|Interviewee:||Samuel Pyne Snow|
|Date:||June 7, 1988|
MORRIS:I am Carla Morris. I am interviewing Samuel Pyne Snow. This is June 7, 1988. We are at his home at 1126 East 300 South in Provo, Utah. Tell me about the years that you worked at the State Hospital.
SNOW:I began working at the State Hospital approximately 1934. The Depression was on and there was no work. The men were parading up and down Provo City, Center Street holding signs demanding work and putting big banners up, "We want work!" People gathered on the City and County Building lawn, pitched tents. They had nowhere to go. The landlords were putting them out of their homes. They couldn't pay their rent. They couldn't pay their grocery bills. And at this particular time I went to work at the Old Pipe Mill south of Provo here. And the only time they could work us was when they had orders. They might work you two weeks, then lay you off for three weeks, then bring you back for ten days. Then maybe you might work a couple of days and then be off a month. You never knew. Only when they could get an order. It was terrible. Men were riding the freight trains. I counted as high as ninety men on boxcars. And they had nowhere to go, no work. So, I happened to know one of the fellows that was working up at the Utah State Hospital. And he wanted me to go up there and put my application in. I said, "Well, I don't know." I had a few reservations about going up there to work. He said, "Well, the superintendent up there is going to have a ball club." This fellow knew that I'd played a lot of ball, so he said, "You'd better come up." They're going to have some tryouts and if you can make the team, I think we can get you on. Otherwise, he'd never hire anybody." This superintendent was a ball lover (laughter).
MORRIS:What was his name?
SNOW:Dr. Pace. Superintendent Pace. So he kept talking to me and he said, "you'd better come up and try out." I had played ball against this fellow and also with him. So I went up to the hospital with another tryout. His name was Louis Norman. He liked to play second base and I was always played up on third base or short stop. So they put us out there, and they had a lot of players there. This coach, he'd take the ball and bat it out to us just as hard as he could sail them and see whether we could pick them up and get them over to first base. So we both made the team and they put us on temporary. They wouldn't put us on full-time. At the time the work was more steady than when I worked out to the plant. We got in more days. And after we'd been there for a while, they put us on steady. And I stayed there for twenty-five years. Now during that time, I first went to work inside on what they call the violent ward. That was where the criminally insane came, the people that had murdered or were extremely upset. We had every kind of criminally insane people. And I'll tell you, when I first went to work in there, they put me on the night shift and sent me up on this ward alone. I'd never been in there before. It was rather frightening.
MORRIS:What was your job?
SNOW:On the night shift you couldn't have them up and running around. You were supposed to let them sleep, but you'd have to go up and down to make sure that nobody was trying to get out or try to harm somebody else. So I worked on that shift for quite a while. Then I took the night watchman's job for a while. Then I was moved to what they call the observation ward. This is where all the new patients came in. And you had to keep a ledger and write a history on these patients as they came in. You had to keep a ten-day observation of how they acted, what they did, and the way they talked. Then after you had made that report out the doctors would come in after about ten days and they would read this before they began to survey them. So I worked on this observation ward. And it was a lot different than the criminally insane. I worked that for a good many years. It so happened that the bishop in our ward was farm superintendent on the outside.
MORRIS:What was his name?
SNOW:Bishop John Brailsford. Being that I would see him quite often, he would talk to me, and he said, "I'd like to have you come out on the farm." So, I told them on the inside Mr. Brailsford wanted me to come on the outside. One of the supervisors didn't like that. He wanted me to stay inside. But I wanted to get out on the farm. So I decided to go out on the farm with Mr. Brailsford and there I stayed until I was made Dairy Manager. After Mr. Brailsford left when I was promoted to Farm Superintendent.
MORRIS:Is this farm connected with the hospital in some way?
SNOW:Oh, yes, the state owned it. You can't imagine what that farm produced. You have no idea. Young people in this town have no idea what was raised up there at one time. You wouldn't even dream of it.
We would meet every morning outside and John would assign each of the regular employees, there were about seven of us, to so many trusted patients that could work out on the farm. He might give you six or seven or eight men. We've had as high as maybe fifty patients come out. And then we'd go to different areas and work on the farm. We had about 140 acres. One year we had a field of alfalfa. One of the fellows that worked with me was one of my helpers. We plowed that up and planted it into potatoes. We harvested 156 tons of potatoes and we had more potatoes than we could use up so we sent nearly all that surplus to the state prison later. It was a big saving to them, by hundreds of dollars. We pitted celery. We'd take it out during the winter month when the snow was quite deep, and they had all the celery they wanted on the tables. Things like that, peaches and pears, apricots, cherries, grapes, by the truckloads. We had about forty acres of fruit. We raised practically all the vegetables that patients ate and practically all the fruit. As the men brought the fruit and vegetables in there would probably be maybe sixty to seventy women on both sides of this big, long table. They would peel vegetables and fruit. And a lot of it, of course, was cooked right there in big cookers. They had a big kitchen. We had around 1500 patients up there. They would peel these vegetables and the fruit and prepare their meals right down there in the kitchen area and in this vegetable room. And then they canned fruits and vegetables number 10 size cans. They canned thousands of cans of fruit and they would store it in big store rooms at the back of the kitchen area. There they would take fruits and vegetables out on great big low trolley cars which were just loaded. We would haul them out there and stack them up as high as the ceiling in that store house. We had thousands of cans of vegetables and fruit.
MORRIS:Did you sell the produce?
