James Albert Peterson

Life History of James Albert Peterson

As told by Marjorie G. Peterson

 My  husband, James Albert Peterson was born November 2nd, 1892 in Salt Lake City. His father, Frederick G. Peterson and mother Mary Jeppesen were married in Logan in the Logan Temple, but they lived all their life on 3rd East between 6th and 7th South.

 When Albert was only nine months old, he had pneumonia and nearly died.  They blessed him and prayed for him and his mother put mustard plasters on his chest and put steam in the room.  He got well, but they said that he was very, very ill at that time, but he survived.  He grew up a very, very serious little boy.  His mother always wrapped him in wool blankets in the high chair before he learned to walk, so that he felt like he was cuddled.  All her children were cuddled either in a rocker by her.  When she had too many children,  she had nine,  she couldn’t do it very often, as much as she’d like, so she’d wrap them in wool blankets and put them in a chair while she cooked.  She always cooked for these 12 hungry men that worked for her husband, so she had to have a big dinner at night.

 When Albert was little, one of his aunts saw him coming in frowning one day and she said to him, “Well, Albert, what’s the matter?” “Oh, Aunt Hazel,” he said, “I have so many troubles.” We all laugh at that story, but that was one of his troubles.”

 As a little boy, he loved to sit around the table and study.  His family had a big oak table in the dining room, and everyone studied around the table. They had a big hot-blast stove in the dining room where they all kept warm so the dining room was the center of family living.  When he wanted to watch his mother, he’d go in the kitchen and study because she made wonderful chocolate fudge cake. He liked to watch her make it, and as he grew older he remembered her recipe, but he never did write it down, so I never did get it. But he could always make beautiful, fine-grained red fudge cake.  

As a little boy, his father was always in the stone quarrying business. He went up Red Butte Canyon, which is now Fort Douglas Canyon, to get red sandstone for the homes that were being built. The foundations were all made of red sandstone before thy were made of cement.  He made the sandstone foundations for the L.D.S. Hospital, which was up on “C” Street and 6th Avenue for St. Marks Hospital and many of the beautiful homes that had sandstone foundations.  He had a team of eight or ten horses and eight or ten wagons and he hired men to drive the wagons and go up into the canyons.  They didn’t have very good ways of quarrying it.  In the wintertime, they would drill holes and fill the holes with water, and when it would freeze, those holes would crack the stones the size they wanted.  In the summertime they used gunpowder and pounded it down in the holes and then at a certain time they’d set it off.  They had some way of lighting it, and it would blow the pieces up into the size they wanted.  Once he was using gunpowder and pounding it into the holes to get sandstone just the right size, and it blew up and it blew a lot of sand into his hand.  And when he was an old man and retired from his business, he still had a lot of stones in the palm of his hand and he’d let us feel them.  He never got them out.  Instead of going to a doctor when it happened, he just sewed up the incision in his hand with a needle and thread.  He slipped out most of the stones with a little toothpick or something.  He thought he  got out all the  stones he had in his hand, but evidently he didn’t get all of them.  For the rest of his life he had three or four stones in the palm of his hand.  All the time he was in that business, the drivers would bring the horse back to the barn in back of his home.  He had several barns, and my husband, and the oldest brother, Clyde, used to have to wipe down the horses because they’d be sweating.  When they wiped down the horses, they had to have the new hay for them and the water for them.  So they were carefully tended just like horses must be tended. These boys did that all their lives until their daddy went out of that business.

 Well they grew up and went to the Sumner School a block away.  When he was a little boy, he didn’t have a warm coat to wear.  One day when it got awfully cold,  his father tried to make him wear his big sister’s coat to school, and he wouldn’t do it. And the only time he ever remembered being whipped was when his father whipped him because he wouldn’t wear his sister’s coat to school.   He’d rather go to school without a coat than wear his sister’s coat. So he was a little sensitive, wasn’t he?  As a young man he was very studious, and he worked really hard in junior high, so high that he was a straight 100.  In those days you were marked 100 and 99 and 98 and like that. He was always 100 in every subject, but he got something called Rheumatic Heart Fever and he had to go out of school one year because he got “Rheumatic Heart Fever,” because he was a little too studious and a little too conscientious.  Sometimes you must play a little more than you do work, and that was his trouble.  But then the next year he caught up with his class. All through the  years, he always loved his friends, his boyfriends, as he grew up. His older brother was Clyde, and his older sister was Hazel.  She was my little Primary teacher.  She was a tiny one, like Grandma Peterson was –  only not quite five feet tall.    Her husband was six foot three or four, so they made a cute couple.  She was brown eyed and little and tiny and he was big and tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. And they had nine children and every one of the children had brown eyes, so brown was predominant in the Peterson family.

 Then when he got bigger he loved school so much that he studied almost too hard. He really did love studying. He was an ardent reader, had every kind of book. He had a complete set of different writers    Charles Dickens and others. He liked the classics.  As he grew older, he went to the Sumner School because that was just a block away.

 When he got to junior high, he went to Lafayette Junior High. He got very busy at the Lafayette School. He wanted to be very, very bright and his report cards showed that he was 95 and 98 for his marks up to 100,  in some subjects he’d get 100.    He was quite good, but he got too anxious and got nervous, so he had to quit school because he got a little trouble with his nervous system.  St. Vitus Dance they said he had, but it only lasted a couple of weeks.  He was kept out of school for a month and he got well. So I was very glad for that.  That was called Rheumatic Fever later on. And I think it’s because they had very cold winters. 

 When Albert got to be in high school, he went to the L.D.S. High School.  It cost $25 a year tuition, which we thought was terribly expensive. I couldn’t afford it, but every one of the Peterson children went to the L.D.S. High School. And he met all of his friends that he kept when he was through the L.D.S. High School.  That same group of friends made a club they called “The Merry-Go-Round Club”.  There were 12 wonderful men that started that club. They really enjoyed it.    In high school, he got very, very high grades and he wanted to be a lawyer, and so he took pre‑law subjects and debate. He was kind of a sensitive guy, so he wasn’t very good in debate, but he was always on the team.  

