I start to school
More School life
A Fatal Accident in our Family
My First Money Earned
A Close Call
Another Close Call
More School Days
My first experience with sugar beets
Other Work and School Days
The Advent of the Automobile into Cache Valley
My Last Year in the District School
I Go to College - 1902
Graduation and Mission Call
Ordained and Set Apart for Mission
I was born in Millville, Cache County, Utah, Sept. 21, 1886 in a small two room log house. This house now is part of the residence owned and occupied by Duane Humphreys, east across the street from Theurer Bros. Store. My parents were James Alma Hovey and Esther M. Pitkin. I was the fifth child in a family of nine children, two girls and seven boys. The other members of the family are Maria Lusannah Hovey Hill, James Arch, George Orrin, Angus Ray, Rex, Leslie Wilford, Sidney Goodridge and Izene Hovey Goddard.
We lived in rather poor circumstances. Father had a farm of eighty acres of College land west of Millville across the Black Smith Fork river. He owed for the land. The annual payments with the high interest rates and the rearing of such a large family was no small task in those days. I remember very distinctly some of our surroundings and home life.
For a number of years the walls and ceilings of one of our rooms were covered with factory and white washed. This took the place of lath and plaster. It looked much better than the bare timber and kept out considerable cold. We had a home made carpet on the bedroom floor with small home made throw rugs and a bare floor in the kitchen. We had a homemade cupboard painted brown. The first linoleum we got for the kitchen floor was considered rather extravagant. Mother and my eldest sister Maria, did all the clothes washing with wash boards and tubs. Later they used an old mangel and then a Western washer with a wheel on top with a handle fastened to it and this was turned over and back. It was quite an improvement over the wash board. We boys did not think so, however, when we were asked to turn the washer. Homemade soap was used. This was made from beef tallow, hog fat, lye and water from wood ashes.
For several years some of us children slept in beds made on the floor. We were always glad in the fall when new straw was placed under the carpet on the floor. This helped to make a better bed. Later we had wooden bed steads with wooden slats extending crosswise, and a tick filled with straw or cat tails. When the slats became worn, they would pull loose with a little movement on the bed and down would come the bed. It was very annoying to have this happen when one was asleep and had to get up and have the slats put in place and the bed made over again. A tick filled with new straw always smelled good but was rather uncomfortable to sleep on until the straw got leveled out and adjusted to ones body. Cat tails taken from the rushes from the sloughs were warm but they rolled up more than straw. New straw was usually placed in the ticks in the spring and fall when the general house cleaning took place. The cat tails were used more in the winter because they were warmer. We had our share of red bugs and the house got a good fumigating with burnt sulphur in the spring and fall. Much surepop was used. Red bugs were quite common with most families.
There was no coal to be had and it kept father busy each summer and fall to get enough wood to last during the winter. Father was a good logger and we had large piles of pine and aspen logs with some mahogany. These were sawed up for winter as well as summer wood. Part of our farm was pasture and river bottom land and willows grew very fast. These were cut and made good summer wood. Years later when it was possible to get and afford a little coal, it was considered quite a luxury. The winters always seemed long and cold to me.
We had no rubber or overshoes and we used melted beef tallow and lamp black to rub on our shoes to make them soft and to help keep the water out. Mother always knitted our stockings and mittens. To do this and keep them repaired was a big job for such a large family and one pair of hands. This usually was Mother's night job when she did not have other work more pressing. Many nights I have seen her sit by the fire and knit and darn and fall asleep because she was so tired.
Mother always made waists for us boys and old lady Westerborg of Hyrum and sometimes our Aunt Ann Pitkin Wilson made our breeches. The breeches buttoned onto the waist. The materials for the waists and breeches were purchased in the stores. A little later bib overalls came along and these with a shirt, knitted stockings and stog shoes was our every day clothing. A coat and mittens when necessary.
