Life Story of Hazel Adeline Post McRae

I was born in St. David, Arizona on June 29, 1906, the fifth child of of Howard Orville Post and Tressie May Evans Post. My brothers and sisters in order of birth are: Clarence Evans, Alice Irene, Stella Valetta, Lola Orvilla, myself, Orville Kelvin, Mildred Adelia, Etta Nadine, John Milton, Ernest Eugene and Frances Marie - eleven of us..

At this date, November 4, 1974, my father and mother, Lola and John have passed away. All have been married, except John who was never fully developed but for whom we had a special love.

As I have been told, I was born in the old Francis Goodman house in St. David. My father was disappointed as he was wanting another boy very much.

The first memory I can recall was when my sister Mildred was born. We had been sent to the neighbor's - Francis Goodman's. I can recall in the morning Sister Florence Goodman dressing me and telling me I had a new sister.

My childhood was spent as children's were in those days. We made our own entertainment. The things that stand out in my mind are things such as playing paper dolls. We would cut our paper dolls out of the Sears and Montgomery catalogues, clothes for them and furniture and would spend hours, if not called to some work, shut up in a room so the wind wouldn't blow our paper dolls while playing.

Kelvin drove a team of horses and worked from the time he was ten years old or maybe earlier. One time my father was farming in Pomerene. He was going to drive around on the road through Benson and sent Kelvin and me over the hills, a short cut, with the horses and wagon. As I remember he wasn't over ten and I was about twelve. We got along fine until we started to cross a wash that had been flooded and both horses sank in quicksand up to their bellies. We were both scared and didn't know what to do. Finally we went to a house. As I remember the man's name it was Ellis. About the time he got there to help us, Papa came back looking for us.

Another thing was my playing horseshoes with my brother Kelvin. We would use horseshoes for his horses to build roads, barns, bridges and would play by the hours with them. I always thought that was great when he would let me play with him, which he would do often, until his friend, George Boyd, would come along, and then I was left out.

My parents were hard-working people and we children were all taught early in life to work. There were chickens to feed, eggs to gather, wood to carry in, chips to gather to start fires, ashes to carry out, babies to tend, later dishes to do, washing on the old board, ironing with an old flat iron, garden to plant and take care of, canning, sewing, quilting, cooking on the wood stove with a problem of hunting wood to burn, soap to make, rugs to make out of old carpet rags we would sew together. We were never allowed to run the streets, nor did it seem we had much leisure time, which of course, from a young person's point of view didn't always seem fair.

Once in a while a silent picture show would come to town. Other than that, it seemed there wasn't much entertainment, except that we made for ourselves.

The 4th and 24th of July was always an exciting time for then they always had big celebrations. Each family would prepare a big picnic and everyone would go to the school grounds to celebrate. Maybe two or three families would combine their lunches and it would be a big social time with many politicians around talking to the parents. The 4th started with the firing of a cannon at daybreak, parade, program (we would practice for days on a patriotic drill for the program), different concessions, ice cream cones, pop, etc.- about the only time we would see these things.. There was always a free barbecue with the people from the surrounding towns coming to join in the celebration and get some of the good barbecue. After lunch there would be games and races for the kids - a bag game, broncho riding, which my brother Clarence entered into a lot, there would be spear shooting which the young fellows on horses would show their skill in, horse racing, barrel races, sack races, etc. The evening would end with a big dance at night with families at-tending. Oft times the rain would come and put an end to the fun.

The 24th was celebrated about the same way with the theme on the arriving of the saints in Salt Lake. Some of the older people would always sing, "Hard Times, Hard Times, Come Again No More." It seems now days they have lost the spirit of celebrating, everything has turned commercial.

Each year the Church would hold a May Day celebration. We would practice for weeks winding the May Pole. It was fun. Now you never hear of anything like that.

There were times we were taken to the mountains and camped out a few days. This one time, I can't remember how old I was, we were at the Whetstones. A family we knew lived there. I was walking along with some girls of the family when some dogs ran out and circled me and tore the bottom of my skirt off. I used to remember these people's name (maybe Gray) but have forgotten it now.

