THOMAS OULDS (1854-1924)

The following is a history of Thomas Olds (b. 28 Dec 1854 at Newland, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. d. 26 May 1924 at Dry Creek, Washington Co, Utah. married Eliza Jane Hunt (b. 24 Dec 1866 at Deseret, Millard Co., Utah. Both are buried in the Toquerville Cemetery.)


by Elaine Olds Hagelberg

Thomas Oulds was born 28 December 1854, at Newland, South Africa. He was the second child of Emanuel Olds and Elizabeth Uren. Emanuel, the son of Emanuel Olds and Jane Long, was born 23 November 1823 at Constantine, Cornwall, England. On the 16 May 1850 he married Elizabeth Uren (A dictionary of Cornish names and meanings tells us that Uren means "Heavenly or Golden"). Elizabeth the daughter of Thomas Uren and Mary Rowe was born 22 August 1829 at St. Keverne, Cornwall, England. Emanuel and Elizabeth emigrated from England to South Africa shortly after their marriage and it was there that the first chapter in the life of Thomas Oulds began.

Thomas had three sisters; Mary Jane, born 24 Feb. 1851 at Deep River, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. She married (1) John Steele, then (2) Amos Harman. She died 10 June 1910. Susan was born 14 April 1857 at Mowbray, South Africa. She married Benjamin Godfrey Turner and her death is recorded at 10 April 1923. His third sister, Elisa was born 29 April 1858 at Cape Town, South Africa, but she was a delicate child and passed away in June 1858.

Thomas was a happy youngster, and being the only boy was greatly enjoyed by his father, who was a Lighthouse Keeper. It was such fun to play at the Lighthouse, and when you were at the very top you could see far out in the ocean, and Thomas enjoyed the stories his father would tell him about sailing on the ocean and what an important part the Lighthouse played in the safe sailing on the high seas. How proud this made Thomas and he felt that his father was the bravest man in the whole world

Monkeys were the trial of these settlers lives )Refer to the life story of Elizabeth Uren Oulds Theobald) so the children were expected to guard the gardens and chase the monkeys away so that the garden would not be damaged. But the monkeys were so playful that these guarding sessions usually turned into squeals of laughter from the children and the guarding often forgotten.

In 1885, the Mormon elders converted Elizabeth to the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and at first Emanuel did not object to her being baptized; which took place in February 1855 by Elder Nicholas Paul. Thomas was blessed by Elder Thomas Weatherhead on 3 June 1885 and the microfilm records indicate he was five months old.

The powers of Satan were great, and at this particular point he was working hard to keep people from accepting the Gospel; and naturally he best weapons were through the hand of those loved the most. Gradually hate toward this new gospel which had filled his wife with such great joy began to gnaw at Emanuel, and each little incident which occurred wad immediately blamed on this new religion. After the loss of little Elisa, Emanuel felt surely this religion was stealing his family away from him, and in a blind desperation and fear he fought to separate his wife from this religion. But, instead of separating them he was instrumental in separating himself. Things became rather unpleasant at home, so Elizabeth sought council for the church authorities, and after expressing a desire not to give up her religion, she was advised to leave Emanuel and join with a group who were leaving soon for America and eventually the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Elizabeth was very depressed at this new decision she must make, and her first thoughts were that she would not go. But, after considerable thought, and making it a matter of prayer, it seemed to her that she would be the instrument in the hands of the Lord of bringing her descendants into the kingdom of God. The next problem confronting her was where the money would come from to finance the trip. She could not ask Emanuel and expect to have him give her the money, so she began to sell some of her jewelry and a few of her prized possessions. But this was very short of the amount she would need to pay for passage for herself and her three little children. Once again, in answer to her prayers, she was offered a position of caring for Mrs. Nicholas Paul, who was ill and had a large family. In return, she would receive passage for herself and her children. This she gladly accepted and on 7 March 1860, this little family set sail for America.

But leaving Emanuel had not been an easy task. I shall repeat a section from the life of Elizabeth Theobald:

"Emanuel realized that Elizabeth was making plans to leave him. His pleading was wasted on deaf ears. He loved his wife and children. His only son was very dear to him. He had always been very firm in training his children, but nevertheless, had spoiled them dreadfully.

Frantically fighting for his own, Emanuel sneaked Tom away from his Mother and took him about seven miles away to the home of an elderly Negro woman. He left Tom in the care of this kindly old woman and returned to his work at the Lighthouse.

Elizabeth wad terribly upset. The time was getting very near when their ship was to leave, and she couldn't go and leave her five year old son. For six days and nights she searched and pleaded for knowledge of Tom's whereabouts, but Emanuel, thinking this was the way he could keep his family with him, had been especially clever, and no one would help her. On the seventh day, the Gypsy (a Negro servant dearly loved by the family) informed Elizabeth that he was safe and being well cared for; and that if she went to this cabin at a certain time, the woman would be out obtaining food, and Tom would be alone for a very short time, but she may be able to steal him away.

In the innocence of childhood, Tom was not aware of the difference between his parents. Delighted at the sight of his mother, he willingly went with her, not realizing by so doing he would never see his father again.

Emanuel Olds was a big strong man, very strict with his children, but also very good to them, and he would do anything for their happiness. But being strongly under the influence of Satan he could not do the one thing that would keep them all together -- accept his new religion. When little Tommy realized that he was leaving his father and going in a ship on this beautiful ocean he had dreamed about so much, he became very upset and quite ill for a while."

