Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vilate Nyman Johnson--Part 6

Tribute given by James Warren Johnson (son) at the Logan 16th Ward Sunday School on Mother's Day in May 13, 1973

My brothers and sisters, I feel very humble as I stand before you and say a few words about my Mother on this special day and to recall some of the things that make her special to me. I ask The Lord to be with me, so I will be able to say the things that are in my heart, and to be able to share them with you.

We as a family had a very close and happy home life because our mother taught us the meaning of friendship and happiness. Many are the times I remember bringing home friends and she would always fix sandwiches and hot chocolate. My Mother has always been a wonderful cook and we as a family still enjoy going home and eating wonderful things she makes. Some of the grandchildren have a special dish that grandma makes and when she makes that particular one, the grandchild gets a phone call and an invitation out to dinner.
She has also been a wonderful teacher to me. She taught me the Gospel from an early age, and I remember when I was baptized we went to the Temple in a bob sleigh, pulled by horses because it was in the middle of the winter. She taught us the meaning of being truthful and to be good to each other.

She also taught us that through work and being honest we can achieve the goal we are striving for.

She has been proud of her pioneer heritage and has taught us to respect it.

She is proud of her family, six children, 24 grandchildren and one great grandchild. There are four of us that live in this ward, and we feel very fortunate to live this close to her, and that we still receive her help and guidance.

Myself and my three brothers all served in the armed service. I remember looking forward to the letters from Mother and all the news of my brothers and sisters. I certainly looked forward to getting into port and getting those letters from home.

As I was trying to remember some of the important things to tell you today, I was reminiscing and so my wife wrote this poem to my Mother.

by Jessie Lue Slack Johnson

I am one of the reasons
It’s been said to me
That made mother's hair
As white as could be.

But there are others
in this reminisces
Three of them brothers
And two little sisses.

Our Mother's a wonder
And there is no doubt
That sometimes with confusion
She wanted out.

She kisses us and cuddled
And hurts seemed to fade
The to ease broken hearts
Something special she made.

Love is one specialty
That she has galore
For all of her family
And then she has more.

Kindness is another
of treasures she shares
For friends and for neighbors
she always cares.

There's Beth and there's Nyman
And Reed is here too
With spouses and children
that makes quite a few.

There's Jeanie and Carl
That live far away
But send her their greetings
On this special day.

I'd say that we're blessed
with a mother like she
And no better example
there's apt to be.

Her children all love her
and honor her name
The grandchildren too
think just the same.

One little great grandson
and him we can't miss
Cause for him always
there's a hug and a kiss.

She held her head high
Even through sorrow
But great hope
She greets the tomorrow.

She taught us our prayers
and to love one another
So we say to her
Thanks for being our Mother.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vilate Nyman Johnson--Part 5