Each summer another family project was to take the wagon pulled by a team and go to the Gila Wash and pick up our winter supply of small black walnuts. Another of our pastimes was to sit around the walnut pile and crack and eat walnuts. Sometimes we would get ambitious and pick enough that mother could put them in cake, cookies or homemade ice cream. When they bought ice we would make one freezer after the other of ice cream to use up the ice before it melted.

In the winter when we had meat, we would have lots of it to use it up before it spoiled - so it was lots, or none oft times. We usually had bread and milk for supper or cornmeal mush and milk, and we would use the milk right after it was milked because it was hard to keep it sweet with no way to take care of it. Today I appreciate the refrigerator as a place to keep food cold, to keep the milk cold, because I can well remember how it was without it.

Our closest town was Benson, seven miles away. It would take almost a whole day to make the trip to Benson and back. I remember one trip being with Mother and she decided to come over the hill through what we called Lonesome Valley. It got dark before we got very far and she couldn't see the road, so finally she turned the horses' reins loose to go where they chose, and they took us to the gate of some people we knew - Echoes, I believe. They came out and put us up for the night. I can't remember the situation at home, whether they were looking for us or not.

There was an old couple, named Stantons, that homesteaded in Lonesome Valley. I loved to visit them. It was a scary walk, because there were a lot of wild cows and bulls on the way, but I guess I figured it worth it to make the trip alone, probably about a mile and a half. Oft times there would be more than myself.

One Sunday afternoon the Tiltons, our neighbors, were visiting our folks. Their daughters, Dora and Elberta, myself and my sister, Lola, decided to walk over and see the Stantons. As we walked along we came across a big rattlesnake that was up in a mesquite tree, after a small rabbit. We proceeded to knock him out of the tree and chased him down a hole. When he was down, all but his rattles, we put a rock on his tail and took home our prize of the rattles, thinking we had really accomplished something until our parents got through lecturing us. Later I realized how foolish we had been.

For several years after my father had built this lumber house on twenty acres beside the Francis Goodmans we had to carry our drinking water from the Goodmans. They had a huge big swing in their cottonwood trees we kids loved to swing on, so I was in trouble many times when sent after water and would stay and swing and forget the time until someone came for me.

Our neighbors and long-time friends, the Tiltons, lived through the field to the west of us. She had three daughters, was an immaculate housekeeper and always had good things cooked. Again I was in trouble often because I would be sent there on errands and linger too long.

I went to school in St. David. We walked about a mile to school. It was always a hurry to get morning chores done and get to school on time. Later they had a hard-tired sort of bus they picked up the kids from across the river and how I envied those who got to ride the bus.

My first grade teacher was Elsie Curtis (later Matteson). Mildred Martin, our neighbor, and I would stay after school to go to Primary. Miss Curtis would often leave us and go home. This one day we decided to paint so got all the kid's paint books out and painted all the pictures in them. The next day I got my first and last spanking at school, that I can remember anyway.

I spent two years in the first grade because the first year I was out quite a bit due to sickness. I well remember our family getting sore eyes, the real old hard kind. For about four days I couldn't see anything so had a sample of what it would be to be blind. In looking back I think of what poor Mother must have gone through with several of us with them and all the attention we must of wanted and her so busy.

My school days were spent as most children's were in those days. I liked school and books, the games we played, etc. Pearl Scranton Grice, Bertha Merrill Mummert, Justine Lee Goodman, Agnes Sabin Anders, Mary Anderson were some of my schoolmates I remember best. Some of my teachers besides Elsie Curtis were a Miss Carrol, Mr. Baker, Mr. Matteson, a Miss Shill. I can now see the wisdom of writing your life story when younger - so many names and dates I could remember a few years back I can't remember now,

I liked school. I went to high school one and one-half years when Walter came along and I stopped and got married. In high school we had a basketball team consisting of Gladys Busby, Agnes Lofgreen, Amy Busby Mayberry, my sister Lola, myself, Ella Mae Rollins, Faye Baker and Mary Anderson. We would travel around with the boy's teams and play with other towns. All we had was an outdoor court and we played Bisbee, Douglas and Nogales, all who had inside courts and made it hard for us. I'm sure they were at the same disadvantage when they came to play on our dirt courts.

One time we made a trip to Bisbee and Douglas. We played in Bisbee on Friday night and some of us came down with mumps. We didn't tell the teachers so went on to Douglas and played on Saturday night with the mumps.