 And then he joined Dramatics when he got to college.  The college got him to be in two or three of their plays. One time he was the lead, but most of the time he had a minor part.  He liked to be on the debate team and on the team that did the dramatics.  Herbert Maw, the man who was later elected the governor of the state of Utah, was always the lead. He was very outgoing, and was a good, loud speaker.  My husband was a soft-spoken man and very quiet, so he didn’t get the leads, but he said it didn’t matter. He said that it’s lonely at the top.  It was better to be just on the team, and have the fun of being on the team with the rest of them.  When he went to college, he started going with a Chi Omega girl named Stella Snell and he didn’t like her, because she wasn’t a Mormon. She kept going with him because she got him voted “The Handsomest Man on the University Campus” one year. The Chi Omegas had the say-so then. But he was so embarrassed by being the handsomest man, he was afraid to go to school for a week after.  She always had him go to the Chi Omega parties. Those were the horse-and-buggy days. The Chi Omegas would have parties up different canyons, and because of his father having horses, they were always counting on him furnishing a surrey with fringe on top to transport people to the parties.  Anyway, he had lots of fun.  He went to all the junior proms, and he bought his own tuxedo so that he could always go formal to the junior prom.

 There was a time when my husband got very embarrassed about having to help with his father’s business. One time we was going to the University of Utah and he took a very special Chi Omega girl to the Junior Prom.  It was quite an expensive date because he had to pay $25 to rent a tuxedo to take her to the prom.  The next day after the party he had to take a job that his father had contracted for to sweep up the manure on the main street of Salt Lake.  The men that were contracted to do it were sick and he had to substitute for them, and there was the girl that he’d taken to the Junior Prom coming down the street, and here he was in a white jacket and a cap sweeping the manure into a wagon. And it was quite embarrassing!  He never did marry that girl.  I’m glad he didn’t because he waited for me.

 When my husband was a teenager, he belonged to a baseball team –  the boys on Third East, nine boys.  As he got into high school, they got into basketball and football.   He was always on the basketball and football teams at the L.D.S. High School.  When he got the University, he got a block letter “U” for basketball,, and a block letter “U”" for football.

 He loved to ice skate and  he was a wonderful ice skater.  Liberty Park had the most wonderful lake and it wasn’t very deep it froze in the winter we all could go skating.  That’s where I first met him when I was 12 years old. I went with his sister Mildred who was my age.  Mother wouldn’t let us stay after dark at Liberty Park.  We’d go after school and skate, but if we stayed after dark, we never could go again.  So Mildred arranged for her big brother Albert to come home from the university on the nights we would go skating.   She arranged that he would take us home, and Mother then was happy about it. He didn’t know that 12 or 15 years later he would marry that little girl he had to take home when she was 12. But that was a happy experience for me. I didn’t know that he would be the one but it was wonderful to skate with him.    He could skate so fast around the lake and all the people on the lake would stop and let us skate. Mildred would be immediately following Albert and then I held on to her, and he’d take us with great strides around the lake so fast that everyone would stop and stand off to the side while we went circling the lake.  But that didn’t happen for too many years because he had to get busy in other things.

 There were no movies, but he was a great reader. Oh, how he read, and he liked to dance. He was a good dancer.    And music    he loved violins, and so he got Owen Sweeten to teach him the violin.  Owen Sweeten had the big band out at Saltair Dance Hall. Owen Sweeten taught him and they let him be in the orchestra that played for the dances at the big, beautiful open‑air dance hall at Saltair for one year.  And many a time afterwards he went on dates to Saltair.   He took me when he courted me years later to the dances at Saltair.

 He never got called on a mission, because when it was time to be called on a mission, he went to war in the First World War.    And at one time his family had five boys in the war.  His oldest brother, Clyde was a soldier; his brother Harold was a sailor; and another brother, Verne, was a sailor. And Albert worked within the machine gunnery.  He wanted to be in the Air Force. He started out to be trained to fly airplanes.  But back then the airplanes weren’t very safe. They were made with balsa wood and some kind of paper and they were glued together. They were very fragile planes.  He wasn’t allowed to finish in flying.  Finally they put him in the machine gunnery. While he was training in machine gunnery, his brother Verne died in the Navy. He got a mastoid and they didn’t have enough clothing to keep them warm. He had worn out his shoes after he had been in the war a year.  He was still wearing the same shoes he enlisted in. He put cardboard in his shoes to keep his feet dry. When they sent Verne to die –  they didn’t know he was going to die –  but they didn’t have any nursing for him. His boat came into San Francisco and he got out of the boat.     They said, “You’re too sick to go back on that boat. We’ll send you home from San Francisco on a train.” So he came home on a chair car to his home, and the doctor at home said, “Why, you’ve got a terrible mastoid,” and he died about three or four days after he got home.  They had a Gold Star flag in the flagon their house.  Service flags always have that red, white, and blue flag in the window and they always had a blue star for every boy that was in the service.  But they had four blue stars and one gold star to represent the boy that died in the war. Albert  loved that boy.   When he got married, his oldest son he named Verne after Verne Antone, but we named our Verne Verne Albert.

 Albert didn’t have many summer vacations.  Every summer he worked for Bowers Builders and he built houses. He was 16 when he started.  He took manual training and he made an oak armchair and an oak love seat for his family.  He also made an oak desk that he had in his library at home when he got married. Anyway, he was handy with tools and he had his own tools when     he got married.  He had tools all his life, building houses. He got to be a finish carpenter for the rows and rows of houses in Salt Lake built by Bowers Builders.  He loved carpentering!   He started out, of course, with the rough wood and then he had to use fine wood.  He was an excellent worker, and did  fine, detailed finish work in the homes. Every home had wood moldings halfway up and crown moldings around the ceiling and he had to do that.  He also learned many other skills while he was building houses.

