Earl Rexford Whittaker

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Earl Rexford Whittaker

Birthplace: Circleville, Piute County, Utah, United States
Death: December 10, 1982 (78)
Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Arthur Whittaker and Mozetta Whittaker
Husband of Elva Lauree Whittaker
Father of Private; Private User; Arthur Rexford Whittaker; Major Arthur Rexford Whittaker and Private User
Brother of Louring Arthur Whittaker; Leah Whittaker Wood; Tennessee Whittaker; Allie Gottfredson and Guy Whittaker

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Earl Rexford Whittaker

Earl Rexford Whittaker

Son of Arthur Whittaker and Mozetta Smith; born 29 February 1904, at Circleville, Piute, Utah. Married Elva Lauree Dalton, 14 July 1926. Children:

Mary Whittaker

Virginia Whittaker

Arthur Rexford Whittaker

Mardell Dalton Topham Whittaker

Died 10 December 1982. Buried at Circleville; stone reads: "Where there were trails, he left roads."

Autobiographical Sketch of Earl Rexford Whittaker:

I was born in 1904 on February 29th, Leap Year Day. I was the first one born in the "new house" that Dad had built, the Whittaker "Ranch House" on the main traffic lane at that time. When I went to school, we had to walk up to town. The big girls would put up a lunch for Guy and me. I was in first grade for three years, I get a lickin' every day from my teacher, Miss Henderson, with a willow switch. She would send Gibb Beebe out every day to fetch a proper willow switch, and if it wasn't big enough, she wore it out on Gibb and went to get a bigger one. I never did learn to read well, a handicap to me all my life. When I was eight, my aunt Tennessee came to teach and I was promoted to her class in the third grade and she advance me to the fourth. I learned a lot from her, from then I started to get my confidence back. I went to all eight grades in Circleville. I graduated with 16 boys and one girl, Elva's sister Ruby. I was 18 years old when I graduated. I went to Branch Agricultural College. I belonged to a boys club called the G. G. Club. We put on a party and President Jones had an Uncle with a turkey farm and we got some turkeys. We killed the turkeys and invited the girls we knew to cook them. We invited all the faculty and really put on a feed. It became a legend and we had enough turkey to feed them all. When I went over to the Branch Agricultural College I won the outstanding orator award that year, starting out in speech class with the Gettysburg Address. I married Elva Lauree Dalton when I was 22, and she was 18. When she first came into the picture, she brought a friend to meet me, a distant cousin of hers, before the cousin returned to her home. I was getting ready to fix the holes in the granary, because it was fall and we had to have it ready. That was when I first noticed Elva seriously, although she had been just behind me in school and a very good student. On Sunday I'd go down to her house, invite myself to supper, and stay to talk to her. Elva was always fixing supper, and her aunt Amy would scold her for serving me their best. Elva's family didn't eat well, except the adults. She went to Salt Lake City and worked for a family that owned a jewelry store in order to earn enough money for school. I got lonesome to see her and went to Salt Lake to see her and finally I took her to the park to talk, and out to Salt Air riding the trolley car. Elva spent most of her money to get her hair done, and then it rained! While we were at Salt Air I persuaded her to ride "The Bucket" and I got so sick! She had a cousin Loretta Peterson who went with us. When we got back to Salt Lake, I proposed. We were married in July in the Manti Temple. She came home to get ready for the wedding a few week before that date. I went to ask her father for her hand and Aunt Amy kept interrupting our talk. We went up to Manti the day before to stay at a relatives' home. Carl and Ruby Whittaker, Elva's sister and brother in law, went with us. On our return home from our wedding, between Marysvale and Junction, we met a dunk who ran us off the road and bent the left front wheel and axle of the car. We were stranded, so we tried to get home to Circleville. We could go about 100 yards on the bent wheel before we would run off the road again. Then I would put it in reverse and line up the car again, go forward until it ran off the road. We finally stayed in Junction for the night. We called Dad the next morning and he came and got us. Elva went to work in the kitchen as soon as we got home to the ranch, and I went into the hayfields that same day to cut hay. I brought the first tractor to cut hay into the valley. We cut hay with horses and a 4.5 foot cut at first, then a five foot cut. The tractor, a Farmall, would pull a 7 foot cutter mounted on the back of it. During a visit to Phoenix, Arizona I saw baled hay and figured that we could do it too! I bought a hay-bailer, and my neighbors shook their heads in disbelief. This bailer was a wire tie that had to be tied by two men riding on