Eventually, the excitement of the voyage by ship eased the grief and like many small boys he had to accept this change in his life. There was much illness on the ship and his mother was kept very busy caring for the large Paul family, so Thomas kept an eye on his baby sister, Susan. Milk was not available on board ship and the children would beg for a nice glass of rich goats milk which they enjoyed so much at their home in South Africa. The children missed their beloved "Gypsy" who had helped care for them n addition to helping with the housework. And most important they often cried for their father. This was the most difficult for Elizabeth, because very often her own tears joined those of the children.

The novelty and excitement of the ocean voyage began to disappear and people became cross and irritable. The children were restless and the poor diets and scarcity of fresh water made them cross. This was a situation they had not asked for and in their young years could not understand, so it was indeed a joyous occasion when these ocean weary Saints landed in New York Harbor. This shabby, dirty little group did not paint a very pretty picture as they walked down the plank to put their wobbly feet on solid ground once more. Little Tommy remarked to his mother at this time that he would never go on one of those stinkin' ships again. He never did.

Tommy and his family spent two weeks in New York City and seeing all the exciting things there helped ease the homesickness that was so prevalent. At the end of this two weeks they traveled by train to St, Louis.

Nearly all of their money was now gone, and they still had the task of crossing the plains before they could settle in Salt Lake Valley. It took a lot of money to buy oxen and wagons, and everyone told them that oxen were very hard to handle. Strong men run into many problems while driving them, so it was out of the question for a tiny woman like Elizabeth, with only three small children to help her, to attempt it alone. To hire a driver was also out of the question.

Just three weeks after their arrival in St. Louis, Elizabeth put he few possessions, and required food supplies, a tent, some bedding and three year old Susan in a handcart; then she and her two older children began to pull this same vehicle the 1200 miles to the Great Salt Lake Valley.

They were assigned to the Captain Oscar O. Stoddard Company which left 6 July 1860, but his records indicate the Oulds family from South Africa joined him three days out. We have not been able to find out if this brave little family traveled these first three days alone.

Tommy was so young that I am sure he did not appreciate the anxiety and concern experienced by his brave mother. She always gave the appearance of having a wonderful time and would play games with the children as they trudged along. Singing songs seemed to be the best remedy for weariness, so there was a great deal of singing in the company.

Picture if you can the sorry sight these travelers must have made. Elizabeth, eight year old Mary Jane and five year old Tommy walked every step of that 1200 miles to Salt Lake Valley. Susan's tiny legs were permitted a rest occasionally when she would be permitted to ride on the cart.

The sun was hot as it poured down on their heads, the dust and sand cut into your faces and eyes; rain made travel very difficult through the stick, never ending mud; food was scarce; often long periods between water, but onward they trudged.

The days were long and everyone, no matter how small, had to work hard so they didn't have time to think of the past, but when the night permitted you to lay your tired body down to rest; Tommy would lay and look at the stars and remember his father, whom he missed very much. He tried so very hard to be brave and not let anyone know how he felt, but many nights he would cry himself to sleep in his mothers arms.

Many times after crossing a river -- his mother would always tie a rope around herself and the children, so that if they should be washed down stream at least they would all be together -- he would be wet and tired and the nights out on the plains were so dark and cold. The only sound often coming from wolves and coyotes who seemed much too close to camp for comfort. As they lay on their hard beds talking before sleep overtook their weary bodies, Tommy would ask his mother why they had left their nice comfortable home and come to a place like this. Perhaps his mother wondered herself, but she always told her children they were doing the right thing. After talking to his mother Thomas would feel all right once again, because in her he could find the strength he needed, and he knew she was right when she told them that the Lord had protected them this far, and he would continue to do so if they would only do their part.

The trip was merely begun when the children's shoes became a thing of the past and the rest of the trip was made barefooted. Elizabeth in an effort to save her shoes would go barefoot most of the time. But going barefoot on this trip was not as much fun as one would think. Rocks, small pebbles, burs of different kinds, and the hard crusted earth cut the feet and they would burn and smart. Many years were to pass before Tommy owned another pair of shoes.

Back in Council Bluffs, Thomas had heard the other children talking about the Indians, and he was secretly hoping he would get to see some, but he was also in great fear that they might be harmed by them. By then, however, the Indians had accepted the fact that the white man was coming into their country to stay, so they only associations with Indians were friendly.

When the group would make camp, Tommy would have to hurry to gather firewood or buffalo chips, and then carry sufficient water from the streams for their use. Then he would help set up the tent in what they hoped would be the best place, unroll their blankets and prepare themselves for the night. About half way through their trip the wind blew away their tent, so from then on they slept under the stars.

One night Tommy woke with a high fever and complained of terrible pains in his stomach. His frantic mother tried to comfort him, for she had no medications of any kind to doctor him with. Realizing that only the Lord could make her son well in this wilderness, she called the elders to come to administer to him, which they did, and he was almost immediately made well. The next day Tommy took his turn at pulling the handcart and was as healthy as ever.

As they tugged and pulled their handcart through the sticky mud and dust of the plains the children would often remark that they wished they could exchange it for the clean white sand of the beaches where they often played back home.

Provisions were beginning to run low so the rations had been cut to one pound of flour per head per day, but when the group reached the three crossing of the Sweetwater River they picked up fourteen sacks of flour which had been left for them, so they were able to increase the rations to 1 1/2 pounds per day, which lasted them until they reached the valley. On 24 September 1860, the grateful group arrived at Salt Lake City and were immediately given molasses, flour and vegetables which tasted mighty good after the meager provisions they had existed on during their journey.

Tommy's mother immediately began looking for employment so she could support her wee ones, and soon found a position as housekeeper for a William Theobald, a widower with seven children. The need to be practical prompted William and Elizabeth to get married on 24 November 1860, and they lived in the first ward. Tommy was now a part of a home filled with happy, healthy youngsters, ten in all.

