Tracing My Logan Roots
Logan's Cache Valley was where my father grew up. My grandfather taught Art at Utah State Agricultural College and Logan High School when my father was a boy was a boy. I grew up hearing his stories of how he went skinny dipping in the Logan River with his brother Kurt, chased butterflies with and of his paper route days. He claims he delivered newspapers in 7 feet of snow up hill both ways. Years later, my father discovered that his Grandfather Leo Mearl Kimball who was the road superintendent at the time used to make sure his grandsons' paper routes were cleared first. To me these stories were magical. I loved them then and I love them more today.
Then there were the tales of m how my grandparents met while attending USAC. Grandma Weaver what the somewhat "well to do" city girl and grandpa was a poor farm boy. The two met at a dance one night where Grandpa placed a bet that he could kiss that Kimball girl. He lost the bet but won the girl. Logan winters are deep in the bones cold. Grandpa slept on a back porch and walked blocks in the snow to court grandma. They were raised in the Great Depression, dated in its aftermath and married in the Logan Temple in 1938 on the eve of the 2nd great World War. Their earthly love story lasted 71 years and then stretched into the eternities.
But my links to Logan began long before the 20th Century. My Great Great Grandfather Thomas X. Smith joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1849 in England. He lived in Farmington, Utah for a short period before moving to Logan in 1857. He served a bishop of the Logan 4th ward for 46 years. My grandmother Annie Masters Howe was his 2nd wife taken in polygamy. They were sealed in the endowment house in Salt Lake in 1869.
Thomas and Annie had a large family- 11 children-6 who lived to adulthood. Among the brood were the two youngest daughters, Marie and Jennie. These two will forever a hold a special place in my heart. Jennie met the handsome railway man Edwin Stoddard and they married on the eve of the Great War in 1914. Jennie gave birth to two children- Ruth and Cleve. Ruth was my grandmother. Jennie died in the Great Flu epidemic of 1918 leaving Ruth and Cleve motherless. Marie (ruth's Aunt) and her husband Leo adopted and raised Ruth and Cleve as their own.
My father and his brother Kurt lived with their grandparents Leo and Marie with Ruth while Max served in WWII. The last check Marie wrote was to help pay for my birth. I was born on August 2nd. Marie passed on August 24th.
Leo and Marie Kimball's home- 281 West Center Many happy days were spent on this street for Jennie and Edwin, Marie and Leo, Max and Ruth and then later as little boys, Kimball and Kurt. In the early days of Logan as recommended by Brigham Young the homes were built in Fort style for protection along present day streets center and Main. Later on, Center street was the hub of activity in Logan as the railway stretched from 800 West and Logan. Center street still houses many of the original mansion style homes from the early years. This street was also home to the first Opera House in Logan. For me and my family, Center Street is home.