Reminiscences of Walt

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This document was found in a spiral notebook, written in response to a phone call from Walt's brother Dexter, asking for memories from his early life. The phone call was received 12 August, with a followup letter received 17 August 1988. This response was dated 18 September 1988.

Dear Bro. Dexter Whipple,

Thanks for your phone call of 12 Aug and your letter of 17 August 1988. You asked some embarrassing questions which found me unprepared.

Our mother Jennie Smith Whipple was born 26 Feb 1898 [in] Provo, Utah County, Utah. Married Dewey A. Whipple 19 Sept 1918. Died 5 June 1935 [in] Tooele, Tooele County, Utah. Buried Provo Cemetery, Provo, Utah Co., Utah.

You were two years and thirteen days old. My age was 15 years 8 months 12 days.

And you know neither of us really got to know our mother. A few of her ideals or traits are fresh in mind.

Neat, clean, tidy, patient, kind, hard worker, courteous, reverent, honest, trustworthy, thrifty, dependable, great homemaker, good cook, good seamstress, respectful, religious ...

One memory is our move from Garfield, Utah, to Lake View Ward, Tooele, Utah. A lot of the old-timers called it Pine Canyon.

At first Dad and Mom rented a four-room house on five acres of land. A road and ditch paralleled each other diagonally NNE to SSW about in the center leaving the house and about 1 1/2 acres on the west side.

The house--frame, front (east) and read (west) entrance, four rooms, bricks arranged hanging on wood partitions for a chimney with openings for a wood stove in each room, the bricks going on up through the roof in two places.

Dad russled for a job and received one with the carpenters at the smelter. On one of his days off he hired a man with a Model T truck to move beds, cupboard, table, chairs, washtub, and other items. Dad brought Mom and part of the children in his rig. Other children rode with the mover. The move was late summer. Cheat grass was brown, water was low in the creek; it was near time for school.

By today's 1988 standards there wouldn't be one in several million women who'd even think of settling into a program like Pine Canyon. Running watter yes--from creek to house by bucket. Water came from a spring in the canyon five miles south, via meadows, pastures, corals, golf course. To get the best water was about break of day, before the livestock got up and about.

Coal oil lamps, wood-fired stoves, hand washing on board for clothes. 4 bare walls in the house. The mover unloaded everything on the floors in a big heap. Tired, hungry, late in the day. Nearest store 5 miles. The details probably none of us will ever recall.


Soon after we moved in, Dad built a foot bridge across the creek straight east of the front entry to the house. At the same time Dad installed a board across the water in the creek, but even with the water level, then we dug a good-sized hole below the board such that we could bail a bucket of water.

Soon we acquired some 50-gallon wooden barrels, which we set in the shade of a tree by the bridge. One of the daily assignments was to remove water from the barrels and fill tea kettle, tubs, dish pans, water buckets, then refill barrels from ...

About weekly, when the barrels were low, we'd empty completely and clean the settling out, then refill the barrels with water.

By spring Mother had us rig up a way to heat wash water outside. A metal barrel with one end opened with cold chisel to accept a #3 tab [?] door to accept wood--door to remove ashes. Round hole on back and near the top to accept stove pipe. And it did a good job for a lot of years, summer and winter.


No bathroom in house, and I don't know if there was one outside when we moved. ... But I do remember helping to dig hole and being with Dad when we built one--a two holer, with a door that would close.

Kitchen stove

There is still a question: Did we move the kitchen stove from Garfield and get it set up in the house before we cooked food for supper? Or did Mom build a small campfire and cook something? Or did Dad have a stove all set up when we arrived?

As near as I can figure, 1926 was the year we arrived in Pine Canyon. My turn to attend the 1st grade for the second time around. Mother always had me a first rate lunch of sandwiches, fruit, cookie or cake, in a 5 pound lard bucket.

On Memorial Day

Mom would make flowers from crepe paper--sweet peas, roses, daffodils and many more--dip them in wax. She'd sew each of the children shirts with tie, short trousers, new shoes and sox, hats, and drive we over to Granddad and Mother Smith for Decoration Day.