Houses

Houses were of course of immediate concern. The main ranch house, bunk houses, office building, cellars and granaries on the home ranch site provided temporary shelter for the first to arrive. Thomas Judd lived in the main ranch house. Carol Ivins Collett tells that for the first year her family, William H. and Delle R. Ivins, lived in one of these buildings which Delle referred to as the "meat cellar". Byze and Lillian Ashby lived in a two-room log building that had been used as an office. The Allen Wakeling family lived in the west room of a frame bunk house while George and Joseph Oxborrow and Jesse Blake occupied the east room. It is probable that the William Davis family also lived for a time on the home ranch site. When John Whipple brought his family in July of 1898 they moved into one of these buildings and the Joseph Oxborrow family also occupied one when they arrived in October.

Two of the first buildings to appear on the newly plotted townsite were built by the Terry brothers. Otis put up a one room lumber shelter on the corner of the next block south of the present site of the high school ready for his wife Susie when she came in November of 1898. In the same year William brought logs from the canyons east of town and built a log house which is still used as a tool shed on Van Gardner's property across the street from his home.

As the families moved onto their own lots and more families arrived in the next years, more dwellings began to dot the landscape. At first these were tents, dugouts and makeshift buildings later used for cellars, granaries, sheds and livestock shelters. When Allen Wakeling Sr. moved from the home ranch building, Effie Read's history tells of the one room he built with rocks half way up and finished with sod cut from the pasture land below town, which, with English humor he referred to as the "Hoff-breed".

A taped interview Ann Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gubler gave to Helen Gardner tells us more about early locations and the development of a home-centered community from its earliest makeshift shelters to its present day modern homes. To quote: "Now I'll try to give some of the memories I still have of Lund when I first saw it. When we came out, sagebrush, greasewood, everywhere--a kind of wild looking place but the people were working hard to make it like they wanted it." She goes on to say that the Jacobsens lived in a tent on the corner where the telephone office stands. The S. A. Gardner family lived in a tent and wagon box north of the present Jack Hendrix home and the Frank Bryners lived in two tents on the lot where the Neil Gardner Sr. home stands today.

Quoting again from Lizzie Gubler's interview: "Then up on this corner lot where Philip Carter has his farm equipment, Arthur Bracken and his wife and baby had a little salt box room--just one little room. I remember so well, when the south wind would blow real hard Arthur would take a long pole and put it on the north side of his little room to keep it from blowing over. Then when the wind changed the pole was changed."

Lizzie Gubler's brothers, Will and Joe Vance, took up several lots in the north end of town. They fenced a spot and planted a garden and a "pretty rosebush" on the lot where Wayne and Helen Gardner now live. Across the street from Della Scow's present home they made one room partly of adobes with poles laid on top to make it the proper height roofed over with willows, straw and dirt, as a shelter for their family who came later. When the Vance family moved into the frame house at the north end of the block where Carter's store now stands, the Robert Reid family lived in this shelter for a short time until their two-room adobe house was finished.

Henry Mathis, in an interview Effie Read recalls in her history of White Pine County, said that for their temporary home his parents, Ike and Alvira Mathis, "dug a hole with a horse and scraper, covered it with willows and mud and placed their kitchen range in the hole with the chimney reaching a little above the ground level."

Some few built homes with lumber hauled in but most of these early settlers used one or more of several choices for temporary as well as homes of a more permanent nature, frame houses hauled in from the declining mining towns of Hamilton, Treasure Hill, Taylor or Ward, or logs, adobes, or rocks. All these sources were used from the beginning and each family had its own solution to its housing problem and each method its own procedure.

Some of the settlers who moved from their temporary quarters on the home ranch site and a number of others who came in those first years chose to bring houses in. Of course they did not have the equipment to haul houses, even comparatively light frame houses, that we have today. Several men would tear down a house, haul it long distances over rocky roads on a wagon bed and then rebuild it at its new location. The houses that came from Taylor and Ward were brought through Water Canyon on a road that today is considered impassable. Those that came from Hamilton and Treasure Hill were hauled about a hundred miles through mountainous country, past Illipah, Moorman's and the Ellison ranches, then followed the White River down past the other ranches and Preston. This had been part of the old freight route from Hamilton to Pioche.

William H. Ivins brought a house from Taylor, put it together on the corner of the lot where the high school now stands. They lived in it for several years and had the first store there. After the Ivins family moved to their permanent location by the creek on the east side of town, the house had a number of occupants over the years, Orrin Snow, Ernest Burgess, a German family named Schneider, Oliver Peacock, Henry Gubler, Ross Smith, Ted Oxborrow and finally Harold Ivins, who had been born in it, acquired it and later sold it to the county for the high school.

