History of Jennie May Woodbury Lee
I was born in Beaver City, Beaver County, Utah, November 7, 1902 to Charles Robert Goddard Woodbury and Agnes Isadore Bickley. I lived there or close by until we moved to Hinckley in 1922. As a young girl I had a great interest in genealogy and in high school I began by getting the family pedigree back as far as I was able at that time.
I worked in my father's store and thus met the Lee family when they came to shop and they shopped there all the time. I didn't meet Jim as he was away working on the road. When he finished the job he returned home and his Dad brought him down to meet me. He told him he wanted him to meet his future bride. Jim only laughed but his father said he had seen us in a dream or vision living together as man and wife. Jim and his brother Guy came in and bought shoes and got dates with me and my sister Zola to go to a picture show. Afterward we walked around and sang songs and visited and it was a lot of fun. He soon had a date with me and we started going together quite a bit and he soon popped the question and I said "yes" and we went to Salt Lake with my parents on the train and were married in the temple on Nov. 16, 1922. We went through two sessions and went to a show up glass steps with water running over colored lights and it was exciting. We returned home and the kids came and gave us a chivaree and took us both for a ride, in buggies, separately, different directions. But that was a lot of fun and they soon brought us back and we began enjoying each other's association.
Jim needed to get a job but none available in Hinckley so he got a job working in the round house in Lyndyll and we moved up there. As soon as Pres. Hinckley found out we were moving to Lender, he asked me to be Relief Society Pres. as Sister Hurst had become very ill and could not do it any longer. I was Stake Primary Organist, but gladly accepted his offer to be Relief Society Pres. and really enjoyed my association with the lovely sisters there. We could not get a house but stayed at a motel or hotel for awhile, that I have a picture of as our first home. But we soon found a really cute little one room house that we loved dearly. Jim was raised by his family as "Horald" and that was all I or anyone else knew him by for a long time.
We soon found out we would be 3 instead of 2 and were real excited about that and knew that we'd need a bigger house. Some friends offered to let us put a tent up on part of their lot so bought a lovely white one, 10 x 20 ft. I went home to mother's to have my baby. I stayed a month and while I was gone Jim built the framework and floor and all and we had a lovely 2 room home with a cookstove in the kitchen and a heater in the bedroom and were very comfortable. But I'm getting ahead of my story. A family living in a Company House in a row along the R.R. Tracks, all alike, let us live in their home for a few months, while they were gone on vacation. Being right on the tracks, lots of bums came to get something to eat. They'd walk along looking at the fence, then suddenly turn in our gate and come around to the back door and ask for food. They'd sit right there and eat. One even said a blessing. We'd get them to chop wood to pay for it.
Jim worked in the roundhouse on all the big engines that came in, greasing the wheels and checking everything to see that all was o.k. He loved it. He worked nights and the houses all looked alike and one morning he went in the house next door and went in the bathroom to shave and wash up. Soon a man poked his head in the door and pointed a gun at him, but he said, "where's Jennie?" The man said, "home, I guess." Dad apologized and felt very sheepish and came home and told me about it. It was very scary but never happened again.
We had so many lovely friends there. Me, being Relief Society Pres. helped a lot. One family was always inviting us over for home grown fried chicken dinner. Man, best chicken I ever tasted. They were young and they always cooked a lot so we could all have all we could eat and send the rest home with us. Real great friends. Over at the historical dept. In the church office bldg. they have the Lender Ward minutes and I looked at them and it was neat seeing all the names and things we did and who took charge and the different officers and when Sister Hurst was released and when I was set apart by Rudger Claussen and I was given so many wonderful promises and they were all fulfilled and when I was sustained and it was really neat.
I went home and had my first little redhead. I had a problem and when I came out of the ether I asked Dad what we had. "a cute little redhead. You're just going to love him." But I said, "take him away, give him back, I don't want any redheads." But I learned to love red hair. The first three all had red hair. Then Ruby, a little blackhead, then Jennie a beautiful redhead and last but not least a red headed boy, Rex born on Memorial Day May 30, 1945 in American Fork hospital and I’m proud of all my family and always notice red headed babies, especially.
(Jennie Lee. I'm just trying this out for history. Hope it works. It's now Jan 25,1985, 12:30 noon. Jennie May Woodbury Lee--my mini history-love-me and my family )
I forgot to say why I didn't want any redheads. A kid about my age or younger, lived in Hinckley, had red hair and freckles, solid, all over his face, was so mean and would always tease us girls and pull our hair and pinch us or anything he could think of to do to tease us and we all hated to have him around and I thought all redheads were like that, but have learned better, now. I love red hair as good as any other color and have a lot of redheads now.