the back of the bailer. In later years we got larger and newer equipment and I am still very interested in new and more Versatile machines. I still own and lend out some of the fanciest machinery in town. I raised race horses for a time and raced them all over the continent, Old Mexico, Flagstaff Arizona, Reno Nevada, and in Utah. In race horses, I came out about even, wins over losses. I have several trophies I won, still. I have the gift of "divining" or using a "witching rod" to locate water and minerals under the ground. I have spotted wells and veins of ore all over the West. I went to spot some wells on the Indian reservation which was just out of Chandler. They'd done a seismographic survey of the whole area to find water that was badly needed. The survey said there was no water in the middle of this large tract of land. Andy Jean, a friend of mine, had a deal with the Indians, he'd hold a lease if they would pay for the drilling. He knew I could witch for water, and he paid for my flight down and my stay in a motel. He said he wanted a good well, so we checked the area and I found there was a channel of underground water going north and south and another channel intersecting it gong east and west. They both met at the same spot I told him. They drilled on this spot. When the water came in, it pumped 10 second feet and was in the center of the east side of the property. They said there was no water on the northern edge, so I witched five wells there. They got 3600 gallons per minute on each of the five wells. Arthur, my son, constructed a divining rod for me. It was to my specifications. It had a plastic rod in the center so that I could easily remove and put on a different plug that housed the ore I was looking for. This plastic rod was connected to two handles by piano wire. The piano wire was about 18" long and coiled close to the handle so that the magnetic pull of the ore would dip the plastic rod. I designed it and used it for finding water, oil, gold, silver and other elements. I ran cattle for a living. I had a winter range on the Escalante Deseret about 10 miles from the Hole in the Rock. I owned 5000 acres of property in Johns Valley and then a forest permit where I had the summer range. I would take the hired hands and Arthur and Mardell in June and brand the calves, heard the cattle from the Escalante Deseret to Johns Valley. In later years we transported them by truck. In October I would transport the cattle back to the Escalante Deseret. I would cut and bail hay the rest of the summer. First I would put up the wild hay and then three crops of Alfalfa hay to fed the calves through the winter. I would then sell them in the spring. I run or rented out large parcels of property around Circleville, Utah. All of the grandchildren who come to stay with me have had a chance to learn todrive, and then to operate some of my large machinery. My grand-daughters even helped me cut hay and learn to bale and stack it. Alma Morgan, a good friend of Rex's said "If I ever needed anything, In knew who to go to. "A friend in need is a friend indeed" and Rex, you were always that to me for the past 78 years. Clyde Whittaker, Rex's nephew said that whenever and wherever we might be in the valley, if we were in trouble or if we were stuck, all we had to do was wait a few minutes and Rex would show up, with the right equipment to either pull us out or fix the problem. I'm not the only one who recognized this, Paul Morgan and Gale Whittaker said the same thing. Barry Jenkins, Rex's grandson said Grandpa never held a grudge. It was a burden he refused to carry. When a mistake was made, a piece of equipment was damaged, something important neglected or forgotten, you only heard about it once, and then it was forgotten as if it had never happened. Barry said his Grandfather loved to tell stories, and I've never seen anyone better. Many an hour was passed on horseback listening to grandpa recite "Sam Magee' and many other favorites. Rarely did a wedding or special occasion go by that Grandpa wasn't called upon to recite some appropriate poem or story. Barry said " I don't know anyone that knew cattle better. I remember riding out from Willow Tank a few miles and coming upon a dozen or so cows and calves scattered over the Deseret. The cows and calves were all mixed up. He stood up in the stirrups, and after a quick glance started paring up the cows with their calves. He tried to explain why that calf belonged with that cow, but it was beyond my comprehension. He used every opportunity to teach a lesson. I roped a calf that wanted to leave the herd, but there was no way that calf was going to be dragged where it didn't want to go. He rode over and told me to take the rope off, and then herd the mother over to the calf to let the mother lead the calf back to the herd. When that was done, he told me, "That Mother can lead that calf where ten men couldn't drag it, and the same is true with men. Lead em don't drag em. Rex died in the Richfield Hospital on 10 December 1982. He was 78 years old.

