Ephraim Tolman, son of Jaren Tolman and Mary Ann Briggs, was born November 19, 1882, their second son. His early life was spent in doing farm chores, cutting wood for the fire and seeing that there was plenty in the wood box to last until morning. His love for horses developed early in life. He once told me of a little black pony he had named “Taby” that he loved very much. Then there was “Roude” a chestnut, who was hard to catch but once he was in the harness you had no worries, and a gray mare named Bess, she was the horse you could depend on. Mama could use her on the buggy. She gave birth to two black colts, Goalie and Blackie, but Newel left the grain bin lid open one night and Blackie got into the grain so Papa never had his dream of a matched team. But old Goalie died in the harness. Papa said he didn’t want to go to heaven if he couldn’t have him.
Papa’s mother died when he was 12 years old and he was taken out of school to haul logs out of the mountains, work on the ice wagon and he also worked in the mines at Mercer for a time. But then he met my dear loving mother, Phebe Hogan who took the place of his lost mother and gave him a family of 10 children. I have heard him give her the credit for making a “man” of him. Their love for each other was beautiful, we as their children grew up in it.
Mama was born in South Bountiful, November 8, 1881, daughter of Eric Hogan and Profinda Hatch. She took to homemaking as she was taught early to do. The love of the gospel was mother’s daily diet. Grandpa Hogan’s Father and Mother came to America from Norway – “The Land of the Midnight Sun”. They heard the gospel in the East and crossed the plains with the early pioneers. Mama’s beautiful singing voice gained her favor wherever she went. She sang at church at all the dances and that is where she and Papa met — at a dance.
I would like to tell you how this all began. Yes it was about fifth years ago, Ephraim Tolman took Maggie Duncan to a dance at the Old Hales Hall, located next to the dummie tracks on 5th South and 2nd West. Oh, it’s not there now, there’s a welding industry there now. And Phebe Hogan went to the same dance with her brother, Don. During the course of the evening the four people exchanged dances, also girls, Phebe went home with Ephraim, Maggie went home with Don, and as you all know, it became a permanent arrangement for both couples.
It now became Ephraim’s duty to ask for Phebe’s hand. Yes boys, you used to have to ask a girl’s parents if you could have their daughter. Well, to go on, Ephraim accosted Grandma Hogan in the coal house and said — well whatever he said, she didn’t like it, she turned on her heel and switched back into the house, she never did give him an answer. You see, Phebe was the last girl home.
Anyway, they were married on a beautiful mid October day in the Salt Lake Temple in the year 1903 by John R. Windor. They were accompanied by Aunt Ella and Aunt Ellen and Grandpa Briggs — they also used his horse and surrey. Grandma stayed home and prepared a wedding supper.
Well, this story didn’t end here as do most love stories. As most of you know “Ephies” mother died when he was 12 years old, but he had four older sisters who spoiled him. Do you know that he never did tie his own tie? He would get ready to go to Church or wherever the case may be, and come to Mama with his tic in his hand, just like a little boy and if you could have seen them get ready today — you would have seen the same thing. Fifty years of tying one man’s tie, think of it girls!
The first child was born the following July 17, 1904. You know they say the first child lives in spite of its parents and I guess that was the case with Winnie, for she “howled” night and day. They used to take turns walking the floor with her.
Then 15 months later Newel H. was born, He only weighed 12 pounds and Sister Holbrook, the midwife said, “For heavens sake, put him down on the floor and take Winnie in bed with you.” He was sitting up in a horse collar when he was five months old and walked when he was nine months. That’s the Tolmans for you, never enough hours in the day or days in the year; always on the go, never know when they have done a day’s work.
Elmer Jaren arrived the 9th of May 1907. A joy and comfort, for he only stayed here a short time. He would go for wood as he had seen his brother and sister do and come to the front door with his little arms full of wood and say, “Door locked, Mama?” If so, he would go around to the other door. Papa always said he was too good for this earth. He died of pneumonia the 2nd of October 1909. We always spoke of him reverently as “Little Elmer.”