I stayed at mother's for awhile. Then we went home to survey our new home. Jim or Horald as we all knew him then, had done a lovely job and we loved it. We were anxious for all of our friends to see our new baby. But, not knowing much about babies, Blaine had colic a lot and one night was really crying hard and the lady that lived there came out to help me. She said, "he's got colic. Here, give him a few drops of this paregoric in a little warm water and he'll soon be fast asleep." So I began doing that and he was sure a good baby and we loved him dearly and Daddy Woodbury gave him his blessing and named him in Hinckley. I began taking him to Relief Society and show him off. We really loved it there and were doing great and the Relief Society Hall there have pictures of past Presidents and I am there.
Somehow we decided to leave there and I can't remember why, but we did and I can't remember what we did with our lovely tent house, but we went to Mother's and Horald and my brother Francis went to McGill, Nevada to get a job. I have a picture of them standing by our model "T" Ford we bought new in Lender for $500 ready to leave. I stayed at mother's 'till he could he could get a place to live. He went to the bank to borrow some money but he didn't have any security, but the banker said, "Didn't I see you with a group of Boy Scouts? Dad said "yes, I’m a Scout Leader. But what's that got to do with borrowing money?" The banker said, "Well, that's good enough for me. Any man that gives his time to train boys, will pay his bills", and he loaned him the money. It was hard to find a house in McGill but he finally did and sent for us to come. We didn't have one right in town but in Townsight, I think they called it. Bro. Earl was the chorister there and as soon as he found out I could play the organ and piano he made good use of my talent. He asked me to be his organist. I was tickled to do it and would play for church and after church a bunch would stay and I’d play and we'd sing all kinds of songs. We sure enjoyed it. Farol and Irene were born while we lived there-at home Dr. Hovey was the Dr. there and a real good Dr. and would come night or day. Farol was born 31 Mar. 1925 and Irene was born 29 July 1926. Horald worked nights and when I felt the pains start he had just got in bed so I fixed food and took Blaine and Farol and we went to the park to watch the big gold fish in the pond and they could run and play. When we got home he was awake and glad to see us back home safe and sound. We called Dr. Hovey and he came in the night and Irene was born, a beautiful red headed daughter. Only not as red as Farol's. Both of them had beautiful red hair and I was tickled with my 3 red headed children and so was Horald as I and all others knew him by. Never heard of "Jim" then on all records "Horald" or "Harold". We lived there about three years and were happy there. A lot of fine friends and the kids growing.
It was the Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. He worked for. His folks had lived in McGill. They had a slag dump and a small board across the hot slag stream for the men to run across on to work. I missed Blaine one day and soon his Dad came home and I said, "where's Blaine?" He was gone in a minute, after saying, "I don't know." Soon he was back, carrying Blaine in his arms. His Dad had left him in the car, but he hadn't stayed there. He'd crossed that narrow bridge over to where the men were working and had fun with them. Boy, we sure thanked the Lord for his protecting care over the little guy, and that he was back home safe and sound.
Dad had worked long enough on the railroad in Lender to get a pass to go anywhere. He began thinking about that and decided he wanted to go to California free, while he could. So we pulled up roots there and he took us home to mothers, me and my 3 little redheads. He got several different jobs there, one at a dairy, one at an experimental citrus grove, but soon sent us money to come. I had been helping my father collect some of the bills people owed him from the store but not much good accomplished. I was glad we were finally going to sunny California where flowers were everywhere and always lovely. So I got berths for us on the train so the kids would be able to sleep. I kept looking out the window to see a beautiful country, but I couldn't tell when we got to California everything was so barren and dead. I finally asked the conductor when we'd be in California. He said we'd been in California an hour or so. I said "man, it's ugly. I thought it would be all beautiful flowers." He told me this is the bad part of the year. Hasn't rained for a long time. Everything has dried up. Nothing grows now unless it's watered. It will be beautiful when we get where they water and it really was beautiful. We arrived there safe and sound and Horald and his buddy were there to meet us. But all I heard from then on was Jim or Jimmy as he hadn't told a soul his name was Horald. Instead he had told them he was Jim Lee and that's what he went by from then on, only from his brothers and sisters. Horald or Hod for a nickname. I was glad to get there safe and sound. He had found a house in a cannery court. 4 apartments to a building. Huge beefsteak tomatoes growing right there-great big field of them--done picking--have all we want-free--my home made bread and we made our own mayonnaise-and a big field with lots of lovely big heads of lettuce-all we want free-boy--we about lived on lettuce and tomato sandwiches- on home made bread-great big slices--boy, were they ever good and luscious--would love one right now.
