(Written by Delila in January 1952)
Life Sketch of Maria Delila Van Leuven Alldredge
I, Maria Delila Van Leuven Alldredge was born on the llth day of November 1882 in Aurora, Sevier Co. Utah on Friday at 5:00 A.M. to Newman Van Leuven and Maria Elizabeth Durfee Van Leuven. We didn't have men doctors for births at that time so the midwife was Mrs. Tursin. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. Mother claimed I was a very good baby and was not hard to manage through my life. I don't remember of ever having any cross words with Mother but once and I'm sorry for that. It was my fault. My father never scolded nor whipped me but once, which I'll tell later on.
Santa Claus always visited us from babies up. The dolls we used to get were china, head and arms and feet, so we had to be very careful with them. I first remember I got a doll, some dishes that were tin and a red tin stove. It was certainly cute. My daddy always made us girls a bed or cradle for our dolls. When I got a little older, around 6 or 7, I got an iron range, a set of earthen dishes and a wax doll. It was very pretty. Father made me such a pretty cradle for my wax doll. It looked just like a live baby. One day my cousins came to play with me. My mother wanted me to go and get some wood. So I put my doll in it's cradle and told my cousins not to touch it; but they did. When I got back, my pretty doll was ruined. They had dug the face all up and was chewing the wax for gum. I cried for weeks about it. When I got past doll age, I always got pretty dresses and beads and hankies and stockings and slippers. We always got our stocking that we hung up full of goodies.
When I was around ll or 12, my mother bought some pretty material - it had pretty pink flowers over tan - for a May Day dress. I was so proud of it. I wore it one Sunday, and after church, our crowd wanted to go to the foothills and gather some flowers and put them on the graves in the cemetery. We had to pass by the cemetery, and cross a wide canal. There was a pole to cross over on. I thought I was smart enough to do it alone; but when I got about half way over, down I went. I couldn't swim but my brother Ed could. He jumped in and got me out. But how bad I felt about my pretty dress. Well we went on home then and I had to cry and tell my mother what had happened.
In the winter the Sevier River would freeze over and as my sister, Lavina, lived over there we would go over. Father fixed a bob sled and we would cross over on the ice in it. We had a lot of lovely sleigh rides in those days with sleigh bells and all. When the large canal by our house froze over we would skate. Ed was a good skater and he would take my hands and I would squat down and away we would go, until I would roll over. Oh I What fun we would have. In the summer we played in the large swing Father had made for us. The Gypsies would come by every year. They had bears and sometimes monkeys. They would make their bears dance around on their hind legs and climb over a long stick and one little grizzly bear climbed the flag pole.
We kids always had a very good time, but we all had to work. We helped Mother in the gardens and helped Father do things and we had a lot of chores to do. Father had some sheep. He and the boys would shear the sheep and Mother and I would wash the wool. My brother Ed would always help us. We washed the wool, dried it and then we had to pick it all over. Ed always helped me do that. Then we'd take the wool and card it into bats. Then Father took the bats, he had a finer pair of cords, and he took the bats and rolled them into rolls to make the yarn. Then Mother had a spinning wheel and she'd take the rolls and put them onto this spinning wheel and turn it to make the rolls into yarn. Father would buy a black sheep for black fleece so we could mix it. Mother and I would mix it and then we'd have gray wool and we'd have black wool and white wool. Then we took the wool and knitted it. Mother taught me how to knit. We knitted the yarn into socks for our men to wear in the winter and us girls always had long knitted stockings to wear when we wanted to go out and play in the snow.
Mother had a flock of geese also and we had to pick those. We had to pick them every 5 or 6 weeks. We got a lot of feathers that way and Mother made several feather pillows and feather ticks. But the fun we had was making the geese fly over the tithing office granary. Father and the boys would go up to the river somewhere and get these big ping head ducks and he'd get a whole wagon load of them and we had to pick those and dress 'em and Father would help us and then he'd take 'em over to Salina. They'd buy them there for the hotel and we'd make quite a bit of money that way.
We always had 3 to 5 cows to milk twice a day. Ed did the principle part of the milking. I always went out and watched him milk. I thought it was lots of fun to watch, so he eventually got me to try it. We had a gentle ol' cow that was easy to milk and he got me to milking her and eventually I learned how to milk pretty good. Then he said, "all right, Sis, this is your cow." I was about 8 then and so I had to milk cows from then on and help my brother.
