Elvie Renshaw

"The greatest job of life is to love and be loved." — R.D. Clyde


Albin A. Hoglund Lifestory

(This is the story of the early part of his life written by him)

I was born January 26, 1893 at Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the third child of a family of eight children. My father and mother both came from Sweden, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were married in the Logan Temple.

My earliest recollection of my childhood was when I was very young, a curly haired boy with dresses. The fact that I had long curls was very embarrassing to me. An older cousin, Hilma, by name, was very obnoxious to me because she called me George Washington. Whenever she put in an appearance I ran for the bed, hiding under it until she was gone.

We lived in a double house on 3rd east between 7th and 8th South. This was the house in which I was born. The other side of the house was occupied at that time by a man and his wife by the name of Lyndahl. He was a sewing machine agent as I recall it, and had a horse and buggy with which he conducted his business.

One day he left his horse and buggy standing in front of the yard. I climbed into the buggy, took the reins in my hand and urged the horse to go. Being a very wise and gentle animal he refused to move. My sister Inez, who was a little more than a year older than I decided to come to my assistance. She had a broom in her hand and said, “I will make him go”, with these words she struck the horse with all her might. Unused to this treatment, the horse in fright sprang away in a gallop. Away he went down the street at breakneck speed. I sat in the seat enjoying myself immensely. I was less than four years old at the time and did not realize the horse was running away. Neighbors came rushing from their houses in an effort to stop the horse. After we had gone about a block, a young man by the name of Leonard Thorstrum succeeded in stopping the horse. I was quite disappointed.

The next incident which impressed me and which I can never forget was an experience I had with an older boy, Edgar Johnson by name. I stammered as a boy which was very amusing to this boy. He suggested that we play a game, so he took me back in the lot which was very deep. There was a barn with a buggy shed in the back. He tied me very tightly to the roof of the buggy in this shed and locked the door. I was to whistle and then he would come and set me free. He left me there and went fishing. I whistled for him but he did not come. Then I began to cry for my mother. She, of course, could not hear me. I don’t know how many hours I was left in this position, but Mother called all the neighbors to search for me. They finally came to the shed. By this time I was almost exhausted. They found me and set me free. I was so stiff and sore it was sometime before I could move about. The cords had cut deeply into my flesh and my arms and legs were badly swollen. I was more than happy to be free, however.

There were many incidents that came into my life as they do in the lives of all boys which I will not record. When I was five and half years old, I began school in the Summer School of Salt Lake City. I recall very vividly my first day at school. I was very happy and proud. During my first year at school I was guilty of doing something I suppose was wrong. The principal sent me home with a note in which my father was instructed to whip me. When I brought this note home, father asked what I had done. I told him I did not know that I had done anything wrong. I don’t know what he told the principal but I did not get whipped at that time.

When I was about six years of age, we moved to a house by ourselves. This house was in the rear sitting about a half block from the street. There I became acquainted with a boy Elbert Peterson who was my childhood playmate and pal for many years. This family had houses and a cow and also a fine dog called Brownie. One day I decided to feed this cow a straw. I sat in front of the cow and tried my best to make her eat the straw. I persisted in pushing the straw in her mouth. She stood it as long as she could and finally with losing patience, she tossed me with her horns over her back into a wagon. I was so frightened that it was a number of years before I would go near a cow again.

Mr. Petersen was in the rock hauling business going to the mountains, Red Butte Canyon, to get his stone. Many times Elbert and I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go with him to the canyon. We enjoyed these trips immensely as any boy would.

As a boy I was full of mischief, doing many things for which I was soundly whipped by my parents. My adventures were many and I will not write them here.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, there developed a plague of small pox. The schools were closed much to the joy of us children. Prior to this time an incident occurred in my life that I think is worth mentioning here.

