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Bates, Ethel Dora 1910-2008
Bates, Thomas Richard 1884-1969
Bird, Eliza Jane 1877-
Bodily, Letha 1916-2001
Brown, William Moroni 1918-2000
Burkett, Eleanor 1815-1905
Burton, Hubert Criddle 1924-2000
Buss, Walter Richard 1905-2000
Ethel Dora Bates Biography (1910-2008)
Ethel Dora Bates (1910-2008)

Ethel Dora Bates was born Thursday morning at 5:00 a.m., April 20, 1910 in Plain City, Weber County, Utah to Thomas Richard Bates and Dora Evaline Taylor.  She was blessed August 7, 1910 by Peter M. Folkman in Plain City, Utah.   Her brothers and sisters are in order of birth: Richard LaVerne, (Ethel Dora), Earl Thomas, Evelyn Rachel, Ivan James, Ruth Mary, Carl Robert, Lucille, and Albert “D”.

Ethel lived in three homes in Plain City while growing up.  Her first home was a small one on a farm near her Grandfather and Grandmother Bates out in the northeast section of Plain City.  Several years later, her father, being a carpenter by trade, built a large home about a mile north.  They were happy to get more space and an upstairs for their bedrooms.  As years west by, T. R. bought the entire farm of 80 acres from his father and then decided to sell the home.  T. R. tore it down and moved it in sections to Mr. Ezra Richardson who lived about eight miles southwest of them in Plain City.  In the meantime, the family moved into their grandparent’s home and T. R, built two large barns which he called the Twin Barn Farm.  This name carried through until the barns were old and torn down.  They were built on a corner so if you weren’t really careful when driving at night you would travel on down between them instead of making the turn.  The sign was very prominent to all who traveled west.

While living in their grandfather’s home, they had a frightening experience of rising early one Saturday morning in July 1929.  Smoke was billowing out beneath the eaves – the fire had started by sparks from the chimney.  This occurred about 6 a.m. so none of the small children were up.   Ethel gathered the small children and placed them in the car just outside the back door.  T. R. couldn’t get the car started so they pushed it down across the roadway.  One brother and Ethel helped get most of the furniture and clothing out of the front room and one bedroom, while others worked elsewhere.  They then watched the house collapse into one heap.  They were thankful no one was injured but the loss was great – especially Ethel’s mother’s brand new white enamel range.  After the big commotion quieted down, they gathered many things up that had been thrown from windows and as they walked out to some of the furniture, there sat a big pan of buttered brown toast prepared by Ethel, unhurt and waiting for them to breakfast on.  The family camped in one of the double barns for the rest of the summer while T. R. built another lovely new home on the same spot where they had been burned out. 

This was the third home that T. R. built for his family, a white home that is still standing in Plain City.  It was in this white home that Ethel became engaged to Graydon.

One family outing that Ethel remembers was going on Easter to Antelope Island.  The children would wade in the lake, boil their eggs over a fire, and enjoy the time until the salt dried on their legs.  Because there was no fresh water, they endured the salted coverings until they returned home.

Ethel spent much of her growing up years tending her younger siblings in the family as her mother was often ill.  When her mother wasn’t ill, she was working in the fields.  An early experience as told by Ethel was “when I was six years old, Mother was very ill and we had a new baby, Ivan.  I remember standing on a chair to wash dishes and I laid the baby on a pillow on the floor to bathe and dress him.  I also, scrubbed my first floor on my hands and knees at this early age, because it was so dirty.  Mother told me not to, but I closed her bedroom door and went to work.  It was during the flu epidemic and we were unable to get any help in our home.”

In her early years of school, she attended the Plain City Elementary and also at Farr West.  She lived an equal distance from each school as their farm bordered the town line.  She was unable to attend her first grade year being small and the snow so deep, she was unable to tread the three mile distance morning and night.  The next year, a school wagon or sleigh was provided for the severe part of the winter.  She then attended junior high at Plain City and graduated in May of 1926.  As she grew older, she walked approximately four miles each way to and from school.

Ethel’s father, T. R. Bates, played the violin with a group in Plain City and Farr West and she remembers that the 17th of March was a great day for the children.  The band would play for the “kids dance” for a celebration in the church.  The ward dinner was held at noon for the children who were let out of school.  The following evening the band would play for the adults to dance.  Ethel remembers her mother doing a lot of baking in preparation for these affairs.

In this same church the children attended religion classes after school.  The church was directly across the street from the grade school with the park in between.  The busses would wait for the children and then take them home.

She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 6, 1919 by Chester E. England in the Plain City canal and confirmed on the same day by Henry J. Garner.

Another day to celebrate was the 24th of July.  The entire ward would come to the park for food, games, a baseball game, races and a “gay time.”  At this time in Plain City there was only one ward the bishop was George Palmer.  There was always a May Pole to braid at these affairs.