Ed was a big sport. He was always doing something to challenge us kids to see what we could do, to see if we could do what he could do. Ed, Neil and I were real wildcats. The boys would play "back out" and I would follow them. Father had a 5 pole fence around his stock yard. We used to see how far we could walk it without falling off. Ed would get on top and could walk around it, but, when I tried, off I'd go. We had a lot of fun that way. We'd get up on top of the shed that was over the cows and jump off on a bunch of straw that was at the end of the shed. One day I started to jump and as I gave a spring to jump, my leg went down through the shed. So there I was hung up there. Ed had to come up and pull me out.
We had to go down to the field in the summer and get hay; to get lucerne. Every day Ed and my brother Neil and I would go down where the hay was. Father got us a little red wagon. Ed was very good about making things and he made a rack to go on this wagon so it would hold more hay or lucerne. It was so fun. We'd pull it down and back that way. So Father got a couple of goats to be our horses. Ed made a set of harnesses for them and he made some dove trees to go on the wagon. So then we'd hook those goats on to the wagon. Down we'd go to get a big load of lucerne, and bring it back up with the geese and chickens and different things that wanted to eat it. We would take off our shoes and wade in the ditch and play in the mud. We had a lot of fun. One day the goats ran away from us and we had quite a time catching up with them. They sure went down the road a spinnin'. We eventually got them. If I remember right, we broke the tongue of the wagon. We had to fix a new tongue on it. I was 10 or 11.
One time my father had a lovely patch of grain about 3 ft. high. My half sister, Nellie, was the same age as me, only I was a month or two older and we always played together. Her home was down in the field, that's where they were living. So I was down there playing with her. Well, Father's grain was up almost to head out and Nellie and I thought that it would be a lot of fun to roll on that grain. So we started in. We rolled and tumbled and rolled and had a great big spot we rolled down. Boy, did we have fun. But here came my father and he caught us at it. He got a switch out of the ditch that we watered the grain with and did he switch us. Bow-Wow! Did we get some willow tea. But we needed it. Anybody'd go and do a trick like that. Course we thought that the grain would come right back up again. But it didn't. Father had to cut it and give it to the stock to eat. But it taught us a lesson. We never did that anymore. (Nellie was the daughter of Newman's 2nd wife.)
My mother gave Ed and Neil and I, 25 cents a quart if we'd pick black currants. Well, we thought that would be fun to make a lot of money so to get our cups full fast, we thought it'd be a nice idea to put a lot of leaves in the bottoms of the cans and then we'd pick currants to put on the top. Eventually my mother thought there must be something funny about it. "My, you're getting those quarts awfully fast." So she watched us empty our currents out into the pan she had for us to empty them in. She found out what we were doing. Boy! Believe Me, we didn't get any money for that day's work. She wouldn't pay us because we were cheating. That was a good lesson to us kids though, to teach us not to cheat; to always be honest in our work.
My father would never let me go to the dances until I was 12 years old. When I was 12, I got to go to the dances; but I always had to go with my brothers or with him. About that time - 12 or 13 - my brother Lafe took me to teach me how to waltz. Boy, he was a good trainer. He was a perfect waltzer. You could waltz all night with him and never get tired. He was such a smooth waltzer and I learned to waltz very nicely with him.
One time there was a man going from town to town who came there playing for dances. This man didn't have any arms and he played the violin with his toes. Now this was something extra for us people that had never seen anything like that before. It was lovely. He played lovely music. He had others with him that played the guitar, but this one man played with his toes. It was something. Now I danced by that music so I know that it's true.
Now us girls always went out and played with the boys at recesses and sometimes at noon when we didn't have to go home for dinner, we played ball with the boys. Boy, did we have fun. One time it was winter and it snowed very deeply. Us school kids all went out to the play grounds and rolled up snow and we rolled balls and balls and balls of snow and kept building and building until we had a bank as high as our schoolhouse. It was high as our school house ceiling and some of the boys would climb up on the pile of snow and slide down. After the snow was melted and all that was left was just a little bit of snow on the ground and little pools of water, the boys were playing and girls were out at the end of the school house watching them play. One of the boys in the field got mad at one of the boys that was batting and he picked up a bunch of snow and wet and squoze it and wet and squoze it until it was a hard ball. It was just like a rock. Well, he threw it at this boy that was batting but this boy dodged it and it went right on by and I was right in line with that snowball and it hit me right in my left eye. For 2 weeks I couldn't see a thing out of that eye. My father was very afraid that I never would see out of it again, but eventually it healed up enough and my eye sight came back. That was some of the accidents we had playing out on the playgrounds.
