I'm Steve Richardson. My grandfather was Shadrach Milton Richardson, who grew up on the Richardson farm in Benjamin, Utah and died at the age of 39 of silicosis as a result of working in the mines at Eureka. One of his brothers was George Weslie Richardson, who married Pauline Butler. Her story is told below.
Autobiography of Pauline Butler Richardson
Edited by her daughter, Pauline Richardson Balliff
Mother gave this information on a tape recorder to her daughter Pauline. Her early history is intertwined with her mother's, Betty Bulow Butler. This is more about the birth of her children and their early life in Benjamin. Her life was really devoted to us.
Donna was born at the home of her parents, Betty and John Evans, on March 25, 1921, in Benjamin, Utah. She was delivered by Dr. Curtis. Pauline and Wes lived with them after they were married. She was a wonderful baby, the most marvelous baby that ever was born. She was so beautiful and dad and I were so very proud of her. We didn't think anyone could be as fortunate as we were and love her like we did. She grew so fast and was such a smart little thing. We thought she was the smartest thing in the whole world.
We moved into the home that we have now when she was three months old. We had bought this home the first year we were married. Wes had worked all that year on the farm and that was his pay, Six hundred dollars. We were fortunate to move into our own home, but we didn't have any money, only sixty-five cents. We didn't have any groceries either, but somehow or other we lived. It wasn't long until our cupboards were filled with groceries. We had our produce from the farm. We had eggs and milk. We had 70 chickens in a little coop in back of our house. We bought our groceries with the money we received from selling the eggs.
The first year was difficult for us so we decided to spend the winter in Mammoth and Eureka where we could find work in the mines. This helped us get through the summers because the farm was supporting two families. Grandma and Grandpa Evans had moved up to Mammoth and we lived with them. They again had men living with them as she had done in Schofield, and Hiawatha. They provided them with meals and a bed to sleep in. They had a kitchen, living room, and five bedrooms. I helped my mother with the preparation of food and the cleaning of the house.
We had Donna, she was such a precious little girl and we all just worshiped her. We had a little pantry. One day we were busy with all the preparation of the food, and we found her in the pantry with a whole bottle of syrup tipped upside down. What a mess we had in there. I just took a bucket of water and soaked things up to get the mess out of the way. Grandpa Evans thought that was the cutest thing any baby could do. He went all over town telling people how she would dip her fingers in the syrup and string it all over the room.
I was pregnant, and as we got nearer to the time of Betty's birth, winter had set in and it was very snowy and windy. The room where she was born had been wall papered many times. That paper would move back and forth with each blast of the wind. We wondered how we would ever keep it warm enough, but when we were ready to have her, the doctor came up to our house. We were having a blizzard and he just stayed all day. He came in about 10:00 a.m. He said you won't have this baby for a while but this is as warm as any place in town so I will just stay here for the day. He and Dad Evans talked and played cards. When night came Mother got the dinner over for everyone and the men went to their rooms. But still Dr. Bailey just stayed he said my wife knows where I am and those in need of me will just have to wait. He never left us and Betty was born at about 2:00 a.m. Feb. 24, 1923. In March Wes went down to start working on the farm, and I stayed on with Mother so she could help me with my babies.
Betty and Donna both had beautiful dark hair and dark eyes. Grandpa Evans took Betty on his lap and said now don't you ever wear anything of your sisters. Before she was even two months old, he was preaching to her. She had to have everything new — no hand me downs. When we went to pay Dr Bailey, I believe it was $20.00, he said he thought maybe he didn't need to charge us any more than that because he had three meals with us and a very enjoyable day. We gave him the $20.00. During those difficult times that was as hard to get as the $100.00 we now pay. [Wouldn't she be surprised at what the birth of babies cost today.]
It was kind of a happy time living up in Mammoth. Neighbors were sociable. People came in from all over town to see our new baby. A friend Agnes Ludlow Black lived up there and she just came down and could hardly leave. She wanted to stay right there with us and tend the baby. I enjoyed having her as a friend because there were only a few young people there.
When we brought Betty back to Benjamin everyone made such a fuss over her. Wes's family was really thrilled with little babies. At the time we came back to the farm money was so short, we all worked together. Grandpa Richardson was not very well that summer. He died in October of 1923.
