History of Eli A. Day Jr.


I was born in the old home in Fairview, Utah, on July 24th 1889 and most of my childhood memories are woven about Fairview and the old home.


My first definite recollection is of standing at the bedside of my mother and looking down at my new born brother just a few hours old, who was later named Joseph Smith Day. I also remember falling into the big ditch that ran through our lot, I think the same day, but a foot bridge across the ditch enabled me to get out.


I also remember, faintly, of mother going to Salt Lake City to attend the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, and very plain are the memories of hearing father pray for President Woodruff in our family prayers.


The first public appearance I remember was in Sunday School. All dressed up in a black velvet suit, knee pants and short jacket, with wide white embroidered cuffs and collar (Lord Fauntleroy style). I was to recite something for the whole school. I marched up, big as anybody, and stood behind the wide bannister that extended out on each side of the pulpit, and started reciting and was nearly scared to death when the Sunday School Superintendent (Brother John Mower) picked me up and stood me on top of this wide bannister so people could see me. I managed someway to get my breath and finish the piece.


I remember many instances of going to Sunday School and the great difference in what it was then and now.


As a small boy, I shook hands, along with all the others at the meeting, with President Lorenzo Snow, who was attending a Stake Conference at Mt. Pleasant.


Father and mother required that all of us children attend our church meetings and I think that I always enjoyed them.


My first experience in school was in the old white rock building that stood one block East of the present Post Office. Lena Anderson was my first teacher.


As I remember it my school days were pleasant and I do not think I ever had any particular difficulty with my studies. A few years later the eight room, grey sandstone building was built two blocks north of the old one. It still stands. It was here that I graduated from the eighth grade in the same class with my sister Dora Elam Anderson was our teacher and principal.


I was always very much interested in games and sports, and though smaller than most of the boys my age, usually managed to hold my own in any of the games. This love of athletics had quite an influence in my activities during my early manhood.


Father always kept a number of dairy cows, and it was my job, along with the others, to help with the milking and other chores. Also from the time I was ten years old, I drove the teams mowing, raking and hauling hay and doing any other farm work that was to be done.


When I was about twelve years old, Firman Brady, a musically inclined young man in town, organized a brass band of boys and I, along with about twenty others, joined and this group furnished most of the band music for many years in our town. I learned to play the clarinet and this led to a lot of activities in my life, that otherwise I would not have had. Playing for all holidays, taking a lot of nice trips, participating in many school activities etc. I played in bands and orchestras for many years and made a little money this way that was always very welcome.


In the fall of 1905, I started to school at the Snow Academy, in Ephraim, (a church school) and for the first three years kept house with Ellis and Dora the first year, and with Dora the next two. In this way we managed to keep our expenses down. Otherwise we would not have been. able to go at all. During the fourth year, I roomed with three other boys.


During these four years, I was always active in music and athletics, along with my regular school work. I was too small to ever make the first team in basketball, but I had no difficulty staying on the second team.


My fourth year, I played third base on the school baseball team and with my partner, Reed Allred of Spring City, won the school championship in tennis. This year I also won first place in the 440 yard run and the twelve pound hammer throw, which I had been assigned to coach other students on and so learned the form of throwing it.


I graduated in 1909 from the Normal Dept. and the next year taught and was principal of the small, two teacher school, at Indianola. I had four grades and about eighteen students in all.


In 1910, I started teaching in Fairview and taught there for the next ten years, the last six as principal of the grade school.


I lived with my parents the first two years of this time and helped father with the chores and farming the same as I had all my life before going away to school.


During my first year of teaching at home, I became very much interested in a young lady who was still a student in the eighth grade, and she became to me the most beautiful and sweetest person who ever entered my life. She was at the time going steady with a young man who was away at the University of Utah and for a long time I did not know how my chances stood. Her mother had already set her heart on her daughter marrying her former sweetheart, but in some way I won out.