We always had some pretty good cows and therefore had plenty of milk and butter, especially at certain times of the year. One of the first cows I remember was a large red and white cow. We called her Spot. Another one was a roan cow with a crumpled horn and we called her Roany. Sometimes in the winter we did not have sufficient butter and had to use bacon fat to put on our bread in place of butter. We raised two or more large pigs and these were killed in the fall for our winter meat. We used old Man Cook's sausage mill to make our sausages. That is when I learned to like pork sausages. We had some beef occasionally. A cellar with a dirt roof was made at the back of our house. Mother and Father worked hard to gather what fruit they could during the fruit season. Mother put up large jars of preserved plums and peaches and some bottled fruit. She had large sacks of dried apples and corn. When these dried apples were cooked with store currants and seasoned with cinnamon, it made wonderful pies and applesauce. I could relish one of those pies now. Most of our fruit was always gone by spring. It appeared Mother could never put up enough fruit to last us through the winter and spring.
In the spring and summertime we usually had sufficient eggs but in the wintertime our coop was cold and we had no eggs of our own. The chickens, like everything else, has to shuffle for themselves. Wheat and scraps were all they got. Some attempted to roost in the apple trees all winter. We had mixed breeds, mostly dominecs, crossed with leghorns. They were just chickens and that's all. In the summertime the grassy lot above the canal made good range for the poultry. A row of wild currant bushes between us and Hulses on the east made a good border while chock cherry and wild rose bushes made a border between us and the schoolhouses on the south. These were great assembly places for our chickens. Also for us and other children when we played hide and seek and other games.
Some of the first horses I remember was old Steener and Fan. A little later a good old sorrell mare named Doll. Finally, the good old standby and dam of most of our horses, Old Nell. She became one of the family, indeed. We all became very much attached to her.
Near our home was the Yeates lot, west across the street. There was a store owned and operated by Fredrick Yeates. The building still stands and is owned by my father-in-law, John Johnson, and is leased by Theurer Bros. For a store. One half block south on the same side of the street was another large red store building owned by the Woods people. The town was not large enough to accommodate two stores so the Woods store did not operate long. On the northwest corder across the street from us was the Wilcox home. It is still in the family and owned by John Wilcox. North of us in the present Cutler home was the Gamble home. East of us the Hulse place and south of us the school grounds.
In the east part of our lot we had a pretty good orchard. Four large astrachen trees on the bank of the canal were frequently visited when the apples were ripe. It was just a matter of shaking the trees and the ripe apples fell into the canal and we picked them out. Lower down we had a rack across the stream to hold the apples that fell during heavy wind storms. We had a large late fall apple tree which bore dark red sweet apples. They were somewhat like a delicious. Since those days I have often wanted to know the name of those apples. I have never tasted an apple I like as well nor one since that was like it. If our Mother "Eve" was tempted with an apple like that I don't blame her for eating it. We had some green gage and other plum trees. Our family liked very much all kinds of fruit, and fresh astrachen apple pies made by Mother were always relished a great deal. Mother was exceptionally good at preserving and bottling fruit and an all-round good cook. Father's experience on the railroad as a cook came in handy many times when Mother was ill and until Maria became old enough to assume more of the responsibilities of the house.
Our corrals were west of the canal, joined the school grounds on the south and extended west to the sidewalk. The Hovey corral with its deep mud and muck running onto the sidewalk was notorious and the cause of considerable comment. However, it was no worse than other cow corrals that joined the sidewalk.
In front of our house extending to the corral and stack yard, was a willow fence. One of our first dogs I can remember was old Ring. He was a well built, heavy set dog with an iron grey color. He took great delight running back and forth on the inside of this fence and bark at a large yellow dog named Lion, owned by the Henry boys farther up the street. These dogs would always put up a great show and race running back and forth along this willow fence, barding and growling. One time Father could see the opportunity for a good joke and surprise on the dogs. He stood by the little gate after the two dogs got going good and opened the gate quickly and the two dogs came together. "Wow," what a surprise and what a fight for a few minutes. Ring was too old and Lion was larger and stronger and got the better of the fight. We did not have any lawn or flowers in front of our house. Just weeks and a bonfire place where trash was burned.
Among other family dogs we had was a large rangy black and white dog we named Nick. He was a good cattle dog and fighter. He was poisoned. Another dog we had in later years was a grey speckled dog named Trace. My brother Ray picked him up in Logan as a pup. He was a very intelligent dog and was one of the family. He understood very well. He was a great bluffer among other dogs. We had many amusing incidents with him.