We went back up to Eureka that winter. Betty was a year old. We didn't go out a lot but people were friendly and they would come in and have dinner with us. We lived in the poorest house you have ever seen. Most of the houses were like ours, just shacks. It seems to me that they were just boards plastered and papered. We had to use a lot of coal just to keep warm.
Wes worked for a company who ran a diamond drill. It was a crew of men who went around to different mines and prospected for ore. They used these drills to locate the ore and to drill down into the rock. Wes got along so well with these people that they offered him a job in South America. He would have to be gone a year then I would go to wherever he was and be with him. They were to leave the next spring. Wes really wanted to go with them but Grandpa had passed away and he just couldn't leave Alt, who was 14, and Sterling who wasn't well. [I believe there was a promise that he would own the farm if he stayed but that never happened]. Grandma needed him. Wes always wondered what life would have been like for all of us if he had taken that job in South America. We talked about it a lot.
That was the only opportunity we ever had to leave the farm. We had a good life here and that was fine. We had two beautiful little girls and they brought so much joy to our home. Wes's brother Sterling really loved them they would go over to see him. They thought he was just perfect. Eunice, Wes's sister, was still a young teenager. If I brought home a piece of material to make dresses for the girls Eunice would grab it and make the dresses for me. We were very happy with the Richardson family.
Tom was born on July 6, 1925. My children were born two years apart. He was born in our home. The doctor came to our home. Tom was just perfect. I remember that I had been to a concert of some kind and I had seen a child who was born without ears. I was so afraid that the baby would be born without ears. The Doctor knew of my fear and showed me his ears as quickly as he was born. Tom was such a good baby and we were so happy with him. He was named after his grandfather and his father Thomas Wesley. Tom was a good patient baby. He is still that kind of man.
I had three babies. I couldn't believe it. The work came easy there was always someone to help. Mother stayed with me when they were born and then would come in every once in a while after that.
Wes was working in the community. He was always on the Democratic Committee when the elections came along. He was willing to do any civic duty that he was asked to do and we had fun times. We had a lot of friends that were having babies also and in the same situation. We had dinners and parties together. Wes was called as the Sunday School Superintendent and he quit using tobacco. He was always friendly and he enjoyed what he was doing.
Alt and Eunice got typhoid fever just as I started my pregnancy with Paul. Sterling's heart was bad and he was ill that summer. The burden of the farm was on Wes's shoulders. Things were not easy on the farm. We thought we would go to the temple that year but I was pregnant with Paul and women didn't go out to places like that when we were pregnant. I just thought I couldn't go. We put it off and Wes started smoking again so we didn't make it to the temple.
Paul was born July 5, 1927. He was a big robust child. He weighed 8 lbs. and had bright red hair. I had just a pink blanket for him. In those days we didn't know the sex of the baby before they were born. He was a good baby but was always hungry. When we realized we weren't feeding him enough we put him on a bottle. We named him Paul after my twin brother. We thought that we had our family. four was a good number. Paul was a big baby. My shoe size went up two sizes because of the weight of that little boy I now had to carry around. We thoroughly enjoyed him.
Pat was born three years later on April 24, 1930. That extra year made her think she was the older child of our second family. She was such a joy to us all. She was born here at the house too. That year we bought a new 1930 Ford. We thought that was wonderful to be able to have a new car and a new baby at the same time. I think I was just out of bed with her when they delivered the car. Wes wasn't home so they took me for a ride and also taught me how to drive.
I remember when we were going to name Patsy, we had debated about names and it seemed like it was pretty well understood with our other babies what we would name them. This time we could not decide. I thought Beverly was such a pretty name and we liked Patricia too. Wes came in the day that she was blessed and said what did you decide? I told him I thought it should be Beverly. He had already told his family that it was going to be Patricia. So Patricia it was. She was a healthy happy baby.
I was busy with my family. The older children were in school. Things were working out all right. Wes had a job with the county as a road supervisor. Work at that time was quite hard to find. The depression had just begun to hit our area. Many people were coming through the area looking for work. There were some sad situations. One of the things Wes had to do was to make work projects for those searching for jobs. He developed a plan to build a road down around the West Mountain. There was just a wagon trail in the dust and dirt. Quite a few people had sheep around there so a road was needed. His plan was accepted by the county directors. He gathered his workers and they began the project. They used the shale from the Utah Lake to make a good foundation for the road. There was no cost for the materials.