I never had any fuss with any of my friends or my relatives or my cousins or anyone but one girl. I had a cousin and we got mad at each other. She got to calling me some names that I didn't like and believe me, if I didn't dive into her. I pulled her hair and she pulled mine. We hit each other and knocked each other down. We'd waller around in the dirt and get up again and go at it again until - I think it was Ed that came and separated us and laughed at us and made fun of us until we quit fighting. That was the only person I ever had any trouble with in all of my life. But she didn't call me any more names, I'll tell you that.
When I was 15 years old, (Nov. 1897) my father took the idea to go to Mexico. We sold our farm and home and got all ready to go. My crowd, the boys and girls that we chummed with and had a lot of fun with, got me up a party for my 15th birthday. We had a lovely time. They all brought me gifts and things. We sure enjoyed it.
Father chartered a freight train to put the 4 heads of horses in. They also took our furniture. We had to put in hay and grain to feed the horses. I think it took the boys a whole week. They started before we did. Lafe and Ed went with the freight car but Father bought tickets for the rest of us on the passenger train. We went by way of Denver, Colorado. We had to lay over all night or almost that long, waiting for the train that was to take us. We laid down on hard benches for a bed. We went on then to Demming, Texas. That was on the line just between the U.S. and Mexico. We unloaded there. The men fixed up the wagons and loaded our belongs. When we got there, we had to wait for 2 weeks. We Had to meet President Ivins. He was the President of the Mexico mission. We had to wait for him to meet us there in order for us to get across the line to get past the custom house. So Father had bought a tent and pitched it and fixed this tent up for us to live in while we were waiting. There was a family just above where we were camped. They needed some help so they came down and wanted to know if there was a girl there that could come and work for them so I volunteered to go and work for them while we were waiting. This was my first experience working away from home. I did house work and tended their baby for $2.50 a week. I stayed for only a week. When I found that the man was a drunk and that the woman drank some, too, I was frightened half to death and did I get homesick. I went down where the folks were camped one afternoon and when I saw my mother, did I bawl I My Mother said, "Well you don't have to work up there if you don't want to. You don't need to do it. You can quit and come here and stay with us." So I did that. We stayed there until Pres. Ivins came and got us past customs. We got across the line and through the customs house all right. The boys loaded up the furniture and everything and my father and the boys came in the wagons. We had 2 wagons and went on them.
Mother had a cousin in Dublan and we went there and stayed for a few days. It was Uncle Harry Paine and Ruth was our cousin. All of Mother's people were 30 miles from there over in a town called Galena. They lived out on a ranch by themselves so we found where they were living and went out there. They had high walls clear around their place. It was a great big place. They all lived inside the wall and had great big thick doors which were locked to keep Mexicans or anybody out. They had one great big long dining table and they all ate at the same table. They were all relatives. My mother's brother, Ed and a sister named Chloe lived there. Aunt Chloe was a wife of Brother Spencer. He had another wife named Hannah Jane. Uncle Ed's wife was named Ellen. Hannah was Ellen's sister. Aunt Chloe practically did all the cooking. She did most of the managing. Hannah and Ellen claimed they had a vision or dream how to live the perfect life. They were going to live the Word of Wisdom perfectly, so they cut out all kinds of fats. They wouldn't eat any kind of fat. They wouldn't let their children have milk or butter or anything that had any fat or oil in it. And if you ever saw such skinny looking people. Hannah's and Ellen's mother died from malnutrition. Joe Spencer and his wife lost their baby for the same reason. It was under fed and got diarrhea and died.
They had church organized and had a Sunday School in their house. There was a Mexican boy that worked for them. He was about my age and he fell for me right now. His name was Spitione and he couldn't talk my language and I couldn't talk his but he had Ellen talk for us. He'd tell her what to tell me and I'd tell her what to tell him. He was a very nice looking boy. Of course, the Mexicans are all dark, with dark hair and dark eyes. He was just a little bit taller than I but he sure had a case on me. Ellen told him that he couldn't have anything to do with me, that I couldn't be his girl friend because I had another boy friend. She made him believe that to get rid of him. He thought that was awful because I wouldn't be his girl friend.
Every night of the world they had a great big pile of beans we had to pick over and they cooked beans every day for their dinner. I helped Aunt Chloe do this. I helped her wash dishes, too. We only stayed 3 or 4 days though because my father couldn't stand that kind of living.