Next came an ugly duck of a girl born December 13, I908. She had no hair, not one characteristic to make her desirable. I was sick with the earache most of the time. After Mama had worked like a horse all day then I would bawl all night. They should have thrown me back. Instead they took me to an ear specialist for help. I also went to the Temple when I was a baby. You could take your baby to the Temple then and have them taken care of there while you went through a session. It took so long and I got so hungry that I was taken up to Mama in the last room. Mama said she could hear me coming all the way. I’m really glad they were my parents.
What a relief it must have been when my sister Edith was born. She was such a good baby, never crying for a thing, satisfied with anything she got. And besides she was a pretty little blue eyed doll, coming to town the 2nd of September, 1910.
Now let’s take a look back on the family. Winnie is six years old, she must have been some help to Mama by now, but Papa was working at the Bountiful Lumber as a teamster and trying to run a 10 acre truck farm too. While Mama had a real modern home in which to do her work, a well to draw water from and carry in the house, a wash board with which to do her washing, a little back house to trail kids to at least 40 times a day straw ticks for beds, to be refilled as often as the case may require, plus all the sewing for the family. By this time she had cut up her wedding dress to make clothing for babies. Not to forget the stove irons with which to do a family ironing also to burn your fingers and take to bed with you to keep your feet warm on cold winter nights.
The next to put in an appearance on the 8th of September 1912, was our brother Eric Hogan, named after his Grandfather. Newel looked at him and said, “he’s mine.” Now he would have a brother to play with, but Eric took too long to grow up. Mama always said he had a little throat, because he choked on nearly everything he ate. I can see Mama now, patting his back first, then finally resorting to shaking him by the heels to dislodge a bit of meat or something from his throat while we all stood by gasping for him, but he made it alright. Grandma Hogan saw to that, bless her memory. She was always on hand when a baby came to town and making twist cakes at Christmas time. I can see her sitting in the shade with her bonnet pushed back, snapping beans or shelling peas to help out or rocking back and forth. She loved a rocking chair and disliked old things. I remember one house cleaning time Mama got tired of moving the old organ around and lack of room for it – so Grandma saw to that too. She took the axe to it and oh, the fun we had playing with its insides.
Our Eva was born on November 27, 1915. She was always large for her age, but beautiful round face and dark curly hair made up for everything. Mama said she had hair like Aunt Ella’s. She had big braid, while mine and Edith’s were little skinny ones. There was a time when Winnie and I, Edith and Eva could and did wear each others clothes. My, we had a fighting good time. I wonder how Mama fiver put up with us.
Charley, as we called him, Charles Hogan, was named for Uncle Charl, Mama’s brother and was born March 4, 1918. Uncle Burt always said he was a white child. What little hair he had was white and his skin was as white as snow. Such a beautiful fat baby he was. And the expert tending he got from his sisters. We would take him for a ride in the buggy with strict instructions not to run with him. But such short memories we had, soon we were going at high speed and off came a wheel and poor Charley “bit the dust.” He had many close calls in life, but he lived to bring two beautiful daughters into the world before he was finally called home.
The 26th of May 1920 little Mary came, so little and sweet she was. Mama said she was the easiest birth of all. Staying here but nine short years, yet endearing herself to everyone. She was Papa’s shadow, running errands for everyone. She could go to the pasture for the horses and come in riding one and leading the other on the gallop.
By this time, Mama was running a first class bakery, mixing and baking a ton of flour a year. Oh, how she ever did all the work. And Papa with his nose on the grindstone to bring in the bacon. I think by now we must have had the Model T truck to take the garden stuff to town in, to go to Church in, and haul manure, for what have you.
But let me tell you this — we had a real home. Nothing interferred with family prayer and attending to Church. We walked before the Model T to Sunday School and stayed until after 2 o’clock Sacrament Meeting.
Winter evenings are a joy for me to look back on. Papa always read the Book of Mormon aloud while Mama took a breather in the little rocker with the baby on her arm. How she loved anyone to comb her then long black hair.
Well, there is yet one more little boy. Ephraim, born July 11, 1924. I guess there were just too many to love and spoil him. He was such a cute little boy, dark eyes and hair. He learned to walk barefooted and wore shoes only when compelled to.
Two years later, Newel left for his mission to the Central States. We took him to the train in the Model T. We all went along. What a picture we must have made trailing in the station.