Remembrances of Vilate Nyman Johnson by Beth Johnson Somers (daughter) written in 2005
Vilate Nyman Johnson (1976)
I remember as a young girl when we lived on Main Street in Logan, at 537 North Main, my mother would get cleaned up in the afternoon and we would sit out on the porch and she would do her hand work. It was embroidery at that time. Then she started to crochet lace for pillow cases and she made lots of doilies in the pineapple pattern. After I got married she learned to do hardanger. A sister in the ward showed her and she made many beautiful pieces of hardanger. She always had a project she was working on, even until her later years.
Years later when Nyman was living with her, and she couldn’t do fine hand work any more because she couldn’t see as well as before, Nyman had her crochet granny squares and she was able to do these until he passed away.
Mom was a good seamstress.  She made a lot of our dresses and shirts for the boys. 
Mom was an excellent cook. We would come home from school and there would be fresh baked bread. She made six loaves every other day. She made cinnamon rolls once a week. Living on Main Street her sisters and brothers from North Logan, Hyde Park, and Benson Ward would stop when they came to town and she was always able to feed them.
Our family always went to Aunt Teenie Egbert’s for Thanksgiving dinner. The Egberts came to our house for New Year’s dinner.
Mom had many nieces in the Nyman family that would stop by and visit too. Even in her later years they would often stop and visit.
Before my Grandmother Nyman died, she was sick with diabetes for a time.  She stayed with my mother for a while and mother took care of her. She slept on a day bed in the front room.
Mother never drove a car and always patiently waited until someone could take her to town or to a store.
After Dad died in December 1969, Nyman sold his home and moved in with Mom to help her. Nyman was very good with her and helped her so much. They went shopping together and always to church. Before Nyman died he was noticing that Mom was getting forgetful.
That next year when Mom was 76 years old she had cervical cancer and had to have a hysterectomy. Dr. Gasser did the surgery. She had to have a radium implant for a couple of days and no one could visit her in the hospital during this time. She recovered very well.
Nyman passed away in 1977 which was such a big shock to all of us. He was at work at Casper’s Ice Cream and had a heart attack. Mike [Somers] was home from his mission so we had him move in with Grandma so somebody would be in the house at night. I would go in every morning to help Mom bathe and get dressed. One morning when I got there she had fallen in the bathroom and couldn’t get up. We don’t know how long she had been on the floor. I couldn’t get her up so I went next door to Dennis’[Johnson] house and got Debbie to come and help me. Between the two of us we were able to get her up and she seemed to be OK.
After Mike got married, Carolyn and Jens Trauntvein lived with her for a short time. When she could no longer be by herself, we all took turns having her live in our homes. I was taking care of her when Brent [Somers] called and told us Andy was so very sick. We made arrangements with Debbie and Dennis to take Mom so I could go back and stay with Brent’s twins. I was there six weeks. When I got home then we took Grandma to Ollie Jean’s. She was working and had a girl come in and be with Grandma during the day.
While she was staying at Ollie Jean’s, in Boise, she fell and broke her hip and had surgery. I went and stayed with Jeanie and we would go to the hospital every day.
When they couldn’t do anything more for her in the hospital we had to make arrangements for her at Sunshine Terrace. She hadn’t walked since she broke her hip. Jeanie and Blaine borrowed a friend’s suburban and we got a hospital bed in it and we brought Mom home to Sunshine Terrace. She stayed in Sunshine Terrace for about two years. She never walked again.
She did have dementia but it was not Alzhiemers disease.
Mom died October 19, 1987, at 94 years of age at Sunshine Terrace.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vilate Nyman Johnson--Part 4

