Samuel Alonzo Gardner was born June 14, 1862 in Mill Creek, Salt Lake City, Utah and when 15 years of age, moved with his family to Pine Valley in Southern Utah, where he worked with his father, Robert Gardner, in the logging and sawmill business. It was here that he met and married Mary Alice Burgess, who was born April 8, 1869 here at Pine Valley. They were married Oct. 15, 1885 in the St. George Temple.
They moved to Lund, Nevada June 14, 1899 and were among the first pioneers to settle there. Samuel Alonzo had, previous to moving, visited the new project in the spring of 1898 and had bought a farm and some town lots, then returning to Pine Valley had disposed of his property there, and loading his family with their personal belongings, some furniture, two pigs and a few chickens into covered wagons, they set out for Nevada June 1, 1899, arriving at their destinationon Alonzo's birthday, June 14, 1899.
There were 6 children in the family at this time, five boys and one girl: Claude, Julius, Martin, Leo, Neil and Ruth, who were all born in Pine Valley. Those born later while living in Lund were 3 more boys: Paul, Jess and Udell and two girls: Della and Tillie.
After their arrival, their first consideration was to prepare the ground for planting. 'Tho just a small chucklehead at the time, I can still see Father and the two older boys chopping out that forest of anti-productive vegetation and the younger family by-products coming along behind, with pitchfork, piling and burning it so they could get a few acres cleared and planted so they could get a crop before the fall frosts came.
Following the planting, the next thing of grave importance was a home to live in. All they had at first was two covered wagon beds taken from the running gears and set on the ground for sleeping quarters, and a willow bowery that Father constructed from cedar posts for a kitchen and dining room. These were passable abodes for warm weather but not for the cold winter months ahead, so Father went over to Taylor, an abandoned mining town 30 miles northeast of
Lund, and purchased a large lodge building. He took it down in sections and moved it home on hay wagons where he reassembled it; and by putting in a few partitions, it made a reasonably good house to live in.
Times were really hard for the new settlers the first year or two. There were no corner grocery stores to run to when domestic and other articles were needed; also very little money to buy with if they had been available. But there were other things to overcome these disadvantages, and one of these was the spirit of brotherhood that bound the people together in a unit of brotherly love and a willingness to help and share in any way possible. No one was ever too busy to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need.
All their groceries and other articles needed had to be freighted in from Modena, 150 miles away. Father did a lot of this freighting, along with others. Then in the winter time when work was slack on the farm he would take his teams and go work for the new mining camps that were opening up in the Robison mining district, 40 miles north of Lund. In this way he was able to provide a living for the family and help in building and improving the home place.
While Father was doing this, Mother was keeping the home-fires burning and raising the large family, which was no picnic with the few conveniences she had to work with. Making home-made soap and doing the laundry over an out-door fire was one of the chores she had to perform along with many other duties attached to a mother's obligations to her family; all together they were enough to prove the old adage true: "That a man's work is from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done".
Father and Mother were both civic-minded people and devoted to their Church. They supported the town and ward in all their activities. Father was very active in Ward Teaching and in all other Priesthood activities in the ward. He was Superintendent of the Lund Ward Sunday School for 20 years. Mother was very much involved in the Women's auxiliaries of the Ward.
They raised a family of 11 children of their own and helped raise 3 small granddaughters who had lost their mother while they were little folks.
Father met with an accident when he was run over by a wagon load of hay, that broke him up so badly he was unable to do hard work and finally brought about his death June 29, 1923.
His death was a great loss to Mother who was left with several small children to raise and a farm to run. The older members of the family were all married and had families of their own, and were pretty well scattered around the country, so were of little help to her. After Father's death we had Mother sell the farm and buy a little store she could handle with Martin's help and the little girls' help. In this way they got along fine for several years. Then Mother's health began to fail and she was confined to a wheelchair. This placed the burden of the work on Martin, who was also confined to a wheel chair. In this manner he did an excellent job running the store for many years.
After Mother's health failed, we children who were near by, took care of her until her death September 4, 1951, 28 years after Father had passed away. They are both buried in the Lund cemetery, and 'tho now gone, they left to their children a heritage of parental love, honesty, kindness and loyalty to all that's good.
Written and submitted by:
Neil L. Gardner, Sr.