(by Rebecca Ballard Young, N. Keith Young,
and Arthur J. Ballard; edited by Elaine Young)
The family was poor compared to others living in the area. Arthur's father was unable to do a great deal of physical work because of injuries brought about because of his imprisonment during the Civil War. We don't know why they bought this piece of land to farm in Burlington, Wyoming as it had rocks all over it the size of a fist. They erected a log cabin to live in that still exists with additions. It was quite a ways out of town making social life or schooling difficult. At this time every farm needed to be self sufficient. This meant raising some cows for milk and butter, some steers and pigs for meat, chickens for eggs and feathers, sheep for wool, hay to feed the animals, wheat or barley to feed the family and the animals, keeping a smokehouse to cure the meat, and cutting wood to keep warm during the winter. Even today one is astounded at the size of a woodpile in the town. Hauling in wood from the nearby mountains would have kept a team and wagon busy most of the year. Hay and grain was probably at this time in Wyoming cut with a scythe. Apples were probably the only fruit that could be grown in this area.
As for most boys growing up on a farm in these years, hard work started at an early age. Alta, Arthur's sister, remembered when Arthur was about eight, they drove a team and wagon from Burlington to Greybull [about 22 miles] loaded with apples to sell. Their older sister Mary was living there cooking for the railroad crew. They had to stop at a stream to water the horses. For some reason they removed the wagon tongue from the yoke between the horses. Alta remembered that Arthur and she could barely get the wagon tongue lifted up to the yoke between the team. Alta ate a bite out of so many apples that when they got there they didn't have many to sell.
The family moved to Cowley so the older girls could go to high school when Arthur was about eight years old. They lived in town and farmed pieces of land nearby. Arthur graduated from Big Horn Academy in 1920 at Cowley. It was an LDS high school as there were no public high schools in that part of Wyoming at that time.
Becky writes: My father was called and served in the Northwestern States Mission from 1921 to 1923. During his mission, his family had moved from the old family home in Cowley, Wyoming to Salt Lake City, Utah. After his mission in 1923, he went to Salt Lake for several months and then back to Spokane where he looked for work and courted Zella Jacobson whom he had met while a missionary. He saw an advertisement for a job in February 1924 while in Spokane and applied for it. They accepted him and a few weeks later loaded up the men in trucks and sent them to various cities on the West Coast where the Hurst newspapers were published. He was put on a Seattle truck rather than one to Portland, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. He thus became employed by the Seattle Post Intelligencer as a stereotyper where he worked for nearly 30 years. He soon found out he had been hired to break strike against the newspaper and as such he wasn't very popular with the union men. Eventually the strike was settled and he joined the union.
In late June 1924 Arthur's father died in Salt Lake and he went to Salt Lake City for the funeral. He and Zella had planned a small wedding for August in Seattle but Arthur's mother felt that they should have a temple marriage. Zella was sent for from Spokane and she arrived on the train two days later without a temple recommend or marriage license. Arthur got his old mission president to get a recommend for them both to be married and got a license. By this time June had gone and with the start of July the Salt Lake temple had closed for the summer. Arrangements were made for them to drive to Logan and be married there on July 2, 1924. Mother Ballard rented a car and driver and they made the trip with Arthur's older brother, Seth, being the other member of the wedding party. The road went through Brigham City. After the wedding and lunch in Logan, they stopped in Brigham City and picked cherries for more than an hour in their good clothes on their way back to Salt Lake.
Arthur and Zella left by train for Seattle the day after their wedding without even enough money to buy food for the day and a half trip, carrying a lunch with them. When they got to Seattle, Arthur left Zella at the depot while he walked four miles to where he worked. He borrowed five dollars from his boss for a place to sleep and something to eat. Unfortunately the area around the depot was a red light area and for their first night in Seattle, they were interrupted from their sleep all night long. The next night they knew better and found another place to stay.
