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Clive James Strong


Clive James Strong

Feb. 20, 1885 - May 17, 1955

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Clive James Strong was the first of four children born to James William Strong and Harriett Poll Strong. He was born on February 20,1885, followed by Hazel Lottie Strong, 1887; Louie Elizabeth Strong, 1889; and George Raymond Strong, 1893.

Clive was a great joy to his parents, and even as a young child he showed signs of dependability, seriousness, patience, and a wonderful sense of humor. When Clive was eight or nine years old he drove the wagon, or in winter the sleigh, to school with the younger children. He always made sure there was enough hay in the wagon or the sleigh to feed the horses while they were in school. After school, he would again hitch up the team of horses and drive himself and the younger children home again. He showed an amazing amount of maturity in making sure they were never late for school, and always took care of the younger children and the team of horses. Little did this young family know how much these traits were going to be needed in the not to distant future.

In 1896, James William Strong, the father of this sweet little family died quite suddenly of typhoid bronchitis. Harriet was unprepared for this tragedy which came just three and a half years after the birth of George Raymond. She did the best that she could, but financially had a very hard time meeting the needs of the family. Clive, just eleven years old at the time of his father’s death, left school and obtained employment in the fields as a farm hand.

Clive was willing to do any work to help support his widowed mother and the other three children. He spent many long hours in the tomato and potato fields, and there were many times that his wages were not more than twenty-five cents a day for working from sunup to sundown. His small wages were needed to help the family, and Clive was happy to do what he could to keep the family together. The hard work at such an early age took its toll on the young Clive, and in later years, although he was a very tall man, he was quite round shouldered. His sister Hazel always attributed the roundness to the work in the fields which was way too hard for such a young boy.

His patience was sorely tried by a neighbor girl, Mary Jane West, who used to play occasionally with Hazel at the Strong’s home. Mary Jane and Hazel bothered Clive by following him around, teasing him, letting his rabbits out of their cages, and even ruining his gun by trying to shoot nails out of it. This may have been an attempt for Mary to get Clive’s attention. As they grew older, Mary always told the story of how she would watch Clive ride by her house on his horse. She was irritated watching him ride by because he was so nonchalant, and didn’t seem to even notice her watching him. Happily, with Hazels urging, Clive finally did notice Mary. They got better acquainted and were married on November 6, 1907 in the Salt Lake Temple.

The newly married couple set up housekeeping in South Weber, Utah, where they operated a small farm for a friend of the family. During this time, Clive also worked on the railroad construction in Weber Canyon. At one time during work, a landslide covered Clive except for one hand. Some of the Japanese workers that he worked with were quick to uncover him and he suffered no physical damage.

While living in South Weber, two daughters were born to Clive and Mary, Bernice W. Strong, December 27, 1908, and Ethel Elizabeth Strong, August 27, 1910. After the birth of Ethel, the desire for a farm and home of their own prompted Clive and Mary to try homesteading. The government had made acreage available in Idaho, and the place that was chosen for the small family was eight miles from Holbrook, Idaho. It became known as Meadowbrook, Idaho. Homesteading was quite an adventure in those days. Neighbors were miles away. The nearest grocery store was eight miles away over very rough dirt roads which were nothing but mud when it rained. To get to a doctor, they had to drive thirty-two miles by horse and buggy. The spot chosen was very desolate, but they were blessed with a spring of clear water which provided cold drinking water year-round and also provided water for household use.

With the same courage and faith of the early pioneers, the breaking of soil was started and in 1911 a home was built. In a short time, and due mainly to the tireless efforts of Clive and Mary Strong, a community hall/public school building was erected in Meadowbrook, just three-fourths of a mile from the Strong home. Clive was on the school board and worked tirelessly to make sure that teachers were hired and children were taught. As Presiding Elder of the Meadowbrook Branch of the L.D.S. Church, Clive organized the Sunday School in Meadowbrook, and took on many church oriented assignments.

Clive’s older children remember going with their father to set traps for coyotes and other wild animals. They also followed him around collecting the dead animals and checking the farm fences. The furs that they caught helped to supplement the very uncertain dry farm income.
The couple’s third child and first boy, James Richard, was born on February 16, 1913. Jim’s birth was followed by the birth of two more sons, Alvin Clive Strong, September 2, 1920, and Albert Junior (Bert) Strong, December 27, 1922.

