By Shirley Orchard


Edgar was born 8 November 1908. A Sister Jensen, mid-wife, helped bring him into the world. His grandmother Dopp was present to care for him, his mother, and the other children until Marion was up and around again. Baby Edgar was named after a cousin of his father. The cousin had boarded with the family at one time while attending school. They thought a lot of the cousin Edgar.

When Edgar was around nine months old he would stand alone, but not walk. The “Cake Walk” dance was all the rage. Edgarʼs parents were raising his fatherʼs three sisters, that made five girls in the family. There were many aunts, uncles, and friends that visited. One night when the music was being played for the “Cake Walk”, Edgar surprised every one by standing up, holding his dress up with one hand and the other hand in the air, and dancing. He just moved his body around. It was the cutest thing ever. From then on whenever folks wanted him to show off, someone would start singing a “Cake Walk” dance tune. He would stand right up and start his dance, no matter where they were. He didnʼt walk until after he was a year old. He probably thought he could crawl faster. He would use one knee and his foot and just go a flying.

When he was three years old, the family moved to View, Idaho, homesteading a place. It was sagebrush, sand, and tumbleweeds as far as one could see. There were very few farms. Some of his uncles and aunts with children moved out there too. The children had playmates although they were not close together. In the winter a house was rented in Burley so the mother and children could be near a school.

Edgar grew up in a very happy, loving home. There was lots of laughter singing and dancing all through his growing up years. His home was a humble home with prayer and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Edgar was baptized 1 June 1917, seven months after he turned eight years old. ( by Evalean Orchard Stokes - 1977)

In the spring of 1920 his folks moved to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation where there were maybe a dozen white families. Mormon church was held in the homes of the people “and we all attended, the folks never left any of us home.” The country wasnʼt improved. There was mostly sage brush, tumble weeds, and scattered Indian tepees.

1A sketch of Edgar Orchardʼs life as seen by different relatives

There were some log houses. There were not many trees. The railroad run through Fort Hall and passed a store with a post office in the store. Every two weeks the Indians would gather around the store for their government allotment. There was an elementary school of eight grades. The school had a teacher for each four grades, all in one room, and all learned. There was an Indian Mission School east and south of the store where the white children attended once a week. They taught basket weaving, bead stringing, and many crafts. “We made friends with the Indians easy.” Ed was a favorite of two Indian women. They were neighbors, a Mrs Lassiere and a Mrs.(I believe, Whitecross, maybe Whiteball), regardless they were very concerned over Ed. They thought he was just abut ʻitʼ. He showed lots of kindnesses and was always happy around them.

“We lived one and a half miles from the school. After school started on good fall days we were allowed to walk. Clifford, Edgar, and I rode a horse to school. In the winter a sled was improvised and pulled by the horse. There was plenty of snow in winter time. We were right at the base of the Rocky Mountains.”

Ed liked to wrestle, run races and high jump. He was real agile and active. He watched the way Indian boys rode their horses and figured he would be a rider like them some day.

The summer after we moved our father bought an Indian pony, red with white spots. It was the prettiest pinto I think we ever saw. That summer friends of our brother Fred came from Burley to visit - Afton Kidd and Happy Anderson, so all the boys got together and broke old pinto for riding. Pinto was such an ornery pony, he would sneak a bite when least expected. He would toss his head so as to hit one and kick. Pinto never fully got over all those traits as long as we had him. Edgar took over Pinto, he was his pride and joy. In December Edgar was riding Pinto when he fell with him, breaking his leg. It was a bad break. Edgar was always so active you can imagine it was rough on him having to lie in bed for so long. Before the brake healed, Rheumatism set in and ʻOhʼ Edgar was a very sick boy all winter and in such pain. He was handled very carefully. Mrs. Lassiere and the other Indian women would visit hoping to bring a remedy or help of some kind. Iʼm sure that helped Edgar. His leg was painted with Iodine, causing the skin to die. I remember sitting by his bedside and pulling the dead skin off in strips.

It was a happy time for all when Edgar did finally recover but he was left with a limp and worse, with a leakage of the heart. He would have tremendous nose bleeds at the least exertion, so we were all pretty thoughtful of him through the years. He wasnʼt as active as before but never complained much. It did not keep him from going back to riding ʻOld Pintoʼ and learning to waltz beautifully.

In the spring of 1925 after school was out the family moved back toward Burley to Acequia. Our Uncle John Orchard had purchased an acreage with a big white house on it. Acequia sounds as if it were Indian country but all white farmers lived around there. We were a mile east of Acequia store. It was called Gillum, in Riverview District. The


A sketch of Edgar Orchardʼs life as seen by different relatives

folks raised turkeys that year and didnʼt have too good of luck with them. Clifford and Edgar rode their ponyʼs to high school in Aceouia but I, Thelda and Afton went to Gillum Elementary school. Dadʼs half sisterʼs boy Earl Moore came from his grandparents in Burley and attended school with us three that term. We didnʼt have much company out there, no neighbors.

Acequia consisted of an elementary school and high school buildings, two church buildings, a Mormon church and a community church where nearly everyone that were not Mormons attended. There was a store with a post office in it and a lot of Mormon families and young people. Everyone mixed together and were very friendly. Dances were held on Friday nights in the Mormon church building and all attended.

After our family moved to Springdale farming district where there was a church and it was Mormon with a lot of young folks and we were accepted. We soon were holding offices, attending Mutual, and Clifford and Edgar taking part in programs, for they were good singers and I played the piano. We did lots of singing at home. Edgar and I had to ride a bus eight miles into Burley High School. He did well in school. The folks bought him a set of drums, which he played well too, and soon he got two of the Mormon boys our ages, that played horns and the four of us played for the ward dances through out the stake. We did it for a couple of winters. Each person was paid $3.00 a night. We thought we were rich; it helped with school and living expenses.

Edgar was keeping company with a Peg Roberts when our family moved over to Springdale. For a while, Clyde would pick her up on a Sunday afternoon and sometimes on Wednesday night and drive in his Dadʼs 26 Dodge over to Springdale where he would pick up Edgar and I. On Wednesdays we usually went to a show in Burley, on Sundays we would go for rides exploring the country around us. Peg wasnʼt a Mormon girl. She didnʼt keep coming over many times. Then just Clyde would come over.

Edgar didnʼt have any one special friend in Springdale. One summer he and I sold hamburgers from a stand in Declo, just four miles east from Springdale. One had to go through Declo to get across the Snake River and onto Acequia, north.

Then in 1931 the family moved to Lewistion Utah, 350 miles east and south. We moved in wagons settling in early spring. In April I married and went back to Acequia so only saw my family on holidays. Then in 1938 we moved to Westwood, Lassen, California. Ed had married and moved to Sacramento and we had been able to get a pass on the railroad and go see him.

After we moved and knew where we were going to live for sure,then we were able to visit oftener, but had to drive down the Feather River road. It was a long stretch of winding narrow road that followed the Feather River which was far below the road. It was beautiful country but a nuisance traveling. It was pine tree country.



Gerald Orchard - Son

On a very cold morning, our grandfather (Alvan Orchard) was leaving the house , maybe to go to work, and he forgot his lunch. He drove off. Our father got on the horse to take the lunch to him by trying to catch the car. Old car, poor road and so the car might well go slower than the horse. As our father turned the horse at a corner, the horse slipped on the ice on the road and fell, pinning our father under the horse. The horse was unable to rise and so our father remained crushed between the horse and the road. He was out of sight from the house but as the car reached the top of a hill; our grandfather looked back and saw what had happened. He then returned to help.

Samuel Jonathan Wayment
One great rule to live by, 3 that work for me, and...


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