Rexford, the second son of Arthur and Mozetta S. Whittaker, grew into a tall well-proportioned young man, beloved by his parents and many friends in Circleville and elsewhere. He, like his father, is a jovial young man, full of faith in the future and in his fellowman. He, like the other children, had the advantage of a higher education, but when at home, was always busy working for his father, helping to care for his farm and herds of sheep and cattle under his father's watchful care. He grew to be an honest, thrifty, and dependable man, well loved by his companions.

When the time came for this young man to select a companion to go with him through life, he chose a young lady raised in the little town that gave him birth. He chose Elva, the beautiful daughter of Charles and Virginia Peterson Dalton. And Rex took her to the beautiful temple in Manti, Utah, and they were married for time and eternity on 18 July 1926. [inset of picture from p146 Rex and Elva were married in this beautiful temple. ] This young couple made the home in Circleville near their parents. After Arthur and Mozetta moved to their other home, Rex and Elva moved into the old home, and they were living there at the time of this writing in the year 1946. They made many improvements in the home until it was different from what it was when it was first built.

Rex and Elva's home is one of the nicest in Circleville, modern in every way. Rex and Elva spent hundreds of dollars in beautifying the grounds around the house. Elva spent many hours in supervising the architect of the grounds, planting shrubs, bulbs, rose bushes, and flowers of all kinds. She has a large rock garden full of flowers, a fish pond with water lilies growing in it, the pond surrounded with pansies, petunias, and other low-flowering plants, roses of all kinds, both the b climber and the bush rose. Many of her dahlias were as large as a dinner plate. She has flowers form early spring to late fall. People come from far and near to see Elva's flower garden. It is truly one of the loveliest spots in southern Utah.

Rex and Elva are the parents of two children, Virginia, a beautiful accomplished young woman, and Arthur, eight years old (in 1945) and a promising young lad. In their home is a baby grand piano which Virginia plays very proficiently. About eight years ago Elva's sister gave birth to a little boy Mardell. This lovely young mother paid the supreme sacrifice for her little child. When he was three days old, she died and left her precious baby in the care of her sister Elva. Elva took this little child to care for as one of her own when little Arthur was only a few months old. Elva and Rex are caring for this little boy and raising him as one of their own. It is truly a good deed, one that will bring its own reward.

After the cares of the day, after dinner was over and the dishes put away, Mozetta would go into her beautiful living room, sit down in one of her many rocking chairs, and begin to read from the True Story Magazine, The Daily Paper, or The Bible. When a familiar footstep was heard on the porch, she would hurry to open the door, often for her big stalwart son Rex, just coming home from a hard day's work. Rex was so pleasant and happy to be with his mother. She would say to him, "Are you hungry? I have some nice peaches I bought from a peddler today." Rex answered, "Yes, if it isn't too much bother." She soon had his lunch ready consisting of a pitcher of cold milk, plenty of homemade bread, and a big bowl of yellow peaches covered with thick cream and sugar. His mother looked forward to those visits of her son. They were bright spots in her daily life. Rex made it a practice to visit his beloved mother every evening for a short time when he was home. These may be the thoughts of Rex for his mother.

I love the old cottage there under the trees;

With its haven of shelter and rest;

For there is where Mother is, dearest of all.

And the queenliest mother and best.

When I am in need of a friend that is true

And a heart that is noble and fine,

I turn to the shade of my sheltering home

And that wonderful mother of mine.