About the first time I went shopping and got a lot of food-I left the kids a minute to run over to the neighbors--and came back to find everything open that they could and piled in a heap on the floor and the three of them jumping up and down in them, beans, sugar, rice, flour, salt, anything they could get open. Were they ever having fun. But not for long, after I got home they each got a good licking and promised not to do that again and they never did. We didn't stay there very long though but found a place for sale in north Hollywood and wanted to buy it so we did. It was a new stucco house and we loved it. We got furniture for it and a piano and I was asked to be primary organist and accepted.
The ward was Lankershim Ward and we were very active there. We met the Pratt family, Thon or Mathoni, called Thon. The ward was getting a new bishopric- Thon Pratt and he asked Dad to be his 2nd counselor and he accepted and was ordained a High Priest for that, by Arthur H. Sconberg Feb.1929 and sustained Sunday, Feb. 24, 1929 with Mathoni M. Pratt as Bishop and Richard L. Maxwell and James H. Lee as counselors and Heber W. Norton as ward clerk--from Hollywood Stake reports of Mar. 31, 1929. They weren't in very long and were honorably released at a Stake Conference, on Oct. 27, 1929 as Thon believed in plural marriage and as soon as it was found out they were soon released. Hollywood stake reports Dec. 31 1929 but it was neat him being in that long and he did a lot of good and everybody loved him and he had a lot of good influence on people.
Dad was always close to boys and was in scouting wherever we lived and he was there, too. We had a truck and he'd take them camping and the boys all loved him. They'd get all their non-Mormon friends to come too, and they all loved Dad. We used to entertain, I called it. We'd invite somebody over for dinner and I'd have the table all set lovely long before they came and have candles to eat by and my 3 little redheads in bed early. It was fun. I had lovely dishes and silverware and our friends were impressed, too and loved to come.
It was here we met Orena Verrit Grant. She taught the genealogy class and said, you kids ought to be doing your genealogy. Why don't you take my class and I'll help you get started. She was the stake researcher and went into the Genealogy Library in L.A. all the time. She really helped me find a lot of people I needed to find and taught me how to find and trace and paint those lovely coats of arms I have in both of our books of remembrance. Hers was 5 or 6 inches thick and very hard to handle. Her husband was nephew to Pres. Heber J. Grant. I worked a year on Woodbury names and only found one name that needed their work done. I felt like my time had been wasted but Uncle Frank said “Don’t feel bad. If you worked a whole year and just save one person, it would be worth it.”
Orena or Mom as we called her, called us her kids and treated us like it. She really took us under her wing and we all loved her and loved to visit them. We'd spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with them every year. It was great to have someone so close. She really helped us a lot. I forgot about the Pratt's garden. They lived out in the country and always had a large garden. We loved to go visit them. Of course they always shared it with us and that made us happy. It seemed they were always out working in it.
While we were living in our new home was when Ruby was born. She was born in the L.A. Co. Hospital and I had a hard time of it. Being such a big hospital and first time I'd been in one, I wouldn't let on how bad I was and was in there 48 hrs when the same Dr. came in that had admitted me and found me out in the hall on a stretcher he hit the ceiling. They wheeled me in a huge spotlighted room with lots of interns and nurses and soon had that little blackheaded girlie here. One blackheaded girlie and three beautiful red heads. We were sure tickled that she arrived here safe on Jan. 25, 1929, at 9 am and weighed 9 lbs. and 9 oz. We always thought she was born, in all my records on Jan. 29 but when they needed birth certificates, and got hers from Sacramento, it said Jan. 25, so we do accept that as true after all these years and are glad to know it is right. Our three little redheads adored her and wanted to hold her when she was awake. She was a real good baby, and it was fun to have her to show off and play with.
Dad really adored all our kids and was proud of all our family and still is. I mentioned Dad always worked with scouts and he did in North Hollywood, too. When we got ready to move the boys came to help and they packed those boxed out faster than we could get them ready. They were really eager beavers and anxious to help.