He found out the paper had put men on the hiring seniority list while he was away getting married. When he returned he was at the bottom of the list in the stereotypers seniority. They found and lived in an old aptartment house near downtown Seattle where Arthur could walk to work. Their first baby, a daughter, was born 17 Apr 1925 and named Rebecca Laurine. They bought a new house at 921 North 78th Street in Seattle when they had accumulated a few dollars in savings. The exterior was of green stucco with red trim. It was a small two bedroom house on a narrow thirty foot lot. In 1927 they decided that they needed a car and bought a brand new black Ford for less than $500.
The great depression hit Seattle severely in early 1930 and arthur was laid off from his five-day job and only retained one day each week that he was guaranteed work at $5 a day. He was on the substitute list for the next ten years and didn't have regular work for all of these years. Gradually he built up enough seniority that he had more and more regular days to work. He never accepted any welfare help but we lost our home on North 78th Street to the bank when we couldn't make the payments.
Dad continued to work as a stereotyper for the paper. The type was laid in a flat tray. From this they pressed the felt mats. Many areas of the paper required special treatment such as pictures, large flat areas etc. Later the flat mats were conformed to a half circle and cast using hot metal. Two- half circles were bolted together and put on the rotary press and the paper was printed on the high speed rotary presses. Changes had to be milled into the cast forms. The work was hot and dirty. The old castings covered with ink had to be put into the melting pot. Dad would always change clothes after he came home or at work if he came on the bus. The night shift was only seven hours with no additional pay for night work.
Just before we moved out of the green house into an apartment at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, a son Arthur Jacobson Ballard was born May 7, 1930. He was always called Jay by the family. This apartment was close enough to the Post Intelligencer that Dad could walk and also hear the siren blow indicating that the paper was putting out an "extra" and that he could usually obtain more work.
It was during this period that Dad would often walk down town to see if there was any work that day. If he found none he would then walk down to the docks and buy a 10-15 lb salmon for a dollar or less and bring it home under his arm wrapped in newspapers. Although we didn't have a refrigerator or most of the time even an icebox, we would live off that salmon nearly all week. Whenever I eat salmon at $2-10/lb, I remember those depression days and how we lived. After a few months in the aptartment on Queen Anne Hill, we moved to a house next door to the apartment that had a yard for Jay who was just starting to learn to walk. The summer after I was seven, we moved to the house next door to our old green house on North 78th where Becky attended the new Daniel Bagley School which had been opened only the year before. After living about six months in the rented house next door to our old house, the bank asked my family to move back into it as they couldn't sell it or rent it and they didn't want to leave it empty. Eventually they worked out a new loan agreement and my family bought back the house.
In 1934, we bought a larger two bedroom house out on Greenwood Avenue and lived there for a little more than two years. Here we kept a large garden with some chickens. This was outside of the city limits, there was no bus service, and with music lessons it almost required two cars. Dad always had to have a car for work. They decided to move back into Seattle with good bus service and much nearer his work. We bought a very large old (circa 1900) house at 910 North 77th Street. We shared an alley with our old houses on North 78th. Another son Paul Darrell Ballard was born February 26, 1935 just a couple of months before my tenth birthday while we were living on Greenwood Avenue. The family tried to remodel the big old house on 77th into something more modern. Directly across the alley was a house where Mr. and Mrs. Huleatt lived. They were an elderly couple and he was a finish carpenter. He made cribs for my brothers to sleep in, toys, children's furniture, and cabinets for us. His garage was his shop and it was a favorite place for all the area's kids to hang out. They were adopted grandparents to all the children of the neighborhood and beloved by all, as few of us had local relatives. Mr. Huleatt died when I was thirteen and Mrs. Hulleat sold her house to my folks for $2,950 so that she could have an estate worth less than $3,000 and didn't have to have it probated.
Thus we moved into the house at 915 North 78th the fourth house on that block that we had lived in. This house had two bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, enclosed front and back porches, and three upstairs bedrooms that were only partly partitioned off. The first thing my father did after we moved in was to finish these three rooms so that we had more bedroom space. At times we had to stand in line for the bathroom but no one else we knew had more than one bath room so we didn't feel too deprived. Dad grew some vegetables among the shrubs and had a large patch of raspberries west of the house.