SNOW:No, it was used right there. I only remember one year when we did let some go, a time or two, out to the state prison if we had a surplus. I might say first that we had one man hired with a pickup truck that would go down in the fields with two patients and gather vegetables every day. That little truck would pick up vegetables and fruit that would be cooked for their meals in that one day. It kept him busy just hauling that stuff in every day. Can you imagine how big of an operation we had there! And I worked there on the farm like that with him for several years, and then the head dairy man decided to go to Arizona. His name was Aaron Farr. Bishop Brailsford came by one day, and we were going in for lunch, and I said to him, "I understand Aaron Farr's going to Arizona." He said, "Yes." I said, "What chance would there be of me getting that dairy?" He said, "Well, it's a registered dairy. Have you ever had any experience in registered dairy?" I said, "No." "Well," he said, "I believe you can handle it. I'll talk to the superintendent." So he went in and talked to the superintendent and he said, "Well, I think that he could, with a little training. You see, with a registered herd, there's a lot of book work. So he came back out and he said, "Well, he's willing to give you a chance."
He said, "Well, if you'd be willing to take some schooling on it." And I said, "Okay." Then I got a hold of Grant Richards. He was the animal husbandry teacher over at Brigham Young University. And he came over and he said, "Well, I can help you. I'll want you to attend one of my classes this winter. You won't have to make any grades. You just come and go to school and be right in the class. Nobody has to know the difference. And so I spent that winter I his class. Oh, he was a grand guy! A great professor. And he would come right here to my home and pick me up and take me up to agricultural college. During the summer months we'd say for a week and ten days, maybe two weeks at a time. And we studied up there and he was right with me.
I've never had a guy take as much interest in me in all my life. And I kept telling him "I don't know whether I can, maybe I can't muster this." He said, "I never want to hear you say that again. Never. You're doing all right." So I finished up the course with Professor Bateman and Lyman Rich.
MORRIS:Where was the farm located?
SNOW:East Center. About 1400 Center Street. The farm and the dairy were on both sides of the hospital.
MORRIS:Why did they decide to discontinue the farm?
SNOW:The new superintendent, Dr. Hinegar, had the idea that different type of therapy would be more of a benefit to them than taking them out on the farm and working. When I first went to work there, the therapy was to get everybody out that they could possibly get out, and work them as much as they could during the day. They thought that would do them more good than anything in the world.
MORRIS:What did you feel about that?
SNOW:I thought it was the best therapy. Of course, I was from the old school, I guess. I wasn't too sure about these psychologists and one thing or another, and so ... (Laughter) They started having dances inside and picture shows, and they had rooms where the men could meet with the ladies and socialize during the day and talk and this kind of thing. They put television sets in each one of the wards. After they had the television sets we had an awful hard time getting men out on the farm. They didn't want to come out and work when they could sit and watch TV. So they went that direction. Getting back to the dairy, they made me dairy manager after three years. The state wanted to evaluate every employee. The business manager came out and he wanted to know how much training I had had. I told I'd been to school over at the Y and up to the Agriculture College on some short courses and one thing and another and he qualified me. That put me in as dairy manager. We were in what they called the Dairy Improvement Association of Utah.
The DHI, Dairy and Herd Improvement Association, and I belonged to that. The DHI was national, all over the United States. So, as a registered herd, you had to keep a record on the animals. You had to weigh their milk. See, this was a government set-up. You had to weigh that milk twice a day, each animal, then you had to keep a daily record, a monthly record, a three hundred and five day record, a yearly record, and a life-time record on each animal, each cow had one big sheet like that. Every time she had a new calf, the results of the birth and everything, and the markings was recorded. I had to draft all the animals. I had to register all the animals. When an animal died or we had to take her out of the herd, that had to all be accounted for. The Association would come in and test the animals for butter fat once a month. Then, I'd get that back. Then I'd take that and put it down on the records. And my records would leave the State Hospital and go to the Agricultural Office down here in Provo. Then it would go from there back up to the Agricultural College and then from there back to Washington D.C. where it was recorded. Every animal was registered and each animal's history: what it did, how much it produced. I had to keep track of all that. We had, at one time, around seventeen blood-lines I had to keep track of. Each time a calf was born, I had to make out a big form for it with the mother and father and granddad and the whole bit. When somebody came and bought an animal we could show them by this record the production of this cow, its mother, its grandmother and what it produced. Then we had to keep what they called a "daughter/dam comparison." If the daughter didn't do better than its mother, then out she went. That's the only way we could raise our records. We kept going and Lyman Rich, the extension dairyman from the Agriculture College, would come down and check on us. He brought the papers down to me. I've got them in my book of remembrance. We led the state for five consecutive years. We had one of the most beautiful dairies that there was in the State of Utah.
MORRIS:Now, were all of the products from the dairy used by the State Hospital?
SNOW:Yes. I had charge of the creamery. And we bottled that milk every day.
MORRIS:So that didn't sell out into the community? It was all used up there?
SNOW:No. We had a modern plant where they pasteurized the milk. And then it was bottled every morning. I had two or three regular employees in there. Then we had about three or four regular patients that were trustees that would come out and help. We'd churn about 300 pounds of butter a week. We'd bottle about 350 gallons of milk every day in half pints so that every patient, around 14-1500, would get a bottle of milk. It was a big concern, all right. You were judged on the size of your herd in the Association. If you only had twenty cows, you had to compete with another that had twenty. If you had fifty and above, you had to compete with any other herd that met fifty to one hundred fifty or one hundred. It was fifty and above. And we were milking at the time about seventy-five, about 160 all total with those that were dry or having calves or whatever. We were judged among the big herds. At that time we led the state, one of the highest herds in the state for about five years. I was in there about seven years. Then they promoted me to farm superintendent. Then I had charge of the whole place, the dairy, the farm, and everything. All the fruit, all the vegetables, all the milk, butter, eggs. We had 300 chickens, 400 pigs. I guess that was about the size of it, 4-500 pigs and about 3000 chickens. And then all of that went when they decided it was better that the patients would be given a new type of treatments of therapy. You see, they've got thing up there now where they have a swimming pool and a gym to play basketball. You couldn't get them out to work then. They called me back up here a while back and wanted me to tell them about the hospital. They asked me the same thing as you did. "Why did they quit the farm?" Oh, it was a beautiful farm. And I told her that all I know is that they wanted to give them things like the television and the games they play inside, and one thing or another. She said, "Well, I'm not sure but what they didn't make a mistake. I believe just the same as you do. I think work is one of the best things in the world for anybody." And I do too.