I was very ill with whooping cough. I was left in the care of my older brother Oscar. I was in bed and had a severe spell of coughing. My brother knelt by the side of the bed and prayed as earnestly and sincerely as anyone could that I should be relieved. His prayers were answered and the spell left me. At that time he was as full of faith in the Lord as anyone could be. There is nothing quite so beautiful as the faith of a child.

To return to the small pox epidemic, one Saturday I was riding with a man who was hauling dirt from the excavation which was being dug for the Hallows College which was being built at that time. I felt a little sick with a pain in my side. I didn’t complain to Mother, as I was afraid she would make me stay in. The pain became so severe toward evening that I was compelled to go in the house. Mother asked what was wrong. I told her of the pain. She applied the old fashioned remedies with which she was familiar; this only increased the pain. She then called a Mrs. Hagen, a midwife who had taken care of her when most of the children were born. She gave me an enema and did what she could and then suggested that my parents call a doctor. Dr. Root was called. By this time I was swollen very badly and had begun to be quite discolored. When the doctor arrived he gave me an examination and told my parents I had a very serious case of appendicitis. He also said that I must be operated upon at once if I were to live. My father bundled me up and carried me to the Holy cross Hospital. There were no automobiles in those days, so we went on the street car. At 10:00 in the evening, I was placed upon the operating table. I was filled with wonder at the sight of the nurses in their white clothing and the doctors who were also clothed in white. I was quite unafraid, however, and when the doctor told me to breathe deeply of the ether I did as he said and was soon asleep.

Appendicitis was considered a very dangerous operation at that time and my condition was particularly severe. I was told afterwards that the doctor gave up all hope for my recovery. I called for water in my delirium. Father felt he could not stand to hear me cry as I did and he went for the water. The doctor said if you give that boy water it will kill him to which father replied you say he will die anyway, and if he is to die, he will have anything he wants and if he wants water now, he shall have it. I was given all the water I wanted and then I began to vomit.

The doctor told father I could not live more than an hour or so and suggested that he send for my mother. She, being the faithful woman that she was, brought the elders with her. As I lay in bed the first knowledge I had that anyone was near me was the faint sound of voices. I could see no one. Then I could see shadowy forms moving about. I asked them to turn on the lights although it was broad daylight at the time. By the time the elders had finished their prayer, I was able to see all who were present. My mother stood at the foot of the bed weeping. When I saw her, I said, “Mother don’t cry, I shall not die.” I told her to go home I would be all right.

The doctor was so sure I was dying that he did not come to dress the wound in my side. A Doctor Beer was called in to do this. The Catholic nurses were very much impressed with this manifestation of divine healing. They felt I had been spared to do work for God. They asked Father to turn me over to them and they would give me the best education money could buy and would consecrate me to the Catholic Church making a priest of me. When I heard this I was much alarmed. I said, “I do not want to be a Catholic. I know that God has healed me and I know the Mormon Church is His Church.” I always insisted it was God who had saved my life.

I was in the hospital for three weeks and then was permitted to go home. The last day I was in the hospital a very fine meal was prepared for me. I ate some and then found I could not swallow the potatoes. Nothing was thought of this at the time, but when I got home and it was found I could eat no solid food, my parents were alarmed. The doctor was called and after an examination he said he could not account for this strange development. I lived on milk for about three months and then someone suggested that I try limewater with this milk and eventually I was able to eat anything. I developed into a very healthy normal boy.

I learned to swim at an early age and was in the water most of the time during the summer months, walking miles to get to a swimming hole.

When I was about 11, I earned my first 50 cents working with a man who was mixing cement by hand. I worked too. When I was about 12 years of age during my summer vacation, I worked for the Superior Baking Company, selling bread and cakes from house to house. I earned $3.00 per week at this work and was very proud to turn this over to Mother.

