JOSEPH HEBER CLEGG

 

 

     ...There wasn't a day that he [Grandpa William Jonathan Clegg] didn't put in a good, big, full day.  He was quite a happy man, in lots of ways.  He'd do lots of funny things that would come along; but he... He didn't go to church to speak of.  Once he got started and they put him in as teacher of the Gospel Doctrine.  And they called on him to get up and pray in church and it scared him to death, so he wouldn't go any more.

     'Course he chewed tobacco then, but everybody did more or less.  They never thought about it much, but... he said he couldn't stop.  He wasn't going to be a hypocrite, so he didn't do it then.  He always paid his dues, his taxes and... buildings.  If there was a building to be built, he was the first one there with his tools to work on it... things of that sort.

     He was quite a civic leader.  ...The roads, and that.  He was always working and helping build the roads... and things of that sort.  He was... Oh, what do they call it?..  Justice of the Peace many years.  One time,.. The Bunnells lived up on the east side.  They had these fancy race horse things.  They had a big place and was considered kind of upper crust in those days.  And these Bethers, they had just built a house just under them, over on the sandhill, and, anyway, they had... Something had happened to one of their horses, and they had to come before Father and have it straightened out.  The lawyer, one of them asked them where the moon was that night.  He (this Bethers) says, "It was up in the sky, you damned fools, where did you think it was."  Oh, that just got them all to giggling.  But he was a good honorable man, you could be proud to be a descendant from him.

     He was about six feet tall, a little over if anything.

     (Question) Of all his children, who would you say he looked like?

     (Answer) He looked like you [Halvor Clegg].  I thought you looked like him and was built like him too, when he was younger, quite a bit.  None of them really, none of the children looked too much like him.

     (Question) They looked more like Grandma?

     (Answer) Well,.. that just... different.  They didn't look too much like her either.

     Father always led out.  He didn't say... "Now you go do this," he said, "Come on, boys, we're going to have to do this today." ...or we'd do that or the other.  He'd get in and do his part, and boy, he could work.  If you thought I's a worker, you'd ought to've seen him go.  He was wonderful.  He taught us all how to work, and what to do and how to do.

     He was so very logical.  He had to straighten out affairs for all of the neighbors around because he was a very smart, logical man.  He knew more about the country than most of the lawyers did.  He was a great reader.  He'd... he had an old rocking chair and we had the old coal stove with a reservoir on it.  He set in the rocking chair with his feet upon that reservoir and read in his spare time, at nights, and the days he didn't work.  He was always reading.

     He knew a lot about the church works, and about the gospel.  He seen that we went to church and we always had a way to go.  He always seen that Mother had a way to go and she was in the Relief Society... quite a few years.  'Bout that time, I was getting big enough that... I always had to hook the horse on the buggy and take her.  So, I got in on a lot of that stuff too.  ... I just had to take her.  'Course they didn't hold it in the wards.  They'd usually... They were out in the homes then, more or less.

     Father always had a good garden.  He'd have an acre of garden, just south of the house there.  That was good sandy soil, and early.  He'd have some fruit trees, but he'd always have a big garden.  He planted plenty of melons and he'd say, "Well, we'll put in an extra row so the boys'll have some."  And he'd kind of wink and giggle about it, but that's the way he was.  He didn't jump all over them for everything.  Some of the other neighbors did, but he didn't.  He knew he had boys and he knew that they's mischievous.  I think that's a good plan.  We just had every kind of vegetables.  We even grew peanuts one year there.

     The ground down in the fields, there, was so good for cabbage.  That black ground, it was black...  You know, the first ground there.  There was a hill... about like that.  It was down under there in... where the pastures used to be.  That's where the good, fertile soil was when I farmed.  ... Some of it [was boggy], yes.  'Course Lewis... The Government come along and... paid for the drains and he put a lot of the drains in there and... That old boy got in on everything.  'Course, in my day, I had to shovel it out by hand.

     We dug a lot of drain ditches out there... I'm going to tell you about Father first.  Those drain ditches, some of them were five feet deep, way over my head, six feet.  ...Just miles of them on that farm, just miles of them.  He drained that whole farm and levelled it up.  ...Put horses on the fresno.  He'd have three teams on one fresno, or four head, sometimes.  Those old, big fresno scrapers was, Oh, heavens!,,, they's wide, six feet wide, some of them... with a big long handle on them, you know, with a rope on the handles.  You had to just put that down in and fill it up and the horses would take it on out and dump it in the holes.  'Course we had to drive them.  You had to be a good teamster in those days... 'cause the horses'd... willing to go.  We just had to...