Ethel told of a most unusual experience in her childhood:

“The most frightening experience I ever had in my childhood was one summer morning in June when I was about twelve years old.  We were often cautioned about being careful and staying near home because there were many troupes of gypsies that passed our home during the summer.  They were not friendly and would often steal anything they could use.  My parents always warned me to get the small children in the house and under cover whenever we should spot a caravan of gypsies approaching.  This hot day I was left at home alone to care for the younger children while the folks traveled ten miles to Ogden for groceries and to get home supplies.

The road to the East was open and curved so we could see a mile beyond.  We spied this caravan of white top covered wagons trailing around the corner and coming toward our home.  Knowing the gypsies always stopped at our home for food - chickens, eggs, vegetables and bedding, I was scared to death.

The first thing I did was to gather all the tiny children (some were neighbors visiting us who lived too far away to send home) and hide them in the house - some under the bed, behind the china closet and back of other furniture.  I locked all the doors and pulled down the blinds and prayed that this time they wouldn’t stop.  I and my older brother peeked out under the blinds to see if they were driving on past and what to our wondering eyes and horror in our hearts, we see them all turn and drive straight into our large yard.  The younger children began to scream and I could hardly get control of any of them.

Finally, I looked out the kitchen window and to my Heavenly relief, I recognized close friends of the family coming from Idaho for a visit climbing down from those high wagons.  So soon I had peace and quiet among the children and we were able to go out and greet the welcome visitors. 

I had my first experience of baking a cake and preparing a noon meal for a large crowd.  But we managed and it always remained the visit of the gypsies, and was quite a joke among the families on other get togethers.”

A neighbor, Will England had a bull that he let feed along the roadside rather than put him in a fenced in field.  She remembers being scared to death of it as she, Evelyn, and Earl had to walk past it to get to and from school.  Another remembrance was of her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Jim Brown, a neighbor.  He insisted that she walk home in a snowstorm as she had forgotten to bring a note from her mother for her absence the day before.  Ethel made it home but didn’t return to school that day.  Her comment was, “He was a mean man.”  She remembers being a good speller and one day Mr. Brown thought he could really trick the children by asking them to spell a word he thought no one could get.  The word was “phantasmagoria” and Ethel spelled it with a “z” instead of an “s” because of the pronunciation by Mr. Brown.  When the children exchanged papers to correct them, the child behind Ethel changed the “z” to an “s” and when the teacher asked if anyone spelled the word correctly, he poked Ethel in the back and told her to raise her hand.  She did and the teacher was so upset to think someone might spell the word correctly that he didn’t even look at the papers. 

Ethel’s family lived right over the dividing line between Farr West and Plain City.  The Costley family that lived next door to Ethel’s family were in Farr West while the Bates were in Plain City.  Mrs. Costley was a wonderful godsend to the family when Ethel’s sister, Ruth, was born as Dora could not nurse the baby.  Mrs. Costley would come as often as needed and nurse Ruth.  She saved Ruth’s life.

All of Dora’s family, the Taylors, lived on what was called Poplar Lane because of all the trees.  Ethel remembers the road out to Plain City as a “lonely, little gravel road.”

Ethel remembers that most of the family fun and entertainment was picnicking and visiting with families and close relations.           

When Ethel was a young girl she remembers going to shop with the family in Ogden in the wagon.  The road led down through the Ogden River and as they forded the river she would get her feet wet inside the wagon.

Ethel attended the new Weber County High School which was on Washington Blvd. and 12th St. in Ogden, Utah.  The school was so newly constructed that she remembers as a sophomore entering the school with planking still in place.  Her high school years were filled with academics as she was a very good student. Her senior year was an especially difficult year as Ethel’s mother was so ill.  She was being taken care of in Salt Lake City.  Because of this Ethel, being the oldest girl, missed the entire first quarter of school in order to take care of her mother in Salt Lake.  When she was able to return to school, she diligently made up the work she had missed but was heartbroken when her report card showed “C’s” for all the subjects that first quarter.  To keep life in perspective, one needs to remember that Ethel had one dress, which she made, to wear to school her entire senior year.  She would wash it each Friday night and press it on Saturday for the next week of school; therefore, she did not attend many of her high school dances as she did not have the clothing to do so.  Ethel graduated from Weber County High School on May 27, 1929.

After Ethel graduated from high school, she found a job working at the Thomas Dee Memorial Hospital where she prepared the food trays for the patients.  She earned $34.00 a month.  She remembers that the checks she earned for her first three months work, her parents took as they needed the money for the rest of the family.  She was hoping to become a nurse, if she could earn the $75.00 necessary to enter the nursing program. 