One Friday evening, July 27th, I was late getting home. I had left home at 6 o’clock in the morning and did not get through until after 8 o’clock at night. As I came home Mother was waiting for me at the gate. She was very much worried over me and told me as much. I kissed her and told her she should not worry over me as I would always be all right. I loved my mother as only a boy can. This was the last time I was to kiss my mother in life. That night at midnight father awakened the children and told us Mother had died. This was a great shock to us all. At the time of her death, Oscar, my older brother was 17 years of age and my baby sister Blenda, was 8 months old. There were 8 of us left without a mother’s care: Oscar [Oscar Moreno Hoglund], Inez, [Inez Erma Hoglund] myself, [Albin Alric Hoglund] Elsie, [Elsie Lavina Hoglund] Tyhra, [Tyhra Isabelle Hoglund] Berthal, [Berthal Oliver Hoglund] Lydia, [Lydia Dorothy Hoglund] and Blenda. [Belenda Orabelle Hoglund] The funeral services were lovely. Mother had many good friends as she was a very fine woman.

My sister Inez, who was then 16 years of age, took charge of the home and did a very fine job holding the children together until they were married. She was a fine daughter of a splendid mother.

After Mother’s death, father fell into bad company. Although he was the best hearted man that ever lived, he was weak and very easily led. Nothing was too good for his children. These false friends induced him to spend his money on them and often my sister was left to keep the house on the board my brother and myself paid to her.

At the age of 14 I was graduated from the public schools. This also was a great worry to me as father never had enough money to buy my clothes. I anticipated this and began to prepare for it. After school hours and Saturdays and Sundays I pushed an ice cream cart about the streets sometimes earning as high as a dollar after school. One Sunday I earned $5.65. I saved this money and bought an $18.00 suit of clothes. My first long trousers, a hat, shoes and all the rest of the things necessary for my graduation.

I sold ice cream the summer after graduation and made fairly well at it. With the approach of fall my thoughts again turned to school. I wanted an education. Father didn’t see it my way and insisted I should begin to pay my board. He put me to work in the planing mill in which he was superintendent. I was paid $5.65 a week and I paid $5.00 a week board. I walked to and from the mill, the Salt Lake Building and Manufacturing Company.

I also had to pay off a debt of $50.00 I owed because of a wagon myself and a boyfriend had burned a year or so before. I was mighty glad when this was paid off. When I had worked for about 8 months or so, my wages were increased to $9.00 per week and a few months later I was paid $10.50 a week. I learned quickly and received increases in my salary every few months. At the age of 17 I had just about mastered my trade; that of stickerman or moulding machine operator and was earning $17.50 a week. This was considered very fair wages at that time.

Shortly before my 17th birthday, I became acquainted with Susie Luella Bailey, whom I was to marry. If anyone was ever in love, I believe I was that person. By this time I was attending dances almost every night in the week. These were indeed happy times. I had taken my lady friend out several times and had learned to think a great deal of her.

The Christmas of 1908 I spent with by boyfriends. This was to be the last time I was to go out for a time with the boys. I think the less said about this the better. I was so sick I thought I was going to die and my poor sister was heartbroken.

I made a date with Miss Bailey on the following New Year’s Eve and thus began our courtship. This courtship was a very happy one for me, as I was very much in love.

My fondness for swimming brought me and my companions to the Sanitarium, a warm sulfur pool which was located between Main and West Temple on Third South. One day a boy got in beyond his depth. He cried for help and I asked a man to go in after him. I suppose he thought I was only joking and the boy went down under the water. I dove in after him and brought him safely to shore. Mother was very proud of me when I told her of this.

At the age of 13 my boyfriend, Dick Gaylor and I decided to run away to California. We left Salt Lake riding on the street car as far as Murray and then walking we reached Sandy which is about 8 or 10 miles south of Murray. About that time night had begun to fall. It was in the early winter and quite cold. The coming of the cold night made our spirits cool off considerably. We looked around for a place to sleep and finally decided that home was not such a bad place after all. We set out for home and reached there late at night. Father was very cross and disagreeable. I can’t blame him much as I look back. At that time I felt that he was very unjust.