The house had a sawdust burning furnace in the basement. It was a big job to shovel all the sawdust when it was delivered from the alley into the basement bin. Then once or twice each day it had to be put in a big hopper to feed the furnace. It had a nice smell and was clean and light to shovel. Some water had to be added to keep it from burning too fast. Too much water and it wouldn't burn properly, and sometimes it didn't fall into the burner and required the stick treatment.
The summer after Becky was twelve, she came down with an acute attack of appendicitis while at a Campfire Girls Camp a few miles from home. They immediately took her home and mother thought it was an attack of indigestion or flu and that she would soon be better. She even left her to take care of Jay and Paul while she went to Sacrament Meeting that night. Becky became progressively much worse all day Monday and during the early morning hours of Tuesday, they finally called the doctor and he made it out to the house about 6 AM. He immediately diagnosed her as being quite ill and needing surgery. He took her to the hospital in his own car and operated on her before 10 AM. Becky had a ruptured gangrenous appendix and was very ill for many months. It was before the days of sulfa or penicillin. She spent more than a month in the hospital and then over a year recuperating at home and finally went back to the hospital in August 1938 for blood irradiation to try to get the infection permanently out of her blood. From then on she recovered rapidly. Becky did two grades that next year in order to catch up with my class. This was a real burden on her family. Arthur came and played cards or visited with her at the hospital most afternoons on his way to work. However, he never got used to the smell of the gangrene.
That same year Zella decided to start school at the University of Washington in Seattle where she was a freshman. Her mother, Etta Jacobson, came to live with the family during the school year. Becky and Etta developed a very enduring relationship. She taught Becky to knit, crochet, sew clothes, and cook and that part in her growing up was extremely pleasant. Paul was only three that first year she lived with the family and for several years she was as a mother to him. Arthur always got along well with his mother-in-law. Grandmother and Mother did all the child care and housework even if Dad was home. Grandmother Jacobson was such a help to all the family.
Arthur was home until about two in the afternoons most days but he had several part time jobs, digging holes for oil tanks by hand, digging a basement under our house, etc. He only required six hours of sleep and always was a hard worker. Dad and Mother always worked together whether it was yard work or household cleaning. He was capable, willing, and able more than most men of his day in any of these household categories.
In June 1939, Arthur had been given anti-rabies shots for a dog bite but it turned out that he was severely allergic to the shots which at that time were made from horse blood. He took a group of Becky's friends out to the Natatorium at Alki Point for a swimming party to celebrate their eighth grade graduation in our large touring sedan (an old Kissel). He noticed that he had a very severe tingling feeling all over his body especially when he was in the water. Two days later he was paralyzed and in the hospital and two days from then was transferred to the children's hospital to be near an iron lung to assist him with breathing. He was in what would be classed as intensive care at the children's hospital for over two weeks and then he was finally transferred back to the Virginia Mason Hospital for another three months. During this illness he was given a special blessing by his good friend Alex Brown in which he felt that he had already passed down the lighted tunnel to the next world. He saw his mother and others there to greet him. Alex blessed him that he would return to this world and raise his family. At the time he felt great remorse at being called back from the spirit world when he was so much at peace there and was without the pressure of the iron lung to breathe.
After about six months time, my father went back to work and gradually regained most of his strength. Part of the paralysis and resulting bladder dysfunction remained until his death 39 years later. As a whole he treated his physical difficulties with good humor and tolerance. Mother didn't go back to school for a couple of years after his illness. The paralysis left father so tired he could no longer do the work he used to do. Mother went to school to be able to support the family in case father's health got worse. At this time she changed her major to social work and after getting her BA went back to school and did all the course work on her master's degree. In 1943 she was on her last year of graduate school when I was a Freshman at the University of Washington.
In 1939 the war started in Europe and on December 7, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor which was quite a shock on the west coast. We were attending Stake Conference at the old Queen Anne chapel in Seattle and had gone home to check up on Jay who was recovering home alone from an infection. I can remember him standing on the lawn outside the house waiting for us to arrive and be the first to tell us the news of the attack. Mother was at first angry that he should be outside when he had stayed home because he was sick but then we rushed inside and heard the news for ourselves. It was then about 12:30 PM our time and 9:30 AM Hawaii time. Mother started to cry when she heard the news. I made sandwiches to eat in the car on the way back to church. Dad was needed at the newspaper and we needed to take him his lunch and work clothes as soon as possible. The afternoon meeting of Stake Conference was already in session when we arrived and we sat in the back trying to find Dad.
