I will attempt to give this story as well as I can from stories I heard my parents tell, and from my Uncle George, my father's twin brother.
My father and his twin brother George were born in St. George, Utah on January 16, 1876 to Joseph and Mary Leicht Oxborrow.
This family was one of 300 families called by Brigham Young to settle the Dixie Mission. Joseph Oxborrow was called there as a baker, during the time the tabernacle and St. George Temple were being built.
My father was baptized in the St. George Temple at the age of eight. His parents were very strict about his attending church, which he did until he was old enough to decide for himself.
His schooling was very limited because he and his twin had to take turns going to school and working in order to help their father support their large family of 11 children. They took turn severy other week.
He went to a school called the Central School, which was held in the court house.
As a young man he was very active in all the social affairs they had for young folks, music being his love. He loved to dance and sing. He was a member of Thompson's Brass Band where he played the alto horn. He also played the violin, guitar, harmonica and chorded on the piano. He had a natural talent for music but couldn't read a note of music.
Dad and Uncle George were identical twins. 1 have heard them tell of many hilarious timesthey had fooling people. One would take a girl to the dance and his twin would take her home and she wouldn't know the difference.
Ashby Snow, the man Dad worked for, told him to come to the house and pick up sometickets for the theater for him and his girl friend. Uncle George overheard the conversation so beat him to it. They were always playing such pranks on each other and their girl friends.
Dad was just nineteen years of age when Grandpa Oxborrow passed away in 1895 then Dad was obliged to help support the family.
In 1898, he and Jess Bleak went to work on a ranch in White River, Nevada. This ranch was later bought by the Mormon Church and colonized as the towns of Preston and Lund. His mother, Grandma Oxborrow, was set apart to go to Lund as a midwife, and to assist in the care of the sick. She moved her family and made a home there.
The Hendrix family moved to Lund to help with the building of the town. They had a beautiful young daughter, Lucy Loanna. She was born in St. George, Utah, March 14, 1881. She and Dad fell in love and were married February 21, 1901. They were married by the new Justice of the Peace, M. W. Harrison, and his wife Louisa made my mother's wedding dress. This I mention as they turned out to be my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Their first child, a girl, Hilda (myself), was born December 21, 1901 in Lund, and delivered by my grandmother. When they had been married a little over two years, they traveled by team and wagon with their first child to be married in the St. George Temple for time and eternity, and have their child sealed to them.
Eight children came to them after they were sealed in the Temple, namely: Lester, born August 27, 1903; George Gordon, November 22, 1906; Edmund Grant, November 10, 1907; Chester H., December 28, 1910; Nathaniel, June 14, 1913; Daniel Ralph, August 25, 1915; Fred, August 20, 1917; Mary Evelyn, March 3, 1921. Two of these children have passed away, these being Lester and George Gordon. Seven of the family still survive.
My father volunteered for the Spanish American War, but it was over before he had a chance to be called.
He and Uncle George contracted most of the threshing jobs in the area, and at threshing time of the year, they were kept real busy. They traveled to do the threshing in all the outlying districts. When they would return from these trips, it was not unusual for their wives to get them mixed up and greet the wrong one with a kiss. This was amusement for the twins.
Our family was much like a gypsy family, as we lived in so many places. I can remember when Lester and I were the only children in the family, we moved to the Knob, which is presently the town of Kimberly. There he worked in the mine. After we left the Knob, we moved to Ely,where my father drove the Beer Wagon and delivered beer to the markets. We lived in a tent on the meadow across from the old Ice Plant, later moving into a little house on High Street.
My dad and two of his brothers, Uncle George and Uncle Ted, and their brother-in-law, Uncle Earl Ashworth, took a lease on a ranch from the Horton family, which is now called the Calloway Ranch. This was in 1909, and they lived there for three years, eeking out a mere existence. 'Twas here he acquired his first car, in partnership. It was a red Thomas. They traded two teams of horses for this car. Later Uncle Ted wrecked it between Tonopah and the ranch,and the only thing they salvaged was the tires. So, for four nice horses, this was all they had toshow.
