Sunday, April 14, 2013

How Harry Met Doris

This account is taken from Harry Hicks' life story. Very little has been edited from its original content.

Alvin danced with Bonny and I of coarse danced once with Bonny, then I retired to the back of the hall where the stag line always built up. And was talking to the boys about the girls and one thing and another, telling funny stories and getting about ready to pop the question "Any one care for a drink?"

When I noticed Wilford Hogan, that Mormon sucker, coming across the floor with a beautiful little Blonde. He had his mouth twisted up in a supposed to be drunken lear and walking in a supposed to be drunken swagger. I could tell he was trying to play a big shot with me. And he sneeringly introduced me to the Beautiful little Blonde. Dorishh Brown, this ishhh my old buddy Harry H H HIckshhh, like a drunken slur. I gave
him one look and I seen no more of him as I gazed on the Little Blonde, he fell out of my gaze.
She said "you’re the hardest guy to catch up with. I've been hunting you for three weeks and trying to get an introduction to you. I'm sure pleased that I finally caught up with you and got someone to introduce us". I stammered and stuttered "I'm very happy to know you Miss Brown, and would you care to dance?" I knew if I could get her to dance that was my best solution. I thought of what I had learned from Farnsworth "Try to win a fight talking and you'll lose."

Besides I wanted to hold her close and pretend. You see, the other girls was no glamor for me because I couldn't pretend. And then I wanted a chance to gain my composure and give my face and neck a chance to come back to the original color. She told me she was born on the last of September and those people born under the September 30, Libra sign was talkers and they may blurt out anything. I was glad she told me that, for she kept up a steady stream of language. I think she knew how hard it was for me to speak.

She told me how the family had come to the country just like pioneers (in this day and age). The whole family with teams and covered wagons, and the boys driving the horses and mules and 4-5 cattle along behind. While Ma Brown and Curt and Doris, Lola and Louise and Chuck, the baby, came on ahead in a Model T Ford and camped up on the bar by Jessy Creek, because they knew the Parmenters.

"Do you know Ralph and Frank Parmenter?" I told her yes, they are the only Mormon friends I have. "Now you have three" she said "because you forgot to count me and if you count my Mother, you'll have four." I said "I don't know your Mother." "Well, she knows you - because I've told her about you. Told her I was going to marry you–so there."

Well, if that is so you will have to not be scared of me because no one that I like is scared of me, because I will not hurt any-body I like. We finished the dance talking and joking happily and I lost my fear of her. After this dance, there's something I have to do, so I'll leave you for a little while. "What are you going to do? Can't I go with you?"
I said "No, I'll be right back, I'm going to get rid of some Seagrams and feed Hogans' goat some Sloe Gin." "What's that, what's that." she cried after me.

Well, I caught Wilford Hogan on the way out to the car of Vernons and I said to
Wilford Hogan. "Since you are such a nice boy to introduce to that, what's her name girl, I'm gonna give you a bottle of wine. It's called Slow Gin. You gotta drink a lot because it is slow to take hold. I figured since you are drinking anyhow, it won't be
noticible the way you can hold your licker."

So I gave the fifth of Sloe Gin to Hogan, and taking the Seagrams out of my pocket and passed it to Alvin and told him I didn't want it. I was going to set in the car all evening with a girl, and when he wanted the car, we would go home.

Then I went back to see if the Beautiful Blonde Doris was just teasing me or not.
She was waiting for me and consented to go out and set in the car and get acquainted.
Just st that time the band played, "The Waltz you Saved for Me." We danced it holding each other closely. Then, I loved her and remembered my prayer. And as we went out of the door arm in arm, I saw Wilford Hogan swilling that Sloe Gin like it was going out of style. I said to myself, I hate to have your head in the morning. That became our dance ever after.

We sat in the car until about 1 or 2.00 and when Alvin came out to take Bonny home, we got out and I walked her home, after having a hamburger, about all I could afford. We talked all evening about horses and dogs and cattle. She was 1 of a family of 8 and a cow-punchers girl. She told me about the Bull Pastures over in Wyoming and her Father and Mother and especially how proud she was to be a good Mormon. And I was to be a pretty good Mormon too, but it was to take 50 years to do it. The conversation didn't lag and to this day it never has.

