Philip Adamson Woodland

Philip Adamson Woodland

Male 1907 - 1999  (91 years)


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Philip A. Woodland - HIs Autobiography

Memories of Richmond, Utah, the 'Twenties, the Depression, War and Post-war years


I can only think of one way to start the story of my life and that is by using the old familiar saying, I, Philip Woodland, “was born of goodly parents” in Richmond, Utah Dec. 8, 1907—and add Richmond is a goodly town.

A quiet peaceful town was not so safe as one might think. In our family we had our share of broken legs, arms and bruises caused by falls in barns, off horses, trees, haystacks and fences. Sleighing accidents in the winter were common. Black eyes were a dime a dozen, as most boy arguments were settled by fistfights.

Dad flooded our pasture in the winters—we skated and played hockey. Of course baseball was the big game in summer. As small children, we spent most of our playing time playing war games. We hated Indians, Mexicans (particularly Poncho Villa) and then Germans. War was really romantic for us children and we hated our countries enemies. Grandma Woodland [Nelsine Thompson Woodland] took Uncle Peter’s two young children, Sara and Ezra, into her home when their mother died. Ezra and I were together most of the time until he was five and he left to live with his father. Chickens would steal nests under Grandma’s granary. We would crawl under to gather the eggs and take them to the Co-op to buy candy. Eggs were as good as cash unless they made a noise when the clerks would shake them to test for rotten ones. Empty bottles were also good as money at the stores. We spent time teasing Sara also.

We watched Grandma knit long black stockings for us. Grandma would card the wool and spin the clean-carded wool into thread. She kept the spinning wheel in the south upstairs bedroom. Next the wool was dyed black in her big bread pans. She made braided rugs, small and large. There was never a time that she sat doing nothing. She was good at telling fortunes with tea leaves. Pouring out a cup of tea, tipping the cup upside down, and the position the leaves formed in the cup would tell her what a person could expect.

The organ in her front room was always fun to play when our legs got long enough to reach the pedals and work the bellows.

Grandma’s home was for family gatherings. I was four years old when Uncle Ephraim Adamson and Aunt Zina got married. That was really a big party. But it was typical of the family gatherings—the grownups always talking and the kids playing outside. Then there was a big meal for the grownups and a second meal for the children while the parents would go outside and in the living room for more talk.

No one ever made thin pancakes as good as Grandma made. She would cook special meals for Uncle Nephi Nelson and I enjoyed hearing his big bass voice telling her about happenings in far off Snake River Valley or down to the State Fair in Salt Lake City.

When Uncle Pete would come from Ashton there was always a big time at Grandma’s. Uncle Pete had a constant supply of jokes and stories to tell. He would tease me until I got sick but a supply of nickels would come out of his pocket and cure everything.

Another great day was when Uncle Leonard came down from Snake River with his family in a new Buick. When we met at such family gatherings, whether at Grandma’s or Uncle Nephi’s place, usually boxing gloves were provided for the boys. I can never remember anyone getting hurt or angry, but I can still remember how hard Bernard Nelson could hit.

During World War 1 the band and most of the town would go to the U.I.C. Electric railway station to see our soldiers off to war. The crowd and band would meet them again on their return.

When Uncle Ephraim returned from France with his gas mask, helmet, German watch and a wounded arm we had a big time at Grandma’s. Uncle Ephraim was good about letting us play with his souvenirs. He was our scoutmaster and hero, also he was a great man.

The flu epidemic of 1917-18 will be remembered by all that lived at that time. Schools closed, there was very little activity allowed and everyone had to wear masks. Richmond had one doctor and one nurse. People who were not sick helped those sick and bedridden. My Dad stopped working and spent full time nursing and cooking for the sick. Dad never caught the flu, one of the few people who didn’t. Mother had it early and so was able to help through most of the epidemic.

November 11, 1918 everyone forgot about masks and crowds and celebrated for two days the end of World War I. This was also the beginning of the end of the flu epidemic.

I attended North Cache High School in the white building on the southeast corner of the Tabernacle Square block. The first of January of that year the new North Cache High School in the south end of Richmond was finished and for the first time we had own assembly hall with a stage, a gymnasium and a pasture for a football field.

Charles I. Stoddard, our science teacher, assembled the first radio in Richmond that winter. We would stay late at night sharing one set of ear phones to listen. Mr. Stoddard said it would soon be possible to have a loud speaker in the assembly hall and the entire student body could hear. This seemed to be a miracle.

In the spring of 1923 Uncle Ephraim and Aunt Bertha bought our home and our family moved to Salt Lake City. The fall of that year I enrolled in the LDS. High School. I graduated from High School in 1925 and next year went to LDS Junior College.

I took part in the MIA and Priesthood activities of the 17th Ward and Salt Lake Stake. The “M Men” program was in its infancy. Our basketball games were played in small war amusement halls and we played baseball on any vacant lot we could find.

Here in the 17th Ward Dorothy Penrose and I met for the first time. Her father was Edwin C. Penrose, a newspaper reporter and feature writer for the Deseret News. The family had just moved into our ward. Dorothy and I started walking home together from Ward activities. Some of my fondest memories are watching Dorothy practicing her parts in Ward plays and then walking with her home. We became engaged at the start of the depression. We skied in the winter and spent a lot of time in the mountains during this time.

