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Historic Provo

Oral History of Art and Erma Olsen

ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPTION


WINN: Today is June 28, 1999. This is Jennifer Winn and I'm here with Art and Erma Olsen. Erma, you were born in Provo. What are your earliest memories of Provo?


ERMA: My earliest memories of Provo are of when I was about five years old. We lived over on 6th East. I remember when my sister was born. That house stood there for many years. It has been knocked down and apartment houses built in it's place.


We moved to Great Falls and Helena, Montana, then we came back to Provo. I can tell you from there how it used to be. The marble for the big courthouse that faces the tabernacle came from Birdseye, Utah, up Spanish Fork Canyon. It went into that building.


On University Avenue and Center Street, right in the middle of the road was a fountain. It was beautiful. It was a three tiered fountain. It ran water all the time. It froze in the winter time. It was all ice.


We had the library on the corner of First East and the Paramount Theater. The Princess Theater was on University Avenue and First East. Across the street was the Provo Post Office right on the corner where the city building is now. Next to that was the fire station. When there was a fire, out came the horses to pull the fire truck. Away they'd go. That's where the first mechanical truck was put, in that building.


Then going east to First East and Center Street, that was the courthouse. There were a whole lot of beautiful trees and a metal fence all around the corner. That was the city courthouse. Going west down Center Street on the corner was the First Commercial Bank, where the mexican food place is today. When the president closed all of the banks years ago, that bank and State Bank in the middle of the block were the only two banks that opened the next morning. The rest of them had to wait a few days before they went through their records.


Going down Center Street, there was the tabernacle grounds, and Telluride Motor. On First West was the Orem Station. The Orem tracks came up Center Street and turned the corner around by the tabernacle and went south to Payson. Right across the street from all of that was Hanks Pool Hall. There is a clothing mill there today. There was the Sanitary Meat Market and a shoe store.


Back on University Avenue there was a railroad track that went up, turned the corner and went north to the Academy. When they put in a new road, they found that we had about three feet of dirt on top of the tracks. They were still there when they fixed University Avenue. They built the road right on top of the tracks.


After you left the Academy, University Avenue only went as far as 1200 North. That was the end of it. There was a big service station where the Provo High School stands today. That was just a cow pasture. It belonged to a family named York. They sold it to build a new schoolhouse on. We didn't think it was necessary because we had one down on Third West. Where the city county building sits today is where our Provo High School was and where I graduated in 1933.


WINN: Did they tear it out to build the county building?


ERMA: Yes, they tore it all down. There were two big buildings right there. There was a junior high school and a senior high school. Junior high students were on Fourth West and the senior high was on Third West.


Pioneer Park used to have a big pavilion there in the center of it where every Sunday night they had a band concert where all the city employees who could play an instrument were there. We could go there. The trees today are all big shade trees. That was when the trees were quite young.


Across the street north is Albertsons today. That whole square block used to belong to T.F. Pierpont who had a big foundry there. His power came from Provo river, right on down Freedom Boulevard. There's still a stream of water that runs down under that sidewalk on the east side of Freedom Boulevard. It goes down to the southern grounds, which they called the First Ward pasture. Today that's where the big mall is.


My great great grandfather at one time owned that plot of ground down there. He was the first bishop of the First Ward here in Provo. It was a square building back in the corner. The First Ward here in Provo sits on a diagonal. They didn't have enough property to put a parking place for their horses and buggies. That was the days when automobiles weren't around.


There was a railroad track at the depot on 700 South in Provo. There was a big railroad station. There were ten passenger trains coming in and out of Provo every twenty four hours.


ART: I'd met those trains and haul the passengers wherever they wanted to go.


ERMA: The only place they could go was the Robert's Hotel which is on 200 South and University Avenue. It's right on the corner a block south of the tabernacle. There is a big wisteria bush in there. It's been there for at least 75 years.


The post office now is on the other corner of First West. There was a canal that went from Freedom Boulevard to the mouth of Provo Canyon. That's where the water turns off from Provo up there to feed this canal of water that goes down here.


Right to the side of that was the Heber Creeper railroad track that goes up the side. There was one roadway going down. On 200 North was the Knight Coal and Ice Co. They sold big cubes or squares of ice for 25 cents a clip. You could buy 100 pounds.


Where the Eldred Center and Armory are today, there was the Hoover Flour Mill. They also got their water from the canal to use during the day time to make their power to grind their grains.


Further on up there was an ice plant on the opposite side of the road on 1200 North. They made big cubes of ice.


