Eugene Memmott (1889-1964)

Eugene MemmottBy Eugene Memmott, with additional materials added regarding his death and life after 1962 by his wife, Lillie Ingaborg Jensen Memmott.  Minor editing added by Guy L. Black

I, Eugene Memmott, made my appearance into this world 10 July 1889, at Scipio, Millard, Utah.  I was born in a one-room log house and later my parents added another room.  We used the living room as a bedroom and its dimensions were about 14 by 16.  The kitchen was 12 by 16.  There were three doors and three windows with one door and two windows facing east, one door to the south, and a window facing west.  Our home was heated with a wood stove, and our lighting was by coal oil lamps.  Our furniture consisted of two beds, three chairs, a table, a cupboard, and a washstand.  A homemade rug was on the living room floor, and for padding we used straw.  The roof of our house was covered with dirt instead of shingles.

When I was born my eyes were blue and my hair was brown.  I weighed about 8 lbs.  At the present time I am 5’7” and weigh about 180 lbs.  I walked when I was one year old and talked when I was one and a half years old.  My first memory of Santa Clause was at 2 ½ years.

I was blessed 3 October 1889 by Jacob Croft at Scipio, Utah.  I am the oldest of five children, three boys and two girls.  My brothers are Calvin, born 2 April 1891, and Redick, born 14 January 1893.  My sisters are Agnes, born 18 January 1895, Bettie, born 12 November 1896.  We were all born in Scipio, Utah.

Since our farm was located about five miles from town, my brothers and sisters and a dog were the only playmates I had.  The only toy I can remember having was a little red wagon.  I spent many hours tending my brother Calvin by pulling him around in this little wagon, to keep him from falling into the creek, which was to the east of our home.  When other interests attracted my attention, our faithful dog would guard him from falling into the creek by knocking him down and laying on his clothes so he couldn’t get up.

My father’s name is James Ammon Memmott.  He was born 22 October 1856 at CedarCity, Iron, Utah.  My father was a very kind man, a good worker and provider.  He loved to talk and was never happier than when he could relate some story or history of his or someone else’s life.  He spent his life farming and raising cattle.  His father died when he was ten years old, leaving his mother to care for him.  He and his mother lived alone on the corner north of the Scipio Ward Church in a small home.

He loved his mother and did many errands for her.  My father was helping a deer hunter saddle a horse on 30 October 1936 when the horse, formerly a very gentle and tame horse, even with children, kicked him in the stomach.  This was about sundown.  He lived and suffered terrible pain until noon the next day when he died October 31, 1936, at Scipio, Millard, Utah.  During his married life he lived on a ranch three miles south of Scipio.

My mother was Susan Agnes Ivie, born 26 November 1869 at Scipio, Millard, Utah.  She was a very good mother and a beautiful woman, very pleasant and sociable.  She married my father 26 September 1888.

When they had been married for about five years a flood came and destroyed everything.  It took all their grain crops, washed away the fences, and flooded their house.  Father took his family to higher ground to save their lives.

Mother was a good cook, always keeping everything neat and clean.  Her children were the same.  She died after a serious illness at ProvoHospital on the 26 March 1946.  She was buried in Scipio, Utah.

I attended school in Scipio and graduated from the eighth grade.  For commencement exercises we went to Hinckley, Utah, and I stayed at Alma Langston’s.  I was given a double promotion when I was in the first grade.  I was also in two or three school programs and a school play one year when about 12 years old.

The community held what was called a May Ride, and our family went on many of these outings together.  We had an enjoyable time visiting, running races, playing games, and eating under big bowery made of cedar limbs.  The outings took place about halfway between Scipio town and Scipio Lake.

I used to go with my folks on hikes to Scipio Lake to fish.  I caught many fish, which made me very happy, as I love to fish, and love to eat them also.  We cooked the fish by the lake, and had very enjoyable meals as a family.

I always followed Dad wherever he went, whether on a trip to the field, or to the hills for wood, or out on the range after cattle.

When I was about twelve, I road the range alone.  I had to climb many high hills, and many times I had to get off the horse and walk, leading my horse up these steep hills.

During the summer we had to check on the cattle two or three times to see how they were doing; then in the fall we had to go get the cattle off the range.  This was hard work, but it was enjoyable because of the beautiful mountain scenery.

I also helped my father milk fifteen to twenty-five cows each day.  We sold our milk to the creamery to help make a living.

I have had several narrow escapes in my life.  One day when I was helping unload corn with a derrick fork, some of the corn fell off onto the ground.  So I got off, gathered it up, put it in a pile, and was just about ready to put the hay fork in it, when the team backed the wagon.

I was standing with my back up against the wagon, and it smashed me right between the wagon and the shed, and knocked me out.  It took about one half hour before they got me to come to.

Once when I was helping to de-horn cows, I was holding the front leg of a cow, and another fellow had a pled over the cow’s neck, to hold her down.  The cow got her head out and brought it over body, caught me in the chest and eyeball with her horns, and knocked my eyeball out onto my cheek.  I was taken to Mrs. Petersen, a woman doctor in Scipio, and she cared for me for a couple of weeks.

Three weeks after I tore my eyeball out, I was helping thresh, and my hand got caught in a pulley.  My little finger was scraped.  I still carry the scar.  My Aunt Martha was at the Ranch cooking, so she bandaged it up with the only thing we had, which was coal oil.

When I was still young, Aunt Mae (Ottis Walch’s mother) gave me a birthday party, which I enjoyed very much.

Also as a boy I had several bad diseases, among which was typhoid fever.

One of my first recollections was that of being kicked by a horse.  I can also remember putting potatoes in the oven to bake.  They surely tasted good.