William Davis built a home on the lot where Kay and Josephine Reid live today. School was held there for a short time. This house was pulled down but a lumber and canvas tent that was attached remained and George (Dard) Ashby, a batchelor, lived in this and a rock cellar nearby for many years.

John Whipple and Joseph Oxborrow, working together, brought houses from Taylor. John Whipple put his on the lot where Maggie Hendrix now lives. Neil Gardner Sr. says Orrin Snow acquired this house soon after and added a room brought from the home in Pine Valley where he himself (Neil) was born. Orrin Snow lived in this house for a time and later the O'Donnells bought it.

Joseph Oxborrow put his house on the south corner of the block across the street from the present high school. After some years he arranged to move to the lot across the street and sold this house to George Fawcett Sr. who had been living in the ranch house occupied earlier by Thomas Judd. The Fawcett family lived in it for many years.

Sam Judd moved one of these houses onto the lot where Kathryn Gubler lives across the street from the church today. This had a number of occupants, George M. Burgess, Oliver Peacock, Joe Judd, Angus Gardner, Earl Ashworth and a number of renters before Earnest and Kathryn Gubler bought the lot and built a new home. The old building still stands used as a storage room.

When Will Terry brought his first wife, Martha, they lived in the log rooms he had built the year before. One account says that when he brought his second wife, Mary, later, both families lived there for a short time. Mary Terry and family continued to live there after Martha's family moved into the frame house they built across the street that is now Van Gardner's home. Still later Mary lived in a small frame house moved onto the corner below where the church now stands. Otis Terry also moved a house onto his lot where he lived until he moved away and Wilford Terry acquired it. It has had a number of occupants since then and is still in use.

A house Moses Harrison brought from Taylor and added onto with adobes became their permanent home. In addition to providing a room for the first school, church was sometimes held there and at different times it housed the post office and a store.

Edmund Hendrix Sr. had a frame house built on the southeast corner of the block where the high school stands for his first wife, Mary Ellen. Eph Oxborrow later used part of this house to build another nearby which became his family home.

Alonzo Gardner brought a house from Taylor and lived in it for a time on the lot on the lower street north of the present Jack Hendrix home where the family had been living in a tent. Amos Gardner also moved a house from Taylor and placed it on the corner of the block north of where Carter's store and post office stands.

When he moved to the Forest Home ranch the Vance family acquired it and Hannah Vance lived there until she died at the age of ninety four.

Mary L. Oxborrow lived in a house that stood on the west side of the present school and town athletic field. It, too, had been brought from Taylor. Sometimes church was held there as well as frequent dances and socials. After "Grandma" Oxborrow moved it had a number of occupants including Webster and Marie Ashworth. Will Hutchings later moved it onto a lot on the original Home Ranch site and today it is part of the home of Lynn Horsley.

George Fawcett Jr. and Heber Smith brought a house from Taylor for Heber Smith and one from Treasure Hill for George Fawcett and placed them on lots side by side. Heber Smith later rebuilt but the original Fawcett home is still in use.

Those who chose to use logs brought them from the mountains east of town, trimmed the bark and branches and hewed the ends to fit. The choice logs for building came from the tall straight white pine or yellow pine that grew high on the mountain and getting them down was a colossal undertaking. An account of the difficulties these early settlers encountered in getting the logs for the first building they constructed for school and church is given in the section on schools. Some of the logs for homes were snaked down a steep trail east of town that became known as the Hendrix trail. This later became a somewhat precarious shortcut over the mountain into Cave Valley that the cowboys sometimes took on horseback when they were looking after their cattle.

I have mentioned the first log home built by Will Terry on the newly plotted townsite. Lafayette and Alice Carter built a two-room log house near the creek on the east side of the lot where Carter's store now stands. David and Ruth Gardner built two log rooms in the next lot that now belongs to the Dean Whipples. Part of this building remains. On the lot that now belongs to Jack Hendrix, Jack and Hannah Horsley had a log house that later burned down. Robert Chadburn had one log room on the next lot from the present home of Lloyd Oxborrow. Later Joe Oxborrow moved this room to his permanent homesite and placed it beside another log room that had probably been built by the earlier ranch owners. George and Rebecca Sinfield lived in a "willow shanty and wagon box" while they were building their first home of logs on the lot north of the present church. This was later moved to the Gubler lot and stands today on the corner of the lot where Carl and Janice Gubler Willfong live. Joseph Judd built a log house which was later purchased by George and Belle Gardner on the lot presently owned by Arien Wise.

Here, in part, is an account by Neil L. Gardner Sr. of the adobe home and the "pug mill" used in mixing and molding the adobes. It is titled The Adobe Pug Mill.