One of my teachers, Lillian Fountain Smith, was a favorite. She took a lot of interest in me and my work. She taught Home Ec. We have been life-long friends and have kept in touch with each other through all the years since. Her husband (who she married later) was the coach and later the principal, J. Fish Smith. They have been very successful financially, but she never did join the Church.

My brother Clarence was married to Maud Billingsley 20 Sep 1920. She passed away 27 Feb 1972 and was buried in St. David. He later married Louise Huffman. Maud and Clarence had seven children. Alice married James Mark Nelson 19 Jan 1923. They had six children. Stella married Earl Nelson 24 Jun 1921 and they had two daughters. Lola married Alvin Erastus Price 19 Feb 1924. They had ten children. Lola passed away 1 Sep 1963. O. Kelvin married Gertrude Naegle 26 Jun 1936. They had four children. Mildred married James LeRoy Cooper 15 Nov 1937 and they had six children. Nadine married Hyrum Delmar Schneider 15 Jun 1939, and he passed away 7 Apr 1951. She then married John Egg. He has also passed away. Nadine and Delmar had four children. John never married and passed away 17 Aug 1954. Ernest married Sine Olive Scharling 6 Jul 1944 and they have seven children. Frances married William H. Luke on 27 Oct 1942 and they have seven children.

I love my family, my brothers and sisters and they are very dear to me. My father and mother were so very good to everyone and had lots of company in the home. My mother was a very quiet religious friendiy person and a hard worker. Walter has told me, "If I had married your mother as saving, etc. as she always was I would have had more now." Of course, he always informed me he was only teasing. My father was generous, friendly and a nervous person.

As I mentioned before Walter McRae came into my life when I was fifteen. We decided we were for each other so I quit school and we were married September 27, 1923, about three months after I turned seventeen. Now I know how my folks must have felt, me getting married so young.

About three weeks before we were to get married the bank went broke taking the money Walter had saved for a trip to the temple in Salt Lake and a honeymoon.

We were married in the living room of my home by our Bishop, William G. Goodman, and left for Salt Lake City to be sealed in the temple. Walter had fixed up a Model T Ford - fixed the front seat so it could be let down for a bed and that is how we traveled. We stopped wherever we decided was far enough. This one night we pulled to the side of the road and went to bed but could hear cars all night. In the morning we discovered we had stopped between where the road divided for a few yards before going back together again. It took five days traveling until 11 and 12 at night to reach Salt Lake. At one place around Cedar City on a high curve, Walter had to back up two different times to get around the curve. The day we went to the temple, we went in at 7:00 a.m. and got out at 4:00 p.m. - which was one session. We stayed with the Crozier Kimball family, old time friends, and Brother and Sister Beeler, friends of my parents, while in Salt Lake.

I was welcomed into Walter's family and they all treated me with love. His mother helped me in many ways, always good if I had sick children; she seemed to know what to do.. Grandpa McRae was good to me too. I'll always appreciate the little things he did to help me that needed a man's touch and Walter would not be around to do it. He spent a good deal of his last few years with us. He passed away in our home. I have always felt I could probably have done more to make his last year and last days more pleasant for him.

When we returned home from Salt Lake we moved to Bisbee. There were 144 steps up to our house. Walter would have to go to work - that was a lonely time for me to leave a large family and be by myself so much of the time, not knowing anyone. George, Walter's brother, moved in with us when we set up housekeeping in Bisbee, but he was at work most of the time too.

One time shortly after Walter and I were married and George was living with us, George and I drove to the pit to pick up Walter. It was a little early so we were watching the shovels digging and decided to get a little closer so we went under the fence which was put up as a safety zone and was over this high bank with the shovel work beneath us. George said we had better go - we hadn't more than got away when the bank where we were standing caved in. It would surely have meant death for us had we remained.

Later we moved to a house below Roberts Ave. Here our first baby was born, Barbara Mae, on the 8th of September 1924. Then we moved to Roberts Ave. George and Walter's father both lived with with us for a while, then George was married. June, our second daughter, was born September 9, 1926 - two years after Barbara. Bisbee was where Walter was raised, it was home to him and we enjoyed our five years there, except Walter was promoted in his work and spent a lot of time at work or was real tired and sleepy when he got home.

