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 L.D.S. Church who immigrated to Utah went to either Sanpete County (Mt. Pleasant, Spring City, and Fairview) or to Grantsville.  They gathered in those two spots due to language difficulities







Written by Lee Kay, Editor, Utah Fish and Game Bulletin, Dec 1953



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 Jamaica ginger and vanilla and lemon extract and get the desired effects from them.


“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 Ogden, came by and offered me $6 a head.  I refused and they finally offered me $8 a head and I said give me $8.50 and I will sell.  We finally compromised at $8.25.”


“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 small Nevada town back into Utah.  For awhile the mining interests at Gold Hill shipped all the gold ore by mail.  I remember each sack was valued at about $50 and they weren’t very big sacks.”


“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 Tooele County, she encountered two men making their way toward her ranch.  They said they were going to her ranch to have a tooth pulled.  The pain was excruciating and Mrs. Erickson promptly told them to removed the spring seat from the wagon.  This became the ‘dentist chair’.  After administering a small amount cocaine, she applied the forceps and worked the aching bicuspid from the man’s jaw.


“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.”









Hilda Anderson Erickson, daughter of Pehr Anderson and Marie Katarine Larson, born 11 Nov 1859 in Ledga, Sweden.  When Hilda was four years old, her family moved to Gotened, where Pehr learned about America and the new Gospel..  He was anxious for his family to go to this new country, so 1st of May 1866, he sent his wife and three youngest children to America


Pehr and the two boys remained to work and earn money so they could join them later.  Hilda, her two brothers and their mother arrived in New York about the 15th of July.  After many hardships they arrived in Salt Lake City and went to Mt. Pleasant with friends for two years.  They moved to Grantsville in 1866.  Hilda’s mother took up spinning and weaving to make a living.  Soon her husband and two sons arrived in Grantsville and they soon made a home for the family.  Hilda went to Salt Lake City to take a course in dressmaking and tailoring.  When the Grantsville Brass Band was organized with 16 members, Hilda helped a group of women make their uniforms.  She made 10 pair of trousers herself and helped make some coats, doing all the fitting and cutting.


She married John A. Erickson and they served an L.D.S. mission at the Ibapah Indian Reservation.  She served as dentist in Tooele County and many times pulled teeth for cowboys and Indians.


Hilda studied obstetrics at Dr. Pratt’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and received her diploma in 1901, and delivered many babies for both Indians and white women.


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)