Monday, July 15, 2013

Nephi James Hulet 1895 - 1958

Hope Hulet history:
Nephi is Born

My brother, Nephi James, was born on 8 November 1895. I wasn’t quite two years old then, but Mother told me later that I was very proud of my little baby brother. She said that I called him “my baby” and was very protective about his care. I can recall that at a very early age I felt a great responsibility to look out for his welfare.

I think Nephi was not more than a year old when we were all exposed to whooping cough. Mother said we had a severe case of the disease. She said at night she would keep Nephi, the baby, by her and Father would watch me because they couldn’t leave us alone for fear we would choke. However, we all survived the siege.

Nephi married Nellie Nelson (Hulet)

A Dog Smokes

Nephi, about three years old, was sitting on the hearth with his little brown dog, “Dandy.” The dog was asleep and breathing rather fast. Suddenly Nephi started laughing and exclaimed, “Oh, see Dandy foking (smoking)!” I think Nephi had placed a little roll of paper in the dog’s mouth so he looked like he was smoking when he was breathing so fast. Nephi surely got a kick out of that. It did look comical.

Throughout our childhood, Nephi and I were very close pals. I remember times when I noticed Mother was out of the house and I hadn’t been told where she was going. She wouldn’t go far, of course, without telling us, but as soon as I missed her I would become panicky and out we would go, me holding Nephi’s hand and looking for Mother who may have gone down to the orchard, or to the chicken coop, or down the cellar. I don’t know if my fear of having Mother out of sight was caused from hearing her say to us when we had been extra trying on the patience, “If you aren’t going to behave yourselves, I’ll have to run away.” I don’t doubt that she felt exasperated with us many times. She was always so kind and patient. Children are sometimes thoughtless and do not realize the worry and anxiety they cause their dear parents. I know that if I ever realized I had hurt the feelings of my parents, or anyone else for that matter, I felt very sad and sorry about it. The hurt look in Mother’s eyes was more punishment than a spanking could be. I do not recall ever having either Father or Mother even slap me. We couldn’t impose on Father’s good nature as much as we did on Mother. When Father told us to do something, we knew we had better get busy, because he would see that we did. I remember one of the children told Mother once that she wasn’t afraid not to mind her, but she was afraid not to mind Father.

When Nephi was about four years old he had a black pet dog he called Coalie. That dog watched out for Nephi’s safety continually. He would walk so close to Nephi that Nephi would get vexed because he would trip over the dog’s feet. One day Nephi was coming across the street from Grandmother’s home with his dog, when a drunken Indian came riding down the street. No one else was near Nephi, but we at home heard the Indian jabbering and laughing. When we looked out, the Indian was riding around Nephi and the dog as if he intended to run over them. Coalie bristled up his hair and growled at the Indian, and tried to keep between him and Nephi. We were afraid Nephi was going to be trampled by the horse, and one of the family ran out and got him. There was an Indian camp near Summit. The Indians would go to the little store and buy vanilla or some other extract to drink, and become very noisy and annoying.

Father used to keep three donkeys to use for packing supplies to the sheep camp and ranch. The donkeys were not always dependable when anyone went around back of them. Sometimes they would kick. Nephi liked to be around and watch the donkeys when they were being loaded with packs. The dog seemed to realize the danger of Nephi getting close to the donkey’s heels. He would get between the donkeys and Nephi and push him away from them as much as he could. Nephi didn’t realize that the dog was really protecting him. He would get vexed and pound the dog with his fists.

 While we were living with Grandmother, Eleanor was born on 2 May 1898. That morning there was deep snow on the ground. The tree branches were weighted to the ground with the beautiful, white snow. Nephi, who had been the youngest for three years, and not willing to lose his important position, slipped up to Mother’s bedside and whispered to her, “Couldn’t you just throw her out in the snow?”

Nephi is Ill

When Nephi was 5 years old, he was very ill with scarletina. He had a high fever much of the time, and it seems he was sick quite a while, but I don’t know how long. There was no doctor available at that time so, in case of sickness, we had to rely on the wisdom and care of home nursing. Mother was a very good nurse. She seemed to have a natural talent for caring for the sick. Grandmother Dalley was also a wonderful person to help. Her sister, Lette Dalley, was a trained nurse. They were always so kind and willing to assist in any way they could in time of need.