Wes's plan provided jobs for several men. The county was very pleased with the project. They took three or four teams down there and set up equipment to strain the shale out and started work. It was before tractors and it had to be dug up leveled and scraped with teams. When the work first started there were several men who came to work who didn't have food for their lunches. They would carry an empty lunch pail and walk away at lunch time and pretend to eat. Wes always had me fill his lunch bucket with sandwiches. He didn't carry any water. I just filled the top and bottom with sandwiches that he could share with others. After they got their first pay check things changed. The men were able to bring food in their lunch pale.
I think we were fortunate because there wasn't as much hunger where we were on the farm as there was in other places. We took care of the county donations to the people on welfare. The county delivered about two hundred lbs. of meat each week and I divide it up for the people on West Mountain and here in town that needed help. We would give them a roast, steaks and boiling meat. Occasionally someone would get an extra roast or steak. We didn't keep any of it because we had meat from the farm. We were the lucky ones.
Barley was worth 35 cents a bushel. I had wanted to buy some fruit. Wes said use the grain in the bin to buy the fruit. When a man came from Pleasant Grove to sell pears at $3.75 a bushel, we began to sack the grain then I decided the pears were not worth nine bushels of barley. We went without the pears. We could get peaches for $1.00 a bushel in Payson so that year we bottled peaches. I would have to fill the car with bags of grain and go to town to buy a little pair of shoes for $2.50.
We had our hard days. We had a funny thing happen, we lost one pair of the children's shoes they were rationed and we could only buy a limited number of shoes, one pair for each child. It was in the fall and we were threshing the grain, and one pair of little shoes was missing. We looked everywhere and finally decided they must be buried in the grain storage area. We called it the grainery. I had to go to town and meet with the rationing board to get another pair of shoes. In the winter when Wes was working away from home and had to have a lunch we found the little shoes in his lunch pail. You can't imagine how I felt after I had gone practically begging to the rationing board for another pair of shoes.
The depression was quite serious. There were a lot of things we couldn't have, but we didn't make a fuss about it, we just went without. We didn't go hungry there was always food on the table. There wasn't a great variety but it was good food.
Stanley was born on April 22, 1932. By that time we decided we were going to have a large family. He was born at home. We had had company one night for dinner and they asked when the baby was due and I told them any minute. They washed the dishes and went home. We didn't have him for two days. He was another strong and husky little boy. The other children made such a fuss over him. He was healthy, my babies were healthy I never had too much trouble with them. They grew and thrived and the love we gave them was what they needed. Doctor Stewart delivered all the children from Tommy on down.
Grandma and Grandpa Evans became to sick to take care of each other. We then had grandma live with us and Grandpa Evans went to live with his children. Our home was too small to accommodate so many people so we rented a house about two miles above the farm. Alt and Ruth moved into our home on the farm while we added on the extra kitchen bedroom and bathroom.
Pauline was born on Sept. 25, 1933, Dr Stewart was there but he had eczema so badly, evidently from the radiation treatments he had been giving that he supervised while Mrs. Wignal, his nurse, did the delivery. Dad decided this little red head was to be named after her mother.
Dr Stewart was my doctor through my child bearing years. He told me how proud he was of me because I got along so well with raising a family. When I was married I only weighed 98 lbs. After Paul, I only nursed my babies until they were about two months old. I didn't go to the doctor much before the babies were born. We would just tell him we were going to have a baby and we would talk about what he might need for the delivery. It would be barley, oats or hay. It came to about $25.00 for each of the births. Once we overpaid him but he just said aren't you going to have another baby and we did so we were even. Pauline cost just one load of hay.
Sterling was born on September 7, 1935. We were still living up in a home about a mile east of the Benjamin store, the Murray home as we called it. We called the Dr. and Sterling was born about an hour after he got there. He got into this world really easily. He was so precious and all the children just loved him. The more children there are the more love there is to go around. I had to have some help so Wilma Ludlow came after he was born and stayed with us for about a month.
The work on our home was about complete. A Duncan family who were going to rent the house we were living in, moved in with us while we got the rooms finished on our home. They lived in the kitchen and two back rooms, and we lived in the front part of the house with three bedrooms. Within two months our home on the farm was finished and we were able to move back down and be close to the family. Alt and Ruth moved back in with Grandma Richardson.
