The Life History of Franklin Huggard of American Fork, Utah
5 Dec. 1957
Frank (Franklin) was born 3 June 1886 in American Fork, Utah in an adobe house that was three blocks east of his home on 100 South 400 East. He was large baby and weighed ten or twelve pounds. He had sandy hair and blue eyes. He was the fourth child of a family of seven children. His mother was attended to by a mid wife. He was blessed on 5 August 1886 by William Hunter. He was welcomed into the family and loved as every baby should be. Especially by his loving mother. His parents loved children.
I know grandpa Hyrum Huggard would always welcome a new baby into the family no matter how hard the times were and we children enjoyed him very much. Hyrum’s parents were L.D.S. and his grandparents were converts to the church. Their names were Thomas and Emma Smith Featherstone and James and Emily Blacknell Hoggard (Huggard). They were from England.
Dad’s mother was Mary Ann Featherstone. She was the first Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association President of the First Ward and only ward. She was a Relief Society visiting teacher for years. She sang in the ward choir. She helped paint the old First Ward Chapel when it was first built.
His father was Hyrum Huggard. He and his brother, George changed the spelling of their last name to Huggard. He was a quiet retiring man and had a good disposition. He was water master for years in American Fork. Dad’s oldest sister, Emma was born on 7 Oct 1878. She was nearly twelve years older than father and used to tend and play with him as a child. She told me how mischievous he was and shy at the same time. They had good times together.
Aunt Mary was born on 31 January 1879. She passed away when she was about twelve months old in September 1880. His brother, Hyrum was born on 4 April 1883. He was three years older than Dad. They played together as all brothers do and enjoyed each other until June 1904 when Hyrum was killed. He worked in a sugar factory in Sugar City, Idaho. A steel beam fell and hit him on the head killing him. Dad really missed him and grieved at the loss of his brother.
Aunt Nina is just fifteen months younger than Dad. She was born on 11 September 1887. They were playmates when they were young and went around with the same crowd of children. Uncle Walt was born on 7 October 1889 on his sister Emma’s birthday. Dad and Walt spent a lot of time together enjoying each other. In later life, they enjoyed each others company at various socials and events.
Dad’s folks moved up on the Featherstone farm after Uncle Walt was born. It was a large farm. Grandfather Featherstone owned six hundred and fifty acres. It was located where Mary Pulley’s farm is now. I remember going up there when Dad’s Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom Featherstone lived there with Dad and Mother in a surrey or wagon. The home was located just north of the Pulley home now up on the hill on the east side of the road (just south of the new Mount Timpanogos Temple).
They lived there a short while. Uncle Darrell was born on 31 August 1892. It was a way to town and the doctors. He was born in grandpa Featherstone’s home, which was a block south of the American Fork Tabernacle. The home is still standing at 100 South 100 East on the northwest corner. The family soon moved back to the adobe house Dad where he was born when he was about twelve in 1898. His parents built the present home of fathers at 398 East 200 South immediately east of the old home.
He has lived there since then except for three years when he lived in Lehi and when he was away sheep herding. He enjoyed his childhood as most children of that day did. They didn’t have much of the worlds material things to enjoy, but they made their own entertainment and enjoyed each other. He said that on Christmas, they usually just got one toy and a piece of hard candy. He remembers getting a mouth organ one Christmas. He learned to play tunes on it fairly well. On another Christmas, he got a big musical top that hummed, on another a knife. They usually had a little store bought candy and nuts. His mother would make candy with the kids help and also popcorn. Sometimes there would have an orange.
His childhood friends were James (Jim) Featherstone, a half uncle, Hy Elsmore, Horace Rushton, Elmer (Hanner) Greenwood, Noah Pulley, Glen Cooper, Oliver and Frank Sjostedt, Mabel, Adeline, Bertha, Florence and Jim Doyle. The Doyle’s live where Monson’s do now.