When I was in the 5th grade in school I was kept after school almost every night. I, of course, did not like this much. We had a Mr. Engels as our teacher. On one of these occasions two of my friends were waiting on the outside for me. One of them threw a rock through the window. It missed Mr. Engel by the closest margin. I was sitting near the window and as Mr. Engle rushed to the window I motioned for the boy to run. The culprit managed to get out of sight before the teacher saw him. He said, “Did you see who threw that rock?” I said, “yes, sir”. He asked who it was. I told him I would not tell. He looked at me for a long time and said, “My boy, I think you are wonderful. Why didn’t you lie to me?” I said that I didn’t see any necessity of that. We became fast friends from then on.

George Bowles, who was a member of the bishopric in the second ward, asked me to take part on the program at one of the Sacrament Meetings. I accepted and studied real hard to prepare myself. When the time came to go to church, I went to the meetinghouse, looked in at the crowd; my heart failed me and I was frightened half to death. I ran away from the church and it was several years before I would go near again.

The great change took place in my life when I began to keep company with my girl. I was transformed from a wild, reckless boy to a very responsible young man. There is not a greater influence for good that can come into the life of a boy than the companionship of a good girl.

I began to attend church and forsook my companions who were leading a rather fast life. It was a most eventful period in my life, this courtship that was ushered in. We went to shows, dances and for buggy rides, enjoying ourselves as all young people did then and will always do.

In the spring of 1911 my father lost his job as superintendent of the Salt Lake Building and Manufacturing Company. A man by the name of Bill Douglas took his place and he did not take very kindly to me and in the summer of that year I was laid off.

I still carried a longing in my heart to go to California and in August of 1911 I said goodbye to my sweetheart and set out for California by way of brake beam route, with a young swede, Arnold Wall. We went out to Buena Vista, a station just west of Salt Lake. The train going to Los Angeles stopped there and we intended to catch it at 11:00 that night. We were very green at this business and got on the Garfield local by mistake. We, of course, got no farther than the town of Garfield when we had to leave the train. We decided to walk and walked all night. It was so dark it was impossible to see our hands in front of us. We walked about 15 miles that night and were so tired we lay down by the railroad tracks to sleep. Imagine our surprise when we awoke the next morning and saw the town of Tooele about two hundred yards ahead of us.

A freight train came by after a while and we jumped aboard. We traveled all day and made about one hundred miles, reaching Lyndale. This was too slow for us. A passenger train stopped to take on water and we climbed on top. We rode on this train stopping for a short time at Milford, then going on to Las Vegas. It was about 8:00 in the morning when we reached this place. As we climbed from the train, we were told that the officers were very vigilant in Las Vegas and we would be put in jail if we were found. We climbed back on the train and rode as far as Lyon, California, where we put off the train. This was just a station in the desert. It was terribly hot. We stayed there all day and finally caught a train from there that night. We rode as far as Kelso where we were found by the railroad policeman who took what little money we had and paid our fare to San Bernardino. We reached there the following morning, lying about the station for a while and then caught a train for L.A. We rode the top again. We passed through what we thought was L.A. but after we left the train we found that it was Pasadena. We took the red car into L.A.

We immediately began to look for a job. I got work in a small place running a small sticker. The man would only pay $2 per day so I didn’t stay more than a day or two. Next I got a job in a planing mill, the name of which I cannot remember. I worked here for about 2 days and quit. Then I got a job at the Hughes Brothers Mill in the sash and door dept. I earned $3.50 a day here and stayed for about 3 weeks or a month. I had much to learn about this kind of work and was discharged. I then worked in a place on south Main Street for a week or so, then we decided to go to Frisco.

My companion, in the meanwhile, worked in a cafeteria.