It was so good to be back in our home with the extra rooms. We partitioned off the big back bedroom so we had a room for the boys and the girls. We didn't have running water in the house until about 1941.
Lynn was born Jan. 2 1938. He came into the world all patched up with black and blue marks from the instruments that had been used in his birth. Everyone was worried about him but the Dr. would come down and look at him and say there was nothing wrong with him and roll him around on the blanket. Hazel, my sister in-law, and I would about die because he was so rough with him, but there really wasn't anything wrong with him except he was bruised up a bit from his journey into the world. He was a black haired – black eyed baby. I guess our only children who were light haired were Paul and Pauline with there red hair. They had the dark eyes but the lightest skin of any babies in town. As Lynn grew he had black curly hair like his Grandpa Richardson. We let his hair grow until someone called him Sally. Wes then insisted that his hair had to be cut.
Wes and I were happy with each of our children as they came. I know that some of our neighbors thought we were having more children than we should but the children just kept coming. It was hard for Wes to support us. We had to make sacrifices. We couldn't do the things other people did but it was worth it to have the family we had.
Larry was born Sept. 25, 1940. He was born after Donna had moved to Salt Lake to go to school at Henager Business College. The children thought he was so cute. They all made such a fuss over him. He had a cute little nose they called him little mouse. Pauline thought he was her birthday present because he was born on her birthday. We all liked the name Larry and Wes liked the name George so he was named Larry George. He was a good baby but he had chicken pox when he was just so small. When we picked him up we had to be so careful not to break one of the blisters.
He loved Grandma Richardson, when she would leave home he would go over and lay on her back porch and cry. When he got old enough to talk he would go over and visit with her, then he would come and tell me she needed something from town. I would go over to see her and she would say well if you are going I will go with you. We soon found out his trick he would tell her I was going so she thought she was just riding along.
Brent was born Dec. 31, 1942. I guess I was getting tired at that time because it was really a hard pregnancy for me. He was born in the Payson Hospital. I was in the hospital a while before he was born. Even as little as he was, he grew to be strong and healthy. Betty had moved to Salt Lake to go to Henager Business College also. Donna was working in Price when she became ill with a kidney infection and came home for a few weeks to recover.
I had been carrying babies for 22 years, either in my stomach or in my arms. Somehow or other it didn't bother me too much. I use to say that while the other ladies were playing bridge I was baking bread. We still kept our friends and had parties with them. To our children all our friends were called aunt and uncle.
Wes and I had never felt that our babies had been a burden. They brought so much joy and pleasure to us. Each one brought something new and different into our lives. It was a new challenge to be able to direct their lives and try to model and mold them into something that would be worthwhile. I am glad I had I 1 children and they were healthy and well and perfectly normal in every way. They had different dispositions right from the time they were born. As they grew we grew with them and learned to know them. We could see why the Lord sent babies to people who would love them and could handle them. We didn't have money but we had the things that were worthwhile and they have been such a joy to us
When I married into Wes's family I realized how good they were. I had never lived in a town like Benjamin we had always lived in coal camps. The Richardson family loved each other and each child that was born. Before Grandpa Richardson died he would come over and hold Donna and rock her. He had had a stroke and couldn't read. In the morning when I had finished bathing and dressing her he would cuddle her while I read the paper to him. I enjoyed the association with him. He appreciated so much the time I would take to read to him. He also turned the washer for me. Those were the years before we had electricity. The love they showed for our children was an inspiration to me.
Wes was a good father he loved our children very much. In a way he was a stern father. When he told them what he wanted them to do he expected them to do it and they did it. He had a way of handling them that made him such a wonderful father and a good example to them. He never put up with anything that was too rough. He never allowed our children to talk back to me or show disrespect to me. He was the example to them.
When Patsy was born we got electricity in our home. It was such a marvelous thing to have electricity in our home. An electric stove, I thought I was the luckiest woman in the whole world. I had a new stove and lights to see by. Before that time we had coal oil lamps, we then got a lamp with a mantle on it that we pumped gas into somehow or other. Maybe it was some kind of carbide light. I also could then have an electric iron instead of heating the flat iron on the stove. What a wonderful thing to have electricity. We had had electricity in the coal camps when I lived there but the electric lines didn't come to our farm until 10 years after we were married. My Mother bought us a radio from the Sears and Roebucks catalogue and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. We all enjoyed it so much.
