Vaud Hanks

We would like to introduce you to Vaud Hanks.  He was born Feb. 4, 1930 and will be turning 84.  His parents, Mel and Nelda Hanks, lived in the house just south of Mel Hanks and Sons store on Main Street in Salem.  This is wehre he was born.  At that time Salem's population was 660.  He has lived in Salem all his life.  He married his high school sweetheart, Donna Chapple, in 1949 in the Manti Temple.  They had six children: Brent who lives in Salem; Jolene Andreason, Payson; LeAnn Hales, Spanish Fork; Susan Olsen, Spanish Fork; Lesa Swenson, Spanish Fork; and Laurit Hanks, Salem.  They have 24 grandchidren and soon to be 45 great grandchildren.  Donna passed away on July 18, 2012, just 9 days short of their 63rd Wedding Anniversary.

When he was a kid, he milked cows for Reed Davis for a nickel. Jimmy Christensen had a grainery and would pay him a nickel for every mouse he caught.  His grandparents would let him have two eggs that he could trade to the Salem Merc. for candy or ice cream.  He said he can remember always having a job from a young age.

His dad had a grocery/furniture store.  When he was 16 years old he started working for his dad.  He started out as a butcher and worked for him for 30 years.  His dad eventually got out of the grocery business but kept the furniture store.  Vaud still makes his own sausage.  In 1972 his dad sold the business to him and his brother Shirl.  In 1976 Vaud opened his own furniture store in Springville.  On March 1st he will have been in Springville for 38 years.  He still goes to work every day and his daughters, Susan, Lesa, and Laurie help him run the store.


Vaud remembers in 1956 the Salem L.D.S. First Ward was split and a second ward was made.  It almost split the town in half.  In 2000 he was made bishop of the Salem First Ward and served in this position for 5 1/2 years.  He said this was one of his most enjoyable callings in the Church.  In 2005 the youth from the Salem West Stake went to Martin's Cove.  Because of Vaud's interest in Ephrain Hanks and having studied his life, he dressed up like Ephraim and told Ephraim's story to the youth.  (He has not been able to link any of his genealogy to Ephraim.)

When he and Donna were married they both liked to ride horses.  They even showed them around the area and in Idaho.  In the summers he and Donna would go to Current Creek and spend two or three days riding horses with Dean and Ruth Cloward.  Vaud and six other men from Salem organized the Wahoo Riding Club.  He was a member for 25 years.  In 1951 while ihs father was serving as mayor of Salem, he and several other men organized the Salem Volunteer Fire Department.  He was a member for 30 yeras and served as Fire Chief for six of those years.

When he was 12 years old, he had an interest in oil painting.  His dad asked Bessy Gourley to teach him.  He painted until he was 16, then sports and girls became more of an interest and he gave it up.  In 1986 he started painting again.  Clella (Porter) Gustin helped him as well as a friend form Provo.  He does amazing paintings.

He has always had an interest in Salem and served as Mayor for six years from 1974-1979.  His daughter, Susan, served as Miss Salem.

He loves gardening, especially flower gardening.  In the 1960s while living in his home by the pond, he won the State Beautification Contest for Non-Proefssional Garderers five years in a row.  He loves the Christmas season.  We hope you will drive by his home this year and see the beautiful decorations he had out.  Don't miss driving by his yard in the summer and seeing his wonderfl landscaping.

He doesn't know of a greater place to live than Salem.  The people are honest and hard workers.  We have good mayors and city council members who serve for the benefit of the city.  He said he as tried to be a good example and share in civic work.  Vaud said if you live the Gospel (of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and do what you are supposed to, you will be blessed.  Some advice he would like to share is: "It isn't what you have that brings blessings, it is what you give away."

Thank you, Vaud, for your service and influence to Salem and its citizens.


From "Senior Spotlight", Salem City Newsletter, January 2014 -  P 3.
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