We were expecting our third child - about three weeks before Nadine was born, Walter decided to go to the Apache Powder Plant in St. David to work, so my sister, Nadine came and stayed with me. Nadine was born August 10, 1928. When she was around three weeks old we moved to St. David into my folks' house as they had moved to Tucson.

Walter was soon put in the presidency of the M.I.A. down there. I was afraid to stay alone at first and would try to take the girls and go with him but soon decided it wasn't worth the effort.

The 1929 depression hit. George, Gladys and two children moved in with us. My father sold his place so we all moved in the old Scranton place. While there Lynette, their third child, was born. George spent his time working on a house by his folks' When it was completed we all moved into it. then he started on the second one. Walter would help as he could. He, too, was laid off for eleven months. During that time he worked at odd jobs as he could find them. Those were hard times. We always had something to eat but probably not just what we would like to have had. Gladys and I raised a garden, chickens and worked hard to provide food. We enjoyed each other and have been as close as any two sisters could be. We lived together two and one-half years. During that time their son Don was born and our fourth daughter, Dona Lee. She came to live with us on October 27, 1931.

Soon as the second house was finished, we moved into it. Sometime before that George started working for the school. We have always felt very close to their families and everyone marveled that two women could live in one house so long and come out friends.

March 29, 1934, our first son, Walter Stanley, was born, the pride of his daddy. He had a son! Even though he loved his daughters I guess every man desires a son. He was an active boy. He and his cousin, Rey, were together all the time. When Stanley was twenty years old he was in a car accident and was taken May 3, 1954.

In December of 1933, we bought ten acres on the west side of the river and moved into a little lumber three-room shanty on it, hoping to start a new home soon. On February 20, 1936, our second son, Lorin Post, was born.

Walter worked hard. I would help when I could and we built our present home. It was a long time being finished but gradually was. We built as we could pay for it and Walter could find time to work on it.

August 6, 1938, Elizabeth came to live with us. By that time our home was completed enough we had moved from the lumber shanty. Five and a half years later Phyllis joined the family. By this time Barbara and June were in Tucson attending the University of Arizona. Phyllis was born at home with Dr. Shoun and Mildred McGuire in attendance, our first one to be born at home. Dona was born in Benson; Stanley, Lorin and Elizabeth in Tucson. When Phyllis was born, Lorin and Elizabeth had whooping cough, which we weren't aware of, so Phyllis took it at three weeks. She had a bad time, but by shots given to her she got by fairly well. When Phyllis was seven months old, August 22, 1944, Barbara and Kenneth Johns decided to marry. Our first child was leaving home to start one of her own. The war was on, gas was rationed and the Mesa Temple was closed. Kenneth's orders were changed so we hurriedly left by bus with Barbara to meet Kenneth in Salt Lake so they could be married in the temple. We couldn't see our daughter being married any other way.

The next August 21, 1945, June and Glen Lofgreen were married and moved to New York where Glen was in school. The next to marry was Nadine who married Raymond Kellis. She spent eighteen months on a mission to Central States while waiting for Ray to go on his mission to England. They were married June 17, 1952.

About six weeks before Dona and Max Kartchner were to be married, our son, Stanley, was taken. It was a sad time but we went ahead with plans for the wedding and they were married June 17, 1954 and moved to New York.

Lorin and Joyce Goodman decided they wanted to marry but we really wanted him to go on a mission. His Uncle Jared Trejo, Stake President, thought it would not keep him from going, so they were married May 11, 1956. Soon after he was interviewed by a General Authority and received his call to Guatemala. So six weeks after his marriage he left for his mission. A year later Joyce's folks sent her on a mission to Mexico.

At the end of their missions, Daddy, Elizabeth, Phyllis and I picked up Joyce in Mexico City and drove down to Guatemala and picked up Lorin. It was an enjoyable trip. We went on down to El Salavador where Lorin had labored.

June 16, 1960, Elizabeth married Keith Dale Kartchner and moved to Denver where he was in medical school and on August 14, 1965, Phyllis married Tyler Wayne Murray. So all our family was married except Stanley who I'm sure has a companion waiting to be sealed to him.

We have indeed been blessed with a wonderful family and six fine son-in-laws and our one daughter-in-law who is special. We also have 46 fine grandchildren at the present time. Our first grandchild - Barbara and Kenneth's first son - only lived about two or three days.