 Then he went away to war and while he was at war, he made many friends. One was Jack McDonald, a very dear friend.  He would look up the Mormon boys and go to the Mormon meetings.  He didn’t smoke or drink, ever.  When he was in the army, he’d get up early in the morning and stand outside his tent, before they had the bugle call to get them all up. And one time an officer came by and said, “What are you doing up here, soldier?”  And he said, “I just got up because I like to get up and have a little time to myself.” The officer said, “Well, look at all these cigarette butts outside your tent. You pick every one of them up.”  Albert said, “But, sir, I don’t smoke.” “You don’t smoke. Well, you get in there and get all this tent cleaned up and go to the next tent, and clean up the butts by that tent.”  They weren’t very sympathetic because he didn’t smoke. But he really lived his religion all his days, from childhood right to the day he died.

 We were married in 1928, and 1929 began the terrible Depression.  Because of this, we didn’t work  much for money but we did a lot of trading.  We did it constantly because for a while the President of the United States closed all the banks.  People didn’t have a lot of money, but we did trade services and he did a lot of his work in this manner.  Some woman said she had five babies before she got her first baby paid for.  She paid for them with apples. She had an apple farm out in Holladay.  There were many people who traded with painting houses.  We got our house painted.   Medical services weren’t paid for with money, but were paid with services. Albert had faith in people and he loved his work every day of his life.  He loved being a doctor.

 He changed from wanting to be a lawyer because one of his law teachers said, “You’re not argumentative, you’re not aggressive enough; you must be more aggressive to be a lawyer, and you are too soft spoken.” The main reason he didn’t like the pre-law training was that he thought that he would have to defend someone that wasn’t telling the truth. He wanted to have the truth always. He stood by his word,, and the truth pays.   The truth pays.  He said, “Truth crushed to earth will always rise again.”  He never wanted to be in law because lawyers sometimes have to defend people who aren’t telling the truth.  

So he gave up wanting to be a lawyer, and when he came home from the war, he went to teach school again. (He’d been teaching after he graduated.)  He got his B.A. degree and he taught German at Tooele High School and did athletic coaching for the basketball team. Then he went another year up to Ricks College in Idaho, and he lived in the home of a doctor.  That doctor said, “You’d make an excellent doctor. You don’t want to stay with teaching school. We want you to be in the medical field, so go back and take another year of pre‑med and then apply for medical school.”  That he did and he went back to the university for another year of pre-med and then he applied and got in George Washington University. He got in the university of Utah Medical School for two years, and then they   transferred him to George Washington in Washington, D.C. which  is an excellent school. He had excellent training in surgery.  When he came back,  he had a preceptorship with Dr. Roy Grosbeck . Seven years he lived and operated with Dr. Grosbeck, who was an excellent surgeon in Salt Lake City. And so he had a dedication to his work and he loved it till the day he died.  

 Although Albert loved working with Dr. Grosbeck, he couldn’t make much money because that was just free service.  He had to go to different hospitals.  He was the anesthesiologist for six months at St. Marks Hospital.  Then he went to Price.  He found out that Price and Rains and the different coal camps in Southern Utah were very much in need of doctors.  There was a man named Welfare Brown and he came to Albert and said, “If you’ll come and work in the coal camps, we’ll give you $1,000 a month, because we are so much in need of doctors down there.” So he took that offer , and he would go three weeks of the month to the coal camps and come back and do one week at his practice with Dr. Grosbeck.  He didn’t like it, but it was wonderful training because he got lots of surgery.  Lots of people had bad appendixes and bad gall bladders, and he’d get over to Price and use the Price Hospital. There was a wonderful doctor in Price who would work with him.  He lived right in Rains, Utah which was a wonderful coal camp.  All these coal miners were foreigners, and they could hardly speak English.  In one letter he wrote home and said, “I’m sorry I haven’t written home for days, but I have a little family of five children who have all got Scarlet Fever along with their father and mother, and I go every day to see them.  But, I’m blessed, and I won’t get it.” And he didn’t get it. He never had it, and he didn’t get it.   He was immune to many diseases because he treated many contagious diseases down there.  One day he wrote and said, “I went into their kitchen and the dishes hadn’t been done for months, I guess.”  He said, “There wasn’t a clean dish in the place, so I washed their dishes and brought a lot of detergent, soap, and cleaned everything in the kitchen, and they began to get well not only from my doctoring, but from my having the house cleaned up for them.’

 He had rheumatic heart when he was in junior high, so he wanted to make sure his children would never get a rheumatic heart.  He always had to take their temperature with the least cold, or the least illness.  Margie was very prone to get lung infections, so he had to labor hard to keep her from getting pneumonia, which she did have several times.  In about  the second grade she had her appendix out finally, and Dr. Silas Smith was Albert’s assistant. Albert did the operating, and he did a good job.  Margie was well in a couple of weeks.  Anyway, Betty Jo Bjarnson, her cousin from San Diego was visiting, and she sat in her seat in the classroom until Margie was well enough to go to class. The reason she did this was that she wanted to have a front seat in the classroom.

 Dr. Peterson was very, very good as a family doctor. My mother had all the brothers and sisters come, and all the nieces and nephews and all his brothers and sisters and all their nieces and nephews, and a doctor who started out had to treat his own family to get a good start.  Everybody likes their own relative as a doctor. They like to go and doctor-talk to them.