Blessed 5 June 1904, by Joseph Simkins; baptized 14 July 1912, by James Mogensen; confirmed 14 July 1912, by James L. Ruby; ordained deacon, 30 September 1916, by Chester William Allen; ordained priest, 11 January 1926, by Henry Sudweeks; ordained elder, 29 May 1926, by Rulon S. Wells.(84, 454)

1920: Living in Circleville; attended school in 1919; can read and write.4 20 September 1940: Rex Whittaker and Rulon Spencer took a load of fat cows to the Cedar market last week.(PCN)

21 November 1941: Rex Whittaker has gone to the races in Phoenix.(PCN)

26 December 1941: Five Persons Are Injured in Three-Car Collision / Injured Persons Are Taken to Richfield Hospital.

A three-car collision, which resulted in serious injury to five persons, occurred Tuesday evening about six miles south of Marysvale, when an automobile driven by Byron Davies, 31, of Cannonville struck the rear end of a pickup truck owned by Rex Whittaker of Circleville, which was parked while a tire was being repaired. The Davies car, en route to Cannonville from Provo, was thrown into the center of the road and struck by a northbound car driven by Harold Ward of Marysvale. The Ward car was thrown some twenty-five feet into the barrow pit. / The injured are Urban Johnson, who received several bad cuts on his face and neck; Harold Ward, who sustained a fractured leg and dislocated knee, Byron Davies, who was treated for broken ribs and lacerations on the face and scalp; Mrs. Davies, a serious cut on her leg, the five-month-old Davies baby, who has a fractured skull, and Mrs. Lizzie Fullmer, whose nose was broken. The occupants in the Whittaker truck were Mrs. Lizzie Fullmer and two sons, Alvin and Tommie. The boys who were repairing the tire escaped without injury. Those in the Davies car were Mr. and Mrs. Davies and baby, Miss Margaret Dunham and three CCC boys. Urban Johnson of Marysvale was in the Ward automobile. Both cars are totally demolished. However little damage was done to the pickup. The collision occurred about 6:00 o'clock. Sergeant M.A. Snow of the highway patrol and Dr. K.L. Jenkins were immediately called to the scene of the accident. The injured were treated here and later moved to the hospital in Richfield.(PCN)

13 February 1942: J.W. Reynolds, Rex Whittaker, Ray Westwood and Irvin Lay are in Escalante, serving a two-week stake mission.(PCN)

23 February 1945: Mrs. Helen Grunbald and Alta Olsen are here visiting relatives. They are from Canada and came for their mother's funeral at Blackfoot, Idaho. Their mother was Mrs. George Cheney. They came to Circleville with Rex Whittaker, after he had attended his aunt's funeral.(PCN)

8 July 1976: Rex Whittaker's to Note Golden Wedding July 11 / Circleville

Mr. and Mrs. Rex Whittaker, Circleville, will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with an open house, Sunday, July 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Whittaker residence. Friends and relatives are invited to attend. They request no gifts. The couple was married July 24, 1926 in the Manti LDS Temple. They have resided in Circleville their married life. Mr. Whittaker is a farmer and stock man. He has been a pioneer in the use of heavy farm equipment in the area. He is active in the LD S church and a member of the high priest quorum. He has been a strong supporter of the LDS missionary program. Mrs. Whittaker has been an active gardener creating beauty with her gardens. She has participated in the LDS church auxiliaries. She is a gifted teacher with the children of the church. / They are the parents of three children: Maj. Arthur, Florida; Mardell, Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Ronald (Virginia) Jenkins, Circleville. They have 15 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.


Piute County News: 20 September 1940, 21 November 1941, 26 December 1941, 13 February 1942, 23 February 1945

Richfield Reaper: 8 July 1976

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Earl Rexford Whittaker's Timeline

February 29, 1904
Circleville, Piute County, Utah, United States
August 16, 1937
Circleville, Piute, UT, United States
December 10, 1982
Age 78
Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, United States