David Russell Creer's Father
Biography of Morris Creer
By Mary (Mollie) B. Creer
(Mother was 85 years old when she wrote this)
Morris Creer was born Feb 10, 1881 and was the sixth child of Emma Robertson Creer and Willard Orson Creer. He was baptized Aug. 1, 1889 by A. E. M. Beck. He attended the Spanish Fork public schools.
Morris was especially gifted in mathematics and enjoyed working with figures. His ability in this respect was so useful to himself and his family and helpful when he was a bishop.
He attended the Latter Day Saint Business College and expected to follow a business career. However because that work required such close confinement, he gave up the idea and decided to be a farmer. He worked with his father, who owned a rather large good farm south west of Spanish Fork (about 4 miles) in Leland (a farming area and there was and LDS ward there).
When Morris was seeking a farm of his own, he went to Idaho where his older brothers, William O. Creer and Ralph Creer were farmers. Morris expected for file on land there. After living there almost a year, with his brother Ralph and family, Grandpa Creer was called on a mission to England and asked Morris to return home and take care of the farming, which he did. After Grandpa returned home, Morris and I (Mary Ann Bowen) were married June 6, 1906 in the Salt Lake Temple. We lived in a rented home in Spanish Fork where our first son, David Russell, was born April 1, 1907.
Grandpa gave us several acres of land in Leland. We built a frame house, which consisted of a bedroom, living room, kitchen, pantry and a large closet. We dug a flowing well and planted fruit and shade trees. We also dug a cellar and had outside buildings.
Our second son, John Willard, was born Nov. 4, 1910 and a third son, Clare M., was born Sept 25, 1912.
Now we had three children and Eleanor and Roy had three. Roy was working on construction with his brother William O. Creer. Grandpa Creer was in declining health so Morris and Roy did the farming. The farm was not enough to support three families (Grandpa’s, Roy’s and ours) so we moved to Idaho in the spring of 1914. Grandpa and Morris went to Idaho to buy a farm. They bought one, which consisted of somewhat more than one hundred and sixty acres. It was located four miles south east of Bancroft in the Lund Ward. The house contained two rooms below and two above which were built of logs. The kitchen was built of lumber and lathed and plastered. The cellar was built of lava rock and convienently located near and north of the house. What a blessing the windmill was, nor only for ourselves but also for three of our neighbors. One of them hauled water from our well for culinary purposes and for watering their chickens. He brought his cows and horses to the watering trough. The light in his home and in one more than a mile away were the only lights we could see from our home. The farm had a blacksmith shop with a few tools, a granary, a stable and some machinery. We also had a share in an old-fashioned threshing machine.
Our first girl, Afton, was born Jan 9, 1915. During that winter Morris and his cousin, Reed Creer, hauled logs from the nearby mountains. They sold them to a man who owned a sawmill. They also hauled mahogany wood for fuel as it made a very good hot fire. In the spring Morris was busy plowing and planting grain. In August there was frost so our crop was poor. One of our neighbor’s horses had distemper and he watered them in our watering trough, consequently two of our mares took it, which resulted in their deaths and the loss of their increase. Morris had to hire his uncle’s horses to do the harvesting and fall plowing. After doctoring a large gray horse for several months this horse did also.
Had we not borrowed $500 from Grandpa Creer to make the down payment on the farm, we would have moved elsewhere, we were so discouraged. However we were determined to repay grandpa. In 1916 we had another frost but by being conservative we somehow managed to survive the loss.
Our second girl, Jeneve was born Jan 9, 1917. There were two feet of snow on the level and four miles away from a doctor. Neither Jeneve nor I got along well.
For a few years our crops were good. July 2, 1921 ninety acres of fall grain was frozen. There was not even grain to thresh for our year’s supply of flour. When Morris came into tell me the grain was all gone. I’ll never forget the expression on his face. I told him I was very sorry but could not worry about it because I had something greater than bushels of grain to think about. If we have a strong healthy baby and we both get along well we will manage somehow. Our third girl, Mary, was born July 21, 1921. We both got along very well. We got along financially quite well considering conditions. My dear parents sent us $100, which we very highly appreciated and it was such a big help. They were truly friends when we were in need.
During the depression of 1930-31-32, the crops were poor and the price poorer. Grain sold for 15 cents a bushel and cows for $10 a head. My mother came to visit us. It was doubtful that there would be High School in Bancroft. Mother suggested that Afton and Jeneve go home with her to Spanish Fork, saying that it would cost nothing for room and board. However before she left it was decided to have High School. Jeneve went with mother but Afton stayed because she expected to graduate the next spring.
Apostle Melvin Ballard attended one of our Quarterly Stake Conferences. Some farmers were leaving their farms. He advised them to stay on their farms and raise all the food they could and keep the commandments of Lord and the windows of heaven would be opened and our crops would be so bounteous our granaries would not hold them. We lived to see the prophecy fulfilled. Morris had to prop the granary walls to keep them from bursting. In another meeting he prophesied that in the next ten years there would be more inventions, more discoveries, more research, etc. than there had been in the last one hundred years. This prophecy was fulfilled.
Mother’s account ended here except for his line of priesthood and setting apart as Bishop and Bishop’s counselor, which will be noted on another sheet. I (Jeneve) added the following comments.
Father was a devoted and loving husband, father, son, brother and a good friend and neighbor. He was a respected member of the community and as active in church and civic work until he became ill in 1945. He did temple work whenever he could arrange time away from the farm work. He served in the Sunday School and Mutual for many years and was Bishop of Lund Ward for about 13 years. He served on the school board in Lund and later on the consolidated district board for many years. He was active in politics and other civic activities.
Father was an industrious hard-working man and taught we children the value of work well done. Whenever possible he took time to take us swimming at Lava Hot Springs, ball games the boys participated in, local celebrations, movies, etc. I remember seeing him play marbles with the boys – sometimes we girls played also – on the kitchen floor. Many evenings were spent with him playing fish, checkers, Pollyanna and other favorite games.
In 1945 he found it necessary to give up farming because of poor health and moved to Salt Lake then to Spanish Fork, Utah where he passed away June 19, 1946. He was buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.
Wife, Mary Ann Bowen (Mollie)
Sons, David Russell
(Clare M. died June 16, 1923 and was buried in the Lund, Idaho cemetery)
Daughters, Afton (Mrs. Delton Ward)
Jeneve (Mrs. Ernal P. Galbraith)
Mary (Mrs. Dean D. Gray)
And ten grandchildren. (now 17 and many great grandchildren)
Afton made the following comments:
I feel that Father was a kind and helpful husband and father. I remember that when we were small, in the wintertime especially, that on Saturday nights he used to help mother to wash and dry our hair, have our baths and get to bed. We used a round #3 washtub so bath time was a little more of a labor than now. I remember many times when we girls were tired after supper Dad would say, “Mollie, let them go to bed and I’ll help you with the dishes.” Father always helped mother on washday – carrying water and seeing that the gasoline powered washer kept working. He always helped with the spring and fall house cleaning and painting, too. In later years during the winter father often helped mother to tie quilts. He wanted us to do well in school and was always willing to help us with our lessons.
I’m glad father and mother taught me to love the Church and the Gospel. I’m glad, too, for the feeling of love and security that they gave to me as I was growing up and even after I was married.
Morris Creer was ordained a High Priest – November 17, 1929 by Joseph Fielding Smith.