Written History of Ralph Emanuel Whitney


We came to St. George to be married.  Ralph’s folks held a reunion at Christmas time, and we were married the 23rd of December in 1920, at his folks’ home by their bishop. We drove a Model T we borrowed from Allen, my oldest brother.  The highway went by Key West mine and through Bunkerville at that time.  It was a graveled, winding, slow road and it took us all day to get to St. George.

Ralph’s sister, Maude and her husband lived in part of his folks’ home that winter. They were all very good to me. I had only met his folks once when we went up in October 1920 for a short visit. Mable, another sister, and her family lived near the folks’ home. These two sisters loved to tease Ralph, as when they were courting Ralph had given them a bad time. They said they hated to put me through so much, but Ralph had it all coming to him.

We stayed for the reunion plus a few days after Christmas.  Stowell and family came from St. Thomas also and brought an older sister who lived in Overton, Ellen.  Stowell also had a model T.  We all drove home together.  We had quite a time getting up Utah Hill, as there was snow on the road. We helped each other and made it up all right, and got home to St. Thomas before it was too late.

We rented two rooms from Ralph’s brother, Burt, and his wife, Mischa, and set up housekeeping. They had three children then, but a large house.  We lived there until May, then I went out to Luke’s ranch in the Bunkerville mountains and stayed all summer.  Luke was Ralph’s oldest brother.  He moved his family out to the ranch each spring and back to St. Thomas in the fall for school.

Ralph went on the round-up in May and June and after all the branding was done, he stayed in St. Thomas to work.  In September Ralph moved me to St. George to stay with his folks as we expected our first baby first part of October.  Ralph went back to Las Vegas to work on a ranch Stowell had leased ten miles south of town.

Our baby came early, middle of September, and was two days old by the time Ralph got to St. George to see us. Travel without a car was round about in those days. He took a train out of Vegas, then had to take a side trip to Cedar City and then wait to catch the mail truck to St. George. After I got out of the hospital, we stayed at his folks’ two weeks.

Calvin Whitney, age 3

When our baby was three weeks old, Ralph hired a car to take us to St. Thomas.  We stayed overnight at Burt’s then got a ride with friends to Las Vegas.  My mother had moved to Las Vegas, so we stayed there a couple of days, then moved to a ranch south and east of Las Vegas. This ranch was owned by Clark and Ronnow, the same men who owned the one Stowell lived on.  Ralph ran it for them.  We stayed there until after our second boy was born.

We moved then to the ranch we wound up buying, which was close to Stowell and Isabel, but Stowell soon bought the lower ranch we had been on and moved his family down there, so we were about six miles apart rather than close neighbors like we thought we would be.


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