The two irrigating canals known as the upper and the lower canals, flowed through the town and were the main sources of water for drinking and culinary purposes for a number of years. Some few people who could afford them had wells dug and boxed or rocked in. They were open wells. The water was drawn with a rope and wooden barrel-like buckets. People would go for a considerable distance to get water from these wells. We used the Yeates well across the street a good deal.
The canals in the town flowed through some corrals and on every street where the canals were, were places for watering livestock. The filth that came from these sources and all the sediment and other foreign objects no doubt caused a good many of the typhoid cases and other sicknesses by the people drinking and cooking with this ditch water. The wells were a great help to the community.
In addition to the canal water being impure, the canals also made some hazards for young children and a great deal of worry for parents living near the streams. Several children were drowned in these canals. The lower canal being near our back door was a constant worry to Mother. When we were small and any of us got out of her sight or hearing, the first thing she thought of was the ditch. When I think how the ditch worried her while we were growing up and the constant strain on her mind, it is remarkable how well she kept up. I believe this constant worry and strain helped to bring gray hair to her head and wrinkles to her brow in later years. All of us at different times fell in the ditch and had some narrow escapes.
On one occasion when Izene, the baby, was a small child she was playing outside. It was in the spring and the canal was full of water. Mother missed Izene and immediately went to the footbridge. She could not see or hear anything and went back to the house to find her baby. She was impressed to go to the ditch again. As she came to the footbridge she noticed a little dress floating on top of the water. She reached down quickly, took hold of the dress and it was Izene. Mother pulled her out and with considerable effort revived her. It was a close call and a great shock to Mother and us children. I can now see very distinctly in my mind the great fear and anxiety on Mother's face and the relief when she found Izene and Izene was able to breathe again.
When I became six years of age I started to school in an old rock school building located on the site of the present school building in Millville. Miss Turner was the teacher. She was a small woman but I thought she was beautiful. She had soft brown eyes and hair and regular features. Very neatly dressed. She was kind to me and to the pupils in general. She did not teach long in Millville but as a small boy I remember her distinctly.
Miss Francis Wood of Logan succeeded Miss Turner as teacher in the lower grades. Martin Woolf was teacher for the upper grades in a frame building above the canal which flowed through the school grounds. Since then this building has been torn down and the canal covered over.
In the old rock building a large round stove was placed in the center of the room. Large sticks of wood were used for fuel. Double wooden desks and benches were provided. There were also some lower double hardwood benches painted yellow. The old wooden desks were much too high and uncomfortable. Each class went to a row of front seats to recite its lessons. Large charts with lessons and pictures were used to teach us how to read and write. I still remember some of those lessons and pictures on those charts.
The school room was crowded and unsanitary and had poor ventilation. There were four classes with mixed groups and it kept the teacher real busy. As a school boy I never did think much of Miss Wood as a teacher. She never did have much love for boys and she had many pets and favorites, especially with the girls. With Miss Wood, no matter what the girls did the boys always got "Hell." It was bad enough for Miss Wood to have girl pets but when she had a few boy pets, no wonder those not so favored were resentful. This has always been a lesson to me to show no favoritism unless it is duly earned and then it must be used with discretion.
I remember well some punishment I received at the hand of Miss Wood. She had a rule of appointing certain ones in the school to be monitors. Those who talked more and made more noise than others were to receive check marks and they had to remain after school and write so many words so many times on paper or the blackboard. I was checked against by a smart monitor and asked to remain while some of the pets who had talked more and made more confusion were allowed to go. I was wrathy and when the school dismissed for the day I walked out with the others and did not remain. I repeated this the second night after being told to remain. A note was brought to my mother that I was to appear at the school building at once. I refused to go but was lead there by Mother. I was put to work writing words while the janitor swept the building and Oh what dust. After Miss Wood had finished her board work she took me behind one of the blackboards and trounced me severely on my seat and legs with a tough dry stick. She gave me a double header for disobeying rules for two nights. She did not scatter her licks much and this made it all the more painful. I resented this very much and after explaining it to Mother, she did not feel right about it. I presume, however, it was for the best to maintain discipline. Perhaps if I had gotten away with this infraction of the rules, I would have been disobedient in other ways.