ART: They'd put them in big boxes.


ERMA: They'd take the ice down by the railroad track, because they had an ice house down there for storage. They made it up here, but they put it down there. They could go over and ice the produce trains that came in. It had to be iced to keep them green.


Further on up there were peach trees, apple trees, pear trees, plum trees, cherry trees, all orchards and fields clear to the mouth of Provo Canyon. University Avenue now ends up in Chicago. I've never driven it that far. We have laughed at that.


Provo Canyon now has been made into a freeway. As far as we're concerned they ruined the canyon. We still have a fun place here. Where our house stands today, when I was a kid on vacation in the summer time from Montana, we used to come over here and steal apples from T.F. Pierpont. Little did I realize that someday I would see this street.


ART: He used to sit on a rocking chair and say, "There they go again. I wonder how much they'll get this time." It didn't bother him.


ERMA: He built some of these brick houses in this area and other contractors built these houses. Up here on Center Street now where Memorial Park is, the reason it's called Memorial Park is because at one time it was the Provo City dump. There was a big pond in the middle of it. It was fed by spring water that comes down into different areas.


Ninth East was not even thought of at that time. They put in a cow pasture up there. They were going to put a road in here by the BYU and I thought, "Why on earth would they ever do that?" Now it's a freeway. It goes on up to the temple and everything else. It's a thoroughfare.


When he was in high school at the Academy, just before they closed that section of the school off, he had to help them move.


ART: Where you see all those bricks piled on the lawn, that's where I went to high school in the north end of that building. They called it the art building. We studied everything.


ERMA: They had a nice big coal furnace in there that spewed a lot of black smoke. They had to take the clinkers out every morning and every night. They decided to build that big white building up on the corner, where they called Temple Hill. That's what they wanted it to be someday was a temple on that hill.


The school got larger and they decided that they should put something up on the mountain. They decided to have everybody work. He was in high school and he helped to carry bags of lime up there to where the Y is. Bigger men were putting rock in there. They plastered it all with lime to make it white. That's what it used to be. They've taken that all down now and it's all made of concrete. He helped to build the Y on the mountain.


WINN: Did they have people standing at different points, handing off, or did you walk all the way up and all the way down?


ART: We walked all the way up the trail, up the hill carrying a sack of lime.


ERMA: North of there used to be a spring on the mountain. That's where they went over and brought the water in buckets over here to mix the lime up for the Y.


ART: They finally decided to get a larger container and got a pipe and stretched the pipe over the top of the chain and you'd get that piece of pipe on your shoulder and go. Two guys could carry a whole bucket up. Then they'd tip it over.


ERMA: That's the way we used to do it. There used to be a ball park by Sillohette Park on Sixth North and Fifth West. That is where the ladie's club house is today. That's where the students played. That was before the city park was put in, before the sons and daughters of the pioneers building was put in there.


We also knew Mr. and Mrs. Eldred that lived on First West just between Center Street and First North. They were the ones that built the Eldred Center. It was a hospital where people who couldn't take care of themselves any longer could go. They had a place where they could come and live together as husband and wife until one or the other should pass away. They figured that the elderly people needed help.


Eldred made his money because he owned the merry-go-round, ferris wheel and all those things. That used to be in the street by his house at certain times of the year, like the Fourth of July and during the summer. They came up with an idea of constructing the Eldred Center. That's the beginning of the Eldred Center. That's why their pictures are there in the hall. So many of those paintings through the halls are her water color paintings. They're beautiful. She had a beautiful flower bed and she painted flowers all the time, like roses and pansies. They just cared for people who needed help. They had hearts of gold.


ART: You probably haven't ridden on a merry-go-round like they had in those days. They hauled that merry-go-round on hay racks from place to place where they'd set it up.


WINN: Was it scary?


ART: No, it was substantial. A hay rack is built on long wheels and tail wheels. There is less weight on the back than on the front. The horses pulled from the front.


ERMA: It would hold loose hay. It wasn't bailed.


ART: They'd haul all the heavy stuff. In the winter time they put a scraper on there and hooked the teams up and plowed the streets. When our son was practically a babe in arms we went down Center Street one morning to see downtown. There was this plow out there plowing what was considered main street. By that time they had paths on each side of the street, which was two roads wide, where people walked or rode bicycles.


ERMA: There were no trees down the center of town. It was all open with a water fountain in the middle.


WINN: What brought your family to Provo?


ART: My grandmother and grandfather came over here from Norway and Sweden. They landed in this vicinity.


ERMA: They came from New York.