 It was getting near Depression time when we became engaged.  Albert and I met many times at ward parties and in teaching –  he taught Sunday School and so did I.  One time, after we got going to ward parties together, I thought he didn’t really like me, but he just took me for a convenience. Finally, he asked me to go to a Daughters of the Pioneers Dance and his mother was in charge,  as was my mother.   He said, “My mother is making a costume for my sister.”  I was a very close friend to his sister, Mildred.  My mother made me a lovely costume with lots of ruffles on it, and it was a pretty thing with a shawl collar.  It had ruffles around the collar, and ruffles around the bottom of the skirt, and it was full, and it was very tight-backed.  I was skinny;  I weighed 108 pounds.  He had never kissed me, and I’d gone out with him at least twelve times. That day, it came 10 o’clock at night, and the party was on. Everybody was over to our ward house and they were dancing, and I thought, “Oh, I guess he’s got an emergency and he can’t come get me,” but at 10 o’clock he arrived.  He opened the door and I had my costume on that my mother had made for me and he drew me to him and kissed me on the forehead.  And I was so thrilled!   I thought he didn’t like me because many girls that were all nurses and supervisors at the L.D.S. Hospital were asking him to hospital dances and I thought maybe he was just taking me out because I lived in the ward.  But then he kissed me, and from then on he took me to work in the morning.   I had to be to work at eight o’ clock in the morning. He would have to be at his office or at the hospital at 8 o’clock as well.  So if there wasn’t a 7 o’clock operation, he would take me to work at 8 o’clock. And I fell hook, line, and sinker. I really fell for him hard. He represented everything I’d ever wanted in a man.  He was kindly and sweet and knowledgeable and thoughtful of everyone. So I really was a happy, happy bride. I don’t know why he really liked me.     He said, “I like a happy person with a happy personality that was healthy and happy and cheerful.” And he thought I filled that bill.  I was healthy and happy and cheerful. And he wanted a well person. He said, “I want to treat sick people all day long, but I want to come home to a well wife.” And he did, because I had good health, even through pregnancy I had good health.

 One day he didn’t take me home in his car because he left it in a garage near his home.  We walked from the garage, past 3rd East right opposite the Sumner School a block from his home, and there was an empty lot.  He said, “My father gave me this lot.” It was the land where his grandfather had once had his first home and his pottery shop, so it was kind of sacred land to him. I said, “What are you going    to do with it?” And he said, “I’m going to build a duplex on it.”  “Oh,” I said, “who’s going to  live in it?”  He said, “You are. You’re going to live with me.” So that was my proposal.  I didn’t get a diamond ring.  I wore his fraternity pin for a long time, and then finally he did an operation on a boy that did work at Schubach Jewelry.  The boy had an appendix operation, and so he paid for it with a diamond ring and that’s how I got my diamond engagement ring. He rushed over to the jewelry store one day when we were going home together, and he ran in and got something. Then he tossed it on my lap and said, “Now we’re really engaged.” I opened the box, and there was a diamond ring, and we were really engaged.  We were later married in the Salt Lake L.D.S. Temple on June 6, 1928.

 When I was first married, we really were hard up. We borrowed a lot of money to build a house on that empty lot and we bought our lumber through the railroad that let us have a railroad discount. We bought it from Morrison Merrill and he and his father drew the blueprints for the house because he built houses all through his high school years. He drew a blueprint –  copied Herbert Maw’s duplex that he and built and Herbert gave him his blueprints and then he wrote up the necessary things for the Building Commission to pass on it.  I typed it up for him, and so we had all the necessary things so we never had a contractor build it. His father acted as contractor –   he was retired then.  He was a stone quarry man but he’d been retired for years.  So he’d come up every morning and put the bricklayers to work and the cellar-diggers to work, and he put everybody to work.  Albert would come home and night and we’d get different workmen, bricklayers and carpenters, and every inch of that duplex inside was finished with oak.  The trim was all oak and that’s much harder to work with than soft wood, and every floor of the whole duplex was hardwood floors and it was a well-built house and it will stand better than most of the houses that are built today. I could sit there  without a washing machine, without a dishwasher, without any electric equipment, without a television or without a radio.  We’d lived there for years, three or four years before we got a radio.  Then we rented the other half of our house to Glen Shaw and his wife.  And Glen Shaw was an announcer for KSL Radio and he couldn’t even afford a radio himself, so he would run a wire underneath the floor to his side of the duplex, so that whenever we turned our radio on he would hear any programs we had. So we used to have our radio on all the time so his wife could hear her husband announcing from KSL Radio.

Everything was very primitive, but we had a happy time. We really loved Glen Shaw and his wife.  They had little children.  He was a boy from Ogden, and he later grew to be a very prominent radio owner in California. He lived in Walnut Creek, in California, and he had a radio station down there that he owned.

 I loved the little honeymoon house that I lived in for seven years. I loved that little duplex.  And I did have a nice time planning the house with Albert. But we had a lot of hardships there. There was no chance of getting very rich while we were there, but we got all the poor people in the ward as patients and they later became people that could pay, and he said he had faith in everybody. He said, “I don’t care whether they can pay or not.  They will eventually pay.” And they did when and they got jobs and they got money.  After the Depression, after we’d traded services for years and years, we finally were being paid.  Then we saved enough to buy an old house on Second South and Douglas. One of his patients was Parley Eccles, a lawyer friend that went to George Washington with him. Oh, he just loved Parley and Ethel Eccles and we chummed with them all our married life.  Parley Eccles said, “There’s a beautiful home on a beautiful corner on 2nd South and Douglas. It’s a great big 12 room house.  It’s an old home. It was built since 1895, but it’s well-built and it overlooks the city.” He said, “I hope you’ll buy it and remodel it.”  And that Albert did. He bought it and he got a patient named George Bowles to make it similar to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.  Anyway, he really did make it a beautiful home and we lived there 25 years and we thought, “Well, our kids will all go to the University, just a block up the hill.”