I guess you can say we had a usual courtship of two people very much in love.
The thrill of the first kiss, it has never worn off. The first time I accidentally brushed my hand against her breast, and many loving tenderness that was to be ours through the years.

Well we met on Thanksgiving, had our first date on Christmas. When I was to meet her Mother and Father, she said "This is the man I'm going to marry", and that’s before we ever talked about marriage since the first time she spoke of it. Her mother, Mrs. Brown, was making carrot pudding for Christmas dinner, and insisted that I take a bite. It was an old family favorite, not unlike plum pudding. I have since learned to like it very much, and my wife carries on the tradition. Although some sweeter than that pudding of Ma Brown's. She treated me very reserved and quiet, and I was mannerly and polite. She gave me a taste of that pudding, although it was not quite sweet enough for me, I said it was very good.

The house had a very peaceful atmosphere. Just the Mother, my girl, and the baby on the floor. But she kept up a very interesting conversation about the family and their likes and dislikes. I could tell that she worshipped her father. As she had a father image of him ever after. It seems that her father was up to the timber getting a load of wood, and they were expecting him back at any time. It was early in the evening when he finally came in, and she immediately threw herself in her father's arms and he was very boisterous and began to tease her and play, like fathers play with their daughters, fun but reserved too. I expect she was showing off for my benefit.

Finally, her brothers, Scott, Jim, Larry and Dale came in. After they all but Dale took a turn at teasing her or pinching her I noticed they were all a quite loving family, and didn't care who knew it. But I noticed the boys all reserved the dignity of their sister, although their teasing seemed to anger her, I knew it was all put on. Then she introduced me to her father as Boone Brown. "His name is really

Achillies, but we call him Chill or Boone." It seems he had earned the name of Boone, because the family thought of him as a Frontiersman. Then she introduced me to her other brothers, Scott, Jim, Larry and the small one about 8 or 9 years old. Chill said “Now, to go with my daughter, you got to whip me or Scott with the boxing gloves, and Jim immediately brought a pair out to me. It seemed his way of getting acquainted.

This pleased me to no end, as I was proud of my ability and was only happy to show her. I grinned and laughed all over to scare them and even boxed a few steps and flicked my nose like boxers do. I chose Scott as they knew I would, because it would not do to take a chance on making a fool of her Dad. And I knew she would only make fun of Scott. Scott was a husky boy, just a little shorter than I, about the same weight and quite a harmful looking gent. With a slight overbite that made him look like a bull dog. I was laughing and grinning and acting as though I was anxious to get the gloves on, like I was a little punchy. “I’ll fight Scott, I'll fight Scott" I said. And the other boys was helping Scott get the gloves on.

Grinning all the time, like the cat that got the cream, I knew they were thinking, “we’ll show this feller how we grow em over in Wyoming". Well, we started in, I a sparring around the floor a little to let him set the pace. I always let the other man set the pace, so I'll know how hard to hit. I never hit any-one as hard as I can hit. Scott began like he was going to finish me up quick, swinging as hard as he could. That is the easiest kind of fighter, I could not take the same procedure, as if I did, I would down him in one flurry. So I decided to keep him pushed off and let him hit nothing but arms and elbows, which he did.

I speared him with an easy left-left once in a while, to spur him on and as I expected, he soon tired and set into swinging the harder and harder. Then I made him furious by stepping by his right side when he would miss me on the inside by a big hay maker right. And stepping behind him, turning at the same time, I would tap him on the shoulder, or the back of the head. And say “Here I am". Well, he never laid a glove on me. I used to do that often in camp where I would meet all comers every eve. I could duck inside of it. If I could see that I was going to take a blow and if I could see it was going to be a hard one. I would closen up to the blow, so it was not at the farthest reach when it hit me. This will ruin the effect of the blow.

I could be quite a clever boxer for a short time, but I would soon get disgusted with the dancing and toe work and pecking at someone like a ballet dancer. Because it was more to my liking to be a fighter and be forceful. I would make feints or back off, and was up to something to get an opponent to set a pattern, then bingo- I'd suddenly break that pattern.