     To give you an idea how long some of the drains were, we started up at the railroad tracks, and dug a drain straight down through there, through down past the house, and down this way, through down to Powell Slough... more than that [a mile].  And then we had drains going crossways through it from there, 'cause that was wet all up above there.  We dug those by hand.  ...Had to throw that mud clear up over there.  The older boys,.. well, I helped.  I helped dig them too.  The older boys could do a little better, 'cause I was kind of young then... but I had to help dig them too.  Then, when these digging machines come in... There was a drain in the middle of the place, and then there was one over here that they'd dug by hand.  They had the two drains that went down through.  That old machine came in and in one day it could dig more than we could in weeks.  Then we'd put tile in and fill them up.  That's where the drain from the house went, see,.. and Joy's house went down through this other one.

     Well, then Lewis come along, and he wasn't going to have that, so he just put up a... a fuss, and... I had to go to work and put a sewer in my house to please him.  He was an ornery polecat... but I put a sewer in... put the stuff into that... put the wings out and the ditch... it went out and dissolved.  ...Put stuff in it and it dissolved... out under the land.

     Father built the house, and,.. 'course he had someone helping him.  He was a... He planned it, and... did most of it, laid the brick, and...  Mr. Peck helped him.  That was a man up on the bench... and the boys.  That's when the's hauling the... gravel and the rocks... and Lewis threw and... I don't know whether he broke a window or hit one of his sheep or something.  The old boy come out... they had pink eyes... they were pushnells?..  Boy was he mad.  He was going to clean them all.  Bina just stood up and told him to "git" and "be lost".  He was scared to death of her.

     The girls, they all got in and helped.  The girls worked just as hard as the boys did.  They had lots of fun going and coming to work, playing tricks on each other and singing songs.

     One day we was down below the well there... thinning beets.  We all had these big straw-hats on.  All of a sudden a swarm of bees come over.  They went right for Father's hat,.. and was going to land on it, you know, when they're swarming they light wherever the queen goes.  Boy did we have to scamper.  We all run up and dove in under the well and the bees went over and got into the tree.  They got a box and caught them and they's put over in here where those implements were that I was telling you about.  On this side that's where we stacked the wild hay, with a derrick, to feed the young stock.  On this side we had the hay barn, and then a lean-to on the east side where we had for the cows and the horses.  ...Stables, you know.  I could draw a picture of it sometime.  You could understand it better.

     We had lots of fun going and coming to work.  We were just playing tricks on each other and laughing and giggling all the time.  When we had work to do we got in and done it.  Both Joy and Lewis were great on teasing.  Lewis was the worst.  He was really a tease.  Joy would have Nora up in the air and tease her.  He'd claim her rows [of beets] that she'd gone... you know, gone along on her knees and done them all up and she was serious enough to think that was the truth.  Boy, she'd get mad.  They used to call her "Timp".  Even when she was courting, why they still teased her.  I don't know to this day how she ever courted Roland.  He was Lewis' pal.  They courted and got married.  I remember that.  Then Father in that old house, there, on the west side, where Wesley lives, he bought an old home down in Lakeview and moved it out there for Roland and Nora.  Then as time went on, they built on to it and made quite a big place.

     Father was quite a man of foresight.  He knew what to do and how to do.  I always appreciated that about him.

     (Question) You mean that...

     (Answer) Wesley's, on the west side.  Across from Nora's place.

     (Question) Not the one that Owen...

     (Answer) Uh Uh.  No, that was the old Harding home.

     (Question) But the one where Wesley is, part of that house was stuff that Grandpa Clegg put there, huh?

     (Answer) Ya, this old house.  They just built on to it.  See, it was good, a pretty good home.  An old lady named Mrs. Gilner owned it.  Gosh, she was a funny old gal.  Right after she died, why he bought it and moved it out.  They just knew how to do those things in the early days.  The teams pulled them up on wheels and logs and... the teams pulled them along.  The part about moving... 'course, a lot of those homes was moved around there.

     Nora and Roland lived there when they first got married.  Father give them... Roland had one horse and he gave him another, so they had a team.  ...Give them a cow... He gave each one of them [the children] a cow.  All of them was married all but me.  He wasn't around when I got married.  I didn't hold that again him either.  It couldn't be helped... He'd done more for me, I guess, than any of them if I'd've... hadn't of been so ornery.  He was always wanting me to get married.

     Well, I can see why.  Like I am now.  I wanted all my kids to get married, so I could see them settled and know that they were able to go on.  That was my goal in life, have a good place for my wife and kids.