MORRIS:How was the building different from what it is now?
SNOW:They tore the big central building down.
MORRIS:So the building that's up there now is not the original?
SNOW:No. If you were to go up Center Street, straight up, you will run right into the new building, if you go right up straight to where the hill of the mountain is. That's the new building. If you used to come down about a half a block, there's a building on the north called the Dunn Building and one on the south called the Hyde Building.
MORRIS:Now where were the patients kept when you were working there?
SNOW:They were kept in all the buildings. We had what they called a cottage back of the main big building that used to be a man's cottage, where trusted patients would stay. There was one for the men and one for the ladies. They called them the cottages. Now, the patients on those two buildings, they were smaller buildings, could come and go as they pleased, as long as they were in by nine o'clock at night. Then there was the big central building in front. It was about three stories. The big old central building has since been torn down.
MORRIS:What year did they tear it down? Five or six years ago?
SNOW: It's been about five or six years ago since they've torn it down. The old building was built like an old-fashioned structure, maybe kind of like European style. On the top floor of that building, or next to the top, is where the violent ward was. The one next to the bottom was the observation ward where we took all of the patients in. And right in front of that big building was a big heart, three times as big as this house. It was one solid bed of pansies. You've never seen anything like it. We had our own florists up there, two regular employees at different times, George Mayberry and Horace Clark, and two green houses.
MORRIS:You just used them there?
SNOW:They just put them out on the wards. And he had this big heart full of pansies, solid, every year. On both sides of the sidewalk going straight down Center Street from the main building in front. It's where you enter the hospital's ground, if you know where that is over here on Center Street. About two blocks there, on each side, was a row of solid roses. And they were kept with not a weed in them. They put patients out there. And they kept them clean. Red roses clear down for two blocks on both sides. We had peacocks wandering around on the lawns. Patients kept those ground clean and beautiful.
MORRIS:Weren't you afraid that they might take off or leave? How were they watched, the patients that did the yard work?
SNOW:Those were the trusted. They'd come in, then
they'd get their meals and then come in at night. Most of them came
off the cottage.
Then the government, W.P.A. built that amphitheater in the back of the main central building.
MORRIS:Is that still there?
SNOW: Oh yes. They have big plays there every year. It's a big Halloween deal every year. That's where thy have their Halloween.
MORRIS:And you helped to build that?
SNOW:I'm not sure whether the hospital's in on that or not. They could be. But I think they have a club here in town that does it in conjunction with the hospital and some of the better patients up here. They work with them. That was built in 1937 and 1938 by what they called the WPA. That's when everybody was out of work during that Depression. So, finally when they started the WPA, they gave you so many days and months to work. Each one of you got so many days. And then you had to let another crew come in. You got about thirty dollars a month to live on. I was working at the hospital part time on the night shift. I worked part time on the WPA during the day. So that make two shifts a day. The boss had me take one of the horses that belonged to the hospital. See, most of our work then, at that time, was done with horses on the farm. I had this horse and what they called a one-man scraper. Just a little scraper. And he sent me up on that old dirt hill and scraped that dirt out where that amphitheater went back in the hill. I took the first dirt out of there with the horse. I was one of the first workers on this government job. And then we did all that rock work on there. Now, just lately, they've built a little park up in there and a fishpond so patients can go fishing. And they built it right around some rock steps that myself and two other fellows built. They're still there.
MORRIS:How long did it take you to build?
SNOW:Oh, that thing was going on for a couple of years or so because the men just worked so long and then they were off, them back again. That went on for quite a little while before they completed it. If you've never been up there, you ought to go see all around where that new pond is. They've got a new park. It's beautiful up there. When you see that rock work and those steps in that new park, you'll know that myself and two other fellows built those steps before the park and fishpond were built.
MORRIS:Did the hospital treat any well-known patients?
SNOW:Did I know any?
MORRIS:Were any really famous people there that you treated?
SNOW:Oh yes. You bet.
MORRIS:Who were they?
SNOW:Right out of your hometown and other states.
MORRIS:Is that right?
SNOW:You bet. Some of your well-known people.
MORRIS:How long would they stay?
SNOW:As a general rule, those that came in that caliber were alcoholics that were drinking or upset over family troubles, financial troubles.
MORRIS:So they also treated alcoholics?
SNOW:Oh yes. That was one of the main things on that observation ward when they'd come in. See actually they were not really what you might say insane. But an alcoholic can get to the point to where he's having illusions and everything else. I've seen all kinds of types of patients up there. I wrote the histories on them. This little fellow from Spanish Fork that was an alcoholic, he came in and they had him on a ten-day observation. And the doctors came in and talked to us about him. Then they would keep him there for a while and then he'd go home. And he'd be back within a year. I bet we had him in there three or four times. But anyway, I remember one fellow, was an alcoholic right here in town. And he was a bad one. And everybody knew it here in town. I was in the office one day and he came up, poked his head in my office, and he said, "Hey! Come here. I want you to see what's going on down here." And I said, "What's wrong?" And he said, "Look right down the hall there." Now, let me explain. In this old-fashioned building, the one in front before thy tore it down, had high ceilings. And they had these transits that went over the door. Years ago they had them worked with a rod down up and down and they'd open those transits up over the door. He said, "Do you see that down there on number room?" (He gave me the number). There's a mouse trying to take a bale of hay through that transit." (That transit was about 28 inches long and 12 inches wide). And they see things like that. I had another fellow in here from out in the Basin, out around Vernal, Duchesne, our in that country. The first two or three days he came in, we had to lock him in a room. And he was upset. He was going through everything. Couldn't keep his clothes on. All of a sudden he started screaming and jumping on his bed and I went down there to see what all the commotion was. I thought I could quiet him down. And I asked him what was the matter. He said "Well, look at the rats on this floor! They're jumping all over here. They're running under my bed. They're going up the wall and ceiling." Of course there were no rats in there. In a few days, after they gave him a few treatments, he was much better out of his room. He was one of the nicest fellows you've ever met. A lot of nice guys up there. Prominent men. There were doctors, lawyers, you name it. I could go on for a week about that place.
