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Ernest James Strong



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Ernest James Strong was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 20, 1874. He was the eighth child in
a family of eleven — seven boys and four girls. He attended the Tenth Ward School until he was almost
sixteen years of age. He was an outstanding student, but had a natural gift for art and mechanics, he often
made mechanical toys for his younger brothers and sisters, even making his own crude tools to work with.

As a young boy, he loved to hike up the canyon with his father, or go swimming and fishing on the old
canal on Fourth South with his brother, Alvin, and his boyhood companion, Alfred Davis. In winter the
canal froze over and the kids skated on it with home-made wooden skates.

When he was a young man, Ernest met Eliza (Ida) Davies at a dance. She was a beautiful young woman
with blue eyes and brown hair. They were later married in the Salt Lake Temple, on June 17, 1896. Their
first home had two rooms and a shanty. It was rented from Aunt Sarah C. Swift for $6.00 a month.
Their first son was born on April 28, 1897 and was named after his father and grandfather — Ernest
Edward. Work was scarce and pay poor, but they managed to pay the rent and put a little into their savings.
Thus they were able to buy a two-room brick house on 9th East and 4th South. It cost $1,200 and took ten
years to pay for. Ernest had been working at plumbing and odd jobs, and then, for about a year and a half,
he worked for Consolidated Wagon and Machine Co. Then he was offered a better job with the Fisher
Brewery, where he had charge of the bottling department. The company furnished homes for their top men,
so Ernest and Ida rented out their little home and moved to the west side of town to be nearer his work.

He worked at the Fisher Brewery for eight years, and then he was asked to be foreman of the plant
at Lemp's St. Louis Beer Company, where he worked until prohibition went into effect in Salt Lake City.
In all those years he worked in beer factories, he never drank beer.

When he changed jobs, Ernest and Ida moved back into their little house on 9th East and 4th South.
Over the years, as the family grew, this home had many additions and face liftings. Their family grew to
include four boys and two girls: Ernest, Mariel, Afton, Ruth, Leonard and Wayne. Twin boys were lost when
born prematurely. The greatest tragedy of their lives was the death of their son Ernest Edward, at the end
of World War I. Ida never quite got over the heartache of losing him.

Ern was an artist with flowers in his garden. He was also an expert in first-aid, having a steady hand,
and the ability to know what to do in accident cases. He helped in many accident cases at the brewery,
as well as at home.

Ida and Era were always faithful church members, and they tried to give their children good principles
to live by. They also made sure they had good schooling.


Ernest's knowledge of fine machinery got him work at the Z.C.M.I., Salt Lake's largest department
store. He did the fine repairs on all machines, and even made many of his own tools and parts. He held
that position for over thirty-five years to his retirement.

After the children had grown up and moved away, the folks sold the old home and moved into a smaller
one around the corner on 4th South. They were happy there for several years until one winter Ida became
ill and died of pneumonia (New Year's Day, 1947). She was seventy-two years old.

Ern lived in the home for two years, then went lo live in part of a home he and his daughter, Ruth,
built together, after her divorce from her husband. Em enjoyed keeping the yard beautiful and was kind
and loving to his two grandsons, Blaine and David. He always remained active in his church duties and held
many positions. He died of a heart attack on April 3, 1958, when he was almost eighty-four years old.

(Condensed from histories written by Ruth Strong Cartwright Pairce about her parents,
by Martha B. Strong.)