Dad worked the Saturday night shift which was the longest and hardest of the week with overtime for the Sunday paper. He always got up with little sleep and went to Sunday School at 10 AM with the family. He served for many years as the Sunday School Superintendent. He took a nap after Sunday dinner on the couch and used the radio baseball broadcast as a noise buffer. Leo Lassen added all the commentary from telegraphed reports.
My father served on the Stake High Council during the war years. The stake then included Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. We would save all our gas ration stamps and during the summer catch the ferry at 10 PM on Saturday night and go to Victoria, attend Sunday School there, drive to Sydney and catch the ferry to Vancouver in time for Sacrament Meeting on the mainland. We would stay overnight with some church members and drive home on Monday so dad could get to work at 2 PM. I believe we did this for at least two summers.
About 1950 the family bought a triplex on Queen Anne Hill and lived in one of the units. The apartment had a gorgeous view of downtown Seattle and the bay. A couple of years later they bought a beautiful brick home on North 92nd St. My Brother, Paul, was killed in April of 1960 when his plane caught fire and he couldn't make it back to the carrier. His wife, Lynn, moved to Provo to be near her family with their son, Jeffrey, about 6 months old. Later she found she was expecting twins who were born November 6, 1960. Mother and Dad moved to the Granger area southwest of Salt Lake City in 1961 to be near Paul's wife with her three little boys. My parents found the church there quite different with so many priesthood members it was hard to get to be even a home teacher. Dad could only work night or afternoon shifts since it was a different union and his status wasn't transferrable. They built a large home with a full basement on Campfire Circle, later sold it and built a fourplex where they lived in one of the upstairs apartments. Mother became concerned about dad's health. The fourplex required a lot of work with the yard. They moved to a condominium on 36th West to be near friends who worked at the temple. The yard work was very little here.
After retiring, both dad and mother worked many years in the Salt Lake Temple beginning in March 1968. Father took great joy in leading music and his vigorous, jovial approach could get almost any group to sing. He was most happy to direct the music for the children in Primary. They loved him and sang their hearts out for him.
Dad never liked to read books for pleasure. He could examine and proof read the mats at work and even read them upside down and backwards. He much preferred not to have Zella read but she loved to read and he was still trying to get her to change her reading habit when he died. He planted a nice garden where they first lived in Salt Lake. He even had a few tomatoes growing in Seattle but the climate gave them more of a texture of apples.
They bought a truck and camper while in Utah and took many enjoyable trips to Colorado, Southern Utah, and the Northwest. While living in the small condominiums, they arranged for two elderly aunts to come and buy an adjacent condominium unit. The aunts had lived in Glendale, Calfiornia, but could no longer live alone. Mother saw they got breakfast and lunch and had them come over for their dinner. She did their shopping and took them where they needed to go until they each died.
Dad in later years was troubled by an insufficient blood supply to his heart. It required him to keep a box of nitroglycerin pills with him to take when needed. His health gradually decreased with age and the doctor thought he would do better at a lower altitude. Mother decided that would be the Bay area where both Jay and Becky lived. I helped them search and they found a large mobile home park in Scotts Valley that they really enjoyed. They bought a used mobile home near a small pond. Swans, ducks, and a bird feeder helped to keep them entertained. Both kept busy in the Santa Cruz Ward nearby.
On December 18, 1978 while Dad was bringing in the mail, mother heard him stumble, went to the porch and it seemed he had died before he hit the porch. He was taken to Draper, Utah and buried next to his parents and other ancestors. He always had a firm testimony of the gospel and enjoyed speaking as the spirit moved him.
Becky thought that her Dad and mother had written a history but we have found none in the boxes of things we received after Mother Ballard's death. He and mother often spoke in wards encouraging people to do genealogical work. Mother died with Alzheimer's Disease and so could tell us nothing by the time she came to live with us. Dad mentioned in his letters he was working on a history but it has not been found.