ART: These things we remember the best we can. I hope we explain it well enough to make a story out of it. It's progress. In other words, Provo represents progress. Think about the Woolen Mills.


ERMA: The Woolen Mills was on Second North and Freedom Boulevard where that water came down. That's where they got their power. They washed the wool and dyed it and weaved it into Army blankets for the world war. That's where they got their water for power.


We heard whistles blowing and bells ringing and couldn't imagine what had happened. They said, "The woolen mills is afire." Everybody came out. Everybody went to the fire. I wasn't old enough to know what happened. But he helped to pull those big rolls and bales out of the windows.


ART: My brother that was older than I was helping build these blankets in the operation. When they needed him, he was there helping with that. In order to save these blankets, which were on big rolls, they stretched those big rolls out and we drug them out the window and down the ground and up the street. We piled them in the middle of the road and covered them with whatever we could.


ERMA: Clear from the State Mental Hospital to First East in Provo there used to be every block these big aisles of grass. Men with horses and wagons hauled that wet stuff out and put it out clear to the State Mental Hospital to dry that wool, so it wouldn't spoil.


WINN: Why did it burn?


ERMA: No one knows. We don't know. It caught fire someway and it burned.


ART: We always thought it was the competition. That is what was breathed around but we couldn't prove it.


ERMA: They saved as much as they could possibly save of the materials that were inside, because it was for the war. The Army needed that wool. They needed those warm clothes. This was the latter part of World War I.


ART: I was just a kid when that happened.


WINN: Did you save a lot of the wool, or was a lot of it wasted.


ART: We saved tons of it. There was a bunch of stuff. You could see it on people's lawns or yards everywhere around that vicinity. They just put it on the lawn.


ERMA: People said they'd put it on their place. "We'll save it. We mustn't destroy it." These guys helped pull it all out.


ART: After all that, they took the material and made something out of it. We did. They made hundreds of blankets out of that material. They were thick enough to be warm. They would even cover beds with them.


WINN: How did you two meet?


ERMA: His brother had moved next door to our house on Fourth North and Sixth East in Provo. His brother Ralph had married. My sister and I got acquainted with Mrs. Olsen and the first thing you knew, she was going to have a baby. One Sunday afternoon I told my mother "I've been wanting to make a batch of candy." She said, "Go ahead and make a batch and take some over to Ruth." So I took a plate of divinity over to Ruth. She was just about to have her baby. He was sitting there. I said, "I don't know who you are, but here is some candy. I think there's enough for both of you." She said, "I don't want to get too fat anyway. Here, Art, you better have a piece." He said, "Okay." That's how we first met.


A couple of days after that he came over to the house. I was quite surprised. He said, "I don't have any divinity to give you, but would you like to go the Paramount to the show tonight?" That was something to go down to Paramount to the show. It cost 25 cents to go at night. That's how we met. About eight months after that we were married. We've been married now for 65 years. We're still here.


WINN: I need to find out what you did when you dated.


ERMA: He would come and we'd go to the canyon or to the city park and have a supper. Then we'd come back home. With his folks we'd go on weekends up along the Provo River. He loved to fish and was a good fisherman. His dad was too. We had little stoves that we put over bon fires and fried out fish right there where they'd catch it out of the river. We'd clean in and take everything else with us. We sure had some good meals. On the 29th of November we got married.


WINN: Was it snowing?


ERMA: Yes, it was about 18 below that night. It was cold. Bishop Whitehead married us in our home. That day Dad had a 32 pound turkey. He got that. Mom and I between the two of us roasted it. It was too big to go in the oven, but we did it. Just about an hour before we were married, Dad and I carved the turkey and I made the dressing. I've cooked ever since.


Until the last few years we baked our own bread. I used to make bread and send it to the Eldred Center. Granny's Kitchen down there wanted to know what to call itself. I said, "How about Granny's Kitchen." They liked that and they still call it Granny's Kitchen. We're pretty well affiliated with the Eldred Center.


WINN: How were you, your family and Provo affected during the Depression?


ERMA: The valley was a hard row. We picked fruit. We picked strawberries, sorted apples and bought a lovely big hog from a gentleman. Art said, "How much will it weigh?" He said, "Probably 200 pounds at dressed." That meant the head and all. They had just killed it. There it was. We didn't know what to do. We had two other fellows helping and took it down to the ice house where there was a butcher that could cut it up for us. We got it wrapped and put it in the ice house to freeze and took a lot of it home. When they weighed it, it cost us 10 cents a pound. It was only twenty dollars. We had the loveliest white lard and his mother made beautiful pies out of it. It was delicious. We did everything. We mowed lawns. We painted the house and painted Mother and Dad's trim.


