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About Hyrum Bair

Hyrum Bair and Mary Elizabeth Van Orden Bair History from Family Search.org: Hyrum Bair was a true pioneer. Conceived in the east and born in the west, he therefore had a more comfortable trip across the plains than most immigrants. He was born in Farmington, Utah, on the 16th day of November 1850, the eldest son of John and Jerusha Ann Richardson Card Bair.

Ten companies of pioneers journeyed to Utah in the summer of 1850, arriving during the months of September and October. The first company left the Missouri River on 3 June 1850 and the last one on 4 July 1850. There were more than 800 wagons carrying 5,000 saints and their belongings, 4,000 head of sheep and 500 head of cattle. Jerusha Ann, though with child (Hyrum), walked most of the way across the plains.

After reaching Salt Lake City, the John Bair family settled at Farmington, Davis County. There John built the first sawmill in the county and there it was that Hyrum was born. In 1857-58 Johnston’s Army arrived in Utah and John Bair took part in the Echo Canyon War. The family then moved farther north and west and John built and operated the first ferry across Bear River, just above the present bridge on Bear River between Garland and Fielding, Utah.

In the summer of 1859 many families settled in the valley now known as Cache Valley. John Bair and twelve other families started the settlement of Richmond during the month of July. A monument now stands in Richmond in his honor. The first project tackled was that of cutting and stacking the wild hay for use during the winter. Then four small cabins of logs were erected on the present site of Richmond. Other settlers arrived that fall and seventeen families spent the first winter there. They built their houses enclosing a tract of land about 20 rods square. They wintered on City Creek opposite Browers Spring. This was called the “Old Fort.” The people suffered from cold and hunger during that first winter, as the snow fell to a depth of 21½ feet. The pioneers lived on boiled wheat and bread made from wheat ground in coffee mills.

By the end of 1859 Cache Valley contained six small settlements: Wellsville, Providence, Mendon, Logan, Smithfield, and Richmond. These towns comprised a total population of approximately one hundred families. The pioneers guarded their settlements constantly but these small towns, scattered over twenty miles, were too sparsely populated to have resisted an all-out attack if the red men had chosen to go on the war path. Fortunately, no conflict took place that year and the pioneers of the valley held possession of it until the next year when many new settlers arrived and the valley grew to eleven settlements.

The pioneers lived close in these first eleven settlements until 1864 because of several reasons: possible Indian trouble, the difficulties of bringing canals to the land, and the desire to be compact in order to worship together.

Together the townsmen went to the mountains to cut wood and logs with which to build their chapels and schoolhouses. Together they marched or rode to distant settlements to defend the people or give assistance when necessary.

Many times Hyrum remembered hearing his father call out to warn the townspeople when danger or trouble threatened, and his voice could be heard clear and distinct over the village. The Indians called John “Chief Bear John” and they respected his judgment highly. John was the Indian interpreter for the town and Hyrum remembered many times the Indians coming to his father to settle their troubles with the white pioneers. John would council with them and then he would shake hands with each one even though sometimes it was a large crowd of Indians.

It was necessary to guard against the Indians, as they would steal the cattle and horses belonging to the pioneers. John taught his sons to speak the Indian language. Hyrum often ran foot races and wrestled with the Indian boys.

One day an Indian by the name of Toney came to their home. He said he had company and asked for some bread and milk. He was given a large loaf of bread and a pan of milk. Toney and his squaw were camped just across the creek. Hyrum and his brother were sleeping in an old straw shed. That night they heard shooting, so early the next morning they ran over to Toney’s camp. They found him dead and his squaw and wicky-up gone. They told their father about it and he told the boys to go bury him — which they did, wrapping him in a blanket.

Many years later when Hyrum was an old man, his brother Frank, who had helped bury Toney, called on the phone and asked how Toney was buried — on his back or side? Hyrum said, “Just a little on his side.” His body had turned just a little when he was dropped into the grave and Hyrum hadn’t got down to turn him over. Frank explained that the creek had changed channels and had washed up the skeleton of an Indian and he was pretty sure it was the Indian he and Hyrum had buried, but since it was a little on its side, he wasn’t sure.

In the year 1860 Samuel Roskelley planted twelve acres of wheat at Richmond and it was eaten off by the grasshoppers. Records show this happened often from 1860 to 1879. The grasshopper plague caused hunger and suffering, also food rationing programs. Hy remembered one year the grasshoppers were so bad that the Saints feared not a spear of grain would be left in spite of all they could do. Hyrum recalled seeing his father go out into the grain field and praying to the Lord, then demanding that the grasshoppers leave in the name of the Lord. Six acres of his grain were spared, which was practically all that was saved. His prayers were answered.

Also in 1860, Brigham Young told the saints in Cache Valley, “It’s time to come out from under dirt roofs.” So effort was made to get mills which would provide shingles, wooden floors, and lumber for room additions onto the backs of the cabins for more space and comfort. The earliest steam mill in the valley was bought in the east and shipped up the Missouri River to Fort Benton, where it was received and hauled by freight wagons to Maple Creek Canyon, east of Franklin. It served the northern half of Cache Valley and Bear Lake. In 1871 lumber sold for $75 per 1,000 feet and shingles for $15 a square.

At one time the Indians stole and ran off all the horses owned by the Richmond settlers. The old horses that couldn’t stand the pace soon dropped out and the pioneers gathered these up and took pursuit after the Indians. They followed them up City Creek, then took to a ridge and got on the hogback of the mountain range. The pioneers tracked the Indians north past Cherry Creek, High Creek and Prater Creek to what was named that day Rattlesnake Den, as it was literally full of rattlesnakes. They recovered their horses. The Indians became frightened and took off over the ridge into the foothills of Franklin. Hyrum later owned a 600-acre ranch including this mountain.

High Creek was many miles long and owned by the people of Richmond and Cove. Prater Creek was a short creek on the right-hand side going up the canyon. It joined High Creek just above Hyrum Bair’s big barn and Hyrum owned all the water in Prater Creek and some shares in High Creek for irrigation purposes.

While working in the mountains getting logs with which to build homes, buildings, etc., they had many experiences with bears. There were many of these animals in the Rocky Mountains. When logging with a yoke of oxen and a team of horses, Hyrum often boasted he could pull anything that was loose at both ends.

One time his brother Moroni (called Roan or Roni) was with him. Hyrum said, “Roan, go get the oxen while I get breakfast.” So Roan took a rope and his dog, Old Jack (who was part bulldog and part shepherd and which Roan said could whip anything he could get his teeth into). Roan figured on getting the oxen and tying them together and riding one back. On the way he met a yearling bear in the road and said, “Sic him, Jack.” The dog rushed the bear and grabbed him by the side of the head. Roan figured the dog could hold the bear until he got the rope on its hind leg, but the bear broke away from the dog and climbed Roans’ frame as if he was a tree. He fought it off and came back to camp, his shirt and pants badly torn. Hy (nickname for Hyrum) said, “What in the world happened to you?” Roan answered, “I just had the best d—n fight with a bear the good Lord ever saw.” They got their gun and went back up the trail. There were footprints but the bear was gone.

