Martha Amanda Hart Kimber was born at Ogden, Weber County, Utah, on June 18, 1903. She was the second of two children born to Delbert F. and Alice Ann Barlow Hart. Martha’s mother was in ill health and a neighbor girl, Mabel Harriet Smith, was hired a few months prior to Martha’s birth, to assist with the housework. Mabel remained in the home for several years and Martha was taught to respect her as a sister.
Delbert worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and the family lived in Ogden Utah until the summer of 1909 when Dell was transferred to Montello, Nevada.
It was a sad day when the family left their nice home in Ogden with all the modern conveniences of that time to go to Montello where there was nothing but alkali and lizards, no shade and scarcely enough water for culinary purposes. Alice saved the water left in the glasses after a meal and the rinse water from the dishes, and used it to mop the floors in the home.
The fall of 1909 Delbert left the railroad and moved to Grouse Creek Utah. He leased his mother‑in-law’s (Amanda Barlow Tanner) place. This was the Death Valley Ranch located in Etna.
Martha, her sister, Myrtle, and mother, Alice, left. Martha remembered the Christmas spent in Montello. She received a beautiful big doll from Charlie and Hattie Hart, who were living with them. (Charlie was a cousin). The doll had a china head with real hair and a body made of kid leather stuffed with sawdust. The arms and legs of the doll were jointed with the forearms and hands made of china. Martha cherished that doll for about thirty years when her young son Norm knocked it on his crib and broke it. Charlie had sewn many beautiful clothes for the doll, which Martha kept long after the doll was broken.
In December, shortly after Christmas, the family left Montello in a bobsleigh. They traveled forty‑seven miles in one day. They stopped at what is known as winter cabin. The cabin was not there but they stopped under a big bridge and built a fire to keep them warm while the horses rested and ate. There was a lot of snow that winter.
Martha started school in January 1910, walking to school with Myrtle and her mother’s younger sister, Olive Tanner, two miles to and from school every day. The snow drifts were high and crusty making it possible for Martha to walk on top of them but occasionally Myrtle and Olive would break through the snow.
The beginners, first and second grades were held in a little frame building about one forth mile from the main one-room rock schoolhouse. Martha went alone that short distance but usually Mary Simpson,Martha’s teacher sent one of the older girls to meet her. Miss Simpson would remove Martha’s wraps and put her in an arm chair by the stove until she got warm. Martha loved Miss Simpson very much for her kindness and love. For the third, fourth and fifth grades, Martha moved down to the rock schoolhouse and her teachers were Miss Anderson, Miss Boreson, and Miss Holmburg.
During the winter of 1915 Martha had health problems (a nervous breakdown), and was confined to her bed from January to the last of April. Consequently, she did not complete the fifth grade that year.
Martha stayed with her grandmother, Amanda Morgan Barlow Tanner, for two winters and attended fifth and sixth grade
In July 1917 Martha went to live with her sister Myrtle, her husband Alma and their three small children. She finished her seventh and eighth grades of school and was chosen the valedictorian of her class. Claude Adams, Martha’s teacher and all of the eighth grade class went to Brigham City to attend commencement exercises. Martha remembered how frightened she was when she stood before the large group of students to deliver her speech. That was the last year Box Elder County gave certificates of graduation to the eighth grade.
In the fall of 1919, Martha went back to her grandmothers and attended the ninth grade. That was the first year the ninth grade was held in Grouse Creek.
Myrtle moved to Ogden in 1920. Martha worked in Tremonton sorting apples, until after Christmas and then went to Ogden to stay with Myrtle until the spring of 1923 when she graduated from high school. This was the last year Weber Normal College was a high school. During those years Martha did housework, picked fruit, worked at the American Can Company making cans, and made buttonholes in shirts at Scowcrofts. She worked as a waitress, a clerk and did anything she could to earn money to pay her way through school.
Myrtle and Alma were very good to Martha and in return, Martha helped with housework and tended the children to pay for her board and room. Delbert and Alice also sent meat, potatoes, eggs, butter, bottled vegetables and fruit from the farm to help with expenses.
Martha spent the remainder of 1923 and most of 1924 with her folks, the longest time at one time since she was in the third grade. Martha’s mother treated her more like a child than a young woman. As Martha looked back on those days, she could understand why her mother treated her that way and how lonely her mother must have been with her children so far away from her.
In January 1925, Martha went to work for Mrs. Burnell doing housework, until June. During that time she attended Henager’s Business college. There were so many business graduates and so few work opportunities that Martha decided to change her vocation after attending only a few months.
In September 1925 Martha entered Weber Junior College as a student in Education. She completed four quarters and just before the winter quarter she got pleura pneumonia and had to quit school. She was in the hospital sixteen days and didn’t go back to school until the spring quarter. The board of trustees were very good to her and applied her winter quarter tuition to the spring quarter. They also allowed her to carry enough credit hours to enable her to graduate with her class in May 1927.
The first teaching job was at a school in Yost, Utah. She taught there two years and then taught at Portage, Utah three years and then at Tremonton, Utah in the fall of 1932.
The Summers of 1928 through 1932 were spent in traveling. She visited friends and relatives in Sparks Nevada, Sacramento, Vallejo and San Francisco, California in 1928. The next summer Martha, her parents, and Bertha Tanner, a cousin went to Victor, Idaho to visit family friends and then went on to Yellowstone Park. In 1930 Martha, her parents, and Charlie Hart’s family went to Teton Idaho. They also explored her dad’s mining claim near Salmon, Idaho. In 1931 Martha toured the East visiting friends in St. Louis, Missouri and Washington, D.C.