MORRIS:How was the hospital perceived by the community?
SNOW:Well, you see there's been a big change. I'd have to say that was one thing in their favor when they started taking the patients out and put them into what they call "half-way houses." You hear about that now. But when I first went to work there, and I'll have to admit that all I'd ever heard was, if somebody had a little boy or a little girl that was a little bit funny, neighbor kids wouldn't want to play with them. Or they would talk about them. And they would want them at the hospital. They had the idea "Don't marry into that family. Your children will be absolutely insane." Well, I found out after I worked up there, that's not true. That's not true because there are a lot of things that can happen to a young boy or a little girl or an adult that can cause insanity. They can have a wreck. They can have a bump. They can have certain diseases that will cause people to go funny and do things abnormal. It's not altogether hereditary by far. One of the worst things that can happen, that we found out up there too, is your diseases. Syphilis is terrible. After so many years, if they've had syphilis, it works up through the spine, right up the back, right up into the brain. Then, when they start going, there's nothing they can do for them, That's it. I've seen those guys just fade away.
MORRIS:What did you do at Christmastime? Did the community come and do programs for the patients?
SNOW:Maybe a group would come in and do a little singing or bring a little Christmas into the ward. They couldn't take that chance on some of them. The community would bring presents up there for them. And they'd have a Christmas tree in the hall. There would been many a time when I was out on the farm, I'd taken Ernie Casper with me and Walt Meuhlestein and we'd go into the mountains, and the government would give the state permission to go up and cut Christmas trees up Daniel's Canyon, and bring them down, a great big one for the patients. Now the public was beginning to change. They don't look down upon them anymore like they did years and years ago. Or "Don't marry in that family." But that's not true. That's absolutely wrong.
MORRIS:What were some of the main goals and objectives of the hospital?
SNOW:The main objective, of course, was to get them out. The second objective was to get them active. They gave them treatments. They had what they call electric shock treatments. I don't know whether they use that anymore or not. I don't believe they do. I think they've gone more on medicines now than shock treatments. They might use that shock treatment. I've seen them use it.
MORRIS:Was that done in the hospital?
SNOW:Yes. They put those electrodes all over them and around their head. Then when they shoot that juice into them, boy, they'd jump almost out of their body. They'd shock them.
MORRIS:Was that used for depression?
SNOW:I believe it was. Of course, they had medicines then, but they're using more medicines now than they ever did. I don't know whether they use the shock treatment anymore or not. They had what they called the hydro-bath, too. There were certain patients that were nervous, just absolutely nervous. Art Lyons ran that department. And they had big oversized bathtubs, thermometers up at one end. The patients would go down there and they'd put them in these tubs. Then they would cover them with a heavy canvas or something like a quilt. It was make out of material that if it got wet, it didn't matter. Right over them. And the idea was to turn up the controls, it would heat the water and steam you like a steam bath. And those people that were getting upset and screaming and hollering and very nervous, they'd take them and put them in there, and that would calm them down.
MORRIS:How was the hospital financed?
SNOW:There was a charge. But I don't think anybody
was turned away. If they didn't have the money and their folks
didn't have the money, then, of course, the state would help. Back
then, there wasn't too much of this welfare like you've got
government agencies now. You've gotten to where they only had a
half of one then. You might have got a little help from the church.
There might have been some welfare, but not like there is now to
help people. If you didn't have the money, I think they went ahead
and treated them. But they put it this way. Say they charged you
$100/month. If you could only afford ten or twenty or twenty-five
of thirty, they'd take whatever they could get.
The patients and employees formed an orchestra when I first went to work. They used to have dances or a picture show every Friday. I played the drums. But I'd leave my job right out there when I was farm superintendent, or even when I was in the dairy and come in and play for their dances so they could have a good time. We had one patient on the coronet that was as good as about you could find anywhere. He wrote music. I've got some of that in my book. I could show you some of that music that he wrote. We had another one that was a murderer. And he wrote a poem and gave it to me. I had another one that made a horsehair belt and gave it to me. He committed suicide.
MORRIS:So you developed a relationship with some of the patients?
SNOW:Oh yes. This fellow gave me this poem. He was
a bad one. What happened to him was that he was a very intelligent
fellow. He was a traveling salesman. When he took an order, it was
probably a carload like on the railroad. He was furnishing say,
like tuna fish, for several big stores all over the western states
here. He was traveling and going. He just went under. He took a .45
automatic and went down the highway shooting anything he could get
to. He turned killer. But he wrote this poem. And I've got it in my
I worked at the hospital until 1949. I had twenty-five years in when I left. I then went to work over at the Provost School. Justin Winkler worked with me at the hospital at one time, on the inside. He left and was given the job as maintenance foreman over the schools, Provo District. And he, of course, knew me. He heard that I was leaving, and he came fight here to my home and wanted me to go to work for the school. I told him I didn't know whether I would or not. He waited for three months and kept coming back and talking to me. So, I went over to the Provost School and took care of that school. I worked there about ten or twelve years.
MORRIS:Would you tell a little about some of the businesses that you remember down on Center Street in Provo?
