A Horse Trade Story

u32_jacob-hamblin-bustWhen I was a young child I lived in Kanab, Utah and loved the feel of living in a small town where you could roam free and not be in danger of many things. Below is a story as told by Jacob Hamblin a Mormon pioneer and resident of this little town in southern Utah.

When I was about twelve years old our family lived in Kanab, Utah. A band of Piute Indians were camped a few miles away, across the wash. My father, Jacob Hamblin, the Indian missionary, said to me, “son, I want you to go to the indian camp this afternoon and trade the little bay pony for some blankets, which we will need this winter.”

When the midday meal was over, I climbed astride old, Billy, led the little bay pony, and rode bareback across the flat toward the Indian camp.

When I rode in, the chief helped me off the horse and asked, “you Jacob’s boy. What you want?”

When I told him my errand, he looked at the trade pony and grunted his assent. He led to to his wigwam where there was a pile of handwoven Indian blankets. He piled out a number of them. Determined to show my father that I was a good trader, I asked for another blanket. The chief looked at me out of the corner of his eye and added another blanket to the pile. Then I asked for another and another and still another. By now the chief was grinning broadly but added as many blankets as I demanded.

Satisfied that I had really made a good trade, I closed the deal. The chief piled the blankets on the back of old Billy and lifted me up.

Father met me in the yard and looked at the blankets. Then he made two piles of about equal size. One pile he placed on the horse and put me back on, saying, “Go back and these to the chief. You got enough blankets for two horses.”

As I approached the camp, I could see the old chief. When I rode up, he laughed out loud and said, “I know Jacob sent you back. He is an honest man. He my father as well as your father.”

Several years later when Jacob was alone with a band of angry, hostile Indians, the fact that he had always been honest with them saved his life.

Louise Lee Udall, as told by Jacob Hamblin, Jr.

Jacob Hamblin, was a wonderful example to many people.

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Farm Kid Joins the Marines

Dear Ma and Pa,
I am wel. I hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all the spaces are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 5 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No Hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, and bacon, but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two boys that live on coffee. Their food , plus yours, holds you until noon when you get feed again. It is no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route marches,” which the platoon Sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell them different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The Sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughter. I keep getting metals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is nearly as big as a chipmunks head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there as comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. you get to wrestle with them boys. I don’t have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with the old bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordon from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he is 6’8″ and nearly 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter, Alice