 

"One of the first considerations of pioneer people when settling in a new area was to build homes to provide shelter and comfort for their families. Lund was located over two hundred miles from any source of supply so getting material presented a major problem. Material transported this long distance by slow moving horse-drawn freight outfits would take months of precious time so badly needed by the farmers to clear the brush from their land and plant crops that would mature and ripen in the short growing season ahead. It would also be a costly project and money to most pioneers was like teeth to chickens--they just didn't have any. They decided that their best recourse was to rely on the natural resources of the land for their needs.

"This decision was climaxed when Allen Wakeling, a little Englishman from Suffolk County, came forth with this dramatic statement, 'Well, we came 'ere to build 'omes, didn't we? And that's just what I'm going to do heven if I 'ave to build one out of mud.' He immediately gathered his boys together, went down to the near-by grass pastures, cut square sod blocks from their heavy turf and built a one room sod house. The men went to work and from their efforts and the know-how of Will Davis and John Horsley, who had had previous experience with making and laying sun dried adobe brick came forth the adobe pug mill.

"The construction of the pug mill was quite simple and inexpensive for it was made almost entirely from native materials with a few simple tools such as hammer, ax, saw and a boring auger. With the exception of a few bolts, nails and a piece or two of scrap iron, Mother Nature provided the rest of the materials.

"The body of the mill was built in the shape of a large barrel about eight feet tall and the same in diameter. Three small poles hewn flat on one side were laid equally spaced on the ground with the flat side up and to these were bolted 2-inch planks to make the base and floor of the mill. More planks were placed upright and fastened to the floor in a circular manner to make a round body so that an agitator could turn inside for mixing. A plank lid was placed on top to hold the upright planks in place and support a bearing for the agitator pole to turn in.

"This agitator was made from a long pole eight or ten inches in diameter with a series of two by six inch flat paddles bolted alternately around the portion that would be inside the mill barrel. This agitator stood upright on a pivot pin placed in the center of the floor with its upper end extending out through a hole in the lid, six or seven feet above the mill. To the top of this agitator was fastened another long slender pole that slanted down toward the ground. A horse was hitched to this pole which, traveling around the mill in a circle, turned the agitator and mixed the mud.

"Ingredients for the adobe mud consisted of a clay soil, chopped straw and water. The straw was added to the mixture to strengthen the adobe and help keep it from cracking while in the drying process. After the mud was mixed to the proper texture it was taken from the mill through a sliding gate near the bottom, placed in the molds and carried to the drying grounds to cure in the sun until the adobes became firm enough to handle without breaking which usually took from three to four days depending on weather conditions. When dry they were ready to go into the building.

"From this little piece of homemade machinery came the material that went into the building of many durable and comfortable pioneer homes. In fact some of them are still standing and giving good service after almost eighty years of abuse by man and the unpredictable adversities of summer heat and winter storms." (Neil Gardner's own home is one of these adobe homes still in use.)


A footnote that might be added to the article by Neil Gardner--an attempt by William Davis and John Horsley to make bricks and cure them in a kiln was a failure due probably to the composition of the soil and/or imperfection of the kiln. However the bricks they made were used by Edward Burgess to build a house that stood for many years on the lot north of the present home of Luella Whipple. William Hansen also lived in this house and kept the post office there. Later Edmund Hendrix Jr. lived there and also kept the post office there for a time before he built a separate building across the creek nearby for the post office and a store.

At this time, however, the builders had to be content with adobes and it was many years before any brick homes were built. Some of the people who built adobe houses on their permanent home sites were Alex and Robert Reid and Oliver Peacock. Alonzo Gardner moved from the lower street to the lot on Main Street where Della Gardner Scow lives today and built an adobe house. Lafayette Carter built two adobe rooms near the log rooms he had built previously. Will Ivins built an adobe and frame house for his permanent home on the upper street.

John Whipple built an adobe house on the upper street where Fern Sinfield lives now and traded it to the Sinfields for their lot north of the present church. There he built another adobe house and moved the frame building from Taylor that he first used as a store and later sold to the Relief Society for their meeting place. This adobe house was bought by the Jack Oxborrows and later by the Harrisons.

Frank Bryner built the adobe house across the street from the high school where Neil Gardner Sr. lives today. Mary L. Oxborrow bought this house about 1910 and lived in it until she died at the age of eighty-three. John Horsley Sr. built the adobe part of the house where Gardner and Colleen Scow are living today for himself. After he moved to Preston, a number of people lived in it, among them Bob Ruppe, Ray Lee and Joe Vance.

Teddy Cripps built an adobe house on the corner where Lafayette and LaRue Carter have their home today. It had many occupants before it was torn down, among them Leslie Rowe who had a store there for a time. George and Annie Terry had an adobe house on the lot where Luella Whipple now lives. It also had a number of occupants. LaVerne and Luella Whipple built a brick home around the original adobe rooms.