 By the time they were ready to go to the University, Margie fell in love with a boy that was graduating from medicine and went off to California while he interned in Good Samaritan Hospital in California.  That same year Verne went down to California and went to school at Pepperdine University.  So we didn’t get to use the University of Utah very much. Margie had one year. Verne had one quarter, and Fred had one-half a year, and then the other half of the year, he went to BYU.   Then the war came –  the Korean War – and the boys were drafted, and they were drafted so soon after they were nineteen that they couldn’t get a chance to go on a mission. The Draft Corps would say, “We’re not going to let them go on missions.  We’re going to get everybody in the service because we need more men in the service.” The draft hung like the sword of Damocles over their head.   They had to be in the upper 10% of all their classes at the university or else they would be drafted.   I guess that Verne wasn’t in the upper 10% then, because someone kept calling our home and saying, “Your son is going to be drafted in the morning, and if he is to get out of being drafted, he better go and enlist.” And I said, many times, “This isn’t right – nobody else gets these phone calls.” And he said, “Well, you better do it. Your boy’s name is right on the top of the list.” I said, “I’m going to call the Tribune and Deseret News and ask them why you’re asking this of him because nobody else is getting these calls.”  And they said, “You better not do it. It will go hard on your son.”  Well, my son heard me talking and he ran out to the airport and enlisted in the National Guard. They promised him he could stay there a year and finish school.  But within two weeks he was activated and sent off to war.

 Albert taught the Young Marrieds for three or f our years in the 7th South and 5th East ward –  it was called the 2nd Ward of Liberty Stake.  Ten or fifteen young couples would come.   We’d have 30 to 50 in a class on a Tuesday night.   Not only our ward couples, but everyone that heard that he was having kind of a talk show.   He let them ask questions, and sometimes they would be medical and he was free to give curbside medicine to them, and he was free to give spiritual medicine to them. But on Sunday afternoons, we would go on outings. One time we went to Memory Grove and we took movies.  We had a movie camera, and we took movies of all these couples having sandwiches on the lawn at Memory Grove and we went up and down the different buildings, up over the Capitol Building.  Those couples are still very dear to us but I haven’t seen them in 50 years now.  (I guess that I’m 81 years old.)  But they were dear to me and we did enjoy their company. We had many friends in and out of our home. We were great entertainers. We could entertain on just a punchbowl full of lemonade, and a few brownies.

Before the Second World War started, two years before, Brother Harold B. Lee was a patient of my husband.   He was a dear friend of Parley Eccles.  Parley Eccles got him to be the city’s Street Commissioner, because Parley was quite a good promoter in politics.  Harold B. Lee, who lived over on 8th West by the Jordan River, really was wonderful in his church work. He started the plan of food storage and things that were necessary during the Depression years, and he really got us to think of storing food.  He said, “War is inevitable. War is coming on the way the politics are going.”  He said, “Go to the ZCMI, in the food department, and order 10 cases of every food that you folks use, even though it will put you out a lot to buy them right now. Buy them and pay for them and put them in your basement.” We only had a furnace room and one other little room that was knotty pine, but the knotty pine room we filled from the floor to the ceiling with 10 cases of crab meat, Geisha crab meat, 10 cases of shrimp, 10 cases of tomato soup, 10 cases of vegetable beef soup, 10 cases of chicken noodle soup, and like that.   Finally when the war came and everybody saw me serving crab meat sandwiches at our Sunday night parties, they nearly would pass out with joy as they would enjoy our crab meat open‑face sandwiches. I hated to tell them that I bought them in 1938, way before the war started in 1941, but I did it because Harold B. Lee told us to do it and that’s why we had storage. I would give parties while I lived at the house on Douglas Street and 2nd South.  Albert was Superintendent of the Sunday School for many years and one of the Sunday School teachers.  Nearly every other Sunday night we’d meet together and they would have little socials at our home.  And when Margie got married in 1948, we gave her a couple of cases of soup that was still there. She took it   to California, but I don’t know if she enjoyed it. By then they were pretty tired of the same soups.

 Albert had hobbies. As a young man, he played the violin and took lessons from Owen Sweeten.   And Owen Sweeten had the main orchestra    the big, beautiful ballroom out on Saltair and it was the largest open‑air ballroom in the United States.  Every summer he would play with Owen Sweeten’s band. He wasn’t very unusually good in violin, but Owen Sweeten was his teacher, and he said, “You be one of the violinists.”  They had about 60 in the violin orchestra –  in the whole orchestra –  so he got to play out there.  Afterwards he learned to play the violin very well. 

He also learned to play the piano. He loved the piano.  He had a musical gift.  He could hear a tune when the radio and the television came out, he would listen to music and he’d go to the piano and play it.  When we bought the home on 1246 East 2nd South, we bought a concert grand piano, which he loved dearly.   He played on it every night when he’d come.  He wouldn’t say, “Is dinner ready?”  He’d go to the piano and play until the dinner was ready.  He had an ear for music and he had a natural ability to hear a  piece of music sung on the radio or the television and he could go to the piano and play that piece.  At his funeral a little chorister in our ward played all his favorite pieces that he used to play when he came home.  He played oh, so often and he had his children play the piano.  They were encouraged to play by him sitting right on the bench while they practiced. He loved it.  He didn’t read music so much. He knew how to read it because he’d taken violin, but he didn’t correct them on their music.   He just sat there to encourage them. Each one of the children could play well into the fourth, fifth, sixth grade, and Margie went into the ninth grade in music.

 His other hobby was golf. Oh, how he loved golf! Parley Eccles, his dear friend that was a lawyer was a great golfer, and they played golf together.  He and Rulon Clark and Albert played golf together.  he always had his golf partners, and he loved it.  He got to be good in his age group.  He once got a hole in one and got “hole-in-one” cufflinks.  He finally got so he’d take me and teach me.  I was left‑handed so I had to have left-handed golf clubs, which he bought for me.  I was glad he did because that made a little enjoyment that I had with him.  And he never, ever made me count my golf strokes, which I was glad of, because you count your blessings, but not your golf strokes, because if you count your golf strokes, you won’t get a good score. So I did...