On November 28, 1932 Martha married Joseph Edwin Kimber (Ted) at Randolph, Utah. They made their home in Grouse Creek. Ted worked and stayed at Naf the first year of their marriage and Martha stayed at Grouse Creek until March 7, 1933 when she received word of the death of Myrtles’s daughter, Marjorie.
Martha then went to Ogden and stayed there until May 31. Lee Hart Kimber, Martha’s first child was born on May 10, 1933 while at Ogden.
The next three winters were spent in Naf and the summer months were spent at Grouse Creek.
JoAnn was born on August 10, 1934. She was three years old when Martha and Ted made Grouse Creek their permanent home.
Ted and Martha had a few years when things weren’t very good as the rain was scarce and the fields were barren. Money was low, but they managed and never went hungry as they had cows, chickens, pigs and a garden. Martha put to use her talent of sewing and made clothes for the children out of old things. She often wished she could make shoes also.
Norman D. was born on November 26, 1937 in Ogden and again she stayed with Myrtle four weeks prior to his birth and two weeks after the birth.
Ted was away shearing sheep in the spring of 1940 leaving Martha and the children alone. JoAnn got pneumonia and was very sick, her Grandmother Kimber called a government doctor at the CC camp down near Lucin, Utah. He said he could only leave the base in case of an emergency. Grandmother Kimber told him it was a matter of life or death to a child. The doctor came and advised them to take JoAnn to a hospital immediately. Frightened that JoAnn wouldn’t live until they could get her to Brigham they called Ted at Cobre, Nevada about sixty miles from Grouse Creek and told him to hurry home. While they were waiting for Ted to get home, they called the Elders to administer to JoAnn. After the blessing she seemed to go into a deep sleep. Within about one and one-half hours after the Doctor left, they were on their way to Brigham. Chloe Tanner, an aunt was holding JoAnn and thought she was dead. Suddenly JoAnn started to perspire, and by the time they got to Brigham City the blankets she was wrapped in were soaking wet. JoAnn was a very sick little girl for several weeks, and at the same time, both she and Norman had ‘gathered ears’.
Martha, JoAnn, and Norman stayed in Brigham with Chloe Tanner for two months. Carolyn, was born in Brigham City on May 10, 1940.
On November 2, 1941 Martha received a telegram from Myrtle saying her mother had died of a heart ailment. Alice and Delbert had been living with Myrtle for three years.
In November 1943, Martha became a substitute teacher for Florence Warburton whose health was very bad and in January 1944, Martha signed up as a regular teacher. She finished out the school year and as teachers were not available she taught the next two years also. Martha said this was very hard on her family. Little Carolyn had to stay with the neighbors and Norman went with his Dad one winter in all kinds of weather. In the fall of 1944, Norman started to school with his mother as his teacher. Martha said this was bad for both of them.
Persis Josephine Kimber moved to Brigham shortly after Ray went into the Army, and never came back. Ted, Martha and family moved into their home in November 1945 and later decided to buy the ranch instead of lease.
It was a big turning point in Martha’s married life when Ted took the family to the Salt Lake Temple and had their family sealed to them. Things seemed different.
Carolyn started school in 1946 and Martha didn’t teach but instead boarded one of the teachers, Carl James.
Martha and Ted had some good prosperous years, building up the cattle herd and buying lots of cattle range. The good years didn’t last very long, a real depression hit the community and times were tough.
In November 1951, Martha was blessed with a baby boy, Keith Edwin. The family was thrilled with the new arrival as Carolyn the youngest was eleven years old.
That same year, Grouse Creek was blessed with an electric power line, making this small community on a par with others around. The culinary water system was improved and a new pipe line was installed. The home was modernized with a kitchen sink and a bath room.
Martha saw many changes in the civilization in her life time. Grouse Creek advanced from the horse and buggy day to automobile and power machinery, from coal oil lights to electricity, and from water in the pail on the kitchen table to a modern kitchen. Martha and Ted had hauled and carried every drop of water they used up to this time.
Martha gave years of service to the LDS church. She was a teacher in Sunday School, MIA, and Primary throughout the years. She was MIA President and a counselor in the Relief Society organization. Martha fully supported Ted in his church callings. She was thrilled when he was called to positions in the Sunday School, MIA and the Bishopric. Many blessings came to the family while Ted was in the Bishopric.
Martha was very interested in genealogy and spent many hours preparing life histories, doing research and organizing pictures and books of remembrances. She instilled a love of genealogy in the hearts of JoAnn and her daughter-in-law Arlene.
Being a very compassionate person, Martha showed love to all her children and grandchildren.
One day Ted and Martha went to Ogden to visit Lee and his family. When they arrived, they found there was a problem. Steven, a tiny grandson, had just been taken to the hospital with meningitis. Martha and Ted showed the pure love of Christ by helping in every way they could. Martha stayed at Lee’s home tending Gary and Scott and taking care of the household duties while Lee and Arlene worked and stayed at the hospital, tending to the needs of Steven. Martha willingly stayed the whole week without even a change of clothes. Ted gave Steven a priesthood blessing and also a name as there was a fear that he might not get well, but through faith and prayers he did.
After the children had homes of their own, they loved to come home to Grouse Creek. The grandchildren loved to be at grandma and grandpa’s. Martha and Ted’s home was a home where they could relax and visit. The men would usually work, go hunting, riding or just be outside talking and the women would stay in the house, visit, fix meals and watch the grandchildren play.
Martha’s testimony of the gospel lives on long after her death. She died on July 27, 1969 at JoAnn’s home after suffering with cancer for a year. She was buried in the Grouse Creek Cemetery.