My father, Albert James Ballingham, was born on February 22, 1880 in Hardwick, Gloustershire, England. His parents were Emily Harriet Evans and William Ballingham. When he was eight years old, his family came to the United States of America.
His family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon Missionaries had visited with them and taught them the gospel. Soon after they joined. They knew they wanted to come to Utah. They were having a hard time in England making a living. In England at that time you were either rich or poor and they didn’t have much, and no chance of ever having anything. There was no in between. They just couldn’t get enough money to make a living and save anything. They tried hard but to no avail.
William C. Betteridge was on a mission in the district where they lived. He visited their home. When he found out they wanted to come to Utah, he wanted to help them. When he returned from his mission, he talked to a fellow by the name of Kimball who owned a ranch which was five miles south of the center part of the town of Grouse Creek. It was later owned by Thomas Thomas. It was better known as the Thomas Ranch.
Mr. Kimball said he would send them the money to come to Utah and also have a place for them to stay if they would work for him until the loan was paid off. They arrived in Grouse Creek in about May of 1898 after a long trip in low class.
My father worked on the ranch until the loan was paid off. He had saved enough money to buy a horse. The day the loan was paid and he was free to go, he stuck the pitchfork he was using in a bale of hay, got on his horse and left. He said he couldn’t get away fast enough, because they weren’t treated very well there. He found jobs in Idaho for awhile and also worked in a mine in Kelton, Utah.
On April 7, 1904, he married Louisa Emiline Paskett in the Salt Lake Temple. They had eight children: Bertha Mae, Melba Louise, Lester Albert, Mertrice Geneva, Verda Emily, George William, Treasa Venette,James Wendell.
He bought seven acres of land in the center part of Grouse Creek. He was close to the church house and school. He built a home and other buildings and a corral. He was a very good carpenter and also was good at other kinds of work.
He and my mother worked hard to make the place look nice. They grew many vegetables and fruit trees and also a lot of flowers. He taught all of us children to work, which helped us later in life.
He always enjoyed holidays and made a big thing out of it. He would help out with all the things that helped make the holiday a success. He and another fellow would get up real early on the morning of the 4th and 24th of July and set off a blast to wake up the town. He also made sure it was fun for his family.
He liked music. He played the harmonica and accordion. At Christmas time he and some other men would hook the horses to the sleigh and go caroling. They all had different instruments. Some evenings he liked one of us to cord for him on our pump organ while he played the harmonica and accordion. We all enjoyed this.
He held positions in the ward and seen to it that we went to church.
He and my mother made ice cream and sold it. On July 4th and 24th he would put up a temporary bowery in the schoolhouse yard where most of the celebrations took place.
He worked at Lucin, Utah at the railroad rock crusher for some time and later he worked for the S.P. Railroad on the B & B gang, living in a box car that traveled from Midlake, Utah to Montello, Nevada. He finally got tired of being away from home so much that he quit and found other work closer to home.
He had a little old 1912 Ford car that he traveled in. Later he had a new Ford touring car and a truck. He traded the touring car for a Sedan.
He worked hard all his life.
He died at an early age of sixty-one on June 10, 1941. He was buried in Grouse Creek, but was later moved to Ogden, Utah.
Grouse Creek Ward Choir at the Ogden Tabernacle
Back Row: Don Wakefield, Nadine Simpson, Ida Kimber, Louise Barlow, Wanda Blanthorn, Nola Richins Kimber, Martha Richins, Pearl Douglas Harris, Jennie Douglas Richins, Amy Simpson, Amanda Tanner Paskett, Ralva Paskett, Alta Tanner, Melba Ballingham
Middle Row: Vonda Hadfield, Myrl Hadfield, Elsie Kimber, Barbara Blanthorn, Sarah Roberts, Adella Barlow, Mary Roberts, Sarah Tanner, Adele Carson, Emily Kimber, LaVerne Barlow, Louie Ballingham, Rhea Paskett
Front Row: Claude Wakefield, Elwood Wakefield, Lyman Kimber, Miles E. Wakefield, Joseph Kimber, Newell Richins, LeGrande Horsley, William P. Paskett, Albert Ballingham, Robert Paskett