On August 28th 1912, we were married in the Salt lake Temple by President Anthon H. Lund, then a councilor to President Joseph F. Smith. So Lucile Madsen became my wife for time and eternity and thus started a wonderful life together which lasted for 46 years.


We had a lot of wonderful happiness spiced with thrills, heartaches, joys, sorrows, success and failure; but as I look back upon it now it was a wonderful life which I fondly hope will endure forever.


Our first home was the small frame house across the street south from the Jr. High School building in Fairview. Here our first child and only daughter, was born March lst 1914. She brought new joy and happiness into our lives and she has always been a wonderful person; intelligent, sweet, friendly, ambitious, always a leader and a girl who just seemed to assume responsibility without having to be told.


In 1916, we moved to the old, two story, Sanderson home, one block west of the present 2nd Ward chapel in Fairview and lived here until 1920.


Here on May 3rd 1918, our first son, Rodney, was born under rather unfavorable circumstances. I had been ill for a month with what later proved to be diphtheria and it left me partially paralyzed for three months. My wife and little girl came down with it when the baby was five weeks old and they gave them, and the baby, antitoxin. It soon cured both my wife and little girl but was very severe on the baby and he did not entirely overcome the effects of it until he was six years old.


In 1920, I decided it would be best for me to move to another school district. I contracted to become a teacher and principal of the school in Clear Creek, Carbon county for two years. We lived in this mining camp at nearly 9000 feet elevation, very short summers and extremely cold winters, with snow on the mountains from early November until the first of May, and the only way to get in or out of town was on the railroad or on skis or snow shoes.


Here on October 14th, 1920, our second son, whom we called Jack, and who now lies beside his mother, was born, but he was not permitted to draw one breath of life.


All during our life in Fairview and Clear Creek., I played baseball with the town teams, also basket ball. Both my wife and I were active in church work, took part in many home dramatic shows, etc. and in general did all we could to be good members of the community.


I still played the clarinet in bands and orchestras and for several years played with the Utah National Guard Band with headquarters in Mt. Pleasant. I also directed the choir in the old Fairview Ward.


In the Summer I always worked with father on the farm and usually leased some land on the side.


For several years I was in partnership with Aaron Cheney running a grain heading outfit. We always cut several hundred acres each year for other farmers.


In 1922, I signed to teach in the Junior High School in Price where we lived for one year. Here again we were active in church activities, especially in the musical program of the ward. I did quite a lot of conducting both in Sunday School and the ward choir and Lucile sang the leading role in an opera put on by the ward choir.


In the fall of 1922, I started to work part time for the J. C. Penney Co. and the next Summer was offered a regular full time job with them at Mesa, Arizona as assistant Manager. We decided to accept it. I landed in Mesa on August 1st, 1923 and within one hour of my arrival was at work in the store there.


Lucile remained with the children in Fairview, with her folks. On September 21st, 1923 (just exactly 100 years, to the hour, after the first visit of the angel Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith) our youngest son was born. We christened him Bartley E. It just about cost his mother her life and the doctor warned us that she must never try to have any more children.


The family joined me in Mesa when Bartley was just seven weeks old, and then and there started a very eventful four years. We again became active in church work and I was asked to direct the music in the Mesa 2nd ward Sunday School, which we had joined. About a year later I was asked. to be ward chorister and held this position until we left there in November of 1927.


The Mesa temple was being built right in our ward and we watched it grow to completion and took part in the dedication our choir furnishing the music for the Sunday night session of the dedication under my direction.


My sister Nola had come to Mesa to teach in the grade schools, and she and Lucile were both members of the choir. My mother and Lucile's mother and sister Vivian came to Mesa to attend the dedication. It was one of the most memorable events of our lives, being so much a part of it all.


We took part in a number of special events during the building of the temple and in several concerts just prior to the dedication. I was given the honor of directing the singing the combined choirs of all of Maricopa Stake, just the week before the dedication. This was held on the temple grounds at night. During the dedication week Lucile sang a solo as part of a concert given from the roof of the temple.


