Oral Histories

Bill Meador


Bill Meador

Q: Did he deal with Utes and Paiutes down there also?

A: I don’t think there were any Paiutes that far east, but there were, of course, the Utes around the Ute Mountains and they would leave that portion of the reservation. The Utes were very difficult to get to stay in one place. He did deal with them as well. 

Q: Did your mom go on the mountain with him?

A: Yes, she rode with him in the early days. My mom loved the mountains and spent every summer [there] as I was growing up. We had a cabin on the mountain, and she would come to the mountain. My dad would come up on weekends. There was no air conditioning in downtown Moab. In fact, I don’t even remember fans. We had our cattle company on the mountain and I would ride with my brother. Dad would come up on weekends and we just lived there all summer. We would come down in the fall and she would get us ready to go to school. She loved the mountain. 

Q: And this continued even after your parents started having a family?

A: Oh yes, we all were up there all through my schooling years. In fact, she lived on the mountain off and on even after I left high school and joined the Marine Corps and was gone. She still liked the mountain. 

Q: When did your folks permanently come to Moab?

A: In 1927, Dad decided to open the real estate and insurance office. He tried to sell medical insurance. He told me the story that one time he told Dr. Allen, “I can’t even give away a medical policy. As long as you will trade chickens for an operation I can’t make money selling medical insurance.” So he gave up selling medical policies and didn’t sell them at any time while I was at home. His basic business was fire and auto. Basically, he covered Moab until competition came in later in the late forties.

Q: I’ve seen his name a lot in the old newspapers, so he was quite actively involved in the community?

A: Yes, he was. He was an elected representative for a couple of terms in the State Legislature and held various offices in Moab. He had a strong commitment to the community. He felt that if you lived in a community you had to give back to it. You had to support those things that were necessary for the welfare of everyone. There were a number of those men who were in the Lions Club and everything else that did the civic projects. They didn’t get loans and grants, they got their shovels and hoes and went out and worked. If they needed to make a new cemetery they went and prepared the ground for a new cemetery; those type of things. That’s a lot more commitment than writing a grant. That was also the way of life.

Q: Okay, now they have settled in Moab and your dad had the real estate and your mom was an at-home mom on what property? Where was your home?

A: Where the Adventure Center is now, the old Taco Bell [approximately 205 South Main]. That block on Main Street from the creek to Walker’s Store was our homestead. He had bought that from Mr. Goudelock. Mr. Goudelock had come to Moab and bought a lot of properties and when my grandfather got here, he bought that piece of property and started the home that was there until it was torn down when Taco Bell was constructed.

Q: When Goudelock had it, was there a big house that was almost like a hotel?

A: That was on this side where the Greenwell is now.

Q: It was an adjacent piece of property to where your dad built? And did he build his own place?

A: Yes, I’m sure he had contractors, but he built his own house. The house he built was only half of the house that he intended to build because my grandmother left Moab. This country was very harsh to her. She had come from a well-to-do family and she didn’t have a lot of skills. My grandfather was 36 and she was 18 when they were married, (on the Meador side). My grandmother returned to Arkansas with three of the children, left the two oldest boys with my grandfather. The house construction at that point stopped. It was a large house in Moab as I was growing up. Grandmother did return to Arkansas and eventually to California and never came back to Moab.

Q: Can you describe the house?

A: It had a nice porch that we utilized in the summer to sit on. You came into a, for those days, large living room with fireplace, and through an arch into the dining room and then another door, you came into the kitchen. Upstairs had three large bedrooms. By the time I can remember they had added a bathroom and a fairly large bedroom down stairs off the dining room. In those days it was a large house. It had tall, ten-foot ceilings, adobe walls that were very thick on the lower level and frame construction on the top. It was quite cool in the summer because of the adobe walls and, of course, we had big trees all around the house. It was a very comfortable house. One of the fondest things I remember about the house was that it was always so comfortable. I would get home and my mother had probably just baked something. It was always immaculately clean. She would probably be singing something. She was Welsh and she sang. If you had two Bronsons together, they had a chorus. It was a very warm atmosphere. I always felt very secure in that home; just a nice place to grow up.

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