

Date  4 Feb 1991 
File name  AndersonRichardB1915&WilliamsDonna1919-InterviewPart2.txt.png 
File Size  2.11k 
ID  329 
Dimensions  48 x 48 
Linked to  Richard Blaine Anderson
Donna Williams 

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