Mrs. Erickson would have delivered Charles Ray Felt. Molly Hendricks Felt gave birth to him in Ibapah in a bunkhouse that still stands and is still used by the Bateman Family
Swedish members of the
Written by Lee Kay, Editor,
Told by Hilda Erickson:
Soon after her marriage her husband was called on a mission to the Indians near Ibapah along with two other pioneer settlers. It was their duty as missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christianity to the Indians, to tell them how to plant crops, and how to make articles of clothing. Mrs. Erickson still has some of the patterns for gloves that she used in teaching the Indians. Although the mission was started in 1883, or early in 1884, they had a number of Indian children in schools and had baptized nearly 100 people. Both the religious teachings and the teachings intended to improve the Indians’ economy did not take too well. It seems they just didn’t want to stay in one place very long.
“We tried in every way to get the Indians to adopt our way of living. During our celebrations on the western desert on such occasions as the 4th of July and the 24th of July, we would build boweries and have programs. Some trouble was experienced with the Indians becoming inebriated.”
When querried as to where the Indians got their intoxicating
liquors, she said that some of the white people were always willing to give it
to them. They also would get
“After we had been relieved of our missionary work, my husband and I decided to stay in the western desert land, and so we took up land and developed a ranch about fifty miles from the Indian reservation. The waters from Deep Creek in early spring and during the heavy summer rains were used to irrigate the fertile valleys. We raised choice crops in addition to a lovely orchard that produced cherries, peaches, pears, prunes, and apples. From our cultivated land we put up as much as 800 tons of hay in a single year. My husband was a cattle man in those early days. There was much feed on the desert. Grass and other plants that cattle ate were plentiful. During the building of the railroad to Gold Hill we took a contract to furnish all the beef. Imagine delivering fat beef to those hundreds of workers for seven cents a pound.
“At first it seemed this entire western country was cattle
country and then sheepmen began to come in.
My husband didn’t like sheep, he being a cattle man. I had asked him several times to also go into
the sheep business to compete with the ever increasing herds that were already
coming in on the range, but he refused to do so. One day when he was out with the cattle, I
purchased 2,000 head and this was the beginning of our venture in the sheep
industry. We made money from the sheep
as well as from the cattle. When I
purchased the sheep I paid $2 a head for them and by 1917 the price had gone
up. I used to tell my husband it took
the money we made from the sheep to run his cattle. One day two buyers, Greek boys from
“My husband was surprised when he came home and found I had
sold our sheep excepting for 75 head of old ewes that two years later I got $12
a piece for. In addition to conducting
our farming enterprise and our cattle industry, we also carried the mail from a
“We left our ranch property in 1922. I can’t say that I am completely retired now. I guess I never will get the livestock business out of my system—you see I have ten calves out there right now that I am feeding and will sell in the spring.”
“On the desert the only game I ever saw were a few antelope. For some time we had nineteen head staying right in our fields, but the Indians killed them finally. There were quite a few deer in the mountains and there were lots of coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. I remember going on outings into the canyons and seeing the men catch lots of beautiful fish. Some times the men folk hunted at what is known as Fish Springs, and at that place there were plenty of ducks and geese.”
It is believed she has delivered between two and three hundred babies.
One interesting experience is remembered when she had a
woman come to her home for her confinement.
In the crude western cabin in Utah’s western desert, it seemed that the
room that was to be used for delivery was short of window shades, and at a very
crucial moment a noise was heard outside, and as she raised her eyes she saw
the astonished eyes of a buck Indian. It
seemed that the only weapon at hand was a heavy stick, which she poked through
the window and delivered a severe blow to the Indian’s solar plexis. In the next few moments this Indian took a
severe beating at the hands of this ‘Woman Doctor’. She could pull teeth, too. Men came from far and wide to have
extractions taken care of. Once when she
was coming over the desert toward the more thickly populated part of
“I’ve spent more than a week getting from Grantsville to our ranch. In wet weather the wagons would sink almost to the hubs. In winter, much of the desert soils didn’t freeze because of the alkali. Another big difference I noticed in the desert was the plant life. It certainly has gone. Guess we all grazed it too heavily.”
HISTORY OF HILDA ANDERSON ERICKSON
PIONEER OF 1866
Hilda Anderson Erickson, daughter of Pehr Anderson and Marie
Katarine Larson, born 11 Nov 1859 in
Pehr and the two boys
remained to work and earn money so they could join them later. Hilda, her two brothers and their mother
She married John A. Erickson and they served an L.D.S.
mission at the Ibapah Indian Reservation.
She served as dentist in
Hilda studied obstetrics at Dr. Pratt’s Hospital in
Hilda’s husband and her son Perry have both passed on and her daughter, Amy Hicks, is still living, also eight grandchildren, twenty six great grandchildren and two great, great, grandchildren.
Hilda Erickson was 101 years old on 11 Nov 1960 enjoying life and most of the tdime cares for her own home. To know Mrs. Erickson is to love her. (from Janet H. Anderson)