The games they played as kids were hide and coop. It is like hide and seek, run sheep run, rounds or strikes (ball games), and they had home dramatics. When he grew older he learned to dance the ho-down, foxtrot, waltz and others. He has danced a lot during his life except for a few years when he was working hard providing for his family. He and mother started going to dances again after I was married. They had many good times together dancing with old and new friends. He still goes to dances every week.
His mother taught him to pray and he still believes in prayer. I remember he would have mother get us children together when I was nine and kneel down by her knee to pray for him, especially when he had a nervous breakdown after he had influenza in 1918. Another time when he was sixteen, he had typhoid fever and nearly lost his life. He was so bad, they thought he had gone, but through the faith and prayer of his family his life was spared.
His home conditions were of moderate income for that time. They had kerosene or coal oil lamps, candles and sometimes burned rags in grease in a dish for light. They had coal stoves and packed water into the house from an outside hydrant that was used for drinking water for the animals. The hydrant had a water trough under it. They had to heat the water to bathe and then bathed in a round galvanized tub. His mother scrubbed her washing on a washing board, using water that was packed in from the hydrant. It was then heated on the stove in a boiler. He helped do the chores, like taking care of the animals, feeding chickens, milking cows, etc. He also herded the cows in the mornings or brought them back to at night to be milked. He chopped wood for the stoves to cook on and to give heat.
His father taught him how to farm and do blacksmith work. His father was a blacksmith by profession and a farmer by necessity. Dad would help plant, weed, cultivate, water, plow and help gather the crops. His father had a good orchard that the family took care of watering, thinning, spraying and picking. There wasn’t the machinery that exists today. Some of the cherry, pear, apple, plum and peach trees still stand today that he planted.
He had a blacksmith shop until just a few years ago. They opened a new road east of the home and it runs through the site of the old shop. I used to watch him working in it. He would get a red hot fire in the forge, burning coal or coke, and then put whatever piece of iron that needed fixing in it. The iron would get red hot in the forge by pumping the bellows until the iron was soft. Then he would shape it or weld it to another piece of iron or punch holes in it, whatever needed doing. He then cooled it off in a tub of water. He would handle the iron with a pair of long tongs. He hammered the iron to shape it on an anvil or used a punch to make different sized holes.
His children used to pump the bellows. We would watch him shoe horses, while we held the horse still by its bridle. He used to put iron tires on wagons, which included wheels of all sizes. He also made hay rakes, beet rakes and other farm tools. He would fix or make nearly all of his farm machinery. I remember him making wagons for other people and doing all kinds of blacksmith work for himself and others who needed it done.
He got nearly all of his education through experience. He started working when he was twelve herding sheep for Charles Preston on the West Desert and in the Wasatch Range. he herded sheep most of the time as a young man along with other odd jobs. He continued to do this after he married for to or three years. He learned a lot from nature and went into all the adjoining states while he was herding. He went for several days once without anything to eat but mutton and wild berries and cherries. This continued until he finally found the owner of the sheep who finally brought him more food.
Dad went to school in the old east school house, now torn down. It was located on 300 East Main on the southeast corner. His school teachers were: first grade or chart class, Mrs. Abel. Second grade, Mrs. Kate Binns the aunt of his son in law, Kenneth Binns. His third grade teacher was Miss Swenson, and he went to the old Forbes school just north of where the Harrington school is now. Miss Curtis was his teacher in the fourth and fifth grades. He wrote on a slate as he studied reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. Lunch was always brought from home.
There weren’t cement sidewalks or oiled roads in those days. There was just lots of dust in the summer and snow and ice in the winter. I remember grandpa Huggard saying the snow would be so deep it would go up over the fences which is deeper than we see it now.
