Myrella Ann Cole Fife
The Life Story of Myrella Ann Cole Fife
Transcribed from a recording made at daughter
Sharon's home in 1970
I was born in Willard, Utah in 1902, January the 10th. I lived there until I was two years old and then we moved to Idaho Falls. And then we added a little girl to our family, her name was Dessa. And I lived in Idaho Falls and around different little towns there until I was nine years old. Then we moved back to Treasureton Idaho. Dad, my Dad had homesteaded a farm there and we lived in Treasureton until how old was I? Fifteen I guess. Fourteen or fifteen I had graduated from the 8th grade. And I went to school in Treasurton all my life in a two room school house and just the two teachers they had there and we had to walk we didn't have school buses or anything and it was two and a half miles we'd walk. In the winter time the snow would crust and we'd walk on top of the snow and down through the fields then it would be closer than it would be to follow the road and sometimes we'd freeze our feet and freeze our fingers and we'd have to thaw them out by a great big stove they had in one corner of schoolroom when we got there. And when we was fourteen years old why pop sold the farm, my dad rather and we moved to Preston and Wayne was born, my youngest brother, there and he was only sixteen months old when this epidemic of flu came around and Mother passed away on November the 29th 1918. And she left seven children and I was sixteen then would have been seventeen in January and the baby was sixteen months old. And Dad had the flu, my Dad and he was really bad and they didn't know weather he'd live or not. And Dessa was awful sick too at that time we were all down at one time. And when Mother passed away and was so bad they got me up and sat me in the chair, a rocking chair and they had little knobs on the chairs and they'd tie a rag, an old diaper around my head and hook it over the chair to hold my head up cause I was so weak and sick. And I'd have to hold Wayne cause he wouldn't be good in bed he was just a baby and try to tend him that way until I got feeling better. I never got to go to school cause I had the children to take care of, to high school or anything and I started working in the store a year or two after that and I worked there and in the telephone office until I met Sharon's father and he's told you most of what happened from then on.
I was baptized in Coltman Idaho in a little irrigation ditch in front of our house. My father baptized me and then we went to church the next Sunday and they confirmed us down to the church house. Yes we used to go to primary and we'd have to walk to primary and walk back.
When I was just a little girl after we'd first moved to Idaho Falls it was going to be the 4th of July and I was just a little girl and I had the long blonde curls and Dessa had the long black curls and we'd just moved to this community called Ammon. Mother had made us some little white dresses and some little white lace hats, they was all the go those days. And Mother thought we'd look so cute with or little long ringlets and she was still finishing our dresses and she missed her scissors and she hollered, Rella where's my scissors." She heard me run off from the front porch and so she knew something was wrong and she ran to the door and when she opened the front door there lay one of my curls. And she followed me around the house and I just cut them as I ran and I cut some places so close I just cut the skin on my head. When I got around back of the house Mother caught me and she just cried and she give me a whipping and I felt bad then when I saw how bad mother felt. But I'd been playing with a little boy across the road and I wanted to be a little boy. So Dad had to get his razor out and he shaved my head. I was really a pretty looking thing. I bawled for some overalls I wanted to really be a boy. Mother she had to crochet me a cap, a hood. Why I wore that hood everywhere I went until my hair grew out. Dessa she had her pretty bonnet and her black curls and her white dress. So don't ever cut your hair, it's not very nice.
This little boy and me were out playing one day and we come in the house for a drink and Mother looked and there was bees crawling out of this little boys pocket. She said, "what in the world you been a doing?" And he'd hit the bees with his hat and stun them and I'd pick them up and put them in his pocket and they was just starting to come to when we got to the house. We used to have a lot of fun. Oh we used to play "Run Sheepie Run" and "Hide and go Seek" and things like that and "Auntie Aye Over" yeah we was a bunch of kids.
We had our dolls us three girls and Mother would make us dolls and wed always send to Montgomery Wards for new heads about every year to put on these bodies that Mother had made and she'd make them new dresses. China heads is what they were and then she finally found a way she could get them out of the steel and we'd chipped the paint sometimes and they'd get looking pretty rugged before another Christmas. (did you have get togethers at Christmas?) No, cause we were up there all by ourselves. He (her father) had a brother but we didn't get along to good the Aunt Jane had her other kids. We'd always had a good Christmas dinner and never had a Christmas tree very much of the time though. Never could have lights or anything. Well we did one year I can remember but we strung popcorn and those colored papers we'd cut and make the rings you know and chain them together put that on the tree and that's about the only Christmas tree I can remember having.
Us three girls pretty near always used to sleep together. We never had a great big house where there was lots of bedrooms. The place where we slept in the hills when we'd go up there with Dad every summer on the dry farm. We just had the one room downstairs and Mother had a bed upstairs and we'd have to climb up the cupboard and get up through a little hole in the attic and we had a bed mattress there and we'd crawl up there and go to sleep and that was our bedroom when I was a little girl.