Our children enjoyed life in Mesa and every Summer just about lived in the water from May 1st to October, and they all became very good swimmers. Bess had started to school in Clear Creek, had her third year in Price and graduated from the 8th grade in Mesa. Rodney started school and went thru the 3rd grade in Mesa.


Life in Arizona was very different but also very interesting and it added many wonderful experiences and memories to our lives.


In 1927, just one month after the Temple dedication, I was transferred to Green River, Wyoming, to manage a small store there that the Penney Co. had bought and we had to leave Mesa on short notice. We were given a wonderful farewell party before we left and at least 200 people bade us farewell at the depot.


Arrived in Green River about December 1st and took charge of the store and remained there for almost 7 years. This was during the depression time and along with most other folks things were not too rosy for us while here.


Again we joined in church and local activities. Bess graduated from High School here, the honor student of her class; Rodney went thru two years of high school and Bartley started here and went thru the 7th grade. I served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for several years and the last year here was a member of the High Council of the Lyman Stake. I also served one year on the school board and was active all the time here in the Chamber of Commerce.


I left Green River in 1934 and in the next three years spent some time in Pocatello, Rock Springs, Consumers, Utah, Morgan, Monroe and Price. Bess was married to Clarence Olson while we were in Rock Springs and Rodney graduated from high School while we were in Morgan (where he made many life long friends).


While I was working in Price, Montgomery Ward opened their big store in Salt lake city and I secured a job with them as a shoe salesman, working for the next three years at a salary of $22.50 per week.


We had purchased the home at 336 Redondo Ave. which has been my home ever since and where I know the most happiness and the most sorrow of any home I ever lived in.


Bartley finished the 7th grade in Morgan and soon after we arrived in Salt Lake City, he got a job delivering papers which he held until he joined the Army in 1943.


We were in the Wells Ward until about 1940 where we were as usual busy in church work, my part again in music and Lucile mostly in Y.L.M.I.A. Then when the Ivins Ward was organized our home was within it's boundary and here we became even more active than ever. I was made Secretary of the High Priests group and also directed the music in Sunday School and a little later became teacher of the Gospel Doctrine class which position I held for 10 years. I have also served as teacher of the High Priests group for 5 years.


In 1955, I was called to act as an assistant to the High Council to work with the Senior Aaronic group which I did for two years. In March of 1959, I was called to be a stake missionary. In May of the same year I was set apart as a 2nd councilor in the Mission Presidency to President Royden E. Weight, which position I held for two years.


Going back to my vocational work; I stayed with Montgomery Ward for 7 years, the last 4 as manager of the Shoe Department. Here I was very successful and was sent on several trips for the Company to help other stores who were in need of direction and Department layout. I also took several buying trips to Oakland and was offered positions in much larger stores and at higher pay if I would go to the coast but we preferred to remain here in Salt Lake City.


In 1944 I decided to accept a position with Sears Roebuck here in Salt Lake and was made manager of the drapery Department which place I held for three years. Then the previous manager, who had been in the army for three years came back and because of company policy and his seniority, I had to give up the job to him. I was offered a choice of several other Departments but I decided that at my age and the chance I could see for extra work in the drapery line, I would be better off to remain here as a salesman, and in the long run it has paid off for me.


I was retired from Sears in August 1954, and by that time we had managed to pay for the home and buy a new Chevrolet Sedan. Also in anticipation of retirement I built a shop and equipped it with several pieces of power tools and have since made quite a bit of money in various kinds of wood work besides being able to make a lot of things for myself and other members of the family and friends.


About one year after I retired, I was offered a job at the Mill End Shop, a drapery store here in Salt Lake, and have put in a lot of time there since selling and doing some installation work.


In 1933 my wife had to have a very serious operation at the Rock Springs Hospital, a complete hysterectomy, and from then on it seemed that one thing after another kept her ailing or in the hospital.