During the wintertime, Hyrum and his brothers would set a board up by the fireplace and get it hot and then take it and run out barefooted in the snow, set it down and stand on it while they set snares for rabbits and birds. Hyrum was quite old before he had a suit of underwear. He used to laughingly tell his children that he went barefoot until his heels got so hard they would strike fire when he hit or kicked a rock. Seriously, however, he would tell how they used to soak his feet and then would sew up the cracks in his heels with what he called a waxed end (thread dipped in bee’s wax).

One time several men were logging in the mountains and Hyrum and his brother were with them. The oxen they were using had eaten all the grass around the camp, so Hy and his brother took the oxen up higher into the mountains for feed. It was after work and getting dusk. They had hold of the oxen’s tails and were going along the drag road, when all at once the oxen broke and ran. The tails slipped out of their hands and when the dust had settled, George saw what he thought was an ox on the side hill and he thought he would go up and turn him down with the rest. He walked within a few feet and said “Whoa-ha Buck,” but it was a bear that raised on its hind legs and growled at him. They returned to camp and someone said, “What’s the matter, George, are you scared?” Hy retorted, “If you had been where he was, you’d be scared, too. George was so close to a bear he could touch it with his hand.”

While Hyrum and his brothers were quite young, they worked in a camp of very rough men. One of the follows asked how many wives his father had. George, the younger brother, being quite quick-tempered, hit the man over the head with a shovel. Instantly, the three young boys put their backs together expecting to have to fight for their lives. No one looked up except one old Irishman who said, “Ply with a by take a by’s ply.” (Play with a boy, take a boy’s play.)

Hyrum during one encampment in the mountains, discovered the provisions to be missing on several different occasions. Bill Cherry and a friend came along and said, “We just went into your camp and helped ourselves to something to eat.” Hy said, “That’s been happening right along, hasn’t it?” They replied, “No, it was our first time.” Then one evening some days later, Hy entered his tent and there was a bear helping himself. It went out the back of the tent and ripped it wide open. So Hy decided he’d found the source of his vanishing supplies.

Jerusha Ann Richardson Card Bair died on 11 March 1861 at a time when her son Hyrum was but eleven years of age. She left two other sons: Frank and George. Hyrum’s recollections of his mother were that she had black wavy hair and did lots of fancy work. One day when Hyrum was quite old, his eldest daughter Millie was trying to learn to tat. She had forgotten how to put the thread around her finger. Hyrum took the thread and held it perfectly. Millie asked her father how he had learned the procedure and he replied that his mother, Jerusha Ann, used to do tatting work and he remembered seeing her do it.

When Hyrum was 12 years old, in the fall of the year, the family cattle got lost down in the meadows west of Richmond. Hy was sent to find them and a bad storm of sleet and snow came up. Knowing what the cows meant to the family welfare, he stayed out all night looking for them. He laid on the damp ground when he got tired and his buckskin pants got wet and froze to the leg. Cold settled in his leg. He lay in bed all winter in a little back bedroom without a window. In the spring when they carried him out into the sun, he could not see at first and it was thought he had lost his sight, but after a time, it returned. He had three operations on his leg in later life.

John Bair, Hy’s father, was a polygamist. He had six wives throughout his lifetime. When Jerusha Ann died, her three boys were put in the care of another of John’s wives, Lucy. Hyrum’s brother Frank said she was not very good to them. Whenever she became mad at Hyrum, she would strike at his leg with a fire poker. Many years later when Hyrum’s daughter Julia was grown, this same stepmother, Lucy, went to stay with Hyrum and Mary Bair. Julia remembers hearing Lucy say, “Oh, Hy, how can you be so good to me when I was so mean to you when you were a boy?” and Hyrum would reply, “Oh Lucy, that has been forgotten years ago.”

The Mormon policy to feed the Indians rather than fight them was a heavy drain on the valley’s economy. In 1864 — a year of considerable trial — the pioneers gave to the Indians a ton of flour, 200 bushels of wheat, 2 oxen, 2 steers and a large amount of corn, potatoes, carrots, ammunition and other things.

Roads had to be made to the canyons. The ground was very rocky and the pioneers used wooden plows drawn by oxen to make canals. The initial digging was followed by the use of a go-devil constructed of two large logs fastened together to form a V as a snow plow, loaded by men and pulled by oxen.

Being the oldest son at home during those hard times, much responsibility fell on Hyrum. He learned to handle a team of horses and a yoke of oxen early in life. He was a handy person to have around as evidenced by the time when his younger brother Roan (who was one to play with snakes) one day caught a rattlesnake and it bit him. Hy took out his pocket knife, slashed open the wound and sucked out the poison and thus saved Roan’s life.

When the Transcontinental Railroad reached the borders of Utah in 1868, Cache Valley citizens obtained work on both the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads. The UP line was from Echo to Promontory and the CP was from Ogden, 100 miles west. Hy worked on both of these roads during 1868-69. Employment was provided for 5,000 men with the UP and the CP recruited 1,000 from Weber and Cache Valley.

The effect of this work on Cache Valley was incalculable. Money was rarely seen in the valley and even tickets for parties were bought with flour and wheat. Most of the income was from wheat which the settlers raised. There was no sale of butter or eggs and no market for stock except in exchange among themselves. The grasshoppers had laid waste the crops for a number of years and so the “Railroads” year was a great one in a financial way. Men were in demand and wages were from $3.00 to $6.00 for men and $10.00 a day for a man and team. Grading roads, blasting rock, building bridges and similar work was accomplished. When the gap between the railroads was completed at Promontory Point in May, many residents of Cache Valley had sufficient personal reasons to be there to see the golden spike driven.

In 1870 Hy worked with pack mules, packing to the mines in Salmon River country in Idaho. He freighted for years driving a large mule team, freighting from Corinne to Helena, Montana; Salmon to Eagle Rock (now Idaho Falls, Idaho). Also, he carried the payroll to mines on horseback. He thought if ever he would be held up, it would be a certain place in the road. One night just before dark, he saw what he thought was a man at that particular point. He had to have the payroll at the mine by morning so he put the whip to his horse and lay as flat as he could. When he got to the place, what he had seen and thought was a man was actually a post. This incident was told to daughter Julia one night by her Uncle Frank. Julia had been frightened by someone looking in their window and so Frank told this story on her dad.

Hyrum told the story of one burro in the pack train that was lazy. They had a hard time keeping him in the string and a few times he came in late, lagging behind. Finally he got so he would lay down with his pack on and they would have to unload him to get him up. So they figured to put some grains of sand under his pack saddle. After that he was among the first to reach camp. Hyrum told of hauling cordwood on pack mules. Before the roads were built into and through the mountains, pack mule trains were very useful. Hy hauled an eighteen-foot flywheel in sections on pack mules over a mountain divide.