Just found my book, "our family through the years, in wards we lived in". Jim's records were in Sugarville, and mine were in Hinckley. He was always called "Harold" in most of the records-people just couldn't think "Horald". He was received to lender from Sugarville on the 18th of February 1923. I was received from Hinckley to lender on the 4th of march 1923. No record on McGill. But Farol was born there in 1925, and Irene in 1926, and we were received from McGill to North Hollywood on August 8, 1928. To Mar Vista from North Hollywood on January 29, 1931. Then to the Northwestern States Mission from Mar Vista on January 19, 1936. On Coos Bay's mile long bridge, Oregon-to Baldwin Park from Northwestern States Mission on December 26, 1937 last I could find. We belonged while we moved around a lot in Venice all that time, in Barstow, all those little places out in the country, Milehigh City, riding motorcycle, learned lots of songs. Barstow, where Jennie was born, Dad helped build the overpass, and she was born before the doctor got there, March 11, 1930, with only Dad and Neva Bell there. I said, " I won't have that baby without ether." Dad said, "my little sweetheart, you haven't got a choice. Here she comes now." And sure enough here she came popping out into the world. A beautiful red headed girl - four red heads out of five children. And we were so tickled to have her here, and thankful to the Lord for her safe delivery . Dad and Neva had her all cleaned up before the doctor got there, and he was surprised when he came in and found the baby already here without him. Jennie was a great addition to the family. Five children now, Zion is growing. She has always been so talented-as all our children are- and we loved her so much, and the kids made a big fuss over her.
From then on Dad and Al worked together a lot, and we moved near Venice near the Bell family. Barstow is where we met them. That's where we were called on our 1st mission. In Hollywood Stake, we had cottage meetings in our home. I don't know how long we were on our first mission, but we had several cottage meetings there. Pres. Hinckley was called to be the California Mission President, and as soon as we found out about it we went to see him. He was happy to see us. I'd known him so long. He lived in Hinckley when we moved there in 1918, and was Deseret Stake President, and had ordained Dad an Elder, and had called me to be Relief Society President. When he asked us what we are doing in the church, and we told him, he said, "let's see, you have several small children, don't you ?" We told him we do. He said, " you should be looking after your children at night instead of missionary work." So we were released, we felt bad about it, but he was right, we did need to look after our children at night.
We had lots of fun in Venice. We could go on the street car to the beach, and take hobby classes and learn to make puppets and things and it was fun. Then Dad got a job for Johnny Weismuller helping him build his sets at MGM Studio in Culver City, and we got a place to live at Palms near there. We had lots of fun there as there was a big skating rink near there, and we often went skating all together. It was neat having Dad work for Tarzan- whenever we went to a Tarzan movie, Dad would sit on the edge of his seat just like the kids. They were such exciting movies swinging on vines to get where he wanted to go, and him so powerful and hear Tarzan call.
It was here Dad decided he wanted to build a house trailer so we'd have a place to sleep and eat and a cook stove and table and the front end was pointed and one steel bed on bottom and another above it to make 2 beds and seats along the sides and store stuff under them and storage in the front end. It was really exciting when we moved from one place to another to see people stare at us as it was about the first house trailer and Dad did a good job on it.
When it came time for Jim Jr. to be born, Dad took me into the county hospital, as I had been going to a county doctor. They did not have a bed for me so sent us back to Culver City to the "heart of screenland hospital" there and it was really lovely and we had a ball. He was the only baby there, and my room was right on the main floor with a whole plate glass front and on Sunday Dad brought all five of the kids down to see us and they brought Jim Jr. in special for that. He farmed the kids out to the neighbors while he was at work at the studio. James H. Lee Jr. was born December 31, 1932 so the kids were out of school right then for Christmas holidays and he was a real live doll for Christmas and a beautiful baby. The nurses really loved him and really spoiled him. Three boys born near New Year's Day. Ralph, born December 27, Jim born December 31, and Raymon, born January 3.
Then we moved to Venice and Dad worked on a retaining wall or two. We were back going to church again in the Mar Vista ward. Then Dad had a chance to go to Coos Bay, Oregon to work on a mile long bridge across the bay and he took it. When our Bishop heard about it he called us into his office. He tried to get us not to go. He said, "Brother Lee- I sure don't like to see you take your young family away from the church. I don't believe there is a branch of the church there." But we were determined to go so sold all our junk for a song and fixed up our little home made trailer house, which Jim had built at Palms and said goodbye to Southern California.
We had to go a thousand miles and only had a few days to get there but stopped and visited anything on the way we liked. It was straight up the coast from L.A. We stopped in San Francisco and visited the aquarium and the park. We stopped at the Sea Lion Caves and a place along the way where they had many curious forms of sea life, including a live octopus in a large glass tank. We enjoyed this all very much. When we arrived at North Bend, where the bridge was to be built, we found it to be very beautiful country. Very dense growth everywhere and many kinds of wild flowering shrubs, such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons and many other varieties of wild berries. We liked it very much and found a neat house close to the bay, built up high, so if the water ever came up, it would be safe.