The Later Years-Vacations and Travel 
In June of 1962 we took a trip by car with…[Jim’s family] to the Seattle Worlds Fair. This was the first Worlds Fair that we had ever been to and we enjoyed it so much. Nyman and Carl were living in Seattle at the time and they really showed us around the Fair and the Northwest. We were there several days so we were able to see it all.
One day in January of 1964, Ollie mentioned it would be nice to go to Hawaii on a second honeymoon. Then after thinking it over for quit a while, we thought that it would be fine if we could get another couple to go with us. So we asked our friends the M.E. Schvaneveldts, (Mel and Jennie) what they thought about going to Hawaii on a trip. They thought that would be a fine idea, so we made all arrangements with the travel agency and got our reservations. We flew from Salt Lake City to San Francisco on 26 January 1964. This was my first plane ride. We boarded a 707 jet liner, Pan American in San Francisco, this plane had seats for 180 and all were filled. We got to Honolulu Airport at 2:30 p.m. It took us about four hours to cross the Pacific Ocean. So it was all a new experience for me. The trip across the ocean was just marvelous, as smooth as riding on a super highway.
We were greeted at the Honolulu Airport by a Hawaiian couple, greeting us in the Hawaiian fashion with a kiss on the cheek and placing a laie of lilies around our neck. After getting our baggage they took us to the waiting limousine. They took us to the Breaker Hotel. We had a nice apartment, living room, bedroom, twin beds, and a kitchenette where we could cook a little if we wanted to.
The hotel was built around a lovely swimming pool. The flowers and plants and trees were all tropical and the most wonderful to see, and the colors were out of this world. We went on tour everyday. We didn’t have to worry about a thing. It was all arranged before we left Logan. They would pick us up at 9:00 a.m. and we would be gone until about 5:30 p.m. Most of the meals were arranged for on our ticket so we didn’t have to worry about that.
Our first dinner was at a lovely restaurant, it consisted of Kentucky fried chicken and all the trimmings, three big spears of the most delicious pineapple we had ever eaten and the most delicious coconut pie.
On 27 January we visited the sugar cane fields and also pineapple plantations, just thousands of acres of them. It takes about fourteen months for the pineapple to mature and be ready for harvest. It was really interesting, we enjoyed it so much.
Our next stop was at the Temple. It was really a sight to see that beautiful structure. It is on the Isle of Oahu.
We visited the Polynesian village. It was very interesting to see the customs and dress of the different Island people.
It was about 1:30 p.m. when they came and got us for the Pearl Harbor Cruise. We saw lots of ships and boats of all kinds. A portion of the sunken ship Utah was showing above the water. We saw the remains of the battle ship Arizona. There were 1102 men on the Arizona and 58 on the battle ship Utah when they went down. They are still there and will remain there. These ships were sunk December 7, 1941, by the Japanese Air Force and that is what caused the U.S. to enter World War II. When we were coming out of Pearl Harbor we saw two big whales, tuna, and porpoise. We visited Waikiki Beach, watched the waves come in, and saw the surf riders and bathers lined up along the beach. It was one of the most outstanding beaches in Honolulu.
At 5:30 p.m. the limousine came after us and we went to the big luau, (Hawaiian feast). We enjoyed three hours of entertainment and feasting in Polynesian style.
We visited the four islands. We flew from one island to the other and saw many interesting places. We left Honolulu at 9:30 a.m., arrived in Kuai, and had our lunch at Cocoa Palms Hotel. We left at 12:30 for a canyon ride. The McKenzie Limousine was there to pick us up. It was such a beautiful ride and the most beautiful canyon one has ever seen. It was classed as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” We passed many thousand acres of sugar cane and also pineapple.
Our room at this hotel was just gorgeous — king size bed, velvet bedspreads, beautiful lamps, tables and chairs. The wash basin in the bathroom was a big shell. We were at this hotel for two nights.  At 7:00 p.m. the boys blew the horn for dinner.
On January 31 our driver picked us up and we went on a river cruise. There were about 50 people on the boat, all tourists. The boat ride was just perfect. The natives sang for us all the way up the river. The captain would point out the interesting places.
We left Maui February 2 at 9:10 and stopped at Honolulu and changed planes, then flew to Hilo on the Isle of Hawaii. The driver was there and took us to a place where they raise orchids and we watched them make lais.
We had lunch at the Volcano House. It was very good food. On this trip we traveled many miles over black lava. It was really interesting but it looked so very destructive. After traveling around all afternoon we came to Kona and to the King Kamehamehale Hotel. We visited the coffee plantations where they process the coffee beans and sack them in burlap bags, ready to be shipped to a factory where they roast the beans and get them ready for the market. The native women make beads out of seeds and pods of many of the plants.
We had our dinner, then the native men and women entertained us with their music and singing. It seems like all the natives can play an instrument. They really enjoy entertaining the visitors.
The next day we went for a boat ride in the bay. It was a fifteen mile trip up the coast that is lined with black lava all the way. The water was very clear and is known as the Coral Bay. This is the bay where Captain James Cook of the British Navy landed when he discovered the Hawaiian Islands in the 1700’s. We could see the coral bottom. There were two Hawaiian boys diving that went to the bottom and brought up pieces of coral.
As we had no schedule for the afternoon, we and the Schvaneveldts hired a taxi and rode forty miles to the biggest cattle ranch in the world — 258,000 acres of cattle range, 35,000 head of cattle and 1500 head of beautiful saddle horses. It was a wonderful trip and we enjoyed it so much.
We had breakfast and got packed as this was the day to leave for home. The guide came for us and took us to the airport.
We left Honolulu for Los Angeles at 3:00 p.m. and arrived in Los Angeles at 10:00 p.m. We were really happy when we landed on U.S. soil. Jeanie and Blaine were there at the airport to meet us and we were happy to see them. They had been to the Temple and were able to get out in time to see our plane land.
We left Los Angeles for Salt Lake City by Western Jet Airlines, 707, and got in Salt Lake City at 2:28 a.m. Reed and Gloria were there to meet us and take us to Logan and HOME. We were so happy to have had such a wonderful trip and were just as happy to be home. It was quite a change to come to 10 below zero from 80 degrees above.
Oliver and I along with…[Jim’s family] went to Southern Utah in June of 1965, and had such a lovely time. We visited Bryce Canyon and it was such a thrilling sight. We also saw the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and Zion Canyon, where we had our breakfast. We then went to St. George and visited Brigham Young’s winter home and also the Jacob Hamblin home. We visited Pipe Springs and the Silver Reef Mine.
On July 23, 1966, we got our train reservations and went to visit Beth, Karl, and family who were in Peoria, Illinois, for the summer. They showed us many places of interest of early church history including Nauvoo and Carthage. At Springfield we visited Lincoln’s Memorial and many other places of interest. We were gone about three weeks, enjoyed ourselves very much and were real happy when we got home to Utah and a cooler climate.
For the past twelve years we have taken a trip in the winter to San Bernardino, California, to visit with Jeanie and Blaine and family. We have enjoyed visiting with our children, and they seem to want us to continue our visits as long as we can.
In 1965, Oliver and I flew to Seattle to visit with Carl and Roberta and family and had a lovely time with them. We had been to Seattle several times before when Nyman was living up there, but this was the first time for us to fly there.
On April 29, 1967, we celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary. We had such a lovely time, and so many of our friends and relatives came to congratulate us for the occasion, in spite of the blizzard going on outside. It started to snow in the morning and as the day wore on it became just like the middle of winter, but in spite of that the people came. All six of our children and twenty grand-children were home for the party. We received so many beautiful flowers and dozens of cards.