The Church took charge of giving out the land to the settlers in 20-acre plots more or less as they deemed best. This was known as “squatter’s rights.” In 1869 a land office was set up in Salt Lake City which made it possible for homesteaders to own land legally with a five-year residence to give them ownership.

Everett C. Van Orden, who had been one of the early settlers of Franklin, Idaho, described Cache Valley to his brother Peter E. Van Orden and his friends J. M. Bernhisel and Robert Wall in his home in Kaysville, Utah. Land hungry and eager to see new country, the three young men traveled northward to Richmond and reached there 3 July 1870. Being directed northward by the people of that town they rode to Mink Creek, then south to Riverdale and Preston and southward to a sight that attracted them. Here they stopped their search, for they had found the land they desired. Peter said, “Here we will take up four quarter sections to make our homes.” So four quarter sections of land were measured out. The fourth section was for E. C. Van Orden. These four sections were the center and beginning of the town of Lewiston.

In the fall of 1870 these four men returned to their homesteads. Peter and Everett Van Orden secured lumber from the sawmill above Franklin, Idaho and Peter and his family spent the winter in their newly constructed home. The next spring, the other three completed their houses and became permanent settlers. J. M. Bernhisel built a log cabin and since he was unmarried it was used for the schoolhouse (the first one in Lewiston). This same cabin, as remembered by Julia Bair Rich: “This log cabin I can remember on the John Bernhisel farm and was used as a chicken coop.” Here it was that Peter’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth Van Orden, taught school and thus became the first school teacher in Lewiston, Cache Valley, Utah. Sam Wiser said she had a class of seven students the first year — he was one of them — and in talking of her in later life he said, “We all loved and respected her very much.”

The people of Richmond resented the newcomers (Van Orden, Wall and Bernhisel) taking possession of that particular land, since they felt it belonged to Richmond as they had used it to pasture their stock. By taking possession of it, it gave the new settlers 160 acres and thus the farms at Richmond then became that much smaller.

Speaking now of Mary Elizabeth Van Orden — she was born in Kaysville, Utah on 30 October 1852, the daughter of Peter E. Van Orden and Martha Ann Knight. She was living with her father in Lewiston when she met, through her cousin John Bernhisel, Hyrum Bair. Hyrum and Mary Elizabeth were married on 26 November 1871. The day they were married, they were going from Lewiston to Richmond. Lewiston at that time was one large flat with no landmarks. It was snowing so heavy they could hardly see ten feet ahead of them. After driving for quite some time, they ran onto more sleigh tracks. Hyrum said, “Well Mary, it looks like there are other fools out besides ourselves.” After awhile, they found they had run onto their own tracks — they had driven around in a circle.

After they were married, they rented a little log house. They were waiting in the yard for the people to move out. Mary only had one pillow and she vowed she wouldn’t make up her bed with only one pillow. The lady came out of the house and said, “Mary, do you have pillows?” Mary answered, “I have only one.” So the woman said, “Well, if I had something to put them in, I would give you some feathers.” So Mary opened her trunk and took out the other pillow tick. Thus Mary got her two pillows!

The following information is from a letter written by Eulalie Leavitt Taggart to Birdie Bair Ashton in 1959:

The first school teacher in Lewiston was Mary Elizabeth Van Orden who taught in the spring and summer of 1872 in John M. Bernhisel’s log cabin. Most all of the young children that lived here on the flat went to her school ... I took some of this from my mother’s history as she was one of the children that went to her school.

Your great-grandfather, Peter E. Van Orden, was a wonderful man. It was in his home that they held their first meetings and the Bishop was chosen there. They often held meetings and dances there. He was a man that saw to it that no one ever left his house hungry. The first winter they lived in Lewiston, Peter E. came to Lewiston and lived there the fall and winter of 1870. He built the first house and it is still standing as the back part of Less Weeks’ home today. The home just changed hands a few years ago; it had always been in the Van Orden family. Their oldest son, William Van Orden, was the first child born here October 30, 1871, and he was the only one that left here and went to the Spanish American War. He died April 15, 1951 at the age of 79½ years.

Sunday, November 8, 1959 the city clerk brought your letter to me, as he is a very young man and knows nothing of Lewiston in its younger days. So I have tried all week to find something more than I have in my book about your grandmother, but to no avail, so I decided to send what I have and hope you can get something that you want. There is a lot of folks know about your grandmother teaching school but they don’t know dates, so that is how I got the date my mother gave me when I wrote her history, as she was one of the first to go to her school. There was my mother, a sister and two brothers all went, and she said it was in the spring and summer of 1872. That was the spring my folks came to Lewiston. They never had school in the winter as the snow was too deep. But I did not know how long your grandmother taught. But I have seen that little log cabin a good many times. It belonged to Fay Bernhisel and he tore it down a few years ago — he wanted it out of the way, not thinking it would be of any interest to anyone. It was a very small cabin.

Well, I will tell you who I am, Eulalie Leavitt Taggart. I am almost 75 years old, and I have always kept histories and genealogy dates so that was why they brought your letter to me. There are only a very few left here that are older than I am . . .I will send a picture of the one-room that was your grandfather’s and his picture and his second wife. This was where your grandmother lived when she was here in Lewiston.

Weather conditions as found by the pioneers:

Winters were cold and long. The winter of 1871 there was two feet of snow on the 12th of October. It didn’t go off the ground until the 2nd day of April 1872. There were a number of years when a good hard frost came between the 8th and 12th day of July which froze the wheat and made stickly bread.

During the summer, the weather was extremely hot and dry and the wind would blow the sand into drifts, sometimes 2 to 3 feet high along the brush fences. There were no trees or bushes on the large flat. Native grasses were mostly buffalo grass or bunch grass, also native blue grass. Contrary to reports, no sagebrush grew here, except a little east of Warm Creek in the N.W. and a little in the N.W. and S.W. They were along close to the river banks. There were also a wild pea with a blue flower. This plant was mowed and served as hay for sheep feed.

Heat and light: Wood fires were the only means of having warmth and cooking. Hawthorne and willows that grew along Cub River was used and some wood was hauled on hand sleds.

In 1873, Hyrum and Mary took a trip with their small son Lester, to St. George, Utah, to the town of Dixie to visit Mary Elizabeth’s mother, Martha Ann Knight Van Orden Mills. (Martha Ann had previously divorced Peter Van Orden and married Martin W. Mills.) Dixie was having a hard time getting established. The Indians caused them a great deal of trouble. One night Hy and Mary attended a dance and during the evening a large Indian came in and started to terrorize the young girls by making them dance with him. Hy wasn’t used to such actions so he told the Indian to get out. The Indian refused and a fight ensued, the result of which Hyrum gave the Indian a good threshing. The next morning the Bishop and some of the leading townspeople came to the Mills home to thank Hy, and the Bishop invited him into his cellar to have a drink of wine. (Dixie raised good grapes and made good wine.) They told Hy he had rid the town of one of its worst menaces. They visited Mary’s brother and her sisters, and then returned home to Cache Valley.