We had a Model T Ford when we were first married. It was just a little two-seater. It was so light. Wes went up to the center of town and was going too fast and turned it over. Two men came along and turned it back up and away we went again. Then we bought another car with a back seat in it. We had that for seven or eight years. I shouldn't say I lived in the horse and buggy years because we were only married a few months before we got our first car.
Mom stopped her recording at this point so I am going to add just a bit more.
Dad's health had begun to decline. He had been such a hard worker. He had gone to the doctor in 1950 or 1951 and the doctor had told him he needed to stop smoking and it would help him to improve his health. He quit at once but his health did not improve. In the fall of 1951 he went into a tuberculosis hospital in Ogden. We were so glad when he came home from the hospital in December. We thought that he was cured. We don't know if they had told him he had cancer or not but he did not tell us. I remember tears running down his face as we decorated the tree. I just thought he was glad to be home. His health continued to decline. He was so ill. I don't remember when we finally knew it was lung cancer but we were all very frightened.
Mother decided to take him to a Dr. in Salt Lake. Paul was working for Deseret Mortuary. He came down to pick him up in a hearse. The Doctor could only place a tracheotomy in his throat to allow him to breathe more easily and send him home with medication to ease the pain. His lungs were so filled with cancer and it was spreading. He returned home and we sadly watched him suffer with very little relief. I remember Jan just climbing up beside him and saying I love you grandpa. And he repeated," I love you" over and over again. He had wanted to communicate but he was just too ill to be able to express his thoughts.
When mother could see that he was not going to recover she called Uncle Les, Dad's brother, and Aunt Hazel to come over to our home, and along with the children who were living at home, we kneeled down around his bed and Mother prayed to our Father in Heaven to release him from his pain. He died within just a few minutes. He passed away on May 7, 1952. He had touched so many lives with his kindness. He and Mother had been so good to others that the line to his viewing stretched out across the lawn. It was customary to have the viewing at the home the night before the burial and people came to pay their respects. His funeral was very large. He was loved by a great number of people.
Mother continued on with the farm. I had finished 2 quarters at BYU and had come home to help Mom in April. Stan was in the service but was released to help on the farm. Sterling was 16, Lynn was 14, Larry was 12, and Brent just 10. Stan stayed for a while but had to return to the service. Mother and the four young boys held on to the farm and actually completed the payments to finally own the farm. I had to find work so joined Pat in Salt Lake.
In the midst of this Grandmother Miles became ill and moved down with Mother off and on for the next 4 years. She died June 4, 1956. Sterling was killed in an automobile accident Oct. 18, 1961. His death was very difficult for Mother. He had been working out of state for a few years and had returned for a vacation. To lose a child so unexpectedly was almost more than she could stand. Loa, Paul's wife had died in 1960. Jan and Rob had spent a great deal of time with mom while Loa was ill.
Mother's ability to deal with all kinds of circumstances good and bad throughout her life is an inspiration to all of us. She did many things after we were all raised. She was a Relief Society President, for many years she was a Pink Lady at Payson hospital, she worked in the Provo Temple, and always had an open house and heart to everyone who came.
Mother passed away November 27, 1987. She still had a clear mind and lived alone in her home on the farm. This was possible with the help of Lynn and Verla who lived across the street, other children who came to help on evenings and weekends, and Mrs. Cloward, Janet's mother, who came each weekday during the last few months. Mother was never idle. When her eyesight failed her during her last years she listened to books on tape.
Mother was baptized in a water trough at the Shepherd home on June 5, 1920. In 1956 after Dad had passed away, she went to the temple and was sealed to him and the children who were younger than 18 in the Provo Temple on August 9, 1956.
I'm sure you all have special memories of Mom. Write them down and attach them for your children's sake. I know I left out a lot of things. I didn't touch upon the many car escapades. I just took this from the recording she made years ago.
It's been a labor of love being beside Mother's memories and seeing things as she saw them.
Pauline Richardson Ballif, August 2011.
To read a biography of her husband, George Weslie Richardson, click here. To return to the Richardson Family Index page, click here.