Hatch, Caribou County, IdahoEdit This Page
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How I Remember Hatch, Idaho
Written for the Jubilee of Hatch Ward by Christine H. Hatch in 1948
The Ward was organized November 20, 1898. Let’s go back to 1880, almost 70 years ago before the railroad came to this area: A young boy, Ransom Hatch, from Bountiful, Utah arrived in this valley to work for Chris Nelson and Chester Call. He was very impressed with the country, especially when his eyes fell upon a beautiful nook in the northeast section of the valley which could make a good pasture for stock. He therefore contacted his two brothers, William and Thomas, and described this choice piece of land urging them to join with him in filing a claim and establishing a right for homestead. William, or Will as he became know, built the first house, followed by Thomas Hatch, Moses Muir and his family in 1882, William T. Higginson and his two wives and family in 1883, and George Williams family in 1885. The Will Hatch house was located below the hill south of the present home of Belton Hatch. The Thomas Hatch home was across the road and closer to the creek, and the Ransom Hatch home was located south of the present church house by the old log spring house we all remember so well. The first home of William T. Higginson’s was built in the field west and a little south of the church and soon after that one was built by the spring east of the church. The home now standing across the street was built for one of his wives, Aunt Hattie. Moses Muir built his home northeast of the church house. This Community was named Hatch. Through here the Old Oregon Trail cut deeply into the sagebrush and connected Soda Springs to Old Fort Hall. Each year brought new families into the valley. Nels Hogan’s first home was built on what we now call Yancey lane. He later moved and built a large home east of the community and directly below what is known as the “Little Flat”. Following the ones named above came Alma Hogan, John Paul, John Detton and Fred Green with their respective families. Very vivid in the minds of the oldsters are the foot trails from one house to the other as every one was forced to walk to visit his neighbor. These trails were bare and hard, sometimes in the grain, in the meadow or the willows, but packed so well, they could be followed by moonlight. These settlers were so closely associated they could determine who had good springs. William T. Higginson established his home near one and we all remember obtaining a bountiful supply of watercress each spring. Ransom Hatch built a log house covering his spring and then there was Moses Muir, Alma Hogan, and Nels Hogan each with a good spring. Other families dug wells for water. The land markers we remember so well are; Big Flat, Little Flat, Moses Canyon, Spring Hollow, and Eighteen Mile Creek, meaning eighteen miles from Soda Springs. We also remember Scott’s Mine in Moses Canyon where four or five families lived at one time. Mr. Scott and Mr. McRae were always in attendance at church, but their mining adventure did not prove to be very successful and was eventually abandoned. Each year a shearing corral was set up on the Big Flat and Sophia Higginson was the cook for the shearing crew. Before the ward was organized in 1898, 50 years ago today, the settlers journeyed through all kinds of weather by horse and buggy or sleigh to attend church meetings at Chesterfield. Peter Williams was made the first Bishop of the Ward and meetings were held in Thomas Hatch’s old home until the present building was erected in 1900. Brother Detton built a box for the Relief Society which was left at the Church. It was painted blue. Mr. of the community was even brave enough to lift the lid off the box that contained burial clothes, white funeral drapes for the Church, and we kids suspicioned a dead body might also be found there. The old tithing granary is still standing in Brother Nels Hogan’s field where grain that had been taken in for tithing was stored. On Sunday morning the large and small buckets of eggs turned in for tithing or fast offerings.