ART: We worked for my mother at the grocery store. They had a little one down on West Center. The building was built in such a way that they had a rack going up the face of the shelf from the ground. It would raise up to the next level. This was all on one wheel. He'd go clear to the top of that building and pile the groceries on those shelves all the way down.


ERMA: It was just a narrow building with a lot of shelves. If you wanted a can of corn, he had to go up there.


ART: I watched him and said, "Why don't you hire somebody to put that up, so you can get it." He said, "Could you do that?" I said, "Where are your goods? Let me see them." We went back in the other room and started passing them around. I went back there and he had these boxes stacked up ten high. He just took the top one off and broke it open and would bring the stuff. He brought the box out and set it on the floor and I'd take the goods out of that and put it on the shelves for him. I'd go up the next one and the next one until we emptied that box. That day we filled the shelves on that one side all the way up.


WINN: Was your back sore?


ART: I was sore. I couldn't hardly get up. He paid me for it. He gave me 50 cents a day for putting that up there, and I was glad to get it. I bought my school clothes to go to school. It wasn't a regular school I was going to. I was going to the Adventists school, which was close to where the Eldred Center is now. The lady helping down there was the teacher. She was older than I. She is almost ten years older than I.


WINN: What's her name?


ART: Eva Bates. Her husband was a railroad engineer. She married him. He was on the railroad and he got acquainted with her and married her. I don't know how much of a family they had. When he passed away, she had to have something to do, so she went over to the Eldred Center.


ERMA: She helps every day down there. She's 95 or something like that. She is just as spry as spry can be. You'd be surprised.


In the mouth of Provo Canyon, they want to put a big hotel. That used to be one of the leading power plants. They tore it all down. If they don't like it they tear it down. They wanted to tear down the Eldred Center and put in a ballpark in the middle of Provo. We went to gripe on that.


WINN: Tell me about your children. How many children do you have?


ERMA: I lost three and I have one son. He went up to BYU and graduated from there in architecture. He went to the Army after the second war to Germany. He was over there for 28 months and back and forth. They'd fly him back and forth doing map overlay work. When he came home he met his old girlfriend. He was born in October and she was born the following May. The first thing you know, they were going to get married.


He and another fellow are the only ones left at the old gas company here in Provo. They're all gone. Our son died ten years ago of cancer. Three years after that his wife died. Three years after that their son died. Now we just have one grandson who is 33 in July. We have one great granddaughter who is two and a half years old and we have a second one who is just five days old. That's our family.


His parents are gone. His two brothers are gone. My parents are gone. We've helped take care of all of them. Now it's up to our grandson to help us.


WINN: Is he here in Provo?


ERMA: No, he's in Salt Lake. They come down often. They come down and give us a lift every once in a while. It's things he can't do. When you get older you can't do a lot of things. We've had a wonderful life. He had a heart attack three years ago, but he's doing fine now.


WINN: What do you do now to keep active?


ERMA: He starts moving the furniture around and running the vacuum. I follow behind and help him move it here and there. We've got flowers out here. We had over 250 daffodils and tulips in bloom at one time along the side of the house and out back. I've had back surgery and hip surgery.


WINN: How has Provo changed from when you were growing up?


ERMA: Drastically.


ART: At the time when all this stirred up, the Republican party was trying to control everything everybody did and said. The Labor group, which I thought I belonged to, said, "That's all." They said, "We'll prove it. We'll corner these guys and make them admit that he had a self interest in what he's doing."


ERMA: They took over a lot of ground out there that was producing farms. He went to work for the gas company and at the steel plant. He worked in the blast furnace area for 33 years. We'd get up in the morning and cook supper. At night when he'd get up, we had breakfast. You can do a lot of things when you have to.


ART: When you work at a place like that you have to work shift work or you don't work. You worked graveyard this time and then you'd go to another job.


ERMA: One time he went to work early in the afternoon and was working the swing shift. He called at 11:00 and said, "I'm held up for double. We've got trouble. We've got freeze ups. It's terrible. I won't be home until morning." When he got home in the morning, the sun was up and we had 18 inches of snow on the ground. That's what it had snowed during the night, 18 inches.


ART: You'd walk down one side of Center Street and think you saw somebody on the other sidewalk across the way. And you couldn't see them. There was that much snow piled up.


ERMA: There was a pile of snow down Center Street where the trees are today. You couldn't look over that pile of snow. Then it froze.