I invented what they used to call Harry's Corkscrew. I throw that 4-5 times, it would do no harm to any one, then I would start another one, but I'd let my arm fall to my side, and bring a hard upper cut to their Solar Plexus, or right near under the heart. I learned how to throw an effective punch and every punch I threw, you could peg a name on it, and it was effective.

The boy's growing up do not learn to fight any-more. I've seen several so called fights, by I'd say about 20 year olds. They run in and slap at each other like girls. I swear, gawd, it makes me want to throw up. When finally one of the boys hit the other one, he started to cry and said I didn't mean it, honest I didn't mean to hit you. I ran back inside the shop I was cleaning and couldn't believe my eyes.

My Dad was considered a tough fighting man and I whipped him easily at 19, and he never even could hit me. So he ran in and got the .06-30.06 and was going to shoot me. Mama and I took the gun away from him. I felt if the boys fight like that, I must be a holy terror, even if I am 58. I will not linger on that any longer,

After Doris played with the family for some time, we went on about 3 blocks up the street and one block over and I introduced Doris to my Mother and Father. They liked her, Dad didn't say much to her, just grinned and winked at her. But she liked my Mother very much. Immediately Mother was very entertaining and interesting. We eat a bite or two at our place and talked and visited with Mother and Mothers sister, Aunt Hatty, who her husband left when she got so crippled up with arthritis, she was no use to him.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Harriet Decker (Little) Hanks

Harriet Decker Hanks: Lower Right
Grandma Harriet Decker (Little) Hanks was the mother of George Edwin Little who was the father-in-law of Grandpa Ebenezer Brown. Ebenezer's wife, Clara Ann Little is the daughter of George and Grand daughter of Harriet and her first husband, Edwin Sobieski Little.

George Edwin was one of the last Pony Express riders in the Utah Territory. He was brought across the plains as a young boy by his mother, Harriet. Edwin, Harriet's first husband, died due to complications of pneumonia as a result of rescuing some Saints who were crossing the Mississippi River who fell through the ice during the Nauvoo exodus.

Read some of the exciting stories of Harriet which were recorded in her journal and other early Church writings and journals such as this from our Grand Father, Lorenzo Dow Young, brother of the prophet, Brigham Young.


In the Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 14, we find the diary and Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young, written by James A. Little. Lorenzo tells of leaving Nauvoo and crossing the Mississippi River the 8 day of Februarys 1846. "We drove out six miles to camp on Sugar Greek. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimbal came across on the 15th of February but returned to Nauvoo in the evening and came back the next day. Bishop Whitney and group did not come across the river until the 22 February. The weather had turned severly cold and they crossed on the ice. We are not sure of the day when Harriet and Edwin with their son George crossed the river with the saints, but it is told in Harriet's history that Edwin was helping his Uncle Brigham Young across with the wagons when the ice broke thru throwing him into the icy water. He gained shore in safety but was chilled and wet; Pneumonia resulted and caused his death.
Grandpa Lorenzo Dow Young

On page 74 of the book mentioned above, Lorenzo writes: "In our camp there were hundreds of women and children with no other shelter than a wagon cover or cloth tent, and the weather was extremely cold. On the 2nd of March we broke camp. I started with my little company of ten wagons, with the camp numbering over 400 wagons. About the same time the weather moderated and it rained until the mud made it almost impossible to travel. Sometimes it required five or six yoke of oxen to move one wagon. With much difficulty it would be taken perhaps a mile, then the team would return and bring up another, and another, performing a severe days labor and possibly travel four or five miles from the encampment of the previous night, with the women and children sitting cramped up in the wagons, for it was so very wet and muddy they could not walk. After a week of this kind of labor the camp arrived at Richardson's Point, fifty five miles from Nauvoo. It remained there a few days and several of the brethern found work, for which they received corn to sustain their teams. "
George Edwin Little

Here Lorenzo's nephew, Edwin Little was taken very sick with 'lung fever'. He was removed to a house about two miles from camp, but he continued to grow worse and died on the 18 March, 1846. He was buried in a cold damp grave in a grove of trees a few rods from the road. It was a melancholy day for his relatives and friends, and especially for his stricken wife, Harriet. He is buried at what is now Keosauqua, Iowa.