There was a Mexican house about 2 blocks from where they lived, so Father went and got that place and he and the boys went and white washed that house. The Mexicans don't have any partition doors. You have to go out side, then in another door to get from room to room. They white washed every room nice and clean and patted the floor. It was an earth floor. They had to pat it down hard, wet it and pat it down. When they got that done they took and unloaded our wagon up into there. Aunt Chloe, Ellen and the others wouldn't let any of their children come up to our place unless they came with them because they were afraid we'd give them fat. They knew Father had barrels of pig meat that we had killed. Mother had a can of lard that we had. She had a whole big can of butter that she had made and salted down. So we had pretty good eats when we first went there from what we took with us from Utah. Durfee's knew that, so they wouldn't let their children come down to our place unless they came with them. When we first got to the Durfee's place my Uncle Ed was digging potatoes, so us kids went out and helped him pick up his potatoes. Boy they had some lovely potatoes, great big lovely ones. The ground there was so rich and nice we just grew everything and had lovely stuff to eat.
When we moved up to this Mexican house, they told us we had to be careful. The Mexicans might come in and steal from us. That's why they had to be locked in to keep the Mexicans out. They had a little store there and they had things that they'd sell to the Mexicans. They'd take their milk from their cows and make cheese and sell that and butter to the Mexicans, but they wouldn't let their own kids have any of it. What a temptation that was for those poor little starving kids.
They told us we'd have to be prepared to defend ourselves. So my brothers each had guns and they taught me how to shoot. I'd never shot a gun in my life and I'm scared to death of them. I don't like guns. Ed put up a board outside and put paper on it with marks for us to shoot at and see which one could hit the center mark. At first I hit all over the board but eventually I got so I could almost hit the center of that board. So I learned to shoot pretty good while we were up there, but I've never shot since.
Father said he wasn't going to stay there to live. He was going to go back where there was a big town and big society. That was about 30 miles back to Dublan. So we were there from January to April, then we went back over to Dublan and Father bought a lot there and the boys and him got busy and made dobes and built us up a 4 room house. During this time he had tents fixed up for us to live in and then he had the wagon boxes on both sides of the tent. Father and Mother slept in one wagon box and us girls slept in th other wagon box and the boys slept around on the floors an different places where ever they wanted to sleep. One night I felt something go over my pillow - oh it was a beautiful night - the moon light down in that country is light just like daylight almost - I felt something go across me. I reared up and just as I reared up it went off of my pillow and onto the ground. It was a snake It had gone over me and I screamed to Mama that a snake was in m bed. She came running out to see about it. My father did, too but they said they couldn't see it. It was gone. I don't kno where it was but we never did see it after that. Boy, was frightened! After they got the house built we moved in. We had a upstairs where our bedrooms were.
One of my Aunt Chloe's boys got past the grade school that they had in Galena, so she wanted him to go a little higher in school. She asked Mother if Austin could come over and stay with us through the winter and go to school. Mother said, "Yes, be glad to have him. But listen here. He'll get something to eat. We're going to kill a fat hog this fall. We'll have bacon and grease. We've got a cow so we'll have milk and butter. And we'll have that on our table always." Aunt Chloe said, "That's all right. That's what I want him to do. I'm tired of this." But the doctors had got after them before that though and told them they were all going crazy and dying because of the malnutrition. They had to go back to eating like white folks or they'd all go crazy. Hannah Jane lost her mind and her daughter eventually lost hers. So they went back to eating and then they were all right.
Austin came to live with us and you never saw anything like it. He was so hungry for grease that when we'd put a plate of fried meat on the table, he'd just take his spoon and eat the grease by the spoon full. He was so starved for it. Mother just let him do it cause she knew that was what he needed. He'd just pile the butter on his bread.
About Christmas time. Aunt Chloe came over to see him. Well he'd picked up and got so much fat on his poor old bones that she said, "I didn't know him. He just doesn't look like my baby at all." But she was happy about it and glad that we took him that winter and got him fattened up like we had. They all went back to eating then and putting flesh on their bones.
Helaman Pratt was a counselor to President Ivins and he had 3 wives. They lived just across the street from us. I worked for all 3 families. The 2 families were in one house together. They were sisters. I worked for them a lot. I worked for his first wife, too. They both had big strawberry patches and I picked strawberries for both of them a lot. They were very nice. The treated me just lovely, and were so good to me. They had daughters and we worked side by side, mopping floors, washing dishes, washing and ironing and things like that. I surely enjoyed working for them. President Pratt's first wife was a beautiful singer, boy, could she sing. When she sang a Mexican air, boy she'd just make it ring. Her oldest son. Ray, was Irvin's mission president, later on.