Quoting from a history written by H. Lester Bair about the foregoing incident:

In his young manhood Father (Hyrum) was an athlete and was matched with many of the strongest men in the vicinity; whether it was running, wrestling or boxing, he was usually the champion.

In the fall of 1874 my parents and I as well as Mother’s brother Edmund, went to Southern Utah, spending the winter with Mother’s mother (Martha Ann) who then lived in Washington, Washington County, Utah. On the way down we traveled by team and covered wagon. While passing along a lonesome part of the road, Father spied an animal creeping through the sagebrush some little distance from the wagon. He dismounted and with Old Jack (the dog) at his side, he went far enough to see that it was a mountain lion. Father shouted to Uncle Ed to bring the ax and when he and the dog got close enough he flung the ax striking the animal, and instantly Old Jack (who had a good fighting record) tackled the animal. As they tussled, Father got the ax again and went to the dog’s assistance. So with the cooperation of Uncle Ed, the ax, the dog and Father, they succeeded in killing the lion. They lashed its hind feet to the bows of the wagon and its front feet reached the ground. As we passed along the road and through settlements the people were very curious to know just what kind of animal it was. Some called it a panther, others called it a cougar, while still others maintained it was a mountain lion and marveled at our accomplishment.

The winter was pleasantly spent in Washington and in the spring we returned back to Richmond.”

On 15 July 1875 a second son, John Francis, was born at Richmond and in 1876 Hy went to work at Wheeler’s sawmill east of Franklin in Sugar Creek Canyon.

George Edmund, the third son, was born at Richmond on 29 August 1877. In 1877 Hyrum worked at Stockton and Little Cottonwood, east of Salt Lake City. Then he went to the Salmon City Mines on a freighting trip. He made several trips to these mines as he now owned a freighting outfit. It consisted of eighteen mules with two freight wagons and supply wagons behind.

Quoting from a diary written in the early days, to give a description of the freighting outfits seen in Blackfoot, “I shall never forget the sight that greeted our eyes as we pulled through the sand nearly knee-deep dusty roads loaded with heavy machinery of all kinds for the mines in the Salmon River country. Many of the outfits had a trail wagon and there were from four to eighteen head of mules or horses lined up on each outfit. The driver had a saddle on the right wheel horse with a rope to the bit of the right lead horse which we called a jerk line, used to guide the team. If he (the driver) wanted them to right, he would jerk the line a certain way and yell gee-gee’; if to the left, he would give a different jerk and yell ‘haw’ or left’.” (From a Blackfoot, Idaho newspaper written by a relative of Ray Rich.)

Hyrum delivered the first safe to the Colbalt mine above Challis, for which he received $300. He took the safe in on the front axle of his wagon as it was a very steep and narrow trail. Hy and two other freighters were camped at one time in Round Valley (now known as Challis Valley). The night was so cold that in order to keep the animals from freezing it was necessary to keep them on the move all night. Hy and one other freighter kept theirs on the move, but the third man did not and the next morning all his animals were frozen standing on their feet.

Hy said he had one Jennie mule that he kept tied to the wagon at night and the rest were turned out to graze with one of the bunch carrying a bell. The Jennie mule kept track of the bell and next morning led Hy to the herd. Then Hy would turn the Jennie mule loose to graze for feed in the daytime. Sometimes it would lag behind, but it always caught up with the train by nightfall.

Hyrum made several trips freighting and his wife and small children were left in Richmond. Upon his return from one such excursion, it was late and he thought he would see how well the dog guarded his family while he was away. (There were still many dangers from the Indians and from drifters going to the mines in Montana and Idaho.) This particular night he tried to sneak into the house but the dog sprang at him and grabbed him by the throat. He called the dog by name and the animal let loose.

He saw many salmon on these trips. Their backs were so thick in the river it looked like a bridge. The Indians caught the salmon and smoked them and sold them to the freighters. In his later life, Hy often bought kippered salmon and would tell how it tasted like the fish they purchased from the Indians.

Sometimes he had to load 50 gallon barrels of whiskey to take to the mines and this required special skill and ingenuity since they had no derricks as we do today.

The men who ran the toll bridges sometimes charged outrageous prices. One time such a man wanted $300 to take each outfit across the river, so Hy and another freighter took off the wagon box from one outfit and calked it and used it for a boat and took their freight across. Then they hooked a span of mules to the running gears of the wagons and let them swim across and then the rest of the animals would swim over. It took two days but they thought it worthwhile.

Another time, he loaded out with J. M. Bernhisel’s oats that he could only sell for 25¢ in Cache Valley. He hauled them to Blackfoot and got $2.25 per hundred. J. M. always said this saved his farm. He and Hy were lifelong friends.

On the 10th day of November, 1879 their first daughter Amelia Ann was born at Richmond. In the year of 1880-81 Hy herded cattle for Beers and Lafever in the Snake River Valley near Rexburg on what was called Poole’s Island. He owned a row boat while living on this island. One night someone came to his home and wanted to go across the river — said it was a case of life or death — so he rowed them across and stayed all night before he would try it back. He knew just how many to pull and how many strokes to backwater to keep from upsetting as he eased into the swift current. He couldn’t swim so he had to use good judgment.

Another time a fellow was trailing a large herd of cattle and came to the bank of the Snake River and couldn’t get them across. This man was told by a friend to go get Hy Bair and his dog and he would put them across. Hy came with his dog and a pup. He got a small bunch crowded close on the bank and then the dogs heeled them into the water. Then they brought the big herd and they followed the small bunch into the river but they started milling and it looked like they were going to drown, but the owner walked out on their backs and kicked them until he broke them up from the milling and they went across and he held onto the tail of one until he got across the river. He paid Hy $20. He said he had paid out $150 to men for wages and they hadn’t been able to do what the dogs had done and he wanted to buy them.

While working for Beers and Lafever, Hyrum once was riding along the river bank in the willows with his head down. His horse snorted and jumped and Hy looked up and there was a bear in his path. He pulled out his revolver and shot the bear in the chest, which he later said was a very foolish thing to do as the bear then gave chase and almost caught him before he got out of the willows.

In 1881 Hyrum and family moved back to Richmond and lived with his brother Frank and family. Here Charles Henry, the fourth son and fifth child, was born 23 July 1881 and passed away on 11 August 1881. Hy rented the Hobson house, moved his family there, and the sixth child and second daughter, Mary Ellen, was born on 8 July 1882. “In late fall of 1883 Hy purchased some undeveloped land from Robert Wall, on High Creek, 4½ miles N.E. of Richmond. He along with me [Lester] and his half-brother Homer, went to the canyon and got house logs from a high mountain known as Pole Heaven, with which to build a two-room house. I was small but it was my job to carry a gallon keg of water to quench the thirst on that high mountain. We were all so happy when the house was finished and we could live in a house we could call our own.” This was Hyrum’s High Creek ranch. He used his homestead right in buying out the Williams brothers and Robert Wall. He also bought up state land for grazing for $1.25 an acre. He engaged in ranching. He owned 600 acres of land — most of it was mountain range land.