When the first Sunday morning came, our landlord came to invite us to go to church. I said we were Mormons and a little bit particular what church we go to. He said, "well, that's fine. There is a fine branch here and they hold it just around the corner from here. They will have Sunday school this morning at 10." So we hurried and got ready and went up to Sunday school. We were a few minutes late and found they were trying to sing without any accompaniment or leader. It was a small branch with not many more there than we had in our family. They made us feel welcome and we volunteered to take over the playing and leading. We had lots of fun there and by being careful we saved $600 while there. I gathered lots of wild blackberries and canned.
Dad worked there as the master mechanic on the mile long bridge across the Coos Bay. We used to love to go to the ocean, when the tide was out, to see what we could find. I would get the live star fish and sea urchins and many other species that I have forgotten and pour boiling water over them and shape them. I made elephants, prehistoric monsters, fat ladies and many other things out of them. It was a lot of fun. I would shape the star fish over many different kinds of things to shape the animals and then use crab claws for the heads which looked very real and shells on pipe stem cleaners for the tails. I had quite a collection. This hobby was very interesting.
A family there taught us to do our own pictures. We had a postcard size camera and they taught me to develop the film then when it was dry to print the black and white pictures and we had lots of fun doing that. They also had goats and it was fun for the kids to hold the baby goats and they'd have goat butter, goat ice cream, goat meat, etc. After a year there, the job was done. The branch had a farewell party for us and gave us a pair of myrtlewood candle holders.
We decided we would take a few months and visit our folks and look for a farm. We had the $600 and our 8 cylinder Packard and our trailer house, so started out on our trip. We started out with the idea of having a good time and stopping along the way any place we wanted to. We went up the coast to Portland and visited the mission headquarters. We had to stop several times and one time went off and left Irene in the rest room. We had gone several miles before we discovered it when we stopped for lunch. Jim unhooked the trailer house and went back after her while I fixed the eats. She was running down the middle of the road crying her heart out. Believe me we never left any place again without being sure everyone was with us. We stopped at Twin Falls to wash a few clothes. We stopped at a ball park and had a lot of fun eating on the steps. We went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus at one town but it began raining and the tent leaked and the wind blew and they had to stop. So we got cheated out of that. We wanted to go and visit Yellowstone Park but decided to go on to Daddy Lee's instead, so have never made the visit.
We visited Daddy Lee a few days then went out to Myrtle's at Tooele and she kept the kids and the trailer house for a few days while we did some temple work. We also let the kids do some baptisms for the dead, 25 times each. Then we went down to Hinckley to visit the folks. We stayed there for a month and enjoyed it very much. We tried to find a place there but didn't have much money left and the place we looked at wouldn’t have been one we could have made much on. We tried to get it through the government but he discouraged us. We went out to McGill to visit May and Johnny and got a job there cutting timbers.
We lived in the mountains for a few weeks at a company camp while Jim and Blaine were cutting timbers. It was nice there with stoves, tables and playground equipment. We parked our trailer house right by a cold spring and built a cupboard in a tree for our dishes. We didn't get to town very often so had deer meat all the time as it was very plentiful. I canned about 25 qts. while there. I baked bread in a small oven built for oil stoves, placed over the stove there with a good fire in it. We loved it there.
One day we went to town and were getting gas and there was Erma and my folks there getting gas, too. It was sure lucky we had come to town right then or they would of never found us. We were happy to see them but in the excitement had gone off and left little Jimmie at the gas station. Blaine and Erma went back to get him. We had 6 kids by then and thought he was riding with her and she had thought he was riding with us. He was still waiting there for someone to come and get him. Mother had brought some chickens out so we hurried and cooked them and fixed dinner and when they got back it was ready. We ate under the trees by a the stream and had made root beer and kept it cold in the cold stream. We sang songs and Mother gave some humorous readings and Daddy played his harmonica and sang some funny songs. We had a nice time. They left late and got a room at a motel in town. Erma had come to visit them from California and they wanted to see us so came on out. When it was school time we moved to Steptoe and Jim was going to try to get on at the smelter. It got cold fast and we soon got all we wanted of it. The kids had to walk quite a ways to school and it was very unpleasant. We hadn't even thought of going back to California.
At this time Dad’s sister May and family lived in McGill and we visited them often. We were there for a few months and got a house so the kids could start school in 1936. Just as it began to snow, Dad got a letter from his Company, saying they would like him to work on a job for them in Oceanside and to come as soon as he could. Boy, were we ever happy and it didn't take us long to get out of there. We arrived in Oceanside on Sunday. We began looking for a house. The real estate men said there were none to be had. We began driving around and saw several signs "for rent." We stopped at one on the beach. I told Jim it was hopeless to even ask there but he said, "you never can tell." In a few minutes he came out beaming. The lady said, "if we have children we can rent it but if we don't we can't." She had turned down some people without children. As we had all our own bedding and dishes etc. We told her to take hers out as we knew the wear and tear on those things with children. The rent was only $20 a month. We were sure lucky and happy to get it.