(From Vilate Nyman Johnson's history, July 1967)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vilate Nyman Johnson--Part 3

Vilate Nyman Johnson (1917)

Marriage and Family

I met my husband-to-be, Oliver Guy Johnson, at a North Logan social. He was on a threshing crew that would come out to do the threshing with my brothers Charley, Golden, and Andrew, and he would stay with the thresher so he attended the social function of the ward. Our dates consisted of coming to Logan to the public dance on Saturday night and then to church on Sunday. We went together four years before we were married. Our courtship was in the horse and buggy days.
We were married in the Logan Temple, 25 April 1917. My husband-to-be came out to North Logan in a buggy and we went to the Temple early in the morning. We went on the streetcar to Salt Lake City for our three day honeymoon. When we got home we had a reception at my home in North Logan and had a wedding dinner for all the families and a few close friends.
We lived with the Johnsons the first summer. Oliver had registered for the draft in World War I in April and his name came up in the first call up in July and he left Logan the third of October for Camp Lewis, Washington. I had come to Logan in my father’s buggy and Elder Sonne had seen the list, and told me it was in the window at the Herald Journal. Elder Sonne was a neighbor to the Johnsons and a family friend. I went out to the hay field in North Logan where Oliver was working and told him.
After six weeks at Camp Lewis he was sent to Camp Kerney down by San Diego. I left Thanksgiving Day 1917 to go to California. My folks didn’t want me to go way down there, but Ollie’s folks thought that was the place for me to be. I had a job in a small neighborhood grocery store while I was there. Oliver would only be able to come home on weekends and we would go to a show on Saturday night and to church on Sunday and then Ollie would have to leave to go back to camp. We were there about nine months and it was a very enjoyable time. We went to the zoo many times. Ollie got orders to go overseas so I had to come home alone on the train. He was in France from August to January 1918.
I worked at the John Anderson Department Store in Logan for the three months and stayed with my in-laws. Oliver came home on my birthday, 23 January 1918 and I was very sick in bed with the flu. He got off the train at the Depot on Center and Sixth West street and had to march to the college before being discharged.
That spring we went to our Dry Farm in Blue Creek which Ollie and his brother James had homesteaded before he went into the service. We went out in a covered wagon and it took two days. We came home in July for two weeks to put up the hay, and then went back and stayed until the planting was all done in the fall. I helped when needed with drilling, and plowing and hauling water for the horses and the household. From 1918 to 1924, Oliver and I traveled to Blue Creek in a covered wagon.
Vilate and Oliver at the dry farm in Blue Creek
In 1919 we bought our first home and large lot at 537 North Main Street, Logan, Cache County, Utah and it was here that our first son, Nyman Oliver was born 10 October 1920. James’ wife Ingeborg came and stayed a few days. Nyman was a very beautiful baby and we were so thrilled over him
We started going to Blue Creek every other year and changing years with James [Grandpa Johnson’s brother] and Ingeborg.
James Warren was born 25 August 1923 at home and my sister Annie came and helped. Jim was named after his Grandpa Johnson and after Warren C. Harding, who was President of the United States at that time. He was a very sweet baby with blond hair and blue eyes. He was so good we hardly knew he was around.
We bought our first car in 1924, a 1924 Model T Ford Sedan and in this year, 1968, we still have it. This helped us out greatly on our trips to Blue Creek.
On 6 May 1926 our first girl arrived. That morning Ollie was hit by a car and broke his shoulder. When the doctor came to set it he asked me when I would be at the end of my rope and I said right now. That night Beth came. We didn’t know what to name her until the day of Fast Meeting, walking to church we thought of Beth and both agreed to that.
August 15, 1929, our third son Jay Reed was born. Beth went and stayed with my sister, Annie, and Oliver took care of the two little boys while I was in the hospital.
January 20, 1931, another girl came to bless our home. She had dark hair and blue eyes, we were so happy over her. We named her Ollie Jean, and she grew up to be a lovely girl.
On March 22, 1934, we had another boy, a rather cute little guy and of course we all learned to love him. We called him our baby boy and sometimes we still refer to him as our baby boy, even though he has grown up and moved away from us. We named him Carl Guy, after his Grandpa Nyman and his father. In fun we used to call him and sometimes still do, “Bidda Carl” which is Danish for “little Carl.”
Vilate and Oliver (1935)