ART:  During the day they'd take a six team and hook it up to the rig and haul all that snow over to river and this canal that was there, so it would float on down to the lake. They had to get it all off.


ERMA: He would come home sometimes, even when he was on swing shift. We got our shovels and got out here and shoveled off everybody's paths. We had a lot of fun.


WINN: How long have you lived in this home?


ERMA: About 55 years.


WINN: Have your neighbors changed a lot?


ERMA: Yes. The elderly people have died. There are young folks now. My parents used to live in the yellow house over there. All of the older people but three are gone. The homes have all sold. We're the last ones hanging here.


WINN: Fifty years ago, did you have neighborhood activities in the streets or neighborhood parties?


ERMA: In the ward, we'd block off this next block and everybody had to bring something, pot luck. They did and it you wanted to barbecue meat, you would bring your own meat. We had all that stuff.


I worked in the Relief Society. I cooked in the Relief Society for a long time. That's when we had Relief Society on Tuesday and a noon meal. I was one of the instigators of that.


Our ward over here had one of the biggest gyms they played in. When BYU was building their kitchen and cafeterias and it wasn't quite ready for Thanksgiving, they begged people to stay here, because the storms were so bad. Sister McFadden made beautiful pies. We used to take a bushel of apples and diced them to make fruit cocktail for the plates. We'd set the tables. We feed 400 BYU people that night. I cut 38 pumpkin pies into pieces of six. I had that all served and ready.


We had two doctors that lived in the ward. He was a wonderful surgeon and he sliced the turkeys for us. We've had a lot of fun. We've had a lot of experiences that way.


I was the first teacher to give a Relief Society lesson for visiting teachers up at the new hospital, when they first had it's first beginning. I'm the only one left of that whole group of people that were from this ward. We are the oldest married couple in the ward. All of the other ladies were a lot older than I. Sister Watkins was the president up there in the Relief Society. I was the teacher over here, too. I worked in the primary a couple of times and been a Relief Society teacher for many years.


My mother walked with Karl G. Maeser. The Maeser School had four rooms on the bottom and four on the top. She marched hand in hand with Karl G. Maeser. He said, "You're a beautiful girl. Would you like to walk with me?" She said, "Of course." He didn't know that she had mixed a big batch of bread that morning for her family before she came to school. She rode on a buggy up to the Parker School which has since been torn down. They all walked to the Maeser School. There are sayings under glass inside the Maeser School on the black board that Karl G. Maeser went to those eight rooms. My mother was there to see all that and she saw him write all that on the board.


She attended the Maeser School. I attended the Maeser School. My son attended the Maeser School. I went to the fifth and sixth grades at the Maeser School. We know the country pretty well. Just as soon as they build a new building, we don't know what the name of the street is anymore. We say, "Can you tell me where that is?"


Up here where this big, red, brick building is on 900 East and Third North, it used to freeze and there were springs up above, which they have capped now and go into the drain. They built up the square block along the edge and would flood that with the spring water. It would freeze over. That was where we used to go to ice skate long before they went down to the lake and long before they ever built this place up here.


That's on state property now. That big building on the north by the mountains looks like a barn. That's where the cattle were. The state then took it as a state hospital. They took the cattle out to the prison in Salt Lake. All those places were all their property. They farmed that land up there. They had patients up there that worked on the farm. They picked apples and they did all this other stuff. The other attendants had to spray.


We can remember when there was nothing past 700 East until you got to the state property. All the people who lived there are gone now. We've had quite a life. It's been interesting to see the changes and to go and see different things going up.


We used to go two or three times a year up to Heber and up the canyon into Kamas and up that direction. We just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Now it's nothing but a freeway. We'd cook potatoes and skin them and dice up a couple of onions with it and just keep turning that over. People around us were out there with their picnic too. They had brought tuna fish sandwiches with them.


We went to Heber one time to a reunion up there. We had big long tables. My dad and I had two big griddles for our family. Someone was over here frying bacon and eggs. He and I were doing the hotcakes. "Anybody want a hot cake? Put your plate up." They'd put their plate up and they'd catch it. Don't tell me I haven't had fun. I have.


ART: We went to these big dinners. The head lady was the head of the club. She got up and was thanking the people for coming. She said, "I couldn't have done all this if we hadn't had a good cook."


ERMA: She was the president of the Relief Society then. She said, "Olsen, get over here. You're the first counselor in my Relief Society now. I just called you to that." He said, "Alright, I'm right here." Those are the kind of things we remember. But things change.


