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Lerona Hickman Vanderhoof

lerona.jpg   Lerona H. Vanderhoof     Lerona H. Vanderhoof

Lerona Hickman Vanderhoof 65-68 years old "She had hair the color of a raven's wing" said Bernice Vanderhoof McCarthy, a granddaughter". She married Jesse L. Vanderhoof when she was only 15 years old.

Excepts from Lerona's journal.

My father's women were industrious They used to spin and knit. There was a Scotch weaver by the name of Shields and his wife who used to come there and say 'Now you have got to spin me some yarn so the that piece out of the loom' and then how the wheel s would fly. One of them (the women) had a little wheel and I learnt to spin on it and when I was eleven years old I could spin three skanes of yarn a day and knit a sock. We got a dollar a piece for our socks, 75 cents for mittens. My mother was a seamstress, Martha (wife #8) was the school teacher, the old lady "Brunetta gramma" (wife #1) as we called her, was the peace maker and mother to us all and we all loved her.

I was born January 12, 1856, at Shambip, Rush Valley (now known as Tooele County) Utah, daughter of William  A Hickman and Minerva Wade Hickman. I was the first daughter born there. My little brother, Edward, died and was buried there with two others in an unknown grave. The sand has blowed over them till it seems it didn't happen.

When I was three weeks old the Indians got bad and my father wrapped me in a blanket and we made it back to our old west Jordan home in safety.

We had the prettiest place on all of Jordon, three or four miles up the river from where the little Cottonwood emptied into Old Jordon River. There was a big bridge there. We had a little log school house about half way from the bridge to our place. Our place had a beautiful little mound on it. The banks of the old Jordon River overflowed and there was a big pond just below the mound that circled round a bend. A high bank on one side was covered with rose bushes and the little mound covered on the north side the same, and when we would go on the mound we could see the river for miles with the willows on it's banks.

There ibis a remembrance of the sports of childhood with my brothers and sisters. There were about fifteen of us and six women. The old lady, the first wife, Brunetta gramma, sure was good to us, but hard times was to come. The range was gone and Pa sold out to a man by the name of Bringhurst.

We moved to little Cottonwood where my youngest sister was born and the baby of the Hickman family. I used to think Little Cottonwood one of the beautifullest streams on earth where it emptied into the Old Jordon. The sand on it's banks was as white and dishes.

Pa owned land over on the state road toward Sandy and raised a big crop of wheat there, that done us through that hard winter, that the mills froze up and we had to grind it on a coffee mill, and so did lots of others.

Our house on the Jordon (had) seven rooms, old fashion adobes, three large front rooms, four small ones in the back with a porch in front facing to the east. They all lived kindly together. It had a big mud wall around it built in the times the Indians were so bad, fifteen or sixteen feet high with tow pairs of bars, on in the south, one in the north. Quite a few say the mound was something ancient. It didn't seem like the elements put it there.

Some day I will wander back again, yes, back to where the old home stands. Pa bought a small piece of land and built a log house with an upstairs in it. We lived there two years while he went to Bingham Canyon to work in the mines.

The family began to pull apart. Mother sent for her brother, Edward Wade, to come and get her.

I will pass over this part of my life for it seems the hardest in my thoughts. Someday we will get proper credit (for what Father did). A professor in the Ogden High School said to his (Bill Hickman's ) granddaughter, "Your Grandfather would never let the weak be imposed upon." ... more

lerona Vanderhoof

The small log cabin they lived in before the big home was built.

sketch of Vanderhoof homestead cabin
Lerona Minerva Hickman Vanderhoof in the garden

Lerona (Hickman) Vanderhoof washing some vegetables out in the garden.

Jesse and Lerona Vanderhoof

On the back of the photo is written: August 14, 1923. They were sorry I wouldn't give them time to clean up. But, I wanted them just as they were. (Jess, age 76. Lerona, age 67)

Vernell Vanderhoof's remembrances:

She was my favorite person in the whole world. She used to stick up for me.

The last time I saw Grandma, I was working for the resettlement office in Malad City, Idaho. They had to have names of an old man and woman that lived about six miles out in the west side of Blackpine Valley so they could resettle them. I had to go through Snowville. When I got their names, I went back through Snowville and stopped by to see Grandma. She lived alone but she had two daughters and a lot of grandchildren that would come to see her often because they would always get something to eat.

It was Aunt May that got the family ranch for only about what the stock was worth and not the land itself. Her little home was about three miles from her old home.

She fixed me a lunch. When it began to get dark, I told her I had to leave or they would send out the rescue squad. I said goodbye and was almost to the gate where my pickup was parked when she came calling to me. She was crying and threw her arms around me. She said, "I did not want the Showells to get our ranch. I wanted you to have it."

But, you see, I was a 18 years old when grandpa died and I did not have an idea that she would want me to have it. After all, her own kids would come first. Her daughter Mary Lerona married Roy Showell. When she died of cancer in her mid fifties, the ranch went to the Showell estate.

letter from Lerona Vanderhoof to her son Warren

Snow Ville Box Elder Co. Utah September 12, 1938

Dear son Warren and family,

I set down to write you a few lines for I want to hear from you and how you are getting along and I guess I can't till I write again.

I am down here to the old home with May. I took sick and had the flu and pretty nigh froze in that old log house. She has given me back my little old room and got it fixed up real comfortable For the winter. We have had some real bad weather that is something we have got to take where ever we are. Roy is working real hard. He got the eighty broke up and put in and it looks real nice. He got a load of wood every day. That foggy weather it has turned colder and cleared up but it is a long time till Spring. I don't have to do anything. She does it all. I hate to see her work so hard.

Your girl was over here just before she got married. Said she would come again. I was pleased to see her. I am glad some of you will still stay here. Now we have got ??? to ??? we can go and see one another if we are a thousand miles away. I want the little boy to write to me again and draw me some more pictures. Everyone that has seen your place likes it. If there is a ??? that is enough. No one is trying to get rich. Be ??? and have the comfort of life. That's all we need. ??? be content and be good natured and love one another and you will enjoy life because I want to see you all once more. There has been lots of sickness and lots of folks have died. Now write and tell me all about Jessie's family.

I will close for the time with love to you from your mother Lerona Vanderhoof

Lerona lived 83 years.


Lerona H. Vanderhoof


Ogden: Mrs. Lerona Hickman Vanderhoof, 83, widow of Jesse L. Vanderhoof, died at 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Grace Vanerhoof Shaw of 1165 Kiesel avenue, Ogden, Utah of causes incident to age. She had been in failing health for the past year.

Mrs. Vanderhoof was born January 12, 1856, the first white child born in the Little Cottonwood area of Rush valley in Tooele county, a daughter of William and Minerva (Wade) Hickman. She moved to North Ogden with her parents when she was but a child, where she was married to Mr. Jesse Vanderhoof in 1869. They moved to Missoula, Montana where they had trouble with the native Americans and decided to return to North Ogden to escape further trouble. About 20 years ago they moved to Snowville, where she had resided until she came to stay with her daughter two weeks ago. She was a member of the L.D.S. church.

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