Tommy saw snow for the first time that fall in Salt Lake City. He found it much fun to play in, but very cold on his bare feet.

In October 1861, the family all attended General Conference. Seats were scarce, so Tommy was sitting on the floor and was not really paying much attention until he heard President Brigham Young read out his step-father's name. Immediately his ears perked up, and he tried hard to understand what they were talking about, but the only thing he could understand was that they were going to move again, only this time with horses and wagons; a luxurious way to travel after what he had been used to. When they reached home it was explained to them that his family had been called to go help settle the Dixie Mission and they had one month to make preparations to leave. It was really a busy month. Their property that could not be taken had to be sold; they must take a supply of the necessities to last for at least a year. Wagons and teams were prepared, provisions and seeds of all kinds; as much clothing and bedding as possible. Only very practical things were prepared -- these pioneer people had no room for luxury.

After traveling for about one month, most of the time through snow and blizzards and other types of uncomfortable weather, these chilled saints were pleased when they arrived at the forks above Toquerville. Here they found warm weather and their cold bodies sapped up the sunshine. Here the group divided; with part going to St. George and the rest going up the river. The group Tommy was in went up the river about fifteen miles where they settled on what was called Duncan's Retreat. Named for a Chapman Duncan, and early settler who retreated from it because of the treacherous floods. Here the Theobald family built a home and settled down once more. But life at Duncan's Retreat was one continual nightmare. The earth eating floods washed away the land foot by foot until the good fertile soil was soon gone.

The Virgin is a swift-running stream, characterized by a quicksand bottom. Flash floods, especially in the late summer, are common and have proved very destructive. During the summer when the water is being used for irrigation the river very frequently dries up. These characteristics - quicksand, floods and drouth - have had a great influence upon the agricultural development of the Virgin basin.

Tommy herded cows in order to keep them from getting lost or stolen, and to keep them away from the tender shoots in the gardens and the fruit trees struggling to get a foothold. He herded them all over the hills in that area. He herded for other people to earn a little money. Everyone let him take their milk cows out to herd all day. Usually he got about 25 cents a week. He always used to say that he had covered all those mountains in his bare feet.

Thomas was to have plenty of opportunity to know about Indians, as they did all they could to harass this small group of Saints. Stealing cattle, horses, destroying property and filling the women's hearts with sorrow. The young men would be sent out to try to bring back the stock and many lost their lives in doing so. Tommy was able to join the group to help save the stock as he grew older, but by then the raids were not as frequent.

One time while herding the cattle, Tommy climbed upon a high hill. In the distance he could see Indians coming in their direction. Breathless with fear Tommy raced as fast as his barefeet could carry him to sound the alarm, then back he ran to help drive the cattle closer to home while the older men oh horses chased the Indians away. Needless to say he was the hero for that week and he felt very pleased that he had saved his people from loss of property.

One time while herding the cows in the company of a little boy near his same age, they sat down and were preparing to eat their lunch which consisted of two baking powder biscuits - For baking powder the alkali in the soil was washed and separated from the soil, then used to cook with. The biscuits were not very light and had a yellow color. As the children pulled their biscuits from their pockets a bobcat jumped at them and tried to steal the biscuits. The children were so very hungry and this was their only food so they became quite angry with the bobcat. Tommy picked up the bottle they carried full of drinking water and began pounding the cat on the head and actually killed it. The boys then ate their lunch, but when they returned home that night they drug that bobcat with them to show everyone what they had done.

Tommy was never permitted to go to school and he always felt badly about this. William Theobald was a very fine man, but Tommy missed his father and resented the fact that William had taken his place. In turn William was not too patient with his small fatherless boy so they were never very good friends. Tommy worked from the age of six in any way that he could to pay his way. Most of the time he would give his earnings to his mother. Tommy spent each day hoeing the garden, caring for the chickens, hauling in wood, picking fruit and vegetables, hauling water to the stock and garden, as well as the fruit trees and all the regular chores of boys his age. Pioneer children had very little time for play.

The family lived at Duncan's Retreat for ten years and at the end of that time they could see how useless it was to try to settle in such a place. The good soil had long since been washed away, and each new storm brought the treacherous Rio Virgin crashing its boulders and dirty red water onto their fields. It seemed that each storm was intent upon washing the colorful formations out of Zion Canyon out into the world. The possibility of loss of life was so serious that in 1871 the family moved to Toquerville where William built a brick home just south of where the school now stands. They lived there for awhile until William prepared to return to England to take care of some business. Apparently he sold this property and the family moved to the home known as the El Smith place, just north of Arthur's. They lived in a little adobe house, then later built a lumber house.

By the age of fifteen Tommy was hiring out to others to work in any way that he could to earn his own way. He spent most of his time herding sheep, but this was a lonely life for a young single man so whenever he could obtain employment nearer to town he would take it. He finally started peddling fruit and vegetables and molasses to the cities as far north as Milford and Beaver. Word spread quickly and with great excitement the women would hurry to his wagon with pans and baskets to obtain the foods that were scarce in their area. Even those who did not care to buy came to the wagon eager for any news that Tommy may have brought from his area, because he served as a newspaper. Often he carried letters to people or packages from friend and family along the way.

In-between peddling trips Tommy was available for any work. When the stockmen would bring in their horses, they usually didn't take time to bring in the strays, so they would ask Tommy to go out to get them, and he always gathered them up. His great love for horses seemed to be known by the horses and he could handle the wildest of them. He became rather famous about this time as a bronc-buster.

Money was very scarce so it was not usual to work for someone and take a horse, cow or other livestock in payment of wages.