Before she earned the necessary money, she became engaged to and married Graydon.  Ethel met Graydon on April 19, 1930 at a dance at “White City” (a dance hall) on 24th Street in Ogden.  When asked why she married Graydon, Ethel responded, “Because he told me to.”  Once Graydon found Ethel, he quickly tired of the dating game and decided it was time to get married and settle down.  He was always a “no nonsense man,” Ethel responded.

Ethel was married to Graydon Stoker Holt on December 22, 1930 in the Salt Lake Temple by George F. Richards.  Graydon began to build the house that Ethel and she would live in before they were married down on the farm in Clearfield (this area would later come to be known as the Navy Supply Depot then Freeport Center).  The house was built in sections as money became available.  The house was the same floor plan as T. R. Bates and Dora Evaline’s home.  Ethel’s brother Verne and her father helped build the house.  For a short time after Ethel and Graydon were married in December they lived with George Edward and Evaline until the house was complete enough to move into in March. 

This home was a boon for Ethel as it was the first home she lived in that had indoor plumbing.  Ethel and Graydon lived on the farm for approximately eleven years when WWII broke out and the government came into the area and condemned the land for use as a Navy Base.  Ethel and Graydon had ten days to relocate.  It was July and all the garden crops were ripening and about ready to can or bottle for the winter.  Ethel left early in the morning to get her mother, Dora, to assist with the canning as the eviction was upon them.  By the time Ethel returned with Dora around 9:00 a.m. the work crews had already uprooted all the trees (fruit and all) as well as the garden.  It was a heart-breaking experience for Ethel.

The house was quickly moved to a new site in Clearfield along a street with others who were evicted as well.  In total, forty families were forced to abandon their farms and relocate - all within ten days!  Ethel and Graydon lived in a small house in Layton while a foundation was dug for the house.  Only eleven bricks were lost as the house was moved to its new foundation.  Ethel and Graydon bought a piece of property next to Clarence and LaPrele Stoker who were also forced from their farm.  Ethel remembers all the heavy equipment that came in and literally leveled all the buildings on the property - leaving nothing.  (Norine, Marilyn, and Ann were born in the house on the base.)

After another six or seven years, Graydon bought a farm in Layton (where he had been farming the land in the interim) and built a new house for the family.  Ethel and Graydon lived in this house until the death of Graydon.  Shortly after this, Ethel moved to a new location in Layton, off the farm as the land had been sold for various business and residential interests. 

Ethel’s children were a joy to her.  Norine was born March 20, 1932 followed by Marilyn who was born September 2, 1935 and Dora Ann who was born June 25, 1938.  Seven years later Ruth Bates was born July 20, 1945 and Paul was born July 9, 1949.  Her children had a happy and carefree childhood.  Their lives were filled with fun activities, wonderful friends, good neighbors, a close-knit family, a unified church upbringing, and a safe haven.  It was well known in the neighborhood that the Holt girls were dressed like “dolls.”  Additionally, Ethel taught her family how to work as there were always chores to be completed inside and outside the house.  Through her loving care, she instilled self-confidence, a work ethic, family pride, and a religious belief that her posterity will always bless her for.

During the spring and summer months, Ethel and Graydon had a large garden that was filled with fruits and vegetables.  Clarence and LaPrell Stoker (Graydon’s cousins) lived next door, and they also had a large garden.  Almost every Sunday evening was spent outdoors eating freshly turned ice cream and chocolate cake.  There are many fond memories within the two families of the talking and laughing that could be heard on those many evenings. 

Ethel’s daughters remember Ethel’s many sacrifices being done in a loving manner.  She never spoke ill of other people.  She refused to gossip or talk down to others.  In Clearfield, the family lived near the railroad tracks.  They would often have “tramps” from the trains come by and ask for food.  Ethel always packed them a nice lunch and put it in a large sack.  The word got out among these people that there was a nice lady that would feed them.  These train tramps (as they were known at the time) were never scary or hostile.  They respected Ethel and thanked her on most occasions for her compassion.

Ethel’s children remember the many shopping excursions that were turned into such fun outings.  Saturday mornings were spent cleaning the house and by noon, Ethel and her daughters were dressed up and ready to go to town to do some shopping.  There are many pleasant memories in the family of these special “Mother and Daughter” outings.

Ethel was pleased as her children grew to maturity, went on to college, and married - all in the temple.  This has been a source of satisfaction for Ethel.  She also delighted in the grandchildren as they gradually came into the family.  She was the best grandmother ever – just as she was the best mother ever.

Ethel and Graydon traveled to Brazil to meet their son, Paul, after his mission and traveled the area.  They spent time seeing the early Lamanite cities and ruins as well, as the major cities.  They also traveled much of the U.S. including a trip to Hawaii.  They also traveled to New York to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

In her later years, Ethel always loved taking car rides through the area.  She was always excited to see the fields as they were being plowed or newly planted.  She also loved to see the growth of homes and new stores that continued to spring up throughout the area.  She never tired of riding with her daughters throughout the area – to see new growth and reminisce about the older areas she recognized.   She and her two sisters, Evelyn and Lucille enjoyed many sister trips throughout the U.S. in their widowed years.

