Amos was born in Pine Valley, Washington Co., Utah 16 April 1870 to Robert Gardner and Cynthia Lovina Berry. He died February 11, 1943 in Reno, Nevada and was buried in Reno.
Erazma Jane was born in Pine Valley, Utah 17 October 1875 to Benjamin Hammond Burgess and Erazma Mayers Rogers. She died 26 January 1963 in Fallon, Nevada and was buried in Reno, Nevada.
They were the parents of eleven children:
Victorborn 23 Nov 1894 Pine Valley, Utah
Lelandborn 20 Feb 1896 Pine Valley, Utah Died at 3 months old
Thoraborn 5 Apr 1897 Pine Valley, Utah
Leahborn 31 Jan 1899 Pine Valley, Utah
Hortenseborn 20 Dec 1900 Lund, Nevada
Benjaminborn 15 Nov 1902 Forest Home Died 7 Nov 1976 Salt Lake, Ut.
Arettaborn 17 Nov 1904 Forest Home Died 2 Jan 1941 Reno, Nev.
Reuelborn 15 Oct 1907 Forest Home Died 13 Feb 1956 Reno, Nev.
Melvinaborn 23 July 1911 Preston, Nevada
Amos Merrillborn 3 July1913 Forest Home
Eloiseborn 8 Jan 1915 Forest Home
In the spring of 1900, my parents were financially bent. Father had gotten what work available and freighted lumber from Pine Valley to Pioche, Nevada in winter and in summer took their milk cows on the mountain where there was plenty of feed and made butter and cheese. When they heard that Lund, Nevada was being colonized by the Church, having a pioneer spirit, they ventured out with 1 horse, old broken down wagon and 5 or 6 head of cattle. He borrowed a horse from his father to pull the wagon.
There was lush foliage for cattle and other animals on free range in this new area so Dad's brother, or R.B. as he was called, and Dad brought their mother's, R.B.'s and Dad's cattle to this new area. Dad was to care for the cattle for every 10th calf. After 7 or 8 years, he had a nice herd for himself so his mother and R.B. sold their interest.
They lived in Lund 2 years then Dad bought a ranch about 50 miles southwest from Lund called Forest Home in the lower range of mountains where a crystal clear stream of water came out of the ground. The amount of water from this spring would supply about 8 garden rows ofcorn.
Dad developed this spring by digging cuts and depth until he had enough water to irrigate around 200 acres of land by building storage ponds.
The house was 4 rooms and a dirt roof. This was our home until 1911. After taking up a homestead 7 or 8 miles east on the edge of the valley, we built a log house of 8 rooms and a shingled roof. When it stormed, and that seemed often, the dirt roofed house rained harder and longer inside than outside. Pans, buckets or any vessel was set around to catch the drips. We were in seventh heaven when we got moved.
We had a one family school district. Five children could organize a school and three regular attendants hold it. Our school term was three or four months a year, grades one to eight, classes were short and we studied hard on our three R's.
A 14 year old Indian boy came to the ranch and asked Dad if he could live with us and go to school and learn the white man's ways. His name was Gip. After 5 or 6 years, he left to go on to higher education, later graduating from the A.C. in Logan in mining engineering. He was known as G. Gardner, said Gip was a dog's name.
The teacher boarded with us and that expense was credited to her salary which amounted to $40.00 or $50.00 a month. That was big wages when ranch hands got $10.00 or $15.00 a month at haying time.
We were fortunate in having a foot pumped pedal organ and my teachers taught me the notes and fingering. I could play hymns and easy pieces.
There was a rumor (it could have been true) that a rich gold mine was found in the hills nearby. The supposed finder took sick and went to San Francisco for medical treatment leaving a map and description of the mine. It was never found and the miner never came back.
Big business men as John D. Stetson, manufacturer of Stetson Hat Co. of New York, spent weeks and months hunting and digging prospect holes. Dad was so good hearted; he furnished these guys with horses, grub stakes, anything they needed for a THANK YOU.
Once a group of four were caught in a bad snow storm. The snow was 4 to 6 feet deep. They were short of provisions so left for the ranch on snow shoes. They were three or four days making the 7 or 8 mile trip. They arrived with frozen feet and hands and famished for food.
Mother took her old family Doctor book; it read, "soak in iced water" so she took her old No.3 wash tub and mixed water and snow circling the 4 fellows around, soaking their feet and hands. It worked after intermediate treatments and rubbing in mutton tallow (greese from sheep or goats) and carbolic acid added to the tallow.