Dorothy and I were married June 5, 1935 in the Salt Lake Temple. I was employed at Elias Morris and Sons. The company sent us to Idaho Falls to do a tile job so while there we took a week off for a honeymoon in Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole.

During the first years of our married life, most of the time I was working out of town. Dorothy would go with me on some of my work trips. When Dianne was born and she was still a baby we would take her with us. We have some vivid memories of the difficulties we had finding apartments and motels in cities as Burley, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Preston and Logan. What we now call motels were unheard of in those days.

June 1938 we bought a house at 1838 South 11th East. The first seven years were lonely years for both Dorothy and me. While I was away to work Dorothy spent her time turning our house into a home. Dorothy taught Primary in the Sugarhouse Ward. Susan was born Nov. 5, 1941. During the war years my work was mostly in Salt Lake City and I began to take part in some of the ward activities with Dorothy and our girls.

Laurel was born Feb. 9, 1945 and in August of that year we took our first real vacation as a family. We went to Yellowstone Park for a week. We carried Laurel everywhere in her wicker basket. The war was still on and we were on a fishing bridge when news of the surrender of Japan was passed along.

1950 was a great year for the family, for we bought a new car and took a two week vacation to California, little dreaming that in a few years California would be the home of our girls. We saw the ocean.

In 1951 Susan became ill with rheumatic fever. It was necessary for her to be in bed for a year. Mother Penrose helped Dorothy take care of her during her long convalescence.

The summer of 1951 we took a trip to Seattle and the Northwest coming home through Yellowstone. In 1952 we again visited California for two weeks. We have always been grateful we had these happy times together.

Dorothy was president of the Sugarhouse ward Primary and I was secretary of the Elders Quorum, when the ward was divided and Richards Second Ward organized. Dorothy was set apart as counselor in the MIA and I on the Adult Aaronic Committee.

When a new Bishopric was installed Dorothy was set apart counselor in the Relief Society and about this time I was made one of the seven Presidents of our Seventy Quorum. During those years I served on a Stake Mission for two years. The new missionary plan of lessons was given at this Time. This was a rewarding experience for me. Dorothy and I set Wednesday evening aside for family night. Dorothy’s mother would always attend and Dianne’s boy friend, Donald Hyde, would try to be there.

Dianne and Donald Hyde were married June 6, 1958 in the Salt Lake Temple. Their first child was born in 1959 and Don graduated from BYU in June of that year and moved his family to California and is in the Management Department of future planning for IBM.

Susan was called in January 1963 to the Argentina Mission. She married David Howard June 23, 965 in the Salt Lake Temple. David’s father and mother brought their other eighteen children (seventeen adopted) to the wedding reception. They had two boys, David received his law degree, Susan graduated from UCLA and in August 1977 Susan received her law degree from the University of San Fernando Valley.

Dorothy started working in the office of the Salt Lake Temple during 1963. She was assigned to the Sealing Department, interviewing, and then Assistant Supervisor of the Baptistery. During this time I was ward clerk for eleven years.

In September 1966 Dorothy had a very serious cancer operation followed by an embolism in her chest. At Christmas time another operation on the thyroid gland left her a long hard fight to regain her health. The Temple called her back to work during the winter and although weak Dorothy continued to work until she regained her health.

We started fishing as a way to get out in the open while Dorothy was getting back her strength. We found fishing a recreation we both enjoyed, so now we fish from March until December.

Dianne and Don and children moved to Munich, Germany in 1970 where Don was European manager for one of IBM’s department. During the first year in Germany they were able to adopt a baby boy, Timothy, through the International Red Cross.

July 1971 we took a trip to visit our new grandson and his brothers and sister in Germany. We spent two days in New York City, then took a 747 to London where our daughter Dianne met us. After our London visit, the three of us took the train to Cornwall where Dorothy’s relatives lived years ago—as ours did in the next county of Somerset.

We had two days in Paris, then a week with our family in Munich. Don took a week off his work to take us some place every day. Up over the Alps to Austria, into Italy, trips to Garmisch and Innsbruck made our stay there complete.

We had a day in Zurich, Switzerland and a full week in Lisbon. The only mar to the trip was on the last evening in Lisbon; a tour bus we were traveling in from the North of Portugal went through a bridge guardrail and tipped over in a creek. We spent a horrible night in a Lisbon hospital.

Elias Morris & Co. in the fall of 1973 sent me to Hawaii to work on the LDS Temple. Dorothy was given leave of absence from the Salt Lake Temple and we were there together. This was one out of town job that Dorothy and I really enjoyed.

We retired in 1976 but we have many activities to keep us busy. For the first time all our family, three daughters, and their husbands, their six children and Dorothy and I were together in one place to attend our daughter Laurel’s wedding in August of 1976.

The Alfred Woodland Family Family Woodland Family Organization, J. Grant Stevenson, Provo, UT (1978).

See also Memories of Phil: Eulogy of Phil Woodland written by himself, Dorothy, his daughters and his niece Adrienne Buckley

Owner/SourceWoodland Family Organization
Linked toPhilip Adamson Woodland

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