The saints stayed in Winter Quarters the winter of 1846.

When the time came for Brigham Young and the first Company to go to Salt Lake Valley the following women and children were permitted to go: Harriet's mother, wife of Lorenzo Dow Young, her seven year old son, Issac Perry Decker, Lorenzo's son Lorenzo Sobieski, 6 years old (he was by the first wife, Persis Goodall), Harriet's sister Clara, wife of Brigham Young, and Ellen Sanders, wife of Heber C. Kimball,

Harriet and her son Edwin came in the second company with Jedidah M. Grant as captain. Hunger, fear of the Indians, hardships of traveling on newly made roads and worry about her mother and others who had now arrived in Salt Lake City were few of the heart aches that Harriet endured.
It was hard for her, knowing when she arrived in the valley that she would have no husband to help her make a home.

They arrived in Salt Lake Valley the 2nd of October, 1847. Her little 3 year old son, George was equally as happy to see his grandmother Harriet Young and other relatives as was Harriet, She was happy to see her mother's new baby boy that had arrived 26 September, 1847. (He died 22 March, 1848. They named him Lorenzo Dow Jr.)

Their first home in the valley consisted of the wagon in which they had crossed the plains. Not only was food scarce and difficult to obtain, but so were cooking utensils and other necessities of life,
Harriet helped other women with their cooking and did sewing to help make a living.

George Edwin Little
Ten days after her arrival she was helping prepare dinner at the home of Captain Rosencrantz, for some of the Mormon Battalion, among the guests was a young man by the name of Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, who enjoyed the fine dinner.

We know the story of that first winter in the Fort and the hardships they endured. Also the dances and programs that gave them entertainment.

Harriet and Ephraim K. Hanks were married the 22 of September; 1848, by Brigham Young. The ceremony was performed at the home of Harriet's mother, Harriet Page Wheeler Decker and her husband Lorenzo Dow Young. This home was a small log house located where the historic Bee Hive house now stands.

Ephraim was a son of Benjamin and Martha Knowlton Hanks. Born 21 March, 1826 at Madison, Lake County, Ohio. He and his brother Sidney Alvarus joined the church in Nauvoo. Alvarus came with Brigham Young's company and Ephraim joined the Mormon Battalion and came to Salt Lake in 1847.

Ephraim took two other wives, Jane Maria Capener and Hannah Hardy in plural marriage. This was the 26 of March, 1856, a month after Harriet's fourth child was born. Hannah Hardy did not live with Ephraim but got a temple divorce, 20 May, 1856.

In October of 1856 we know the story, of the rescue of the Martin Hand Cart Co; Ephraim was one of the first to reach them and help them to Salt Lake Valley. He and Feramorze Little carried mail from Laramie Wyoming to Salt Lake, also to St. Joseph, Missouri many times.

Harriet's son, George Edwin rode the pony express for 16 months when he was only 15 and 16 years old. Ephraim had taught him to be fearless as well as to have faith in God.

Harriet and Ephraim had seven children, namely: Marcellus, Marcia Amelis, Otis Alvarus Harriet Page, Clara Vilate, Charles Decker and Perry Issac. They were all born in Salt Lake City.

Jane Capener and Ephraim also had seven Children. Ephraim married Thisbe Quilley Read 5 April, 1862 and they had 12 children. Harriet's last son, Perry Issac, by Ephraim, was born the 20 January 1863. We can pay honor to her for her courage and deep understanding in dealing with her problems of those pioneer days.
Grandma Clara Ann Little (Brown)

Ephraim took his wife Thisbe and family to Burrville, Sevier County, Utah in 1879 and later to Floral Ranch, near Fruita, Wayne County, Utah. He was a great man, with power to heal the sick. He was made a Patriarch, and enjoyed the spirit thereof. He and Thisbe are buried in Cainevllle, Wayne County, Utah. Their son Arthur married Mattie Taylor Little, daughter of Arthur and Mattie Little Hanks,

When we left Wayne County, Utah to live in Nampa, Idaho, we called to see my great grandmother Harriet in Salt Lake City. This was in September of 1916. Early in my life at Hadan, Fremont County, Idaho she made a little pink silk bag and a hankerchief for me. I still have them among my keep sakes. To me she was a very choice person.