We took the boat from San Pedro. It was a small lumber boat. The fare was $7.35. I don’t think I ever enjoyed anything more than the trip on the boat. We reached San Francisco early in the morning. We had 65 cents between us when we arrived. We took a bus to a hotel, had breakfast and then set out to find a place to stay. We went to the American Hotel on Howard Street. We went to the manager who was a very kindly man, told him our story and he agreed to put us up until we could find work. This was no easy matter as work was very hard to get at that time. We had a place to sleep but had no way of getting enough to eat.

Arnold Wall was a pretty good pool player. One day he saw two men playing in a saloon for a dollar a game. He had no money but knew he could beat them so he asked if he could play with them. They agreed and he beat them two games and quit. They were very angry at this but he took his two dollars and left. Well, we had money enough to eat for a while.

We struck up an acquaintance with a man; I do not recall his name. He was very good to us taking us to shows, buying our meals and in general being a very good fellow to us. He finally got a job in an employment agency and so passed from our life.

We spent a great part of our time on the Barbary Coast, which was located in Chinatown of San Francisco. Here I learned many things pertaining to life. I have felt it was one of the most interesting as well as educational periods of my life. I here learned the penalty of wickedness. I saw the results which follow a sinful life, men who were in the last stages of syphilis and men who had sunk to the depths of degradation through the use of drugs and narcotics. I thanked God I was clean. I also came in contact with the women of the underworld, listened to their stories of how they came into their present life. I decided then to always lead a clean and respectable life.

We wearied of this life after time and decided to go back to Salt Lake. We left Frisco for Oakland to catch the Western Pacific train. It was night. We were not familiar with the trains or where they went. We finally reached the part of town where they seemed to be leaving and waited for a train. They traveled so swiftly that we could not catch one. There were some Negroes who were also trying for a train and they told us the trains we were trying for were going to L.A. They directed us to the right lines and we set off to find them. We traveled to a very swampy part of the country and as we were walking along a man approached and asked for a match. As I went into my pickets to get one, he flashed a light into our faces and ordered us to throw up our hands. As we only had about a dollar between us, this was a very serious predicament for us. I could only think of a hold up. I told him to go to hell and turned and ran. He fired at me for 3 times but the bullets didn’t come very near. I could hear them whistle by me, but it only meant I should go faster. My companion was so frightened he couldn’t run. The man searched him but I had all the money. He kept the boy with him all night and almost scared the life out of him, forcing him to be in the water of the swamp, placing his gun in his mouth and threatening to blow his head off. With the approach of morning he finally let him go.

After I left Arnold and the man, I went back calling, whistling for him, but could not find him. Arnold said I passed them several times but the man had his gun pressed against his head and he couldn’t answer me. I then went to the Police Station and reported the case to them but received no satisfaction. I was very worried.

Then I went to the park to sleep but it was so cold I had to keep moving to keep warm. I walked up town and went into the lobby of a hotel when the janitor was cleaning, I told him my story and asked if I could sit in one of the chairs to rest for a while. He said go ahead and sleep and he would wake me before the guests began to come down I slept there until about 5:00 am and went back to the park. About 7:00 I met my pal. He was so glad to see me he cried. We walked around Oakland, spending most of our time in the saloons where we could eat free lunch. We spent the afternoon in the park sleeping. While there we made the acquaintance of two professional tramps who gave us some valuable information on the ways and means of getting on the trains. When we told them we were going to Salt Lake they took us down to the station and put us on the air tank under Pullman. This was about 7 p.m. They wished us good luck and that was the last we were to see of them. We were quite secure under the train and were glad when the train started.