While attending Miss Wood's school I had an accident that was painful. It was in the winter and cold. When we played outside the school building and got cold, we would rush in and get around the large circular stove to get warm. The stove was red hot in places. I was small and the larger boys pushed me against the stove and I received a bad burn on my leg. I was laid up for a few days with this burn. I received a good brand for the remainder of my life.
When I became eight years of age, I with several others including Ivie Hammond, my cousin, and my sister-in-law (now), Mrs. Hazel Garr Hovey, were baptized October 4, 1894 in the Blacksmith Fork River below the bridge on the highway between Millville and Nibley. I was baptized by Ole Olson and confirmed by Bro. Cook. Brother Karl G. Maeser and Bro. Goddard were traveling representatives of the Church. We held a meeting in the meeting house and they gave us a good talk and instructions. We had fast days on Thursday and met for short meetings. My grandfather George O. Pitkin was the Bishop. All of Cache Valley was one stake at that time.
After entering the fifth grade I went to Martin Woolf's school. He had a very quick temper and used the rod many times and on many occasions, I thought unwarranted. I felt his rod and ruler a number of times but got along better than many others. It was in this school that I first saw Lauretta, my future wife. She was the daughter of John and Jane Johnson. The Johnson family were residents of Hyrum but moved to West Millville, now Nibley. They purchased the Henry Burger place now occupied by the John Yeates family on the main highway to Hyrum. The old house was burned down. The Johnson family did not live long at the Burger place but purchased the Samuel Holt place now occupied by Bishop Byron Snow of Nibley. The house still stands. The farm, however, has been cut up and sold to other parties.
I was impressed with Lauretta the first time I saw her. Little did I think she would be my future mate in life. I can see her now with her hair in two braids tied with pretty ribbon, I thought. She wore a colored dress made from gingham, I suppose. She was in the grade just below me. I was in her company more or less during our grammar school years. I did not get serious until I became older. I will have more to say about that later.
Two or three years before this time I was stricken with pleural pneumonia. It was in the spring and we played outdoor games at night, "run, sheep, run" and I lay on the damp ground to hide. I took cold and in a day or so it developed into pleurisy and then pneumonia. I was very sick and was not expected to live a number of times. I remember fighting for my breath on several occasions. I was administered to several times by the elders and good results always followed. Dr. Snow of Logan was the doctor.
A few years before this time Father took typhoid fever and was in bed for eight weeks. I was sent to stay with Grandmother Hovey two blocks east of our home. I was just a small lad and was homesick many times. Grandmother's frugality, simple life and daily routine I remember very distinctly. She had had many hard knocks in life and was very practical. Her sincere prayers night and morning impress me now as I think of them. Although a small boy, I can remember some of her expressions in her prayers. She had me go to bed at certain times each night. I did not always like this and was rebellious sometimes. Uncle Grafton was not married and lived with Grandmother. He had a banjo and when he was away I used to get the banjo, try to play it and break the strings. He tingled my legs a number of times.
In October 1894, the political rallies had started for the fall election in November. One night the Millville Band was playing in advance of the rally one block north of our place on the main street. My older brothers, Arch and George were sent to milk the cows but Mother told them to come in after milking and not go to where the band was playing. The band with the torch lights was too much temptation for the boys so when they finished milking they set the milk quietly on the outside porch and ran to hear the band. It was dark. Arch took the sidewalk but George went up the middle of the street on a run. Two men on a large horse came down the road from the band on a fast gallop. The glare of the lights no doubt prevented George from seeing the horse in time and he was run over. It is probable the riders did not see George. They went on and did not stop. When the band came marching down the street, they found George lying in the road unconscious. Arch rushed home and said George had been run over and they wanted a quilt to carry him home. In my mind I can see now very distinctly how shocked and grief stricken Mother was when she heard the news. Father was not at home at the time. They carried George in and Father sent for Doctor Snow at Logan. He came and did what he could but said we would have to wait and see what developed. He knew George was hurt very seriously. George was conscious the next day. It was his birthday and he talked to Mother about it. We had hopes he would be alright in a few days but that was not to be. In the afternoon of the second day he began to sink. We gathered around his bedside and he passed away about 5 p.m. It was a shock to all of us and we grieved many days, especially Mother. We always carried many fond memories of him. He was eleven years of age. He was gentle in disposition and kind and helpful to Mother, especially in helping to care for the smaller children. He sang and rocked the babies to sleep many times. This was always a lesson in obedience to me but I did not always obey the teaching.