Well, with Newel gone, that made me the “foreman” and it was my job to see that the work was done while Papa was to market. The eternal hoeing that had to be done by the four of us. Edith and I, Eva and Eric. We would count the rows to be hoed and divide them by four. Poor Eva because she was as big as we were, had to work just as hard. When things began to lag I would exercise my authority. I remember the last time I tried to use force on Eric. We went round and round in the young cantaloupe patch. I came away weaker and wiser. I never tried it again. Then to keep us going Papa would say, “If you’ll get so much done today you can take the truck and go to Becks Hot Springs. “…and then we could load up after we got home. Well, needless to say we all but turned the world over. Then every kid on the bench was notified by a runner.
We all suffered the pains of growing up, the fun of setting a trap to catch a husband or wife, as the case may be. While Newel was on his mission we tore down the old two story home and built the present home, using as much of the old one as possible. The partitions and lining were all made with the old bricks.
I would like to recall a few more interesting things that happened. Like the time Papa sent Newel out to kill the old cat that was killing the baby chicks. Sure, he’d take care of it, so he proceeds out to the brush patch bank of the barn with the big shot gun. “Bang,” we all heard it. He also buried her. well, she sure exercised her right to nina lives, because the job had to be done again. There she was, going across the barn yard, “as big as life.”
Then there was the time Eric got frightened by the hawk, that happened in a brush patch too.
I often think of the preparation the folks made for winter. The little celler full to the brim with fruit, potatoes and the trip to the ridge for apples, a wagon load of them. A 100 pound sack of sugar, a 5 gallon can of honey, a ton of flour and the barn full of hay. I was always glad when that. was in because it seemed so hard for the horses to inch the wagon up the barn hill. They would pull and we would have to push, then block the wheel, rest, then at it again. How I wished the barn was off that hill.
There is much more could be written of, the wonderful home the folks made for their children and I think of Edgar A. Guest’s poem, “It Takes A Heap O’ Living, In a House, to Make A Home.” We have to have the clouds to make a beautiful sunset. And I’m sure the folks have had their share. I only pray that we, their children may emulate their teachings and do as well for our children as they have done for us. To plant the truths of this wonderful Gospel in their lives, that one day we will have a Grand Reunion with our loved ones who have gone on, with an unbroken chain. God bless and help us all to live to this end.
(This story of the married life of Ephraim Tolman and Phebe Hogan was written by their daughter Lucile for the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, October 14, 1953.)
– Lucile T. Knighton –
Mother and Dad met at a dance in the old Hale’s Hall by the Bamburger tracks on 2nd West. She was with her brother, Don Hogan. Dad came with a girl from Centerville, Maggie Duncan and so they exchanged partners to go home, which turned out to be their life’s partners. Dad and Mother were married and moved into the red brick home on 13th East just a short way from Grandpa Tolman’s big house (where Aunt Jannie lived). Father was a wonderful fruit and vegetable farmer and worked hard to clear the ground of oak brush and sage so to have more land to work and plant fruit trees. Believe me, us kids had to pitch in and work hard but we had our fun too. As kids we always played ball after working all day then going swimming at Beck Springs. Yes, it was a blessed home.
Mother always at her job of homemaking and baking bread, cooking and sewing. I can smell that bread now. Singing…we would coax her to sing old songs until she would have to say, now it’s enough – go and play. In the winter time I can still hear Dad reading from the Book of Mormon and us kids trying to get our lessons. I’m glad I remembered so much of what he read aloud because he said he couldn’t get it very good to read to himself. So I’m glad I guess he had to read aloud. I, Winnie, was the first born, then Newel Hogan. Elmer and Lucile, Edith, Eric Hogan, Eva, Charles Hogan, Mary and Ephraim Junior. Sure we had our ups and downs but our parents always went with us to Church taking up a long bench and proud of it. I have seen Dad turn and go home again if we were late. So we always got there after that early. And I am very glad we learned that early in our lives.
We did have good devoted parents. Being the oldest I needed a job so I had a friend who worked in the telephone office and with her help I got a job before I graduated from High School at 17 which helped a lot in family needs.