I had a boy friend named, Albert Hirst. He was sure a nice fellow and I sure enjoyed going with him. We went to a dance one night - through the week I had made some homemade root beer - and this night of the dance we were going to come home and have cake - I'd made cake - so we were going to have cake and root beer. That week he'd bought him a new suit and he just looked scrumptious in that nice suit. It looked so nice on him. We went to the dance and enjoyed it and then we came home and I got a bottle of root beer
out. I asked him to take the cap off, which he did. It just shot up to the ceiling and it came down all over him and all over that pretty nice suit. It was so funny, I couldn't help but laugh, yet I felt so bad I could've cried. I got a towel and wiped it off all that I could. He'd said he'd take it to the cleaners and get it cleaned up. So he did. He wore it Sunday and it looked awful nice all right. He was sure a nice feller. I always have loved to dance. After I learned how to dance, believe me, I was crazy to go to the dances, and went often to them.
We had a school there and went to school again. I was high in all my classes until we went to Mexico, in everything but English. I didn't like it and I never could learn it. I could diagram and do sparse sentences and things like that but I couldn't write essays or anything like that. I just didn't like it. When we went to Mexico, we had a special English teacher - boy, she was the best teacher I ever heard of in my life. Did I learn English that year! She sure did teach me and I got high grades in my English that year.
Well we had our parties of course and we had our dances. In Aurora, before we went to Mexico, I was in the 7th or 8th grade, we had spelling matches very often. Every 2 or 3 weeks we'd have a spelling match. We'd choose sides, you know, and get up there and spell words and see which one could spell the other side down. Well, this particular time, there was a girl, named Lila and I was Delila and we had another friend, named Minerva Lewis. She was a good speller, too. That's 3 that were the champion spellers of the school. They took Lila and I to be the captains where we both chose up sides. The ones that got beat had to treat the other side with candy and peanuts. So I took my spelling book home with me and I took it up to bed with me and I learned that book off by heart. There wasn't a word in the speller I couldn't spell. I was sure I was going to win. I wasn't going to let my side down. I was going to win because I knew the speller off by heart. Well, Friday night came and we had our spelling match. We all lined up there in 2 rows, one row this way and one that way and teacher in the middle. We spelled and we spelled until all of them went down and went down. It came up to Lila and me. We were about equals in spelling and we were the only 2 left. And, oh, dear! My teacher gave me the word of "worsted". Well, I never found "worsted" in my speller at all. Well I spelled it like it sounded: w-o-o-s-t-e-d. That's the way to spell woosted. I don't care if the book did say it was something else. I missed of course. That wasn't the right way to spell it. It went over to Lila and she spelled it and even knew what it meant and it was spelled worsted and I pronounced it worst-ed. If he'd given me the word worst-ed he never would have spelled me down, because I knew that book off by heart. But down we went, so my side had to furnish the candy and peanuts. We had a lot of fun of course, but I was so heart sickened - because I lost it. But that was the way it happened. That was before we moved to Mexico. Now back to Mexico.
One time us young folks thought we'd get together and go down to a conference in Dieff about 15 miles north of Dublan. Some of the authorities from Salt Lake City were going to be there. So we, our crowd, went - 8 or 10 couples of us. Each of us had a boy friend with us. Mine was Albert Hirst. Owen Wiff was a softie. He was just too mushy for anything. None of us girls liked him and he had quite a hard time getting a girl to go with him. But, he got my cousin. Lizzie Durfee, to go with him on this trip. Well, he got the seat right behind me and my partner as we were traveling along on the way back from the conference. Oh, we sang and talked and joked all the way back and forth and had a lovely trip. But this old smartie! He thought he was going to be smart and grab me and kiss me, and that's something I'd never allow any of the boys to do. As it happened, I had a pin in my hand just a lookin' with it. I didn't do this on purpose to catch him, cause I didn't know he was going to do that, of course. But I was foolin' with this pin. Well, he grabbed me and I threw my hands up to knock him back and I caught him with this pin right in the top of his nose and it just ripped right down his nose. Boy, then he tried to rub the blood off of his nose onto my face. My brother, Ed was in the back seat and he jumped over the seat and if he didn't come after him and give him a blow right there in the wagon. The driver of the wagon stopped. Owen's nose was bleeding like the dickens alright and I was sorry for that part of it, but, darn it He didn't need to be so smart and think that he was going to pull off something like that. Ed told him if he ever touched me again, he'd floor him to the earth, so he never bothered me anymore after that. We went on home then. We'd had a really good conference.