Then she went to work up at the temple when the temple opened up. We came in the door early one morning and there she was at that desk in the temple. She just beamed and said, "Here is my first counselor." She threw her arms around him. There stands the president of the temple. He said, "I never heard of a man being the first counselor in the Relief Society before."


ART: She said, "Come over here and I'll tell you how that all happened."


ERMA: She was president of the Relief Society when I was cutting all those pies. "Come on, Sister Jones, get over here. Cut these pies up." "I don't know how to cut pies." I said, "Oh, yes, you can. Then you dish them up and serve them." So she did.


You should have seen that string of turkeys we had. There was a whole great big cupboard lined up with them. They even cleaned up the bones. Those kids were all served baked potatoes and gravy and everything that went with it. That's life.


ART: After one of those she got up and said, "I want you to explain this business a little bit. This is in too deep for me." I said, "All you've got to do is just be good natured and just do it. If you're not all you've got to do is just get a hold of a lock of hair and tie it in a knot on each side. The first thing you know you're the counselor."


ERMA: That's why I wear it so short now. I had it long.


ART: She said, "Cut that wig off, it's annoying me."


WINN: Thank you so much for talking with me and sharing your experiences in Provo.


ERMA: It's just life. We have been well. There are a lot of things that go on on University Avenue. All of the older people in the older houses on the avenue are all gone now. A lot of them died quite young. The bishop told me the other day, "You're honorary people." I said, "What for?" He said, "You're the oldest married couple in the ward." I said, "I had to wait 23 years before I got him to the temple, but I got him there." He said, "That's good."


We had 38 people from our ward go to the Salt Lake Temple the night that we went to the temple to get sealed. When I got through Harmons had first opened in Salt Lake. Dad said, "Everybody remember, we're going down to Harmons because Art and Erma are going to pay for our supper and we're all going to have chicken. Aren't we?" They said, "Yes, sure." It was all made up for them. I said, "That's too bad." Dad said, "I'll cover for you."


One time we went down to visit some friends of ours that were working in the Manti Temple. We went to the temple as much as they did for two or three days and lived right there in a hotel. We've been to Cardston. They're putting them on so fast now we can't keep up with them.


They are doing one up here. They're just going to be half a day in the mornings. There is hardly anybody up there. After about two months, bang, people were wanting to come to the temple. And it was closed. It wasn't open in the afternoon and evening. That's how it started out. It was so close to the Salt Lake temple and Manti that they didn't think it was necessary. They were just going to do this one half a day. But it didn't work.


We got up one morning real early. For nine months we had lived over here in the ward. We were dressed and ready to work at 6:00 in the morning. We did over 200 sealings. Then we'd do a session. There was one time that I said, "Now they're going to keep the temple open." We left here at 3:00 in the morning. That would give us a good place to park close to the temple. We came home at 3:00 in the afternoon. We had been in the temple for 12 hours. We did five session and 200 sealings that day.


In St. George we were there at 3:00 in the morning. There were workers in the temple that had to be there. We did, and went through the first session. They knew what we were going to. We drove right from there to Manti. That was when the road wasn't like it is today. We got over there just before 12:00 and if we hurried so we could make this session. We went through. A lady came to the door. She gave me a name. I said, "That's the same name that I received early this morning in the St. George temple. Why are you giving me the same name here today?" The name was given in all of the temples the same day. That day it was Elizabeth. That's why it surprised me. It was something that I didn't know before. He was given the same name in that temple earlier.


We went with our son and daughter-in-law and her parents, to the Salt Lake temple with them. They were sealed in the temple. They were good Mormons. Ray and Barbara got married a few months after he got home. They said, "We can't go to the temple yet." Is aid, "But one year to the day, will you go to the temple?" He said, "I will." So the 14th of September to the very day her father and mother and us and Ray and Barbara went to Manti. That's where she wanted to be married. We all went down.


Neither Ray nor Barbara had been sealed to either of us. Now they have been sealed to us. The president of the temple wanted to know the records. Ray was sealed to us. Barbara was sealed to her father and mother. Then he married them in the temple and sealed them. He said, "I've been here for years and that's the first time I've ever seen that done." It was something.


My father traveled. He was an insurance man. Wherever they'd go where there was a temple, they'd go. We got to go to Cardston and the Idaho Falls and Arizona temples. We saw a lot of temples.


WINN: Thank you so much for sharing these things.

Interviewee: Art and Erma Olsen
Interviewer: Jennifer Winn
June 28, 1999



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