Hy’s son Frank remembered when they went up High Creek. They had to get the logs out to build a house and shed. They had obtained a team from John Bair, and a balsam log about 7 or 8 inches across fell and hit one of the horses across the hips and broke the log into several pieces, but didn’t kill the horse.

While living at the Hobson house, Frank remembered that for punishment his father once told him to put his finger on a knothole and hold it there until he told him to take it off. His dad went to town and forgot about the boy and hours later when he returned his wife said, “Don’t you think you should release Frank?” Then Hy remembered and was sorry he had punished him so long. (There is some reason to believe that as soon as Hyrum left for town, Frank left the scene of his punishment and returned only just before his dad was reminded that he had forgotten to release Frank.) Regardless, Hyrum was proud of the fact that his children obeyed him and pointed this fact out to friends many a time.

After the logs were “got out” and on the place where they were going to build, they had a house raising. A group of men, neighbors and friends, would gather to have the affair and they were thus able to erect the home in a short time. They usually had a bottle for the workers so Hy sent Frank (then about eight years of age) to Franklin to get nails and the bottle. He gave Frank a five-dollar gold piece. When the saloon keeper saw the gold piece he came over the counter and took nearly all the money for pay, so when Frank returned home and gave his dad the change, they said the man had charged too much. Roan said, “I’ll go back and give him a licking.” “No,” said Frank, “let it go and when I grow up I’ll go back and give him a licking.” But said Frank, “When I grew up, the man’s hair was grey and he was too old to whip.”

On the High Creek ranch in Cove in the log house on 9 March 1885, Julian Alvin was born, the seventh child and fifth son. High Creek was in the Cove Ward. There on 20 April 1888 little daughter Mary Ellen was drowned in High Creek, pushed in by an older child, Annie Frandsen, who only meant to scare her. She was carried down the stream about one mile in the swift current. High Creek was so deep at the time that the horse Hy’s brother was riding in the search for Mary Ellen went under three times. They brought her little body to the house and her mother combed out the weeds and sand from her beautiful hair and laid her out for burial alone; then on 24 June 1888, just two months later, she gave birth to Clara May, the eight child and third daughter.

At one time Hyrum purchased a saloon in Richmond and the family lived both in that city (while he operated it) and on the ranch. The boys took care of the farm. The family wasn’t very happy about Hyrum’s business, but as told by one of his children, “I am proud that I never saw or heard of my father or one of my brothers’ being intoxicated. Father drew most of the trade from the other liquor store in Richmond but we were happy early one morning (February 11, 1905) to have some of Father’s friends come and tell him his saloon had been burned down during the night. At the time, Father was bedfast with his leg. He never tried to find out who did it, but he had a good idea. There was some talk of his being disfellowshipped from the church for his ownership of this saloon.” Hy also owned a butcher shop just before or after the saloon episode.

For many years Hy was chairman of the Benson Stake Old Folks Committee and was well acquainted in all the wards, as he was a very friendly man. He once said, “I have never met a stranger.” And so it seemed, for he could strike up a conversation with anyone.

In 1888 Hyrum and family lived in Richmond while he worked for J. D. Vannoy in the Franklin Basin known as Riverdale. Then in 1890 he was living back on his High Creek ranch when Mattie Maria was born on 14 April 1890. This was the fourth daughter and ninth child. After this, Hy got interested in a sawmill and he built a large frame house with eight rooms. He piped spring water into the house and made it modern and later he and his sons “got out” the logs and built a large barn of sawed timber. It housed cows, horses and grain bins and held many tons of hay. The house had three porches and on the inside had very beautiful finishing lumber which Frank said was purchased in Logan. Hy planted an orchard of fruit, apples, apricots, peaches, etc. The protection afforded his ranch by the surrounding mountains enabled him to raise fruit that couldn’t be grown in the valley. The family also raised beef cattle, had a large dairy herd and raised and cured their own pork.

On 8 June 1892 Hyrum and Mary took their family, went to the temple, received their endowments and had their children sealed to them. Milton was born that fall and Julia three years later, so they were born in the covenant.

While planning their new home, the tenth child and sixth son was born in the log house on 25 October 1892, Milton Earl. When he was three or four years old he remembers his sisters Mattie and Clara holding his hands as he walked along the foundation of the home as it was being built.

While living at the ranch, the family was active in the Cove Ward (then Coveville). Mother Bair worked in the Mutual and Primary. Hy was always very good in making drives for money which the church had to raise, also in getting out lumber to build churches. He and Milton hauled several purchans of rock for the Benson Stake tabernacle. Lester went on a mission 27 April 1894. Frank managed the Cove Ward dances. When the Mountain Home Ward was organized the entire family helped. The children attended the Mountain Home school and Richmond schools.

In 1895 another child, Julia Valeria, was born on the 15th of October. This was their eleventh and last child and fifth daughter.

The Bair family life was one of hardships, such as only pioneers can tell about. Their children had very little schooling. It was hard supporting a large family on even 600 acres of range land.

Quoting daughter Mattie: I am very sorry to say there wasn’t much to remember about any of us except our regular routine of work each day. None of us got to go to high school or college. Father always said if we were taught to be good workers that was all we needed to know, and I can vouch for that — we were all skilled along that line. We all worked by the sweat of our brow, getting up early every morning, but we were always through with our work by early evening.

My father, Hyrum Bair, was a very free-hearted man for what means he had and was always good to the poor and widows or families with missionaries. Each fall when he killed a beef or pork a good share of it went to the needy. On account of his using tobacco it killed his religious desires somewhat so he seldom went to church, but each time he did go, they would call him to the stand to preach. He could give a good talk, but knowing he used tobacco he felt out of place in church. However, he did good outside of the church house. He was always a liberal donator with whatever came along. He used to play a lot with the Indian boys and always said they never could throw him down. He used to tell us that when he went to dances he would take a big squash or a sack of potatoes to pay his dance ticket and he used to dance either barefooted or wore moccasins made out of a cowhide — as were his britches. They would dance till nearly morning.

Father believed in helping the boys when they got married by helping them get land and by giving them a team and wagon and some cows, but with the girls he said it was up to their husbands to support them. Millie and Clara got a cow and a calf and I could either have a cow (which was valued at $18) or a sewing machine, so I chose the machine as we couldn’t take a cow to Bear Lake. Our parents did give us all good strong healthy bodies for which I have always been grateful.

