Written History of Ralph Emanuel Whitney

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When we left this mine in the fall of 1925, we moved to Goodsprings and Ralph worked at the Yellow Pine mine, just above the little town of Goodsprings. We made many good friends and had fine neighbors.

Our next move was back to Jean, as Ralph got another contract to load ore hauled down from the mines around Goodsprings.  This was in the summer of 1927.  We moved into a large building that had been a hotel during the boom at Goodsprings and surrounding mines.

We had a fire Thanksgiving day of 1927, and this hotel burned to the ground.  Ralph went to get help, but with no water system or fire equipment it couldn’t be put out. The fire started in the attic from a faulty stovepipe. The four or five men who came to help Ralph got most of our furniture out, but we lost most of our clothes and things like pictures that couldn’t be replaced.  One of the men grabbed the chicken roasting in the oven and the pies I had just made and saved them for Thanksgiving dinner.  I was due to have the twins in a month.  We were able to rent a small house not far from the hotel, and Ralph and the men moved our things into it.  Ralph took me to Vegas to stay at Mother’s until after the twins were born.

Ralph came back to Jean with the three boys and managed fine as the boys played good together.  Bert was 3 1/2 at this time so Ralph was able to load the ore on the freight cars and take care of them.  The twins were born Dec. 29th 1927 and when they were two weeks old, I came back to Jean. I’m sure all of us were very happy to be a family together again.

Calvin on left of Ralph, Howard on the right. Bert is center and Ralph is holding the twins.

When the twins were six months old we moved back to Goodsprings.  Ralph bought a small business near the Yellow Pine General Store.  This business included a short order cafe, a pool room and card tables where the miners spent some evenings.  We lived close by in a small house and had one cabin for our boys to sleep in, also half a dozen to rent to some of the miners.  The Yellow Pine Hotel was just across the street from our place.  This hotel served meals and rented rooms to the miners that didn’t have families living at Goodsprings.  The Yellow Pine Mine was running and hired many men, also this mine had a big mill just back of the general store.  The mill processed the ore mined and more men were hired to work there.

We sold our business that fall and moved up town to a larger house, and Ralph worked at the Yellow Pine Mine. The two older boys were ready for school.  Calvin had gone one year while we lived at Jean.  Howard was ready for first grade.  We had a good school and two fine teachers.  Our boys liked school and their teachers as well as living in this small mining town.  There were not enough LDS people to have a branch or ward, and it was too far to go to Vegas in those days.  However Ralph would read from our picture bible to the boys on some evenings, and we would try to help them understand a few things about the Gospel.

We were expecting a new baby in August 1930, so when school was out Ralph moved us to Las Vegas, and he continued to work at the mine. Our third girl was born August 21, 1930. She was a beautiful black-haired, fair-skinned little girl with large dark brown eyes like her Daddy’s.  We moved back to Goodsprings that fall.

One day I heard a knock on the back door.  It was about noon, and often we had men out of work and hungry that would come for a hand-out.  I opened the back door and a man asked if a hungry miner could get a bite to eat.  He had his hat pulled down so I couldn’t see his face very well and a stick over his shoulder with a small bundle.  While I was trying to decide what to do, he started to laugh and pulled his hat back. Of course it was my husband, who loved to play jokes on me.  He had quit the mine because they asked him to take ore out of a place that would endanger his life by causing a cave in, so he quit and walked the four miles home from the mine.

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