Not one of the first settlers used tobacco or liquor, and profanity was never, never heard. People could go to other communities and see drinking and smoking, but to these refined people it was not to be tolerated. At one time a government man came on business. He tried to borrow a match for a smoke but not one match could be found among the men in the group. If anyone got out of the line, such as a sleeve above the elbow or short skirt above the ankle, Grandpa Higginson would tap his cane and repeat; “Babylon, Babylon”. Perhaps this training influenced Uncle Bob when he scraped all the skin from his fingers to merely say, “Ouch Old Pole”. Grandpa had a hard time the first few years dodging state police who were seeking to arrest him for having plural wives. One day during a quilting bee at the home, the officers came to the front door. He evaded them by escaping through the back into the willows close by. His daughter, Margaret, was so afraid he would come back she went to the back of the house waving her arms and yelling for him to stay there; he ran out of the willows to see what the trouble was and came face to face with the officers who had drawn guns. He was fined $300.00 and 6 months in the penitentiary at Boise. George Washington’s birthday was a day of riding horses and breaking colts to lead. This is where the Shipley boys would outshine everyone. All would meet at a specified corral and ride. If the crowd thought the horse wasn’t bucking hard enough they would pop a whip and see that he did. Uncle Tom was having a bad time with his horse going against the fence and over and around the other horses with their bridals. No one was helping to herd, finally in exasperated disgust he yelled above the din of the crowd, “Everybody tied to the fence and nobody herding.” Memorable were the winters when we would hunt rabbits. You would choose-up sides and the hunt was on. The side that lost in not bringing in enough rabbits had to give the other side an oyster supper. We would sleigh ride, often four and five going down at once, “belly-buster.” Ice skating was especially good and it provided a chance for the more daring boys to smoke cedar bark. Aunt Margaret Hatch was the first school teacher. One day in Church a feather on her hat tickled her on the neck. She brushed at it. Again and again it tickled her neck. By this time all the young kids were watching and getting a kick out of it. Finally, in desperation and knowing for sure it must surely be a bug, her hand crept slowly toward the feather and she threw the hat and all into the center of the church session. It nearly broke up the services. These old timers would leave their families and go on missions depending upon the Lord and neighbors to sustain them, sometimes sending a son and always the families would prosper. Uncle George Higginson was the first missionary called and he left his wife and two children laboring for three years in the Samoan Islands. Once a year Bishop Hogan and counselors, Thomas Hatch and W.Y. Higginson, would go to Ten Mile (Ivans) which was part of Hatch ward and spend a week visiting the people and attending to Church business. They always told of the wonderful hospitality of these people. We looked forward to the day when we turned eight. Uncle Rant Hatch would meet us down at the dam in his field and baptize us on our birthday, summer or winter. Ira Hatch says he can remember his first pair of overalls. He was seven or eight and traveled all the way to Chesterfield to get them. How glad he was to shed that dark outing flannel dress for some boy’s pants. We will never forget the Sunday morning when Asa Hatch, Arvin Hogan, and Kenneth Hatch at seventeen came to church in their first pair of long pants. All eyes were glued upon them. We used to put on a drama every year. For this the entire community would turn out. I still believe the most fun goes on behind the curtain. Oh, yes, we were all concerned about tiny, little, lisping Stearns Hatch. Would he ever start growing and get big like the rest of the boys? Evidently, he didn’t think so either because he said, “ I just eat then mut it all out. I never will grow beeg.” Bill Y’s house was a hoodoo when it came to lightning. It usually struck at least once a year taking the bark off the trees which grew around the house, knocking wife Sophia down and tearing the crank telephone off the wall. One time a prospective buyer came to Redford’s and one of the boys said, “ We don’t have to worry about lightning striking here, it always strikes up to Billy Y’s”. Deer were plentiful in the hills when the settlers first came. Then they disappeared, coming back in about 1932. We always looked forward to going to the hills to pick service berries, choke cherries and wild currants. We kids would eat hawberries. This was a picnic as well as helping our budgets. We all had hams cured pork to eat and those that had beef butchered.
Can you recall the cellars of these first families lined with milk pans two and three layers high with clean board slats between them? They would skim off the cream, churn the butter in a dash churn, mold it into pounds and take it to Soda Springs where they would get 8 or 10 cents a pound or maybe couldn’t sell it at all. Later they had wrappers printed with their name and address on them which we- then placed around each pound to make them more attractive for sale. To secure their flour, they would take their wheat to a mill at Malad, Cache Valley, Montpelier, and later to McCammon and Bancroft to exchange for flour called a grist. Years ago strawberries were abundant. Gooseberries and currants also were grown. People came and picked them on shares. Aunt Maggie Hatch said she would sell a large chicken for 25 cents. We had our poets, Aunt Teenie and Aunt Hattie, who would compose verses for funerals, birthdays, celebrations, and for different friends. They even wrote about their own husbands who was the same man, whom they had married in polygamy. The school was held at different places with Billy Y. taking his turn as teacher along with Aunt Margaret. There was also Verna Steer, Virginia Pratt, Dorothy