The playground was just across the boardwalk and down a ways and we were right on the beach about a hundred yards from the ocean. We had a large glassed in front porch and we did love it there. There was a large glass bookcase there and I put all my shell animals in it. I spent a lot of time on the beach and gathered a lot of shells there. I took a long walk down the beach every good morning.
Blaine should have been in the seventh grade there but in North Bend I had received a note from the principal that his work wasn't hard enough to keep him occupied and he would like my permission to put him up a grade. So here he was in the eighth grade. We had bought him a clarinet in North Bend but here he decided he wanted to be in the accordion band so we traded his clarinet in on a small Hohner accordion we had for so many years. It cost $50. I soon found out I could play it, too. He took the lessons that came with it. We both played in the band. They all got along good in school. I spent many hours practicing on it in the glass porch.
Don and Mary came to see us for Christmas. It was miserable weather, raining all the time. The house wasn't built very good and the rain poured in around the windows. I had been going to an osteopath Dr. but when my time came and I knew Ralph was to be born soon she was down with the flu so Dad had to go to a phone booth and called the first Dr. he could get. We had Ruby Bell come down to help out. He was born about midnight Dec. 27, 1936. She had been married for some time but didn't have any children of her own and wanted to take Ralph home with her for a few weeks. We wouldn't let her do it even tho she said, "you have plenty of others and won't miss him." She felt bad about it and held it against Jim for a long time. But, when we visited her and she had her baby in her arms and Jim said, "you haven't had him very long, so you won't miss him if we take him with us." She said, "now, I know why you wouldn't let me take Ralph home with me. I don't hold it against you any more."
When spring came the rent went up to $20 a week so we had to find another place. The beach cottages were very much in demand for week ends in the summer. We found a larger house up town but still right across the street from a nice playground, for the same rent. The nearest church was in San Diego so we went there sometimes to Sunday School and took our lunch and spent the afternoon at the park and zoo. Ruby was baptized in San Diego, while we lived in Oceanside.
Blaine began scouting while here and they had a very good scout mother's organization. We decided to sell bars, gum, pop, etc. at the softball games. We started without a cent and took turns being in charge of it. The boys helped sell. That summer we cleared about $50 for them to use. The scout mother's put on a big swiss steak dinner and made quite a bit of money, too. In Oceanside they have a very unusual custom. Each year at graduation all the friends of the graduates gave them all large bouquets of flowers. After they are all seated on the platform, built like bleachers, the seventh graders bring the flowers in to each person. They are in large baskets and vases and even plants. Some of them were three or four feet high. When it is over the whole thing is a solid bank of flowers and faces. It was very thrilling to us to see Blaine graduate among the flowers from the eighth grade.
During the summer Blaine and I played accordions in an accordion band on the 4th of July on a beautiful float covered with gladiolas and green stuff. It was really beautiful. We were all dressed in white. There was a wagon or truck load of us. We really loved it going down the street in Oceanside playing tunes. They raised lots of gladiolas in Oceanside, Calif.
When the job was finished there we moved to Morro Bay for a couple of weeks to a job, then we went back to L.A. but couldn't get a house, so we camped for a few weeks on the beach just above Santa Monica. It was a lot of fun. We had Ralph's crib on the beach and made beds down there but had our house trailer up on the roadside above the beach, have a picture of it there. Then we found a house in Santa Monica canyon and lived up there for a little while. We had to haul our water. Jim and Al went to Colorado for a while and left us there. I got awfully sick and Neva happened to come to visit us and said, "you're coming home with me so I can take care of you and get you better." I was sure thankful for a good friend. So we moved with her to Venice
The children had started school in Morro Bay, and gone a while in the canyon to a one room school house. Blaine had to ride a long ways on a bus. Jennie was put ahead a half year here as she was smarter than the others. Then they went to school at Venice for awhile. Neva had been hunting a small ranch for a long time and one day left saying she had an idea where she could get one. When she came back she was very happy as she had made a down payment on about an acre ranch with an old house on it. We were all happy as she had a cow, and chickens and rabbits and loved to grow stuff. So in a few days we all packed our stuff and headed East for El Monte. We had our 8 passenger Packard and our house trailer and she had 2 or 3 trailer loads and a big truck load and her cow and rabbits and chickens and cats and dogs and me with my 7 children and her with her four children and no men folks. We arrived there o.k. But the neighbors got a big kick out of it as we afterward found out. Anyway we got along alright until Jim and Al returned from Colorado.