 He didn’t care for movies so much, but we always belonged to the Symphony, when they first organized the symphony, and we lived near the University.   We went to the symphony concerts, and we also went to the plays on the University campus.  He always loved plays. Anything the University produced.  We belonged to the theater  groups and to the symphony, anything musical and anything to do with the theater, he wanted to belong to it.  And then we had a supper club.  (I’ve forgotten the name of it.)  He didn’t like to eat out much, so we didn’t eat out a lot.

Then, of course, every month we met with the Merry-Go-Rounders, and there was Ned Winder and Herbert Maw and Dr. Kristofferson, and David Evans, and Harold Wallace, and the head of the Federal Reserve Bank (I forget), and the Oswalds. Bicknell Roberts owned the Ice Cream Company, and every month we met year in and year out from the time we got married until the day he died.  Every 12 years you had to be President, and once every year you’d get a new president.  The last year before he died, he very capably took charge of the meetings.  He had to get a good speaker and see that we met in each other’s homes. We never met in public places.   And we had wonderful times with those people. 

 He always quoted Job.  I don’t know why, but in the Old Testament he loved the whole story of Job and often we read the whole book.  One Christmas, he gave me the audio version of the Book of Mormon on “golden plates”. We had a record player that played type of record and I read the Book of Mormon myself alone.  We would also read together in the evening by listening to it on the “golden plates”. They weren’t the real Golden Plates, of course, but they were golden-colored records that were recordings of the whole Book of Mormon.  Together we read the whole Book of Mormon . Then also, about that time you could turn on the radio and you could learn French and Russian.  He rushed home on Tuesday nights so that we could hear Anastasia, a wonderful convert to the Mormon Church, who was teaching Russian.  We got so we could talk quite a few words in Russian.  He tried to get his grandchildren to learn Russian and French, and he spoke German fluently because he took quite a lot of it in the University and he taught it in high school.

 Albert was very helpful to me on the genealogy records.  He wrote a wonderful story about his grandfather, the pioneer pottery maker in the state of Utah.  It was the 20th anniversary of the Second Ward and they had a big ten-page newspaper published and it got printed in that newspaper.  It was judged by several prominent women in the church and he won the prize!  The main judge was the daughter of James E. Talmage, Elsie Talmage Brandley .  She chose his story as the best story and he won a prize for it. It was called “The Mormon Claydigger”.

 When Albert was 73 years old and he thought that he would brush up on his practice and have a half-day practice in his office because the insurance company was taking care of us the last four or five years while he was ill.  He did have some fun in the last four or five years because Uncle Farrell lived in Palm Springs, California. He didn’t like to be in Palm Springs in the summer because it was too hot, so he’d say, “Come down to our house for five weeks in the winter, and play golf with us, and then we’ll go to your house in the summer and golf with you.”  So that’s what we did.  We exchanged vacations.   

By then our kids were gone.  Margie was married to Dr. Richard G. Barton and she had gone off to Africa with three little kids.  While our boys were in the Korean War, she and her husband were in Casablanca, Morocco, where he was stationed at Nouasseur Air Force Base.  He was a doctor for the Air Force Base and he delivered babies on the base.  Margie took care of their three little kids and she had a helper that was a native.  She paid her a dollar a day and she could speak French and also Arabic.  It was hard with Margie and Verne being away, so we had to have a lot of fun at home alone.  That’s why we went to play golf in Palm Springs.

Albert had a patient that owed him a lot of money and so we got paid with trading services and so Margie took years and years of ballet and other dancing lessons.  She performed quite a bit. We watched her perform and we were very proud of her and her teacher was very proud of her.   All her life she became very artistic in her ways and her father was proud of her.  She got to be a model for Auerbach’s.  And every time she was posed, it looked like she was just a beautiful model.  I believe she would have been a model for many years if she’d stayed with it, but she was happy the way her life went, I’m sure.

 When the boys were little Albert liked to have them run to door and meet him when he came home from work.   They’d all run to the door and grab him and climb all over him and jump up on his shoulders and everything.  We always had a man teacher that taught them piano even when they were little.  One day this man teacher came to the door and the kids didn’t even look to see whether it was their dad or not and they ran and the boys climbed up on top and him and said, “Oh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” They climbed onto his shoulders, and it was the piano teacher. But anyway, that’s how they loved their daddy when they were little. He was a good father but he was a stern disciplinarian and that the children later didn’t like to be disciplined so well.  Anyway, we had lots of fun with our children. We went to the Mayo Clinic and took the kids, and we stayed five weeks, and we’d rent an apartment.  They’d go play golf on the golf course a block or two away while Albert would  go in the hospital and watch their surgery and their procedures.  

 When we got to be married and had our little children, Margie and Verne, we would go on vacations.  We would make it a time when he would be called to a medical convention or something like that.  And at that time, my sister Berta was married to Reed Clegg who was getting a specialty in bone surgery at the Mayo Clinic.  We would take five weeks off in the middle of the summer the five years that they were there and we’d go to the Mayo Clinic and we’d rent an apartment and he would go every morning and watch their surgery until they got to know him.  He had to wear a mask, but that’s a wonderful way, a hospitable way, that the Mayo Clinic doctors had. They’d let you come from any country, from any school, any trade, any hospital, any surgical training that you wanted.  You could go and stand close to the operating table and see their procedures. They were very good surgeons.  I went with him often and we’d sit in the gallery way up high.  After we were married, he would go quickly to do free work    he did free work for the county hospital and did free work for Dr. Alexander who was the Salt Lake County Attorney.  He would let Albert come and be first assistant to him in surgery and  I would watch them.  All the medical students at the university would be up in the galleries watching as best they could.  I’d get there rather than stay home all night when he was operating on emergencies.  