In 1945 she had to have her gall bladder removed, in 1947 a sudden hemorrhage, which was very severe, led to the discovery of a malignant cancer in her left kidney and that had to be taken out


She seemed to always make a good fight and never gave up so that after each of these spells she had moderately good health and always did her own work around home.


Again in 1954 she had to have an operation for a very bad case of hemorrhoids, and in September of 1956 had the misfortune to break her left leg just above the knee, and this put her in the hospital for eight weeks. She also rallied from this and seemed to walk as well as ever. but in the mean time it was discovered that she had some trouble her lungs that the doctors thought was tuberculosis, but it finally turned out otherwise. It did weaken her however and along with all of this her heart became weakened until she had to be very careful.


On June l1th, 1958, she fell breaking her left collar bone and complications which followed brought on pleurisy and finally pneumonia. On July 4th I took her to the L.D.S. hospital where everything possible was done for her, but she was just entirely worn out and on the morning of July 14th she passed away. After a beautiful funeral ceremony, was buried in the Memorial Gardens of the Valley.


All members of the family were here when she died. Bartley had come clear from Greenland, where he had spent a year commanding an anti-aircraft battery, and Rodney from his Summer camp in San Francisco.


Now going back briefly to the children:


Bess and Clarence were married October 20th, 1934 and they lived in Rock Springs until 1950, when they moved to Salt Lake City where they now are very active in church and community affairs. They have a lovely home which is almost a community center.


They have four children; Kenneth C., Lu Jean S., Raymond D., and Ross F., all good workers in the church and fine, intelligent and healthy persons. Kenneth is married to Linda Massey and they have one little girl Kristal Faye. Lu Jean is married to Allen Proctor and they have two boys Michael Allen and David Olson.


Bess had held many responsible positions in the church, being for several years Stake President of the Primary in Rock Springs and she is at present president of the Y.L.M.I.A. in her own ward.


In 1941 Rodney enlisted in the Utah National Guard and served all through the 2nd World War. He was highly blessed thru all of this and came home well and clean, having advanced to the rank of Captain. He has kept active in the Artillery reserve and is now a Lt. Colonel and an instructor at Ft. Douglas


He was married to Virginia Knight, April 14th, 1942 and they have three children; Rodney K. (now on a mission for the L.D.S. church), Craig K., and Barbara J. They have a very find home in South Bountiful and are very active in church, school and community affairs.


Rodney is at present one of the seven presidents of seventies in the South Davis Stake, and has a good position with the Bee Line Refining Co.


Bartley, our youngest., became very much interested in military work while at South High and was made Cadet Lt. Colonel of the South High R.O.T.C. for the year 1940-1941, his senior year, and at the end of the year was made Colonel of the entire Salt Lake City regiment of the R.O.T.C.


He set his goal to become a West Pointer and after being in the army nearly two years, he finally worked his way, thru stiff competition, into the Point, where he graduated in 1949. My wife and daughter Bess and I went back to his graduation and had a wonderful trip over the East and the New England States.


He married Irene Olson December 29th, 1949 and they have four children; Carl B., Victoria J., Janice I.. and Wayne A. They keep busy in the church work wherever they go. He has served at Ft. Bliss, 3 times at Ft. Sill, 3 years in Germany, 2 years at Colorado State University. Thule Greenland, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, (Command and General Staff College), and he is at present a Major serving at The Aberdeen Proving Grounds, in Maryland where he is President of the L.D.S. branch. He was in the bishopric at Ft. Collins and in the high council in Oklahoma.


While at Ft. Leavenworth he was promoted to the rank of Major and given a Government award and medal for his work in the rocket program while at Ft. Sill.


In January of 1961 I went with the Mormon Battalion to the Inauguration of President Kennedy in Washington and we visited many places of interest in church history.


On this trip I met Faye S. Anderson, a widow of about ten years.


She was born and grew up in Ephraim, Sanpete county, so was just about a neighbor of mine. I knew her father while I was a student at the snow Academy and also since being here in Salt lake City.


