Grace Bray

GRACE LUMPKIN was born February 12, 1912 in Antelope (now Bridgeland), Duchesne County, Utah, in the Uintah Basin, eight miles from Myton. Her father, Webb L. Lumpkin, was one of the first settlers between Myton and Duchesne. Grace was born in the family home with a midwife (Mary Wall) in attendance; the midwife turned in the birth certificate at either Vernal or Duchesne, from which it was forwarded to Salt Lake City. Grace was the fifth of eight children born to Webb and Beulah Mae Elledge Lumpkin. She had five sisters and two brothers.

"My mother was 22 and my Dad was 32 when they got married. My mother lived in Durango, Colorado, and my Dad was selling bibles and books in New Mexico and Colorado. He came to the house selling books and they met -- that's what Aunt Beth Elledge told me. They got married and came to Vernal. My Dad was one of the first men who went into the Uintah Basin to homestead it -- I think it was 1905 or 1906. The men would all stay together and build one cabin and then go on to build another, and then have their wives come to stay in the cabins they built."

They moved to Vernal before Lorena was born. They were married in Manassa, Colorado, and then Beulah was born in LaJara, Colorado. Then they moved to Vernal in 1904 or 1905. By the time Roy was born they had moved to the ranch. I think it was 1906 when they moved to the ranch. Roy was born September 15, 1907.

"One day the men were out getting wood -- it must have been in the fall. They didn't have doors on the cabin, and my mother was there with two of her children. That would have been Beulah and Lorena or maybe Roy, but these Indians came to the cabin and they came in and just frightened my mother -- she was just paralyzed with fright -- stayed huddled in the corner with the baby. This one Indian came over -- there was a bright-colored shawl on the baby and he proceeded to take the shawl. He wanted it, and my mother was hanging onto the baby as he was pulling it. He gave it a tug at the very last and she dropped the baby. They told me they didn't think the baby would live, but he or she finally came out of it and seemed to be alright."

"They took all the food -- gathered up the sacks that my mother had flour in, and put it all together like mulligan -- the vegetables and things that he could get -- and he went back out there -- there had been two in the other group -- and this one Indian must have been the Chief -- he stayed right on the horse all the time, and just as this Indian with the food started to get on his horse why he stopped him and talked and pointed back to the cabin so this Indian came back with the sack and came into the kitchen and they had a round table so he poured out little rations of the oatmeal and flour and carrots, potatoes and onions and left it in little heaps around the table and apparently this Indian chief told him that they would starve and he should leave some food for them. He went back out and got on the horse and they disappeared. When the men came back, they found the family wasn't harmed; they lived in the mouth of the canyon, and that was the road they used to go up to get the wood. So they all came through their property to go on up the canyon, so ours was the first cabin the men came to as they came down the canyon with the wood."

"We were able to raise fruit trees on our ground, where other areas weren't suitable for it. My Dad worked on the ditches that were brought through there -- there was what was called "Dick Gray Mountain" -- that was the low one, and he went out to the Strawberry Reservoir and worked there a long time until they brought in steam motors I guess. They did away with most of the horses and scrapers and then he came back. Then they put in another -- they called it the "Nolan Ditch" and it was higher - it was supposed to reach the benches. Some way or another it carried water for a while, and then later they didn't have water in it for years when we went back. It wasn't suitable on those benches -- they had it on the north side of the river. But the "Dick Gray Mountain" ditch that my Dad worked on -- it's still in use."

"We used to go to elementary school at both towns. We had the ranch in Bridgeland and a home in Myton. In the winter we usually (everyone except Webb) would move to Myton. Webb and a hired man would live on the ranch and keep the stock all fed. It was a cattle ranch. There were a few winters when we all stayed on the ranch, and we used to take the buggy and horse to the little grade school which was up on a hill about 6 miles from the ranch. Once in a while when we moved down to Myton, my older sisters used to drive the team and buggy from Myton to the ranch until they got all the crops in. It was 10 miles from Myton to the ranch. In Myton there was a grade school and the Myton Academy -- it wasn't a high school. The Presbyterian Church started it - this Minister started it, and everyone for many many years, no matter where they went in Utah, they felt as if they had almost a college education by the time they got through it."

The ranch at Antelope was 160 acres in size of which approximately half was irrigated cropland with the other half, above the irrigation ditches, being used for pasture. The crops which they grew included an orchard of apples, cherries, pears, and plums (the peach trees winter-killed); most of the orchard was in apples. Two alfalfa fields and a garden area in which they grew potatoes, corn, melons and other table vegetables comprised the remainder of the irrigated area. The unirrigated area contained sagebrush, rabbitbrush, greasewood, and native grasses. Livestock consisted of approximately twelve milk cows, 200 beef cattle, four sheep, three pigs, six horses, and about thirty chickens.

The beef cattle were grazed on forest land in the mountains above the ranch during the summer; most of them were sold in the Fall and additional ones were purchased in the Spring. Some of the cattle which Webb bought were driven up from Texas, and had long horns. The first bunch of cattle which Webb bought were in good shape and after fattening were sold to the army for a profit, but the second bunch were old and some died on the trail from Texas and the remainder never did gain weight satisfactorily -- this second purchase resulted in a financial loss due to which Webb lost the ranch.

After losing the ranch, Webb and the three oldest daughters (Beulah, Lorena, and Eva) went to Salt Lake City in the buggy, leaving the rest of the family at Antelope temporarily.