I was baptized a member of the LDS Church 1 July 1899 in a creek at Scipio, Utah by William R. Thompson.  I was confirmed the same day by Peter Nielson.  I was ordained a Deacon 13 December 1904, by F. L. Wasden; and an Elder 24 January 1916 by Orvil L. Thompson; a Seventy 26 May 1940, by Rufus K. Hardy; and a High Priest 17 December 1953 by Willard Stephensen.

I liked to dance, and used to play baseball quite a lot.  Dad had some cattle to feed over in Fayette, so I went over to feed them.  While there I met a girl named Zemba Pierce, and took her to the dances.  Her father had another daughter that he wanted to get rid of, and he tried to get me to take her; but I finally quit going there because I wanted Zemba, not her sister.  When they built the U.B. Dam, I helped for a while.  I also courted a girl named Cora Christensen from Holden quite a lot.

Then in October, 1916, I was called on an LDS Mission to the Central States.  I left Scipio and went to Salt Lake City, where I received my endowments 18 October 1916 and departed for mission headquarters in Independence, Missouri.

I saw the Carthage Jail and the spot where the Jackson County Temple will be built.  It was then owned by the Cambellite Church.

We went without purse or script, and had to ask for meals and lodging.  Sometimes we were turned away.  One night after walking in the rain, my companion and I came to a farmhouse and asked for lodging and food.  We were turned away.  The man reported us to the police for disturbance, and then set bloodhounds on our trail.

Before the dogs caught up with us we stopped at a church house, which happened to be open.  We went in and decided to sleep on the benches for the night.  We had just got settled and about asleep when we were aroused by dogs barking outside the church house.  In a few minutes the lights went on and the police took us and put us in jail.

The next morning they brought us some coffee and bare bread.  We ate the bread, but left the coffee.  About noon they released us, as they couldn’t find any substantial charge against us.

While I was on my mission Cora Christensen married; but after I returned on July 10, 1918, I soon started courting Lillie Ingaborg Jensen.  We became married December 5, 1923, in the MantiTemple by Lewis R. Andersen, Sr.

I received my Patriarchal Blessing March 13, 1923 from Anthony Stephenson.

Immediately after our marriage we moved to Oasis, Millard, Utah, where we lived until 1930, when we moved to Scipio.  We lived in a tent for three years while I hauled logs and built a house.  I also cut and hauled fence posts to make a living for my growing family.

In 1943 we moved to the Greathouse place in Sugarville, Utah.  Then in 1944 we moved to the Charlie Williams place in Oasis, and later in 1946 to the Allred place on Cropper Lane.

In 1949 we moved back to Sugarville, and in July, 1952 we had our house from Scipio moved to its present location in Sugarville.  We moved into it in October, 1952.  Nine years later, in October, 1961, we moved to 411 Penney Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, in order to be close to the Temple and do work for the dead.

I was set apart for a Deseret Stake Mission on December 3, 1950.  I was released on December 15, 1952.  William Van Bishop was the Stake President at the time.  I have been Superintendent of the Sunday School in two wards.  I have also been First Assistant in the Sunday School.  I have been Genealogical Chairman in three wards.  I was first counselor in the Elders Quorum in 1939 in Scipio.  I have also been YMMIA Superintendent.  I have been a ward teacher for most of my married life.

In April of 1962, Eugene became very ill, and remained ill until he was admitted to LDS Hospital on May 13.  He was dehydrated, making it necessary to feed him through his veins.  He was treated for his Sugar Diabetes and placed on insulin shots.  He was released from the hospital on May 31, 1962 to convalesce at home.  He was in the hospital four times for this diabetes.

Gangrene affected his feet from the diabetes.  For the last two years of his life, Eugene could not stand up or walk, but was bed ridden.

Eugene died from complications of diabetes on July 20, 1964 in LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He was buried on July 23, 1964 in the Oasis Cemetery, Oasis, Millard County, Utah.  He was the father of ten children.[i]

[i] Vital Records, Cemetery, and Obituary Sources:  Birth Certificate:  No birth certificate available.  No governmental entities in Utah were required to report births prior to 1898.  Birth date is from secondary sources, including obituary, death certificate, and self-reporting in his autobiography.  All secondary sources agree on his birth date as July 10, 1889.  Marriage License:  Millard County, No License Number, Millard County Clerk’s Office, Fillmore, Utah.  Death Certificate:  Eugene Memmott, Death Certificate, Registrar’s Number 1687, State File Number 64 18 3585, (Amended by daughters, Alice M. Adams and Veola Hansen on October 15, 1997 to (a) change name from Eugene M. Memmott to Eugene Memmott, (b) change father’s name from James A. Memmott to James Ammon Memmott, and to (c) change name of spouse from Lucile Jensen Memmott to Lillie Ingaborg Jensen Memmott.  The original information was incorrectly reported by Nickle Mortuary and not by the family), Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Grave Location and Cemetery Directions:  Grave and headstone are located in the Oasis Cemetery, Oasis, Utah.  To get to cemetery, turn south on Center Street in Delta, Utah, then right at 200 South, then left at 100 West, then right at 2500 South, then left onto Oasis Road (just before the railroad tracks), then left at 2000 West (cemetery sign), then left at 3500 South (another cemetery sign), then another left at next cemetery sign.  Cemetery is at the end of the road.  Eugene & Lillie’s graves are located on the east side of the cemetery, within one hundred feet of the south end.  Obituary:  Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 21, 1964, (Vol. 362, No. 18) p. B15.  A second bbituary was obtained from Eugene’s daughter, June Memmott Losee, and is presumably from the local Delta, Utah newspaper.