SNOW:I was born in 1909. By the time I was in the first grade, six-years-old, I remember very well JC Penney was down on almost Third West and Center on the north side. It was next to the last building on that street. The last one was the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank. On this side, and on the first building was the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank, and next to it was the JCPenney Co. but it was called the Golden Rule. Then Penney's moved from there. They went up Center Street a ways on the west side of the street. Then they moved from there and went up to first West and Center, right on the corner. I think that building's empty now. Then, from there, they went out to Orem. That was it. But before then, we'll go back to when it was called the Golden Rule between first and second west was a store called Billy Freshwater, a sporting goods store. It was just an old woken frame store. That's when I was six-seven years old. As you went to go in the store you had to step up on a wooden step and go in. Wooden floor. No coverings. Just an old wooden floor. He sold shotguns and BB guns and all kinds of fishing material, fishing foods, and shells of all kinds. The poles that thy used to fish with then were bamboo poles. He'd stack them outside of the little door in front. When you wanted to buy one, you'd go out there. He'd take one out and look at it and see if it was straight. And he'd want you to look at it. And if it wasn't as straight as you wanted, you'd make him hunt for another one. I've got the first fishing license I ever had. I think I paid one dollar for it. This side of Billy Freshwater's was a jewelry store, the Heinselmann. In that same block was a little grocery store. I'm trying to think of what that name was. Any way, you come up between University Ave. and First West on Center Street. Right on the corner. There's a fabric store in there now I think. Well, right there was what they called Hank Smith's Pool Hall. Right in back of that pool hall was the armory where the home guard soldiers trained. This armory was also Provo's first Opera House. Boy that's back a long ways. Now you're going back to Center Street. Here's First West on the corner. That's Hank Smith's Pool Hall. On the next corner going north (First North 1st West) was the church where they used to baptize people. That's where I was baptized.
MORRIS:So there used to be a ward building there?
SNOW:Yes, that's all been torn down. That's right back of the Central Bank. There was a hotel right west, across the road from the old LDS Building. Now you go across the road where the hotel is. Right on that corner was the blacksmith, Mr. Allred, the only blacksmith shop. I sat there and watched him shoe horses. No sidewalk. Just a dirt walk. An old wooden shed. The guys would bring their big horses in there. He was a short, stout, heavy-set guy. He'd grab those big old horses' hooves up, measure their hooves up, put those shoes on, have that old hot anvil going. He'd take those tongs and grab those horse shoes out of the fire, put it over there in an old wooden tub of water, cool it off, fit it up on the horses hooves, bring the horses leg up between his legs and hold them, and nail them on. I watched him several times. That was the old blacksmith shop. Across the road now, right by the Marriott Center was the Allred horseshoeing. It was an old shed and ready to fall in. You go south a little ways and there was a mortuary. As years went by, the mortuary moved out and there was a restaurant right in there. You went down on the corner and there was Headquist Drug on 1st West and Center. It's still a drugstore, but they've remodeled it. You're going back up Center Street now from where the pool hall was. You go up here halfway and there was another grocery store, a meat store right there. One of the meat stores that sold nothing but meat was a sanitary meat company. One of the workers that worked in there was Ted Hatton. Ted Hatton was one of the butchers. Frank Speckert owned it. You go up a little further and there was a grocery store. Dave Sutton owned the grocery store. You go up just a little further and there was Wool Clifton's dry goods stores and McCord's shoe store. You go up a little further on the corner right here on University Avenue and Center, on the corner was the Provo Commercial Bank. And right out in front of the bank, on the east side, was a guy by the name of I think it was Manwaring, but I'm not sure about that. He had a popcorn stand. You've never seen one of those?
SNOW:It was built different. It was built like those over in Europe. We have been over in Europe. It had wheels on it and he had a little machine up there that would go back and forth like cylinders in a car. And he was popping popcorn. And he had candy bars and popcorn. He was there every night. You went across the road from him. Well, wait a minute. Let me get you straight up this way. You're going up University Avenue and there was another dry goods store, Farrer Brothers. You're going up University Avenue. Right up there was a bank. It was the first band we ever banked at. It was owned by Mr. Brierton. I'll have to get out one of my old bank cards I guess. You go a little further up University Ave on that block and there was Tony Domico's shoe shop. Old Tony Domico. Then there was Sam Kitchen's dry Good Store. You went across the road to the North and there was a guy that had a bicycle shop. And I don't remember what his name was. Now, there was no cement up University Avenue. It was a dirt road.
Going west on Center from University Ave to 1st West was Dave Sutton's Grocery Store and Sutton's Café. They were related. Across the road from the Sutton Café was the Telluride Motor Company. They sold Fords and Buicks. Old Model T Fords. Right across the road form the Hank Smith Pool Hall, on First West and Center Street, on the south side of the street, was the old Interurban Railroad Company. It ran by electricity. Trolley car. And they had poles every so far down the track that had an arm that came out like this with the wires on. Then it ran straight in front over the top of the cars. The car had a rod that came up like this with a round iron wheel on it. And it ran right down that electric wire all the way wherever it went. That's how it got its electric power; juice. It ran between Payson and Salt Lake. It was established here by a man by the name of Orem. I think his first name was Walter. I think that was in 1913. He was form Salt Lake. I think he was the big promoter for that project. His name was Orem, and that's how Orem got its name.