She cared for them until the weather broke and they were able to travel to Modena or Lund, Utah and home; about 1906.
In January or February 1907, Leah had typhoid pneumonia. Reuel, the baby was about 2½ months old. No doctors then, and no help nearer than 20 miles and a very sick child. Mother gave me (Thora) full charge of the baby and younger children; four under 6 years old and cooking. I was ten years old. Mother and Dad took turns caring for Leah so they could rest a bit. The old book said, "Wring towels out of ice cold water and apply to chest and back at intervals of about 1 hour apart for 5 or 10 minutes each application." This procedure went on for nearly a month before she regained full consciousness. I know it was the pleading prayers that brought her thru.
Our first contact with the world was 6 weeks later when the mail carrier reported to the postmaster that our mail hadn't been picked up. The next morning he came bringing our accumulated mail. We were on the mend by then. Victor broke his arm during this siege too.
Later that spring our school teacher came from Goldfield, Nevada. She was a tall blond woman about 24 years old. She wasn't much in teaching but combed the boys' hair and dreamed. After about 2 weeks, she started complaining about not feeling good and wanted some alum. Mother gave her a little; she swallowed it and wanted more. Mother put her to bed and in a short time the children saw her going down the road so Mother went after her. She told Mother to leave her alone, she was going crazy. After a few minutes, they saw her going the other direction toward the mountain. When Mother and Hortense caught up with her, she threw Mother to the ground, beat her, and choked her. Hortense, 5 years old, grabbed her hair and yanked it hard. She let go of Mother and Mother got away. The neighbors organized a hunting party with a professional Indian tracker and he tracked her for approximately 40 miles up and down, back and forth for 2 days; a piece of clothing here and another there to our mail box where a passerby had picked her up.
There was a rocky hill not far from the house where we youngsters loved to climb, then slide down our sandy slope. We did this for years. There were many rattle snakes around in the warm season and we killed some several times a day. Eight or nine years after we moved to the new homestead, Ben or Reuel went by there and the whole side of the hill was covered with snakes lying in the sun. He rushed home and got some blasting charges prospectors had stored and threw them amoung the snakes. The next morning there were hundreds or even thousands dead.
About 1909, Dad took up a 160 acre homestead approximately 7 miles east in the fertile valley. The water was run by a ditch about 10 miles from the spring to the new location. A pond or reservoir was made about half way between, to store water when not irrigating and to supply a larger stream. He and Victor, with the help of a hired man cut the logs on Grant Mountain and built a log house of 6 rooms. They cut the ends of the logs so they fit snuggly together and filled the groove with mud plaster. A few years later they moved the old house down and made a large kitchen and dining room. The front room was about 36 x 40 feet.
Amos planted an orchard of most every fruit tree, but cherries, from Stark Brothers Nursery. They produced abundantly and we supplied many neighbors besides ourselves. Many years weput up 500 or more quarts of peaches. The trees are all dead and the house has been burned down.
On special occasions, all the ranchers and many from Lund and Preston would gather at different ranch homes and dance and play games from sundown til! sun up. A bounteous midnight pot luck supper was served. The little folks were put down to sleep somewhere, many times 20 to 25. There was always someone or two who could play the mandalyn or hormonica.
In the spring of 1913, Dad bought our first car, a 4 door Buick. It cost $400.00 and would make about 15 miles an hour over our rough and rocky roads. We were in seventh heaven because we could go to Ely in 5 or 6 hours instead of two full days one way with a team. Gasoline was around 10 cents a gallon. This year and the next I attended B.Y.C. in Logan, Utah.
The fall of 1915, I met my future husband, Gideon Hendrix. He came from Lund to look after their cattle during the winter. Melvina got the red measles and two weeks later all the rest of us 9 came down. The same old tragedy, no help so Gid took over and saved the household. I decided he was the type of person to make a happy home; kind, gentle, and helpful.
In 1916, the Hendrix brothers bought the Lewis ranch 18 to 20 miles to the east of us. It was one of the largest and best ranches in the valley at a monstrous price of $75,000, $7,500 payments a year. They could do it. That fall of 1916, Gid and his brother Lorain were drafted into the Army with other Nevada boys. They left in October, went to Fort Lewis, Washington and within 2 weeks all were on their way to France, an untrained group. They were 18 days crossing the ocean dodging torpedoes and other explosives the Germans had planted. No lightswere allowed after the sun went down. After landing in France, they were put in an open cattlecar; in December, at night, and taken to Bond, France, where the headquarters station was to be. No one was trained, everyone was given a job he knew. Both Hendrix boys were good cooks, also 2 Moran boys from Baker; so they were given the job of preparing meals for around 200 men on a camp fire. There were no buildings until they built some.