We passed through Feather River Canyon during the night. It was so cold we nearly froze. We rode this train until we reached Winnemucca about 3 p.m. This was a distance of 520 miles. At Winnemucca a soldier called the attention of the conductor to us and we were put off the train. We went into a saloon. A gambler who had been lucky was buying drinks for everyone and when he wanted to buy us another drink, I asked him if he would just as soon buy us a sandwich. He asked if were hungry and when we told him we had not eaten for 24 hours he gave us a note and sent us to the restaurant. We ate like only two hungry boys could, and charged it to the gambler. We felt much better after our meal. Then we waited for a train. We caught a freight and rode for 18 miles to the town of Golconda where we were put off. We caught another train and were put off about 10 or 15 miles from Golconda. We made a fire and lay down to sleep. The coyotes were howling all about us but we were so tired we soon were asleep. When we awakened the next morning, we were much surprised to find we had company. Two of the raggedest and unkempt tramps I have ever seen were also asleep at our fireside. They gave us some advice that I have never forgotten. They were both college graduates, one of them had a degree from Harvard University. They had traveled all over the North American continent from Central America to Canada and from Maine to San Diego having visited every state in the union. They told us to go home and stay there, to find a job and settle down before the wanderlust got a hold on us. After looking at them in their condition, two old men without home or family, just two old broken down tramps, I concluded that it must be a dog’s life.

The next five or six days were days of real suffering. The trainmen were very vigilant. We could not make any time at all, being put off one train after another. We were so hungry we were desperate. We approached a section camp and asked the Chinese cook for food. His answer was a cleaver thrown at us. Of course this discouraged us from any further attempts at begging.

We finally reached Elko, Nevada. Here we boarded a passenger train much against the wishes of the train crew who chased us all over the place, but we finally got on the steps of a pullman after the train was under way. This was late at night. After we were well under way, out on the desert, the conductor opened the door, grabbed my companion jerking him in the train and kicked me off. I thought I would never stop rolling as the train was traveling very rapidly at this time. I picked myself up after I had made sure no bones were broken.

My companion was taken in the train and the conductor punched him in the eye and he was then thrown from the train. I found him and we started to walk to a station. We finally came to a watering station where the trains stopped to take on water. We got on a freight train here and started off. We had not been there long when a brakeman found us. What are you riding on? He said. Nothing was the reply. “Well,” he said, “You boys look like good boys, come with me and I will see if you can’t work your way into Ogden”. He took us to the engine and we were put to work passing coal to the firebox. We were so weak, however, that we could scarcely lift a shovel. The fireman told us to sit in the cab and take it easy. We rode as far as Monticello with this crew and then the fireman took us to another crew who were taking the train to Ogden. The man who took us in his charge was very kind to us and agreed to take us into Ogden.

Just out of Ogden, he stopped the train and told us to get off. He warned us that the authorities were on the lookout for tramps and that we should not go near the station. We walked into town and slept in a house which was under construction. It was very cold and at about 5 a.m. we got up and started for town. The fireman on the last train had given us 50 cents. With this money we bought some hot cakes, they sure tasted good. It was the first we had eaten for 5 or 6 days. Then we went to the depot, caught a freight train for Salt Lake and got there about 10. We got off at the warm springs just north of Salt Lake and took a bath. We didn’t need it much! Then we made our way to the Columbia Optical Company where Nathan Hubbard, a young man who was keeping company with my sister, was employed. He gave us enough money to get a good meal, then we went home. My sister, Inez, was very glad to see me.

I called up my sweetheart and made a date with her. We went to the Colonial Theater the following Saturday afternoon. I was out of work for about two weeks. After that I went to work for my uncle at the Granite Planing Mill, where I worked for nine years.

Susie and I began to make plans for our marriage as I had given her a diamond before I had left for California. In the spring of 1912, I asked her father for her hand in marriage. This required much nerve. We were nearly all one Sunday screwing up courage to go to her father. When I did interview him, it lasted for two hours or more. He was very nice, however, and seemed quite willing that I should marry into his family.

The wedding was set for September 24, 1912. The condition was that we should go to the temple. I was a deacon at the time. My church activities had been sadly neglected for some years. I went to Bishop Iverson with the first tithing I had ever paid. I told him I wanted to be an Elder as I was planning to get married. I was ordained an Elder one Sunday morning at the priesthood meeting and accepted into the quorum.

(This is all he wrote of his life.)

Back to the top