While peddling in the Paragonah area he become acquainted with the Levi Hunt family. They were always very generous and always insisted that Tommy stay at their home where he was treated royally and well fed. In exchange for this kindness Tommy would usually drive to their place first so that they might have the choice of his produce. This association was stopped when in the late 1877, the Hunt family received a call to settle the Little Colorado in Arizona. Tommy was extended an invitation to go with them. Commitments at home made it necessary for him to decline, but he promised when he could he would come on down.

We are uncertain just when Tommy went down to Arizona, but we do know that he put his bedroll and few belongings on the back of his horse and rode down to the Little Colorado area and stopped at the home of Levi Hunt. The Hunts were overjoyed at seeing Tommy and once again made most welcome in their home.

Tommy obtained what work he could in Arizona. He helped re-build the dams which were continually washing out. In fact he once again found himself in a situation very similar to that at Duncan's Reterat. Tommy lived under the United Order program along with the Hunt family and did his share of work. He worked at farming, cattle and his favorite of caring and working with the horses for the village.

At some time during his stay in Arizona Tommy lived in the Tonto Basin or at least near to it. The Tonto Basin is an area in central Arizona. Tonto is a Spanish word meaning foolish outcasts and outlaws, and it was properly named because this mountainous rugged area was full of men wanted by the law, renegade Indians. There was some Indians with villages in the Basin and they were mostly Apaches and a mixture of Yavakai (Yuman) men and Pinal women who had intermarried. It was rather a dangerous place to be unless you were one of the crowd. The settlers were continually plagued by this outlaws and it was a common event to have to chase them down to retrieve the livestock.

Tommy truly lived in fear of Indians while in the Tonto Basin. They were continually stealing and killing those who tried to stop them. So it was necessary to carry your rifle with you at all times and to be very cautious wherever you went. One night Tommy had to go someplace a short distance from where he lived. Caring his rifle he had to travel through a meadow and the night was very, very dark. Indian scares that day made him extra cautious, so he decided to go right through the middle of the meadow and avoid any fences or trees which might hide the enemy. As he hurried along keeping a watchful eye, he saw and Indian Buck crouched down watching him. Badly shaken Tommy put his gun into position for use, then very slowly he inched his way along, watching very cautiously. The Indian didn't move, so Tommy hurried along in safety. A couple of days later Tommy happened to go through this same meadow during the day time, and with considerable embarrassment he saw that the Indian buck he had been so fearful of was only a log. In later years he used to tell his sons of this experience and he would literally double over with laughter at this joke on himself.

Tommy spent a little less than two years in Arizona, then he received word that his step-father was returning to England for a visit, so he headed his horse toward Toquerville, so that he could help his mother out. She was expecting her fifteenth child and there was much work to be done, so he felt that if he could ease the load for her he must do so.

It was good to be back with his mother once again, and he was able to enjoy her companionship in a way he had not been able to do for many tears. His mother was glad to have him home again and she tried to fatten him up on her dried peach and apple pies for which she was quite famous, and which she always made for very special occasions. He was delighted to see his mother in her plain little white nightcap which she always wore at bedtime, and they would sit and talk about their home in South Africa and show the pictures in the book Elizabeth had brought with her to the younger children and grandchildren. Elizabeth still worked very hand in spite of the fact that she had to use a cane to help her get around, and it was such a familial sight to see her out in the evenings carrying her lantern, sometimes lit before it was dark, but her eyesight had begun to fade.

Tommy went back to his peddling once again, hauling the dried fruit and other produce north to sell for his mother. On one such trip he came across the Hunt family, who had been released to go home as the project in Arizona was not proving as successful as had been hoped. They were now living in Richfield. Friendships were renewed and Tommy was once again a welcomed guest in their home when in Richfield.

After William returned from England Tommy went out on his own again. Peddling or whatever work he could find to do. Eventually he found work at Richfield and his friendship with the Hunt family became very close. Mrs. Hunt passed away as a result of childbirth, leaving the tiny baby Wilford to be cared for by his older sisters. One of these sisters tried very hand to help her father maintain the family home and keep the large family together. She was becoming a very attractive young lady and her beautiful auburn hair shown like a halo about her head. Tommy found her very interesting and when she reached the age of eighteen he asked for her hand in marriage. They were married on 29 July, 1884 at Scofield, Emery County, Utah. They shortly after Tommy took his beloved Elisa Jane to Joseph City to live.

The days were busy and happy ones for this new family, and for a very special anniversary present Jane presented Tom with a fine new son - but he arrived six days early for their first anniversary. Now the proper name must be chosen for this handsome new son -- Tom still remembered his father whom he had not seen nor heard from in all these years, wanted to name his son Emanuel. Jane equally loved her father who had been such a fine influence throughout her life, had the same desire, so the name of Levi Emanuel (After each grandfather) was chosen for this their first son, who was born 23 July 1885 at Joseph City, Sevier Co., Utah.

The next we hear of this family is with great excitement. Two years later they are living in Kanosh and Jane has upset the community by giving birth to twins. Everyone was so excited, especially Tom. He nearly popped his buttons from his shirt with pride. These twins were born 11 June 1887, at Kanosh, Millard Co., Utah and the boy twin was give the name of Lewis and the girl Louie. The babies were small and had a slow start, but with the help of friends, neighbors and her sister, Jane, was able to manage quite well.

Tom's sister Susan married Benjamin Turner and they were living in Lyman, Wayne County, Utah, which probably explained why they move to Lyman. When they arrived the only living space available was an unused stable that someone offered to sell. Apparently Tom moved it to a more suitable place near the square and soon had it remodeled into suitable living accommodations. Tom went into the freighting business and hauled freight for the stores from Salina to Wayne County. The freight wagons were huge and required from four to six head of horses to pull it.