My dad began to write a series of letters to his family beginning in June 1958 to October 1966. He would type a little bit whenever he got around to it and sometimes mother would add a note to the back. The letters give a general picture of what the rest of the families children, and grandchildren were doing. The letters also give a view of the degeneration of grandmother Jacobson's mental and physical state. Each letter is a page long except for occasionally two pages to report a trip. Reviewing these letters we can add the following to this history.
In the summer of 1958, the family went on a vacation to Salt Lake City and attended some of the conference sessions and found getting in the tabernacle resembled a mob scene. They visited many relatives, his brother Seth and wife, and did temple sealings. They visited Keith's mother in Brigham, went to Logan and Yellowstone Park, visited relatives in Cody, Wyoming, went to Cutbank where mother had lived, and saw her old home. They then went to Cardston, Canada and went to the temple. Next they journeyed to Spokane, saw the Grand Coulee Falls, Wenatchee where some of mother's relatives lived, and arrived home on July 6th. Dad was still on the High Council and assigned to the Sedro Wooley Ward.
In July they took another vacation to Montana in a Nash car that they had had since being married. In August 1958 Arthur wrote that Leo Lassen isn't broadcasting the games any more and he doesn't sleep as well on Sundays. He had been out to the stake farm at 4:30 AM picking pole beans a couple of times. [The church welfare project of growing and harvesting pole beans began about 1950. At this time Keith Young was the Elder's Quorum President which included the elders of both the Seattle University and Bellingham Wards. It was a real job to get elders to go and pick beans for this project. The land was in the Duwamish Bend river flood plain - quite a distance from Seattle but the soil was very fertile and the beans did remarkably well.]
Mother's parents were living with them then and grandmother was having trouble
with dementia. They had a new blue Ford and an older red one then. Jay had bought
a new home in Murray, Utah. Doyne had a baby girl. Paul was in Japan in September
1958. Mildred Wright (mother's sister) had her illness diagnosed as Lupus. Grandmother
had been up during the night and couldn't find her way back to bed. This is
a very typical action.
In October, Lynn had moved to Coronado and Paul was expected back from Japan. The doctor diagnosed dad with angina pectoris and said that he needed to lose 30 of his 180 lbs. The doctor gave him nitroglycerin for the pain when needed which he used the rest of his life. Jay was going to work for United Airlines in Salt Lake transferring from San Fran. The houses on dad's street were all getting hooked onto the sewer line.
In November 1958 Arthur was in an MIA play as an older English father. Paul had arrived home in San Diego. Dad was Santa for the children's Christmas party. A Christmas letter of 26 December 1958 said they had a fine Christmas but later dad was sick with the flu, had a temperature of 103 degrees, and missed work the first time in 20 years. Grandmother turned 80 this in January 1960. Lynn and Paul wrote they were expecting a new baby. In February, the Ballards pledged $500 to build a new church building. Keith writes about birth of new baby boy named Brian Terry Young. Grandmother Jacobsen is steadily losing weight. In April, Mother and Sheila were both ill with fevers with Shelia's turning out to be measles. Mother very tired since the help she had for grandmother moved away and her sister Thelma feels she needs someone to talk to and dad would not do. They were investigating a duplex for sale near one they are buying. They thought it would be the last Mother's Day that grandmother would see. Paul was going to Kansas to a jet aircraft training school.
Mother took her trip to Los Angeles in May 1959 to visit the Youngs. That summer they had a trip by air (parents of United Airline Employees got a reduction on their flights) to Salt Lake stopping at Portland, and Boise, Idaho. They enjoyed a visit with Jay and family. They also visited dad's brother, Seth, his sister, Elsie, and Kenn Taylor who started the Ballard Genealogical Society while they met together and collected $45 for research. Later they visited the Wilford Smiths and Paul's wife's parents in Provo. Grandmother getting worse even though sedated somewhat.
