HISTORY OF EDEN EUGENE WEBB 1881-1962

 February 25, 1959

 

 

I was born September 26, 1881 in Lehi, Utah, to William and Harriet Grace Webb.  I was the ninth child in a family of twelve children.  My father and mother made a very good and happy home for us.  The children's names were William David, Edwin, Emma, Hyrum, Heber, Jesse, Fred, Eli, Eugene, Pearl, Ernest, and Eleazer.  There is still four of us living.

Jesse, Eli, Eugene, and Ernest.  I grew up and went to school here in Lehi.  My first school was the Ross building with two rooms.  My first teacher was Edith Davis, then John E. Ross.  Very good teachers. When I was in the 6th grade, we had a new school house to go to.  My teachers there were John E. Ross, James Anderson, and G. N. Child.  I graduated from the 8th grade in this building.

We had a farm where we all worked.  We always had plenty to eat, and good clothes to wear.  I was always a great lover of horses and am to this day.  My father and older brother had quite a job keeping me off their horses backs, until I was old enough to ride, which was quite young in my case.  As I grew older, I had my own team.  They had to be good, or I got rid of them.

In the days when I was five or six years old, the whole town rose to go down to the "Murdoch Resort" for their outings.  The Murdoch Resort was on the shores of Utah Lake.  It was on one of these days that we were camped next to the George H. Smith family.  It was then that I saw for the first time "Grace Smith".  She was just one year younger than I was.  I sure thought she was very pretty.  I can still see her and the dress she wore, and the way she had her hair braided down her  back.  I never forgot or lost track of her.

When I was eight years old, the church had a baptismal day at the Murdoch Resort.   I was baptized by John Worlton.  We had to wade out for an awful long way to find water deep enough to do the job properly.  I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑Day Saints on the same day.  I almost missed being confirmed.  They had so many, I had to wait so long I forgot about it.  I started for home with a bunch of kids on horses.  When we were part way home, we met another crowd of kids going down to the Lake.  Then I remembered I hadn't been confirmed.  So I climbed off the horse I was riding with someone else and on to another one that was going back to the Lake, and so I was confirmed when I should have been.

 

When I was old enough, I was ordained to the office of Deacon by James Clark, in the circle room of the First Ward church.

When I was 15 or 16, John Y. Smith, a great Band Leader, organized a Junior Silver Band.  He asked me to play the Clarinet.  We stayed together for several years.  We sure had some wonderful times.  The biggest kick I received, was playing for the old folks parties.  Some of those elderly folks just couldn't sit still, they were so full of music.  They would tell us how they enjoyed our music, so we were well paid for our time and effort.

During these years, we were in the cattle business.  We used to pasture them in West canyon.  I did most of the riding to take care of them.  I am thankful I had the pleasure of riding all over those mountains.  I was as familiar with those trails as I was with the streets of Lehi.  I enjoyed this experience very much.

About this time, I was 19 years old.  I mentioned seeing Grace Smith when I was six years, and she was five years old.  I had had my eye on her ever since, but had never dated her.  I met her uptown one evening on September 23rd, 1900.  It was her 18th birthday.  I walked home with her.  Soon we were going steady.  I went with her for three years.  It was a wonderful courtship.  Then just one month before we were to be married, she died from a ruptured appendix.  An awful experience.  I went to the Temple and had Grace sealed to me in 1903.

During those three years and five or six years before, I was a member of the Joseph H. Kirkham orchestra.  We played for dances in Lehi at Garff's Hall and at the old city park pavilion.  We played at Draper, Riverton, Cedar Fort, and for other entertainments.  Garff's Hall was up over his store, now the Utah Theater.  There are only two of the orchestra living, Leroy Davis and myself.

After Grace died, I didn't play in the orchestra, but I continued to go visit her family about once a week.  After about a year, I began to pay quite a bit of attention to Grace's sister, Ann.  She encouraged me I believe.  I was soon going there quite steadily.  We were married about a year later and she became your mother.  She has been a wonderful wife and mother.  I hate to think of what could have happened to me if I had not married her.  Probably been an old Batch, and that's the limit.

 

Your mother and I have had quite a struggle but we have enjoyed every minute of it.  When Armond was 19, the church called him on a mission to the Southern states.  He filled a very successful mission.  He became President of the Headquarters district.  After two years he returned home and the next Spring we sent Ralph to the North Central States mission.  He filled a very successful mission.  He became President of the Headquarters District also.  After two years he came home.

Then it should have been Boyd's turn, but before we could get things straightened out, he was ready to get married.  He missed his chance then, but was called to labor in Montana, where he was employed by Utah‑Idaho Sugar Co.  His wife, Helen, was called on a mission at the same time.

Karl was next in line, so the church sent him to the Northwestern States mission.  He filled a very successful two‑year mission, mostly in Montana.  The drought and depression were on during his two‑year mission.  The crops were poor and money was scarce, but we managed to pull through.  It was either sell the cattle and let the taxes go unpaid or bring him home.  He stayed his full mission.  We soon straightened things out after he came home.  We have always been thankful we kept him there until his mission was over.  We know the Lord blessed us in our efforts to do these things.

I never had to have one cent of relief of any kind.  Dean, Zada, and Russell never had a mission.  I wish they all could have had a foreign mission.  I have always been too backward to be any good in a public way, so I had to do my bit through the kids.

 

The following was written by Eugene's son Karl

 

This was all Dad wrote at the time of his death, but I would like to finish it with a few things about Dad that his own children knew but others, might not know.  One was his devotion, love and concern for our mother.  All my life with them, his main concern was for her.  When mother's health began to fail, Dad wouldn't leave her side unless someone was there to stay with her.  The last night and day of his life, I spent (along with Armond) most of my time with him.  His main concern wasn't for his own health but for our mother.

He wanted to know how she was and who was staying with her.  When he was told Zada was with her, he said, "That's good, see that she's taken care of."  He said this many times before he passed on.  This was a climax to all the examples he set for us as a family.

 

Other things that might not be known, only by those who were close to him, was his loyalty to his God and to the Church.  As I was growing up, Dad didn't participate in the main activities of the Church.  As he stated, he was too backward to be in front of the public.  I was very close to my father and was around him a great amount of time, both when I was growing up and after I had left home, but I cannot recall hearing my father find fault with any Church authority or the Church itself.  He and the family made great sacrifices to send three of his boys on missions, but I didn't hear a word about the cost or the hardships.  When I was on my mission, I knew things were tough at home, the depression was on and we also had a drought.  I wrote and suggested to Dad that I come home and help out.  He told me, in no uncertain terms, that my responsibility was to preach the gospel and his was to get the money for me, and he didn't want to hear any more statements of that kind out of me.  This is an example I've tried to follow as our kids have been on missions.

You who knew Dad also know that when he became upset he had a few choice words he could say to emphasize his feelings, but in all my life around him, I never heard a word of profanity or a dirty story.  He was a loving, and devoted husband and father.  His kids and his grandchildren loved him with all their hearts.  His image will show strong in their hearts as long as they live.

Since this history was written, Zada and her husband, Jean L. Phillips have served a mission to Nauvoo, Illinois.  Russell and Yvonne, have served a mission to Birmingham, Alabama, and Dean and Lucille have served in the Jordan River Temple.  Boyd and Helen served as local missionaries while living in Montana.