Work was hard and wages very low at that time. He usually made more money from passengers than he did from freight, and he usually had at least one passenger on each trip. An example of the prices at that time -- 3 bushel of potatoes sold for one dollar; a cow and a calf were worth $25.00, if you could find any for sale; a fat sheep sold for $2.50; butter 15 cents a pound; eggs 5 cents a dozen; wheat and oats 75 cents a hundred; a yard of calico, a bar of soap, a box of matches or a pound of dry beans would cost you 5 cents each; rice 7 cents and sugar 8 cents a pound.

Tom was away form home most of the time, but as soon as his sons were old enough that he could manage them e always took one of them along with him on his trips. As a result of these choice experiences there developed a deep friendship between Tom and his sons. It also made one less son around home to keep Jane busy.

While living in Lyman, Jane bore four fine sons, who they gave the following names; George Thomas, born 12 August 1889; William Albert born 8 August 1891; Charles Andrew born 30 May 1894; and Arthur Herbert born 20 may 1897. Tom had chosen his Jane well, for I feel sure that no other woman could have controlled a house full of rough neck boys - with their father away from home most of the time - as she did. I feel sure this may have been one of her greatest talents.

Trials are given to each of us from time to time for reasons we do not know, and the Olds family received theirs on 19 January 1896 when the boy twin, now nine years of age, was taken from them in death. It appears that he had a heart condition - possibly rheumatic fever. The activities of the remaining five children could not fill the emptiness left by the loss of this son. Tom and Jane grieved deeply over his death. He was buried in Lyman.

The death of Lewis (We find it spelled both Louis and Lewis) caused Jane and T Tom to realize that they had neglected a very important thing in their lives. With Tom being away from home so much of the time, it was so easy to put off the important duty of going to the temple and be sealed as a family. Tom began working closer to home and to prepare himself. He was ordained an elder on 3 April 1898, by Elder Archie Allred and shortly after on 20 April 1898, they loaded their small family into the big freight wagon, along with sufficient food and bedding for their needs they drove to the Manti Temple, where they were truly made a family for all time and eternity.

Tom was being plagued with very bad nose bleeds; and was so often the case in small towns without expert medical advice; nearly everyone in town offered one cure or another, but it finally became the unanimous decision that he should move to a lower climate. Once again the big freight prepared to haul a very special cargo. Loaded with the household goods, a cage full of chickens secured to the back, and another with two wiener pigs fastened to the underpart of the wagon, four head of cattle tied to the back, a kitten safely tucked in the arms of Louie, Levi and George riding the extra horses, and the heads of children poking out from amongst the different pieces of furniture; they headed South to a new home.

Jane's father, Levi Hunt had a farm in Monroe, Sevier Co. so they stopped to pay him a visit. He encouraged them to remain for awhile especially since the prophecy of their eighth child would soon be fulfilled. Dewey Glenn was born 8 August 1899 at Monroe.

The children enjoyed visiting with their grandfather Hunt, and they often teased their father about their unusual entrance into town. The children had a big shepherd dog that had been trained to pull the children in a wagon. As they neared the outskirts of town they met two little girls pulling a small baby in a coaster wagon. Before anyone realized what was happening, the dog jumped out of the wagon and ran over to the little girls. Taking the wagon tongue in his mouth as he had been trained to do, he went racing up the street with this tiny baby in the wagon. The little girls started to cry and tom jumped out of the wagon and took off after the dog as fast as he could run yelling at him to stop and waving his arms frantically. But Rover meant no harm, he was tired of being confined to a wagon and after running about two block he carefully turned around and ran back to the little girls and stopped. The baby had never even woke up, but Tom was very upset over the ordeal. Needless to say their were at least four of Tom's sons running up the street after him. It must have truly made a sight to behold.

It was not unusual when everything was rather quiet at Grandpa's farm to suddenly hear him yell, "Here comes the water, grab a shovel", and every little boy that could walk would grab a shovel and follow their Grandpa and Dad into the fields to see that the precious water went where it would do the most good.

The stay at Monroe lasted about a year and the nose bleeds continued, so once again the wagon was loaded and they headed south. When traveling in those days it took several days between towns so when you reached one you would usually spend a few days visiting, resting, Mother doing the washing and taking care of repairs to horse and wagon. While stopping over in Summit, Iron Co. Tom was offered a job for a Mr. Hulet, so they decided to give it a try. Renting an empty house Jane and the boys moved in, and Tom took the herd of sheep up on Summit mountain to graze. As usual he would take turns taking the children with him, and in this way he was able to teach then how to care for sheep and keep them from danger. This probably accounts for the fact that each of his sons were usually in demand as very dependable shepherds. The older children were able to find work form time to time especially at sheep shearing time when they would tie the fleeces and help in other way.

After a trial period of two years, Summit did not make any improvement in Tom's health, so he piled his precious cargo into the big freight wagon and once again they head south. Staying with Tom's mother until they could find a house to move into - which they did in the one that stood just across the street from where his son Arthur now lives. Later they bought the house south of where Arthur now lives.

Tom sub-contracted the mail route from "Old" Bill Lamb - hauling mail from Cedar City to Leeds and return - and made the living for his family in this manner in addition to raising fruits and vegetables on the two lots he owned.