In Dublan there was no way for us to get wood for our heating and our cooking. We had to get just little mesquite limbs and feed our stoves with mesquite limbs. That was quite a tedious job and just kept some of us constantly feeding the stove, especially when you were baking bread or anything like that. That was quite disgusting to all of us. Somebody from Sonora State came over and got to talking to my father and said, "Bow wow, I can take you to where you can get wood trees as big around as 2 or 3 feet." Father said, "Tell me where that is and we'll sure go to it." The person said it was in Sonora State and Father and Mother said, "Well, we'll go and find out. If there's wood like that, that's where we're going to go." My mother and father got in a buggy and went over to Sonora to see about this condition of the wood and what kind of a country it was. The first town they met was Ojaca. They didn't like that too good and went on about 20 miles to Morelos and that's where the church had opened up a new colony. It looked like a pretty nice place to stop and live. Sure enough, there were trees there. Every place around there were trees galore. We could get a lot there that was covered with these great big trees. Father said, "That's where we're going to live." Mother said, "I want to get warm. Let's make one big fire." So they got out and made a big fire and she got warm for once in her life. Well, Father bought a lot there and then they turned around and came back. We had beenin Dublan for 2 years. I had some wonderful times in Dublan. We have done a great deal of pioneering.
Father sold our home and we moved to Morelos. It was one of these He wishes that bought our home, so we got to sell it right off. Father loaded us right up and we moved to Morelos. Father and the boys built some dobies [adobes] again and made another 4 room house. Over in Morelos we had to dig a well for to have water. Before that we had to carry our water from other places. We got along with just 4 rooms. They had another old ocotilla room. That's where I put my bed - outdoors.
Morelos was like any other town. When we got moved there and settled, they were ready to grab anybody that was willing to work in the wards and church. So I was chosen to be the secretary in the Sunday School. I was secretary there for 5 years. I enjoyed it and loved to be secretary then. I was also chosen to be a counselor in MIA. Then I was a teacher in Primary and Sunday School. Everywhere I've been I've been a teacher in the Sunday Schools and Primaries. I love that kind of work. I've been the president of every organization of the church - not the stake, but the wards. I never did work in the stake. I've been chorister, organist, teacher, president, counselor, secretary, we've moved around in so many different towns and places that we've kept busy.
There were some people that moved to Mexico from Payson or Provo and their boys thought they were really smart and could get in with any girl they wanted to. They were a little bit on the rough side and us girls in Mexico were trained to be very particular girls and allow certain things and not certain things. There was one family and they fell in with my brothers right now. They were very good friends and they practically lived to our place. One of these boys name was John Patton and he knew what my principals were and what I thought about boys and all this and that and the other. So, this boy from Payson got in contact with John and they made a bet. The Payson boy had made the crack that he could take any girl and use her as he pleased. My friend John bet him $5.00 that there was one girl that he couldn't get within touching distance of. And he said, "I'll bet you $5.00 I can." So he came to make a date with me to go to the dance that night. I accepted him very nicely and I got ready and we had a lovely time at the dance. When we came back home, he took the excuse that he wanted a drink. I said, "Ok, we have a dipper out here on the well." We went out to the well and got a bucket of water and I said, "Here' tis, help yourself to all you want." We sat there and I thought, "Well, now it's time for you to go home." But he didn't go. He kept a hangin' there. I had a pretty blue ribbon sash on - I had a white dress with the pretty blue ribbon sash around me and a great big bow in the back and it hung clear to the bottom of the skirt. It looked very nice. Well, the first thing I knew, he grabbed that sash and began to pull it on tight. I gave him a kick on the shins. Pretty soon he tried to get a hold of my arm with his arm. I just gave him a kick and told him to beat it. I said, "a boy like you is not decent anywhere. I don't want any association with the likes of you. Good Night I" and I went in the house and left him. My mother's bed was right by the window on the end that the well was on. I knew she always watched us prettyclosely. So, when I went on up stairs to bed, I stepped to her door and asked her, "Mother, are you awake?" She said, "Sure I'm awake and I saw what you did, too." So, I was glad. I was quite sure I had my mother watching for me.
