Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Arthur Wright Hall (1875-1955) Autobiography

My story begins when I was born in Rockville, Washington County, Utah, on December 9, 1875. 1 was the nineth child of John Charles and Kezia DeGrey Hall, and was given the name of Arthur Wright Hall, and a father's blessing on December 9 of the same year. The name "Wright" came from my paternal grandmother, Charlotte Wright and is a name of which I am very proud.

The first few years of my life were spent in Rockville in doing what mischief I could think of as do most young boys. Rockville was a small community, nestled in the foothills on the bank of the Virgin River, so there were plenty of unexplored caves and crevices for the young children to occupy their time. I did not have a great deal of leisure for me, because, even though I was the last son to arrive and I had older brothers to work ahead of me, I was taught while yet a young lad that there is much value in good honest, hard work. There were plenty of odd jobs which no one else wanted to do, and which, naturally fell to me.

Even though I was the last son to come along, I still found my place in the farm work. I, like my older brothers and sisters, was unable to attend school to completion. I received the bare fundamentals and obtained further learning from the school of hard knocks. My parents were understanding and helped me to learn as much as they were able to give me.

My father and mother were of the faithful fiber evident in the founding of the empire in the West. I am thankful that they were privileged to be among the first to enter the Valley and start plowing the virgin soil in preparation for the treasured seed. They suffered untold hardships and heartaches to build a home for us, their children, but they were indeed blessed, and were, to a large measure, quite happy. They were religious and endeavored to teach their children the Gospel both by word and action, so I grew up with the desire to live as near to the teachings of the Lord as I possibly could.

On December 9. 1883, my eight birthday, I was baptized and confirmed by James P. Terry, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter day Saints. It was an eventful day for me and one I will long remember. I was not too young to realize that something new had happened in my life. Then later, when I was ordained a deacon and was privileged to pass the sacrament, I was a very proud young lad. I had watched other boys, who had reached that precise age, with much anticipation. As I grew older and was able to participate in all the church functions, as all of our entertainment was centered around the church, I found even more pleasure in life. As young people we spent our time, spare time, that is, in swimming, horseback riding, dancing and picnicking. The girl I was one day to marry was one of the young girls in the group. About a year after I first really noticed her, Adlinda DeMill and I found our enjoyment going to the dances and socials together. We did a great deal of horseback riding.

When I was twenty four years old, and felt that I was capable to care for a wife and family, Adlinda and I were married in the courthouse at St. George, Utah, On March 31, 1899. Two years later, after I had been ordained an Elder, I received my endowments, and my wife and I were sealed for 'time and all eternity", in the St. George Temple.

All my life I have accepted the call to do the work of the Lord. I was in the Sunday School Superintendency for a year or two while we lived in Rockville. In 1906, 1 was appointed one of the counselors in the bishopric' at the time David Hirschi was bishop. I found that in service the faults and failings of others became insignificant and I learned the true meaning of "Love thy neighbor as thyself". While in the service of the Lord, I realized more peace in my soul. I had no time to worry about any injustices done me. I could much easier 'walk two, if a friend asked me to walk a mile with him'. The Gospel is a great leavening agent in any mans life if he but gives it a change to become part of him.

I am a very practical man. Religion to me is "common sense", and functions not only on the Sabbath day and during the hours of worship, but also finds expression in every act that conduces to the welfare of man in every walk of life. It may be the Savior had some such idea in mind when he said: "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward". (Matt. 10:42.)

In the following year, 1907, we moved to Hurricane to help in the development of that community. We were one of the first ten families to settle in the Hurricane Valley. I was one of the group chosen to meet and select a name for our new community. After several names were suggested, the name "Hurricane" was chosen.

At the completion of the canal, I was appointed to the Hurricane Canal Board, and was given the job of superintendent of the running of the water in the canal for several years. Besides my work on the canal board, I was also one of the first trustees of the Hurricane School Board until the Washington County School Board was organized.

In those early days much effort and time had to be put forth in order that our church and community might progress. So I, like all the men who hoped to build a thriving home town, did my part in the building of the early public buildings. I donated on the St. George College (now Dixie College) by hauling lumber from the saw mills to St. George. Busy as I was in civic affairs, I never neglected my church duties. I continued to work in the Sunday School Superintendency for several years after we moved to Hurricane.

We lived in Hurricane until 1920 when I moved my family to Monroe, Utah. I bought a farm there when prices were very high. Later I lost everything except my home and the friends who we valued more than money. In such times of need we came to know our true and faithful friends. There were those who were earnest and sincere in their desire to help us build for the future again. And there were those also who offered a work here and there, but who could not find it in their hearts to give. To me a great lesson was brought to light, and I vowed I would certainly be a friend to others in their time of need.

After moving to Monroe and making our new home, I again worked in the Sunday School Superintendency, which seems to have been my calling. I have also been one of the counselors in the bishopric under two different bishops. I have been a Ward Teacher all my adult life, and have enjoyed visiting and assisting the Saints where ever we have made our home. I have found much happiness in the service of my church and my community. For fifteen years I have served as caretaker of the Monroe District School.

The rest of my happiness and blessings I have found in my family. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful wife and mother of my fine sons and daughters. For distinction in our family, we can say that our daughter, Golda, was the first baby girl to be born in Hurricane, August 16, 1907. We have enjoyed association with our children even after they were married in trips, visits and outings. We can work and play together with no disagreement of a serious nature, and always find pleasure in the company of our entire family.

I have had two severe sick spells with pneumonia, and one heart attack. At one time the doctor gave me up for he thought I would not recover. The Elders of the church were called in to administer to me, and through the faith and prayers of the faithful, I was made well. I know that the Lord hears and answers prayers. We have had some faith testing experiences in our home and I know that the Lord has blessed our home and those who abide therein. For those blessings, I am truly thankful, and pray that I may continue to serve whenever the call comes.

No comments:

Where Are You?

Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map!