Monday, January 17, 2011

Grandma Wasden

This posting is courtesy of our cousin, Newell Sorensen. We have been corresponding back and forth regarding transcribing Grandpa Wasden's missionary journal, and in his search for the journal he came across this little gem, in Grandma's handwriting, along with Newell's transcription. I thought you might enjoy a piece of our history.

Pioneering in Penrose

In 1904 we decided to seek a new home so after Bro Wasden’s work was finished in the Yellowstone Par, he came to the Big horn Basin looking for land. He decided there was oppertunities for a home so after selling our town lot in
Gunnison Utah loaded our household belongings, also a cow and chickens on a railroad car started out for Byron Wyo. I was to follow in a few days bringing the 3 children. My route took me through Utah, Colo, Wyo, Nebraska, Montana &back to Wyo. Where we landed at Garland at 6.P.M. Dec.6, 1904.
The first winter we lived at Byron and JBW worked on the canal, having secured the relinquishment of two parties each having 80 acres of land un the
Elk Canal. Then in April he got logs from the mountains and put up a log house on the S.West corner of the townsite which had been surveyed and named Penrose.
Building the house was slow work having to go the 7 mi. each morning & back at night by May 1
st the walls were up, chinked but not daubed the boards lain on the roof, it being a fine day
loaded all on the wagon except bedding and enough food to last till next morning and took to our home. But May 2
nd was a different story, the cold North West wind was blowing, but we loaded up and went on, by the time we got to the pace it started raining, along with the wind.
I had two large home made carpets which we nailed up on the walls and tarp and canvas ofer the beds, then after getting something to eat, put up the umbrella and rocked the baby to sleep.{x can’t make out note} It rained for a geed part of 3 days & nights, but got dirt on the roof and daubing in the cracks, we were comfortable. Our first visitors was the Shumway family, their farm joined the townsite on the West Bro & Sister Shumway & 7 daughters came in a small buggy the girls sitting the back hanging their feet out over the side. They did not come in the house as it was so muddy after the rain, did not want to get out.
James had promised to go back to the Park to work, did not expect to go till the 1
st of June. On My 15, received a telegram to come immediately his ticket was at the depot.


He got a man to plow the lot for garden, he to use the team to plow his own garden and then was to take the team to the Park.
Two days before he was to leave, he came and said his wife would not let him go to the Park. That left the horses for me to take care of. We had no stable or shelter just some logs tied together around the hay which had been hauled from
That afternoon a storm came up and in order to protect the horses I started fo put blankets on them, had to climb on the fence to reach, I’d get the blankets, on, start to buckle the straps when Wosh the wind would take them off, after about an hours work finally got the blankets fastened.
By that time was wet through It kept raining and at 2 A.M. heard water running the cellar which had been dug under par of the house, I dressed, lit a lantern, got a shovel and made a dam to turn the water, then as soon as it was daylight, was out shoveling a dam to turn the stream of water from coming in the door yard. Still raining.
While I was trying to blanket the horses a man came by watched me, but did not offer to help, next morning another man came by while I was making the dam but did not offer and help. I gegan to wonder if that was the attitude of all men in the
Big Horn Basin.
Later had some very good neighbors who prove


Judy said...

Good work! I love reading Grandma's side of the story. She must have been rather good with a shovel. I call it spunky.

Elizabeth said...

Life did not get easier for our grandparents for years. They were self-reliant and strong. I can remember Grandma telling the story of the neighbors who didn't offer help. She was really disgusted with the whole thing, until she discovered that others were more willing to help. It reminds me of our home teacher who came when we were laying the bricks in the Sunroom, and he decided to give us a long sermon while we waited for him to be gone. He certainly didn't offer any help at all.