Another of the boys, last name of Hewish [probably Huish], thought he'd be smart and he got a date with me. He thought sure he was going to have some fun, too. After we went home from the dance, we sat on chairs and I had my chair about 3 or 4 ft. from him. He kept a nudging his chair over until he got pretty close to my chair and pretty soon he just gave me a pinch right here to the side of the leg. And Bow Wow! Didn't he get it! I gave him a kick on the shins. I bet he was crippled for days afterwards. I got up and gave him his hat and says, "Beat it. A boy like you is none of my association. Take your hat and go for home and beat it. Don't ever ask me for another date. I won't go on a date with you . Never." So he did and I never had anymore trouble. He married my choicest friend's sister after that.
We had horses. Lafe had one special riding horse. He was sure a beautiful horse. Lafe kept him shining just like silk he took such good care of him. Boy, he was an easy horse to ride. They wouldn't let me ride him alone, but I rode behind my father or one of my brothers. He was just like a rocking chair to ride. He loped so nice and easy.
In the year of 1902, 16th of August, I married Isaac Alldredge 3rd. His family was in Morelos before we were. The night after Ike and I were married, we camped on the other side of the river from Dublan. Young folks over in Dublan heard about our being over there so a whole crowd of them got into a wagon and came over. The river was up pretty high. They had to practically swim the horses across to get over to our camp. They got me and I got in with them and we went a riding till about 12 o'clock that night. We sure had a lot of fun singing. That was the only honeymoon I had. Then we went on to Dublan. After we got over in Morelos, we had our horses turned loose to get feed. The grass was nice and thick there. The horses would go out and eat grass. The boys wanted to get the horses for something or other, so I told my brother, Neil, I'd go with him and we'd find them. There was a clump of mesquite trees that went down right through the lot to the valley. He went on one side and I went on the other. I was looking down in the valley. There I could see some animals and I was looking to see if they were ours and pretty soon I felt something soft under my foot. I looked down and my foot was on a gila monster. I was on his neck and he was throwing his head up and out and his tongue was way out trying to strike my leg. But I was on his neck high enough up that he couldn't strike my leg. That was all that kept me from being bit by it. Boy, when I saw that I was on that gila monster, I screamed and hollered. It frightened me half to death. My brother heard me hollering and he came over a running to see what was the matter. The gila monster had gone down a hole, so we didn't get him. We got the horses and went back to the house.
In Morelos we had a lot of fun. Course we always had dances and things. I always went to the dances. I never missed going to a dance. I liked to dance a lot. We sure enjoyed it.
Ike was a great hand to put on plays so they put him in as a drama coach as soon as he got settled there. After I married him,I helped him a lot in this work. We could only get one book, so we had to write the parts off for each one.In 1906 we went to Naco Fari, where my husband freighted for 2 years for a mining company. In the year 1909 we moved to San Jose. The Church had bought the valley from some Mexicans. It was called Gen Zailios. This was 10 miles north of Morelos. It was a wonderful place to raise things. There were many rattlesnakes there and one day as I jumped across the ditch going to our corn field, I saw a big long black one. I jumped back and ran with the snake after me. When I screamed, Ike came and the snake darted under some bushes and went into the thickets. We lived there for 3 years. We raised nearly everything we needed. Then we were driven out by the insurrectors and as soon as we were gone, the Mexicans took over our homes and things. We left July 23, 1912. We just turned our animals loose and left, with very sad hearts. It had been a paradise to live in. The hills around us had green grass the year round. We went to Douglas, Arizona. I was there 2 months and then went to Tucson until the last of November. Then I went back to Douglas with my 3 children- Irvin, Nora, and Lurie. Then my brother Zera, my mother, and I and my family went by train to Salt Lake City, Utah. My father was there living with my sister, Lavina. He had had Cicoma [carcinoma] of the leg and had to have it amputated at the hip. I went to the temple while in Salt Lake, with my mother. This was Dec. 20th, 1912. In January we went to Eureka to my brother, Edmond's place. I contracted the mumps on the train and gave them to all the family. We were all pretty sick. In March, we went to Aurora. From my mother's sister, Vilate Ivie, we rented a big room and porch. We stayed there for 6 months. My second son, Lelan Dee, was born there. The children all had chicken pox and Lurie got those deseret sores and they ran in together for 6 weeks. I had to wrap her legs and feet with gauze.
In August we went back to Eureka and stayed for 2 months. We stayed for 3 weeks in Salt Lake and went from there by train to Moapa. My husband met me there and took me to Kaolin. We lived there for 2 years. The land wouldn't produce enough to pay for itself so we left and went to Hinckley. My husband had a job as foreman on a farm 15 miles from Hinckley. I went out and cooked for the men. I was there a year and a half and then my husband took me back to Eureka as my brother Lafe had come there and bought a home and had my father and mother with him. He was working in the mines. I was with them about a year and then Lafe and Ed took me and the family to St. George. Ike met me there and took us to Mesquite where he had been working. We lived there 2 years. Ike was put in as Drama leader. I played in several of his plays and wrote a great deal of them.