Across the road form the Orem station, west, was the old Livery stable where Crest's store is now. Crest's, of course, wasn't there. But that was an old, old building. Gee. It was about ready to fall in. Big old heavy lumber and mangers. And I remember the places where they kept the horses underneath there. That's where you'd go and rent a horse and buggy at this livery stable. There were hardly any stores on that side west of the livery stable going down Center Street. Right down to the corner, to the west, there were homes in there. People live there. And right on the corner was a guy by the name of Mr. Shields, Bud Shields' father. Bud went to high school with me. Right to the side of their home, on Second West, was a millrace that ran right by them. A big canal. You came across the road, North and still on first west and center, right on the corner is where the first BYU Academy was. They did some teaching there before they got others going. The old building is still there. But right to the side of it came this millrace. It ran up Second West, all the way up past the old Knight Woolen Mills. You go a block north of that old academy by the millrace, going north. There was the Knight Woolen Mills. I remember when it burned down. That was a big loss to Provo. Now, you're going up Second West until you get to Fifth North. There you find Utah Timber & Timber Co. at about 35 East and 5th North. Then, the millrace shifted and went diagonally across the street right where the Armory I snow. That was where the old Hoover Grain Mill was. They ground grain with a water wheel there. And that millrace ran the water wheel. It came across the road diagonally like that, and went right down Second West and right down until it got to Center Street, past Woolen Mills and past that old academy building. And they piped it underneath Center Street, and across and came up the other side by Bud Shields' father's home. And then it goes on. And it still goes. And then it goes clear on down by Ferry Mill, clear down past Anderson Lumber Company. And goes on down to Mud Lake. That was all open. They used to fish it. I've seen them fishing right along from Center Street to North on First West when I was a kid.
MORRIS:What about the Fourth of July Festivals that they used to have?
SNOW:Oh, they used to pull the floats with a team of horses. The State Hospital used to enter 34th one of the most beautiful teams around, pulling float on an old wagon. Oh, Fourth of July. When I was a kid, I lived down here on 444 South, 4th East. We heard the circus coming in. We'd race all down through the fields and down on the railroad tracks to see it.
|Date:||April 17, 1999|
WINN:Today is April 17, 1999. This is Jennifer Winn and I'm here with Sam Snow. Sam, what are your earliest memories of Provo?
SNOW:When I was in the first grade. I could back up on that just a little. Where the Smith Field House is, it was just a lane that came up there at the time I was born. I was born in a log cabin about half a block west of the Smith Field house. It was all farms with very few homes. That was in 1909. It was a log house. I always imagined after I got a little older that it might have been one left from the pioneer days. It was the same type of a log house that they built. It had been sitting on this piece of ground for quite a while.
Then I moved from there. We took a team of horses and a wagon and moved down to just one block west of the Maeser School on the north side. We were one block west, next to the corner. Then I entered the first grade at the Maeser School.
But I do remember even before I went down there when I was about four or five. My brother tipped me over a wagon and I cut my eye. The doctor had to sew it up. Back then they didn't give you anything to treat it or deaden the pain. You just had to scream. I can remember that needle they used. It cut me right across the eye where it's tender. They were all afraid it might have damaged my eye. I can remember that needle was curved like a fish hook. They just pulled that out ran that hook up through there and then pulled the threads.
I entered the Maeser School and I was there all through the sixth grade. Then I started school down by the old Provo High school where they had a junior high. Those buildings are all torn down now and have been gone a long time now.
I used to work with my father. He was a carpenter and a cement man. As the years went by I don't know to this day whether those seats are still up there east of the Joseph Smith building or not up on the hill. There were seats that go up the hill?
WINN:They do have some I believe?
SNOW:We ran the cement that ran up on that hill. I worked with my dad with an old contractor by the name of Chris Tolver. In order to get the cement up on the hill and to run some forms to put the cement it, we had to wheel it up the hill. I was in high school then.
When high school that was out for the summer, they hired us to wheel the cement up there. We had an old cement mixer and the horses would bring the gravel and cement up there. They would shovel it in the hopper and into the mixer and then out into the wheel barrels. We would have to wheel it by hand. We wheeled it up the hill until it go so steep we couldn't push it any further. So they decided that they would have to change and go up on top of the hill and run it down sideways in chutes.
When one of the gravel wagons came they got the gentlemen that had the team of horses and the wagon to hook on to the old mixer and we pulled it along. There was a little dirt road that went on up top of the hill right below the Maeser memorial and the steps that went up the Maeser memorial were wooden steps. All around that hill were strawberry bushes and all kinds of plants and just laced with sage brush clear up to the edge of the hill. I saw that sage brush clear around the edge.
We got the cement up there and the gravel then we brought it down in the chute. We would catch it in the wheel barrels down there and run it out the sides into the forms. We were there all summer and we weren't quite through when school started. My dad had me stay. He was plastering up on the top of the hill. He always called the cement mud. He had me mixing it. Then he would plaster it on this wall.
We were there when the first football game was started and I couldn't do much. I wanted to watch that football game. He would get after me, because the cement would dry out and then he couldn't use it very good. He'd get after me and say, "You get your eyes off that football game and mix that mad up for me." I had to quit watching the football game and get that cement mixed up for him. We finally got through that mess.
I still helped him around a lot, different places in cement work and building homes and went along like that for quite a while. We got paid $3.20 for eight hours of hard work. But that was eight hours. You worked and didn't stop pushing that cement.
Then as the years went by I went to work for the railroad down in the machine shops for the Union Pacific railroad shops and I was there for quite a while. You wanted to know about the First World War?
SNOW:I was in the fourth grade when that war was on and we had to wear masks they were afraid that we would all get the flu. There was people dying all around Provo. In fact they'd see the hearse coming down third south. There was no cement on the highways then. They pulled the hearse with a team of horses. They were going to the cemetery every day. People were dying like everything with the flu.
Over at school I was in the fourth grade then at the Maeser. They would ask us to buy stamps to help with the war. I forget what it was. Twenty six to thirty five cents a stamp something like that. They gave us a little book to put it in, and we'd paste it in like a stamp on an envelope. Then when that got full, you could turn it in. They would give it to you. They had the money. Everybody was trying to help win the war.
I went to work for the railroad I was there for quite a while and then the Great Depression started. When people got laid off there was no work. Believe me there was no jobs. It was just a stand still. They had an old piping lot, and I kept going out there trying to get a few day's work. They finally hired me but they wouldn't hire me steady. They said "We'll put you on as long as we get orders." Most of the big companies had a hard time because they didn't have very many orders. "When we don't have any orders we'll have to lay you off. When we get an order we will let you know and you can come back and work a few more days." I was glad to get that.