and Zina Horsley. School was held in the church house many years. J. Leonard Hatch and Olive Hogan were the first graduates of the eighth grade. Later on a new school house was built with J. Leonard Hatch as the first teacher. R. Osborne Hatch was the caretaker and saw to it that he showed the school marms a good time. Water was carried from the Higginson spring to school and we all drank out of the same cup, and no one ever died of germs. Kind hearted Brother Williams used to sweep a path or drag a pole along the foot trail for his children to walk to school. One day we saw a team and wagon coming up the road. When it got in front of the school house—WHAM--- went the snowballs. Uncle Tom Higginson, the driver, jumped off the load of hay in hot pursuit. Kids ran in all directions especially to the toilets. Roy Hogan got to the boys toilet first and what other boy could get in with those large feet and legs across the door. Bill Buckendorf was in the coal house and he came out the small window jet propelled, and in excitement ran into the girl’s toilet. We finally got him on the right track and we have had many good laughs over this incident. We played “ante-I-over” the school house and while playing this Arvin Hogan once said, “yuney-yound-yuddie-yay.” He hit one boy and came back laughing and remarked, “I-hittie-yite-die.” This was a by-word among the school children from then on. Indians! You can’t imagine how many we saw traveling through or coming for rock chucks and squirrels. Seems like Billy Y’s girls spent half their time under the bed hiding from Indians, and no one ever got hurt. Spring brought many herds of sheep going to the hills for summer range. There was a herd or so a day and it lasted 2 or 3 weeks. They were coming from the desert and in the fall they returned. Each winter herds of sheep would be fed on the Mose Muir farm. Will Mabey spent several winters feeding his sheep there. Judson Mabey’s sheep were fed through the winter at Hatch. On July 31, 1911 Uncle Rant Hatch’s barn burned down. Again Christeen, his daughter was the heroine as she ran to the barn and rescued a valuable stallion. Some well bred colts perished in the fire. Little boys playing with matches was the cause. Three months later on the same day of the month Detton’s barn burned down. One day Ammon was at Rant Hatch’s when they saw a horse coming on a dead run from the south. The rider was yelling for them to stop him. They spread out their arms and Old Swipe came to a dead stop. Billy Y. the rider flew like a bird over the horses head. He didn’t have time to jump off. When fall rolled around everyone in the community would be looking for apple peddlers. They were a treat for fruit hungry people. Many of the families would take fruit jars and go to Bountiful and can their winter supply. We all looked forward to the yearly visits of these people, Grandma Hogan, Aunt Fanny Hatch, Grandma & Grandpa Muir, Grandpa Burgeson, Grandpa Parkin, Grandpa Johnson, Aunt Maggie Traveler, Grandpa and Grandma Gooch & Grandpa Redford who was always busy with his saw and hammer. We remember Uncle Alma doing his best for his motherless children which he called “his little dears.” We recall his doggie calves and hired men, Joe Cole and Ed Oates and what a kick he got out of Myrtle coming home late and getting into the wrong bed. Of course we had a ball team. Lou Moore was the manager. Tony had many blue shirts with white trim and we beat all the teams around with the spectators getting in arguments. We also had a band and Clarence Swenson was our leader. This brought us on an equal with the large cities. We girls thought Clarence would marry a girl from Hatch, but he never asked any of us. We also had a choir with different directors. Aunt Ada was the organist for many years and Lisa taught piano to many of the children. She was the best the community ever had. We recollect the horse power threshers with the horses in pairs going around and around. One man with a whip would keep the horses on the move and two men feeding the machine with wooden pegs in their hands. Uncle Fred Johnson had the first steam thresher and he also ran a saw mill. Later, the people all donated and bought a Romney oil pull. Ira Call had the first car in the valley and President Nels Hogan owned the first car in Hatch. Our stores were Ira Call’s at Chesterfield. Fisher, Titus and Alley and Dolbee’s at Bancroft. Before these stores it was necessary to go to Soda Springs to shop. World War I soldiers were Ira Hatch, Leo Johnson, Herman Hatch and Goudy & Arvin Hogan. There were others but I do not recall their names. World War II soldiers were sons and daughters of World War I veterans, and I do not mention names for fear of leaving someone out. Aunt Hannah Hatch had the first post office. She was followed by Sarah Hatch, Margaret Hatch and Christeen Moore. Mail was first picked up near Yancey’s ranch. A man by the name of Sorenson was the first mail carrier, then Cyrus Tolman and on down the line. Uncle Ted Deurden was the carpenter who built many of the houses in Hatch.
Our bishops were:
1. Peter Williams--------3 years
2. Nels J. Hogan--------14 years
3. Thomas Hatch--------6 years
4. Joseph Hogan---------3 years
5. W. L. Higginson-------3 years
6. J. L. Hatch------------16 years
7. Ernest Hogan--------- 6 years and is still serving.
Families moved in and out of Hatch Ward and each time a family came they enjoyed the hospitality of these good people. If we were at a neighbors and meal time came we were counted as a member of the family and our place at the table would be set and waiting. Strangers were made welcome. We only hope that the generations that follow will uphold this heritage so dear to us all, and I end this story by saying, “God bless them everyone”.
There is a home we remember so well,
Where love and friendship prevail.
Where hospitality, service and kindness dwell
Where enemies were few.
May we always remember that green little nook
Where foundation is ???????????
And when they read the good old book
May we stand by their side and be saved.
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