When I was about ten years of age I was hired one summer by my Uncle Estus Hammond to milk cows night and morning. I milked six cows each night and morning for $2.00 per month. This was the first money I had ever earned. It took me three hours each day to do this milking. I was paid a little over two cents per hour; some wages. I milked cows for about four months and with this money I bought me my first store (or hand-me-down) suit of clothes. It was a blue suit and I was very proud of it. A year or so later I milked cows for Annie Holt. This was all good experience for me as I was learning the value of a dollar and it made me feel better to know that I was earning my own money.
About this time one fall, perhaps 1895 or 1896, a terrific wind storm struck Cache Valley. It was in September. We had been helping Grandfather Pitkin haul grain. About 5 p.m. I took our old Topsy and rode to the pasture for the cows. I had to drive the cows along the county road. The wind was so strong and there was so much dust that the cows stampeded and were not turning at the proper corner for our home in Millville. I rode as fast as I could make Topsy go to head the cows. On reaching the corner, Tospy went one way and I went the other and lit on my head on the hard road. Annie Holt came along from Logan in her buggy and they picked me up and she took me home. I was unconscious for sixteen hours and had a terrible headache all the next day. I was fortunate in not getting a fractured skull. The wind blew down many large poplar trees in all parts of Cache Valley. In Logan it blew trees down which brought the electric lines down and one man was electrocuted.
As we lived not far from the Blacksmith Fork River, I learned to swim rather early. Before learning, however, I had a close call. On one occasion some other boys and I were in swimming in a rather deep swimming hole in Blacksmith Fork River, south west of the old rock grist mill. I had the habit of placing one foot on the bottom to push me along. I was in the hole alone and the other boys were on the bank. Among these was Sam Larson. I went along and when I went to put my foot on the bottom it was too deep and I went partly under. I started to strangle and fight to get back to the bank. The boys just stood there and made no effort to help me. They said they thought I was fooling. I certainly wasn't fooling. I was fighting to get back to the bank and get out. I succeeded but was weak and much unstrung. It was a lesson to me and I did not risk deep water again until I could swim. To this day I cannot understand why those boys stood there and did not offer to help. We had some pretty good swimming holes along the river.
I did not attend Martin Woolf's school long. He and his family sold their property in Millville and moved to Canada. Martin Woolf was Mother's cousin. I was quite chummy with his boys, Feremor and Devoe. I have never seen either one of them to this day. That is about forty years ago. Other playmates I had were Willie Biglow, Joseph Jenson, Willis and Milton Humphreys, Lester Jessop, Ethel, my Mother's sister; Ivie Hammond, my cousin, Ella Jessop, Josie Yeates, and several others.
E. P. Oldham succeeded Martin Woolf as teacher in the Millville Grammar School. I thought he was a pretty good teacher. He was more kind than Woolf and had better methods and teaching. Woolf was more of the old type. Woolf was especially good in explaining things and telling incidents in history. Oldham did not teach long and was succeeded by James K. Burch. Burch was peculiar in many ways but he knew his subjects. He had piercing black eyes and made one look and act foolish.
About this time Mother, who desired that the family have more income, got the work of sweeping the school houses. She was the custodian. I helped her many times. It was a very unpleasant job because of the dust. Mother also took in washings from people in Logan. Many times I drove to Logan in a small wagon, collected the washings and then delivered them. Oh, what roads I had to travel over. I used to travel the road from fence to fence and sometimes on the fields to pick the best places and avoid the mudholes.
In the fall of 1898 I helped James Jenson Matiason dig sugar beets. These were shipped to Ogden as there was no sugar factory in Logan at that time. These were some of the first sugar beets grown in Cache Valley or Millville. I received 30 cents and my dinner each day. I earned $9.00 and that helped clothe me for the winter.
Part of one year I rode a horse to the Hansen Dairy on the main highway extending west through Nibley, about twice each week and cleaned hog pens. I received $2.00 each month for this stinking job. The pens were covered over and sloped to a small ditch in the middle. The manure was pushed in the ditch and washed away. The pigs were fed on whey from the dairy with bran. On warm days some of the pigs got too much whey and burst. It was a mess.
