The worker swung the knife just like a hand axe, sinking the hook into the beet, pick it up, hold the beet in the left hand, then with a chopping motion with the knife he cut the green tops off the beet. With a little practice the "beet-topper" could complete the entire sequence very quickly, the leafy tops falling in one place and the clean beet tossed into a row smoothed off by an old triangular contraption called a go-devil. Topping beets was not a particularly complicated task, unless you would call muddy ground, or frozen ground, or snow, or beets covered with fresh cow manure, complications. (Cattle ran freely in the fields in the fall, eating beet-tops before the harvest). It could be somewhat haz- ardous, however. If you ever talk with someone who "topped beets" for any length of time you might ask to see his shin bones. Chances are you might see a few old scars from the point of the hook; and if the scar is not there the memory lingers. Some even have scars on their elbows where somebody else's hook went too far, and at least one thumb is now missing due to a misdirected beet knife on the Nash farm. The beets were loaded onto wagons by hand, and for several years they were also unloaded by hand. The hazardous factor here, heavy beets falling off the wagons onto unsuspecting heads notwithstanding, was wet weather. Rain or snow in October made it increasingly difficult to get heavily loaded wagons off the fields. In addition there was always the concern that an early winter would freeze the beets in the ground before they could be hauled to the Thornton dump. No farmer could stand the financial loss, but it happened occasionally. When irrigation water came to the flat in 1917-1918 the farmers began to grow a variety of row crops. Sugar beets were the most logical crop because there were several sugar factories in the valley and beets had been grown successfully for several years. Warren Tingey began to experiment with potatoes almost as soon as the water came, and by 1920 Dave began to grow "Idaho Rurals," a potato with the color of a Russett, but the shape of a Bliss. Potatoes were a good cash crop and by 1921 they were building their first potato cellar, or "potato pit" as they were generally called, just north of the old barn. They hauled the timbers for the cellar all the way from Maple Creek on the east side of the valley. In the late twenties they built another cellar at Uless' corner. Still another cellar was built in the late thirties just south of the main houses. A fourth cellar was built by Uless in 1949 on the Berrett place. They have since burned down, or collapsed. The potato pits were huge affairs, perhaps one hundred feet by thirty-five feet. The floor of the cellar was approximately four feet below ground level and heavy pole timbers were raised over it similar to the roof of a house. The center aisle of the cellar was left wide enough to drive a wagon or truck into it, and on each side there were bins to store the loose potatoes. Once the timbers were in place net wire was laid over them, then a heavy layer of loose straw over the wire, then a layer of dirt over the straw. Later baled straw was used. Such an arrangement kept the cellar reasonably cool in the summer and kept the frost out in the winter, al- though sometimes they had to build a small fire inside the cellar during extremely cold weather. It was difficult to raise a good field of potatoes. Sugar beets were easy by comparison. Planting, cultivating, irrigating and even harvesting had to be done at the right time and in a correct manner. It was not a skill easily learned. Dave hired crews to harvest the potatoes. At first they used wire baskets and when they were full of potatoes they were emptied into an forgotten contraption called a "shaker." The shaker was a simple device mounted on two runners and pulled by one horse, usually "Old Nell." It consisted of two layers of wire screen inside a wooden frame, one layer approximately eight inches above the other. The potatoes were emptied onto the top and the size of the mesh helped sort off the larger potatoes from the smaller. The second screen had a smaller mesh and performed the same task, sorting out extremely small potatoes and clods. The entire apparatus rested on a rocker-arm and one man rocked the shaker and the potatoes tumbled into the appro- priate sack. In later years the wire baskets were discarded and the pickers began dragging a burlap bag, "gunny sack", between their legs. It was held in place by a belt made of rope that was attached to a 2x2 length of wood, approximately 18" long. The wood had a nail in either end and the sack was hooked over the nails. Such dragging wore out the sacks rather rap- idly and by the 1940's they began using wire baskets again. By then two pickers worked together, and once they filled their baskets they dumped the potatoes into one gunny sack. Such a sack weighed sixty to seventy pounds and later it was loaded on a wagon or truck and hauled to the potato pit. The potatoes were stored in loose bins and during the winter months a crew of men and women would "sort" the potatoes into appropriate grades of "ones," "twos," or "culls." For a while the Nash's had their own brand on their sacks. It was a picture of a pheasant with the words, "Nash Brothers, Weston, Idaho." Such a view of the potato business is brief and simple, but it was not quite that clear-cut. It does not make note of the nearly impossible task of cleaning the rotting potatoes out of the cellar each spring, an odor beyond belief, the choke of potato dust in the cellar when