Some time after returning from this Eastern trip and thru Mormon Battalion activities we became interested in each other and after keeping company and enjoying various activities for several months, vie decided that we might find a lot of joy and happiness together and that it would be better to share our lives and make one happy home than to each be alone and lonesome all the time.


So we were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 22nd 1961 and have since been living in the old home at 336 Redondo Ave.


Fay's mother gave us a wonderful wedding dinner at the Doll House, where all the close members of our families, who lived near enough, joined us in a lovely-evening.


We are making life better and better as time goes on and are enjoying life with our families and friends.


I am sure all my children welcome Fay as their new mother and feel that her family do the same for me. Her mother and brothers and sisters treat me like I were a member of the family.


We took a trip during the summer of 1962 to see her daughter Shirley and her family who live in Arizona. Then we went an to see her grandson Harvy and his wife in New Mexico where he was graduating from college. Then onto Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to see Bartley and his family where we attended his graduation from the Command and General Staff College.


We are trying to do our part in our own ward in church work and have now been asked to work on the Stake Sunday School board together. We hope to make a success of this also. And we look forward to many years of happiness in our lives still ahead. God grant us peace, love, happiness, and success in all we may yet find to do.


Addition to life history of Eli A. Day Jr. by his daughter Bess


Dad and Faye continued to enjoy life together. For a few years Fay's Mother, Mrs. Sorenson, lived with them until it finally became necessary to have her go to a Nursing Home.


As Dad grew older, his driving became somewhat erratic and he had several small accidents. Finally the Insurance Company refused to insure him and suggested that he not be allowed to drive the car. This was a hard fact for Dad to accept. He felt it was not right to always have Fay do the driving.


Due to failing health and advancing years, it became evident to Dad and Fay that it was in the best interests of all if they consolidated somewhat their holdings and in June of 1980 the only home that Dad had known for more than forty-four years was sold and they moved from the Ivins Ward. They moved into one side of a duplex that Fay owned at 1487 East 17th South. They were quite comfortable here, but Dad really missed his old home and flowers.


In the early winter of 1980, it was determined that our brother Rodney had developed a terminal brain tumor. and that his life was quite limited in time. When Rodney came to Utah for the marriage of his daughter Barbara, he visited Dad to tell him of his condition. Dad was extremely hard of hearing, but Rodney knelt by his side and told him that he, his son, would precede him in death. He also told him that he would be waiting beside his Mother to welcome him home before much more time was to pass. This proved very prophetic.


The shock of this news and Rodney's rapid deterioration and death on February 1981, took much of the will to live out of Dad. This was aggravated by several falls in one of which he suffered a broken upper arm which was dislocated from his shoulder. This resulted in his hospitalization and later being moved to a nursing home for recovery. Because of his age and frailness, he just did not recover from this last fall and injuries.


Loved ones were about Dad a great deal of the time and he knew of their love and concern for him and he expressed his love and concern for them. He was not receiving very good care in the nursing home in Salt Lake City, so it was decided between Faye, Bartley and Bess, to move him to the nursing home in Provo, Utah where his older sister Ellis had been for several years and where she seemed to have the very best of care. Despite this better care, his body continued to tire and it became more difficult for him to express himself.


The Doctors at this facility were very concerned for him. Twice they transferred him to the Utah Valley Hospital to be checked out. The second time, he became unresponsive. Faye and Bess spent these days with him, and Bart was in and out both day and night. After two days he quietly slipped away in the late evening of April 2nd 1981. He passed on having served in this Second Estate for ninety-one years, eight months, and nine days. Would have been 92 on July 24th.


We know both our Mother, Lucile, and brother, Rodney, were waiting to welcome him We know of him, for the life of service which he led, that, indeed, it will be said to him, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord."


(Some of this information was taken from the Eulogy given by his son, Bartley, at his funeral in the Ivins Ward on April 6, 1981)


Day, Eli Azariah, Jr. History of Eli A. Day, Jr. Courtesy of www.olson.net.