Jim had saved a little money so we immediately went looking for a place to buy. We found a place we liked quite well a little East in Baldwin Park. It was a commercial acre, 100 by 300 ft. with orange trees and a large English walnut tree and a tall avocado tree and a mulberry arbor in the front. We signed the papers and made a down payment on it on our wedding anniversary Nov. 16, 1937. Our poor children had already been to 4 different schools that fall and we were all happy with the thought that moving was over. We went to church and found they had a lovely new chapel. They had an electric organ and when Brother Gish found out I could play the organ they asked me to be organist for the choir and they used the piano, too. Brother Gish often had me play for him to sing and Bishop Dana would ask me to play an organ solo between speakers if they didn't have a musical number already. I also played for the funerals as they were usually held in the church. I used to go up every week and practice an hour or so on the organ. I loved to play it. Sometimes we'd go to Gishes and sing a lot of different songs and practice. They said I could make that organ talk.
We liked it at Baldwin Park but Jim had to work away from home most of the time. We irrigated thru large cement pipe systems and not thru a hose. We could irrigate the whole place in about an hour. I planted a nice garden in all the empty spaces. We could raise anything. I decided to get a couple of goats so we'd have our own milk but we didn't like it. Then I got a chance to buy rabbits and got 50 does and hutches. It was a lot of work though and I doubt if I ever made as much as it was worth.
The girls could sing harmony and learned quite a few songs and Jim would come home weekends and we'd have nice times singing and playing the accordion and guitar. We really enjoyed that and loved to be altogether.
The scout troop was very active there and their leader Brother Johnson was trying to go ahead with the boys. They all had their bandeloes and each court of honor would receive one or more honor badges. Then we (the mothers) would give them a big feed, at the park if it was nice weather, or in the kitchen, all they could eat. Noodle feed or hot dogs and ice cream or other food equally as good. That helped keep them working. The district had a flag made and the troop who had the most parents present would get the flag to display in their scout den, 'till next time. So almost every parent would try and come. They were held the same night as M.I.A. and we could go to the opening exercises first. They did every thing they could to keep the boys interested. The whole ward was very proud and happy when every boy and their leader became Eagle Scouts on Dec.6,1940. They sure got a big feed that night of all the hotdogs and watermelon they could eat. Farol's future husband, Art Freeman, was also in the troop and became an eagle scout the same night, although he didn't belong to the church. The ward had been divided and Monrovia was a new ward. I went over with Brother Gish to accompany him to sing. They invited me and Jim to come to their ward reunion and entertain them and they would give our family all the hot dogs and trimmings, etc. we could eat. It was fun for us all to have all the hot dogs etc. We could eat and we really had a good time entertaining them. They held it at the park. I played the accordion and Dad played the guitar and we sang lots of songs, as we knew about 15 songs at that time and we really loved to sing. We had learned a lot of them riding our motorcycle around the hills when we lived at Mile High City, play ground of the movie and radio stars.
There was a big opportunity came up about then to make a lot of money. We thought it was a grand chance. So, Jim went into LA and signed up to go to Guam to help build it up for the Gov. About a month after that, he had a feeling not to go so went in and told them. It was pretty hard to do, but he'd had the hunch and thought he'd better heed it. Then Dec. 9, 1941 came Pearl Harbor and the Japs took all the men on Guam captive and they were "prisoners of war" for some time. We were sure thankful that he had heeded the warning. Dad was worried all the time about us living on the coast so when his co. had a job in Utah, at Provo, to help build Geneva steel plant, we decided we would move to Utah. Theron Webster and Jim had been buddies for a long time, working on the same jobs and living near each other, together with George Echols. Theron and Lillian wanted to move to Utah, too. So, we all got ready to leave. About the time we were ready, she got a throat infection and the Dr. said she'd have to stay there till she was well. So we waited, so we could come together.
We spent a couple of nice days with Farol and Art who were married and took pictures. Helen was about 2 and Raymon was just 3 mo. old and she knew she would miss them as well as us. Jim had built a flatbed trailer, 4 wheeled, to haul our fruit and furniture, etc., and we brought Blaine's little willys to pull it. Blaine got Bill Everett to come along and help drive an outfit. Webb had three outfits and we had two. We finally got under way on Apr. 1, 1942. It was quite a caravan. We didn't make very good time as with so many old tires on so many wheels we had quite a bit of tire trouble. One or another of the outfits was constantly having trouble. We were riding in the house trailer and Raymon was asleep on the top bed. He woke up and crawled over to the edge and rolled off and began to scream. I got Jim stopped and we parked all the caravan and we took one car and took him to town to a hospital for an examination. The Dr. said he had broken his collar bone. The Dr. taped his whole chest up with adhesive tape. He thought that would hold it so it would knit back together. But it didn't.