About Mother — she was always good and kind and always preferred staying in the background, although she did work in the Primary and MIA. It was real difficult as she always had to travel by team which was hard to do in the wintertime. I have never heard her use a slang word except “Oh, fiddlesticks” when she got too disgusted. She would always refrain from saying anything bad about anybody. She taught me lots of good habits that I have always cherished and which have been a great help throughout my life. She was always willing to do without things for herself so that her children might have things. We girls could always depend on having at least two dresses for best a year, and that would be for the 4th of July and for Christmas. We were always taught to be very careful with these clothes. I remember on the 4th of July in 1900, Mother couldn’t go to the celebration because she didn’t have a dress to wear except a black wool one which was too hot for the day, but ‘June’ did take her to see the parade as she could stay in the buggy. I used to think Mother was imposed on a lot but she would never say anything about it.

I am very proud of my heredity. I think we came from a very good line of people and am proud of the good and honorable things that we were always taught at home, although I have always felt bad for the lack of education in school; but times were hard and they did the best they could. We children did get more schooling than our parents were privileged to get, even though it was only a grade school education.

We were all brought up on a farm and learned the do-it-yourself way. We always milked a lot of cows by hand and I started to milk cows at eight years of age because I thought it was fun — but when I was older and milked up to thirteen a day, I didn’t think it was so interesting. We sold milk to the creamery but always made our own butter and cottage cheese. We also had our own meat. Father would always kill a beef and a couple of pigs in the winter. Part of it would be kept frozen and some put in brine and cured and smoked for summer; also we would kill a veal or mutton in the summer as needed. If we ran out of meat, we could buy beef for 10 or 15¢ a pound. We never had electricity in the home, just coal oil lamps to see by. Summer months we would like to sit outside and talk till time to go to bed. We were always up as soon as it started to get light. In the winter months our evenings were spent with Mother reading a book and if interesting, it would sometimes be past midnight. If we children weren’t interested, we would stay in the kitchen, get our lessons for school or pop corn or make honey candy and take to those who were listening to Mother read. She was a very good reader and sometimes would complete the book in one evening.

We were always happy children as it is a normal way for children to be unless we got the toothache, then right away we were taken to Uncle Frank (Father’s brother) who had a pair of forceps and who soon pulled the tooth out. We seemed to be fixed better off than any of our neighbors as our home and outbuildings were better than theirs and we always did things on a bigger scale than they did. We always had better transportation. Father had fine horses and he took pride in showing them off — you might say he was classed as a “sport.”

Mother was a real gentle kind woman and always liked to stay in the background. Her teachings and examples still say with me. Her mother (Martha Ann) was also the same kind and was always a welcome guest while living with Father and Mother.

About our playthings — I don’t remember having any except a little china doll or a slate that we could write or draw on, or a ball which we made ourselves, or a rope we could find to jump the rope with or have for a swing. We were kept pretty busy at work after we were old enough. We always had a big garden to weed, helped dry corn, beans and peas, 2-3 big sacks of apples and some plums for winter. Mother also would preserve lots of fruit — sometimes 5 or 10-gallon milk cans full of peaches or pear preserves and a 10-gallon barrel of cucumber pickles. We always had plenty to eat the year round. All of our clothes from skin out were made at home so most of us girls learned to sew, which made us better wives and mothers when we were married. We were always taught to try and keep ourselves clean as our wash dresses that we wore to school had to last throughout the week. We had one good dress for Sunday each summer and winter.

Our recreation consisted of house parties about once a week or a theater when it came to town and a dance on Saturday night. We girls didn’t get to go to MIA very often. If the boys went, they rode horses. We usually walked a mile and a half to Sunday School and I always remember having company come for dinner and sometimes staying for supper on Sundays. We girls especially and some of the boys have been more active in the church since we married, for which I am very thankful and we have set good examples for our families to follow. Our organizations do so much more for our young people than they used to. Some families have fallen down on some of the teachings in the home from which they used to get, especially in modesty and being trained to do it yourself. Nowadays, somebody or something does everything for you . . .

Mother was always called Mary. We were always looked up to and praised for what we did and stood for among our associates. I am proud of our parents and I know they did all they could for us while we were at home. We live in a different world today from what we did at that time . . .

From Milton we learn that the daily chores consisted of milking, separating milk, feeding pigs and cows and chickens, taking cows to pasture, gathering vegetables and fruit. The family’s entertainment was Mary reading, Hyrum telling of his experiences. All the children attended dances, shows, and entertainment put on in the Richmond and Cove Wards. All were taught obedience, honesty, to tell the truth, and it seemed as if little discipline was needed.

Meals consisted of meat, vegetables, fruit, milk, cream, and eggs. Hyrum was a good provider and Mary was an excellent cook. She, in addition to canning and preserving fruit, made pickles, head cheese, hominy, etc. Taught in the home was respect to their mother, sisters and brothers and loyalty to each other; good table manners; tip your hat when you spoke to a lady on the street; always answer “Yes, sir” or “No, sir” to men, “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Ma’am” to ladies; respect other people’s rights and the golden rule. After chores were performed in the evening, time was spent in studying, going to MIA, visiting neighbors, making candy, popping corn. Company used to often come and stay all night, so time was spent in talking and listening.

As stated before, Hyrum was a good provider and what’s more, a good manager. He raised his own pork, beef and chickens, a good garden, lovely orchard with many kinds of fruit. “Clothes were bought mostly in fall and spring of the year and Mother always kept them clean, patched and mended, so it didn’t take as much money as it does nowadays. Dad never complained. We were taken to church and nice clothing and transportation were provided (buggy, sleigh, and horses) and we were always taught to do what the church asked of us and to take our callings to work in the church very seriously and to be dependable.”

A good supper dish in the winter was Lumpy Dick. A 4-quart pan of milk was put onto the stove to scald. When it had reached a point just below boiling, it was put a spoonful at a time onto a dish of flour. You put your fingers into this and rolled it into small lumps and then added more hot milk and worked it in until all the flour was made into lumps the size of peas. This was added to the rest of the hot milk and cooked for a few minutes then put into mush bowls and eaten as mush with cream, sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on top.

From Birdie Ashton (a cousin) we receive the remark, “I have heard my mother (Harriet Bair) tell about the time right after my Dad (Lester) and she were married. They lived with Hyrum and Mary for a short time. One time Mary was away and it was up to Harriet to get supper. Grandfather ordered Lumpy Dick for supper. Mother didn’t know what Lumpy Dick was and assumed that he meant lumpy gravy, so she proceeded to make a lumpy gravy. Grandfather came in, noticed what she was doing and (with a bit of slang) said, Hattie, don’t you know how to make Lumpy Dick?” Mother was so embarrassed. Dad came to Mother’s aid and helped her make the dish.”

Hy was considered “well off” as they used to say, above average financially. His was a beautiful eight-room house, well furnished, with a good rock and cement cellar by the back door. He owned the spring that was piped into his home and made it modern. He and Mary took very good care of everything. They bought only the best of clothing and machinery and furnishings and bought only when they could pay cash.

From Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. 4, p. 392, we read the following: “For harvesting, the grain was cut with a cradle. This was a scythe was an exceptionally long sharp blade with a strong light framework consisting of a number of long teeth or fingers made of maple or hawthorns. These extended horizontally with the blade, and the frame was fastened to the handle of the cradle. This held the grain in a bundle as it was cut and delivered on the ground with each semi-circular stroke. One man cut the grain and placed it in a swath while another followed behind, raked it and did the binding and shocking. An average cradler could cut from 1½ to 2 acres in a day. Hyrum Bair of Richmond and a Mr. Jones were exceptionally good cradlers and they cut from 3 to 4 acres of grain a day.”

At the time of the horsepower machines, there were very few men who owned one. In fact, there were only two or three in all the part of the valley which included Lewiston, Richmond, Cove, and Franklin. Hyrum owned such a threshing machine. Son Milton was 13 years old when he first worked on the thresher. His job was stacking the straw. Another son, Julian, hauled the toll (that was the share given to pay for the threshing — 7 bushel for each 100 bushel threshed). It was yet another son’s (George) duty to measure the grain or in other words, run the measuring box — an oblong box that had a tally lever in the middle fastened at one side. As one slipped a half bushel of grain from one end to the other, it tripped the tally lever, so as one pulled the full one past, the tally lever followed pulling the empty sack under the grain spout. Hyrum was the overseer of the machine. One Bud Andrews drove the six teams that furnished the horsepower to the separator. Frank Bair fed the bundles of grain into the machine. He and Henry Stocks took relays feeding, one hour on and one hour off. Hyrum took the machine and crew and did threshing all over Richmond, Lewiston, Cove, High Creek, etc. They worked from daylight to dark and from early fall until the snow came. The grain was usually stacked in round stacks.

Hyrum’s leg that had been frozen when he was 12 years old bothered him a great deal. It would swell and get full of fever; he would lance it and out would come pus and small slivers of bone and then he would have relief for a while.

Hyrum planted grass and pine trees around his home and it was a beautiful restful place and many important people ate at his table. Governor Stuenburg of Idaho and many railroad men from Pocatello came to his ranch to fish and hunt.

His brother Frank was a sheriff and very often called on Hy to help. They caught a train robber down near Merrill Spur. Together with two fellows by the names of Johnson and Richardson, they followed the robber (named Smith) north from Richmond, up an irrigation ditch, finding watches and other pieces Smith had lost while crawling up the ditch. During the night, Smith shot at Hyrum and told him to go back or he would kill him. Mary said you could hear the deep voice of John Bair all over Richmond calling, “Go and help the boys. They’ve got a train robber.” They found Smith the next morning down in High Creek bottom just south of Cove. Smith was lying there seemingly asleep with two guns and a knife by his side. Hyrum went down after Smith and Johnson stood on the bank and tried to keep them covered with a gun.

After the capture, Hy took the prisoner home and asked Mary to fix him something to eat and not knowing who the stranger was, she asked Hy, “Did you find the robber?” Mary later said, “Was my face red when I found out who our guest was.” Mary was shocked as she thought such a man would be handcuffed. There was a theater troop in town and they wanted to see Smith. Hyrum asked Smith if he would step out. When Smith went out, he took off his hat and said, “These men have taken all my money. They have treated me fine and I would like to treat them.” He took off his hat and passed it to them. One woman said, “You — if I had a quarter, I wouldn’t give it to you.” En route to Logan on the train, Smith asked Hyrum to let him jump from the train, to shoot but not hit him. When Hyrum refused, Smith said, “Bair, you are the only white (good) man I have ever met and if I ever get out, I am coming to visit you.” Mary hoped he wouldn’t. Smith later broke jail but Hyrum never saw him. There was a $1,000 reward offered for bringing Smith in but Hyrum and Frank never got a dime.

Soon after son Hyrum Lester returned from his mission to the Southern States, he met and married Harriet Armina Skidmore (9 June 1897). They bought a ranch in High Creek and lived there more than 50 years. They had two girls and four boys.

On 5 December 1900, John Francis married Annie Spackman. Hy moved to Richmond and Francis ran the farm and Milton spent some time with them hauling the cans of milk to the Merrill Creamery about three miles away with a poky horse and cart. When his father moved back to the farm, Francis bought 40 acres in Lewiston and built a nice home and raised a large family. Twelve children were born to him and his wife.

George married Maude Hill on 4 June 1905 and they moved into a new home of four rooms. They had a large family of ten children.

In 1906 Hy’s leg gave him so much trouble he had to have an operation and the bone chiseled out. First one side of the bone was removed and when it had healed the other side was operated on until all the decay was removed. The physician told Mary that Hy couldn’t get well and live. She cried outside the room where she had talked to the physician and when she went into the room, Hy said, “What have you been crying for? That doctor said I couldn’t live but I’ll prove him out a liar.” And he did. In later years he would display his leg to his grandchildren. His limb as a result of the operations was somewhat caved in.

On 10 October 1906 Julian married Ida Kerr Walters of Wellsville. They had a new home built like George’s. It was located just below the Hyrum Bair home. They had a large family of eleven children, nine girls and two boys.

Amelia Ann married James William Sorenson of Richmond on 4 November 1908 and moved to Richmond. They had four sons and one daughter.

Clara May married Alvin E. Johnson on 23 November 1910 and moved to Richmond. Their family consisted of one son and two daughters.

Mattie Maria married Ray C. Rich of St. Charles, Idaho on 20 September 1911. They had a family of four sons and one daughter and made their home in St. Charles.

In the spring of 1914-15 Hy promoted what was called a wood cutting bee and the men and boys of the Cove Ward turned out and cut a pile of wood for the widows of the ward. After the wood was cut, Hy served all who took part an oyster supper. He furnished gallons of milk, crackers and all the fixings to make a lovely supper.

Milton Earl married Lydia Allen of Cove on 10 November 1916 and moved into George’s home that was owned by Charles Pond. In 1921 they moved to Minidoka Project in Idaho. They had a family of four sons and four daughters.

In the spring of the year 1919, Hyrum sold his ranch to Maughan and Ames of Wellsville for $16,000 (which was considered a good price) and bought a brick home in Richmond. Here they were living when they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. He raised many beautiful flowers and a lovely garden. He owned the first Ford car in Cove, a 1913 model, then a 1916 Oakland and later a closed-in Dodge which was his favorite car. He learned to drive a car when he was 64 years old and made many trips to Bear Lake, Yellowstone Park and out to the Minidoka Project.

Julia Valeria married Delbert Kirby of Grace, Idaho on 21 November 1921 and they lived at Grace, Idaho and had two daughters and four sons.

Hyrum was a High Priest in the church. As for education, he had but three month’s schooling in his entire life. After their marriage, Mary taught him the multiplication tables. It was known that a well-educated man stated that there was never a better mathematician than Hyrum. He had a wonderful memory. He owned two old law books which he seemed to know by heart. George Q. Rich, a prominent lawyer from Logan, cited Hyrum Bair as the best legal advisor in Richmond.