All of our children were able to attend the University of Arizona and all graduated except Barbara who married first. How-ever , she set the example for the rest of going on to school. We were very desirous that our family have a good education. They also are active in the Church for which we are most grateful to our Heavenly Father.

I lived all my life, except the five years I lived in Bisbee, in St. David. I have loved it as my home town, even though when Walter took work there and was going to move back, I wasn't real happy about it. It has been a good place to raise a good family.

We have made many a mistake but I hope none of our children will ever wish they had chosen other parents and will know how much we love them. We have never had any really serious illness in the family. June has always had an asthma problem and Lorin was in bed six weeks with what they thought was rheumatic fever at that time but was blessed in that he has hardly been sick since and wasn't really sick then - it was a hard job to keep him down.

We have always tried to be active in the Church. I've been a Relief Society visiting teacher most of my married life; was Young Ladies' president six years; a teacher in the Primary and Sunday School for short periods; was Relief Society President two different times, totalling about four years; was a Stake Missionary; and was Sunday School Secretary for seventeen years, being released to come here to the Nauvoo Mission where we are at the present time. We entered the Mission Home the 26th of January 1974, and arrived in Nauvoo February 2, and was assigned as Director here at Carthage Jail where we took over February 11. In May 12, due to medical problems we had to return home. We were there for one month while Walter got the help he needed and we returned as the second couple here at Carthage, to help the Rydalches.

I disliked cooking very much when I first married but learned to enjoy it. When Max and Dona bought the Benson Hospital, I started to cook for them and continued cooking at the hospital for ten years and made many good friends. Then I helped Gladys cook for the Rotarys and Lions for several years and again made some friends and enjoyed it.

I have had a good life. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who has always been good to me, a lovely family of eight, six fine son-in-laws and one daughter-in-law, plus forty-five living grandchildren.

An occasion we will never forget is on our fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1973, when the children put on a lovely anniversary party, with all the family present except Quey Johns who was on a mission to Cumorah. The program was lovely with nearly every grandchild taking a part.

October 1976

We have been home from our mission almost two years now. When we left Carthage we drove to Washington, D.C. and went to the temple there. It had only been open for work three weeks then. We really enjoyed it.

Dona and Max had been delayed in moving into their new home so had moved just two weeks before we returned home.

Later

The last I wrote was two years ago after we got home from our mission. Three and a half years have passed since then. We have kept busy with our place, trying to have a garden, canning, etc.

We were asked to work in the Stake Library so have gone there each Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 5:00 for the last two years or so. Walter keeps the machines running but hasn't gone lately otherwise. At the present I am working with Bunny Smith.

In Relief Society I am quilt chairman and a visiting teacher. Last year I was asked to be Stake Homemaking Leader. This has been a real worry to me; I have always felt so inadequate. They said they wanted the women to learn provident living and I could teach them, but I still don't feel equal to the job.

On June 22, 1978, the Stake Relief Society President, Lorena Merrill, her Homemaking Counselor, Nora Barrow, Olive Brown, Stake Secretary, Zola White, Stake Social Relations Leader and myself left by car for Salt Lake where we met Glennis Merrill, a Counselor, Lavine Fenn, Sports Leader, and Linda Judd, a member, and joined a bus tour to go to the Nauvoo dedication of the monuments.

We had a real nice group on our bus, forty in all, besides a very congenial bus driver. The second day the bus broke down in North Platte, Nebraska, and we were laid up there for eight hours.

The trip was nice, the company good, but we got very little sleep and was on the go a lot, so I came home worn out. I turned seventy-two on June 29th on the bus. I was the oldest one on the bus but could still take more than a lot of the younger ones. The only thing, my knees didn't always want to work. As we were leaving the college dorms where we stayed we couldn't get an elevator so a group of us walked down thirteen stories with our luggage.

At this time my brothers and sisters who were living are still alive, but Clarence has cancer bad and the doctors have done what they can for him, so I'm sure it's a matter of time until he leaves us, but who knows, any of us could go first.

We also have two more grandchildren born - Kara, born to Phyllis and Wayne, and Ben Andrew, born to Dona and Max - making forty-eight grandchildren. We have fifteen - almost sixteen - great grandchildren at the present time.