In 1913, I started two years high school at B.Y.C. in Logan. That qualified me to enter nurses training at the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City. 1917 and 1918 were years when the influenza swept the nation. Our work shifts were 11 hours daytime and 13 hours night. This disease was new and they had no preventative. Every one had to wear gauze masks over their nose and mouth so as not to contact flu germs; on the streets, in town, church. All amusement centers were closed.
Many nights after working all day, shifts of nurses were sent to an emergency hospital to relieve the Red Cross.
After 7½ months, my arches gave way and I couldn't walk without crutches for nearly 2 months so I went home. The war was over, flu had tapered off and our soldier boys were home so decided to take it easy.
In the fall of 1920, rabid coyotes were numerous. Many cattle were bitten and died and quite a few people were bitten. Some took the Pasteur treatment. Our old dog made such a fuss one evening, Dad went out one door and Victor the other,leaving both open. I followed Dad and stood inside the door when Mr. Coyote came marching in. I screamed and slammed the door shut, shutting Dad out with the coyote. He followed the edge of the house to the corner (they goblind in the last stages). Dad got the rifle and shot him.
Gid and I were married October 8, 1920 in Ely, Nevada. He left the next day for the fall round up which took a month. On his return we announced our marriage and had a reception at Dad's ranch. The friends were about to kill us. I moved to Sunnyside and he had more days riding. The morning he left, the milk cow wouldn't let him milk her and by night she was dead. The next day we lost 18 head of fat beef all with rabies.
Dad built one of the first hydro electric plants which generated all the electricity he needed for his home. What a pleasure to have electric lights, motor to run the cream separator and churn, no old coal oil lamps to fill and clean every day. This was about 1922 or 1923.
My married life was short. Gid died of pneumonia 18 December 1929, 2 days after his 40th birthday. I don't know too much of his life history. He had typhoid fever when a child and his health wasn't too good after that, but he always kept up his part of the work and responsibilities, riding the range to keep watch of the cattle, winter and summer, besides the regular ranch work. His sister, Lucy, married young so he was his mother's helper. People said, "That man doesn'thave an enemy in the world," and it is true.
His father was Edmund Allen Hendrix; his mother, Mary Ellen Terry.
They came to Lund with the early pioneers to settle Lund, They were the parents of 8children, two died in childhood.
Gideon Ray Hendrix was born 16 Dec. 1888. Died December 18, 1929 in Sunnyside and buried in Lund, Nevada. Married Thora Gardner 8 Oct. 1920 in Ely, Nevada. Endowments 10 June 1927 in St. George Temple. Children sealed 10 June 1927. They are parents of 5 children:
Gideon Verlborn 24 Dec 1921 Lund, Nevada
Veloyborn 5 Apr 1923 Preston, Nevada
Evellaborn 23 Dec 1925 Preston, Nevada Stillborn
Carolborn 23 Dec 1927 Preston, Nevada
Delva Raeborn 21 Apr 1930 East Ely, Nevada
In the Fall of 1928, Gid filled a 6 month mission in Toronto, Canada getting home in early May. He said he was going on another long mission soon. He is on that mission. He was Bishop's Counselor in the Lund Ward when he passed away.
I wasn't content at Sunnyside so the Spring of 1931, I rented my interest in the ranch to Ervin and moved to Sparks, Nevada. During the depression and bank closures, I secured employment on W.P.A. doing sewing for W.P.A. and the Washoe Medical Hospital.
On October 1, 1936, I married again. I sold the Sunnyside property to Ervin Hendrix and bought a farm in Fallon, Churchill Co., Nevada. After a year together, he got the traveling fever and we separated. My son Robert Gerald was born 13 October 1937. His name was officially changed to Hendrix.
My children are good workers in the Church. Verl is Stake President of the Fallon Nevada Stake. We were the 500th Stake. The three girls have worked in the Relief Society and Primary Presidency and taught in most all organizations. To date, 1978, six of my grandsons have served missions in several countries and others are preparing to go.
Written and submitted by:
Thora Gardner Hendrix