Nephi was so very ill he required much time and attention for so long. I remember my parents tried to keep me out of his sick room, but I missed him so much and was so anxious for him to get well, that I am sure I watched my chance to get in to see him. I didn’t realize the danger of my getting the disease. I remember he coaxed to have his pet rabbit brought to him. Finally, against the better judgment of our parents, the request was granted. The poor little rabbit caught the disease and died. This was an unhappy event for Nephi as well as the rest of the family.

Some of the time, Nephi was delirious from the fever. One night he jumped out of bed and tried to run, but fell to the floor because he was so weak from his long illness. He said there were a lot of black cats coming after him.

Mother, Grandmother Dalley, and Aunt Lette Dalley all took the best possible care they could of Nephi, but he was sick for so long they almost despaired, and didn’t know what to do to help him get well. They got in touch with Sister Walker, a nurse who lived a few miles away. She suggested onion poultices. She sliced a large amount of onions, cooked them in grease, then put the poultices over most of Nephi’s body and on the soles of his feet. To some, an onion poultice may sound a very strange remedy for curing complications in a case of scarletina, but after a few of these treatments, there was a noticeable improvement in Nephi’s condition. What a blessing to us that that dear, kind nurse had had the experience and the inspiration to give us such wonderful help in our time of need in sickness. Nephi improved from that time on. It was a time of rejoicing, and how thankful we were when we knew Nephi was recovering from the serious sickness, and getting well again.

  One evening Nephi, who was about five or six years old, had been showing off like little boys sometimes do. After a while, Brother White said, “Young man, if you don’t behave yourself I am going to hang you up by your toes.” Quick as a flash, Nephi had his shoes off and put his feet up toward Brother White and said, “Here you have it!” Mother was surely embarrassed to have Nephi act up, but most of all because his toes were sticking out of holes in his stockings.

 Since my birthday was late in December, I didn’t start school until I was nearly seven years old. It seems I wasn’t overly anxious to make the venture. When once I started I was plenty interested, and wouldn’t miss a day of school if I could avoid doing so. I did miss being away from my pal, Nephi, and I know he missed me. We had always been very close pals.

 For my second year my Aunt Amelia, Mother’s sister, taught the school in Summit. She was a wonderful teacher and I was happy to have her for my teacher. Nephi also wanted to have her for his teacher, but he was nearly two years younger than I, and wouldn’t be six years old until November 8. He would follow me to school and stand outside and cry, because he couldn’t go to school. This, of course, made me very unhappy because I wanted to have him with me. One day the County Superintendent, Mr. George Decker, came to visit our school. He saw Nephi outside the schoolhouse crying. He asked Aunt Amelia what was the trouble. She explained the situation to him. He said, “Oh, let him come to school.” That was a happy day for Nephi, and for me too. So Nephi and I went through the grades together. He was a very good student, even though he skipped the “beginner’s” grade, and was the youngest student in the class.

 Funny School Story

I remember a few humorous incidents that happened at school. One day Aunt Amelia was trying to teach us the word skip. She had each of us take a turn skipping across the stage, as we had our class recitations on the stage at one end of the schoolroom. When it came Nephi’s turn, he started to skip a few steps then became so self-conscious he just went head first off the stage and stood on his head with his feet sticking up above the edge of the stage. Aunt Amelia couldn’t help laughing as heartily as the children did.

The schoolroom was heated with a large wood heater. Nephi persisted in slipping out of his desk and going by the stove. Not because he was cold, but because he enjoyed sitting by the heater. There was a chair with the middle of the seat out of it. One day Nephi got down through the middle of the chair and was sitting on his heels, his head was sticking up through the seat of the chair. Although Aunt Amelia must have been vexed to have Nephi do such a thing, she had a good laugh because it was such a funny sight


The last Christmas we spent in Summit was in 1907. Nephi and I were in the seventh grade. Our schoolteacher, Jake Bergstrom, planned a Christmas program for the school, and the Ward Primary planned another program. Hilda and I had the leading parts in both programs. There was much singing to do. Before all the practicing was done we both became very hoarse. I don’t know how we were able to take our parts, but we did make out pretty well. However, I have never done very much singing since.