 Another thing we did while we traveled to Minnesota was that we would go back and forth to the Mayo Clinic different ways.  Many times we’d go through Yellowstone Park to the Mayo Clinic  or sometimes we’d go through the Bad Lands of the Dakotas and we would stop at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

 I feel that Albert did have a tender, caring way toward people and it was the reason he went into medicine.  He was really a school teacher teaching under Nat Webb. Nat Webb was the principal at Tooele High. When Albert first graduated from the University, he wanted to teach, so he went out and taught under Nat Webb in the high school –  German and athletic subjects and supervised the basketball. Then, because he had been an athlete at the University anyway, well, he thought that he was happy in that.  But then he had to go to war, the First World War.  But after the war with Germany, the students didn’t want to take German.   And a lot of the people said, “oh, I’ll bet he’s pro-German.”  He said, “I just showed them.  I proved to them that I was really an American, so I enlisted.”  And he said, “I got into the regular army and my one brother, Verne, was in the Navy, and another brother, Harold, was in the Navy, and so we corresponded with each other, and our family at home corresponded and we had lovely support from our family at home.” He said, “But when my brother Verne died, because his boat was all around the world,  he came into San Francisco Harbor very sick and the doctors in the Navy just said, ‘We’ll put you on a train and send you home.’” But they didn’t realize that he had a mastoid.  He had had very severe colds and insufficient warmth in his clothing, and he got home and was only home about a week and he died of mastoid complications.  He died  the week after he got home from a leave of absence from the Navy.  When the officer where my husband was training in Seattle heard that he had a brother that was being buried in Salt Lake, he let him have a leave of absence long enough for him to go to his brother’s funeral in Salt Lake City.  It was quite sad for him because they were very close.  In fact, they once got their furloughs together and they went to a family in Seattle that had two daughters, and Albert took one for a date and Verne took the other.  And they took pictures of their dates and they had a lovely  time together, but the next time we heard from his brother was when he was sick, coming into San Francisco.

 So when we got married, our first boy he named Verne Albert Peterson after this brother that we loved so dearly. Well, he had lots of very fine friends in the Army.  He got to be in an Officers Training Camp and in machine gunnery. He tried to get in the Air Force but they didn’t think his eyes were quite good enough.  It was a good thing because the airplanes were made out of balsa wood and paper. They were very fragile airplanes in those days.  He was transferred when they found that his eyes weren’t strong enough.  He was transferred into machine guns, and he got to be a lieutenant in machine gunnery. And he was scheduled to be shipped over to Europe at the time that the Armistice was being signed and so they didn’t ship him and his group didn’t get to go. But one group went ahead of him and all of this group was killed.  They were all machine gun men. So he had the sadness of war, and he didn’t like war. And he tried all his life to keep from having war, but we had to experience war a lot. Our boys grew up just as the Korean War was starting, and they either had to be drafted or they had to enlist. And Verne enlisted in the Air Force because he wanted to fly an airplane. Later he got to be trained as a jet pilot and went to the Korean War. Fred went later and he was just a foot soldier.  He didn’t like being a soldier, so he applied to be a medic, and they let him.  While he was in Korea he got very sick with  infectious hepatitis. They put him in the hospital. He got it was when he was serving food to the commanding officer, General Collier.  He was head of all the Korean War at the last, when Fred had the job of serving food to all the officers.  But they all got hepatitis, and one wonderful major died of it.    But the little fellows that didn’t drink wine and didn’t eat too well,  they lived through the epidemic and they flew them to Japan where they were put in a clean hospital.  The Korean War it wasn’t a clean war.  It was a real backward country without sanitation habits or sanitation rules.  That’s the way in was in those days.

 Albert admired people who cared. He liked to be quiet when we were home. He wanted it quiet. The children as they grew to teenagers wanted crowds around, and he liked to go off to his room because he couldn’t stand all that noise. He read a lot, and that’s why he was a great reader and a great listener. When he got to having a real close relationship with a man that he went through college with, he got to be with 12 men that he loved dearly, and they all were sort of like he was. They played low-key.  They never wanted to be mayor or governor, but one did get to be governor of the state –  Governor Herbert Maw, but none of the others were unusual. They just were lovely, common people and liked to be with common people, and they cared about each other.

 He was dedicated as a doctor. He loved doctoring. And he loved every patient, even though they were very, very poor and didn’t pay, he said, “Someday they’ll pay.”  So he’d go to them whether they paid or not. He went to see them in the night, and often in the night, I’d see a note on the pillow when I’d wake up. It would say, “If I don’t come back, the last call I went to was out at the airport, and it’s a very strange call, but this is the address where I’m going.”So I know that he even went to the most unusual calls, but he never was harmed, never was hurt, and he was rewarded by the thanking of the people he helped. He loved to make people well and he stayed with them. He’d take a baby case and give the mother all pre-natal care and all through the delivery and six weeks after the delivery care for the mother and the baby and only charge something like $25     $45 at the very most. 

 He was very, very caring. He wasn’t knowledgeable in great passages of the Bible. He was very much acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, and that’s what he lived his life by.  He loved people and he never could hate anyone.

 Albert was ordained an elder when he came back from the war.  He was ordained a High Priest in the University Ward.  Sister Carlson and her husband started a little study group, and we studied the Bible.  We also had many wonderful speakers – Mark Peterson’s wife and Ezra Taft Benson and different lovely people.  World War Two was on then and we had to find our joy in just little study groups, and it was good.  Albert served in the University Ward for five years as the superintendent of the Sunday School.  He always taught Sunday School classes, and he said to me, “You teach the Primary, Momma, and I’ll teach Sunday School, so we won’t conflict.  You go and do your Primary teaching.  It’ll be on Tuesday and you’ll be free to be with me in Sunday School.” So I didn’t help him in the Junior Sunday School while he was president of the University Ward Sunday School.  Then when we moved out to the in the Monument Park Stake, he was quite active in the High Priest Quorum and he loved going to church, but he didn’t do much teaching out here. His health began to fail him.

