I was born in the Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah on October 3, 1928 to Winfred Charles Kimber and Olive Tanner. My mother had gone to Ogden to stay with Aunt Lindy Kimber until I was born as there was no doctor in Grouse Creek. My sister, Dorothy, had been born in Grouse Creek four years before with the assistance of a midwife and mother did not want to go that route anymore. She also had Verna, my younger sister, at the Dee Hospital.
We lived in a red brick home that grandmother Amanda Morgan Barlow Tanner had built when mother was about seventeen years old. At the time our family was living in the back part of the house, consisting of a small bedroom, one large bedroom, a large kitchen and pantry. Grandma Tanner lived in the front two rooms of the house. All I remember about Grandma was a vague memory of going into her room and her getting me some candy out of her cupboard. She would then sit in front of the stove and hold me on her lap and rock me. Then I remember the day she died and how Dorothy was crying and Emma Barlow Kimber came, picked me up and took Dorothy by the hand and took us over to Aunt Annie and Uncle Jesse Barlow’s house next door.
After Grandma’s death we lived in the entire house. Mom inherited the house and a few cows and Val and Ralph, her brothers inherited the ranch.
I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints by Joseph E. Kimber. This big event took place at my Aunt Emily Tanner’s house in her big claw foot bathtub.
I had a very happy childhood, playing paper dolls and house, hide and seek, kick the can, and everything else a young girls imagination could come up with. I, along with Lela, also frequented the school quite often, anxiously waiting for our turn to start school.
I was blessed with the best parents anyone could ever have. They were always so supportive of me and so fun to be with. It seems Mom’s life was spent making us comfortable and doing things to make us happy. She spent a lot of time sewing for us, playing games, and in general making our learning experiences fun. Dad was always so willing to take us any place we wanted to go. Our house was filled with laughter most of the time. My sisters have been my very good friends throughout my life.
When I was growing up we did not have the convenience of electricity, indoor toilets, or hot running water. We did have cold water piped into our house and we had a refrigerator that was run on coal oil, so we thought we were quite fortunate. How nice it was the day we got the frig and could have ice cubes and set jello during the summer. We also used coal oil lamps, which when you light them now it makes you wonder how we ever could see anything.
My education consisted of grades one through ten at Grouse Creek Elementary, which were very happy times. We had the little room with one through three grades, the middle room with four through six grades and the big room with seven through ten grades. There was also a big kitchen/recreation room where we held dances and played games when we did not want to go outside.
We played a lot of baseball and other games during recesses, which were a lot of fun. Also we played hop scotch, and jumped the rope and played marbles. One time we had a marble tournament and I and Dorothy ended up playing each other. She was the winner from the big room and I was winner from the middle room. Needless to say she beat me. (I think it was because she was older.) When I graduated from the tenth grade there were five of us at that time. I, Lela Kimber, Eva Tanner, David Paskett and LaMar Toyn.
I went to Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah for the last two years of high school. The first year I and Lela stayed with a nurse named Juanita Barker. She had one little son about two years old and her husband was in the service at that time as it was during World War II. We didn’t get to go home very often because of the shortage of gasoline and tires and the automobiles were not as trustworthy as they are now.
We did catch the bus and go to Ogden and catch the train to Lucin and would ride the mail car up to Grouse Creek. That was always quite fun for us. There were a lot of soldier boys on the train and the girls were all treated exceptionally well. They always found a seat for us while the boys had to stand in the aisle or sit on their suitcases.
The second year we stayed with Maitha Meyers. She was a big tall lady with a crippled leg. She also had varicose veins that would not heal and they gave her quite a bit of trouble. She treated us exceptionally well. She had her stepmother staying with her also, a little short, plump German lady.
My Dad’s mother, Josephine Laird Kimber, lived in Brigham also so we used to walk down there and visit with her quite often when we got lonesome. She was getting older and I tried to help her with keeping her house clean and running a few errands.
I took courses in High School that we could not get out to Grouse Creek, like sewing, typing, bookkeeping, shorthand, physical education, besides the basics of English, History, and Math. I was very good at typing. I went to State competition in typing. I placed fifth.
I was on the girls baseball and basketball team, which was played intramurally at that time. Our team took first in both events. I loved doing things like that. Of course all the time I was growing up in Grouse Creek we played base ball so that was kind of natural for me.
I graduated from Box Elder High School in 1946. We held our graduation in the old tabernacle building, which has now been renovated as a visitors center.
After high school I spent almost two years just having fun. We had a girl’s baseball team and there was also a boy’s baseball team. We would travel around to all the little towns and play ball and have dances afterward. We played Yost, Almo, and Park Valley most of the time. We met a lot of kids that way.
I met Verl, my husband, at one of the dances. We did a lot of chasing around those two Summers. When Dad and Mom could not take me to the dances I had some good neighbors, Ivan and Raida Kimber, who would take me with them. They had an orchestra and they were in demand so they played at almost all the dances that were held. Some in Montello, Nevada and Malta, Idaho, although we did not play baseball there. Most of the time my folks took us wherever we wanted to go.
We pretty well had to make our own entertainment at Grouse Creek. We had parties and dances. I had some very special cousins that were also my very good friends. We spent a lot of our time giggling life away. Whenever anything was put on that included the younger people, we were involved in it. Because of this we gained a lot of experience that has proved helpful throughout my life.
I also loved our cats that we had around the house. They were all my special friends. We had one old pussycat named Tootsie that we had for quite a few years. She kept us entertained with all her little kittens that she had. We really loved her. She was like one of the family. We played house with her just like she was our doll. When it came nighttime, she would disappear and she would go into our bedroom and climb down between the sheets to the bottom of the bed and thought she was hidden.