They moved back to Lund and decided to buy a farm, as the Burgess family was leaving Lund, and Dad purchased their farm. This was a real challenge, and turned out to be a real struggle to pay for it. He had to move back to Kimberly and work as a carpenter to get the cash to make his payments. Later he worked on road gangs, and was one of the workers 'vho put the first phone line into Lund. Part of his work was payed for in telephone stock, of which he got nothing.
When the first world war came along, he moved the family to the ranch at Sunnyside, as it belonged to the Hendrix brothers, who were his in-laws. Two of the Hendrix boys had been called to war. This necessitated help for the ranch, so Dad and his boys helped to keep the ranch going. He worked for the family's board, the only cash he received was from a mail route he tookbetween Sunnyside and Sharp, Nevada. This was a very hard life for Mother and the children, as there was no school, and they had to commute. When the war ended, he moved back to Lund, where he took some freighting jobs. He loved nice horses, and always had a good team to haul with. He hauled hay, grain and other produce for the farmers in the area, as well as run his own farm. At one time while he was farming, I remember he was elected as president of the potato association, which consisted of a group of farmers.
While we were growing up we always looked forward to Dad coming home from his hauling,so he could play the piano for us in the evenings, and sing some of our favorite songs. Chester and I have been together so much trying to get our memories to work on the words of the song she sang. When we were children I can remember our parents always accompanied us to Sacrament Meeting, and we went as a happy family. He was always there to make his tithing settlement, when we were young. As the family grew larger, he had a hard time to meet these obligations, as he had to be away from home so much on different jobs.
He was always willing to help anyone at any time he could, and was a friend to all. He always took time to play with the children, and they loved him very much. I often think of how much he would have enjoyed his grandchildren, of which he only had four when he passed away.
In 1931 or 1932, his team ran away with him and pinned him between the wagon tongue and a tree. From that day on he began to show that his health was failing. He finally became so ill that he had to go to the doctor in Salt Lake City, Utah. He had to have surgery for cancer. They removed nine inches of the colon, from which he recovered for a short time, but had second surgery from which they could not help him. He passed away in my home in McGill, Nevada on July 27, 1934.
He was a very wonderful father and we loved him very much. I'm sure all of us are looking forward to the day when we will be with him and hear him sing our old favorite song he used tosing to us, "Down in Pennsyltucky".
After father passed away, Mother remained in Lund where she had the younger children still at home. At the time she decided to move to Ely where her older children lived, she was in the Relief Society
Presidency. She was a wonderful mother, and we were glad to have her closer to us. Her health failed and she passed away in my home in McGill, Nevada on her birthday, March 14,1938.
The seven children still surviving are all well and happy. Hilda, married to Fred Harrison, has one daughter, Donna Mae Birmingham, and two grandchildren. Grant, married to Edna Nicholas, has one son, Larry, and four grandchildren. Chester, married to Jo Fogliani, has two children, Anthony and Kathy, and seven grandchildren. Nathaniel, married to June Baker, has three children: Ronald, Richard, and Thomas, and seven grandchildren. Daniel Ralph, married to Glenna Dee, has two children: Byron and Danny, and three grandchildren. Fred, married toVilate Anderson, has three children: Bonnie, Douglas, and Deanna, and seven grandchildren. Mary Evelyn, married to (divorced) Ted Fransen, has three children: Terri, Debbie, and Michelle.
Four of the children of the Eph Oxborrow family have been married in the Temple for time and eternity.
Five boys, Grant, Chester, Nat, Dan and Fred have purchased lots in Bullhead, Arizona and move there to spend the winters. Hilda lives in Las Vegas, Grant's home is in Ely, Chester in Pioche, Nat in McGill, Dan in Reno, Fred in Salt Lake, and Mary Evelyn in Ely.
We are very proud of the love we have for one another.
Written and submitted by:
Hilda O. Harrison