My mother, Mattie Little Hanks writes the following: "As a child I always looked forward to spring for that brought my grandmother Harriet Little Hanks, to the Teton Valley in Idaho from Salt Lake City. She had homesteaded an 80 acre track of land adjoining our property. She had a cozy log cabin built on it and spent six months out of the year there. It was our responsibility to stay with grandmother every night. There were four of us children who took turns. We were always glad when it was our turn as grandmother always had something extra nice for us to eat and a nice soft bed to sleep in.

She was a very pretty woman, so neat and precise in her dress, always busy sewing, making things for us. I still have small bags and doll quilts she made over 70 years ago.

I cannot remember ever hearing her complain no matter how hard her trials were and she had many of them as she was left to support herself and children early in life. She was an excellent seamstress and cook. Every one seemed to enjoy her company as she was so interesting."

Grandmother Harriet was living with her daughter, Clara and John Felt at the time of her death, 30 May 1917 --- 155 No. Main, Salt Lake City, Utah. Their grandson Paul now living in Logan, Utah says he remembers seeing grandmother sitting in her little rocking chair, shawl around her shoulders and her beautiful white hair done high on her head. He remembers the morning he woke and found grandmother had died during the night. It was a shock to all of them.

"A quotation from her obituary sums up her story: "Grandmother Hanks was an ideal old lady, whom it was the greatest of pleasure to visit. She was like an exquisite cameo with her silver gray hair and keen black eyes which sparkled when she was animated. She always dressed in perfect good taste. Her great love for flowers and all of God's wonderful works, and her keen insight into human nature made her loved by all. She sent you away from her presence with an impulse to do better things, and with a feeling that life was beautiful and worthwhile. She died in Salt Lake City 30 May, 1917 at the age of 91. Knowing that she had fulfilled a worthy and noble mission here on earth we also know that her welcome on the other shore will be everlasting and eternal."

She is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake County, Utah.


Copy of Grandma Harriet Decker Hanks' Obituary

Harriet Decker Hanks ; Utah; Deseret Semi-Weekly News; Thursday May 31, 1917 Mrs. Harriet Decker Hanks, widow of Ephraim Hanks, died at the home of her daughters, Mrs. M. Hyde and Mrs. Clara Felt. on north Main street, at 6:20 a.m., Thursday, May 31.

Mrs. Hanks was the daughter of Isaac and Harriet Page Wheeler Decker. She was born March 13, 1826, in Phelps, Ontario county, New York. Her ancestors on her father's side were Holland-Dutch and her mother came from the old Puritan stock of New Elgland. They were sturdy God-fearing people, true to the type of colonizers from the old world.

At an early age in Mrs. Hanks' life her family moved from Ontario to Cattaraugus county in New York. The family consisted of four girls, two sons and the father and mother. Isaac Decker was a farmer, one of the old school, thorough and energetic. It was in Cattaraugus county the gospel reached them and they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When the subject of the sketch was nine years old she was baptized. The members of the Decker family became intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his family and in the years that followed Isaac Decker was the warm and stanch friend of Joseph Smith until the prophet and his brother were martyred.

Mrs. Hanks crossed the plains in 1847, arriving in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in October of that year. She was the widow at that time of Edwin S. Little and had one child. She was married in September, 1848, to Ephraim K. Hanks, a member of the "Mormon" Battalion, who had returned from California. He was a man of great courage and faith. Eleven children were the result of their union, three of whom survive the mother; they are Mrs. Marcia A. Hyde, Mrs. Clara V. Felt and Charles D. Hanks, all residents of Utah. She was the grandmother of 40 and had 120 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at the home of her granddaughter, Gertrude Felt Kimball, 238 A street, at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon, June 2.

Interment will be in the city cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Poetry and Thoughts from Famous Hicks'

The Fort

I love going out into my fort.