 He traveled all over the United States, but we never went to Europe.  He always wanted to go to medical conventions, and stay there, and take me with him.  I took the speeches down in shorthand because I’d been seven years secretary in a railroad office for the president of the railroad. He’d have me sit there and take the lectures down in shorthand so that he could have them written and benefit by them.  He’d get great benefit out of those wonderful medical meetings.  We went all over the United States and we took the kids until they got so teenaged they didn’t want to go.

 He loved to read.  He always liked adventure stories. And once in a while he liked a mystery story. He had Harvard’s Shelf of Fiction. He liked the classics, and he  was a greater reader of the classics. He never read trashy stories. He never cared for sordid stories, and negative thinking. He liked to think positively.

 His humor was dry wit and you just have to learn to understand dry wit.  As a bride,  I couldn’t understand his dry wit. He’d say a thing and it had two meanings.  He would use a word that would have two meanings, and I didn’t know the two meanings to everything he said.    But he was clever in a certain way.  His mother couldn’t understand his jokes, so she finally said to him, “You’ll have to hold up your joke flag, Albert.” But he told stories that I think were kind of funny.  He’d tell them on himself –  little “faux pas” that he did.  He took a wonderful girl to Wanderware Park to take a boat ride in a canoe and he thought he was very impressive to her. He pulled the canoe up to a little wharf and went off to get a sandwich and some pop, or ice cream cones or something, and she was still in the boat.  She sat in one end of the boat and held onto the wharf at one end and he tried to step into the other end, but as he stepped in, the boat swung out from the wharf.  She still hung onto the wharf at her end and his legs went wider and wider apart, until finally he sat down in the lake.  He thought that was funny. He had to go home quickly and change clothes. But he liked to tell jokes on himself.  Like the time when he was an intern in George Washington University Medical School.  He would work sometimes 12 hours without rest and he’d get a rest and it might be in the middle of the night when they’d say, “Now you can go home” at one in the morning, or something like that, and sleep for six hours and then come back at six in the morning.  Well, he thought he hadn’t gotten enough fresh air so he walked and walked and walked and finally he found that he was near one of his friend’s who was also a medical student, and he rang the bell to the upstairs apartment and said, “Hello, Parley, what are you doing?”  He said, “What do you think I’m doing at two  in the morning?”

Albert had to eat mild food because he had an ulcer. He developed it while he was back in George Washington Medical School, while he had very little money.  He didn’t have much to eat and so he got an ulcer. While he was studying internal medicine, Dr. Maury was his professor and he said, “Dr. Maury, I think I have an ulcer. I have pain after I eat.”  And Dr. Maury said, “Oh, you’re just a hypochondriac. That’s the way all the pupils I teach in medicine are – they all think they have the disease they’re studying about.”  So he said, “But doctor, I even take food after, and after I take the food the pain doesn’t subside; I still have pain in my abdomen, in my stomach area.”  “Oh, now don’t think you have an ulcer –  you just think that.” So Albert stood the pain so much that finally he was hemorrhaging blood and they brought him in on a stretcher to the hospital.  Dr. Maury was so apologetic that he said, “Oh, Pete, we certainly are sad that we misdiagnosed you because you did have an ulcer.”  But he got on a very high ulcer diet and he ate very mild food from then on.  We never had spicy Mexican food or spicy European or any spicy food all our married life.  He couldn’t eat crusty pies or anything that other people liked.

 He also got pneumonia a lot in the last two or three years of his life. He had something they called ‘walking pneumonia’.  He didn’t want people to know he had it because he wouldn’t get a fever, but his lungs would get full of fluid, and he had to be put to bed.  He went to the hospital with pneumonia several times in the last three or four years of his life.  It was not a very severe pneumonia, but it was chronic.  He finally died of pneumonia. On his death certificate I thought it would say that the cause of death was heart trouble because he did have a bad heart, but on the death certificate it said pneumonia. 

 Albert died on October 19, 1966 when we were back in New York We went to a convention in Boston and then on over to New Hampshire to my aunt’s home. My aunt had died but her daughter was still running that big estate and they wanted us to come up where my husband who loved golf, could play on their private golf course.

 We first went to New York to be with our oldest son Verne for a short time.  Then Verne drove us to Boston where we went to the medical convention. They honored Dr. Peterson for his many, many years of devoted service to the medical profession. He did get an award that time for being a very dedicated doctor in general practice. He was honored by never having to pay again, or never having to study again. They said, “You are honorary member of the national General Practice Association in medicine.”  The association wrote him a letter and told him to come to the convention, and he did, but they had the convention in a new convention hall in Boston where they couldn’t work the cooling system. It wouldn’t go off.  There were a several hundred doctors in that big hall , and they all were bundled in overcoats with warm wool scarves around their necks.  He went with a slight cold over to New Hampshire where my cousin, Connie Constant, took us to their estate.  We thought we would have a wonderful time over there but in 3 days he died of a severe pneumonia. We put him in a hospital in Wolfboro on Lake Winnepesake, the town near Province where she lived.  But it was too small a hospital for good care and he died in 3 days.

 Albert had three great loves:  he loved his church, he loved his family, and he loved golf. Oh, but his first love was to care for others. He loved medicine and treating people and he would stay hours after work with someone who needed him.  That’s before they had a lot of psychiatry and there were a lot of people who need psychiatric help, so he’d spend hours with them. I’d wonder when he’d ever come home for dinner, but he’d say, “Just let me talk a little longer with this man. I think I’ll get him over the depressed feeling he has, and I think I’ll keep him from getting a divorce,” or something like that.  I  often wondered why he wanted to do that, but it’s because he had a great love for people. It was so wonderful. It made me love people more myself.