A year or so later I worked in the dairy and learned a little about cheese making. I worked with August Larsen and my Uncle Alma Hansen. I did most of the lackey work such as washing cheese hoops, turning cheeses and helping wherever necessary. The lye we used in the wash water put my hands in terrible condition. I had some trouble in getting them cured.
August Larsen was a good worker and knew the business. As for Uncle Alm Hansen, his main specialty was standing around and talking and scratch his head with one hand and his a__ with the other.
About this time was the first automobile I had ever seen. There were about two in Logan. One was owned by the Thatcher people and Dr. Emies. The other was owned by old man Murdock who had a popular confectionery. I don't know what model the Thatcher-Emies car was but it would be very crude now. I believe it was one of the first Buicks. The Murdock car was a little two seater with wire wheels. He called it the Spider. We had no service stations, oiled or paved roads. They could travel about fifteen miles per hour. How different now.
These first automobiles were a great shock to the livestock, especially. These automobiles made much noise and when they came along the highways, all the livestock in the fields would scatter in all directions with their tails in the air. Some of our horses, particularly Topsy, was much frightened. I remember on one occasion I was driving Mother to Logan. We saw one of these devil machines (automobiles) coming. I drove off the highway, down the barrow pit and turned Topsy towards the fence, got out and held her by the bits and tried to prevent her seeing the automobile. Mother was very nervous and cussed the devilish machine. Topsy tried hard to get away but I held on for dear life.
James Henry Anderson succeeded James K. Burch as the teacher in the Grammar School. I liked him very much. I think he was one of the best school teachers Millville ever had. I was in the 8th grade. Anderson was much interested in dramatics and had our class put on a show. I took part in this show and was the villain. During this time I took Ella Jessop out some but my eyes were always on Lauretta.
I had to stop school in the spring and help with the farm work. I did not graduate with the class. This was a great disappointment to me and I brooded a good deal over it. It made me feel badly to see my class mates graduate and receive their certificates and I did not. I made a strong resolution I would go to College and graduate or die in the attempt. I made plans all that summer.
In the fall of 1902 my brother Ray and I registered for a course at the Brigham Young College at Logan. This college went out of existence some twenty years later and the grounds and buildings were taken over by the City Board of Education for the Senior High School of Logan. James H. Linford was the president of the College. I took a mixed course, normal and business. I did not get along so well the first year or so but did much better the last two years and graduated in 1906. I was handicapped because of the lack of funds and had to ride back and forth and did not get the necessary time to study.
For the first two years Ray and I rode back and forth from Millville to Logan and milked a number of cows to help get funds to send us to school. It was very meager at that. We batched one winter in Logan, and the next winter we stayed with our Aunt Zina Hansen, my mother's full sister. I shall always feel grateful to her for her kindness and help to me while living at her place in Logan.
When we drove to and from school we had a little buck skin mare named Kit. She could trot quite fast but had a rubber neck and was honery and hard to guide some times. We had little money, sometimes not enough to buy the necessary books and school equipment. I shall always feel grateful to Mother and Father for they helped all they could to encourage us and help us get through school.
While at college I took some interest in athletics, mostly track work. I used to broad jump, pole vault, and run the low and high hurdles. I played some basketball and learned to fence.
During the summers of my college years I played baseball on the noted Millville Baseball Team. I was the center fielder. We had some exciting games with Wellsville, Lewiston, College, Paradise, Hyrum, Preston and some Logan teams. My brother Ray was the main pitcher and he was very good for those days.
The first year I started to college I started to keep company with Lauretta, my future wife. We went together until we were married five years later.
Two important events took place in my life in the spring of 1906. I graduated in the spring of this year from the Brigham Young College and received a call to go on a mission to Germany. I had much satisfaction to know that I was able to graduate from College as I had worked so hard and sacrificed to accomplish this and I also felt pleased that I had been counted worthy for a call on a mission for the Church. I felt this experience would do me a great deal of good.
Before leaving my home for my mission I was ordained as an elder. Father ordained me assisted by Bishop J. E. Roueche, H. C. Henniger and James Jenson of the bishopric.