they are first brought in, or the dreary monotony of standing over a conveyer belt for hours on end sorting the spuds into three or four grades. It would also be difficult to explain the peculiar knack of getting just one hundred pounds in each sack, or sewing the sack just right and before the next sack was filled, or of piling the sacks in tight layers of three, until the tier reaches twenty- five. That equals eight tiers of three each, leaving the twenty- fifth sack as the ninth tier. You get that last sack above your head, give it a gentle boost upward to set it on top of the eighth tier. Such days did have their compensations, however. The equipment used by the 1940's was electric and reasonably quiet, except for the creak- ing of belts and chains. It was not cold, even in the dead of winter. All in all it was a job conducive to a great deal of enjoyable conversation. Before we finish with the spud business, perhaps we should mention the year the Nash's grew purple potatoes. That was 1948 when the gov- ernment decided there were too many potatoes on the market. The entire potato crop was put in the cellars, then the government measured the bins and bought all the Nash's would sell. The government paid $2.00 per hundred pounds, then without moving the potatoes they brought gallons and gallons of a bright purple dye into the cellar and proceeded to dye all their potatoes. Now that the potatoes were purple, and therefore unmarketable, they resold them to the Nash's for ten cents per hundred pounds, and the live- stock had a diet of purple potatoes all winter long. As a matter of fact, the Nash's also ate purple potatoes. They did not look so good baked, but once the pretty purple skin was removed they looked and tasted just like any other potato. There was also a certain amount of temptation to resell spuds that the dye had missed. A neighbor succumbed to that temp- tation. Sugar beets and potatoes were a staple crop for Dave and the boys for years and years. But things were happening on the farm other than raising row crops. 1918 is a good year to calendar the changes. World War I was just ending and that fall LaMar was born, the seventh and last child for Dave and Ida. Ariel was nearly seventeen, Vendla nearly fifteen, Paul was just turning twelve, Uless was nearly ten. Hazel was approaching seven, and Grant was just turning four. Dave for forty-two; Ida was thirty- six. They were a substantial family. They had lived on the Roosevelt flat for four complete years and had gradually added to the original farm buildings. Several sheds and corrals had been built at the edge of the hill, including a good blacksmith shop. Bill Hulse still worked full time and dozens of others were hired for the summer and fall work. There were very few families on the Roosevelt flat, but they were practically all Latter-Day Saints. The families built a small church house for their meetings and by 1922 it was formally organized as Linrose Ward. The name "Linrose" was a contraction suggested by Mrs. Emma Bingham for the names of the two adjacent school districts, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Dave was the first superintendent of the Sunday School during those years. Earlier he had served as a Stake missionary and Elder's Quorum President. Those were difficult responsibilities when they lived so far from the towns in the valley. The church house was an extremely sparse building, with no central heat, and not even an organ. For several years Bill Heusser loaded his own organ into a wagon every Sunday morning and took it to the church, then brought it home again that evening. The church house also doubled as a grade school. Ariel, Vendla and Paul attended school there that first fall, and the others attended in their turn. Both Paul and Uless remember the kids that went to school there were mean. The Nash kids were ex- ceptions, of course. For a few years, 1916-1919, Dave and Ida boarded the school teacher. The teachers were James McQueen, Ruby Moore, Mrs. Bradbrook. Names from the Thirties included Wanda Mortenson (my teacher for four years), Everett Turner, Mr. Huffman, Halvor Berrett, Claude Howell, and Mrs. Robinson. By the early 1920's Linrose was ready to build their own school house and they built a two-room brick building on Nash property, directly across the road from the church house. This school housed all the Linrose chil- dren until 1946 when it was closed. Since then it has been demolished, Linrose Ward has been merged with Weston Ward, and the church has become a private residence. Its location was Linrose Road, 1/2 half mile south of 800 South. I spent eight years in that school, and I have nothing but good memories of it. The grade school was satisfactory in spite of the "mean kids," but when Ariel and then Vendla were ready to attend high school or college it was not completely clear what should be done. The solution to the problem was expensive but desirable, the children were to go to school in Logan, thirty miles to the south. For the first two years Ariel lived in the Larsen home during the school year. Then, around 1920, when Paul was in the eighth grade and Uless was in the fifth grade, Dave bought a five-room cream-colored brick home on the corner of third east and Center Street in Logan, just over the hill to the east, from the center of town. Each fall Ida and the children moved to Logan for the school year. Some fall and spring weekends might be spent on the farm, and some winter weekends Dave went to Logan, yet it meant weeks of separation. When Paul and Uless were in high school they