by Beverly Jean Olds Schoppmann

Melvin James (Mel as he is known now) was born 21 July 1908 in the farming community of Pintura, Utah. His parents, Thomas and Eliza Jane Hunt Olds were ranchers in the town. Mel was the youngest of their twelve children. He was blessed

30 August 1908 by William A. Bringhurst.

When Mel was eight years old his mother died. He was baptized 4 August 1918 by John T. Batty and confirmed by Walter H. Slack.

They moved to Snowfield, Utah. They were in Snowfield when he and his father would travel over the mountain to peddle fruit. They went by horse and wagon. It sometimes took them a week or longer. They would trade for the things they needed all winter. He was ten years old at this time. On one of the trips he fell asleep in the wagon seat and fell out. He landed on the ground just behind the horses. On another trip they camped by a creek. That night while they were asleep, the horses got across the creek; they had quite a time getting them back. Carl, Dewey and Mel stayed in a tent in Snowfield. One time it snowed quite hard and the tent caved in. It was around this time that they moved to Toquerville, Utah.

Mel and his nephew, Lewis Olds, used to have to herd the cows together down below Savage's on the sand flats of Toquerville. They had Tomís cows and usually some of the neighbors. Herding them meant keeping them away from the alfalfa. They spent the long days in the hot sun hunting lizards and usually came home with pockets full of them.

When Tom was away peddling Mel would have Lewis come up and stay with him if Carl was away. Lewis recalls this as being a great experience for him. Mel was only about thirteen, but he could cook the meals and clean the house up really good. Then they usually found time to get in a little mischief.

Mel was sixteen years old when his father was found outside Kanarraville dead. He died of a heart attack.

Mel went to the ninth grade in school. Then he helped haul gravel to build the bridge at the north end of Toquerville. They used work plugs and wagons and they hauled the gravel from the LaVerkin River. The bridge is still in use today (built about 1921-2)

He then went to work for Jay Messer and Arch Spilsbury. He worked on the ranch. He also went to Delta, Utah to feed lambs for a while.

He went to work for Francis Middleton and was up on the mountain when he had an attack of appendicitis. He was brought down by John Middleton to be operated on. He then went to work for Jack Brown on the farm at Hamilton Fort, Utah.

He then went to work for Arch Spilsbury. Once again he and Lewis were living together in a sheep wagon, this time out at Quitchapaw. One morning early he got up and got all dolled up and told Lewis to take care of things because he had some social duties to take care of. Lewis says he didnít see him again for almost a year when he was down to Toquerville and Elva came down and was trying to find Melís sheep camp. It seems that the social duties he took care of was marrying Elva Hallman, daughter of Carl and Estella Lister Hallman, on 30 April 1932 in Summit, Utah.

Then he though he would like to be a barber, instead he got some sheep. He ran the sheep for about six years in with Jack Middletonís at Hamilton Fort and with Arch Spilsburys.

With the money from the sheep he built his home in Cedar City, Utah.

He worked the next seventeen years for Jack Brown at the stockyard outside of Cedar City, Utah. He then went to work for Boyle Brothers as an assistant on the diamond drill. The first year he worked out to Comstock. His second year he started to drill. This year they were out at Iron Springs. They wanted to transfer him to Colorado.

Mel then went for the Utah Construction where he stayed for eleven years. He worked for Levi Jones for some fifteen years, both in Utah and Nevada. He worked for Wendell Jones during a summer herding up on the right of Kolob Lake. Then he ran sheep up on Summit Mountain for Dr. Beal. He is now working for Leigh Livestock Co.

Melvin and Elva have five children, four boys and one girl:

This is the history of Melvin James Olds up to the date of June 8, 1968. The few little personal notes were added by Lewis Olds.


This history is copyrighted and is offered for personal use and research only.
It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.

Copyright ©2000 by Beverly Jean Olds Schoppmann


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