Zella plans to retire next year and took a trip to Eugene to see her family and Mildred now weighing 100 lb. Alice Gray told them she was coming to the area and dad invited her to stay with them. They showed her some of the scenic spots of Seattle. Grandmother has a lump in her breast no diagnosis made as yet. Paul called to say new baby Jeffrey Craig had arrived in August and all were well. Grandmother was demanding so much care they investigated a nursing home for her and selected one for her to go to. By September was confined to bed. Dad still likes to bake his own bread which he does regularly. Jay called to announce the birth of a son and said they planned to come for Christmas. Grandmother passed away 16 October 1959 at 2:40 PM. She was a splendid mother and lived a good life. Her funeral services was held at Greenlake Funeral home. A male quartet sang "Though Deepening Trials", the bishop conducted the service and many tributes given. " Oh My Father" was sung at the close. Many relatives came from Eugene and other places, and food was brought by friends. Things were now much simplified with grandmother gone to her rest. All the family came for Christmas at the Ballards -- Youngs, Jay and Doyne and Paul and Lynn.
In February, Paul came for a visit courtesy of the Navy. They are planning the trip east to see the Hill Cumorah pageant in August. In March, they purchased an apartment house with sixteen units at $165,000 and $40,000 down on Queen Anne Hill. They watched General Conference over a closed wire circuit to the stake center. Keith had a hernia operation in May. In May, a telegram arrived announcing the death of Paul. They called Keith and Becky who went to San Diego to console Lynn. Mother and dad then drove to California for Paul's memorial service. Dad wrote a letter to his family describing what they knew of Paul's death. It was announced in Stake Conference in both sessions. So many church friends came to console them. All of the family had written them letters about Paul's death.They report that Paul had been first counselor in the Branch Presidency and Lynn was Relief Society President. Paul had led the singing and all the ward loved them. The letter told of visiting the Young's on their trip. In California the Youngs showed them the lot where they were to build a new home. The Ballards enjoyed a trip to the Los Angeles Temple. Lynn moved to Provo, Utah in June 1960.
The Ballards were in the process of selling their home to move to the new apartment on September 2nd, 1960. They were beginning to move things. They had six apartments they had rented out at their new address, 2703 Boyleston North. They now attend the Third Ward.
In October 1960, the apartment builder hadn't paid his bills and couldn't finish promised improvements. They consulted an attorney about it. Everything was still in escrow for the purchase. Their attorney advised them to move to their duplex and they did. In November, they were talking about moving to Salt Lake. Dad requested he be released from the high council and was released. The long trips after working the previous nights were very tiring for him. The stake presidency called dad for a two year stake mission that he reluctantly accepted. Lynn's new babies arrived and were doing fine named Darrel Jay and Paul Arthur.
They had decided to move to Salt Lake next summer after their Christmas vacation via airlines to California and Salt Lake City. Dad blessed one of Paul and Lynn's new baby, Paul Arthur, and his and others tears flowed. A letter from his brother Ross told of he and his wife being ill. She had to have gallstones removed. Apostle Howard Hunter came and spoke at their stake conference. He told of his trips to South America and of the white Indian group still existing there.
In February 1961, they invested money in K & D Novelty with the Taylor's and Smiths and dad intended to work there part time when they moved to Salt Lake. Sheila had a birthday and they went to see the Swiss Family Robinson movie - not a favorite with dad. In March, the Ballards received earnest money on the duplex and it looked like a good sale. They were now getting excited about the move to Salt Lake -- one objective was to help Lynn care for her boys. In April, Sheila had the mumps. In June, they sold the red Ford. Zella is teaching a Sunday School class. Dad was elected president of the Ballard family organization in absentia of the meeting in Wyoming. By November 1961, they were in their new home. Dad was made ward choir president, and mother and dad were working a little at the K & D Novelty Store. Their new home was at 3895 Campfire Circle. In May, they built a new store for K & D Novelty and decided to dissolve the partnership. Their new fourplex was being built. In June dad started working nights at the paper. They bought a new Ford Camper and were trying it out. Father Jacobson was in a rest home in Seattle. Arthur was having a little problem with his heart. The last letter in the file was dated October 1966.