When we got to the Geneva Steele Plant, they said they were not ready for them so we rented a place for me and Lillian and our families to live on the ground floor with another family living in the basement, in a house in Pleasant Grove and Dad and Theron got a job in Tooele for a month. It was a nice arrangement. They had 4 children and we had 7 children. We got along great but poor little Raymon screamed night and day, whenever he'd move. He was really suffering a lot. Lillian had a referral to a Dr. in Provo to take Lorraine for her knee and suggested I bring Ray along to see why he was screaming so much. So I did and when he put him under the fluoroscope, his collar bone had not knit together one bit. Whenever the ends touched it hurt so much he was constantly screaming. He made a "T" splint for his back across his shoulders and bandaged it all up so it held it in place and he was like a new baby. He got along fine after that.
When Jim and Theron got back from their job in Tooele, they had saved a little money and we both started looking for a place to buy. They found a wooded area in the south part of American Fork with a small house on it. They had enough wood on their place to have it made into lumber and built a lovely home on the land. They were really excited about that and still live there. Now they have a trailer house park on their property and their kids live not too far away. We wanted a farm and bought one from old Dr. Noyes for $3000 and Dad and Theron soon went to work at the Geneva Steel Plant. It was in Highland, American Fork and Fred's folks (Ruby’s husband) had it leased that year. It was a 45 acre farm. We had it paid for in 3 years. It had a small house on it but we built a nice kitchen across the back, which added a lot to it, with windows clear along the back and side with cute curtains at the windows and put water and a water heater and a shower in the house and sink etc. It had an outside hand pump when we bought it.
The Myers family lived east of us. They were raising turkeys every year and doing good at it, so we decided we'd like to try that, too. Dad built a long cinder block turkey coop and we got all the equipment we needed to raise 1000 baby turkeys. Mrs. Myers helped us all she could and we got started. It was fun to take care of those cute babies. As they got bigger it was a lot of work. But with all our family to help it was easier. Dad fixed a tank to haul water in from the canyon and built a large shelter for them to get under when it was hot. Some of them got really huge. Some got their leg broke so we'd have to eat them. After the harvest was over and we went to settle up, we made a check out to the bank in Pleasant Grove, where we'd borrowed the money, for $7500. That was pretty good. But we didn't do so good the second year so didn't try it again.
Then we decided on a grade A dairy. Dad built a dairy barn and got a $400 milk cooler. His milk was always the cleanest and best milk on the route. We raised lots of hay. We planted about 50 Elberta peach trees and a few rows of everbearing strawberries, those huge knarled luscious ones. I'd love some right now. Sharon and Rex were born while we lived there in the American Fork hospital.
* (Jennie Lee's history ends here. The remainder of this history is from the memory of Jennie May Lee Adam written 26 January 1999). That 40 acres is now a thriving subdivision with a convenience store and restaurant on that north-east corner across from the Kroger's Grocery on the other side.
Ruby married Fred L. Buhler June 2, 1947, while we were living there, and then the family moved to Emmett Idaho. From there I went 6 months to college at BYU and Dad worked in Alaska for a time. My mother and younger brothers worked the farm in Idaho while Dad was in Alaska. I met my husband John Brydon Adam there in 1948. Our brother Blaine died as a result of a truck accident and John knew the George Echols family in California that was to take over Blaine's homestead. We moved to Loyola Corners California, and lived with his parents while we were building our home in Cupertino where John finished his schooling at Heald Engineering college and started work at Fiberglas plant in San Jose.
Dad and mother relocated to Kearns, Utah and lived there a number of years. While in Kearns Jennie organized an effort to send clothes and toys to the needy orphans in Korea where Jim Jr. was in the military there in 1956. During this time she sent over 40,000 pounds of clothing and food. She sold greeting cards and other things to raise money to help build a chapel in a village near the base. Later when Rex served a mission in Korea she again gathered tons of needed clothes and food and sent by way of the army aircraft. In September 18, 1958 she received the certificate of appreciation from the United States Army for her patriotic civilian Service. They later bought the property at 812 W. 2nd South which today has been torn down for a freeway approach. Father and Mother served a mission to Florida from 1973-1974. Our father, James Horald Lee passed away from cancer in 1976 and Mother passed away September 8, 1998 and the family gathered to say good-bye. She now is with our Dad after being in a care center in a wheel chair for 3 years. She performed much genealogy research and collections while she was alive. There is much more to her life story but that is all that I will give here at this time.