I remember once when Nephi was five or six years old, he and Cousin David Hulet decided to go on a picnic. David and his mother and her other children lived with her mother, Aunt Lette Dalley. Aunt Lette kept a little store in a one-room concrete building near her home. There was a cellar under the store where extra supplies were stored. Aunt Sarah did most of the waiting on customers and likely David thought nothing of their helping themselves to a few eats. But as soon as the report got to Father that Nephi had been with David and took something from the store cellar, he ordered Nephi to go immediately and ask Aunt Lette’s forgiveness. Nephi wanted me to go with him, so I did. We went over to Aunt Lette’s and waited hours it seemed, but didn’t get a chance to see her. Father never did ask us about it, so we didn’t tell him we didn’t see Aunt Lette. I think she purposely kept out of sight, as she knew the boys hadn’t figured they were stealing.

Nephi’s birthday was November 8, so the same plan was used to get him baptized when he was eight. Father baptized him and confirmed him

Eleanor and the boys were soon sound asleep, and I mean they were sound asleep. Even though I was real tired, I couldn’t go to sleep. However, I wasn’t nervous. After a while, I heard someone trying to open the door. Then I was scared. I got out of bed and tried to wake Nephi and Leslie, but there were so sound asleep I couldn’t rouse them. I tried talking to them, shaking them, and rubbing their faces, but to no avail. I talked out loud pretending I was talking to some older person, so the one trying to get in wouldn’t be too sure we were alone. Finally, I heard the person climb up on the roof.
At the west end of the roof where the stovepipe went through the roof, the wall lacked a couple of logs up near the openings and was covered with a piece of canvas. Likely the person thought he could get in through that opening, but I think he got a big surprise. I knew I had to wake Nephi, so made a desperate attempt and succeeded in rousing him, and told him of our danger. Luckily, Nephi had been taught how to use a 22 rifle. He fired two or three shots through the roof. We didn’t hear another sound on the roof until about daylight when we heard someone slide down off the roof and go through the bushes back of the house. Leslie and Eleanor slept peacefully through the night, but Nephi and I didn’t sleep a wink. How thankful I was that Nephi had been taught to handle a gun safely. I had never thought it necessary for me to know how to handle a gun, but decided now it might be smart for me to learn.

1903 We Move to the Ranch

The spring of 1903, Father and Mother prepared to move to the ranch. They decided it would be best to send the pigs to the ranch the day before they took the household needs by wagon. A shorter route could be taken with the pigs by going almost directly south from town instead of going by the wagon road. They thought my brother, Nephi, who was not yet eight years old; my cousin, Leslie Pratt, also eight years of age; my sister, Eleanor, five years of age; and I, then not yet ten years old, could drive the six or eight pigs the four miles to the ranch and stay overnight. We felt very important to be given the responsibility of helping move to the ranch.

Belva is Born

On 25 June 1904 my sister, Belva, was born. Mother wasn’t able to go to the ranch that summer. My brother John had to take care of the sheep much of the time, and Father had the farm to take care of, so John, Edna, Opal, and Nephi took care of the ranch work that summer. John had the responsibility of herding a bunch of rams during the day and putting them in a pen at night. Edna and Opal helped with the milking and made the cheese and butter.

JJust that day, John, Opal, and I had gone to the Peterson Mountains west of Peterson with our cousin Sadie Hulet and some friends, Fannie Jordan, Amos Hunt, and Archie Madsen, for a camping trip. At that time Nephi was herding sheep for John Thornley in that area, so he was able to visit with us during the warmest part of the day while the sheep were enjoying the cool shade.

Nephi is on the left side of this 1907 photograph

When Nephi was about 13 years old he was attending a Sunday school class.  He corrected the teacher who took offence and chased him out of the church.  Nephi never returned.  Bert Hulet


Nephi had been used to carrying a gun since he was about seven years of age. Father had taught him to be very careful with his .22-caliber gun, and he always was very cautious in handling guns. He trained his own sons to be careful with their guns. They enjoyed going on hunting and camping trips together.