Community dances were often held in the Meadowbrook Community Hall, and Clive was in charge of obtaining the orchestra, cleaning the hall, taking tickets, and he also had the duty of being the “bouncer”, if needed. These dances were well attended by neighbors for miles around, and by all members of the family from the oldest down to the youngest. All of the Strong children remember being put to bed behind the piano in the community hall as the hour would grow late. The music lulled them to sleep, so their parents could socialize a bit longer.

Clive was a real sports enthusiast. He loved all kinds of sports, but his favorite was baseball. He played catcher for the Meadowbrook team.

The winters up on the ranch were treacherous. As the time neared for the birth of Bert, the family spent some time with relatives in Layton, Utah, so that Mary could be closer to a doctor. When the family arrived back to their home, Clive found that he had a rabid horse and a rabid cow to dispose of. While in the process of disposing of the horse, and before Clive knew what was happening, he was bitten by a rabid dog. This made it necessary for the family to immediately return to the Salt Lake Valley for four weeks, while Clive underwent a series of painful treatments for Rabies.

Clive was known by neighbors for miles around, and he was always willing to give a helping hand to any of them at any time. Clive was always the first to be contacted for help in any emergency. Telephone communication was very precious to these isolated pioneers. With the winters so treacherous, the only way to get help was with a team of horses and a wagon or sleigh. One winter it became necessary to take one of Clive’s neighbors suffering a mental illness to the hospital. It took four days for Clive to make a road for the sleigh through deep snow to their home. Another neighbor was making a road to Clive’s house, etc., until they were finally able to remove the neighbor to the hospital.
Clive and Mary’s sixth and final child was born on September 18, 1924. She was a daughter and they named her Maurine Strong.

Clive and Mary’s children all remember this home “on the ranch” with a feeling of tenderness. Life was full of hardships, but it was a united family with much love and cooperation. The wonderful parents certainly set an example for each child to follow.

This south eastern part of Idaho had seen many dry years, and the families in the area were finding homesteading difficult. Most families were barely surviving, and many were not. In 1937, the U.S. Government stepped in to help these courageous farmers by relocating each family to a small farm where their chances of making a living were better. Clive and Mary took advantage of this opportunity with the same courage that they showed in homesteading. They moved to a farm near Wendell, Idaho, northwest of Twin Falls, where they settled into a small farmhouse which was in dire need of renovation. With hard work and lots of love, the farm house was eventually remodeled and the family became part of the community.

Clive quickly became known as a wonderful neighbor. He was hard working, helpful, and kind to all he met. During the World War II years of 1941-1945, he operated the farm alone while his sons served their country. He also found time to help his neighbors while their sons were away.

Like Saint Peter of old, Clive was known to all as a fisherman. He delighted in the sport and drew strength and inspiration from God’s great outdoors. During the war years his trips to the streams he loved were short and infrequent, but the pleasure was greater because of the rarity. Mary, his faithful partner, shared this as she shared every job and problem of his life. They both had a rich album of happy memories of trips together in quest of the wily trout. Clive was also a big game hunter, and many of his hunting pals testified that he was the ideal companion to have in their midst while on these hunting trips.

In l951, Clive and Mary left the farm for a time. They moved to Ogden, Utah, near the scene of their youth, for approximately 14 months. Clive kept busy working at the Defense Depot of Ogden while Mary kept house, and together they renewed old friendships and enjoyed frequent visits with brothers, sisters, and children who lived nearby.
Clive was always known to his grandchildren by the licorice he carried in his pockets. His younger grandchildren, who frequently drooled licorice on their chins and clothing, knew he was the best grandfather ever. Grandpa nearly always had candy in his pockets. A favorite thing for some of the grandchildren was to sit by the couch in the living room and comb “Grandpa’s” hair, while he napped peacefully after a hard morning of work on the farm.

On September 10, 1953, Clive and Mary returned to their farm home near Wendell, Idaho, where Clive quietly passed from this life to the next, on May 17, 1955.

Clive had a fine sense of humor and taught honesty to his children, always believing it was better to be taken advantage of than to cheat someone else. Each family member held great respect for their fine father who demanded obedience without raising his voice. Those who knew Clive best knew him as a Christian gentleman. The happiness of his loved ones always came first with Clive, and their joy was his reward.

Check out the Clive James Strong and Mary Jane West Family History Site