I well remember a time when I was younger that I was helping Mother wash. A neighbor had given us a used hand washer and I was helping turn the wheel. Mother had just put Charles out to sleep in his carriage under a big tree and our big cat got in the carriage and must of laid on him, cutting off his breath. As she always checked on him she found his little face very black. She screamed for our Dad who was helping on his Dad’s farm a few fields from our house. He heard her voice and came running through the fields, laid his hands on him and gave him a blessing which restored his breathing and in a few minutes he was sleeping as though nothing had happened. This was a great testimony to me of the power of the Priesthood which our dear Father held and had exercised so wonderfully. There were many times I could relate of the marvelous power of the Priesthood exercised by my Father in our home.
And our darling Mother’s help. We hardly realize it until we get children of our own. Newel went on a mission and while he was away Father had paid for our home and property. So he decided to build a new home. He climbed on a ladder to the roof of our old house with a pick and started to wreck the old house; in the early spring. You have never seen kids move so quickly to get their clothes and beds out into the tents they had to live in while the house was torn down and building started. All of the kids cleaned bricks on their noon hour and after work for the contractors to use as inside bricks to build a strong house. This was nearly finished when Newel returned from his mission and a prouder family never lived. I, Winnie, got married to Homer Anderson in 1930. Edith was married first to George Knighton. Then Lucile and Lester Knighton, George’s brother, married next. Newel and Dora Call and Eric and June, we all married within a few years of each other. I can only imagine the love and also the lonesomeness of our parents to have so many of us at one time. Eva married Que Seely from Mt. Pleasant. Charles married Thelma Egan and Ephraim – Bonny Blair. Edith died in childbirth which was very sad to leave her husband and five little ones. Mary passed away in her 9th year of life. Also Charles passed away leaving a wife and two beautiful girls.
We were a very devoted family with parents who loved and cared so much for their family and did all they could to get them started to a good life. They always lived at the same place on 13th East.
– Winnie T. Anderson –
I remember back when Winnie and I used to help Mother water for the little trees that Dad planted from the well by drawing the water from the well in buckets and carrying it to the trees, while Dad was working at the lumber yard.
The feeding of the eight cows each morning and night was a drag. Milking the cow was quite a thing until I had to do it twice a day. Getting tomato plants from Ephraim Briggs and keeping them good until we could plant them out in the field and then putting caps over them so they would not freeze, so we could get them early for the market and sending them to market with I don’t remember who and getting 25 cents a lug. Now in the market they are 40 cents a pound.
I remember of helping Dad or hindering him when we dug the well across the street and of pouring cement back of the forms as we went down with the well. The building of the form for the shaft that went down the well to turn the pump.
I remember the old engine and after Dad quit the lumber yard and worked for himself. When he would go to town with the load he would tell me to start the engine and pump water so the reservoir would be full when he came home. If that engine would have ever kicked back while I was standing on the spoke to turn it over it would have sent me through the shed roof.
One day Dad went to town and told me to kill the pig and hang it up and clean it. I had watched him do it lots of times but when I did it I swung the ax to hit the pig in the head and missed it. Then I had a hell of a time finishing the job. I’ll never forget the first cow I killed, it was somewhat of a pet and it was hard to do.
My memory isn’t too good. These are some of the things I remember. Mother and Dad were the best that there was in the world.
– Newel H. Tolman –
When I start to think about my parents and what must have been going through their minds the day I was born, weighing in at 12 pounds ( my poor dear mother) I am real thankful to them both. And then to complicate things they named me Eva and all my growing up years from then on I was called “Little Eval! — and weighed just less than a horse.
But all kidding aside, my earliest memories of my Father was, “Go change the drain water or hoe the tomatoes.” I’ve thanked him so many times for teaching me the value of work. This doesn’t mean that we didn’t have fun along with it. After dinner nearly everyday he would rest for an hour and we “kids” always had a ball game. It was lots of fun, but then it was back to work. On Saturday night usually we would all go swimming, cither in the reservoir or down to Becks Hot Springs. This was usually our summer schedule, with lots of tag, “run sheep run” or some other game. My beloved Mother, how she ever did everything is more than I’ll know. She had a beautiful singing voice and rain or shine, as sure as Thursday came around, she would walk to the Church for choir practice-only three miles.
