Attention: This site does not support the current version of your web browser. To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or install another browser

Partial Personal History by James Basil Manwaring

I was born in Groveland, Idaho, near Blackfoot, Idaho, on December 18, 1919. We lived on a farm although my father was a pretty good bookkeeper and was the County Assessor for three terms of elections. Farming was tough in those days, and when I was five years old, we moved into town. Our new home was one that had had the roof burned off and hadn't been repaired for a few years. I can remember that my mother wasn't very excited about it, but it didn't seem to bother us children. The house had been well built, and after it was repaired, it proved to be a good home. My father, Arthur Manwaring, and my mother, Emma Teresa Holley Manwaring, reared 3 boys and 3 girls to adulthood here. I am the 2nd boy and the 4th child of this union. My childhood was a fairly happy one. while we sometimes lacked all the money we would have liked, we always had a good house, plenty of food and sufficient clothing. My father had several occupations, but we had a small herd of milk cows and two or three horses around. We bottled and sold milk around town all during our growing days. This venture gave all of us a job and kept us out of mischief. I still remember the feeling of pride seeing a case of clean white bottles of milk that we had milked and bottled for sale. All of us kids also had our turn at delivering the Deseret News. Our route was partly in the city and partly in the country. We usually rode a horse. I still remember riding in the blizzard during the winter. I didn't grow too big until I had graduated from High School. Two of my nicknames were "Runt" and "Weezel". In grade school my favorite sports were football, marbles, and track. In High School I did some wrestling, basketball, and volleyball. Girls always interested me, but I didn't go to school dances until my Senior year. The subjects which I liked in school the most were Spelling, English, Bookkeeping, Typing, and Band. I disliked Algebra, Geometry, Biology, and other Science subjects although I remember enjoying a class in Embryology and Boys Cooking Class. During my high School days, I worked at several odd jobs such as mowing lawns. One year I helped take care of a large flock of chickens. I also worked for a time in a Drug Store as a dishwasher and delivery boy. After High School, I found employment in a shoe store. My boss was a native of Czechoslovakia named Frank Pacina. Although he was a nervous man and didn't have too much patience with growing boys, I learned many fine things from him. I was employed here for two years. During this time I saved $1,000 for a mission and also helped my folks by paying the monthly payments on our home. I was very interested in Church work during this age. I have the memory of walking alone several times to do ward teaching, of singing in the choir, and bearing my testimony. One month before my 20th birthday, I was called to the Texas-Louisiana Mission under the leadership of ElRay L Christiansen. He is now one of the Assistants to the Quorum of Twelve. One lady in the mission field accused me of not being "dry behind the ears, and not old enough to be away from home." While in the mission field my father became ill with a stroke. My Bishop called me on the phone and advised me to return home to help my mother with the cows and help take care of my smaller brother and sister. My mother had to spend a good deal of her time taking care of father, as he was bed-ridden. I cried for about an hour about leaving the Mission Field and the fine friends I had made. My first job after returning home was cutting butter for the Blackfoot Creamery. About eight girls wrapped the butter by hand. I was particularly attracted to one of these girls, but I was too bashful about doing much about it. After three months, I obtained employment at the Kraft Cheese Factory. Here I was a cheesemaker's helper and also a buttermaker. We worked six days per week--about 10 hr per day for $75 per month. I also started keeping company with my butter-wrapper acquaintance. In February of 1942, we became engaged, and we were married in June although we had to postpone our wedding for two weeks because my father passed away. During our courtship, my girl had become a telephone operator. We both took three days off to get married in the Salt Lake Temple. After we returned, she worked nights and I worked days, and I didn't even see her for one week. Due to the postponement of our marriage, our blood test became too old. After we reached Salt Lake, they made us take another test. We passed a very hectic time getting that done and being married the same day. Uncle John Holley and Aunt Pearl from Mapleton, Utah, and Una and Grant Tate were our only relatives present. {3rd page, something missing?} I also forgot my ring before the marriage. Edna Adams, my bride, was a very lovely, conscientious and capable girl. She learned how to economize and work because her mother passed away when she was only 9 years old. Our marriage has been very happy, because she is strong in the things where I am weak. She is also very appreciative for anything anyone does for her. I well remember the excitement at the Cheese Facgtory on the Sunday of December 7, 1941. This was the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The following September 1942, I enlisted in the Air Corps as a mechanic. As I recall, I had to talk quite convincingly to the recruiter to prove that a cheesemaker had the potentiality of an airplane mechanic. My first post was Fort Douglas, Utah. We lived in tents because of crowded conditions. I was then sent to Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona. I graduated from mechanics school and spent an enjoyable year there in the sunshine. Edna came down and obtained work on the post, and we saw a lot of each other. I also lived off the post a considerable part of the time. We also went through the Mesa Temple a few times. I became interested in flying and applied for Cadet pilot training. One interesting experience was a three day airplane trip with Lieutenant Peterson. We flew up to Missoula, Montana. On the way, we flew over the Snake River Valley. We flew low over my mother's home in Blackfoot, and my sisters, Marie's, home in Shelley. I wrote notes to them and put rocks in the envelopes to make them drop fast. Marie said we scared one farmer so bad he got off his tractor and laid down on the ground to keep from being hit. We began traveling around the Western part of the USA. Sometimes Edna was able to be with me. Roland, our first child, was born in Blackfoot during this period. During the last week of Primary Flight School at Thunderbird, Arizona, I washed out because o my inability to land a plane. I then entered training for the Bombardiers. Before finishing this training, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. We never flew again after that. I was discharged from Lowry Field, Denver, Colorado after 3 years and 3 months of service. I returned to the Kraft Cheese Factory at Blackfoot, but after 3 months quit to attend school at Logan, Utah. The GI Bill enabled every soldier to go to college with all fees paid and $70 per month to live on. We lived in our own trailer house and later in a government house. I graduated in Dairy Manufacturing and then stayed there to manage the College Creamery for six months. I also worked for the City of Logan as an inspector of Dairy Farms and food establishments. During our college days, I milked cows and was a reader for a blind Japanese student, Tommy Miyasaki, now of Sugar City. We obtained employment as Superintendent of the Nelson Ricks Creamery at Rexburg, Idaho, and lived in Sugar City near our Japanese friends. By this time we had four children. After six years here we moved to Ashton where we purchased the Ashton Cheese Factory. One of the highlights during this period was returning to Sugar City to baptize Mary Miyasaki and later go through the Idaho Falls Temple with them.



Select a language