The children were fascinated with their Grandmother Theobald. They would run over to her home often and loved to set on a little stool she always had ready at the side of her chair and she would tell them stories, while she pieced quilt tops. One of her favorites was a silk quilt made in the log cabin pattern. She sued the very tinniest pieces because she wasted nothing. Grandma Theobald made a couple of trips to California to visit with two of her daughters - Mary Jane and Annie who both lived in San Bernadino. When she returned home she would bring back grapefruit, oranges and other special things unheard of in Toquerville. There was always great excitement when she came home and she shared her treasures with everyone. She always brought home big boxes of cast off clothing which the grandchildren received and for which they were very grateful.

The Olds family lived in Toquerville for about five years and two more sons came to stay with them. Alvin was born 28 May 1902 and Carl Theodore who was born 10 April 1905. I feel sure that Jane must have felt a little disappointed that she could not deliver another daughter but not Tommy. He took great pride in this household of boys.

The only water available in Toquerville at that time was the water from the irrigation ditch. Very early each morning members of the family would get up and dip the water out of the ditch into tubs and barrels, and then place sacks and boards over the top to keep it clean and allow it to settle before it was used. Jane completed her morning chores then left for Relief Society after making sure that there were sufficient older children to watch the little ones. The baby Alvin was fourteen months old and tagged along with the other children while they played. Time travels so swiftly when one is engaged in play and such was the case this day. Before they boys realized what had happened Jane came home and inquired about the baby. Everyone started looking and Jane noticed immediately the boards on top of one of the tubs of water was pushed off, so she dashed over and there was her baby laying face down in the tub of water. I am told that she screamed, and that scream of death was heard over most of the town. She grabbed the baby and ran over to Brother Hammons who ran a drug store on the corner a half block from their home and he and Brother Savage worked and worked trying to revive the tiny body, but without success. It was 13 August 1903 that the Lord saw fit to call this infant back home, but the shock of such a tragedy and the loss of one loved by such a big family presented a very big cross that this family had to bear.

Always striving to better himself, about 1906 Tom traded two lots in Toquerville, one white horse named Charlie, two cows and one thousand dollars in cash for the Gates property in Bellevue (now Pintura). He later obtained some property at Snowfield where it was not uncommon to raise hay three feet tall. But at Snowfield the snow would get so deep that you couldn't make the sharp turns going up the old road on the Black Ridge. It was a regular ritual to get out and actually shovel snow so the horses could pull the rigs on those old roads.

Tommy now had a contract to run the stage from Silver Reef to Cedar City and return, hauling mail, bullion, passengers and other freight. His oldest son Levi would take one run and Tom the next, and they would pass each other on the way. If they happened to meet on the old Black Ridge road it was quite an undertaking to pass each other many time requiring one party to back up for some distance before it became wide enough to pass safely.

One time Tom was coming down the Black Ridge toward home and the night was as black as pitch out. The king bold of the buggy broke, and the front wheels came out, dropping the buggy he was driving to the ground and throwing Tom out. He hit his head on the axle of the buggy and was knocked unconscious for quite some time. When he revived he was greatly relieved to hear his horses who had patiently waited near by. Still in a state of shock and weak from the loss of blood he managed someway to catch one of the horses and climbed on. Securing himself against another fall he headed them toward home. He had a very bad cut clear across his forehead, but Jane bandaged it and took care of it and he went right back on the job. The next morning some of the boys went up to get the buggy and they found a pool or blood about eighteen inches across in that gravel road. It was a marvel to everyone that he did not bleed to death that night.

Tom allowed himself one luxury - that of fine horses. He had a great love for good horses and whenever he could afford to do so would purchase them. He soon became well known for his beautiful horses, which one could hire on the promise that they would treat them with the greatest of care. He took great pride in these horses and would not permit them to be mistreated.

It was on 5 May 1907 that Jane delivered her eleventh child - ten boys. Shortly after his birth the older children came down with whooping cough and Jane lived in great fear that this tiny baby would get it. They kept him in another room completely away from the others and were very careful to keep him form getting it. but in spite of their efforts he came down with it and when about five weeks old. He was very ill and they were deeply concerned. Jane heard that John T. Batty was going up the Black Ridge to meet President Anthony Ivins who was coming to St. George to preside at Conference. They stopped at the Olds place to freshen up and have a cool drink of water and to visit while their horses had some feed and water. Jane asked them to bless the baby and they gave him a blessing that if it was the will of the Lord that this child would get well then let it be so; but it was not the will of the Lord and on 14 July 1907 he was taken away from his earthly parents.

About this time Grandpa Levi Hunt came for a visit and he lived with the family for nearly two years, they went to Huntington to live with another daughter Susie Chidester. He lived there until his death. Grandpa Hunt had a classy black top buggy to travel around in and a horse called Bill. But Bill was getting to be a handful for his aged body and Grandpa had a hard time handling him, so Tommy suggested that he trade Bill for a little mare called Dolly. Dolly and Grandpa became very good friends and got along very well. Grandpa Hunt always kidded Tommy because he would talk to his horses and in acknowledgment they would twitch their ears.

When Grandpa Hunt left Pintura he stopped for a short time in Paragonah to visit with Uncle Bill Hunt. Uncle Bill had built a big new barn that you could drive wagons right into. Grandpa put his buggy and the equipment that he hauled around with him, such as harness, shoeing outfit, horse blankets, hammers, tools, etc., into the barn. There had been a great deal of bickering in town over irrigation water, and one day some of the men set fire to Uncle Bill's big new barn. Everything was destroyed, but to Grandpa the greatest loss was his buggy and personal things. This certainly caused more trouble, in fact now fist fights began erupting. During one of these fist fights one of the men was accused of destroying the barn, to which he quickly got on his horse and rapidly left town. He never returned and nothing was ever done about the barn. Those remaining without a doubt felt that this fast escape was an admission of guilt.