Dad had a great baritone voice and it had a real carrying quality to it. I’ve had a lot of people tell me what a good voice he had, including Waldo and Frank Bateman, Lee Beck, Jack Strong, Rulon Nicholes, uncle Sam Wanlass and others. He was always a quiet, retiring in nature and would never sing in public although he had many chances to do so throughout his life. His friends and family are all that have heard him really sing. I know I would hear him sing more in the mornings when we were still in bed and he was up waiting for the rooms to warm up after he had made the fires in the stoves. He would also sing while waiting for the sun to come up in the winter or while waiting to go to the farm early. He would sit and sing song after song. We would stay in bed sometimes later than normal just to hear him, because when the family would all get out of bed there would be so much confusion he would stop singing. We all loved to hear him. He tried to teach his children to sing, but none of us had a voice as good as his.
While herding sheep through Lehi on one trip, grandma Ashton heard him talking and remarked about his voice to another about how his voice carried. When he started going with mother, grandma would recognize his voice to be that of the young sheep herder she had heard earlier.
He was baptized in Utah Lake on 1 August 1895 by Charles N. Lillack and confirmed by W. D. Robinson. He went to church as a young man and was ordained a deacon by Henry Fitzgerald so Dad recalls. That record was lost. He quit going to church when he started herding sheep and was not active throughout his life. He was ordained a deacon again by Arthur McCallister on 7 March 1954 and a teacher by Edwin R. Shelley on 5 November 1954 and later to the office of priest.
The friends of his youth were Albert (Ab) Yancey, Horace Rushton, Noah Pulley, Bill Larsen, Elmer Greenwood, Fawn and Bert Cunningham, Lawerence McCandless, Bert Rowley and Ed Smith. He used to like to go rabbit hunting. I remember a number of times when a crowd, including his father, would get together and go out to Cedar Valley to hunt. Sometimes just he and his father would go and then stay a few days living in a sheep camp. The would bring back a load of cedar posts that were either for their own use or for sale.
He used to fish when he was younger and he and mother went to Yellowstone Park with friends on several occasions. He loved the outdoors and would rather work outside than indoors. He hauled ore out of American Fork Canyon for a number of years from the Yankee mine. He would use a team of horses and a heavy ore wagon. I remember him taking me and other of the children with him up to the mine where there were cabins. There was a cook shack there along with the miners cabins. With a full load of ore, it was often frightening coming down through Mary Ellen Gulch. It was very steep and we got out of the wagon and walked. Dad would laugh at us because we wouldn’t ride with him.
He took me up to the mines nearly every summer in my youth. He would stay to work a week or so. Aunt Nina and uncle Sam Wanlass and their children, Mildred, Sam, Dick and Beth would go up with us. Mother and aunt Nina would get the food and bedding, clothes and other items ready for the trip. We would start up early in the morning and ride on the wagon the entire way. Sometimes we would stop and eat lunch on the way or just nibble as we traveled. We stayed at Wooton’s cabin which was located across to the east of the old Pacific Mining and Smelting Co. or at one of the cabins at Dutchman Flat. On the way, Dad would point out different rock formations that would look like heads of different people, animals, castles, etc. He knew the name of almost every hill and bend in the road as well as the names of all of the side canyons. Some of the names were Dead mans gulch, Van’s Dugway, Hanging rock and others. When the road was widened up the canyon, Hanging rock was blasted down, but I think I’ll always remember the good times we had as we looked forward to passing under it in the wagon. Dad said that at times he had seen it snow up to one foot per hour at the cabins.
In the summer he would take us over to see grandma Ashton in Lehi in a surrey or in a wagon. In the winter time, he would take the sheep camp. He would build a fire in the camp stove in it so we would be snug and warm. The children would play with dolls, and other things while mother would watch over us. Dad would peel and slice potatoes into thin pieces put them right on the stove in a place. He would see that it was clean, then brown them on one side, season them and were they ever good to eat. We looked forward to those potatoes every trip. I’ve never forgot how good they tasted.
I remember him laying out on the lawn with the kids and pointing out different formations in the clouds like ships, faces, animals, birds and many more things.