The Oliver and Vilate Johnson family (1943)
I joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (Zina D.H. Young Camp) on May 16, 1935. To join the Daughters of the Pioneers, one has to be a direct blood line of a pioneer. We meet once a month and have a lesson pertaining to pioneer history or events and each one of us has to give a history of our pioneer ancestors. Some of the ladies that have been in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers with me are: Emma Holmgeen, Louise Poulter, Nora Hansen, Melba Johnson, Mildred Cannon, Clara Berntson. I have enjoyed the Pioneers so very much. I have also been a Relief Society Visiting teacher for many, many years.
[Note: Vilate and Oliver lived at 537 North Main until Oliver’s mother died in 1942 and they moved in with Oliver’s father at the family home at 100 West 600 North. They took care of Oliver’s father until he died in 1947. The farm and house were then divided amongst the children. Oliver got a share of the farm and his brother, Milton, got the house so Oliver, Vilate, and family needed to move. This is when they bought the house in the picture above on 200 West where they lived there the rest of their lives.]
The Oliver and Vilate Johnson family at the time of Carl's wedding (1960

The growing Oliver and Vilate Johnson family at the time of Carl's wedding (1960)
The Oliver and Vilate Johnson family at the time of their 50th wedding anniversary (1967)
 (From Vilate Nyman Johnson' history, July 1967)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vilate Nyman Johnson--Part 2

The Years Before Marriage
Vilate Nyman Johnson (1908)
I attended the Utah State Agriculture College for one year. I also attended a dressmaking class in Logan and learned how to sew. The year at the college, my two sisters, Teenie and Dell, had an apartment and we three stayed in Logan. When I was taking the dressmaking class I had to walk into Logan from our home in North Logan, up over the college hill and then down into town, and then walk home again in the evening. I did this many, many times. Some times I stayed with my sister Ida and her husband John, they lived up on the college hill.
I did sewing for my sisters, Amelia, Ida, and Dell and I would go and stay at their homes for a few days while I did this. I made a little money this way.
I was baptized on 1 July 1901 in the canal where the canal crosses the Green Canyon Road. This is the North Logan-Hyde Park canal or as we called it “the upper canal.”  I was baptized by N. W. Crookston and confirmed by Ralph Smith.
I attended the North Logan Ward and was Secretary of the Primary. I taught a Sunday School class and I sang in the choir and sang for programs many times.
When W. J. Allen was teacher in the North Logan School, he would sometimes invite the young people to come to the school and dance. They had a vacant room in the school house and we would dance to a gramophone and we really enjoyed ourselves.  We would take refreshments with us and had an enjoyable time. Mr. Alien and his wife would be there as chaperones. We all enjoyed it so much and he was so willing to be there and supervise our entertainment.
I helped milk cows since I was a small girl, we had six or eight most of the time.  I also worked in the beets, and picked potatoes and did all kinds of farm work.
My mother, Albertina Nyman, had diabetes for many years and as the older children had left home it was left up to me to take care of the home duties. I made all the bread and did all the cooking for the family. Mother was in bed for about five years before I was married and wasn’t able to do much. One time I was ready to go with a group camping and stay overnight but Mother fell off the back porch and broke her shoulder so I wasn’t able to go with them.
To go to choir practice at night my brother Ernest, would saddle up the horse and I’d ride behind him to the church. The church activities were our social life.

(From Vilate Nyman Johnson's history, July 1968)