We were married December 14, 1932. We went to the Salt Lake temple and got married. My cousin and his girlfriend got married the same day. My cousin owned an old model T Ford. We were all going up to the temple the same day and I was going with Carol's mother and father and he was going with his girlfriend's mother and father. They were following him and we were ahead of both of them. My cousin got out at the point of the mountain and the old Ford quit. We just went to her funeral today. He died about two years ago. We just got back from the funeral this afternoon.
Her folks picked them up and brought them along and we all got to the temple and got married the same day. When we came back it was a very, very cold day. It got to 10 below zero that night on the 14th of December. There was no work around Provo. It was terrible. You couldn't buy a job. Men were marching up and down the streets, holding banners, "We won't work." The dentist would stand in the doorway and would walk through town and say hello to you. They had no business. Haircuts cost eight or ten dollar now and we got our hair cut for ten and twenty cents.
I went to work on what was Provo bench. That was all fruit, every acre of it was all fruit and farming. That was the only work you could find. I got paid a dollar and a quarter a day for eight hours. You were picking fruit and loading it and getting it on the trucks. It was a dollar and a quarter a day for eight hours.
It was really sad times and we didn't have anything. When I got back from the Salt Lake temple, Carol and I had seven dollars and fifty cents. If you want to know what hard times are we had seven dollars and fifty cents in our pockets. We had no over shoes and it was a cold winter.
We took apples over to Carbon County. We'd truck them with her father off the farm and clear over to Carbon County to Price and Spring Canyon and all up in the mining camps. They were nice great big Roman Beauty apples. Guess how much we got for them after taking them clear over there? That was during the Depression. We got sixty cents a bushel. You better believe that. We both peddled to those miners in the little houses up there along those side hills. We'd go up the hills and travel all day long. When night came we'd be lucky if we had sold ten bushels.
We would go down to the cafe to get something to eat. You could get a good hamburger, steak, peas, potatoes and gravy for seventy five cents. That was some tough times then.
Pretty soon we left Provo and that's when I went to work out at the Pipe Mill. I would work out there for a week or ten days and they would come lay me off. They said, "We'll send a man. We've got your name and address, we'll come and let you know and you can come back and work." They called it hell's half acre out there the way they work their men. They called it the Negro slaves factory. They would work them really hard. They could get away with it because if you didn't want to do that much work someone else would.
I counted as high as sixty men outside the fence sitting there waiting for them to call them to give them a day's work. So you worked hard to hold your place. Or they would just can you. The bosses could get plenty of men and if you didn't like what they said or how fast they wanted you to work, they would just open the gates and hire another man. That's why it was named hell's half acre. They would come and get me. We were back and forth. We weren't getting anywhere that way. We were just barely making enough to live by and paying a little rent.
At the same time that I was working out there the state hospital was going to sponsor a ball club. I had been playing for the elder's quorum right here in the ward and I was on the elder's quorum ball club. One of the fellows that worked up there was an elder down here too. He was pitching for our elder's club. I was coming through town, and he stopped me and said "Hey, we are looking for a short stop. Do you want to play ball for the state?" I said, "What's in it for me?" He said, "We'll try and get you a job. You come up on a certain night and try out. If you make the grade we will try and get you a job."
There was another boyfriend of mine by the name of Lou Norman and they had already approached him and I didn't know it. When we got out there, there was Lou. Lou played second base. I always played short stop or catcher. There was a guy by the name of Claude Larsen and he was going to knock out the balls to us to try us out to see if we were good enough to get on the team. I needed a steady job. Out at the plant I was only getting a few days. I thought, "Now if I get a steady job out of this I better make sure that I don't miss." When we Lou and I were talking he said, "We had better be good." This fellow Larsen started to bat the balls out to us, and boy we were eating them out of the dirt and whipping them out to first base. We both made the team.
They put us on what they called the ??? board. They put us to work. It was all kinds of shifts. Things getting bad, kept getting worse. The Depression was getting deeper. The government started some programs called W.P.A. The state wanted to build an open air theater up on the hill. At that time things got so bad that they started only working us part time. I got a slip from the government that allowed me so many days a month to go work on the amphitheater out there. I went up there and worked until they called me down to come work at the hospital.
Things were getting tough. They kept laying men off because there was less work. So I would work up there from 8:00 until three thirty in the afternoon. I already got a call from the hospital and I would have to slip down over the hill and go to work for the state. I would work from three thirty to eleven thirty at night. That put me on two shifts. I got fifty dollars a month from the government. Then I'd get a small check from the state because they began to only give us so much a month. There we were still fighting it out.
Finally things began to pick up. The war ended in 1944. We began to come out of the Depression and they began to hire people. During that depression, we had two children. You could buy enough hamburger for my wife and I and my two children for thirty five cents. Finally they picked up the work and we began to work steady at the hospital and I stayed with them. I worked there for about twenty five years.
They had one of the best dairies in the state of Utah up there. It was a registered herd. There was a guy who had graduated out of the agricultural college. He was employed by them because they had to be somebody that knew how to register animals, and keep pedigrees, keep records, and have the cows tested every thirty days. He left and I went to the foreman on the farm outside. I worked out on the farm quite a little bit then. First I worked inside then I got transferred out on the farm. I went to Bishop Bralford and asked him if he could get me outside on the farm and he said yes. I worked out on the farm for a number of years.
When this fellow left the dairy I went to Bishop Bralford and I said, "What's my chance of taking over the dairy?" He said,"Well, have you ever had any experience on knowing how to register animals?" I said, "No." He said, "Well Sam, I tell you what. I've worked here a long while and that guy that left had some schooling on registering dairies. I learned a lot from him. His office was next to mine out at the farm house. I'll tell you if you want to try that I'll go to the superintendent and try to get you on. If you have a hard I'll help you." I said, "If you can get me on I'll try."