"There were only a few things that weren't on the mortgage and I remember all the people coming there to bid. There was an old gray mare called "Bell", and the wagon and household furniture that weren't on the mortgage. The regular team of horses and the buggy were owed to the bank and had to be returned from Salt Lake. Back at the ranch, the buggy was returned and auctioned off. The team of horses and the wagon were used to haul the furniture from the ranch house down to the winter house at Myton (the family lived in Myton during the school year) and the ranch no longer belonged to the Lumpkin family."

Webb got a job in Salt Lake dredging the lake, leveling the ground for one of the salt companies. Later he got a steady job with the D&RGW Railroad while Beulah went to work as a telephone operator at the Highland Exchange. Lorena took up a business course at LDS Business College to become a stenographer and Eva attended West Junior High School. Roy had run away from home to be with Webb in Salt Lake, and he had a job in a shoe repair shop.

Webb and the older children lived in Salt Lake for awhile before the remainder of the family joined them. In August (1924) Beulah came back via the train and stage (horse drawn) and took Grace, Violet, and Leonard back to Salt Lake. Ada was very sick, so she and her mother stayed in Myton. Mother shipped all the furniture and came on to Salt Lake about in March (1925).

"They were living in an apartment house between 4th and 5th South on West Temple. It was very crowded -- just three little rooms, and when the three of them arrived, some of them had to sleep on the floor."

"Then they got the house on 833 South Jefferson Street and it was a 6-room home, but they didn't have enough furniture then. Christmas time came -- we got there about November and my Dad had to do all the shopping for Christmas, and we didn't get much of the choices we had written Santa Claus for. Webb was laid off the railroad when they had a recession.

"On October 15, 1925 my Dad passed away. He died about 1 1/2 blocks from the house while trying to return home. He had a stroke on 9th South and about 1st West, and they said he was dead before he hit the sidewalk. He was 55."

Grace was 12 years of age when she moved to Salt Lake -- she had been going to school in Myton up to that time. In Salt Lake she started school in the Grant School for awhile, and after they moved to Jefferson Street she went to Jefferson School. Then she went to South Junior High School, and then to West High School. During this time she and the other younger girls of the family also did babysitting and housework to help with the expenses.

Grace met LaMar when she was 17, and then she got married in August when she was still 17. She had one more year of school to go to graduation, but she didn't finish it. She met LaMar at a carnival at the location where Sears is now at. Ada and Grace went over to that -- her brother Leonard usually went over to help with different things -- he was just a little kid, but they hired him to do things.

"From the time I met LaMar until I married him, it was only a couple of months. Ada used to decide where we were going -- she used to boss us around. We went swimming at Municipal in a group, and another time we went to a show in Salt Lake. There was a dance hall, but we didn't dance -- we used to go around the grounds. We were just two little kids -- we got married on August 19, 1929.

"We went out to Bountiful to see LaMar's sister, and then -- well, LaMar wanted us to get married. We'd seen each other before that, but we hadn't gone out together. So then we went out to Bountiful, and Wanda and Leonard made arrangements for the wedding ceremony. And my sister Ada, she came back home and we stayed at Wanda and Leonard's."

Wanda and Leonard and their family came and stayed with LaMar's mother in Salt Lake while LaMar and Grace had their honeymoon in Wanda and Leonard's home.

"Garland was born a year later, while we were living with LaMar's mother (at 638 South 6th East), and LaMar was working on the B&G (Bingham & Garfield) Railroad. He used to drive back and forth -- but we didn't have a car of our own -- and he decided that instead of looking for rides somewhere else he quit. Then he worked for a feed company driving a truck and delivering. I think this feed company, the fellow decided to do his own work and do without a truck driver, things got so bad. Then he worked for Utah Light & Traction, and the fellow who was his boss was laid off too. The other make-work jobs had all run out -- the depression had hit really hard by that time. Just every way he turned, they all phased out and it was really rugged."

Grace was just 18 at this time when Garland was born, and when Eldon was born (3 1/2 years later) she was in her 20's.

Grace joined the LDS Church after she was married. She was married in 1929 and joined the Church in about 1932 -- she joined in Salt Lake. None of her brothers and sisters joined -- only her mother. Beulah Mae joined before Grace did -- she joined in Salt Lake City, and then after she went to California she worked in the Church -- attended all the time.

"We purchased a home at 437 West 5th North. We were paying for that, although we didn't have any steady work or anything, through Anderson Real Estate. Mr. Anderson found work that LaMar could do, and applied it toward payments on the house. We had an FHA loan.

Just about that time LaMar found work at Utah Copper. We just had a little Model T Ford that wouldn't make it up the hill unless we drove backwards. Anyway, we rented up there on the Terraces and stayed up there until 1952 when we moved down to Copperton."

Grace Bray

Grace and LaMar and their two little boys moved from Salt Lake to Copperfield in March or April of 1935. Eldon was a year old, and Garland was four. Two more children were born in Copperfield -- Lawrence Webb Bray in 1946, (he died in 1948), and Afton Grace Bray in 1949. The family lived in the same dwelling in Copperfield (a duplex in Terrace Heights) from 1935 until 1952, then moved to Copperton at the mouth of Bingham Canyon and rented one of the houses there. A few years later they had the opportunity to buy the house. Afton and her husband now own the home in Copperton.

All of the buildings in Copperfield, the community at the top of the canyon, were torn down in the 1950's. The mountain side where the town had been located was excavated in order to obtain the copper ore. Nothing remains there now.

Grace Allene Lumpkin Bray (age 92), died 25 March 2004. She out-lived all of her brothers and sisters. She is buried at the Elysian Burial Gardens, next to her husband LaMar and close to many other family members.



Information from
Robert Eldon Bray
INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra Shuler Bray