I remember when I was about seven years old she would always have to comb and braid my long thick curly black hair. It must have been a real task because I remember how it used to hurt and I’d bawl like crazy. In those days girls just didn’t have their hair cut, but I guess Mother just couldn’t stand all the rumpus each time my hair had to be combed – so she cut it off. My Mother washed by hand then later a hand turned washer. We had stove irons and we were taught to iron our own clothes. Oh what a patient, dear mother she was. My Father was stern but happy and to this day I can hear him reading aloud The Book of Mormon.
I was taught family prayer as well as my silent prayers before going to bed. We all took turns saying the family prayer kneeling around the table. The Lord was indeed good to me. My parents were honest and loved the. gospel, living it to the best they knew how and teaching me by the way they lived. Oh, we had lots of hard times, but didn’t mind it so much as it was mingled with lots of fun and good times together. Of my heritage I am very proud.
– Eva T. Seely –
It is memorable to note that when Ephraim and Phebe Tolman moved up on the 3ench it was necessary to haul their water from the mouth of the canyon as did everyone living up there. Speculation was that the Bench was dry and water would never be found there.
Ephraim was the first to dig for water and hit it at 25 feet. Many neighbors then used his well for their water supply for many years until other wells were dug.
The first time I saw Mother and Father Tolman was on a Sunday, when Charles took me home to meet his family, because we had just met the night before, and he had informed me before saying good night that he was going to marry me. They welcomed me that day and made me feel very much at home, a condition that never changed. Our relationship was always unusually perfect.
I loved them very dearly as parents and they were fondly called “Grandpa and Grandma Tolman.” I have always felt very close to the whole family. Grandpa and Grandma Tolman lived close to their Heavenly Father, and lived every principle of the Gospel, faithfully and sincerely, as long as they lived. Grandpa Tolman loved his home, his land, and his fruit trees. I remember him
standing behind the house and looking down the hill over his orchards and garden and saying that someday he was sure that would all be gone and only houses would be there and he didn’t especially want to see it. His prediction has come t rue.
They were wonderful people, were always very devoted to each other, and set a good example for their children. My most vivid picture of Grandpa Tolman is when he would sit down in the front room and read the scriptures, which he did a good part of every day. Another pleasant memory was watching them get ready for Church and Grandma Tolman tying his tie, which he never did for himself. I remember him saying to her many times, “You have to live longer than I because I wouldn’t ever be able to wear a tie if you were not here to tie it for me.” They were very special people, and very dear to me, and I cherish their memory.
– Thelma Egan Tolman Heath –
Happiness is remembering…Grandpa…asleep on the floor with his head resting on the leg of the big round table in the dining room,..humming as he worked…keeping one eye shut…reading the Book of Mormon…eating bread and milk at night with ice cubes and onions…working on the farm…going faithfully to Church… having Grandma tie his tie…driving his Truck….and then his new Chevy…sitting in the shade…loving Grandma.
Happiness is remembering…Grandma…making a quilt…ironing with stove irons…rocking and resting her eyes…having someone comb her hair… getting a new stove but wanting to keep the old one…putting up fruit… and jam, etc… getting up before dawn to water and care for her flowers and singing to a new day…loving Grandpa.
Happiness is remembering how dearly they loved each other…helping each other…getting used to their new store teeth…helping their neighbors…loving their children and their grandchildren. Happiness is being a granddaughter of Ephraim and Phobe Tolman!
When the folks were 67 and 66 years old they were called on a mission to Liberty, Missouri. They were the first missionaries to the Liberty Jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith received Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The mission was very hard because the home where they lived did not even have a refrigerator or washing machine but they made many friends, showed the Jail and the room where the Prophet was imprisoned for so long, to many visitors. They always wanted to return again to see their friends but Papa’s health failed after their return and they never did go. Papa died 2 April 1957 and Mama always had a great desire to work in the Temple. But after her sweetheart left she had little interest in anything, only to be with him again. She passed away 2 October 1960. I am very sure they are again together. May we all be worthy to be reunited with them.