Dan and Lucy Burgess Hendrix built an adobe house on the east side of the block where the high school now stands. George and Ellen Oxborrow bought it and later traded it to Arthur and Lillie Smith for the lot across the street where Dick Gunderson now lives. After the Arthur Smiths moved to Utah the adobe house had a number of occupants. Its last owners were John and Lola Terry, before it was acquired by the community and torn down to make room for the Community Center built in 1977 and 78.

For the rock houses, the rocks were hauled down from the hills and hand hewn. Hauling and handling the rocks was a back-breaking job with the equipment available and hewing and fitting them together required considerable skill and expertise. But the houses made from rock were picturesque as well as durable and provided their own insulation as did the adobes.

As has been mentioned, John Horsley Sr. was a skilled mason and in addition to the many adobe houses he helped construct, he built a number of rock houses. The one he built for Jacob Gubler may have been the first one he built in Lund and it was said to have been the first permanent home. It later belonged to David Gardner and still stands on Milton Gardner's property across the street north of the grade school.

Edward (Ted)Burgess had a rock building on the lot where Dick Gunderson now lives. He already had a log house there and both he and Byze Ashby lived there at different times in the first years of colonization. Byze Ashby, as the first postmaster, moved the post office there from its first location on the home ranch site. While it was the Burgess family home, choir practice was held there.

Allen Wakeling's permanent home was of rock and it stood on the lot next to the present home of Wayne Paice. Edmund Hendrix Sr. had a rock home built for his second wife, Priscilla, on the lot where the present Regele home stands. Jim and Ida Wakeling lived in this home a number of years and later moved into the Wakeling home. The Wakeling home was eventually torn down and the original Hendrix home burned while the Regeles owned it.

The rock home across the street east of the grade school was built by John Horsley for George and Rhoda Burgess. Edmund Hendrix Sr. and his wife, Mary Ellen acquired it when the Burgesses moved to Utah and it remained in the Hendrix family. Today it belongs to Lorain and Lydia Hendrix.

After John Horsley moved to Preston he built a number of rock houses there which Preston history makes note of. One that he built for himself that was later the home of Z. D. and Mary Jane Bradley for many years has recently been renovated and restored.

Not only were these early settlers capable and resourceful workers but among them were a number skilled in various crafts. In his memoirs, George Fawcett recalls that Tom Judd had instructions to choose groups with varied skills to work together, and that he, Heber Smith and Sam Judd worked together as a team. Besides John Horsley, others who worked as masons were Oliver Peacock, Teddy Cripps and Will Davis. Heber Smith and Joe and John Vance were skilled in carpentry and they did much of the work in reconstructing the houses that were brought in. In other cases they added frame rooms to some of the adobe and log buildings. Many others built their own homes or helped their neighbors so each could claim a variety of skills.

Also, very soon the people began to plan larger homes in keeping with their large families and permanent status. Tom Judd built a large two story frame house with two fireplaces and a handsome bay window near the site of the original log ranch house. When Tom Judd moved back to St. George in 1902, the A. R. Whitehead family bought this home and lived in it for twenty years.

Orrin Snow had another two story frame house built in the center of town, roomy, with beautifully finished woodwork including a polished banister to slide down. Its distinguishing feature was a lovely upstairs balcony overlooking the town and facing toward the beautiful Currant Creek mountain, part of the White Pine range directly west of Lund. The Jacob Gubler family bought this home from Orrin Snow when he moved to Canada and it was their family home for many years.

Robert Reid had Heber Smith and Joe Vance build a two story frame house over the original adobe rooms with a porch on two sides, large rooms and an attractive bay window effect. Heber Smith also built a comfortable two story frame house for his own family.

Another carpenter and cabinet maker of exceptional skill and talent was Albert Madsen who had learned his trade in his native Denmark and who came to Preston in 1914. He was a positive character and often insisted on imposing his own ideas on those who hired him. This little quirk often irked the wives especially but probably the results he achieved were better than their original plan. He spoke with a decided Danish accent and many tales are told of his pithy sayings and down-to-earth philosophy. He built many homes in Preston, Lund, Ely and elsewhere. Among these were the Carter home, the Joe Oxborrow home, the George Oxborrow home, the Windous home, the Riordan home and many others, made of concrete blocks. When the frame house the Mathises had built burned down, Alvira Mathis, who was then a widow, and her family, lived in two rooms of the Robert Reid home next door while Albert Madsen built a concrete home for them.

Roderick D. McKenzie was another builder who came into the area in the second decade. In addition to pioneering a number of industries in the county which are treated elsewhere, he built a number of homes. One was a concrete home for himself which Vance and Sara McKenzie live in today.

Over the years housing in Lund as elsewhere has followed the modern trend, brick homes, prefabricated homes, prebuilt homes, mobile homes often no longer mobile but built on permanent moorings, sometimes double wide with luxurious furnishings and fittings. All these have added variety, comfort and luxury to the housing in the Valley that the early settlers did not dream of.