In February 1919, I and the family moved back to Hinckley as Ike had gotten discouraged in Mesquite. My third son, Verl, was born in Mesquite. Mr. Hughes took me and the family in a white top covered buggy to Moapa. We then took the train and went to Hinckley. We got there in the night. The ground was so white with saleratus we thought it was snow. We stayed there a few months and then moved to Ike's sister, Sue's home to take care of it while she was away. Then we moved back to the yellow house again. We stayed there a few months and the owner sold the house to the man across the street, so we moved into the man's house across the street. It was the year the old epidemic of flu came and we all had it. I also had a very bad case of pleurisy. The sun never shone for 3 weeks and it snowed and snowed. We lived there a month and then moved to Mrs. Burke's home for a month. Ike had built a new shop but he didn't get enough work so fixed it up for us to live in. The children got the whooping cough and Verl had croup with his. He went in to pneumonia and it was only through the blessings of our Heavenly Father that his life was spared. He was healed through administration under the hands of Elder Charles Woodbury. We then moved to Mrs. Webb's house as Ike sold the shop. We lived at Webb's for 2 months and then moved to Delta so I could cook for Ike and the men while they worked in the Sugar Factory. We were there 3 months. Then Ike got two teams and wagons and we packed and started for St. George. Two of the horses were balky. It snowed a foot deep in the night before we started. We were 13 days on the road. As we were coming down the dugway into Belview,[Pintura] one horse slipped on the ice. It was the team Irvin was driving. I was in the wagon with him and was frightened but we didn't go off the bank. If we had it would have been close to a hundred foot fall. We were a very tickled bunch when we found the sun was shining in Belview [Pintura]. We camped and enjoyed playing and basking in the sun. We arrived the next day in St. George, Utah - 15th or 16th of Jan., 1921. We rented the house of Mrs. Blair. The children started to school and got the measles, all but Irvin. He had them when a baby in Mexico.
In April, My brother, Cornelius, came down from Mt. Trumbull where my folks had moved. My father had died while I was in Hinckley. We went to Mt. Trumbull 17 April, 1921 and liked it so well we decided to stay. I took a homestead and we lived in a little log house made out of posts until we got some lumber and built us a 4 room house. Then we made a 2 room cellar and lived in that while the boys made a 5 room and bath adobe house. We lived there until 17 May 1936 and then moved back to St. George because of the water situation. We had to go up on the mountain every year to springs or water holes and we lost so much of our stock and things and then the country got so dry that we couldn't raise anything. In St. George we bought some lots. The three boys all live here close by. Nora and family went to American Fork and Lurie went to Burley, Idaho.
I have been a worker in the different organizations in the church most of the time since I was 15 years old, for which I am very thankful. I am thankful, also, for my family and posterity. All my children have been endowed in the St. George Temple. My son, Irvin, filled a California\Mexico mission, and his son Clifford filled a mission in the Central Atlantic States. Two grandsons have served in World War II and one in the Korean War. I have had many interesting trips. These include going to Salt Lake conference with my sister Chloe and visiting with my daughter, Nora and family, trips to Burley to visit my daughter, Lurie and her family.
In 1950, I went with Chloe, her husband, Jim, and sons Attwood and Nard and Chet Bundy family to California where we visited Chloe's daughter, Iona. From there we went to the coast and up through the southern part of Oregon down to Idaho. We also toured Yellowstone Park, where we stayed for two days. On the way home we stopped at Nora's and stayed over night. It was a wonderful trip.
In 1951 of Dec., Alvie Shelley got killed so I went with Chloe and Jim and their sons Merlin and Attwood to California to the funeral services.
Right now in January 1952, I am dumping around with the flu - haven't been out for two weeks. It has rained here nearly all the time for two weeks but the sun is shining now. Up to date of Jan. 27, 1952, is my story. I am 69 years of age. "Adios."
Delila lived to be 100 years old, living the rest of her life in St. George. She was given a birthday party on her 100th birthday. Many of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family and friends attended. Because of her love for dancing, a dance was held and she danced a number of dances and even joined in on the Virginia Reel. She died Friday, February 18, 1983, about 9:00 in the morning. Her funeral was held February 21, 1983 in the 8th Ward Chapel. She was buried in the St. George Cemetery. She was 100 years and 3 months old.