Written History of Doris Elizabeth Nay
About a year after we moved back to Alamo, Father got a chance to lease a large farm on the upper Moapa Valley. When school was out that spring, 1913, we moved down there. As there weren’t enough families of children, we couldn’t have a school, so we moved back to Alamo in the fall, then Father would come up when he got the crops harvested, but would have to go back before school was out to get things planted again. He did this two winters, then enough people with children moved there, and we had our own small school. Then by the time I was 12, more people had moved into the Upper Muddy and we had our own little school. We really had fun; there was just one room and sometimes there were only five or six in the school. I loved country life and ranch life anyway and it really suited me. I feel it was good quality school. We had some excellent teachers. We had one stay two years. I remember one teacher we didn’t care for too well. I guess she was a good teacher but she didn’t join in with us, seem one of us like our other teachers did. Miss Pam Hovey stayed for two years. I went to her for fifth and sixth grades and we had a man later for the seventh grade. Then my father couldn’t get his lease renewed on the farm so we came back to the valley to Logandale and I went to the eighth grade at Logandale. There were 4 or 5 girls in the class. We had a wonderful teacher, Hazel Converse, because she taught us to tat and crochet and those things and I have always been real grateful and thankful for since. We had time because we all took our lunches and would be there the noon hours.
In Alamo those few years we had there I know we attended Primary because my mother was Primary president.
The second and last winter we lived in Alamo, Earl our third boy was born, this was our eighth child. This was in 1914. Earl was born 24th of February.
The summer of 1916, Myrna was born. She was the sixth girl and ninth child. Her birthday was 20th of June 1916. We had moved to our ranch just a few miles from Moapa, Nevada. Father and the two older boys helped harvest the crops for the owner of this ranch. (Charles Ovard)
In the fall of 1916 Father leased a ranch on the Virgin River about 3 miles out of Saint Thomas, Nevada. We had to cross the river three times to get to it, once on the big bridge, and then ford it twice. At this time, the highway went through this way and was called the Arrowhead Trail. All travel from Salt Lake and the East came this route.
I was ready for high school that fall, and the folks decided to send me to Bunkerville, Nevada, 30 miles up the Virgin River.
They said they’d let me go up on the stage. It was just a little open model T Ford that ran every day but I wanted to go horseback. I loved to ride horses. So my oldest brother said, “All right, we’ll take you up the river; will go right up the river and take you up to school on horseback. “ I don’t remember how my things went up. My brother was a big tease. I had a horse I’d ridden a lot and I knew he was gentle, but when I got on he started to buck. I didn’t get thrown off but I know when I finally got him to stop I was looking for the cap I had on my head and I was sitting on it. So you know I didn’t stay in the saddle very good. And he was just laughing his head off and I knew then he’d done something. He’d hid a cockleburr under the saddle blanket. I told him “If he’d thrown me and hurt me you’d still laugh wouldn’t you.”
I enjoyed my year of school very much and made many friends, but got a real homesick. I stayed there in Bunkerville and worked for my room and board, helped a lady who had three small children, Nettie Leavitt. I made lots of fine friends there. One family especially, Aunt Mary Leavitt. Her home was just like my second home because her girls were about my age, some of them. She treated me so wonderfully. I’ve always called her a second mother.
I’ve always enjoyed music. I can remember staying at this place in Bunkerville. They had a phonograph and they had a lot of Hawaiian records and I loved Hawaiian music. I guess I just about wore those records out.
In Bunkerville I was able to go to church. A lot of my growing up years we were unable to attend church. In Moapa Valley on the Upper Muddy we weren’t able to. But there was one school teacher that came in (a Protestant) that had a little Bible class for the children that wanted to come. So my mother let my sister just younger and I attend. The boys didn’t want to go, the two older boys. I remember enjoying it very much.
I came home for the holiday in November. It was wonderful to be home again. One day I saddled my horse to ride to Saint Thomas for a visit with friends. At the second crossing of the river, my horse stopped in the middle of the river and I couldn’t get him started again, I had to get off and wade and lead him on across. When the Virgin wasn’t in flood it was only about a foot or so deep. Then I got on again and he went along fine into town, but when we came by the schoolhouse, although I had him on a gallop, he stopped dead still and I almost went over his head. No matter what I did he would not go on until I got off and led him on over to my friend’s house. When I got back to the ranch, I asked father who had spoiled my horse, as he had never balked with me before. He said my younger sisters had been riding him to school, and didn’t make him mind, so he had just taken advantage of them and did as he pleased.