Written History of Doris Elizabeth Nay


By this time Jim, the second boy, was married.  Allen and I had the responsibility of moving Mother and the seven younger children to Saint Thomas.  We found a small house and lot for sale and soon got them settled.  The baby Virginia, born in Saint Thomas, 30th May 1919, was just a little over a year old.  I felt I should postpone my wedding date and work longer to help the family.  But my oldest Brother Allen said to go ahead with my plans as he wasn’t married and would help Mother until some of the others were old enough to help.  I kept on working at the hotel and turned my wages over to mother until I was married in December.  Mother insisted I keep my last check to get a wedding dress and a few other things I needed to be married in.  I remember with the help of a friend, I made my dress so it didn’t cost too much.  I was getting $75.00 a month plus board for my work.

Ralph and I came to Saint George, Utah, and was married in his folks home by their Bishop, 23 December 1920.  The only reason I know that we didn’t get married in the temple is that my husband said, “I don’t know for sure if I can get along with her in this life.  I want to be sure that I can and then we’ll go to the temple later.”  I guess mother didn’t press it.  In those days I don’t believe they did press it quite as hard.  Then in January, three years later we went to the temple.  We had two babies.  One was just 15 months old and one three months.

We came back to Saint Thomas and rented two rooms from Bert, Ralph’s brother, whom he had been living with, and lived there the rest of the winter.  Ralph had some cattle leased and rode the range.  He bought me a nice horse and saddle so I would ride with him a lot to look after the cattle.  They also freighted supplies to Boulder Canyon, about 35 miles below Saint Thomas, where the government drilled for bedrock to see if the Boulder Dam could be built there.  I would go with him on these trips taking my saddle horse to ride, when I became tired of riding on the freight wagon.

The next Spring I went out to stay at the ranch, just over the Bunkerville mountains, while Ralph was on the round-up out that way.  Luke, Ralph’s oldest brother, owned it, and always moved his family out by May to spend the summer.  I stayed until August and Ralph went back to Saint Thomas to work, after the cattle were branded.

In late August I went to Las Vegas to visit mother as she had moved there for the summer, because work was available to all that were old enough to work in the family.  When I came back to Saint Thomas, Ralph moved me to Saint George to stay with his folks, until after our first child was born.  We expected him in the middle of October.  Ralph went back to Vegas to work for his brother Stowell, who lived on a ranch 10 miles south of Las Vegas.  He planned to come to Saint George by the 1st of October to stay until our baby came, but he [the baby] came early, and was two days old before Ralph got to see him.  We named him Calvin Ralph, for my father and his daddy.  We stayed in Saint George until the baby was three weeks old.

Then as Stowell wanted Ralph to come and run another ranch east and south of Las Vegas, we moved on to it.  It was about five or 6 miles from the ranch Stowell and Isabel lived on.  We visited back and forth with them.  At this time we didn’t have a car so went in a small buggy that one horse could pull.  One day we were coming home from a visit and our horse got scared and started to run.  I was holding our three month old baby and Ralph was hanging on to the lines trying to stop the horse, but soon the doubletree [wooden bar in front of the wagon that the horses are hooked to] broke loose and Ralph and the horse went running down the road while I and the baby fell to the ground, but I held on to him and he didn’t even cry and I wasn’t hurt.  So when Ralph got our horse stopped and came back, I was up and fine.  We fixed the broken part and continued on home.  We lived on this ranch until our second son was born, 4th October 1922.

Then, when he was about nine months old, we bought a ranch 10 miles south of Las Vegas and moved there.  We lived here until a third son was born, 21st of June, 1924.

Then that fall we moved to Jean, Nevada, where Ralph had a job loading ore into the freight cars that were mined at nearby Goodsprings and other mines around that locality.  We were paying for our ranch and needed to make all the money we could.

That spring Ralph’s contract for loading ore ran out, so we got a chance to go out to a mine near  Goodsprings and work for some leasers.  Ralph packed the ore down from the mine on pack burros and I cooked for the five men leasing the mine.  The trail to the mine was quite steep so Ralph would make two trips in the morning.  I would have the lunches all packed and ready for him to take back on his second trip.  One day, he was late coming so I worried about him being delayed and thought I’d better get the lunch up to them.  I couldn’t leave my three little boys alone so decided to take them with me.  This was sort of a problem as only the oldest could walk up such a bad trail.  There was one burro in the corral, so I put the pack saddle on him and put two ore cans on it.  I put my 10 month old baby in one, and Howard, three years, in the other one, then put Calvin on the back of the saddle.  I tied the big roaster containing the lunch in front and took the lead rope and started up the trail with my precious load.  When I got about halfway up to the mine, I met Ralph coming down bringing the ore to the loading platform.  The men were a little late getting the load ready for him.  Ralph had to sit down and laugh when he saw how I had loaded the little burro, but the little boys were enjoying the journey and I was getting the lunch up to the men.  We came back to the loading platform and unloaded the ore and the boys, then Ralph went back with the lunch.


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