I also loved to read books. I would always get a book for Christmas and it would take me about two days to read it. I read quite a few good books that were in the bookcase also because I could not find enough to read. We should all have good books around in case our children get bored with what they are doing and decide to read.
I think one of the reasons I learned to play the piano was because there was not anything else to do some of the time. I would sit down and practice until I could play by ear. Dorothy knew how to play by ear and she helped me a lot. Before we got the piano from Aunt Emily Tanner, she would go over to Aunt Annie Barlow’s place and play on her piano and LaVerne would help her as she was learning.
I started playing for dances at the Grouse Creek School when we had parties and would dance in the hall. I knew two tunes (The Naughty Waltz and Marie). I kept trading off playing these two. Everyone should have known how to dance to them when we got through.
At one time Raida Kimber spent a lot of time in Brigham with Marvin, her son, who had injured his hip and it had gotten infection in it. I had to play in the orchestra while she was gone. That was quite an experience. I felt sorry for the other members but it was quite fun for me, except I liked to dance so hated to miss out on that part. The orchestra consisted of Lyman Kimber, Archie Toyn and me. Sometimes Grant Kimber played. We didn’t travel around and play like when Raida was there but we did go to Lynn, Utah and play a couple of times.
During the time I was a young adult I was put in as organist for the Primary organization (a disaster because I did not know how to read music). I’m sure it would have been different had I practiced a little. Also, I was made a second counselor in the MIA. Dorothy Warburton was the president. My Dad was in the Presidency of the young men at that time. We sure gave those men gray hair with the things we did. We didn’t show too much responsibility if I remember right.
I moved to Ogden in 1948 and worked at Newberry Store. I lived with Myrtle Toyn for awhile and then moved in with Dorothy and Al. I had been dating Verl and he also moved to Ogden and took a job at Ogden Defense Depot. We were married on July 30, 1948 in the Logan LDS Temple and started our married life in a three-room basement apartment in Ogden. We went to every movie in town and read a lot of books and spent most weekends at Yost or Grouse Creek.
I later worked for Woolworth’s Store for a few months and then went to work at Ogden Defense Depot as a typist and timekeeper.
Susan, our first child, was born on May 26, 1950 in Ogden. I went back to work after having Susan and Verl’s Aunt May Tracy took care of her. It was hard on me to leave her. On March 4, 1952, Karma was born. I resigned from work so I could stay home and take care of the two children. In September 1950 we moved to a one-bedroom house in Washington Terrace that was a housing project during World War II. Later, after we had Karma we qualified for and moved into a two-bedroom house.
Washington Terrace had formed a corporation and was selling the units and moving them to a permanent lot and renovating them. We bought the unit we were living in and moved into a rental unit while this was being done.
Our son, Alan, was born on February 25, 1956. We had just moved into our new brick home in January. We were so thankful and happy to have our new home and our new baby.
On March 5, 1959, Rebecca was born, and Tracy was born on November 15, 1961, which completed our family.
We spent many happy hours raising our children. We spent a lot of time going up the canyon with our friends, going to dances and parties, making trips to Grouse Creek for every excuse we could find, visiting with our neighbors and friends.
During this time we bought the Dave and Maggie Douglas place in Grouse Creek and proceeded to fix it up. We took our vacation money every summer and went to Grouse Creek to work on the house. We are still working on it. It seems there is no end. I and the children would spend all summer at Grouse Creek and Verl would come out on weekends. We have really enjoyed it. We have had so many interesting experiences.
I worked selling Avon while our children were small, then I went to work for the Washington Terrace Corporation, working ten days the first of the month taking payments for the bank for the new houses that had been renovated. When Commercial Bank made a branch at the Terrace, I worked for them on a part-time basis. Then sometimes I was dispatched out to other banks when needed. I really liked my job there but I wanted my Summers free when the children were out of school so I went to Bonneville High School as a Secretary. I worked there for twenty-one years. What a fun job. Working around the young folks was really great.
I assumed management of the ranch after Dad passed away in 1990. At the present time we lease it to Verl’s brother, Clarence. We spend more than half our time at Grouse Creek now. It seems when we get there we hate to leave and then when we get to Ogden there is so much going on we have a hard time getting back.
My church positions in Ogden consisted of being a Teacher, Counselor and President in the Primary; Secretary, Counselor and President in the Relief Society; and Teacher and President in the Mutual. I have some very fond memories of some of the events we participated in during this time. It seemed to me as if every phase of my church service came at a time that made it so enjoyable for me.
In 1994 Verl and I went on a Service mission to the Ogden LDS Employment Center. We were there to help people find jobs. This was a very enjoyable experience. We went for eighteen months, six months every winter and then back out to Grouse Creek during the summer months. Also, during this time Verl and I were Magazine Representatives for our ward.
I belong to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and at present I am Vice-Captain of our Camp. As time goes on I am more and more grateful and thankful for my ancestors and the hardships they went through so I could have a more enjoyable life.
She was fortunate to have a good husband and enjoys her children and their families very much. They have been a special blessing in her life. We find every opportunity we can to get together and make it a fun occasion. Delma loved a party and would often drive hundreds of miles to attend one. She loved socializing with her friends, going out to lunch and dinner, and supporting her family at all events. She never missed a wedding, graduation, or sporting event if she could help it
I have a testimony of the Gospel, I love life and I am looking forward to the next event that may come along in my life.
Delma Kimber Smith (90) passed away in her sleep on Saturday, August 31, 2019 and is buried in the Grouse Creek Cemetery.