In July 1907, Tom loaded up his wagon to take a load of molasses and fruit to Lyman to sell. He extended his usual invitation to his mother to go with him and this time she accepted. When peddling Tom put a cover (covered wagon style) over his wagon to protect the fruit. One of the Turner granddaughters tells me that she recalls this visit very well. Grandma Theobald's hair hung down past he shoulders in two big braids, but when she combed it loose it was so long that when she sat on a chair her hair hung down past the chair seat.

That 24th of July in Lyman one of Susan's daughters- Altha Elenorah Turner Hold decided to have her baby. Everyone in town was preparing for a big parade. Altha's husband, Arvil, was supposed to be an Indian in the parade, but he was so concerned about his wife that he kept hopping between the two places. The parade was late and everyone was waiting. Arvil hopped back home and was greeted by is new baby son, and after looking the situation over and noting that all was well he remarked, "Well, the baby is here and everything all right so I guess the parade will have to go on now." So he left (He was in his Indian costume all the time.) While Althea was confined to bed she and Grandma Theobald set up in the bed and pieced a quilt top. It was made of one inch squares, then it was set with red and white strips about 1/4 inch wide. It was all done by hand and very beautiful. Tommy and his mother spent about three weeks in Lyman.

It was on 21 July 1908 that Jane gave birth to her 12th child. And 11 of them were boys. This son was given the name Melvin James and he was born prematurely and required a good deal of extra care, having to be carried on a pillow. He had to be handled very carefully that it was several months before Jane and Tom could relax and enjoy this their last new son.

Tom lost all his teeth a number of years before his death. One time while in Cedar City on his stage run, he went into a store to make a purchase, and mentioned to the clerk that he had a toothache. The clerk, who was also a gunsmith wanted to look at it, and after doing so remarked that he could pull it. Tom agreed, so the "so called" dentist gave his a drink of whisky, quickly pulled every tooth in his mouth, gave him another drink of whiskey, helped him to his feet, informed him there was no charge and walked over to wait on the next customer. Tom was furious, but no one could figure a way to put the teeth back so he was a gummer from then on.

Tom continued on his freight run until after the close of Silver Reef; when he took up peddling to the northern cities. He raised most of his produce and would peddle in Iron, Beaver, Sevier and Wayne counties. Women from Paragonah have told me how excited everyone way when Tom arrived with a load of fruit and molasses. They would come hurrying from their homes with pans and buckets to get the eagerly awaited fruit. Also Tom brought news and messages, and he was a great conversationalist and he could hold groups spellbound for long periods with his stories.

While Tom was driving the mail one evening as he came down the Black Ridge a flash flood hit. It was raining very hard and impossible to cross the creek. So Tom found himself stranded just across the creek from home with a young and very attractive lady passenger. It was so damp they couldn't make a fire so they had to huddle under a blanket in the buggy all night. The family across the creek kept trying to think of ways they could help them across, but knew the dangers of such floods so they waited patiently. After being stranded for 24 hours without food or water, Will decided he would take some across to them. Jane forbid him to risk his life, but he jumped on a horse and took off into the raging creek. Tom was yelling from one side for him to go back and Jane and some brothers were pleading on the other side for him not to be so foolish. Into the roaring water plunged Will and his horse; the creek bed had been washed out and the horse lost his footing and went under, but Will held on tight and finally the horse got his footing once again and carried him safely across. Tom was so up set and he really scolded Will for doing such a crazy thing. They did enjoy the food though. Will visited with them for a while, then without a word to his dad he jumped on his horse and went back across again. This time Jane scolded him. Tom and his lady friend had several more hours to wait before he dared to risk driving the rig thorough the flood.

Pintura had very fertile ground. Members of the family boast that they raised watermelon that were so big that they would touch the cross bars of the wagon on both sides, which would be about four feet long and about fifteen inches in diameter. Tom was famous for his sorgum or molasses which he made out of sugar cane. He raised the sugar cane himself, then it would be cut and run through rollers whichwere pulled by horses. This squeezed the juice out and it would run down into barrels. When the barrels were full it was emptied into vates that were about three feet across and a foot deep. When these were full of juice a fire was started underneath and it would cook until it became a syrup of the right consistance, This made a most delicious spread for bread, Used in cookies, candy, cakes and to satisfyyour sweet tooth.

Tom was an expert at cooking sorgum, and he would hire out to cook for other people. The cookers name was always on the label and people knew they could sell it readily when Tom's name was on the label. He was always considered the official cooker of that area.

One time in Pintura Lewis Olds was helping make sorgum by riding the horses. There were two of them and they went around and around to pull the rollers. Lewil was not very old and he was on the inside horse which moved much slower. Wanting to move faster he decided to move to the faster one, but he was so little that he fell down between the orses. He was not hurt, but Tom stopped everything and made a little seat for him and put it on the boom so he could keeep the horses moving and still be safe.

Sometimes when Tom would finish cooking the molasses he would get cling peaches and put in the molasses and cook them. Then they were put in big crocks to be used during the winter months. These were a real delicacy and the children looked forward to eating them.

The last batch of sorghum Tom would send word out for all the kids in the area and they would come running to help make sorghum candy. There was never less than fifty children and each was given a bunch of candy to pull byhimself and to eat all by himself.

From what we can determine Tom's nose bleeds were caused by high blood pressure and apparently they eased up after he moved to Pintura.

In 1913 Tom took Jane and the small children that were still at home and spent the summer upon Cedar Mountain working at Ashdown's sawmill.