A day or so before leaving for my mission from Salt Lake City, a number of elders, including myself, were called to meet at the Church office, get set apart and receive our instructions. Also our Ministers Certificate. Apostle Francis M. Lyman and President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave us some good advice. In setting us apart he promised us a safe journey and return if we would do our part. He said for us to always remember who we were and to leave wine and women, in particular, alone. This all impressed me very much.
Respected Logan Couple Wed For Fifty Years
Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Hovey, long time residents of Logan will observe their 50th wedding anniversary Friday June 21. They will be honored by their children at a dinner at the Bluebird on Sunday, June 23.
Mr. Hovey was born at Millville Sept. 21, 1886. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. James A. Hovey. He spent his childhood and early school days there and later attended the Brigham Young College at Logan where he graduated with the Class of 1906. He taught school for one year at Greenville (North Logan), and then filled a mission for nearly three years in Germany for the LDS Church.
After his return in 1910, he was employed as secretary of the Logan-Boosters Club (Logan Chamber of Commerce), where he served for forty three years. He retired from this position in 1953. During all these years he was closely connected with the development of Logan and Cache Valley. He is still active in church and civic affairs. He is secretary of the Logan Rotary Club and the Cache valley Centennial Commission.
Mrs. Hovey, (Lauretta Johnson) was born at Hyrum, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson. Later the family moved to Millville and engaged in the mercantile business and farming. She was a student at the Brigham Young College at Logan. She taught school for a short time at Millville and at Moreland, Idaho. During her married life she has been active in church work and other organizations, having served in the Relief Society Presidency and as president and secretary of the William B. Preston Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.
Mr. and Mrs. Hovey were married in the Salt Lake Temple June 21, 1907. They are the parents of three sons and one daughter. They are Dennis Hovey, Bountiful; Clair J. Hovey, Ogden; Reid M. Hovey, Washington, D.C.; and Mrs. Beth Campbell, Boise, Idaho. They have 12 grandchildren.
FOR 42 YEARS
Ex - Chamber Secretary Dies
Merlin Ross Hovey, 78, prominent Logan resident who, as secretary-manager of the Chamber of Commerce for more than four decades became identified with many industrial and civic developments in Logan and Cache County, died this morning at Logan LDS Hospital following a brief illness. His home was 243 East 3rd South.
He was born September 21, 1886 in Millville, a son of James Alma and Esther M. Pitkin Hovey. He had lived in Cache Valley throughout his entire lifetime.
Mr. Hovey married Lauretta Johnson on June 21, 1907 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. The couple observed their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1957.
The respected Cache civic and church leader attended local schools and graduated from Brigham Young College in 1906. He filled an LDS Mission to Germany, 1907 to 1910.
He taught school for one year in North Logan and on April 13, 1910 accepted a position as secretary-manager of Logan Boosters Club (now known as the Chamber of Commerce). He served continuously in that position until December 31, 1952.
Through the years, in order to better keep abreast of the latest developments in the chamber of commerce field, he attended special schools and conventions in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Chicago and Colorado Springs.
Mr. Hovey was one of the founding officers of Logan Savings and Loan Association and was active in the establishment of Logan-Cache Airport. Other local developments which he has been identified with are the Cache County Fair (served as secretary of the board for some 40 years); American Red Cross, Hyrum Dam, canning crops processing, Logan Golf Course, Morningside Square and numerous bond drives. He was a member of the Cache Centennial Commission until it was recently dissolved.
An active member of the LDS Church, Mr. Hovey has been a member of the Logan Stake High Council and historian for Mt. Logan Stake. He has also been active in scout work throughout the years.
He was a member of the Logan Rotary Club and served as its secretary for many years.
Survivors include his wife, Logan: four children. Dennis R. Hovey, Bountiful; Reid M. Hovey, McLean, Virginia; Clair J. Hovey, Ogden; Mrs. Eli (Beth) Campbell, Boise, Idaho; 14 grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Izene Goddard, Salt Lake City and Mrs. Guy H. Hill, Baker, Oregon; a brother, L. W. Hovey, Logan.
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Logan Stake Chapel with Bishop Harold Hiskey of Logan 13th Ward officiating.
Friends may call Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hall Mortuary and Saturday from 11 a.m. until time of services.
Burial will be in the family plot of Logan City Cemetery.