played football and bas- ketball. It seems they were pretty good. Vendla recalls that Dave came to Logan whenever the boys played in a game, and that he never missed, regardless of the weather. There were additional changes evident by 1918. It was that year, per- haps a year earlier, that Dave and Ida bought their first car. It was an Overland, and what an adventurous day it was when Ike drove them in a horse and buggy through Weston Canyon to Malad to purchase it. Dave and Ida proudly drove the Overland back through the canyon and Ike raced them in the buggy. Admittedly the roads were not so good in those days, and Dave may have been a bit cautious with his new machine; at any rate, Ike and the buggy won the race. The Overland gave the Nash family a most pleasant convenience. The family had always gone to Weston or Preston for supplies in a buggy, usually behind "Old Bally", or "Net". They had made dozens of trips to Franklin by buggy, occasionally in mid-winter. In winter, the buggy be- came a sleigh filled with kids, straw, and heated rocks. The Overland obviously made these trips simpler. Dave fixed the running boards so they could store additional gear on them and off they would go. By the 1920's the Overland was taking them on annual trips to Bear Lake over the old buggy road, and even as far away as the Black- foot River for fishing. The Overland was the first car driven to Willow Flat, a campground in the mountains northeast of Franklin. These trips were a pleasant break in the summer work and they always looked forward to them. Such motor-driven travel had its advantages, but there were a few problems too, especially after having driven horses most of the time. More than once Dave pulled back on the steering wheel and hollered, "Whoaaa!" And more than one gate was knocked down because of it. The rear end of a shed was knocked out when Dave's long gauntlet gloves, which he always wore, caught on the throttle lever. In later years the Overland was replaced by an Oldsmobile, then a Studebaker. Chevrolets came in the 1930's. There was another, very expensive change, that took place around 1918. The canal system built by the Oneida Irrigation District was finally completed and the first water reached Linrose. Consequently, the State of Idaho quite paying the water taxes on the land Dave and Ike had pur- chased. At the same time, the irrigation district was forced into bankruptcy because of the extremely high construction and maintenance costs it faced, and because they could not pay off the constructions bonds that had previously sold. The farmers had invested too much money in the system to abandon it, but they could not possibly afford an additional bond issue. The prob- lem was solved when Amalgamated Sugar Company offered to take over the entire bonded indebtedness of the irrigation district if the farmers would agree to organize a new company and sign individual mortgages with Amalgamated Sugar Company in the amount of $50 per acre of irrigatable land. The cost was overwhelming to the farmers but it did solve the problem of the old bonded debt and the farmers did need the water. The newly created company became known as Twin Lakes Canal Com- pany and the farmers signed the mortgage with the sugar company. Ike and Dave signed a mortgage totaling $30,318 at seven per cent interest. In 1922 they paid off the mortgage by borrowing from the Federal Lake Bank at five and 1/2 per cent, paying off the sugar company in full. It seemed a sensible solution at the time, and it was, but it proved costly. Most farmers were unable to pay the principle of the sugar company mort- gage, and finally the company wrote the mortgages off as uncollectable. Dave had already paid them in full, yet still had to pay the Federal Land Bank, in full. In spite of debts or hard work or isolation, the 1920's were pleasant times on the farm. The shade trees were growing and the orchards were producing under Ida's constant care. She was busily engrossed in church work in the little community of Linrose. She had a player piano. Her lively, enjoyable personality was unchanged. She enjoyed the farm and was quite proud of it and her home. Dave rode the fields on a beautiful black horse as he worked and supervised his three older boys. They had to learn how to build irrigation ditches that worked properly and they had to learn how to irrigate row crops. Dave was straightforward, and disliked silliness, but he was not a stern father or taskmaster. If the boys built a crooked fence, they did once, he made them take it down and rebuilt it. If they planted crooked beet rows they were chided. He did not swear much except an occasional "dammit" or "son-of-a-gun-of-a-seacook." He chewed tobacco, but he did not drink liquor. He had chewed tobacco before he had gone to Australia, and by the 1920's he was chewing tobacco again. In later years he smoked a cigar. Around 1925 Dave went into the sheep business in a big way. They had raised cattle just after the pig period, but now most of the range cattle were sold and they began building a herd of sheep that eventually num- bered about 3000 ewes. They built several sheepsheds under the hill on the east side of the creek, replacing the farrowing sheds. There they fed sheep through the winter and each spring the ewes bore their lambs. The sheepsheds were used only for the spring lambing. They were quite long, completely enclosed, and roofed with canvas. There was an entrance at each end and a long aisle down the middle of the shed. On each side were small pens, just large enough for one ewe and her lambs. Most