Ethel did beautiful handwork.  She made many crocheted doilies and afghans over the years.  Most of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have enjoyed snuggling up with one of her afghans.  She enjoyed making flannel quilts for her family.  She also sewed beautifully and made many clothes for her girls.

Ethel was a wonderful teacher and her creativity was shown in the many flannel board stories she made for church lessons and her beautiful flower arrangements for her home.

Ethel was also very involved in the Garden Club in Clearfield and had a beautiful rose garden wherever she lived.  Because she had a magic touch with the roses, they always bloomed large and festive.  Graydon would often break off a rose and bring it into the house for Ethel to put in one of her beautiful crystal vases.  Throughout the summer months, flowers were in the house as well as outdoors.

Ethel was awarded a Certificate of Honor for ten years of service in the Primary Association in 1957.  She was called to be Teacher and Coordinator of the Junior Sunday School in the Layton 10th ward on December 4, 1959 by Bishop Wendell D. Leavitt and released September 16, 1961.  Ethel was also the Teacher Trainer for over ten years in both Clearfield and Layton Wards.  She served in many positions within the primary, the young women’s organization, and the relief society over her many years of dedication to the church.  She also served on the Stake Relief Society Board in Clearfield.  She was set apart to be an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple on November 22, 1968 by President Boyer and received an honorable release on December 1, 1971.  She was also set apart as the first ordinance worker in the Ogden Temple by President John J. Zundel in January 1972 where she served until 1983.  She was dedicated to her church and her family and her family has prospered because of her faith and selfless devotion.

Two of Ethel’s daughters became teachers and it was mainly because of her love of teaching within the church that inspired her daughters.  Her family watched her carefully and meticulously prepare her lessons and helped her create storybook lessons for the flannel board.  She was a gifted teacher and imparted that love of teaching to both Dora Ann and Ruth.

After Graydon’s death, Ethel sold the home in Layton on highway 91 and moved into a new home just off the Hill Field Road.  She lived in this home from 1987 to the present.  Here she continued the tradition of entertaining her family and making everyone welcome in her home.

Her family gathered to honor her on her 95th birthday in April 2005.  Because of failing health, Ethel moved into Chancellor Gardens, an assisted living facility, in March of 2008 where she resided until her death on July 20, 2008.  Her funeral was held at Lindquist Mortuary in Layton and she was buried on July 25, 2008 next to Graydon in the Syracuse Cemetery, Syracuse, Utah.

Headstone in the Syracuse Cemetery

History written by Ruth H. Barker, daughter.

Ethel Dora Bates Holt, personal history<
Ethel’s daughters, Norine, Marilyn, Dora Ann, Ruth, and son, Paul
Family Records in the possession of Ruth H. Barker

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
August 14, 1950
Layton, Utah
A blessing given by David E. Layton, Patriarch, upon the head of
Ethel Bates Holt
Daughter of Thomas Richard and Dora Evaline Taylor Bates
Born April 20, 1910 in Plain City, Utah

Sister Ethel, having authority vested in me, I lay my hands upon your head and bless you according to the Holy Patriarchal Order, for thou art one of the daughters of Zion; favored by the Lord, to be permitted to live in this day and age, and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ; and thou art also of the lineage of Ephraim, and entitled to the blessings that the Lord has in store for those who keep His commandments.

Inasmuch as you will be faithful and true, the Lord will bless you with the Holy Spirit, that it shall be a close companion unto you, and will guide your footsteps in the path of duty and righteousness, and will warn you of danger, that you may be able to escape the snares of the adversary.  It will direct you in all your affairs in life, and will help you in your labors in your home and with your loved ones; and it shall be your privilege to labor in the organizations of the church and preside therein.

You shall always have friends, and those whom you will love to associate with, will receive your counsel from time to time.  Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good.

Be humble and prayerful and you shall always have a burning desire within you for the work of the Lord in which you are engaged; and through your faith and influence, you shall cause others to turn from the error of their way, and repent, and come unto the Lord.

Now sister, be active, and listen to those who are placed over you in authority, and great blessings shall come to you which you have not even thought of.  Keep the Word of Wisdom and you shall live to enjoy the blessings that the Lord has promised to all those who keep His commandments, and it shall be your privilege also, to go to the House of the Lord with you companion, and to do a great work for your ancestors, and you shall have great joy and pleasure in so doing, and all the righteous desires of your heart shall be yours to enjoy if you keep the commandments of the Lord.

I seal these blessings upon you through the power of the Holy Priesthood, and seal you up to come forth in the morning of the resurrection, crowned with glory and eternal life through you faithfulness, and in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

David E. Layton