From daughter Clara we learn that in the evenings their meals were served right on the dot. For entertainment, after supper Mary would read aloud — sometimes until she was hoarse. Mary was good at reading, more so than other people who lived up the canyon. The neighbors, the Days, Williams, etc. would all gather to listen. They would always say, “One more chapter.” During these reading periods, Hyrum would get some good coals in the grate and roast a piece of beefsteak or pork and the family would all sit around the table and he would feed them each a bite at a time. Once during one of these “snacks” Uncle John Moody (husband of Rhoda Servina Bair — daughter of John Bair and his fifth wife Lucy Ann Marina Cole) spat tobacco on the coals. Hyrum said, ‘D—n you Moody, you mined my coals,” and he therefore refused to cook his steak that night. Some evenings were spent with Hyrum teaching his children Indian words for items such as flour, sugar, milk, etc.

Mary was a good housewife. She served as President of the MIA for awhile and having a horse and buggy of her own, was free to attend the meetings. Sometimes Mary and her daughters took turns going to church. When Mary would go, she would return and say she had a headache and, “You do the dishes.” When the girls went, she would say, “Leisure and your pleasure; now do the dishes!” This was a sort of game between the female members of the family. She was never one to talk much about herself.

Julia recalls hearing that her mother Mary worked as a child for her room and board scrubbing floors with sand until they were clean and white. One night, the woman for whom Mary worked said she would take Mary and another girl to a show. It was in the days of hoop skirts. When they got to the theater, the woman lifted her skirt and told the two girls to pop under and then she took them in without paying their tickets. Mary said the lady could well have afforded to pay!

Another time, Mary was sitting up with a man’s wife who had passed away and he proposed to Mary while his wife lay dead in the home.

Mary was quite kind and forgiving. Julia remembered only one spanking she received from her mother and Julia also tells that, “Never yet have I ever found any advice Mother gave me to be wrong. She never spoke ill of another, never ever let a swear word pass her lips. She was patient, loyal, devoted to her husband and family, making every sacrifice she could for those she loved; taking care of her own mother (Martha Ann Knight Van Orden Mills) in her old age with all the love and devotion any daughter could show. They may not have been perfect, but I love, honor and respect their (Hyrum and Mary) memory.” Though she brought eleven children into the world, Mary had a physician in attendance for only her last two babies.

Mary used to tell of a little white lamb she had that was quite a pet and would come in the house. She kept a stick on the hearth with which she would switch it out. One day the lamb came in, picked up the stick in its mouth, walked to the door and dropped the stick outside, then walked back in. As a child hearing this story, Julia used to wonder if that was the same little white lamb as in the song, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Hyrum always paid his tithing and contributed to the building funds. Daughter Clara remembers the ward teachers coming to their home. Hyrum smoked all his life; however, he did quit in later years. The ward teachers preached to him on smoking. His answer was, “Alright, I do but does any one of my boys?” (At the time, they didn’t.) “You don’t smoke, do any of your boys?” (They did.)

Hyrum had a very determined disposition. He was honest to a fault. What was right was right. He was generous until he felt someone squeezing in on him. Then he would tighten up. Mary always said that Hyrum was free-hearted but there seemed to be a competition between Hy and John Bernhisel or Hy and his brother Frank. They would try to outdo each other at times. Hy was strict but then the discipline was handled by the men in those days.

Hy loved to play cards. Mary did play at first but once was criticized while playing so she refused to indulge any more, but Hyrum played often and sometimes until quite late and she always accompanied him and would sit and watch. They played Hi-five and Solo.

Hyrum and Mary were very close. He would never come into the house without calling, “Mary!” If she was not there, he would hunt until he found her. Hyrum not only helped widows with food and winter wood but in paying their taxes when they couldn’t. Hy and Mary taught their children to be honest and to work for what they got and to give more than they received. In all of his doing, Mary was always by his side — a silent partner, a willing helpmate, a true wife.

Hyrum loved his horses, his riding and fishing. In later years he and Mary went together on many pleasure and fishing trips via automobile. Hyrum always took along a soda package for his ulcer and Mary had her tea bags along for her gall bladder. He was known to have stated the reason why they always took their trips via car together, and that was in case of an accident they hoped they would go together. Hyrum was quite dependent on his wife and they were never separated.

Both were much admired and loved by their grandchildren. Hyrum would often tell them Indian stories, and the Julian Bair children still remember him visiting them during their illness and taking them oranges — the first the grandchildren had ever eaten. He peeled the oranges for them and told them stories at the same time.

From another grandchild, Birdie B. Ashton, we hear the following:

As a child, I remember that Grandfather took great pride in his garden. We (grandchildren) were often delighted when he gave us a nice watermelon or something else from his garden or orchard. At one time after he moved to Richmond — it was about 1920 — he offered any one $5 if they could find a weed in his garden. I don’t think anyone ever collected the $5.

I lived with Grandfather and Grandmother in Richmond for three or four weeks and went to North Cache High School during my freshman year. I remember so well that whenever Grandfather needed some money for one thing or another, he would ask me or Grandmother to bring the baking powder can from the pantry. That is where he kept his money. Several times while I lived with them, I saw a big roll of greenbacks tucked in the can.

I was always thrilled when asked to ride the derrick horse for Grandfather. Uncle Milton was running the fork; Grandfather stacked the hay in the big barn and I rode the horse that pulled the hay by cable into the barn. I thought I was big. Granddad gave me 5¢ a load, and we unloaded five loads in a day. I believe that was the most money I had had up to that time. Twenty-five cents a day and I thought I was rich!

After 50 years of marriage, Hyrum and Mary celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in a Richmond Wardhouse. There was a large dinner with many friends and family in attendance. During the dinner a neighbor’s home caught fire and Hy’s son Frank (in his good clothes) rushed over and helped put the fire out and came back so messed up his wife Ann was quite put out with him.

This devoted couple, Hyrum and Mary, had their prayers answered. They died as they lived, close together. They were taken in death within about 14 hours of each other. Mary became ill first and then Hyrum began to hemorrhage. He refused any medical advice since he wanted to go with his wife. She passed away 14 March 1926 and he on 15 March 1926. They were buried in separate coffins but in the same grave in Richmond, Utah.

Information for this story was obtained from the various children and grandchildren of Hyrum and Mary Bair. This arrangement and compilation by Milton & Lydia Bair and Karen Payne was typed October 1996.

SOURCE: Family Search.org

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Hyrum Bair's Timeline

1850
November 16, 1850
Farmington, Davis, Utah, USA
1872
September 29, 1872
Age 21
Richmond, Cache , Utah, USA
1875
July 15, 1875
Age 24
Richmond, Cache County, UT, USA
1877
August 29, 1877
Age 26
Richmond, Cache , Utah, USA
1880
November 10, 1880
Age 29
1881
July 23, 1881
Age 30
1882
July 8, 1882
Age 31
1885
March 9, 1885
Age 34
Cove, Cache , Utah, USA
1888
June 24, 1888
Age 37