Home Text PDF

George Franklin Barton

George Franklin Barton was born to Ethelbert Hewett Barton and Alice Elizabeth Jane Cook in Manti, Sanpete county, Utah, January 27, 1882. He was the third of nine children. When he was young the family moved to Emery county then when he was in his twenties they moved to San Juan county. His daughter, Thora, wrote up a page of notes after visiting a cousin Riddel Barton that tells of this trip.

“During the first ten days of May in 1910 Grandpa Ethelbert Hewitt Barton, Daddy (George F. Barton), Uncle Alpha, his wife, (Aunt Maggie) and two small sons (Riddel and Lloyd), Uncle Arthur and wife (Aunt Vilate) traveled from Emery County to San Juan. Their means of transportation were a white top buggy with team, two wagons, four horses and possibly a riding pony or two. They had feed for the animals, household goods, and furniture. There was food for the journey, supplemented by milk provided by a cow led behind one of the wagons.”

“Route of travel was: Huntington creek, Buckhorn canyon, Desert, Green River, Moab, and South to Monticello. The Green River and the Colorado both had to be crossed by ferry. At the Colorado River site (Also called The Grand River) some excitement and delay occurred when an excited horse jumped off the ferry and had to be retrieved from the turbulent river.

“Accounts from one or two of the company involved have caused me to wonder– was it a riding horse–perhaps my Dad’s. If so he may have been the one to go into the river and swim the horse to safety.

“Riddel told me, as I visited with him, that he knew my Dad to be an excellent swimmer. A fact that I never knew as we were never around a place with any water for such a purpose. Springs or wells supplied our needs in this aspect for both man and beast in my childhood.”

“Another comment by some who have recalled that trek was that they were bothered by heat, dust, and slow traveling. After the last river of their journey was crossed and two more days and nights of tedious travel were done the Barton Family arrived in Monticello on May 10, 1910.

“Once again camp was established, this time in a grove of oak trees about a block west of the main road into town at the intersection leading east into, Colorado.”

George F. Barton attended the Agricultural College in Logan, Utah (now USU) where he was in ROTC . He is the middle person in the photo. Bodell has a book of drawings he made for a Physiology class. He was very neat and accurate.

He married Sarah Elizabeth Perkins, October 2, 1913 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Their children were Vivian George, born and died September 11, 1914, Thora born December 15, 1915 and died July 28 1999, Oral, born Sept 28 1917 died January 19, 1991, Audra, born April 7, 1919 drowned July 27, 1934 at 15 years of age, Eloise, born June 7, 1920 and died April 26, 2003, Afton born October 10, 1923, Evan Hewett born July 21, 1925 and died January 16, 1965, Minerva, born and died March 27, 1927, and Benjamin Leonard born and died September 10, 1930.

In San Juan County George bought land fifteen to twenty miles east of Monticello at Lockerby, which included the area that is Eastland today. George would often go to the farm and stay all week. His daughter, Afton, remembers how he would come home on Friday evening and stretch out on the floor and within a couple of minutes he was sound asleep. Probably snoring, as Beth Johnson Jarvis, a granddaughter, remembers hearing him snore and wondering if there were lions in the next room.

Another daughter, Eloise, wrote of some memories she had as a child. “Quite often in the summer we would take a few days vacation as a family into the Blue Mountains just to relax and enjoy the cool. Sometimes we went with Uncle Alpha and some of his family, and sometimes with just our family, or including a friend or two of the older girls. I remember one year daddy was letting the big girls get up early to hike with him to the top of the mountain to see the sun come up east of town and I was disappointed that I was little, the same as Afton and Hew, instead of big like Audra and the other girls.” “We didn’t have a car so these trips were made with horses and wagon. If riding horse were available they were taken along too, but at times we didn’t own any. At first we had wagons with big wooden wheels and iron tires, but I believe the last time or two we had rubber tires which made for much more comfort in riding and ease for the horses pulling. We enjoyed reading and games in the cool mountain breezes, hiked to old mine sights, picked berries, if they were ripe and had campfire programs every night. Cold mountain streams furnished great drinking as well as automatic refrigeration. Although Daddy sometimes helped with cooking at home, on these trips he was chief cook and dutch oven master. Of course Mom had cooked several days in preparation for our feasts.”

“I remember playing ball (with a makeshift basket or a round stick depending on the type of ball); marbles, and riding ”stick horses“ with Evan H. Sometimes we included Afton but sometimes we didn’t. We were reminded that wasn’t kind, but you know how threesomes often go, we sometimes ran off.”

“Sometimes we had to work— hoe weeds; herd cows or drive them to and from pastures out of town; and we milked once in a while when Daddy was gone, but since Evan H. and I both had hay-fever we didn’t have to when Dad was home.”

“Family Home Evenings weren’t the in thing as we grew up, but our family had them off and on. Not much in the summer I think because Daddy worked from before daylight until after dark at the shop and Mother did at home. We always had a big garden, pigs and cows and sometimes chickens. We hauled wood for our fuel and I’m sure as soon as E.H. was old enough he went along on those occasions. One or more girls went before that because Mother didn’t like Daddy to go by himself, although he surely did many a time.”

Eloise also remembered going with her father to Peter’s Hill to get wood. They spent the whole day cutting the trees down. Then they would sleep over night and load the wood the next day and return to town. She felt very proud to ride high on the load of wood as they drove into town. A granddaughter, LaNell Mahon Stringham said that her mother, Eloise, taught her how to sweep the floor the way her father taught her. LaNell also said that her mother talked of the way Grandpa could wring a cloth out very efficiently by twisting his hands before he grabbed the cloth. Eloise also recollected that the girls always turned down their father’s bed for him before he went to bed and that he loved bread and milk, which really may have been the cream.

Another granddaughter, Sandy Mahon Christiansen, said that her mother Eloise, loved being in the blacksmith shop with her father and that he was very adept at fixing things. For awhile Grandma Sarah was working at the Post Office so Grandpa did many domestic things around the home including baking the bread so he taught Eloise how and she passed that on to her daughters as well.

Grandpa had many callings in the church one of which was Stake Sunday School Superintendent. His daughter-in-law, Norma Barton, remembers hearing him proudly speak of his son that was serving a mission at the time. She was anxious to meet the son when he returned from his mission. She later married Evan H.

Sandy Christiansen also shared some other thoughts about Grandpa. She says, “He signed his name Geo. (I, Sandy, have a book he put his signature on.) Moma (Eloise) said that she remembered that one time they were playing a card game. Grandpa and Grandma couldn’t agree about the rules and so Grandpa threw the deck into the fire. I read the funeral services for one of Uncle Wes’ parents. Grandpa said the closing prayer. It was very short. I remember thinking it was reflective of the fact that I had understood that he wasn’t a big talker.”

A grandson, Joel Norton remembers, “During the summer of 1947 while I was still only seven years old, I was taken to the farm out east with Grandpa Barton. I remember at the time some of the fields had rows and rows of pinto beans, and Grandpa Barton was recruiting everybody he could to help hoe out the weeds. There were Aunts, Uncles, cousins and hired Indians marshaled for the destruction. It was no surprise to see Evan H. or Nache as we fondly called him, leave us in his dust as he set the pace down the rows.”

Shortly after this Nache left for a mission to the Central States Mission. Then on July 29, 1949 shortly before Evan H. returned his father passed away out on the farm. He had eaten his lunch and lay down in the truck for a short rest. They say he had a smile on his face.