Nephi worked for years as a signalman for the Union Pacific Railroad in Nevada, on the Wyoming Division, and later in Ogden where he and his family lived for the last ten years of his life. He continued to work until he became so ill it was necessary for him to have hospital care. He passed away at the Veteran’s Hospital in Salt Lake City 8 February 1958. He had many friends. His funeral service was held at The Chapel of Flowers in Ogden. Interment was in the Milton Cemetery in Morgan County, Utah.

I didn’t feel happy to go away to school without Nephi the year after we graduated from the eighth grade, and I have regretted ever since that I did not let him have the chance for school that year instead of my taking it. I could have used my scholarship to the University of Utah and had my tuition paid for four years, but I was a timid little country girl and didn’t feel that I could go to Salt Lake alone, as I didn’t know anyone in Salt Lake.

Nephi was away working and John was helping on the farm and taking vocal lessons. Edna had learned to play the guitar very well, and often accompanied herself or others for singing. Mother, and all the family excepting me, had very good singing voices. My voice was never very strong, but I could carry a tune in a bucket.


Camping trip summer of 1910
Sadie Hulet, Archie Madsen, Eleanor, Hope
Nephi, and Amos Hunt
During the summer, Father was irrigating his crops. One day he didn’t stop to put socks on his feet before he put on his rubber boots. While he was walking, the boots chafed his right ankle. He didn’t think anything of a little chafe on his ankle and took no precautions. The next day his ankle became inflamed, and he had Mother look at it. She tried to doctor it for him, but the inflammation increased so rapidly, Father was soon in terrific pain. It was necessary to call a doctor.

Opal was married 4 September 1912 to Raymond Madsen Whittier in the Salt Lake Temple. She didn’t plan to attend school, but her husband wanted to get work for the winter. Opal thought she could cook for Nephi, Eleanor, and me and take in a few boarders. The house was quite large, but not real modern. It had no bathroom.

Due to Father’s long illness, there were many problems and expenses which made it impossible for Opal, Nephi, and me to continue our high school education for the two years 1910-1911 and 1911-1912. During the summer of 1912, Father bought a house in Logan so we could attend high school there.


Nephi thought he would like to attend the Agricultural College, we had heard so much about that school. We both enjoyed our work there. However, that was the last year the U.S.A.C. gave first year high school courses. The next year they dropped the second year high school course. The next year the third year courses were not given, and the fourth year was dropped the following year. Thus after the 1914-1915 school year, no high school courses were given at that institution.

The first was a bay. I named her “Fanchon.” She was the only one that was broken to be a saddle horse. The next was a dark brown animal. Her name was “Brownie.” I gave her to Nephi to repay him for some money I borrowed from him while Eleanor and I were at school in Logan. He thought so much of her, and was very sad when she died of colic. The third colt was brown also. Her name was “Gale.” I think she was sold. Father and John used Fanchon as the regular saddle horse on the ranch. They likely were rougher with her than I was, because she seemed nervous around men folk.

Nephi didn’t continue school and graduate from high school, but Eleanor and I stayed in Logan the next two years. Mother was with us part of the time. In the spring of 1915, I had completed the equivalent of high school graduation.

A Mistake

One time when he was spending some time at home, he went to Sunday School with the family. During the lesson in the Sunday School class which Nephi attended, the teacher misquoted some scripture. Nephi thought it should not pass uncorrected, so gave the quotation correctly. The teacher was furious to be corrected by one of her pupils. She gave him a tongue-lashing and told him to get out of the class and never come back. He never did go back to her class again. I am sure he never got over the hurt of being treated that way before his classmates because the teacher would rather let her mistakes remain in the minds of her pupils, rather than admit she had made a mistake. A teacher’s false pride can do far-reaching harm in the lives of the pupils who look to them to teach correct principles, if they think more of their self-esteem than of what they teach.

 1917,Back row L to R: Nephi Hulet, Hope Hulet and Fannie Jordan
Front row L to R: Sadie Hulet, Amos Hunt and Eleanor Hulet


Nephi’s high school education was interrupted some, so he did not complete the four years for graduation. He started working for the railroad. On 25 July 1918 he was drafted into military service (Army). When the time came for him to enter the service, he was just recovering from a bad case of the mumps. He was not well enough to safely leave his bed, but go he must, when Uncle Sam said so. He took his training and in November, his Company went on board a ship that was to take them to the European war zone. However, they had been on the ocean only three days when the war was ended on 11 November 1918, and they were returned to the United States.