I can go out and watch TV

And I can Play with my friends

And jump on my tramp and

I can sleep outside in the winter

With only two blankets because

My fort is heated by a heater.

My fort is like a mini-house

And I live in it. I sometimes

Have to come in when I run

Out of cereal or mush or milk,

But I usually stay outside. I

Only go inside in the mornings

To get my hair and teeth done

And I occasionally go in to take

A shower and to play with my

Electrical things. I like playing

With electrical things and I love

To build things. My dad and I

Built the fort I’m telling you about.

It is 6 feet off the ground and it is

Special to me because my dad and

I built it together and a couple

Of my friends helped too. If you

Want to get close to your son,

Build a fort with him.

by Ben Hicks, 2007

Winter of 1958

Fighting the boys to get in the wood,
Mooching a drink whenever we could.
Freezing our feet in this awful cold.
Trying to turn our poor labor to gold.

Ogling the good looking girls on the street,
Matching dimes for coffee whenever we'd meet
My friend, is that a tear on your cheek?

Your are in Salmon, December is gone by,
Now where are the wages you earned last July?
Groceries are way up, labor is off,
The President missed a whole week of golf.

The Russians have blowed their dog house so high,
I'm afraid they have damaged our gold mine in the sky.
We goofed on our missile, money was too tight,
On account of the political quarrel and fight.

Some say it's the fault of the Republican clan.
They say it's the fault of the soft working man.
If the Lord will come to the aid of the beggar on the street,
He'll come to the aid of this country so great.

If we swallow our pride and banish our fears,
And have faith like our fathers of earlier years,
And forget all our pride in the strength of our hoard,
And establish our faith in the strength of the Lord.

by Harry Hicks

I Remember

I remember the cow cabin
Tho' long years have drifted by,
There's a change of time and a change of place,
Still, I'll remember till I die.

I was a care-free barefoot kid,
'Side a lone puncher's shack,
Piled four deep was a happy bunch,
On a patient cow pony's back.

How the bluebells abounded around the spring,
That bubbled there clear and cold,
And high on the banks pine sentinels stood.
But secrets never told.

Of hunting trips and pirate loot,
Adventures of most any kind.
Cowboys and Indians and anything dreamed,
In a contented childish mind.

You cold pass from the forest gloom
To sunny meadow spots,
There blue as the sky and sweet as a kiss,
Was a carpet of for-get-me-nots.

And me with the sunshine in my hair,
And my bare feet and faded jeans,
Wouldn't have traded for golden coin,
With foreign kings and queens.

by Doris Brown Hicks

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wyoming Cowboy: Achilles (Chill) Brown

Chill at Branding Time

Chill at the Ranch: Lovell, Wyoming

The Brown Family: Lovell, Wyoming

Myrtle's and Chill's Headstone

Birth: Aug. 31, 1891
Kane County
Utah, USA
Death: Jul. 20, 1940
Lemhi County
Idaho, USA

Son of Ebenezer Brown and Clara Ann Little

Married Myrtle Boice, 30 Nov 1911, Lovell, Big Horn, Wyoming 

Ebenezer Brown: Son of Joseph Gurnsey Brown

Ebenezer's and Clara Ann's Gravestone: Lovell, Wyoming
Ebenezer is the father of Achilles Brown who is our grandmother's (Doris) father.

Birth: Oct. 10, 1864
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Death: Nov. 5, 1942
Big Horn County
Wyoming, USA

Son of Joseph Gurnsey Brown and Harriet Maria Young

Married Clara Ann Little, 17 Oct 1888, St. George, Washington, Utah

Children - Feramorz Little Brown, Ruel Elgen Brown, George Little Brown, Eben Ray Brown, Achillis Brown, Basil Brown, Alma Taylor Brown

Married Rhoda Elizabeth Hamblin

Gravesites and Pictures: Odds and Ends

Cemetery where Liles are buried

Cemetery where Jacob and Harriet Hicks are Buried

Jacob Hicks Gravestone

Gravestone of Margaret Witt Lile

Robert Lyle Hicks

Robert Lyle Hicks gravestone

Sarah Angeline Parks

William Henry (Hand) Lile