of the lambs were born outside the sheds, perhaps in one of the open-sided, straw-roofed boweries, or perhaps they were born on the open hillside. The men hitched one horse to a small sled that held four small cages. They traveled the hillside and gathered all the ewes with their newborn lambs and took them to the sheds. After two or three days in their private pens they were moved to larger corrals holding several ewes and lambs. It was, and is, a beautiful sight to see dozens of lambs, two or three weeks old, cavorting and gamboling about in a kind of group play as they run about their corrals, skidding by their mothers, or sloshing through grain troughs or melting snow. Once in a while you saw a lamb that seemed to be wearing a pull-over sweater. If you looked closer you would see that it was so. These were lambs whose mother had died or did not have enough milk for one of a pair of twins. The men took a newly dead lamb, carefully removed its pelt and fit it over the orphan. If it were done properly, and in time, the lamb could be successfully passed off to its foster mother. And if you looked carefully around the sheds you might notice drying pelts from the few ewes that inevitably died each winter, or a small pile of dead lambs at the end of each shed, all frozen together in happenstance. They seemed to disappear each spring as the snow and ice melted. If you listened at all you could hear a continuous cacophony of worried ewes bleating for lost lambs, and lost lambs plaintively pleading for lost mothers. All of it was punctuated several times each day by steam engines pulling freight, easy going south, but straining going north. The railroad was barely two hundred yards away, on the west rim. If you listened more closely you could hear the running creek, wind rustling through the trees, and dozens of colorful but tiresome magpies perched on the shed roofs or in the surrounding poplars, waiting to get at the carcasses that were usually there. Then, once in a while, you could hear a faraway shout from the top of the hill, "Daaave! Ooh Dave! Dinner time!" That was Ida. Or if it came from one of the men it was likely, "Yoooh down there!" When spring lambing was nearly complete it was necessary to perform a couple of minor operations, minor unless you were a lamb. Long-tailed lambs had to become short-tailed lambs, and male lambs had to become wethers. It was usually an assembly line process involving several men and whatever grandsons were big enough to hold a lamb steady. The lambs were herded into a small enclosure, caught and held tightly by all four legs, then off came the tail very quickly and efficiently. Sometimes they were seared off with a red-hot chisel, or simply cut off with a sharp knife. The male-lamb-to-wether operation was a bit more complicated, and also unbelievable to most people. The lamb was held tightly on his back, then the operation was performed by cutting off the tip end of the scrotum, carefully pressing the scrotum back of the two testicles; and then, while holding them in place, the man removed the testicles with his teeth! It was done very quickly, then he spat the removed testicles off to the side or perhaps into a bucket for what would later become a plate of fried "rocky mountain oysters." Odd as it may appear, the system was efficient, and antiseptic for the lamb, if not for the man. A few such operations gave one a rather bloody appearance. It was much worse if the lamb should happen to have had the scours. It was said that a boy was not a man until he could successfully perform that operation. The lamb? For the most part he wobbled off, laid down for a while, got up, and to all outward appearances, forgot about it. Now, both operations are performed with tight rubber bands. By May the ewes were sheared and they were taken to the spring and summer ranges. There was a major loss one year when the newly shorn sheep suffered and many died because of a late spring snowstorm. For many years the Dayton hills, which the Nash's owned, provided the early spring range, and Cottonwood, Toponce and Robbers Roost north of McCammon provided the summer range. By the 1940's there were fewer sheep and they summered them around Twin Lakes. In the fall the lambs were driven to the railroad yard in Weston, loaded tightly into freight cars and shipped to Denver, Omaha, St Joseph, or even Kansas City for sale. Dave or one of the boys went with them. Such large numbers of sheep meant hiring full-time sheepherders. Some last a short time - Dick Stewart, Oley Morris, George Lewis - but one lasted a long time, Roy Hulse. Roy stayed with Dave for years, and everyone liked him. Paul and Uless often stayed with Roy in the summers, and by 1928 Grant was old enough to spend part of the summer with the sheep. Alton, Ike's son, also spent a few summers with them. Uless particularly remembers the summers just before he married. In 1927 they were driving the sheep from Swan Lake through the hills and beyond Lava Hot Springs to the Toponce summer range. Roy was quite sick for several days and could do nothing. Roy's boy Bud, age twelve, was there but he had been kicked by a horse and could also do nothing. They kept moving toward Lava, but one of the pack horses fell into a ravine and scattered their gear. Through it all Uless did triple duty. They were all relieved to see Dave, Paul and "Fat" McGinney drive up from Lava to meet them. Roy named that spot "Camp Welcome". As Uless says, "Most of what happened is in between the lines. It's a trip worth $10,000 of experience, but I wouldn't give a dime for it over