He went in and talked to the superintendent and he said, Yes, I think Sam can handle it." So they put me on and I started to work in the dairy. I took over Aaron Farr's farm office. There was a lot of book work and a lot of restorations and a lot of testing. I really began to wonder if I had chewed off too much.
What we had to do was a daily record. The milk had to be weighed twice a day and recorded on big sheets. We had to record how much each cow gave, how many pounds they produced each morning and each night on this sheet for thirty days. Then the tester would come and he would test each cow for the butter fat. He would put it in a separate bottle and he would take that with him. He would take the average number of pounds of milk for the cow and add it up for thirty days. You would give him an average and he would take that in and test it. I'd get a report back from him.
Then that record would go down to the county agents. This record would be the monthly record. Then you would have to fill out a form, a three hundred and five day record of what each cow did besides the thirty days. Then a yearly, and then a life time on each cow and what she did. Each cow had a big sheet and I had to keep each separate cow with all that records. Then I had to learn how to do pedigrees, how to register animals. It really wasn't that hard. I did alright.
When I took the dairy over the average cow getting a record back from the tester from a yearly rate to three hundred and five days, monthly, yearly, and life time. When I would get this record we would do it right here in the county. It go down to the county office and then it would go up to the agricultural college. They would take it. Lyman Ruth was the extension dairy man for the state of Utah. He worked out at the agricultural college. Then that record would go back to Washington D.C. and it was published on a IBM report and I would get the IBM report back.
I would be compared with other dairies in the world as to how we stood and whether I was ahead of this dairy or they were ahead of me or whatever. When I took the dairy over they had a three hundred and thirty three pound average per year. After about three years of study and watching, and careful breeding in the animals I raised it up to about three hundred and eighty pound average.
I kept trying and keeping records and watching. I finally raised it up to three hundred and ninety. Every time a cow had a calf you had to make a history of it on her private sheet and whether the calf was born normal, how much the cow produced, who her mother was, the blood lines, the blood line of the sire. I could tell when she had a calf from this sire if the calf, after it grew up had to produce more than the mother we would cut her out. She had to do better in order to raise the herd up. I kept all those records and really kept them in my little noggin'.
If they didn't do as good I always had my records and we would cut her out. We only kept the calves from the cows that were our highest producer. Then we would take that cow and have her bred to one of the highest bulls that had records on his side. That way we kept going and finally raised it up to four hundred and nineteen pounds. We happened to be one of the highest in the state of Utah. I kept that average for five to seven years.
I had charge of the creamery and all the men that worked in the creamery. We bottled three hundred gallons of milk a day on an average. We made two hundred and seventy five pounds of butter a week. I had to make a report out to the welfare commission at the state on how much butter, how much milk, what it was worth, how many men worked for me, how much hay we used, how much grain, whether the herd was paying or whether it wasn't. I never turned a report in with profit less than three thousand a month. At that time, that was considered real good.
Finally one day professor Richards from the Brigham Young University came up. He was teaching animal husbandry at the college. He made himself acquainted and said, "I've been looking at your records." In the green book they published these records. We were competing among one and another you might say. Only the registered herds not an ordinary cow. Only cows that were registered, only pure bred animals could enter into the D.H.I.A., Dairy Herd Improvement Association of Utah.
He said, "I've been reading some of your records. Is it alright if I bring my students over here and I would like you to take them through the herd and show them what you've been doing and how you have brought this butter fat record up. I would like them to see how you are doing. It would be a great thing for them to know how." We got pretty well acquainted and he got to be real good friend of mine.
When he would come over he always had something good to say. He was one of the nicest guys I ever met. He was a graduate from the agricultural college. I never worked or met a nicer guy that tried to do so much for people. He said to me one day when he came over, "I've got something for you." I said, "What's that?" He said, "How would you like to come over and take up my class and come go to school." I said, "Grant, how can I do that? The superintendent would never give me time off. I've got to be here to take care of things here." He said, "If I go up and talk with the superintendent and he lets you off for a while to go to school will you do it?" I said, "Yes."
He went right up and talked to the superintendent. He said, "I think that would be a good idea. You tell Sam to go ahead. We'll put his first assistant in the diary to take his place while he's gone." So I went over there and took a class with Grant and studied. I completed the course on artificial insemination and practiced that in our herd. It just went great for them.
He said, "If you ever get stumped on pedigrees and the history of some of these animals that go way back on their pedigrees and blood lines, call me. I'm pretty well acquainted with all the blood lines in the state of Utah." There was a time or two I called him right while class was going on. He said, "What are you up against Sam?" I said, "Professor Lyman Rich up at the agricultural college I got a letter from him yesterday and he wants the milk production and the butter fat of a certain cow. He gave me the name of the cow and her registration number and I can't find it in all the books that have been left here in this office." He said, "I'll be right over." I said, "Well you don't need to come now, wait until your class is out." He said, "Forget it. I'll be right over."
He just turned it over to one of his students. He came right over and hunted in the books. He finally got me straightened out and he found it. I sent all the forms to fill out for Professor Lyman Rich up at the agricultural college. He was tickled to death to find that average for that cow. He was doing that every now and again. He would want something about a cow that had been registered several years ago. It was keeping history on all the blood lines going back and he wanted a lot of those that he kept in his office. It's a great thing. It's a great study.
We got along fine and then one day he came over and he said, "When school is out and I've got more time up here at the college I want you to go up to the agricultural college with me and go to school." I said, "They just let me have time off to come over to take a class under you." He said, "I'll fix it for you." So he went in and talked with the superintendent. He said, "Yes, tell Sam to take time off and go up to the agricultural college." I said, "Okay. When shall I pick you up?"
We bought an old car and that's when we were living in this home right here next to us. My dad and I built that home and we did most of the work. It took every penny we had back in the depression to build it. We had to pay by the month to pay for it.
He said, "You don't need to bring your car." "I sa