For now we will continue with my Granny Hamblin's story.
Soon we were into the year of 1921 and on May 7, another sweet little girl arrived to join her other six sisters and Orland. We named her Sylvia. She was as cute and sweet as the others were, and just as welcome. Grandmother Hamblin was getting older and felt she could not take the responsibility of delivering another baby. We obtained the services of Mrs. Margaret Robinson, a registered nurse and school teacher who had taught school in Nutrioso, and who was living about five miles from town. I got along real well under her supervision.
In the fall of 1921 after the harvest was over and enough wood for the winter was piled up, Carl accepted a job at Lyman Dam working for his brother Jacob and other contractors. Winters in Nutrioso in those days were long and cold. I didn't feel equal to staying there alone with a family of little children, so it was decided that it would be better if we went with him. There was to be a school and many families were moving there. So another move was made and we were soon located there in a nice little house. Blanche, Fern Klea, Fay, and Priscilla were enrolled in school and Orland, Margaret, and Sylvia were home with me. Jenny Berry Palmer was their teacher.
In the above photo you can see that the Lyman Reservoir is in between Nutrioso and St. Johns. The dam is on the Little Colorado River which flows south to north from the White Mountains and on to the Grand Canyon to the west.
I found that I would have another baby. Mrs. Robinson (the one who took care of me a Sylvia's birth) took care of me again. Our baby was born December 5, 1922, in the same house that Margaret and Sylvia were born in. She was another sweet little girl and we named her Helen. This made us eight girls and one boy (living). We didn't mind for they were all sweet little girls and a lot of help to me. Carl needed help too, and I often wished he could have more boys. He didn't seem to mind but I am sure he wished he had more boys as well. He devoted his time to Orland and had him with him whenever he could.
In those years the little towns of Nutrioso, Luna, and Alpine had a party for the old people of the three wards. In the fall my father and mother went to Luna for this party. When they returned home about noon, I sent one of the girls down to tell them to come up and have dinner with us. I knew they would be hungry and tired. They came, but Father did not feel like eating, so they went home so he could rest. He did not get any better, but gradually got worse, lost his appetite, and lost weight. There was no doctor closer than St. John's and he was not an expert. So it was decided that Carl would take him to Gallup, New Mexico to an expert there. My youngest brother Claude went with Carl. They went to Ramah, New Mexico where my brother John lived, and he went with them. The doctor put Father in the hospital and they did all kinds of tests and x-rays on him. They discovered cancer, and because of the location (where the esophagus joins the stomach) they could not operate. They sewed the incision up and kept him in the hospital a week or so more. Carl came back home. It was very sad news he bought back to mother. When Father was released from the hospital he rode the train to Holbrook, Arizona. He stayed with Aunt Clara Lee in Holbrook. She was Uncle Bell Lee's widow. I think he rode the mail bus home. It was a sad meeting for Mother and all us children, but we put on brave faces before Father so he would not suspect the serious condition he was in. After a few weeks had gone by and he did not get any better, he knew. One day he told me that the doctor had done him no good, that all they had done was take his money. What could I say? He was given the best care one could have. Poor Mother. It was so hard on her for she was constantly in pain with arthritis.
Around the last of April or the first of May, Fay came in the room where I was caring for the mail and said, "Mama, I hurt my leg." I looked down and saw she had bruised her heel on a rough board. There was no blood and I thought it didn't amount to much. How often I regretted in the following months, that I had not taken the time from the mail to take her and soak it in warm salt water, which I should have done. Too many things to do, and the mail to go out to Alpine and Luna, and back to Springerville, by night. During the night she woke me up crying and saying her leg was killing her. I had waited too long and blood poison had set in. I got up immediately and heated water and put salt in it and soaked her foot and ankle in it. She had a slight temperature, but I put her back in bed and she was soon asleep. In the morning her temperature was much higher. This went on week after week. It was hard on me to care for her and be so worried about Father too, for we knew he could not live. There was nothing we could do to relieve his pain. The opening at the top of the stomach was nearly closed up, but what food that could get by did give him some strength. I could hardly stand to see him suffer as he did. He had always been such a kind, loving father, which made our home bight and happy. Now he seemed so depressed and blue. It made my heart ache. He would lie there and think of Fay and Helen, who was the baby, and would say to Mother, "I wish you would send one of the girls down to tell Ida to be sure and give that baby a drink of water, for I am sure she is so busy with Fay that she neglects giving the baby water." Poor, dear, Father. on his death bed and still worrying about others.
Next Time: The conclusion of these two stories...Aunt Fay's blood poisoning,and Great Grandpa Lee's cancer.
Sylvia Hamblin, born May 7, 1921
Helen Hamblin (front) and a cousin.
Born December 5, 1922.
John Willard Lee, son of John D. Lee and Agatha Ann Woolsey Lee.
He was Ida's father and my great-grandfather.
Born October 11, 1849
Big Cottonwood, (Salt Lake City), Utah.
John W. Lee, missionary portrait.
John W. Lee, mid-life.
John Willard and Lucinda Margaret Clark Lee.
The below photo shows a closer look at the Reservoir. There are two dams now. I indicated them by orange arrows. I don't know where the original was but I did read that in 1915 the dam burst and flooded St. Johns. Eight people were killed.
The dam was rebuilt in 1918-19. Below is a photo from that era. The family had moved lower in elevation, so a bit more of a desert terrain and warmer climate.