again," (written in 1930's). In the summer of 1991 I drove Dad (Uless) to Camp Welcome. He had not been there for nearly sixty years. Nothing remains of the camp they built, and it took us a while to find the right creek, and bend in the creek, but we found it. Uless also remembers later that summer when Roy was gone for a few days. They brought a "dirty old crowbait" who had not taken a bath in ages. He had a favorite dog that he even let eat out of his plate with him. Uless was supposed to sleep with him, but a smelly saddle blanket was preferable. Uless also relates an incident that was characteristic of Dave. They had been losing some sheep, so Dave took Uless along to find them. They found some corrals belonging to a man named Rancher, and in the corrals were some of their sheep with the brands altered. They were standing near the corrals when Rancher came up to them with a six-shooter strapped to his side, and his hand on the pistol. Dave told him that some of his sheep were lost and Rancher said that he had not seen them. Dave got mad and told him that his sheep were right there in the corral. Rancher half pulled his pistol from his holster and threatened to shoot Dave if he did not leave. Then, as Uless remembers, Dave said, "If you weren't so damned crazy, I'd take that six-shooter away from you and beat hell out of you." Rancher put his gun away, and Dave got his sheep. Sheep, potatoes and sugar beets were part of the farm, but the heart of it was the alfalfa fields. They cut a little wild grass north of the old sagebrush bowery, but it was never enough. Dave was the first farmer to try raising planted alfalfa, and when they found they could successfully raise it, "haying time" became the central task of the summer's work, involving about twelve men, and leaving no more than ten days between the first and second cutting, and between the second and third. The task of cutting, curing and stacking hay is done now with one man and three machines - swather, baler, hay-wagon - but how different it was them. The alfalfa was cut with a horse- drawn mower. They kept two and sometimes three mowers busy. After a day the downed alfalfa was moved into long rows by an awkward machine known as a hay-rake. It consisted of wide- diameter iron wheels with a row of long, curved tines fastened to an iron bar that ran between the two wheels. Directly over the tines is a hard, iron seat for the driver. The rake is balanced by a single horse which as a kind of third wheel. The horse plods around the field and the driver presses a trip'-lever with his foot. The lever locks onto a ratchet mechanism on the wheels and the tines, which have been gathering the mowed hay, rise in unison, "dumping" the hay into a pile. The rake goes round and round the field, always dumping the hay even with the previous round. If it is done cor- rectly then the field will be raked into long and more or less parallel rows of curing alfalfa. A day or so later, when the hay is drier, the same rake returns to the field, this time straddling the long rows of curing hay. Once again the tines rise and fall and the long rows are bunched into separate piles of hay call haycocks. This process of "hunching" is slow, and tedious. In order to avoid making the haycocks too large it is an almost continuous process of hitting the trip-lever, waiting for the tines to rise with the turn of the wheel, the tines dropping and then hitting the trip- lever again. When the tines reach the top of their arc they strike the bottom of the iron seat with a jarring motion, and every step the horse takes, the two- wheeled rake sways. Round and round the field! Sway with each step, trip the lever! Brace yourself for the jolt when the tines hit the seat, then again when the tines strike the earth! Stiff, aching bones come with the job. When the fields were bunched then the haying became a group task. The hay had to be hauled to the stackyards for winter feeding. For several years Dave and the boys used "slips" to haul the hay. A slip was simply a number of boards laid side by side and nailed together, so that if held on end it looked like an oversize barn door. They hooked a team of horses to the slip, sliding easily over the stubble in the alfalfa fields, like a giant toboggan. The youngest sons and grandsons drove the slips to the field where two men pitched the hay onto the boards with a pitchfork. When it was loaded, perhaps eight to ten feet high, with a young driver perched pre- cariously on top of the hay , or on a front corner of the slip, then the team was driven to the stackyard where the hay was stacked. One of the first work experiences I personally recall is Victor and I driving those slips. We were six years of age. A large wooden derrick was the key factor to stacking the hay. Very few of these are still standing, and probably none are still functioning. The derrick frame was a Danish-immigrant invention, consisting of heavy timbers laid in a square. Another timber was laid through the middle of the square and this became the base for the "king pole." The heavy king pole was placed vertically, then braced to various points on the outer square. On top of the king pole was the "boom pole". The boom pole was really a long pine tree, much longer and thicker than a telephone pole. Approximately one-third of the distance from the heaviest end, the boom pole was fastened solidly to a heavy metal swivel which was set in the top of the king pole. The large end of the boom pole was held close to the ground by a chain tied to the cross brace on which the king pole was fixed.