Jane was beginning to have poor health. She suffered from a heart condition and she began to go downhill until it was necessary to take her to the hospital in St. George. In addition to the heart trouble she had dropsy and possibly cancer of the liver. She was only 45 years of age when her health began to fail and she was not well from then on. She spent long periods of time in bed. Her granddaughter Mildred tells how she remembers when she was a very small youngster of going to Grandma's house and sit for hours at the side of her bed and brush her beautiful auburn hair, which in spite of her 11 sons did not have a bit of gray in it.

In addition to her other problems Jame had avericose veins very bad. Veins ruptured and broke causing big ulcers on her legs. She had trouble with them for many years and always wore a long wool and elastic stockings, but she still had a great deal of pain.

Jane was in the hospital for about a month then began to improve so was permitted to come home. She was able to get around a bit but mostly confined to bed. After 2 or 3 weeks she took a turn for the worse. Tom called to Levi who was working in his field nearby. He and Katie came running. Louie and Will were living in a tent at South Ash Creek and they had just left to go to Toquerville in a wagan to find a nurse to come take care of Jane. Katie told Carl to jump on a horse and go get Louie so she could be with her mother. By the time they returned it was to late. It was on 21 May 1917 that she was called to leave her large but very devoted family. She was buried 23 May 1917 at Toquerville, Washington Co., Utah with her two tiny sons.

This was a great loss to Tom because he had depended upon Jane's strength to compensate for his own weaknesses. He was very devoted to her, and now he found that he had the responsibility of raising two rather small boys. Always before Jane had managed everything at home so well while he was away and he found himself rather at a loss to know what to do. He did his best to make a home for Melvin was 9, Carl 12, Dewey 18, and Arthur who was 20. They did all their own work, cooking, washing, ironings, etc. Tom continued to peddle so these boys were left on their own a good deal from this time on.

After several years Tom sold his property at Pintura and bought a small home in Toquerville and moved his family there. He still continued peddling for a number of years yet.

Tom raised some very fine prunes in his yard and he would dry them, and usually when you saw him he would be sucking on one of these prunes. Naturally, without any teeth his diet was limited and he did enjoy sucking on these prunes. Tom was a slow but very steady man. He was denied a formal education so could neither read or write. He was a small man, standing 5'6" and weighing 140 lbs. He had a beautiful head of curly hair that became snow white in his later years. He always wore a mustache and was a very handsome fellow. He had a fine sense of humor and was full of mischief, but if it were necessary he could sir up a temper without too much effort.

Tom and a Mr. Slack used to argue over water all the time. They would watch the clock and the turn had to be right on the minute. But, if the clocks disagreed then they would argue some more, and they could often be heard a block away. As soon as the irrigation's turn was over they were the best of friends for a whole week. They visited together often, but when watering time came around watch out.

Tom's home was on the corner just north of the school house. Louie lived with him off and on. It was a familiar sight to see him leaning on the white picket fence talking to everyone who passed, or he could be found sitting up on main street with the older men who were limited in their activities, whittling on a piece of wood and talking over events in their lives. He loved children and was never to busy to romp and play with them, and he loved to tell them stories. One time his grandson, Lewis Olds and Homer Naegle, a neighbor boy, were fighting in front of Tom's home. Tom felt that they should work it out of their systems and was actually encouraging hem to fight and solve their problem once and for all. Right in the middle of the match, Lillian Bringhurst looked out and saw what was happening. She came over and really scolded Tom for permitting them to fight and actually encouraging it. Tom didn't have a word to say - he could only duck his head and let her scold because he was actually enjoying watching them tussle.

Tom had mentioned from time to time that he had pains in his chest, but would dismiss them and never consider going to a doctor. He had often expressed a desire to buy a nice headstone to be placed on Jane's grave, so finally he decided to make a trip to Lyman and collect a large sum of money due him by residents there for molasses he had sold them, and use this money to bring back a headstone for his beloved wife. He prepared his wagon and soon left on this trip to Lyman, which was a very long distance for a 70 year old man to make alone - but he was never to complete this trip.

Apparently began to feel ill and when he reached Dry Creek he pulled his wagon under the shade of he trees and got out in an effort to find some relief from his discomfort. Leo Balser from Kanarraville drove by on his way to do some work in his fields - noticing the wagon and horses and not seeing anyone around he assumed the driver was sleeping so he did not stop. After completing his chores he started back for home. As he came to Dry Creek again he could tell there had not been any activity around the wagon and horses so he stopped to investigate. He found Tom's body a short distance from the wagon, and apparently had died almost immediately after stopping. Mr. Balser took the body to George Dodge who was living in Kanarraville. He was then kept overnight at the Hattie Davis home and the next day returned to Toquerville for burial. He died on 26 May 1924 and was buried 29 May 1924 in Toquerville cemetery by the side of his Jane.

So ended the mortal life of this very brave and illustrious man. It seems that so much of his life was spent alone and thus it ended. Deprived of his own father at an early age he became very close to his own children and tried to give to them the affection he had been so starved for. He was loved by all whom he came in contact with. So many people when interviewed about their recollections of Tommy Olds quickly stated that he was truly an honest man, which I feel is a great tribute. Others who were children recall the many fascinating experiences and stories he would tell them. Tom traveled half way around the world by the time he was 5 years old which probably accounts for the fact that he seemed to be happier when his work involved travel.

I deeply regret that I was unable to obtain more information about personal experiences but unfortunately too many years elapsed between the doing and the writing. But it is my intention that you could have an idea of the trials and handicaps that were Toms, yet the things that Tom places in utmost importance in his life were those that will live forever--long after the monetary rewards have turned to decay. His legacy was in the form of nine fine children who lived to maturity and who assured his greatness by the great number of progenitors that can say with pride - I am a direct descendant of Thomas Olds.


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