 My brother, Nephi, was drafted into military service in 1918. He received his military training in the various training camps in the U.S. On 8 November 1918 he, with many others who had been in training, including Josiah Adair (who married Eleanor after the death of her first husband), were assigned to go aboard a ship to go overseas to the war zone. They had sailed for three days when they were notified that the armistice for peace had been signed. The ship returned to the U.S. and those men did not have to go for active duty. How happy we, and many others, were that our dear ones were not required to fight in the war. However, it was several months before Nephi and his fellow soldiers were discharged from the military. Nephi was discharged on 13 February 1919.

 In March I went on the train to Burley, where Fred met me with the Model T car. He was located at the lambing sheds a few miles northeast of Malta. He had three hired men to help during lambing time. Of course, I became chief cook and bottle washer in a sheep camp. The hired men had a sheep camp, too, but they ate their meals with us. My brother, Nephi, was one of them. Sam Shaw of Malta was another, and the other man was Bill Findley, a man with a cleft palate. They were all agreeable and pleasant to cook for.

Nephi with had 1923, James Gardiner, Peterson, Utah.

1930 Marriage

Nephi married Nellie Nelson Jenkins on 27 December 1930. They lived on a little farm near our home. Nellie had two children from a previous marriage; a daughter, Beth, and a son, Max. On 14 May 1932 their first child, Mark Reed, was born. Their second son, Bert James, was born 20 Feb 1934.

 1940 census

Hope Hulet letters:

1964 May 1, Nephi's son
Yesterday morning Uncle Nephi’s son Bert’s wife called us and said uncle Roseal passed away about 7 a.m.  What a blessing for him to be relieved of his suffering.  Ruth didn’t know when the funeral would be and I haven’t heard since.  Will have to do some inquiring. 

Hope Hulet history:
One thing I regretted was that he became chummy with a neighbor boy who smoked cigarettes. Nephi never overcame that habit until shortly before his death. One day one of his little granddaughters said to him, “Grandpa, if you didn’t smoke cigarettes your breath would be lots nicer.” He adored his little grandchildren. That really hit him with more force than one can imagine. He said presently, “All right my dear, I will not smoke any more cigarettes.” And he never did, but why couldn’t he have made that great decision in the beginning? Smoking cigarettes caused the disease (cancer) in his lungs, which caused his death.

Emphysema is a disease of the lung tissue caused by destruction of structures feeding the alveoli, in some cases owing to the consequences of alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Smoking is one major cause of this destruction, which results in the collapse of small airways in the lungs during forced exhalation. As a result, airflow is impeded and air becomes trapped, just as in other obstructive lung diseases. Symptoms include shortness of breath ("dyspnea") on exertion and an expanded chest.

The majority of all emphysema cases are caused by many years of smoking tobacco. Emphysema does not develop suddenly. It comes on very gradually. Years of exposure to the irritation of cigarette smoke usually precede the development of emphysema. Of the estimated 3.7 million Americans ever diagnosed with emphysema, 94 percent are 45 or older.  Emphysema cases that are caused by other etiologies are referred to as secondary emphysema.  Anything that causes the body to be unable to inhibit proteolytic enzymes occurring naturally in the lung can cause, or contribute to, the development of emphysema. This could include exposure to air pollution, second-hand smoke, and/or other chemicals and toxins.

Milton Cemetery
Morgan County
Utah, USA
Plot: 8E



Nov. 8, 1895
Iron County
Utah, USA
Death: Feb. 7, 1958
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Son of Sylvanus Cyrus Hulet and Mary Ida Dalley

Married Nellie Marguerite Nelson, 27 Dec 1930, Evanston, Unita, Wyoming

Death Certificate

Family links:
  Sylvanus Cyrus Hulet (1857 - 1942)
  Mary Ida Dalley Hulet (1864 - 1948)

  Nellie Marguerite Nelson Hulet (1897 - 1969)

Nephi's Birth
8 November 1895, Summit, Iron, Utah
7 Feb 1958Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Burial Milton Cemetery, Morgan County, UT
Nellie Margurite Nelson

Sealing to Spouse
17 February 1978
Salt Lake Temple