Oral Histories

John William (Jack) West

b.1916

Jack West

Interviewed by: Jim West in 3 separate interviews during 1993 at Moab, Utah

First interview: 8/21/93

I guess the place to start is at the very beginning when I was born in Bluffdale, which was really an isolated area back in 1916. I was born on a cold winter night January 3, 1916. Of course, I got this information later from the family, but Dad had a horse and buggy and went to Riverton and got the doctor. The doctor came up to the house in a horse and buggy and, as I said, I was born on January 3rd. It was a cold night accord­ing to an uncle that lived in the other part of the house. The farm was the first one north of Jordan narrows on the west side, an area where the wind seems to be always blowing. Anybody, nowadays, thinks about the Point of the Mountain where the wind blows; we were just below the Point of the Mountain, right down on the Jordan River. It seems like the wind was always blowing. there either from the north or the south, hardly ever still.

Of course, my first recollection was of the good times in the summertime. Just a short distance from the house was the canal and, for a lot of years, that’s where we got our drinking water (out of the canal) except in the winter. The canal, they turned it off, and we had to walk down to the river where there was a spring and carry the water, that would have been a block and a half to carry our water from there. We did carry our drinking water from the spring, although sometimes we drank the water out of the canal which is out of the Jordan River out of Utah Lake and, boy, I’ll tell you…I guess that’s where we developed our immunities to a lot of diseases. It was just like being inoculated with the germs that came in that water. But we eventually drilled a well in the back yard (the family did) and had a pump outside. The water didn’t taste good, ever, but it made it handier for drinking and mother’s washing. And, it was tough living.

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